In Which I Got a Proposal.

First things first: going away for a weekend to the Poconos, isn’t as relaxing as I’d pictured: Add three couples and 5 kids to my little persona, and you get a bunch like Brady. Needless to say, I didn’t get to use the laptop I’d dragged along for some “fall foliage inspired writing.”

The good thing about escaping hectic Manhattan to some less populated (and perhaps less polluted) area, is that you get to witness there are still stars in the sky. Like a lot of them. I think we’re good for quite a few millennia. But boy, oh, boy… the joy I felt when the skyline lit up like a torch in the distance, the feeling that “home” was getting closer and the smile of pure gratitude I still feel to be a part of all that jazz, made the entire trip worth my while.

Don’t be mistaken though, I had a great time, and on Sunday we decided that under 50 degrees weather had nothing on us. Adults and kids alike, we bundled up and went for a hike through the woods, where I did get treated with an abundance of fall colors…

photo 1 (2)

photo 3 (1)

… and some more Blair Witch Project – like scenery…

photo 2 (2)

fitting the upcoming Halloween Theme.

 

At night, one of the kids – a 5 year old boy and son of one of my best friends – came up to me, pulled my pants and with a seriousness only 5 year old boys can muster, asked: “Can I marry you?”

So I replied the only thing suitable: “Well… do you have a ring?”

The confusion on his innocent face undeniable, I figured it’s better to let him down easy, and to make sure he doesn’t make the same mistake twice – preferably at a much older age, but still. “See, if you ask a girl to marry you, you also have to give her a ring…” I suggested.

“I don’t have a ring right now…”, he replied, “… but I can ask my mom.”

After we finished laughing – assuring him that in no way his request had caused some people to choke in the grilled salmon we were having – we shook hands on the potential of ‘when you are 25 you can maybe ask again’, ignoring the fact that I’ll be 55 then and – also potentially – not being as desirable as I am today (ahum)… And I concluded, that well…

I have options.

The boyfriend took note of that.

Blogcation (I’ll be Back)

Apart from some 12 or 13 missing posts in the past year, I feel I had a blogoverdose, and I’m going to take a (very) short break from writing, and spend the following nights not panicking about topics and content while juggling with a jobs and boyfriends.

You may also notice that I’ve officially stopped counting days – it only seems fair, and it takes a certain pressure of off me. From this day forward, writing will become more than a mandatory task at night. The counting did hold me accountable for a year, but – and this may come as a surprise – it was my THIRD full year of blogging daily. In the past, I successfully (or more successfully than this round) completed 2 other 365 days of blogging. I know, I can keep a secret $insert friendly wink here$ I’m now also starting to wonder if my life was either that boring that I had to write daily to pass my time, or that exciting that I just had to share my adventures. Huh.

Anyway, all that writing calls for a Blogiday. Some days off to live life as most of the other people do: in blissful contentment of not dealing with the stress of jamming a 350 word post out of my keyboard at 11pm. I’m sure I’ll miss it before the week is over.

I still very much like my theme, though – I may have moved away from the depths of Rock Bottom, but I can still see it contours. Which means I’m still hovering too close, and more climbing is needed. But I may change the format somewhat – I’m definitely done with posting daily – I got people one person to hug and kiss now, which is highly distracting, to be honest with you. In a good way, but still.

So, I will keep sharing my tales and thoughts with you, my dear readers – fear thy not. But thank you for joining me on the journey this past year. Thank you so, so much for your comments, insights and cheers. You have been an amazing audience!

Until very soon!

 

via beta.pakfellows.com

via beta.pakfellows.com

(which will be either Sunday or Monday, because I’m planning a little get-a-way to top off my blogcation.)  

Day 352 – 365 Days Later (or How to Change Your Life for the Better).

352 days of writing went by, but a full year passed since I posted Day 0 a year ago. Seeking for a vent to write about my personal financial crisis, and thus creating for myself a little space on the World Wide Web to share my story, my questions, my thoughts and my progress.

Because progress, I feel, I have made.

My head is no longer stuck in a pile of rubbish, trying to avoid and neglect my inability to make amends and come to terms with my turbulent financial past. Day 0 marked the beginning of a journey towards a healthier life altogether. And there’s a lot I have learned – about others, but mostly about myself.

