Category Archives: daily dose

I can’t…believe I’m doing this

When people talk about the way various forms of exercise changed their lives it makes me want to vomit. Cue the daddy issues, mean girl tendencies, and inability to come across as a normal person. But here I am doing just the thing I so openly oppose. To set the record straight, I do believe that exercise can impact your life in unimaginable ways, I just don’t really like to hear other people talk about it. While I’ve spoken about my unabashed love affair with yoga, in this instance I wanted to focus on my relationship with SoulCycle. As someone who never particularly cared for working out—with the exception of my stint as a gym rat during my junior year of high school—I never thought I’d be at this point. Though I’m not particularly sporty or outdoorsy, I am definitely someone who avoids being sedentary. I appreciate physical exertion and just moving, something that I definitely look forward to more now that I spend eight hours a day on my ass in a cube. Enter SoulCycle.

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Last summer a friend of mine went to Soul a bunch and constantly suggested that I try it out. She was addicted, and I could be too! I had the good fortune of living exactly one block and one avenue away from a studio, so why not give it a try? Though I wasn’t exactly resisting this challenge, I wasn’t accepting of it either. My idea of a frenetic workout is Vinyasa yoga. I’ve tried burpees, intervals, and jumping rope, but all seemed to leave me with a sense of vertigo that was less trippy and more geriatric. And I can admit this now, because it’s been almost a year since my first ride, but I was really intimidated by the idea SoulCycle and fed into believing all of the stereotypes that were out there. I went to school in a town where frozen yogurt was barely a thing, let along spin classes, and while I was anything but a bumpkin, there were trends that this time allowed me to be ignorant toward. But one day, the whole idea of trying a SoulCycle class just clicked for me. In a moment of complete naïveté I decided to sign up for not only one class, but two classes, and first thing in the morning, no less! I have the snippit of my sign up to prove it:

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It takes a lot of nerve to try a whole new way of being at 6AM on a Monday morning, but I did it, and I think that move really set the tone of my relationship with SoulCycle. On a fateful, humid July morning, I arrived to the studio early, as in really early. Walking into W77th’s bright, booming foyer before 5:45AM, to say I was a little disoriented would be putting it lightly, but I got set up, clipped in, and refused to get out until class was over. Very soon into my first class I couldn’t stop cursing myself out. Here I was, riding with someone, who to this day, is one of the fiercest instructors I’ve come across—I felt like I had no business being there. All the way in the back of a dimly, if at all, lit studio with thumping house music, I was trying to determine if there was any way I could sneak out. I’m totally ashamed to admit that, but as someone who doesn’t love failure, I couldn’t stand the thought of not being good at this riding thing. So many of the people around me were graceful, powerful, and knew what they were doing, ultimately making me feel inadequate.

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A little shell shocked from my initial ride, what did I decide to do? Come back three days later for round two. While I was still totally new, at least felt like I knew more of what to expect—how to clip in, towel off without wasting time, and space out drinking my water. But then there was the instructor, who, quite frankly, scared the shit out of me. An original rider and rooster, Julie was a pro. She possessed a unique blend of command, levity, and intense swagger that left me equal parts impressed and frightened. As a devoted student of Julie’s, I look back and laugh to think about this, but after my class with her, I wasn’t sure I was fit for SoulCycle at all. But, I came back and here we are, almost one year later, not letting preconceived notions get in the way of doing what I want to do.

Very quickly after this point, I started riding on a regular basis and could clearly see the reasons why people were so fervent: it’s fun, the workout is amazing, instructors tend to your spiritual/emotion needs as well as your physical needs, and the in-studio culture is unbeatable. While I didn’t start riding in search of anything, I definitely ended up finding things along the way. Riding at SoulCycle, for me, is about a few things. Above all, it’s about taking 45 minutes to focus on one thing only, and that’s being present on my bike. These are precious moments for me, sometimes they’re the only points of my day where I’m not consumed by other thoughts. And the times I’ve let myself wander, I notice that my riding isn’t as strong and I can’t carry out the more complex moves with the ease and connection that I normally try to bring. Riding is also about accepting imperfections, both on and off the bike, and understanding that each ride isn’t going to be like the ones that came before or will follow after. Each time you get on a bike (or on a yoga mat, for that matter) you bring something different to the ride, and that’s totally fine.

