Category Archives: Life

I Regret Everything

I hate a lot of things: People who cut in lines; radio DJs who try to add their own ‘uh hu! uh hu!’s on top of a song you otherwise like; when iTunes only has a movie for purchase instead of rent(I will never watch Sex Tape twice, Apple). But one of the things I hate the most is when people are all like “I have NO REGRETS”. I get the sentiment. It’s that whole, “If I hadn’t made every single mistake/choice that led me to where I am now I wouldn’t be SO HAPPY with how my life is going at this exact second.” Or maybe you’re just like, on your deathbed, and it sounds a lot nicer that say “I have no regrets” to the people around you who are going to have to continue living afterwards and need some hope. Was that dark? Sorry, I’m sickly right now and I get all dark and broody when I’m sick. NO REGRETS. 

The thing about people saying “I have no regrets” is that they usually can only say it when they’re in a really good place in life. I’m totally guilty of this. I probably tried to be more stupidly poetic with it and say something like, “all of the mistakes I made have woven together the beautiful tapestry of what my life is today” or whatever. What a douche I was being. I apologize. But I really do believe when someone says, “I have no regrets,” that it comes from some place of self-righteousness, or at least delusion. There’s something about how you feel when literally every single piece of your life feels so perfect that you think you’ve REALLY figured it out. You’re the special one who, despite being 28 and only having like $10 in your savings account, GETS happiness. And you talk to people and give advice like you’ve cracked the code. That kind of attitude can be really detrimental to others, I think. I’ve given advice that is really detrimental to others, I think.

I think the other reason people are so compelled to say that they have no regrets is that regret fades. Like heartbreak or the fucking illness I’m dealing with right now (die illness, die) they leave you so quietly that one day you wake up and you can basically not remember what it’s like to live with them. In some senses you almost romanticize them. My mom and I have often talked about how some of our most vivid, happy memories have come from times when we were otherwise utterly depressed. That song you listened to when you were living in the bottom of a regret-pit becomes a badge of honor. It’s a way to conjure up the memory that you were once so low and can now be thankful that you aren’t.

But back to hating things. I’ve been living with some regret lately. In the grand scheme of things, it’s insignificant. It will fade faster than a spray tan(I’m hoping that’s short because I’ve never gotten a spray tan but real tans don’t last nearly long enough, so?). And definitely faster than the years of regret I experienced when I hadn’t figured out my career shit and I hated myself for going to music school. But because all these A-holes are out there saying, “YOLO. NO REGRETS” (“YOLO” precedes all dumb statements except for when Drake uses it), I’ve been laying listlessly on the pile of reasons to hate myself that exist in my head and thinking, “God, you’re the one fucking person with regrets. I bet Rihanna has a No Regrets tattoo because she’s that much better than you.”

Can we just band together and admit it? We’ve got regrets. Sometimes we feel them and we feel like they’re massively fucking our lives and sometimes we just look back and say, “Oh, hey. That sucked a lot and I would have been less sad had I not done that thing.”

I’ll start. Here’s a totally non-comprehensive list of regrets I have had in the past. If I ever say, “I have no regrets” print this shit and mail it to me:

  • So there was this boy on the school bus who I didn’t think I liked, but I guess I liked, and he totally liked this very pretty girl who was SO cool and knew how to perfectly wear her hair in one of those mushroom buns and her name was Jacqueline which was so classy bitch for Snellville, Ga. And so I guess I was harboring some anger about the fact that he loved her but would make fun of me so I kept making this joke that I was going to hit him in the head with my rock keychain (flirting? I only had brothers to learn from) and I think he was like, “bring it on!” but maybe he was just busy flirting with Jacqueline so one time when I was leaving I actually smacked him in the head with the rock keychain and he looked SO INJURED and I got worried I was going to get a citation and I repressed the rest of 6th grade bus rides homes. I think I apologized the next day.
  • The first time I ever got dumped I learned how to play guitar to I could sing an INCREDIBLY detailed song about our relationship at my high school talent show. I think I embarrassed the shit out of my mother and I really upset him.
  • When my family lived in Brazil and I had no friends, I’d watch “Two of a Kind” (that Olsens twins show) and wish I had a twin because I had no friends. And I liked their hairstyles. The first time I was invited out with a group to the movies I did my hair in these weird Princess Leia buns that ala the Olsen twins’ hairstyles but I was not good at doing hair so I overcompensated with more butterfly clips.
  • Every time I’ve tried to change myself so I could stay in a relationship.
  • Highlights. And then swimming in a very chlorinated pool and not washing my hair after. But also, just the highlights.
  • The first time I was ever pulled into a meeting with senior management at a company I worked for and asked my opinion seriously, I made a joke about how my college taught me nothing but how to do drugs (;;cringes a million times over for that one::).
  • Every piece of drunk pizza I’ve ever eaten.
  • Most of the times I’ve sung Karaoke because I notoriously pick bad songs. (note – don’t sing Natalie Merchant’s “Carnival” at your college welcome week)
  • Straight across bangs.
  • The entire period of post-college where I thought duck face or opening my mouth as wide as possible was better than smiling and letting my naturally smaller eye show (to her credit, BFF kept yelling “JUST SMILE NORMAL” during all these photos).
  • That time I was drunk and I tried to show my friend how well I could Walk it Out. I cannot walk it out.
  • All the other times I was drunk and did stuff.
  • But also all the stuff I did sober.