My life today doesn’t look like it did a year ago. Not even close. Sure, I’m still the same person – just a better version of myself, I like to believe. But my circumstances did change and I made that happen – with a little help and a little luck, but still. It feels important to acknowledge that I had the biggest hand in all of that change.

And quite frankly… if I can do it, so can you. It’s time for a manual.

 

  1. Make a Decision.

Nothing is ever going to change unless you make a decision. If you have been reading this blog from the getgo, you might remember that I’ve always been a spiritual person. But it ain’t enough to just wish upon a star and wait for miracles to happen – I tried that for you, no need to test it.

If you want change in your life, you’re gonna have to make that irrevocable commitment to change – whether it is on a financial, professional, personal or romantic level: determine what it is you want different, and then get off your ass and do something about it.

 

  1. Avoid Opinions.

Hurray! You want CHANGE, baby! Good luck with that one.

Let me be a party-pooper right here and tell you: people hate change, and the closer people are to you, the more they will hate your change. But guess what? Tough luck. Change is inevitable – grass will grow, seasons will change, day will follow night.

I’ve learned the hard way that it’s better to keep your “Plan for Change” for yourself – at least for a little while, unless you’re absolutely certain that you’re dealing with a GameChanger (a person all in favor of change). People’s believes are limited, and this is the worse time to get sucked into a dozen of different points of views on your matter. Na-ah. The first steps are better to be taken alone.

 

  1. Seek Help.

However. Loneliness can be hard to bear. Here you are, ready to flip your life upside down – and nobody to share it with? Da fuck?

I know this is the new age-y step in the manual, but bear with me for a minute: you need something to believe in. You need all the help you can get to succeed. But instead of looking ‘out of yourself’ for help…. Why not turn inwards?

Meditation and yoga have helped me tremendously in staying strong – along with taking great care of myself. Sure, the ‘help’ I got in obtaining all that, came from outer sources: teachers smarter than myself: Gabrielle Bernstein, Yogi Bhajan, Marianne Williamson, Gretchen Rubin, Elizabeth Gilbert, Wayne Dyer,.. the list is endless. But they all thought me, directed me to the same person: me.

You can run out right now and read any of the authors above, but if you took step one, the right book or teacher for you, will appear. Or, as is said: “the teacher appears when the student is ready.” – and once they do appear, it will feel good, and you’ll know that there’s not a chance in hell that you could ever feel lonely on this journey.

 

  1. Have Faith.

Oh, this is a tough one, ya’ll!

If the above sounded like a picnic in Central Park on a 74 degrees day, let me crush that image right here. This isn’t going to be a smooth ride.

You’ll be all like “ok, life, I want a change! Let’s make it happen!” and life will contemplate for a bit, and then, when you least expect it, it will look you dead in the eye and be all like “How badly do you want this change, sucker?” and throw a minor catastrophe your way: it’s the job interview that went so well, but you didn’t get an offer. It’s the date that was so awesome, but he didn’t call afterwards. You get the picture.

Don’t give up, though. Know that this is just the path you chose: it is a little bumpier, but that’s how you know you’re on the right track. Keep going – and know – KNOW!! – that it will all work out in the end.

 

  1. Dance, Little Sister! (and brother, too)

Ok, I love to dance in my living room or bedroom, preferably in front of a mirror so I can check my moves – I might be alone in this.

But the bottom line of #5 is this: don’t forget to have fun. Be ridiculous, silly and irrational from time to time. Life is short and you don’t want to waste it on being all serious about your quest, either.

Binge watch a season of ‘Friends’ for some laugher, explore your own town or city with some friends, engage in activities with other people, go see a movie, purchase that deal for a massage… whatever tickles your pickle, really. As long as you enjoy it and it makes you insanely happy. Pump up the volume of your stereo and dance!

 

  1. This, or something better.

Don’t be a smartass. Sure, you know what you want, but life knows what’s best. Be grateful for the victories along the way and towards your goal, but acknowledge that the outcome might not be exactly as you envisioned. Consider D-tours and potential U-turns, but know that it will all add up in the end. Whenever you feel like restating your desired goal to the Universe (or whatever you believe in), add the “this, or something better.”- line. And trust that you will get rewarded for whatever effort you put in. Action, reaction.