10755976_1542551215992183_288474351_nLastly, riding has also become about finding community. One of the core tenants that SoulCycle encourages is riding as a pack, and it’s unequivocally true that I get more out of a ride when I’m in sync with the people around me. What’s more, is the community I feel with the instructors both inside and outside of the studio. Call me delusional, but I really do get the sense that they want me to succeed, even when they’re yelling to break pace or to put more on the wheel.  With encouragement from teachers like Amanda, Julie, Nina, Lori, and Anandah, I do manage to unearth more from inside, and more than I knew existed.

A year later, I’ve brought family, brought friends, made friends. I’ve ridden through colds, career lows, friendship woes, and personal successes, all to come out on the other side. One mantra that Julie repeatedly instills in her riders is that, “we make it harder in here [the studio] so it’s easier out there [off the bike].” And that’s exactly what SoulCycle has done for me.

*PS. Julie is the mantra/ genius behind the title of this post.

on having nothing to say

Why hello there! It’s been a little while, hasn’t it? The thing about not blogging for almost two months, is that once a week goes by, it’s even easier to let a month go by, and before you know it, you’re a few days shy of not having posted since there was snow on the ground. And it’s a self-involved answer, but I can pinpoint the exact reason why I haven’t written anything–I’m really uninspired* and don’t know what direction, if any, I want to drive this blog toward. When I started writing back in 2010, I was so thrilled to have found a creative outlet amidst my studies, which were seemingly uncreative. At that point, it was easy centering everything around fashion when that’s what everyone else was doing. Back then, the industry was a little more innocent, though not entirely so, and it definitely felt more inclusive, unrefined, and bonded, not the multimillion dollar industry that it’s blossomed into. Just like many other bloggers, I posted everything, even the terrible outfits I wore that I thought were cute, and the days spent doing nothing buy writing papers and losing sleep over what my thesis would be. And for someone who won’t speak unless they have something to say, I definitely did my share of posting when I had nothing particularly groundbreaking to write about. Nonetheless, I managed to stick with it and found interest in posting all throughout college and in the months following graduation.

But then there came a point–probably when I was in the thick of looking for a job–where I felt like posting about my ensembles and things in my life was so vapid and pointless. Who the hell even cared? If I was writing this blog for myself and I found my own words tiring, then would anyone mind if I shifted gears or just ceased writing altogether? Probably not, though I still get the occasional email from my mom asking when I’m going to post something new. I just knew who I didn’t want to become and I was getting so close to that point.

Once I landed a job in publishing, I noticed that my posts were definitely representative of that, including thoughts on books I had read recently or more op-ed styled scribbles that lacked any kind of photography. And that was fun for a while, until even that started feeling lame. Why? What’s the point of writing these ideas? They weren’t all that cathartic and I work in an industry where unless something gets crazy traffic and shares, it never happened. That’s not to say that I wish I had a more established following (actually far from it), but that seems to be the only way to be viewed with any legitimacy. So with that, I haven’t written a stitch since March. Everything feels passé and boring, and if I can’t keep myself entertained, how can I expect anything more from you? At this point, I have no idea what the direction of this site is going to be, I feel like when you lose that focus, everything goes to shit, so this is definitely a moment of reevaluation for me. Optimally, I’d love to keep things going over here, possible photographing more and posting the occasional thought, but I don’t know how that work, in actuality. For now I’ll leave things realistically open-ended and see where we end up in a few months!

*this is actually relevant to the larger picture as well (see the #littrip my mom and I took in October)

A Vapid Filler Post Where I Share My No-Fail Nail Polish Colors

Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 6.21.01 PMHave you ever noticed that when a blogger doesn’t know what to post (though they’d never tell you this), or don’t have anything of value to add, they either write about the weather or share lists. Lists of seemingly imperative yet truly menial things such as: weekend sales, favorite items for Spring, or knick-knacks they can’t live without. Some people might say that this is actually just something that bloggers do, but I’m not buying that. If people just didn’t say anything instead of sharing something stupid–that goes for real-life as well–the world would be a much more thoughtful place.