Peace, love and I REGRET EVERYTHING, 

tiff

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A Reboot

A long time ago, in a land far, far more Republican than the one I’m currently writing from, a very lost 24-year-old girl packed a bunch of slutty American Apparel dresses and half-broken Forever21 heels into the back of a Uhaul van and drove up to New York city because, fuck it, why not? She’d spend four years trudging through the fog of her mid-20s, giving up on all of the assumptions she’d made about what The Rest of Life was supposed to be and dealing with all of the emotions that come with feeling totally unsure of everything. And so she wrote about it. Pretty much all of it.

I’m not sure exactly when it was that I realized how distant I feel from that person who wrote about moving to New York and ‘figuring it all out’. Maybe it was the moment I signed my offer letter for me real, grown up job that left me no longer feeling rent-poor. Maybe it was when I moved south of 100th street for the first time. Maybe it was yesterday, when I was standing in a Container Store on the Upper East Side, guarding two carts full of closet organizers while my boyfriend went to check out some back-of-the-door hanger things because I now live with a man in a place that is not a dorm room or my parent’s house or my bed-bug infested room in a four bedroom above 100th street while he’s just hanging out until the co-op board approves his lease.

I know it wasn’t a single moment where I felt a shift, but increasingly in the past few months and, even more so, days, I’ve become aware of how different life suddenly feels. This blog, while at times was my half-assed attempt to get internet famous, functions as a dairy, of sorts. I’ve never really cared to remember my innermost thoughts because they’re usually about how many types of cookie/brownie hybrid I can make, but having an externally-facing diary has been really weird way to capture what I was like at a certain point in my life. Whenever I go over these posts, I get to see how I wanted to present myself to the world.

As I said, I dunno, three posts down from this one, I’ve really been wanting to write on here again in some sort of regular fashion, but every time I get halfway through a post it all sort of falls apart. I’ve spent the greater half of last year trying to figure out exactly why that was. It goes back to being a different sort of person. An adult, now, I think? Or at the very least not a person who can lament being totally, 100% unadult. My unadulthood is no longer unadulterated by adult-ness. <- I’m sorry, I had to. I’m rusty.

It goes back to the whole presenting myself to the world thing. I think the more put-together my life starts to get, the more I feel the need to protect my little world. Like I’m somehow going to make a joke about my job, or my relationship, or even myself and it’s going to ruin it all. I’m not good at nice things. Actually all of my nice things are locked in a storage facility by the West Side highway right now and I’m too lazy to visit them. Sorry, nice things.

Back to the point. Protecting myself is starting to feel really shitty and lonely, and I don’t think I want to do it anymore. So, full disclosure, I have no idea what the fuck I’m going to write about or if it’s going to be funny or will there be pictures or maybe I’m just going to post links to tattoos I’m thinking about getting and you guys can comment on them? I’ve thought about starting countless new blogs; an anonymous Tumblr with all my secret thoughts; “deep” shit written on napkins (also a Tumblr, probably?), a Twitter parody account called Bad Observational Humor (I think we actually did make a Tumblr for that one but it turns out funny bad jokes are harder to make than funny good jokes), but I think I’m gonna stick with what my generation is best at – narcissistic, self-involved, egotistic, vain (how many other synonyms has the New York Times Styles section used when describing Millennials?) blog posts about my life in New York.

Because, fuck it, why not? 

Half Marathon

As a child, I had no shortage of energy for participating in all things active. I took gymnastics, karate, ran laps around the playground while singing the Animaniacs theme song at the top of my lungs during lunch (no, I did not have many friends but thanks for asking you jerk), and begged my mother to plant a weeping willow in our front yard since they were the easiest type of tree to climb.

The argument went something like this:

“Tiffany, trees take a really long time to grow and you’re not going to care about having a weeping willow when you’re 20.”

“Please mommmyyy, can’t we get one of those half grown trees from Home Depot? I will TOTALLY still want a weeping willow when I’m 20. I WILL ALWAYS LOVE TREES.”

We had a very similar argument about my love of the 1998 Ford Taurus when I was in middle school. Oh youth.

As a child, my body was a happy place to live. I was tiny, energetic and hand-eye coordination didn’t seem like a concept invented by The Man just to keep me down. Somewhere in between the 4th grade and being handed a pamphlet about the Magic Transformation into Womanhood I was about to experience, my body teen-werewolfed itself into the top-heavy, accident-prone vessel that has me identifying all too closely with Arcade Fire’s “My Body is A Cage”.

Pretty sure this is the weirdest picture I’ve ever made

I don’t remember exactly when the transformation occurred, but I know it was very close to when health class starts making you run the mile as a basic fitness test. I’m pretty certain this test was created to establish teenage popularity hierarchy, because when I think about huffing and puffing(caused not by running but speedwalking, of course) my way around that track which, mind you, was the ONLY elementary school activity that required a trip to the high school stadium, I re-live every awkward, terrible, teenage trauma I ever experienced in a few brief seconds.

SO! Running and I have a complicated relationship.

Strangely enough, while looking for a good image for It’s Complicated, I came across the Spanish translation. “It’s not so easy” is better, don’t you think? Also, if anyone has any pointers on how to make a pic of running shoes and a water bottle look sexy, please advise.

When I graduated college, I decided that one of my goals for my 20s was to become “athletic”. Throughout the years I’d dabbled in various types of workouts — everything from kickboxing bootcamps that required I get up at 5 AM and circuit train in a terrifying Atlanta park with a bunch of 30-yr-olds who were probably having some sort of quarter life crisis I was unaware of at the time to swing dancing classes I hoped would be fun but ended up reminding me of my complete lack of coordination all to the soundtrack of Big Bad Voodoo Daddy (Zoot Suit Riot was more like Zoot Suit Fall on the Floor and then hop up and hope no one saw you but they all totally saw you, you should just leave now). The one takeaway I had from trying it all was that I found no joy in any of these activities. Even the most benign of fitness activities (think Zumba or that one where you are supposed to get your arms toned by clacking two sticks together) was a chore for me. It all came down to the fact that I am not athletic.