 

Although there have been days were my relationship with Life was shaky, and I seriously considered some couples therapy for the both of us, I never stopped believing that it had my best interest at hand.

Things will get rough. Things will get better. Those ups and downs are just common to any relationship. Just try your best, every day. Stay curious and connected, be open, appreciative and respectful. Be loving and kind, truthful and honest with this partner that will actually stick around until the end…

Because 365 days pass in the blink of an eye… and you’ll be a whole other person once they pass… and then you’ll be ready for a whole new set.

So cheers. To the next 365.

Day 351 – You Are Enough.

I know I made a promise to bring Post-It Monday’s back, and that plan has rather failed so far, but fear thy not: someone is out there doing something similar!

As I was waiting for an F train to take me downtown, I noticed an A4 sized flyer taped to one of the iron beams. There were a couple of tracks between me and the flyer, and my phone’s camera really tried to capture it…

"you are enough". It's there, really.

“you are enough”. It’s there, really.

… but it reads “you are enough”, and it totally made my day. Because I am enough, and so are you. It’s not for nothing I got the phrase tattood.

But what I mostly associated the piece of paper and its print with today, was the news this morning of Malala Yousafzai being granted the Nobel Peace Price today.

Two years ago, the girl who stood up against the Taliban in her country, got shot in the head. With immense bravery, she recovered from the attack, and continued pleading for education to women (mostly) around the world. Here’s one young woman who believes she is enough.

Smart enough, to speak wise words – no matter the audience.

Brave enough, to stand up against those who’ve threatened her life.

Kind enough, to touch the hearts of millions across the globe.

Gracious enough, beautiful enough, ambitious enough.

With the overdose of fear we’re getting spoon-fed in the news these days, I’m happy for the hope radiating of this mere fact today: we’re living in a world were a Pakistani girl of only 17 got awarded for her effort to educate the globe.

What a wonderful world that is.

day 350 – There’s a Pink Elephant in The Room.

When you spend two hours in a vintage store “for work”, you know you’ve found the world’s most amazing job and it doesn’t get much better than that.

So, as I walked around this gem in Manhattan, I shared my excitement (Angels! Pin Ball Machine! Huge Penny! A Scale that “weighs your fate”, for crying out loud!) about the things I saw with The Guy, who was fortunate to be talking to me on the phone at that time. I hope he didn’t call me to tell me something important, because this is how that conversation went.

 

Me: Oh. My. GOD!!

Him: what?

Me: There’s a giant pink elephant here!

Him: A giant pink elephant, eh?

Me: HUGE! I bet I can sit on it.

Him: hmm…

Me (more to myself): I wonder if I could fit this in my apartment…

Him: you’re going to buy a giant pink elephant?

Me: Well, no… it’s over 4000 dollars. I’d love to, though.

Him: because…

Me: oh my god! Because it’s totally awesome! Everyone who’d enter my apartment would be all like “oh my, this must be such a cool chick!” – because, you know… that is what a pink elephant says.

Him: It is?

Me: YE-AH! And also, I’d constantly freak you out, saying “I think there’s a pink elephant in this room...” and IT WOULD BE TRUE. Oh my Gosh… I think owning this elephant just became a new goal in my life.

Him: yeah, I can see that.

Me: and also, if you’d say something I don’t agree with, I’d be like “are your freakin’ delirious!?” and you’d be like “what? what do you mean, woman!?” and I’d be all “oh, don’t you call me woman! DO YOU SEE PINK ELEPHANTS?“… And there’d be no denying, and I’d be proven right.

Him: very creative…

 

I think he’s getting to know me. He might be sorry for that.

 

But seriously…

 

Totally made my day.

Totally made my day.

 

… that’s one heck of a pink elephant in the room. (hashtag WANT!)

 

PS: If ya’ll chip in, I’d buy it for my birthday (which is, true, still a while away), because nothing says “YOU’RE AWSOME!” like a giant pink elephant you can basically use in your advantage until eternity.

Day 349 – (Il-)legalize It.

