About three months after you get engaged, something happens. The first two months are all about celebrations and “Congratulations!” and people telling you how happy they are for you. You’ve found your person. The one who’s agreed to smell your morning breath every day for the rest of your life and kiss you anyway (albeit, sometimes on the forehead. That’s okay.)
“There’s plenty of time to plan”, people will say. “There’s no rush. Just enjoy it!”
“Just enjoy it,” they say. Until the ‘newness’ wears off. Once your friends and family have already heard the story about ‘how he did it’ and ‘where he did it’ and “did you know? Were you surprised?” – the conversation gradually fades during the upcoming months into questions about dress shopping and guest counts and napkin colors.
Napkin colors. Did you know that it’s possible to have a ten minute conversation about napkin colors? I didn’t. Until it happened the other day when I was asked about “my vision” and “were these napkins going to work with that?”
I mean… they’re still napkins, right? If I spill something, these will be the things used to clean it up? Okay. Just checking.
I went downstairs to the storage unit yesterday in our parking garage. This is one of the finer luxuries that we pay for in apartment living. Storage units and parking garages. Some of our friends own entire homes with an entire garage hooked onto their house. We pay the same amount of money to rent a 900 square foot space and keep half of our clothes under the bed. “It’s cozy!”, we say. “We love it!” We paid extra for the spot in the parking garage (Spot. Uno spot. We share it. “So cozy!”) and the storage unit. The apartment people (manager? leasing office? whoever we signed with) said that it would be “SO NICE to have just a little extra storage space!”
So we paid extra for the little wire cage in the garage. The apartment people called it a “storage unit”, but it’s a cage. It looks like a bird cage or a dog kennel. This means that it is not a heavy-duty, weather-proof steel locker that can guard our stuff against the elements. (LOL what elements? It’s in the garage, right? RIGHT.)
We don’t keep anything important in there. Just a random suitcase, some extra cleaning supplies, and seasonal decor. Things that we literally-can’t-fit-into-the-apartment. And the box to hold our Christmas decor. That’s why I was down there in the first place – to get the box to pack up our Christmas tree. I hadn’t realized yet that – apparently – the family of squirrels that have been living in our garage for the past month had decided to pee all over it.
Let me just say that again – so that it sinks in, like the pee that sunk into our box labeled “Christmas Decorations” – I opened the door to the little, wire cage in our garage (smelled a fantastic aroma), pulled out the box, and realized that my hand was greasy… from the pee. I had squirrel pee, on my hand.
So, in case you were wondering, that’s how my 2019 is going.
I love yoga. I mean, I’m not “good” at it or anything – I don’t know what I’m doing, or how to breathe, and it took me a year just to figure out what “cat cow” was.
But I love yoga. I love rolling out my little, pink yoga mat in the middle of my living room floor, and picking out a yoga video from my favorite yoga YouTube channel and pretending that I’m confident and relaxed as I stumble (and sometimes fall down) through the twenty or thirty minute sequence of my favorite YouTube yoga instructor saying “just breathe”.
I love yoga, or whatever it is that I’m doing on my living room floor (mostly just trying to twist my body into weird shapes and pretend that it’s totes relaxing). It makes me feel good. But to say that I actually “do yoga” feels a little bit like saying I’m a salsa dancer after taking a couple of Zumba classes. It’s just not the same. My yoga pants have spent more time grocery shopping and walking to 8 AM college classes than they have on yoga mats.
I dragged Kyle into the bookstore the other day to “get books for our bookshelf”.
We have a bookshelf in our living room that I’ve recently gained the opportunity to re-decorate. And when I say “recently gained the opportunity”, I mean “one of my plants died and it’s thrown the entire shelf out of whack and now I have all of this space to fill where my dead plant used to be.”
I guess if you gain nothing else from this post – there’s a lesson in what happens when you don’t water your plants.
We went hiking on one of our first dates. I say “one of” because neither of us can remember which “one” it was. I think it was the sixth or seventh, and Kyle thinks it was, “Maybe the fourth? Fifth? I don’t know.”
Here’s what I can tell you – it was late enough in the game that we were comfortable spending an hour and twenty minutes in the car together, yet it must have been in the EARLY stages, because I remember waking up at 6 AM to shower and “get ready”.
Get ready. For hiking.
A day in the woods. Weaving through trees. Climbing over rocks. Walking through spiderwebs. Doing that thing people do where they take really big, wide steps over puddles and act all, “What? Like it’s hard?”
Contrary to popular belief – working in the fashion industry was never really my “dream”. People always assumed it was because A) I wanted to move to New York City, and B) I liked to go shopping.
That’s it. There was also a brief stint during my childhood when I begged my parents to let me pursue a career in modeling because the lady at the mall from the Barbizon Modeling School told me that I could. For a fee. But she thought I had a real “look”, so the $750 application fee would be totally worth it.