Athletic people seemed to revel in the idea of spending a weekend hiking, or sunset yoga when they could be happy-houring it up. I hated them and their stupid fast metabolisms and their endorphin highs and I had no idea how I was going to get myself to become one of them, so I figured I’d start at the root of where athleticism all went wrong for me – running.

If you are not an athletic person, you know all about the hells of running: the blood/copper taste in your mouth, the coughing that leads to gasping for air in between coughs that then leads to dry heaving. Trying to block the timer on the treadmill with your towel, but then getting impatient and moving the towel, figuring you’ve run at least 10 miles if you feel this bad, only to realize that you’re two minutes in and not even a quarter of a mile into the process. Running is masochism at its purest. The term “runner’s high” is a fancy synonym for Stockholm Syndrome.

At least that’s how it feels at first. But slowly, not-so-surely because of all of the dry-heaving, I found myself starting to tolerate running. And the reason I began to tolerate it had little to do with how good my body felt afterwards (because well, it still really didn’t) but because of what was happening to me mentally. I found that through running, an activity that I could continue simply by placing assuring that my legs were moving required my mind’s commitment to continue that action. And my own ability to endure discomfort grew and eventually became an outlet I found pretty inspiring.

But after the initial exposure, I hit some sort of wall. I could run 3-ish miles without feeling as though I was being punished for every mistake I’ve ever made in the history of my whole life, but I couldn’t do much more. On days where my lungs felt strong, my ankles, knees or even the arches of my feet (et tu, arches?) would feel ready to snap in half. As I ran toward those hopes of laughing and climbing rocks with all of the Athletic Ones (or more often than not, the image of Paula Dean garnishing a fried oreo chocolate cookie tower with an entire pint of Ben&Jerry’s Chunky Monkey because I love watching the Food Network at the gym), my body gave out and once again I felt doomed to never understand the joys of making one’s body do things.

After several years of failed running attempts, I decided to force myself to progress by the only way I know how to force myself to do anything – fear of public embarrassment. So in January I signed up for a half marathon that seemed far enough away to not terrify me, but close enough that I would immediately feel forced to prepare. And prepare I did, through runners toes (gross), angry ankles (limping!), and all sorts of discomfort, I found myself last Saturday running mother. fucking. half. marathon.

It’s universally known that the best part of doing something like running a half marathon is telling people that you are going to or have already run a half marathon, but I don’t want to spend this blog post doing that, because that’s what Facebook is for. What I want to tell you about is all of the random shit going through my head while running a half marathon. Because 2 hours and 20-some minutes is a LONG time to run and there has to be something going on in there other than “ow my feet hurt, my feet hurt, when will my feet not hurt?” for at least some of the time.

S0 here’s a brief outline of the things I was thinking during the half marathon –

Mile 0 –

  • OK, here we go. You can do this. YOU CAN DO THIS. Ow, my ankle already hurts.
  • I’m passing people! Some people are already walking! Maybe we’ll win!
  • Shit. How far have we gone? I wonder if they let you know at every mile. That can’t be. We definitely already gone a mile.

Mile 1 –

  • Fuck. I can’t believe we’ve only gone a mile.

Mile 2 –

  • Ok, this is fine. You’re gonna feel great once you know you have less than 10 miles to go.
  • WAIT WHAT IS THIS A HILL OF SOME SORT?! THE SIGN UP PAGE DID NOT INDICATE THAT THERE WOULD BE HILLS.

Mile 3 –

  • Minor freak out, I guess that wasn’t really a hill as much as a slight incline, but you’re doing it!

Mile 4 –

  • I really identify with the lyrics of this Drake song.

Mile 5 –

  • Mile 5! This is almost over. Right? That’s a thing, probably? Like, “oh you know how half marathons go. Once you get past the first five miles it’s just cruise control from there.”
  • It sort of smells like Iowa out here. What is that, cow manure?

Mile 6 –

  • I’m pretty hungry.

Mile 7 –

  • Past the halfway point! And I feel sort of OK. I’m basically to the finish line. God, I can’t believe I’ve accomplished this. This is amazing. I’m so proud of mysel-
  • Quit crying. Why are you even crying? WTF there’s another hill and you are hyperventilating because you are crying.

Mile 8 –

  • Ok, so your left foot is completely numb but at least you quit crying. Why were you crying anyway?
  • Maybe you’re just really excited about finishing this thing and when you think about it you start crying.
  • OH MY GOD QUIT CRYING.

Mile 9 –

  • I’m running slower than the old man walking in front of me.

Mile 10 –

  • Think about all of the cheese you’ll be able to eat when this is over.

Mile 11 –

  • Cheeeeeeeeeeessssseeeeeeeeeeeeeee

Mile 12 –

  • Cheese and bread. Cheese and bread. Cheese and bread.

Mile 13 –

  • I CAN SEE THE FINISH LINE I CAN’T BELIEVE I DIDN’T DIE OMFG WHY ARE YOU CRYING AGAIN???

And when I crossed the finish line, the chick who handed me a metal was like “ARE YOU OK?” because I was making a weird moany hyperventilatey sound from crying like a moron.

Peace, love and here are some pictures of me being “athletic”,

BWCE

Thinking about cheese, duh.

The height of a runner’s high. Probably identifying with Drake songs.

