Tag Archives: summer

I don’t care, I love it.

-The happier you are with your own decisions, the less you need everyone else to be happy for you.-

I legitimately have like 5 posts that are nearly done but not quite there yet, and I am writing yet another. I don’t finish things. It’s what I don’t do.

However, this one should be quick. I have seen several different posts on Facebook and other sites I follow that all had the same message: dress for your body. And I’m here to tell everyone to shut. the fuck. up.

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I firmly believe that skinny jeans are titled as such for a reason, and belly shirts are for those who don’t have one. And I will judge you for not dressing for your body, as will the rest of the planet. But do you know what? That doesn’t matter. At all.

I’m not saying that I think everyone should walk around in bodycon dresses, but I’m saying that if you want to, go for it. Seriously do it. Lots of people might not like it, and if you care about what lots of people think, then you probably shouldn’t dress like that. But if you actually don’t care what everyone thinks, and you feel sexy and awesome in that really really tight skirt that leaves so, so little to the imagination, then wear the hell out of it and be awesome doing it.

I wore pleather pants. Pleather. Pants. And they did not look like pleather pants should look (but I mean really…they shouldn’t even be a thing). Once on my body, they resembled something that you see washed up on the shore and you’re like “Oh that poor seal was mauled by a motor boat. Sad.” But guess what? The second I put them on, I FELT SO COOL. I was wearing pleather! On my ass! Not because I thought anyone would look at dat ass and be like “Get me summa dat,” but because I just loved how I felt in them.

My point is that we all have to stop caring about everyone else’s opinion of what we should do. My mom hates that I’m always telling her how I think she should do things, but what I never understood is why she doesn’t just ignore me and do it her way if she thinks her way is better, or listen to me and do it my way if she agrees with me. Wars have been fought over this concept, and I’m not just talking about the ones in my kitchen. I am a pro at ignoring advice and instruction because I think I know better, but guess what? I also usually know when to listen and take good advice when I need it. For the sake of my argument here, let’s focus on the ignoring part.

If I think your makeup looks like you took a nose-dive into some watercolors and called it gorgeous, but you love it, you do you. If dem bitches are snickering because they think you look like a blob of cottage cheese contained into a hot pink triangle bikini but you feel awesome, then just do it. Most people won’t be happy with themselves when other people find them unattractive, and I get that. We all want to be considered attractive by literally everyone. But I also know what it feels like to be giving absolutely zero fucks about what everyone is thinking about you and to feel absolutely content with yourself, and everyone should own that feeling 100% of the time.

Relying on other people’s approval to determine your happiness with yourself just doesn’t even make sense as a sentence. It it literally illogical. To be truly happy with yourself because you love what you are is to have won. It is #winning. To love the human that you are constantly creating is #winning. Once you’re happy with yourself, all of a sudden other people’s opinions of your life, your body, and your goals start to matter less and less. If you can get to the point where you’re just like, “Bro I am going to wear this tube top and I’m going to love it,” then do that and love it and don’t listen to anyone else.

When I got the wrist tattoo, I heard lots of opinions. The only honest ones were my best friends who get it and love it, and all other negative opinions. Anyone else who said they liked it lied, because how could you seriously like that if you don’t completely understand it? When I started hearing all of the negative opinions, the comments didn’t even register with me. If I actually cared about what you thought of it, I would have asked you before I had it permanently inked onto my body forever. Every time I’m arguing or just messing around with Michael, he always gets to the point of, “Yeah well you have “through” tattooed on you so I win because you’re stupid.” Which is valid, but I love that he always says that because that means he knows that I don’t care about his opinion. If he thought telling me that something I had tattooed onto my body was a bad idea would send me into a tearful regret, he wouldn’t say it. But he literally ends every single argument with that, and it warms my heart. My brother calling me stupid warms my heart.

So that’s what I think about all of this. I’m not saying that anyone should listen to me or take this too seriously, but if you get anything at all from this, I’d like it to be that once you love who you are and who you are making yourself to be, the rest will all fall into place regardless of what anyone else tells you. Honestly though, I just wanted to stick up for the bitches that don’t give a damn. Cheers to that.