With that, however, I present my favorite shades of nail lacquer, because why not? Spending most of my days sitting at a computer, my hands are almost always in my line of vision, and thusly, so are my nails. For me, looking down at unkempt and plain nails is a really depressing thing, so I opt to always keep a little color on them, even if it’s something blushed and blanched. Just like clothes, cosmetics, and anything else superficial that we are attuned to, painting your nails is an adornment that tells everyone about ourselves. Here are my favorites…

Notes From 23

Usually when adults hear that anyone under 30 has advice to share, they scoff (Exhibit A: the subtitle of Lena Dunham’s book…Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s “Learned”). How are we supposed to be productive members of society when 20-somethings get nearly the same respect as teenagers, and because it wasn’t so long ago, let me tell you, we’re not talking about that much. But, because I don’t care about that, here are a few things I’ve been mulling over, as I approach 24:

 If it wasn’t on Facebook, it did happen.

Technology is fantastic, I love it. I even have a blog where I can put out all of my dumb thoughts that no one reads.But that doesn’t mean that I respect all of it, and the expectations that have come along for the ride. You may be familiar with a post that I wrote about the woes of social media, if you haven’t, you certainly can. While it’s cliché to say that we live in a world where we post, and post, and post, but don’t live in the moment, it’s true. We are so busy taking photos to remember moments that we’re not actually in the moment, making the memories. And the content of these posts is another thing entirely. Depending on the person, they can be viewed as self-involved, braggy, and sometimes…just weird. What is the message that you’re trying to convey with your post? While I fall into the shameless photographer category, I try to stay in the present and advocate for stepping back.

Relationships are like your 9-to-5, but they pay less.

Whoever said that relationships shouldn’t be work was wr-wr-wrong. Yes, some relationships are easier than others, but to take them for granted is totally negligent. I don’t believe in taking relationships for granted (i.e. family, longtime friends, or office acquaintances), that just doesn’t work for me. It’s important to both show and tell people that they matter to you. Who wants to feel like they’re the only one who’s invested in a relationship? I’ve been there, and I can say that it’s a pretty shitty feeling. If you’re lucky, your relationships will be fruitful, but sometimes, they feel like more effort than they’re worth.

Being selfish once in a while never killed anybody.

Now that I’ve got both feet into the 20s water, I’ve realized that not only do I have a more defined and asserted sense of who I am, but I’m also more open and accepting of change, something that wasn’t so commonplace when I was 16.  Point being, I know myself, the good, the bad, the everything. Knowing myself as I do, I know when I need “me time” and I know what I need. This may appear selfish, but I think it’s actually one of the best things you can do for yourself. Being selfish may also include small things like letting people know what you want to do, rather than “going with the flow” if you’ve got a real opinion. This is usually a great tool to prevent pent up frustrations, etc…

Saving money is boring but necessary.

This is pretty self-explanatory. My generation is terrible at saving and understandably so. Simply put, we’re not in much of a position to so. We’re not making that much at our jobs and are residing in cities where the cost of living is too high. While we’re doing our best to cover the minimum (i.e. rent and eating), we’re also spending on things that we really can’t afford…without the help of our parents. It’s definitely hard to think about the future when you’ve just spent your entirely life in school, which I bet you thought you’d never get out of. The thought of life after college was daunting and that holds true, for so many reasons, this being just one of them.

That said, if you don’t treat yourself every so often, who will?

A little something special every so often, if you can swing it, is a great way to show yourself how much you care about you. For me, it could be something as small as a stop to Juice Press or a latte and alone time. One time, I did, however, justify taking home a bag from MZ Wallace. But you know what? It made me feel good and I use that bag all the time.

By sweating the small things, you get quite a workout.

