Archives for category: One Small Step for Man

You’re 12-years-old and it’s a sunny Saturday afternoon. Where are you? What are you doing? Who are you with? How do you feel? I’m sitting on the floral love seat in the living room reading Nancy Drew chapter books.

How did you envision your life as an adult? I had plans to be a professional ice skater.

Ask yourself what you want. It can be hard to admit. Admitting means change. Admitting means you’re not completely satisfied with a lifestyle that others might find appealing and out of reach, making it seem like you’re greedy or hard to please. Not at all. I had the goals to graduate from college, move to NYC, work in the retail industry, get a good apartment, and build a network of friends outside my hometown. I met challenges, but I achieved my goals by age 26. I’m happy with what I have accomplished, but now I need more goals. I’m in danger of coasting along.

Once you know what you want, check your attitude. Act like you’re talking to a young child when you consider your options. Be realistic, but supportive. Think like a scientist and refuse to say “I can’t” until you’ve explored your options. Man on the moon, people. If you believe that it really happened. NASA put a man on the moon, but you can’t change your city/job/passion? Give all risks a fair rating. Will pursuing a goal negatively affect your family or well-being? No? Then it’s not terribly risky. And most importantly, give yourself more credit. You have a tool box filled with experiences, common sense, contacts, and passion. This idea of yours is more feasible than you think.

Have a friend read this part to you. Close your eyes. It’s October 2023. Where do you live? In a city? Near the ocean? In the mountains? What does your house look like? Do you have a family? A dog? How do you spend your days? Would the 12-year-old inside you be happy with the choices you’ve made?

Open your eyes. What do you need to do today to be happy in 2023? What steps will you take in the next year? In the next five years? And in the next ten years?

We’re an honest version of ourselves at age 12. Life distracts us, can make us jaded, and it can make us realize that professional ice skating is hard! Eff your adult perspective and make plans the way any 12-year-old would: with excitement in your eyes and an open mind. Best of luck! Let me know if I can help!

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photo taken by Murad Peshimam

Do you strongly dislike small talk that wanders from one pointless observation to the next?

“Great weather we’re having.”

“Time to file taxes.”

“I’m so tired. Who isn’t? Thank goodness for coffee!”

Interrupt your chatty new friend with the following, “Tell me what you’re really excited about! Why do you get up in the morning?” Most people will have trouble answering and that’s EFFED UP! Either your airport terminal friend will be silenced or your conversation will take an interesting turn as they describe their passions in life.

Since one of my greatest fears in life is hypocrisy, I made a quick list of my own passions before pushing the challenge on my audience:

-writing
-baking
-yoga
-live music (Martha Wainwright has held my attention the past few months)
-serving as a resource
-food
-fashion
-good conversation
-chai lattes from Aroma
-travel

It’s your turn! No seriously, write them down. Don’t do as I would and list three in my head, decide that means I passed a test to prove that I have passions, then breeze onto the next paragraph of this post.

Finished? Gracias!

I’m currently reading New York Times Bestseller “What Should I Do with My Life?” by Po Bronson. It’s a compilation of interviews with people all over the world who are searching for or have found their passion and made it their central focus in life. It’s not a profound resource that holds all of the answers you’ve been looking for, but Bronson successfully organized an interesting smattering of the human experience. Most people do not have the tools/experience/awareness to pursue their passion the day they graduate from high school. Bronson proves that our winding roads are sometimes necessary and completely normal. He also gives equal words to both male and female professionals in the pages of his book. Hash tag: gender should not dictate whether you pursue your passion. Make that a trending topic. It’s long overdue.

Feminist comments aside (I’m taking the word back and separating it from it’s negative vibes), what are you excited about? Why did you get up this morning? What will you spend the rest of your life doing? Eff the passionless existence, roll up your sleeves, and seek your answers.

One of my close friends came over to my apartment last Friday night and in between baking oatmeal raisin cookies and watching a 90’s “horror” film featuring a young Alicia Silverstone, he was joking that I don’t exist when he isn’t around. It’s possible that I’m only playing a supporting role in his life and not a living, breathing creature with my own life that moves forward when he isn’t there to see it. I sarcastically agreed with him and we had a good belly laugh. If you picture a straight line in a one dimensional plane, on one end is the perspective that every human being is important and their needs should be given consideration. On the other end is the perspective that this world is mine, and my needs will always be met before the needs of others aka… “It’s my world and you’re just living in it!”  Read the rest of this entry »

I’m addicted to a bad relationship. I wanted to avoid writing about it so badly that I decided to write about beets. I researched some recipes, discovered that it’s a Jewish tradition to eat beets at Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year), and warned my roommates that I would be baking the chocolate beet cake for a second time. I wasn’t jazzed about the post. I had a feeling it wouldn’t top my kale post. It sounded really insincere so I decided to eff it.