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18 Things of June

1 I started watching The Walking Dead and I am currently on Season 3, Episode 12. It’s actually kind of awesome and Daryl is my hero.

2 I delayed progress on my online classes a little too much, and this week is going to be SO FUN because I’ll get to play catch up and read a lot. Yay. So fun.

3 I kayaked most of the Hudson River. The plan was to finish it, but that didn’t happen because of weather and sickness. We’re definitely going to finish by the end of the summer, but we have to see when will work for both of us. Technically we have paddled over 150 miles this summer, it just wasn’t on the actual length of the river. Oh well.

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In the middle of the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge

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We were too close for comfort, but it was pretty cool.

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Police encounter number two.

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Sunset from Magdalene Island

And this is a deer just casually swimming across the Hudson River.

She’s just casually swimming across the Hudson River.

4 I started watching my cousins again this summer. They’re really great kids and it’s probably the easiest summer job ever, so I have nothing to complain about. They’re just super cool.

5 I went to a concert and left before the main act because the demographic was actually that frustrating. Think the cast of Jersey Shore minus 10 years, plus their parents, plus trying to be a little hipster. Nopenopenopenopenope.

6 I heard this song and played it for my cousins, who now request it whenever we get in the car. They’ve also learned to love Owl City and Tegan And Sara. I’ve taught them well.

7 I moved my blog! That’s new. It’s still in progress actually…

8 I did yoga in Times Square.

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9 I became a pseudo-vegan. So basically I will usually opt for the vegan alternative when presented to me, and I am vegetarian under all conditions, but I just try to eat as little dairy and other animal products as possible.

10 I went to the CIA and violated veganism hardcore, but it was so worth it.

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11 I got sick and it sucked, however I don’t think I handle dextromethorphan properly because I feel super high whenever I take Robitussin. I remember that happened when I was sick over Christmas break and I was cool with it, but now that I’m responsible for the lives of two small children and I have to drive them places, I decided to Google if it was a mental thing or if it was actually possible that I could have such a reaction to Robitussin. Apparently 7% of Caucasians don’t metabolize DXM properly, and I can’t find anywhere what happens to those for whom that is the case, but maybe that could be the case for me? I took the recommended dosage two nights ago and decided to drink some tea, do homework, and do laundry before I went to sleep. I started noticing the effects after 15 minutes or so, and then I had the craziest dreams and woke up and I do believe I was hallucinating. I took it again last night because I was coughing uncontrollably, and I’m usually really disoriented whenever I wake up, but that stuff did a number on me. No more Robitussin while I have to look after two of my favorite mini-people.

12 I ran my fastest 3 miles ever on the one day that I accepted the fact that I was going to be really slow.

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13 I saw The Heat, and it was good for a chick flick comedy.

14 I saw a friend I hadn’t seen in two years and it was cool because we still liked each other.

15 I started drinking a lot of tea. I always drank tea more than most people because I have this weird irrational belief that it’s like a magic potion that just fixes everything, and lately lots of things have needed fixing, so I’ve been through three boxes in the month of June alone. Echinacea has been a favorite for a while.

16 I biked on the Harlem Valley Rail Trail with my father. It was pretty cool. At the end we went to a farmers market where we had the best brownie I’ve ever had accompanied by some awesome cherries, and it was a great morning.

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17 I did a walk over for the first time since I was 8. Yay for yoga.

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18 The summer solstice became really important to me. It it the official first day of summer, the longest day of the year, and a celebration of light. It has no real significance other than the beginning of summer, but I’ve always lived for the summer. I obviously love the Christmas season and the coziness of winter, but I’ve always been a person of the summer. This year I participated in a solstice celebration, and it felt significant to me. My birthday doesn’t really have much significance to me, and I don’t like to ignore my birthday, but it’s just not something that I ever cared about. The solstice is cool though.

Are we on the right river?

