Happiness Is…

Blog-tember Day 2 Prompt: Write about what makes you happy, from the little joys to the huge game-changers. Can-dosville, baby doll. Here’s a few thing that are making me smile, as of late:

  • The tried and true cheeseburger + beer combo
  • Spending time with good people
  • Sleeping in
  • Long car rides, open roads, and country music
  • Reconnecting with old friends
  • My birks. If someone wanted to gift me these as a belated birthday present, it would be happiness bullet worthy too. Just sayin’
  • The Wonder Years
  • Buckeye wins. And friends who live-text you updates when you’re not around a television ;)
  • Television
  • This quote from Girls: “You say yes, and then you figure it out”
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About the Author

Blog-tember Day 1 prompt: Imagine the front sleeve of a hard cover novel. Give us your “About the Author” so we can get to know one another, and for fun tell us what your imaginary novel would be about.

Between “The Girl” page and my Twitter bio, you could probably collect a pretty nice idea of me and my sense of humor, but sure, talk about myself more? Twist my arm…

Glasses Cat

Mandy grew up in a small Ohio town that boasts local holidays such as Drive Your Tractor to School Day. Shortly after graduating from college, she made the move to New York City with a few dollars in her pocket and a drive in her gut that hasn’t dimmed since. 

Mandy is equally reliant on strong coffee, thesaurus.com, and late night television. When she isn’t writing or making awkward small talk in bars, she spends her time volunteering with the Junior League, rocking purposeful messy hair, and adding items to her online shopping cart but rarely purchasing them. Needless to say, she’s never owned a tractor.

As for my imaginary novel… it would likely be a memoir, a la Kelly Oxford. Not that I’m as hilariously witty or have a cult internet following a la Kelly Oxford (yet), but I have enough embarrassing stories and quippy anecdotes to fill a few hundred pages. Also, weirdly, memoirs are my favorite thing to read, and as they say, write what you know. I’d probably only get a few pages into my melodramatic teen angst/love-story set during the Mexican Revolution before waving the white flag. You’re right, I don’t know what I’m talking about. Nor do I really care. Sorry, love babies of the Mex-Rev.

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The Blog-tember Challenge

Hello, there! How’s your summer been? I had my first Pumpkin Spice Latte today, and while the weather definitely wasn’t on it’s fall game, I’m very excited to be slowly segueing into my favorite season. The tail-end of last summer was when I really hopped back on the regularly-blogging bandwagon. I had every intention to do the same this year,  but must acknowledge that jumping back into a routine is just not the easiest thing to do… thus, enter the #BlogtemberChallenge!

blog-tember

Bailey Jean from Brave Love thoughtfully crafted daily prompts for the entire month of September — designed to ease the struggle of coming up with something worthwhile to write about while uniting the blogging community in posting habits. She enforces a strict no-rule policy, and encourages bloggers to write as many times as they can throughout the month (and if it’s not everyday, still cool). I’m very excited that I found out about this in the nick of time and am excited for the adventure ahead. My only promise is to write more (which won’t be hard to do considering my past few months of absolutely nothing) and to read/connect more with other blogging participants. Good news all around.

To meet Bailey and check out her prompts for the months ahead, visit here. See y’all tomorrow, for post #1!

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31 ’til 25

There’s one month left until I turn 25. Thirty-one days separate me from being a mid-twenty year old. I know that age is just a number, but it still presses on my mind. Is there anything I still want to accomplish in this era of my life? Are there any last wild oats I should focus on sewing? The past six months or so have brought a lot of changes into my life. A number of my good friends have made huge life decisions (engagements, moving away from NYC, starting families, etc.); what should the next year or five or ten of my life bring?

To be frank, I don’t know. And in a large sense, I don’t care. In the past few months, since I’ve started my new job (side note: I have a new job!), I’ve been focusing a lot less on what others are doing, and a lot more on controlling the things I can control – what I should have started doing a long, long time ago. I can only control my actions, my reactions, my timeline — comparing myself to others is never going to get me ahead, or even further in my own path. Only by challenging myself every single day, will I see growth. Accompanying this new job has been a much more grateful attitude towards life – almost YOLO-like, if you will, and I’m much happier and more thankful as a result.

I think plan to live the next 31 days of my life in a similar fashion to my past 31 days: laughing a lot, learning a ton, and saying YOLO more times per day than a 19-year-old. After all, age IS just a number.