If I ever were to run for president, I’m sure my opponents would find out about that time I lit the occasional joint, and then giggled the night away – or in my case: doze off in a daze, because marihuana didn’t really do the trick for me. That may have had to do with my pretend-inhalations, because I wasn’t so much looking to get high as to get nudging approval of my peers. Who, then again, probably would have been nodding regardless, because that is what high-on-weed people tend to do: affirm everything with their wobbly heads.

via s289.photobucket.com

via s289.photobucket.com

Anyhow.

Ever since I saw a BBC documentary in 3rd grade about XTC, I had a scare for drugs – any kind. I still hear the reporter ask “Ever sold a duddy” – and the dealer’s blurred face and distorted voice respond “all the time”, after which he also listed a number of poisonous substances with which the drug gets mixed.

No, thank you… if I ever crave a high or hallucinant rush, I’ll start my own organic meth lab, thank you very much.

My own mild yet dope adventure – pun intended – aside, I’ve managed to stay away from drugs throughout the years, and it’s with mixed feelings that I’ve seen countries (The Netherlands) and states legalize the possession and use of what we started calling “soft drugs” – mainly the plant based substance you smoke or mix in your brownie-dough.

But the other day – and finally – I read an article covering a 20 year research at King’s College London, with an alarming conclusion: Marihuana is as dangerous a substance as any other drug out there. I hope you weren’t thinking that smoking grass would be harmless.

The conclusion of the research concludes that not only is weed highly addictive, it’s even harder to kick off from pot than it is to drop your heroine addiction – and people quitting their daily joint, most likely pick the habit back up within six months. Smoking pot damages your brain cells, leading to decreasing intelligence, and the risk to develop psychoses or even schizophrenia is alarmingly high. I personally know of a guy in my college on a constant daze, who had to be admitted in our 2nd year of college for severe paranoia.

Anyhow. I’m the last person who’d ever tell someone what and what not to do. But there’s definitely better ways to spend your money than on a temporary high…

And if you do need some dizzy trip’n … I don’t mind pushing you on that merry-go-round.

Day 348 – Holes in My Socks.

Ok, this is getting ridiculous. I have a serious sock problem going on, and I just have to share because I’m officially wondering if this is happening to me only.

The other day, when I got my laundry back from the cleaners, I noticed they had only made 2 pairs of all 14 socks I’d worn that week. Then careful analyse thought me that – what the crap!? – I didn’t have matching socks. Somehow miraculously and over time – my once perfectly coupled pairs of black socks, had turned into a pile of shades of black.

I puzzled them together to the best of my ability and knowing that I only wear socks in boots or shoes – aka, where nobody can see them. But then I bumped in to a far worse issue: holes! In like 90% of my socks! I hadn’t even noticed. Ok… no, that’s a lie: I had noticed, but then I started mix and matching my socks based on hole-lesness instead of color… hence probably my earlier issue.

I told you I had a sock problem.

And it’s not only socks… it’s stockings, too. The other day, I’d bought a pair of off-black nylons to go under a dress. By the time the party I was at was over, I had a ladder and they were 7 dollar stockings traveling to a bin.

Hence me rushing to the store for some real stockings – the indestructible kind. The label stated that size M/L would fit someone from 5’6″ to 6′ with a weight between 120 and 150 pounds… which is perfect, because I’m 5’8″ and I’m not 150 pounds… I got them up till like mid thigh, which I’m sure isn’t the preferable way of working your stockings when you plan to wear a mini skirt.

Obviously, I started pulling on them like a madwoman, causing instant goosebumps every time my nails accidentally scratched the fabric (goose bump attack even while writing about it!). But here’s the thing about stockings too small: even if you do manage to pull them up… you’ll walk 5 steps and they’ll slip off your legs faster than you can spell ‘stocking’.

If there’s one thing I have a hard time spending money on, it’s stocks and stockings and nylons and all that jazz. You just know it’s going to happen: you’re going to loose a sock and mess up the pairs. It’s going to drive you crazy (and you’re going to find socks when you eventually move out of the house, swear to god). Your stockings will get holes in them (and you’ll try to remember where you bought them, because they lasted for so long!) and your stockings will get ripped and torn… or if you have a rather mild fantasy: just get ladders in them. And you’ll curse the 7 dollars you could have spend on 5 packs of Twizzlers at the office’s candy store.

But I’m fairly certain I won’t survive winter without them… so I’m going to have to find a store with black socks. I’ll buy them in bulk.