Last spring, my dad bought a tandem ocean kayak. I was an on-and-off rower throughout high school, and while I really liked the sport, I am just not a very competitive person. I’m judgmental, relatively ambitious, and I enjoy success, but I’m too okay with the thought of losing a race to be as dedicated to rowing as a team member should be. Kayaking is like the chill man’s rowing. It is obviously quite a different motion, but the general concept of a small personal craft in which you’re really close to the water is similar, and that’s what I liked most about rowing. I remember getting on the river in the pitch black, unable to see more than a few feet ahead of me, and rowing in the darkness with the rainbow lights of the MidHudson Bridge ahead. We would keep rowing and rowing, and eventually we’d see the sunrise, and it was so beautiful. I think I’m too much of a romantic to be a rower.
 
Anyway, kayaking is all of that cool stuff, but less intense physical pain and more exploring the river, which I am all about. Last year I paddled around with a few friends, and my friend Sarah and I talked about making a trip down the entire southern Hudson River from Albany. However, because we barely made it to Bannerman’s and back without collapsing from upper-body exhaustion, we decided we’d need some time to prepare for that. This past January we started talking about it again, and we decided to do it this summer. We originally wanted to paddle directly to NYC, but because of our independent schedules we had to break it up a bit. After a few months of each trying to get more physically prepared for this, we decided to have a little practice paddle from Beacon to Poughkeepsie and back.
 
It was bad. So, so bad. Mostly because I miscalculated the distance (what I believed to be 14.5 was actually 29, (oops)), but also because it rained like a bitch. The paddle up from Beacon to Poughkeepsie wasn’t so bad, but as it started raining really hard, Sarah and I decided to stop at Shadows to dock and use the bathroom. We then realized that we needed to get things out of our dry bags and we couldn’t from the dock, so we paddled closer to the bridge and beached ourselves on this little sandy patch, and hung out with an adorable duck. It was really cold and rainy, neither of us had sufficient rain gear, and in those few hours we were the definition of miserable. We were pretty beat, soaked to the skin, our toes were blue, and we had to paddle all the way back to Beacon, mostly against the current.
 
We sat in the rain on that beach for two hours or so, and then decided to brave the conditions and get back before dark. That paddle home was one of the most physically difficult things I have ever done. I was paddling in the cold, in the rain, without gloves on, so gripping the paddle was ridiculously difficult. It wasn’t like we could quit and call someone to pick us up, because we had no choice but to get back to Beacon. After a while, we started coming up with some other plans to get our asses out of the river, and we became kind of delirious. At one point, I didn’t think anything around us looked familiar, and I honestly asked, “Are we on the right river?” The sun was setting, and we knew we had to make it back before dark. When we finally did get back to Beacon, the wind had picked up so we were dealing with some pretty nasty waves and literally paddling against both wind and current, and it was already dark so we had a hard time seeing the dock. We eventually found the launch, and as we both got out of the kayak we probably looked like a pair of stumbling idiots as we couldn’t walk because we were so exhausted. We knew there was no way we were pitching a tent in the pouring rain, so we stumbled our way to Sarah’s car, changed into dry clothes, and spent the night watching the kayak.
 
The next morning, we got some coffee and walked around Beacon for a while, ending up in this bookstore which is basically an awesome place with books about all things Hudson Valley, Hudson River, and some about the larger New York State area and its wildlife. There is also some nice Hudson River artwork hanging in the gallery in the back, as well as a huge map of the river. We walked around sipping on our iced coffees, looking all sunburnt and dirty like a couple of scrubs, and I was looking at the map hanging on the wall. I then saw the key in the corner, and put my fingers up to it to measure exactly how far we went. At this point we thought we paddled maybe 12 miles roundtrip, but I held up the ten mile marker to the map and it didn’t even cover the distance from Beacon to Poughkeepsie. I then began to suspect the err of my ways, and I called Sarah over to check it out. She was a bit surprised as well, but we were both a little too stoked for her to be mad at me for making her paddle almost 30 miles in the rain. We then returned to the kayak and the sun was shining brightly with a gentle breeze coming off the river, so we decided to paddle to Bannerman’s and see how we would feel on day two.
 