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Lazy Girl Swag

I’m gonna go ahead and preface this by letting you guys know that this will definitely be the most useful DIY/Lifestyle post I do, because, as you know, I’m pretty much terrible at DIY anything and don’t even get me started on fashion photography.

I first had the idea for this post over a year ago, when Austin and I were Gchatting about various ways I keep myself looking ‘fresh’ and I could basically hear him having a heart attack on the other side of the chat when I explained one of my favorite tricks to him. He’s very clean. As with many post ideas, I am a lazy POS and I forgot it or started watching TV instead of working every time I sat down to write it, but in the advent of summer, I’m finding myself relying on an arsenal of time-tested tactics I have for making myself look like I haven’t just rolled out of the glorified laundry hamper I call my bedroom.

It really comes down to planning:

Every night before I go to bed, I feel a little nagging voice in my head that’s like, “Hey, don’t people who have their shit together know what they’re going to wear in the morning?” and then I completely ignore that voice and pass out with my makeup still on (pretty sure washing your face at night is just a conspiracy to sell more face soap anyway). But when I’ve hit my snooze button for like the fifth time in the morning, I make sure to inject outfit planning into my semi-conscious dreams and more often than not I come up with something by the time I’m awake. Every so often I wake up and realize that I don’t own the onesie Feist wears in the 1,2,3,4 video, and that’s the start of a really sad day, but most of the time I’m good to go.

Face wash conspiracy theory: Foundation is just tinted moisturizer anyway.

Of course, the most fashionable know how to improvise:

Half-asleep Tiffany is usually too busy trying to escape Miley Cyrus, who has been hired to murder her with a single, tiny razor blade in a giant field next to a Denny’s (why MILEY? I’m always the first to defend you!), to realize that half of the pieces of clothing she’s planned on wearing for the day are either 1.) at her real apartment uptown, nearly an hour away, 2.) stained/smelly/wrinkled/hiding in the crevice between the bed and the wall and she will never find them in the five minutes she’s allocated to getting ready.

So there I am most mornings, half-dressed, make-up smeared down my face and cursing as I try to figure out whether or not I can cut the sleeves off a t-shirt I got at some random event and make it look like a suitable tank top to go under the only cardigan I can find. But somehow, it all works out.

Case in point – An outfit I wore this week constructed out of thin air like a motherf$&king criminal mastermind:

My selfie face is generally a reaction to my being disgusted by myself for taking a selfie

 

I’m not expecting to be awarded best dressed or anything, but someone at the office did say, “Awwww. You dressed up today!” Successful trickery at its finest!

This outfit, to the unsuspecting eye, may actually seem planned out, but it was actually inspired by the following thoughts:

#1 – “I forgot to put shampoo in my hair last night”

#2 – “I don’t have eyeshadow, this bronzer will probably work”

#3 – “Pretty sure the top half of this dress is see-through. I wish the sweater that matched didn’t have a wine stain on it.”

#4 – “If I wear this wine-stained sweater backwards maybe people will think I didn’t know about the stain”

Seriously, I’m shocked I’m not the CEO of something yet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And on the note of improvising, here are some magic tricks I’ve discovered over the years: 

#1 – Sharpie + vaseline/lipgloss/leftover grease from that pizza I ate last night = lip stain. 

Once every few years I decide I’m going to be the type of person who wears lip color. I buy like four different types, lose three of them within a week and then let the other one live in my purse until it usually explodes inside my purse and ruins everything living in there (wallet, keys, phone, broken pen graveyard). I then come to my senses for a few years until I have some random memory lapse and buy lip gloss again. During my periods of lucidity, if I feel that I require some lip color, I will grab the nearest sharpie (in pink or red, but if you’re into the goth stuff I’m sure black works too), dab it on the center of my lips a couple of times and then put some vaseline on it. I actually learned this trick from Jane Magazine back in college, so I am hereby absolved of all guilt if you accidentally poison yourself doing this. Seriously, I’m not even gonna feel bad about it so use this tip sparingly.

#2 – The ponytail beehive for day after dancing hair.

Lots of sweat + bobby pins/ bent out of shape paper clips/ probably a chip clip I found on the floor = the 1950s!

One of the most frustrating parts of going out dancing — other than loud music, too many people, having to dance, it being hard to hold a drink while dancing, really the whole act of “going dancing” — is that I generally spend like 2 hours getting my hair ready only to have it get sweaty and disgusting within two minutes of entering the disgusting, terrible dance-establishment. If I’m going to put two hours of work into my appearance, I should at least get two nights of enjoyment out of my labors. I’m pretty sure that’s like the whole basis of economics. Enter the ponytail beehive(patent pending, or some fancy sounding equivalent). After trying and failing like every DIY hairstyle I could find on Buzzfeed one day, I got really annoyed and threw my hair into one of those mushroom ponytail bun things that the popular girls in 6th grade used to be able to pull off but I never could. As I was trying to figure out why I still couldn’t figure out the mushroom bun (haven’t I blossomed since middle school?), I realized that if I pressed the abominable bun against the back of my head and threw some bobby pins in it, I could actually create something resembling a Mad Men-era hairdo.

#3 – Just. The best life hack ever. Please believe me. Lysol = deodorant and cures razor burn. 