Hi, my name is eff the funk and I have been addicted to a bad relationship for three years. I was sure I loved him the first year… then I’m not sure what I told myself the remainder of our on-again, off-again time together. He never promised me the moon, but I wanted to hold on anyways. We have strong chemistry and I was addicted to his attention when he chased me and my suffering when he didn’t. It’s romantic in a twisted way.  Read the rest of this entry »

lake

Picture yourself swimming in a peaceful lake. A piece of trash floats nearby. Out of fear, you focus on the trash intensely and inadvertently swim right toward it instead of avoiding it. You become partially tangled in the trash and the added weight around your midsection affects the ease with which you make your strokes. As you swim forward you see more trash and swim toward it again. This trash entangles itself on your left ankle and now your swimming is unbalanced. You start to veer to the left, which is not the way you wanted to go.

The lake is more polluted than you remembered. Or is it? Are you so afraid of the trash that it’s the only thing you can think of whereas previously, you knew the trash was there but you avoided it by ignoring it?

We worry about the trash and it distracts us, entangles us, and we fear more trash. The trash is what other people say about you. What other people say about you is none of your business. Eff the funk and ignore their trash. It’s a reflection of their negativity and you don’t need to strap it to your left ankle as you swim on by. Just keep swimming.

My friend Walter is new to New York City. He understood that real estate was at a premium before moving, but once he tried to fit his life into a small one-bedroom apartment it was a clear that he would have to make some adjustments. No space. Space funk.

In the classic battle of New York City vs. man the city usually wins. You have to work with what you’re given. In this case, space, or lack thereof. Walter said eff the funk and made lemonade out of lumber. Here is his story:

Back in November 2011 I found out that I had been transferred to New York City for my job as an airline pilot. I had a few months to think about what was going on before I moved, but let’s face it: finding an apartment in New York is pretty difficult to do from outside of New York. After burning my vacation haphazardly looking, I broke down, hired a broker, and after a few frustrating days of hiking all over town, found a little one-bedroom first-floor apartment in Murray Hill. I told my broker: “This is it, I want this one.”

And boy, have I ever wished I had been carrying a tape measure.

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The neighbor who lives below my apartment is filled with rage. He carries anger like it’s a luxury handbag, waving it around whenever the opportunity arises. The smallest thing will set him off. A week ago my roommate dropped her laptop on the floor in her bedroom. Two minutes later she heard a loud banging on our door. She answered and standing there, flaring at the nostrils, was our downstairs neighbor. He started yelling, “What are you guys doing up here? What was that noise?”

My roommate, wearing her pajamas and holding a toothbrush in one hand replied, “Nothing, we’re getting ready for bed. I accidentally dropped my laptop.”

He yelled, “You broke four light bulbs in my apartment. They could have fallen on me.”

Pause. Where is this conversation going? I think it’s clear she didn’t drop her laptop on the floor on purpose.

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The first hour into an eight-hour international flight I started to feel anxious. My mind was reeling and it wasn’t a fear of flying. I had been seeing a guy for a month and I was happy but something felt off. My trip was planned for ten days so I would have to wait until I returned home to address my uneasiness. In the spirit of full disclosure, I knew he was seeing someone when we met but alas, many relationships in my city/generation start that way. When you start seeing someone they might be seeing other people and if things go well, you could end up dating exclusively a few months in after the “conversation.” How long can you hold onto the monkey bars? Longer than Suzie? Congrats! You win? If you’re reading this Mom, yes, I know it’s upsetting and far from ideal.

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Fact: not everyone flosses between their teeth. It separates the people who are passionate about dental hygiene from the people who just rub the toothbrush bristles around in their mouth for a beat so their teeth won’t fall out.

There is a similar divide when it comes to voting for the POTUS. There are people who are passionate about gun control, reproductive rights, tax breaks, religion in the government, etc. Then there are people who don’t feel passionate about any issues, know a bit about how the electoral college affects votes (check out this short, free, non-partisan podcast from Stuff You Should Know), and don’t make the effort to vote. They’re disengaged, disenchanted, and in a political funk.

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I’m a desk jockey and I have a naturally tight lower back so my job is essentially painful (bad joke). Vinyasa yoga has helped me alleviate this pain. If you aren’t ready to dive into a yoga class, I’ve enlisted Tina, Vinyasa yoga teacher extraordinaire, to prescribe a few poses that will help you loosen up. It’s ideal to stretch right before bed so you can literally shake off the day, but feel free to do these whenever you’re feelin’ funky. Eff the 9-to-5-sitting-at-a-desk funk and move around!

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