This was a completely different experience: we were both dry, the sun was shining, the current was with us, and we had no threat of getting lost in the dark. Even though our arms were in serious need of a massage and some TLC, this paddle was cake compared to the previous day’s conditions. Thus, we learned two things: We will go to extreme measures to avoid paddling in the rain, and we are two hard core mother fuckers for paddling 30 miles in the rain, against wind and current.
 
I also made an unusual realization during that terrible paddle. Even in my coldest, most exhausted, most miserable moments, I was still really happy. Actually, I don’t know if I should call it happy. I guess I just felt really good. I felt good because I was on the Hudson River, and something about it just makes me feel so good. I have so many great memories attached to the river, but it’s a lot more than that. I feel safe when I am there, like I am very much in control, even if I’m not. I really can’t describe it, but when I am on the Hudson I feel like it’s all mine, and no one can take it away from me.
 
I think that’s also why I feel like I need to protect it. After seeing the fourth condom float by, it was pretty disheartening to realize that so many people don’t think about taking care of the river. Some see it as this massive, menacing body of water that can take care of itself, and it scares them. More people need to realize how delicate the Hudson actually is, and how carefully we need to consider how we treat it.
 
This is part one of my kayaking adventures for the summer. Until next time…

18 Things of May

May is always a super eventful month for me. I always have final exams which bring on intense amounts of inner conflict between “I have to do this shit now” and “I don’t want to do this shit now,” I usually have intense spring fever, and I get really excited for summer and begin wearing flip flops when it’s still cold enough to see my breath outside. May 2013 looked a little bit like this…
 
1 I saw the Great Gatsby and subsequently fell in love with the soundtrack. Several of the songs from that movie are still on my Spotify circulation.
 
2 I had finals, and that’s usually a problem for me because I am very easily distracted and amused by small things when I need to get work done. Thankfully, not all of us are this way.
 
“Oh what was that? I can’t hear you because I have earbuds in because I’m studying, as you should be.”
 
3 I SOLVED THE GILYAK PROBLEM. With three other people…but still. The feelings of accomplishment were like … ahhh.
 
So now I totes think we should call my dog the Gilyak word for Harpoon.
 
4 I was introduced to the BBC series Sherlock, starring Bilbo Baggins as Watson.
 
Only a true friend texts you at 3:30am on a Saturday to tell you about his BBC revelation.
5 I packed every single thing I own into boxes and two suitcases. The boxes are sitting in the home of my lovely friend, and the suitcases have exploded all over my room.
 
Our last picture as roommates. Now we’re just friends.
 
 
 
6 I talked myself out of a jaywalking ticket.
 
7 I was on a 6 hour flight home. As in I got on the plane, and 6 hours later I was allowed off. That kind of sucked.
 
8 I had the most satisfying Thai food experience which reminded me that my spidey senses are really good at detecting awesome friends. 
 
9 I went to Chipotle five times in six days. This is not an achievement, it is me admitting that I have a problem.
 
10 I made a legitimate 5x5x4 fort with two of my favorite people ever.
 
11 I saw Fast 6, and it is officially the worst movie I have ever seen in theater. It was that bad.
 
12 I kayaked 29 miles, in 11 hours, in the rain, in the cold, after 10 months of not paddling, and I thought my arms were going to either fall off or be permanently bent into kayak form. I think that day confirmed to me that the Hudson River really is a place uniquely close to my heart…and I know that many people have felt this way, and there are entire organizations dedicated to protecting it, but I feel like for some reason, it’s my place. It’s my one place that I have used in lots of different ways, and it makes me feel home in the best sense of the word.
 
13 I saw this.
 
14 Online summer classes. Bad decision.
 
15 I realized exactly how poorly calibrated is my internal compass.
 
16 I bought way too many dresses.
 
17 I realized that my dog is actually a cat.
18 Someone suggested a great tattoo idea, which has evolved in my mind into something totally cool and worthy of a permanent home on my body. But only after my 21stbirthday. So I have like what, just over 2 years? That’s not so bad.

Not all who wander are lost.

When I am with Yulia, we get lost. Often. So often, in fact, that we actually plan time into our day specifically for getting lost.