This is the tip that made Austin lose his faith in all that is good in the world, but I swear to you it’s amazing. Once Christmas break in college I had a job at The Gap that kept me pretty busy. The was a gym right by the mall I was working at, so I’d often workout, shower and hop in my car to drive straight to work. Because I was no better at planning my outfits back then, I would throw a bunch of random stuff from my floor into a gym bag and rush out of the house in a fury, often forgetting basic toiletries like my toothbrush and deodorant. At the time, I smoked cigarettes in my car because I apparently was really into depreciation and I kept a giant bottle of lysol in the backseat so I could spray a bunch of it around in case a family member wanted a ride somewhere. This ruse was unsuccessful, obviously, but one day when I was desperately searching my car for deodorant, I came across the lysol and thought, “couldn’t hurt” (keep in mind I was already smoking cigarettes in my car, so spraying chemicals directly onto my arm pits seemed reasonable).

The lysol not only worked amazingly, but it also cured some gnarly razor burn I had from being allergic to my metal razor. While again, I take no responsibility if you develop some weird disease from doing this on the regular, it’s pretty fantastic in a pinch. Plus, I’ve already got my celebrity scent idea ready for the day that I become famous:

Suck on that, Katy Perry

K, now that I have confessed to almost every disgusting habit I’m feeling like you guys are probably getting pretty judgy and feel like I need to do some nail art or something to overcompensate. If you have any lazy girl (or boy) lifehacks, I’d love to hear them.

Peace, love and Lysol, 

BWCE

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You can get the things you want

I’m writing this on a flight out of Chicago after attending my first programming conference. The experience in and of itself deserves an entirely different kind of blog post, but to say the least it was wonderful, inspiring and so so much fun. The reason I’m even talking about it is because about a year ago was my first time in Chicago. I was also at a conference, but on the sales side trying to attract new business. I didn’t get to see any of Chicago, so en route to the airport, I promised myself that one day I’d come back and get a proper Chicago tourist trip in.

At that point, that simple promise was just another thing I was adding onto an overwhelming and ever-growing list of shit I promised myself I was going to do:

To-do: Quit writing angry to-do notes to self

That was hardly the beginning of my list, because it had only been growing since my teens and it seemed as though the only things I’d accomplished ended up being the things I didn’t even want after all. I felt doomed to live in uncompleted to-do list limbo, spending countless sleepless nights thinking about all of the ways I was failing myself. Or at least I was having weird dreams where my guinea pigs were somehow multiplying like that Fantasia cartoon with the brooms and I was failing to take care of all of them. How’s that for symbolism?

The best part of making this pic was knowing how much my mom is going to like it.

But for once, I had a plan. After several years of throwing shit against a wall and having pretty much none of it stick, I had developed a hypothesis that learning how to program was the thing that was going to stick.

Why programming, of all things?

  1. Good salaries, lots of job openings, past positive experiences working with people in that field – you know, logical shit.
  2. Lots of funny things come from the internet – to be honest this reason may have been more influential than it should have been.
  3. If coding jobs sucked as much as regular business jobs I could eventually freelance and work on whatever creative endeavor I’m into at the time which, let’s be honest, by the time I’m 32 it’ll probably be making Cronut performance art in a warehouse in Poughkeepsie.

So the plan was to learn how to code, but how was I going to do that? I wasn’t all that sure yet. I was knee-deep in applying to the Flatiron School and that path seemed a hell of a lot more likely to be successful that buying lottery tickets and hoping that one day my dad would decide that supporting me for life seemed like a cool idea.

Added bonus: I’m better at grammar than Google spell-check!

Having a plan like that was terrifying. I was more terrified than when I moved to New York with no money or when I quit my job at the Flower Company or every night when I’m taking a shower and there is definitely a murderer on the other side of the shower curtain and if I close both eyes at once he’s going to get me so I just have to let the shampoo burn one eye while I keep it open or else I’m totally dead I’m sure of it and don’t you try to tell me otherwise. The nightmares about not being able to complete the to-do list through the symbolism of ever-multiplying guineas transformed into nightmares about tornadoes and the apocalypse and my teeth falling out while the guinea pigs STILL kept multiplying and for some reason my grandmother was there and I had to get this really expensive block of cheese through Penn station which is basically impossibly because Penn Station. Ew.

But then, almost before I had time to register what was going on, I got into Flatiron School. And I went there and didn’t fail. And I got a job, and I love that job, and the past 8 months have been the happiest of my adult life. Possibly my whole life because not being equipped to properly deal with sticky hands really ruined childhood for me. I get to walk around every day and feel a little like, Fuck yea. I did this shit.

The funny thing, that I didn’t realize until maybe even today when I played hooky from the conference to later finally get my Chicago tourist experience, was that crossing that one thing off my life-long to-do list was only the beginning.

I solved this one piece of the puzzle in my life (at least for now) and all of the sudden the routes to accomplishing the other goals are starting to become clearer. Since the beginning of this year, I’ve been checking things off left and right. I’m getting things I hardly realized I wanted. When did I become the type of person who actually gets what she wants? Normally I can’t even get a decent pad thai off of Seamless.

So this morning, when I played hooky and wandered through Chicago, trying to figure out how a lake could be so damn big, I started trying to think about what has happened to me in the past year. My takeaways might not be funny (I’m trying here) but I hope they’re at least helpful:

Lake version of those stupid photos with peoples’ feet and the ocean. Does not capture the massiveness of Lake Michigan.

It really comes down to making sure you know, deep down inside, that you *can* get the things you want. 

I think the reason learning how to program changed my perspective was because I stepped completely out of my element. It felt like I was growing this new appendage(creepy analogy, but I’m sticking with it). That type of experience happens so rarely in adult life. In contrast, most of the things we want are only slightly out of reach. We live under the assumption that one day we’ll have them while never really getting any closer to getting them, and for the most part we’re ok with that.