To this day, I sometimes wonder what would have happened if I’d just gone to the Barbizon Modeling School. Maybe that lady WASN’T just trying to scam me as a poor, unsuspecting eighth grader with low self-esteem, maybe I really did have “the look” – if that look was ‘glasses and frizzy hair’. Instead my parents got hung up on that measly $750 application fee. Even though I was like, “The lady said it’s TOTALLY worth it! I have THE LOOK.” And my parents were like, “uh…” and I was like “The Barbizon lady said that! And she knows what she’s talking about, SHE WORKS THERE.”
Right. She works there. So, she said it because it’s TRUE. Not because she’s trying to scam my family out of nearly $1,000. She wouldn’t do that, she was so nice.
Full disclaimer: I am not a photographer. Sure, I take a lot of pictures – but that’s essentially all I am: a picture-taker. When purchasing a new camera, photographers are people who consider things like shutter speed, lens selection, aperture, and various camera-words-that-I-don’t-know-because-I’m-not-a-photographer. Meanwhile, in the other camp, a “picture-taker” will pick out a camera based on… “I don’t know, is it easy to use? Is it heavy? Do I have to know stuff about cameras to be able to use it? Will it take better pictures than my iPhone?”
These are all real questions that I asked when searching for a new camera.
Photographers don’t like picture-takers (I’m just guessing). At least they don’t like the picture-takers who like to call themselves photographers. (Again, I’m just guessing.) I feel like if I had taken a lot of time and practice to hone my craft, I’d be pretty annoyed with the person who shows up with an iPhone and an Instagram account and refers to themselves as a “photographer”. Congratulations, you officially have as much photography experience as Chrissy Teigen (who, for all I know, could actually be a very skilled photographer.)
There are two kinds of bloggers out there: the kind who have goals and a media kit – and the other kind, the kind who have to Google “what is a media kit?” when someone reaches out to them for a sponsored post and — well, actually, first they have to head on over to the blogging forum and ask, “Hey guys, how do I handle a sponsored post? So-and-so is reaching out to me and I don’t know what to do”, and someone says, “send them your media kit”.
I still don’t really understand what a media kit is. But that’s okay, because it sounds a little more “professional” than what I am currently set up for.
Around the middle of October, I was playing around with this new blogger site that I found called Canva (game changer, by the way) that allows you to make graphics and banners and all of the professional-looking-images that you see the professional-looking-bloggers have.
I got really excited. I felt like I’d stumbled into “the big secret” that all of the professional bloggers already know. I found a fancy graphic site that is going to CHANGE EVERYTHING…
Ugh. “Purge”. It’s one of those words like “moist” or… “moist”. It’s not the way it sounds, it’s just – you know, what it is. Purging stuff. I feel like I’m writing about my closet throwing up remnants of old college t-shirts and Target Mossimo tags.
I’ve always thought the idea of “cleaning out my closet” sounded like a terrible idea. Like this monumental chore. Because it basically felt like opening up the door to my own personal landfill of Victoria’s Secret shopping bags (that I, for some reason, struggle to throw away) and shoes. So many shoes. WHY do I have so many shoes? I have two feet. I do not need twenty pairs of shoes.
But, you know, some day, “I might wear them” – or so I tell myself.
I have clothes in there too. Some clothes. Not all of my clothes. A lot of them used to end up in piles on the floor. Because they wouldn’t fit in my closet. And the floor seemed like as good a place as any to keep them – you know, because I could see them. No sense opening up the pesky old closet and reminding myself what a mess it is in there.
And then I moved in with my boyfriend. Who is not like the boys you met in college with McDonalds bags stashed under their beds and dirty clothes spilling out of the hamper (thank God) – he’s, like, an adult. He’s sanitary. And while I know he loves me, I figured it wouldn’t take long before he would get frustrated with me using my side of the closet as a landfill for VS bags and the bedroom floor to layout my clothes. All of my clothes. You know, so I can see them. Because you can’t do THAT when they’re in the closet. Too many other clothes in the way. Some shirt you love might be squeezed between two shirts you hate – and then you’ll miss it. And then you’ll be sad.
I wasn’t allowed to dye my hair growing up. It wasn’t a ‘religion thing’ or a ‘Conservative thing’ or an “afraid of chemicals” thing – my parents just told me that I wasn’t allowed. End of story. My mom said I had “beautiful hair” and dying it would be like “ruining it”.
These kids today walking around with “Mermaid hair” will never know the struggle.
I mean, I get it. My natural hair had “dimension” (I think that’s the word that hair-people use). So many shades of brown – natural highlights, natural LOW-lights – just growing out of my head. And it was healthy! Ugh. SO HEALTHY.
But, you know, I was a teenage girl and thought that dying my hair was the equivalent of a Mia Thermopolis make-over. (Dye hair = look like Princess of Genovia.) But my mom wasn’t having it. “Pick your battles”, they say, and this is the one that she picked.
A lot of parents put their foot down about partying and premarital sex, but my mom has never been like a “regular” mom. She’s a cool mom.
(Also, I didn’t get invited to parties in high school and boys didn’t talk to me. So if she really wanted to put her foot down about something, the hair thing was kind of all she had.)