 

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Beautiful Brooklyn Botanic

Hello there, and happy summer! Sorry more than a few hot seconds have passed between my last update and now… it has been a very busy couple of weeks. I have a lot I’d like to update you guys on, but I’m going to take this one post at a time. :)

My parents came to town a few weeks back, and one of my favorite places we visited was the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Not only a nice (and affordable!) escape from the “city” part of The City, but it was also an excellent excuse to break out my old (still pretty new) DSLR. Here’s a few unedited photos that I thought turned out pretty nice.

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Although Cherry Blossom season had come and gone, this place was bigger and more beautiful than I could have ever imagined. If you live in NYC and haven’t been, don’t wait to use visitors as an excuse to check out this place. It’s well worth it on your own.

More updates to come, sooner rather than later. ;) But for now, happy Tuesday!

 

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On Saying Yes

There have been a number of instances over the past few months when I’ve really thought long and hard about throwing in the towel. Not on life, obviously, but very truthfully on New York. I’ve never been too shy or modest to say that this city will eat you up if you let it. And sometimes, even for the most enthusiastic of its fans (i.e. myself), surly New York can get pretty darn close to taking a big bite of your confidence. Her sharp, pearly whites are constantly chomping at the bit of your dreams. If you’re lucky, she’ll rip you up and spit you out. But preferably, she’ll swallow you whole…

But then you’re walking home from an after-work yoga class, and due to forgetting proper footwear, you have to do the 50 minute commute home in dressy boots, a long overcoat, short gym shorts and an oversized tee. You resemble what could only be described as an out-of-shape, disheveled, and just overall bad, masculine prostitute, when you run into someone on the street looking 11 shades worse, and who is very much rocking it on purpose.

Or you’re heading to a friend’s apartment after a long day to work on a project and you, like any annoying, yet serious-about-her-career New Yorker, need caffeine. You stop at the local coffee shop on the way to the E and the Barista says, “Hey, this one’s on me.” It was probably because you’re so sleep deprived you look like you could murder four puppies without blinking and he’s frightened, but you know, in a world of jerks, it’s a win.

And then you have a Monday — a figurative AND literal Monday at work — and due to a swirl of irony and happenstance, you make one of your favorite comedians laugh. A silly face, some dumb accent. It very well could have been a pity laugh, but if he felt compelled enough to fake it, at least you must have been true-to-form: awkward and hopefully, likable.

This city isn’t for the faint of heart. It isn’t for the half-assers, the get-embarassed-easilyers, or the try-it-once-but-then-I’m-done-ers either. And contrary to popular belief, it isn’t even for the dreamers. It’s for the doers. The open-minded, hard-working, inadequate humans who fail SO much and HATE it — but aren’t afraid to keep failing. To keep improving. To keep trying. To keep saying yes. The kind of people who say “Yes” are not the kind of people who succeed in New York, but rather are the kind of people who survive here.

Maybe it’s not even specific to New York. In light of taking an improv workshop with Second City through my job and re-reading Tina Fey’ Bossypants, I feel enlightened and compelled to keep saying “Yes” to life. I haven’t finished meeting these insane and wonderful people harboring vast and unique experiences only New Yorkers can offer. I’m not over chasing my dreams. I’m not done with New York, and I don’t think New York is done with me. I have more to do here — more to experience, more to lean — and I’m excited and ready for whatever that may entail.

YES_NY

Have you said “Yes” today? Or walked by someone wearing fishnets, black spandex and a cowboy hat out in public? If so, where do you live? And why?

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Currently, this Monday Morning

RECAPPING: a nonsensical “Happy Passover” e-card from my father, a certain random Twitter follow from this weekend, macaroon Easter treats from a friend and cookie gifts from my manager because of having to work the holiday. I suppose people really aren’t that bad.

HOWEVER: This Buzzfeed quiz suggests otherwise. Favorite comment: “NYC made me this way.” Ugh. Sad but true.

REALIZING: I’ve fallen very behind in my 52 books in 52 weeks goal. Should audio books count? If so, where can I find audio books? And also, the time to listen to twelve of them in the next two weeks?

ACCEPTING: Audio book recommendations. Normal book recommendations would also suffice.

LISTENING TO: Celine Dion & Peabo Bryson’s Beauty and the Beast, on repeat. It’s a beautiful, inspiring song; don’t judge.

SIPPING: French vanilla coffee from Trader Joe’s.

CRAVING: Country music, windows down and an open road. I’m chalking it up to the onset of summer, but sooner rather than later, some things may deserve a revisit if this keeps up.

REMINDING MYSELF: I should not compare myself to anyone other than who I was yesterday.

And with that, I bid a very happy work-week to you, readers! Make it a good one. Spring’s in full swing and summer jusssst around the corner. You can do it!

Fort Tryon

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