Programming was different. As I vented on here last fall, the simple act of telling people I was going to learn how to program was a trial in and of itself, because I don’t seem like the “programmer type”. I, along with 40 other awesomely driven human beings, took a huge leap. I allowed myself to feel the thing that is probably the third most uncomfortable feeling in the world — starting over (FYI #1 is moving and #2 is carrying your jacket in a bar. #4 is what my f-ed up tailbone feels like right now because this airplane seat is the worst). So once I’d been through starting over and not failing and realizing that really it’s not that bad being that kind of uncomfortable, it put everything else into perspective. I wanted to get better at running? So start running. I wanted to freelance? So start freelancing. Would I rather be laying on the couch watching How I Met Your Mother for the 87th time? Hell yes!

Onto the second point – I finally realized the distinction between thinking I could HAVE the things I want and knowing I can GET the things I want. 

As you know from constant lamenting, Karmin-hating and various other thinly veiled insecurity fueled blog posts, the single point of failure in my life to date was not leaving music school as a musician. I have analyzed and justified and reanalysed and I think I’ve done all of it while John Mayer was just playing on a loop so it’s probably getting pretty annoying to my neighbors by now, but I think I finally figured out the root of that failure. We grow up expecting we’ll HAVE things, which makes sense as we are all born with some natural talents. I used my talents to coast through school, without ever really having to try too hard and by the time I hit college I had let my natural talents form my identity. The problem with not having to struggle, was that I didn’t understand what working hard felt like. Once my competition expanded beyond a small subset of people just like me, I no longer could coast by.

That jarring realization hit me at music school and I didn’t understand how I couldn’t just HAVE the life I wanted. And at the very least, if it wasn’t going to be given to me on a silver platter hand-delivered by Justin Timberlake, my future husband, then everyone I ever met should have been standing alongside me, cheering me on and clapping for me every time I made even the tiniest bit of progress.

I didn’t magically HAVE that success and I didn’t HAVE everyone rooting for me, so I gave up. For almost every reason I’m glad that happened, but when I think about it too long and hard I get sad for baby Tiffany because I know how badly she wanted music to be her life and I almost can’t fault her for not really understanding the different.

You can get the things you want if you just work for shit. And I don’t mean the work all night don’t sleep lose your life be a non-human human so you can get things, because that’s a pile of crap. I mean work slowly, realistically, dedicated-ly(not a word, apparently, but it should be) towards the things you want. I will never pretend and say to you that I stayed up all night working on something because I have a vested interest in getting our society to admit that sleep is good and we should all get a lot of it because I am a very sleepy person and I’d really like to bring the Siesta to America (FYI that would totally be my presidential campaign platform if I ever got into politics. So smart).

Ok so how does this really apply to you, the person reading who feels lost and has read a million of these type of posts on FastCompany and none of it has really helped you?

To start, you’ve gotta know what you want. 

I can’t remember if I’ve ever blogged it before, so I’ll blog it again, but a couple years ago when I realized that I was very unhappy and didn’t know how to fix myself, my boyfriend said, with the best of intentions in mind, “Why don’t you write a life plan?” So I went to a quiet little bar after work, I pulled out a note pad, I started googling “How to become a famous blogger” and then “How much do famous bloggers make” and then “How much do bloggers/yoga teachers make?”, and finally “How to get a job for 100K or more if you hate working and/or want to blog.”

As I tried to take notes, my pen died. And I had no more pens. And so I showed up at my boyfriend’s doorstep, sobbing because how could I come up with a life plan if I couldn’t even keep a second pen on me?

It seems as though there’s no magical formula to figuring out what it is you want in any area of your life, but I spend a lot of time thinking about if and how we could create a formula for that(that isn’t one of those personality tests that always tells me I’m PERFECT for customer service). If I ever do figure it out, you better believe I’m gonna make a bomb ass website that like shows you a cool puppy gif the second it identifies exactly what will make you happy.

To-do: Figure out how to make WordPress like gifs


So in light of my not knowing what to tell you while also feeling all of your feels, I will tell you this and what I think of my not-knowing period now that I’m no longer in it –
I’d liken the way you feel to be most like how you feel in a breakup. Because you’re kind of in a breakup with your life in its current form. There’s something magical about the period after a breakup, once you’re no longer there and can look back, because all of the moments where you felt relief were so heightened.

I think it was like that for me when I hated my job and didn’t know how not to. The glimmers of hope I found through getting a blog post on Thought Catalog or thinking maybe I could become this totally different type of employee were the only things that pushed me forward. I look back now and romanticize the first time someone emailed me about the Flatiron school. I have an epic story in my head about how I was at a business meeting in the diamond district and had to sprint down the street afterwards under the guise of “leaving for a doctor’s appointment” when I was really rushing to find reliable wi-fi connection for my admissions interview.

And all of the failed attempts, like music school and customer service, to find what I want gave me a wealth of experiences and a lot of new friends. Also, I’m an expert at bathroom/stairwell/subway crying. That’s a resume worthy skill… right?  

If you feel like the Jackson Pollack of trying out careers, or relationships, or even trying out different kinds of Yoga but you keep ending up in the one that’s just about breathing and not even a workout, that’s ok. Do you see what I did there with the Jackson Pollack thing? Throwing stuff against a wall? If it was a good joke I’ve completely ruined it now. 

My whole point is that the most productive thing you can do is break emotionally. More people than not are going through what you’re going through in some form. And if they’re not going through it right now, they will be at some point in the future because that’s life. Even Beyoncé’s gotta have bad days (Is it weird that saying that about Yoncé makes me feel blasphemous?).