We missed a concert festival because we got distracted by these two hot South African guys and we ended up on the wrong end of Manhattan, so we just decided to go to Starbucks and go shopping instead. I lost my own car three times in two days. We wandered for a good two hours before we found exactly which parking garage in Manhattan had my car in it, and finding my car in the Jones Beach Theater parking lot was a lot more difficult than we had expected. We started biking to the wrong bridge in San Francisco. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, we just assumed that “the big bridge over there” was the Golden Gate Bride, and we didn’t realize why it was so difficult to get up there. Come to find out, that was all because we were trying to cross the Oakland Bay Bridge on bicycle. Oops. We also accidentally took a bus 45 minutes outside the city of San Francisco approximately three hours before our flight back to NY. We assumed the bus would turn around at some point, but as soon as we entered the neighborhood that made me wish we had worn our bullet-proof vests that day, the driver told us that we had to get off because it was the last stop. Fortunately, the next bus passing through there would indeed take us back to downtown SF, but it was another 2.5 hours of us getting lost.

With us, though, getting lost isn’t always a bad thing. We fail at so many things we try to do, but awesome things happen in the mean time. I am the one who freaks out a little bit, and to Yulia, we are never lost. We are just taking a different – and usually inconvenient – route to our destination. I think that’s one of the reasons we get along so well – we’re a good team. Obviously sometimes we argue because we are both convinced that we know the way to get back to our hotel, and one of us is always wrong and feels like an idiot after making us traipse all around downtown San Francisco (usually me…*sigh*). However, the fact that we both spend so much time getting lost really makes me happy that we’re friends. I don’t know very many people who wouldn’t hold a grudge for my making them wander three miles in the wrong direction because I put the wrong address into my iPhone, and I don’t get mad at her when her internal compass is not exactly accurate.

Getting – and remaining – lost are big parts of my life. I know that sounds dumb, but when you’re lost, you kind of just take everything for what it is, and you really learn to just appreciate things a lot more. This morning (that’s college student speak for 1pm on a Saturday), I was going to go to Starbucks on the West Bank of campus to get some work done and write a blog post. While waiting for the connector bus, the city bus showed up and I just decided to take it. I have literally no idea where I am right now, but this chai latte and lemon-poppy muffin are amazing, and I am so happy. I have no idea how to get home, but I’m pretty sure this barista wouldn’t mind helping me out.

The lipstick marks around my tall yellow mug of chai tea latte are a pretty dark berry color, and my eyes are a little watery because of the ridiculous amounts of red and gold eyeshadow I applied this morning. I am wearing peach colored skinny jeans, a gold sweater, light brown boots, a purple peacoat, blue mascara, and a grey hat. I am sitting the back of a café, and I can see leaves falling outside. The guy next to me has an awesome tattoo, and some girl outside talked me into spending three hours next weekend standing outside in the cold and trying to encourage people to VOTE NO on the marriage amendment. I have no idea where I am, but everything is amazing. Life is so amazing right now, and no one knows where I am.

I went to an Owl City concert this week, and let me just say that it was one of the most intense emotional experiences I have ever had. It was honestly incredible. After the concert, my friends and I went to dinner at this really awesome place in downtown Minneapolis, and then we went to find the bus that would take us home. I love my friends, I do, and they are amazing people. But oh my God they were freaking out because we didn’t know exactly what bus to take or which stop to go to, and there were some interesting characters strolling about the town at 1 am on a Friday morning. I honestly thought it was kind of funny, because typically I am the one freaking out. But not in a situation like that- when if we honestly needed to, we could have just walked home (it’d have been a cold, long ass walk, but it was possible), and none of the people around us looked like they were packin anything lethal. I realized that my comfort with being lost and not knowing exactly what is going on makes situations like those a lot more enjoyable for me. If my friends weren’t quite so worried, I probably would have became buddies with those guys at the bus stop. If I was with Yulia, we probably would have gone out for drinks with them. “Lost” is a relative term, and I honestly don’t think I’ll ever be truly lost if I just try to soak in every experience.

I have finished my psychology homework, my anthropology prelab, and my chai latte, and life is good. Today’s realization is that I can never be lost, and that makes me really happy.