Monday, October 24, 2016

Overheard in Lincoln Park

This series combines two of my loves: walking around alone in a city and accidentally eavesdropping.  One of my best and worst talents is being able to clearly hear the conversations around me, even when I am fully engaged in one myself--incredibly entertaining and annoyingly distracting in equal parts. So when I am feeling overwhelmed by social interaction, I wander the city, taking in the sights and catching snippets of other people's stories as they swirl around me. 

The following conversational puzzle pieces were overheard by yours truly, all within a 24-span around the Chicago neighborhood of Lincoln Park. 

"The nice thing about Chipotle is that it really sticks to your bones, long after those other places."

"You can ask me anything." (Said from an adult to a child.)

In a mocking voice: "She thought she would be ready for a relationship when she got to college, then she got there and was like 'well maybe I don't know who I am, and maybe I need a few more weeks', and now she doesn't even know what she wants."

"You don't want your clothes to be doing the talking for you on a date." (Said from a woman to a man)

"Thanks for following me and all, but why don't you introduce me to that dreamboat assistant of yours?"

"Does anyone even read Rolling Stone anymore?" (Heard in my elevator, which resulted in me receiving a free issue of Rolling Stone because as it turns out, the answer is me. I still read it.)

Do you ever silently observe a city or town as it ebbs and flows around you? It reminds me of the comfort of laying in my bed as a child, small and quiet, soothed by background noise of my family drifting up from the rest of the house. 

Friday, October 21, 2016

six simple things to smile about

1. Soft pajama bottoms and red wine on a Friday night
2. Hand-written letters
3. Realizing time healed an old wound
4. The underdog finally pulling through
5. Discovering a new podcast
6. Autumn leaves the color of fire

Friday, October 7, 2016

hello again

I'm back! I've missed writing, I've missed our virtual conversations, and most of all, I missed this little corner of the internet that felt like my own, where I could connect with readers I may never have engaged with otherwise. Recently, I returned to the States from a two-month long trip across Europe with countless stories, a strengthened sense of self, and a renewed belief that authentic connection with one another is one of the things that makes me happiest. I'm looking forward to sharing this space again (or for the first time!) with you in the near future. Thanks, as always, for reading. 

picture taken in positano, italy//september 2016

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

six simple things to smile about

1. new haircuts
2. falling back into bed with a book you're loving every night
3. returning to visit a city you love
4. fresh snow on a ski run
5. forgiving yourself
6. second dates

pic from my first trip to vail with rach

Friday, January 9, 2015

six simple things to smile about

1. winter sunsets
2. the return of favorite tv shows
3. resolutions lasting through january
4. cool rooms with warm blankets
5. weekend road trips
6. update, almost a year later: once again, only posting five things initially. because #math

have a lovely weekend, friends. i'll see you back here monday.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

a new page

“why don’t you write again?”

The text came through in the midst of a commonplace, daily conversation with my friend Christina. We had been discussing dating sites and my recent sense of lethargy for romantic and work life. “I’m thinking about starting back up the blog,” I wrote back, realizing the truth behind the statement as I typed it. The idea crystallized in my mind, like replacing a bulb that lit up a shadowy corner of a room that had been overlooked . And there it sat for months, popping up now and then while I continued to go on with my life--making breakfast, sharing wine with Beth on a Tuesday, sending one last email at work as my stomach growled for dinner, sleeping past 6 am spin class again—doing everything but starting back up the blog.

The blog world was different when this site was born. The height of my commitment to it coincided with the Blog Bubble, when the word became common vernacular among 20-something girls and a handful of my friends maintained lifestyle and fashion sites to varying of success. It was my enthusiastic attempt at venturing into the world of a writer, a path tread clear by those whose years of hard work was just starting to pay off. Coupled with a handful of freelance jobs, the blog cemented writing as a daily priority—a passion that was finally paying me. But the work started to feel hollow, and the delivery was slowly driven less by my internal drive and more by external expectations—of those with the checks, of those behind the comments and competition.

Somewhere far way, in a fairy tale land, there’s a charming cottage where girls and boys discover the directional career force that fulfills their hearts’ desire. Presented as a set of Russian dolls, children gradually reveal wooden figurines of decreasing size until they land upon the core of their being—the purpose that drives the gears of daily life. “Let’s you are!” the tiny white-haired shop-owner would exclaim as she handed over my set. “Ahh, the connector,” she’d remark as I uncovered my first and largest cover. Caretaker, reader, fixer, teacher. Each piece would be revealed until the tiniest center presented itself proud, quiet and clear: the writer.

If a career is like a bank account, I’ve invested a sizable deposit into my current industry, and the interest has accumulated attractively. Transferring those funds is an idea consistently weighing on my mind-- even with the possible losses presented, the potential of personal internal gain promises larger reward. “Aren’t you always looking for something new?” my friend Joe asked about my career search when we caught up after months of not seeing each other. “No,” I said. “I’m looking for something right.”

A large part of my personality makeup comes down to trusting my instincts. As one of my favorite quotes (of whom I cannot find the source of anymore) says: “When faced with a choice of yes or no, always make the choice that feels like freedom.” What I know now is that the daily decisions in one’s life are just as important as the seemingly world-altering ones. In many cases, as time goes by they end up being one and the same. Finding my dream job this instant falls out of my control, but pursuing my purpose with the intent of being true to myself is a daily decision I can make on my own accord.    

And so I return to writing as a daily dose of freedom--an act that beats yes against my chest consistently. Patiently. Firmly. A practice kept up not because it pays or because it pleases someone, but because it brings me to life, grounds me, clarifies my identity to my self and the world. Word by word, I ink out the story of my life and where it leads me before I even know the plot.

image source

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Jackpot! Five Added Bonuses of Working Out

5. Discovering new music. 
Some of my favorite get-ready-for-the-weekend/walk to the train and imagine I'm in a movie about an awkward but whip-smart small town girl making it in the big city songs have come from classes at the gym. "Run the World (Girls)" by Beyonce, "Cannibal" by Ke$ha, and "Titanium" by David Guetta (featuring Sia) still make me want to burst into a sprint anytime I hear them.

4. Occupying your mind.
One of my go-to secrets when I've had a bad day or need to get my mind off a boy is to go to the gym and sweat it out. Running or spinning or any type of hard cardio works, but the key is to push yourself to the point where all you care about is surviving the next five minutes...and then the five after that. The peace of mind from focusing on truly strengthening your body is beyond compare.

3. NSCs
My girlfriend Amanda coined this term--non-sexual crush--years ago in regards to those girls you instantly idolize or adore. So many of my teachers--spin, weights, running--have fallen into this category, but there are also girls in class that push you further than you'd intended on going. It's empowering to be around strong, driven females and it's even better when their drive and intensity inspires you.

2. Owning your body
I have this weird and awesome trait where I am either a decent dancer (as in I can keep the beat loosely but with confidence) or I am terrifically laughable (think Elaine from Seinfeld). It comes and goes without warning but I have to say when I've been working out hard--and consistently--the whole dance floor experience is exponentially less mortifying. Getting in tune with your body--feeling the muscles activate and respond--affects the way you use it.

1. Feeling Like a Bad Ass
Trust me. When you feel it there will be no explanation necessary.