So I’ve just preached at you for too long, but now it’s time to level up

One of the things I want is to have this blog alive and well and I’ve been avoiding that for some time. Because of all the reasons I stated above:

  • What is this blog even about? (Late night food ordering, I think?) What do I want it to be? It’s been three years and I still have no idea.
  • Sometimes I find writing on the Internet really, unbearably scary. Especially once I got the tiniest bit of attention via an eBook it got way scarier because I was worried I’d fuck it all up or say something dumb on twitter like, you know, everyone else ever?
  • It’s really hard to think of something to write every week and there are so many episodes of Scandal I haven’t caught up on.


But having it, for scarier or for less scary, is something I want because the conversations it lets me have with people make the Internet (and in turn my life) a friendlier, more connected place for me… and hopefully all of you.

So I hereby declare that I will post on here once a week again, and that if I don’t PleaseI’mBeggingYou harass me via social media or comments or call up Seamless and tell them to blacklist calzone serving restaurants until I post again. Because we can get the things we want. And we absolutely should.

Peace, love and I’m back bitches,

BWCE

PS – I recognize that I totally owe you all a post about how I lit my hand on fire or something to balance out all the touchy/feely-ness of this post.

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Dispatches from the Land of the Sober People, pt. 1 (maybe)

Dear wine friends,

Any of you who know me in real life (so like, all of you right?) know that I can A.) drink you under the table and B.) probably will fall asleep under that table with a calzone shortly thereafter, so I understand if the title for this post makes little sense.

BUT. Now that I successfully changed careers (what up!) I am moving onto the long laundry list of things I’d like to at least attempt to achieve before I hit my oh-so-quickly-approaching 30s. The first time I typed that, I accidentally typed ’20s.’ Le sigh.

Anyway, that list involves stuff like “have a savings account that doesn’t charge you money every month for being a savings account with no money in it” and “develop a morning routine that doesn’t consist solely of rolling out of bed, grabbing the first semi-non-smelly thing off the floor and buying a diet coke on the way to work” but as both of those sound pretty difficult, I’ve decided to tackle the seemingly easiest thing on my list which involves partaking in a lesser-known New York City ritual known as The Dry Month.

The first time I heard about The Dry Month was my first winter in the city, and I think my head damn near exploded when I was like, “hey [coworker], we’re going to happy hour because Tuesday” and he was like, “oh, no, I’m cool. I’m doing a dry February.” At first I was like, “oh is that a new workout craze how many calories does it burn?” and then it hit me. He was not drinking for an entire month, likely as a means to reset his body back to a level of health somewhere between hanging-on-by-a-thread and feeling-ok-but-I-have-these-weird-rashes after the massive amount of damage that can be done when you combine the holidays with the fact that no one here has to worry about driving.

And then I was like “ohhhh February makes sense because it’s two less days.”

Since then, I’ve heard of Dry Month participants on occasion, but it’s usually more like someone making a sweeping declaration that he/she is going to do so and then immediately failing because New York.

When it comes down to it, I’d liken the idea of not drinking for a month to that of a juice cleanse, signing up for unlimited hot yoga, or getting one of those body wraps that makes you look like a mummy for ten minutes but then somehow compresses your body so that you “lose three inches”. We all say we’re going to do it one day. We all resolve to do it at the beginning of most weeks and fail before we’ve even told anyone we’re going to do it, and we’re all terrified of those who actually accomplish it because that means that we could probably do it too but it sounds really fucking annoying. Or, in the case of the body resizing mummification, it simply sounds terrifying.

I’ve been holding the dry month over my own head for the three years I’ve lived here, but it was hitting a weight that I dare not speak of post-this-holiday-season that made me realize I am being a fat, drunk, lazyass who needs to prove she can do something more than drink a bottle of skinny girl margaritas for dinner and still remember why bodega has the best candy selection on Seamless(kinda a point of pride but I digress).

As I’m writing this, I have officially begun day 7 of my dry month (which I have named Sovember because it technically started mid-January and ends on Valentine’s Day) but really it’s just midnight of day 6 so no biggie. The only remarkable thing about tonight is that it’s the first Friday night since– I don’t remember the last Friday I haven’t gone out to some capacity. I am about to go to bed (so I can sleep and edit this post tomorrow), and while I fully intend to report back as Sovember progresses, I figured I’d leave you with some of my initial impressions of what it’s like not drinking in the Functionally-Alcoholic Apple(maybe we should start calling it the Big Cider?).

  • Easiest diet ever. Holy shit you guys. Did you know how many calories are in alcohol? I totally did because I track my calories unless chicken wings, Saturdays, mimosas or candy are involved (ie. I track my calories on Mondays, sometimes) but SERIOUSLY. I feel like I can eat anything and everything and still be under the calorie limit my fitness app gives me every day without seeing skinny bitches on the train and wanting to start screaming “IT’S BECAUSE OF YOU THAT I FEEL THIS WAY.”
  • I have a lot of free time. I’ve developed a theory that the nail art movement was invented and is wholly maintained by sober people, because that’s really the only non drinking/eating activity that I can come up with for when I want to shut off my brain while I’m watching TV. My nails have never looked so good, y’all.
  • I think I’m less sleepy, but I still have all those nightmares. I’m hella anxious, but as I’ve learned to manage the constant fear of impending doom in my waking life, most of it has flowed over into my subconscious, leaving me with vivid, ever-changing and chronic nightmares. I’ve heard from science (or Distractify, can’t remember which) that alcohol interrupts your sleep and as my sleep is constantly interrupted by basically every type of nightmare mentioned in any dream journal thing, I had started to almost hope it was alcohol-related so that I don’t have to plan for eventual deal-with-my-anxiety therapy or whatever. On the bright side, I wake up refreshed! On the not so bright side, it’s usually the dreams about creepy murderers or my teeth falling out while I’m flying through space and I’m naked and I totally forgot to drop that one class and now it’s finals time and I’m gonna fail that is waking me up in a quick jolt of panic so I can subsequently feel refreshed.
  • I hate the gym slightly less. But still a lot. I still hate the gym so, so much. I guess what else am I gonna do with all this free time, though? Hell, I might even try cardio hip hop one of these days.