“Don’t sweat the small things” is one of my least favorite sayings. Ugh, just the thought of it makes me feel icky. I find it such a condescending thing to say because it instantly creates a diminutive dynamic. Simply put, Person A (the one saying this) is telling Person B that their feelings don’t matter, that what they’re feeling is wrong, and that the issue they’re dealing with is miniscule. Even if their reaction seems disproportionate to you, it’s not your job to say that. While I don’t suggest getting worked up about everything—because who can sustain that much stress?—to be cognizant of your emotions is a very productive and healthy thing.

If you take a job for passion, you might get screwed over, but at least it was worth it.

My generation is supposedly quicker to leave their jobs, risking everything because their not happy or fulfilled, and for this, we get we get a bad reputation. We’re looked at as not serious and that’s not fair, we’re just looking for something different or better. That said, we don’t always think with our heads, staying at a position because of where it may lead, but rather, we live in the moment and leave for jobs that seem more interesting or exciting. These career shifts may not always work out, but in the end, hopefully we’ve learned a thing or two.

Expectations are lame and nonproductive.

I think this says it all. While sometimes expectations push us to “do better,” more often than not, we try for the wrong reasons. Expectations often lead us to do things that we really aren’t interested in doing. I, for one, strive to do things that I want to do, not the things that other people reflect upon me. While this isn’t always the nice thing to do, it ultimately makes me a very happy person. Leading me into my next point…

 You can never get your time back, so spend it wisely.

As I kid, I distinctly remember my mom telling me how important time was, that you could never get more of it and that you could never get it back. Impressing this upon me at such a young age definitely left an indelible mark, which is probably why I believe in being selfish, spending my time exactly how I want to, and being as honest as I can be. I always say, “no regrets” and that’s exactly how I try to live.

The Consideration Car

Whenever I take the train, I make it a decided point to sit in the Quiet Car. There are many perks of this seating option, only a few of which include being nearly guaranteed a seat and the chance to rest my bionic hearing. While noise is probably one of the most commonly accepted offenses in society (hence the dedicated car) I feel that a Consideration Car should be instituted, for those of us who are bothered by even more. In my Consideration Car, I would ban things like pungent foods, unhygienic people, over perfumed people, rowdy kids, anyone on a cell phone, loud chewing, snorers, and people who can’t control their bodily functions. While I’m sure I could name a dozen more actions I’d like to constrict, I think you get the point. When I wrote this on the way home for Christmas, the traveler seated next to me was eating a fresh-from-the-microwave croissant with ham. Can you imagine how odorous that was? And she had a bag of three! Who needs that much food for a trip to Boston? And who wants to eat three of those things? She was practically sitting right on top of me in a train car with about as much ventilation as a plane at its highest altitude. Gross. Did she not think that such a meal would smell? How self-absorbed can one person be?

My agitated state was probably heightened by: her telling me that a friend of hers left my place of work because she hated it, the scowl on her face, the book about Chilean miners that she was carrying as a prop, the fact that she’s wearing Chloe perfume, and because she reminds me of the pretentious and judgmental third world studies kids I despised at school. So I digress. During the last train ride I took, a small child was running the entire car length yelling, “Have a nice ride! Have a nice ride!” which, to me, was in clear violation of the Quiet Car rules, and yet, no one said anything to the giggling adult chasing after him. When left to their own undeveloped devices, most children will make noise, how is this surprising? But nonetheless, they shouldn’t be seated in the Quiet Car. Ah, then there was the time before that when I was seated next to a girl who smelled and looked like she hadn’t showered in three weeks, and making me more uncomfortable was the way she used her cell phone through a Ziploc baggie.

Okay, so maybe it’s me. Maybe I’m the weird one, the troublemaker, who shouldn’t be allowed to leave the house. If all of these people seem to be disturbing me, then what if it’s not them? What if it’s me? Yeah, I actually really doubt that. Most people enter the public sphere with a complete lack of consideration and ability to see how their actions will impact other people. It seems to me that most people choose to sit in the quiet car not only for the lack of noise, but also for the lack of distractions and disturbances.. Let this be a call to action. From this point on, we will be a more thoughtful and conscious community, and will cease the sensory assault on others. Is that too much to ask?