All in all, I was pretty sure by now I would be curled up in the fetal position holding an empty bottle of rosé while whispering the lyrics to “I Will Always Love You” through by tears, but given that I was able to eat a bag of jelly beans tonight without exceeding my calorie limit, I’m no worse for the wear.

More to come probablyIguessunlessIgetbored.

Peace, love and take a shot for me, 

BWCE

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#latebloomer

I guess it’s fitting to write a post about my birthday that is late and have the word ‘late’ in the title, but I promise it was wholly unintentional. For the past week I’ve been trying to write my annual birthday blog post, but you guys, my heart is so full of love and gushy and wonderfulness that everything I write is crap. I know, wah, what a terrible problem to have. Last year I wrote this blog post about turning 27 and somehow it transformed into my magical spirit animal (other than Tilikum, the serial killer whale, who will forever be my actual spirit animal) and led me through the best, most action-packed year of my life.

I’ve been trying to write about that, and about letting go of anxiety and just living and how all of the things will happen to you when you do that (including bed bugs, so get ready) but the thing is that you guys already know all that stuff that happened to me – ebook, going back to school, fighting the bed bugs and winning in a triumphant blaze of glory, so like… why should I tell you again?

But then yesterday, I was standing in my apartment, failing at whatever it was that I was trying to do (probably make coffee using paper towels as a filter because that happened) and I heard the voice of either a school counselor or someone I made up in my head say to me a phrase I haven’t heard in a while –

You’re a late bloomer. That’s all.

Remember when that was adults’ answer to everything? What, you haven’t gotten your boobs? You’re physically a late bloomer! What, you haven’t slow danced with a boy and you’re in college? You’re just a late bloomer! No worries! It’ll be adorable to tell stories about later!

Thing is – I was legit a late bloomer and I was SO aware and upset about it as a teen. I wish I could scour my old Yahoo! account and find the email I wrote to my friend Jessica in 8th grade about how everyone else had gotten their first kiss and how the tipping point for me was watching this episode of Charlie Brown where even Charlie Brown got his first kiss and what grade was he even in anyway? But all of that would involve me logging into Yahoo! and ew.

So eventually, as late bloomers do, I blossomed or wtfever. Or started doing all the things normal teens/20-somethings do and the worries about late blooming faded away for some years. It wasn’t until this year, when I found myself doing some of the grown up things I was supposed to start doing upon college graduation and for the first time they happened naturally, instead of throwing myself into some weird multiple personality thing where I feel like I’m my mom but also my own child and I’m trying to convince myself to pay bills but my child self is like “whatever I’m just gonna lock myself in the bathroom and pick at my face” and my adult self is like FINE THEN YOU CAN’T GO TO THE PARTY LATER AND ALSO THAT LEAVES SCARS YOU IDIOT.

A few weeks ago I realized that I’d not only Spring cleaning-ed, but also Summer and Fall cleaning-ed (that’s the official conjugation y’all, I swear) and it felt really nice and not at all like someone was removing my kidneys to sell on the black market, which is how cleaning usually feels. There are other things too, but I don’t want to sound braggy about actually paying that doctor’s bill from three years ago so I will stop. Point is – I’m pretty sure the things I’m experiencing are about 4 years delayed, and it’s got me kinda concerned.

I don’t think people talk about late bloomers after high school because no one wants to be like, “hey, you aren’t going to want to have babies until you’re too old to have babies and that is probably going to suck” or “you’re not going to get your shit together financially until you’re 39 and, honestly, you should have been putting all that money you spent on booze and sandwiches in an IRA like 10 years ago. Seriously, you’re gluten intolerant. Stop with the sandwiches.”

I think I’d feel better if I knew that one upstanding citizen was also a late bloomer, but the closest I’ve gotten is all those BuzzFeed articles that are like “Ten Famous Actors Who Didn’t Get Famous Until Their 40s” and like yes, it does make me feel better that Jon Hamm had a rough start but I’m pretty sure that’s not the outcome I’m headed towards. So because it was my birthday last week and also because I’m procrastinating schoolwork, I’ve made up some things that could TOTALLY be true about some famous people we all look up to.

cooltext1311743296

look guys, I learned how to use .gifs! UPDATE – apparently I did not learn how to use gifs. It works in my editor I promise.

Ok here goes –

Hillary Rodham Clinton, Former First Lady, Secretary of State, Bill Clinton’s Handler and probs gonna be President. Also star of TextsfromHillary.tumblr.com, the biggest of all wins. Imaginary late bloomer.

Hillary avoided routine gynecological visits and her annual physical until 33.

George Washington. Father of our nation and professional hair model. Imaginary late bloomer.

George refused to make his bed because that’s where his laptop lived too and it didn’t seem to mind, for god’s sake.

Jane Austen. Wrote stuff. Imaginary late bloomer.

Jane changed her major at least 6 times. She finally decided to do “that writing thing her dad wouldn’t shut about” so she could take a victory lap as a super senior.

George Soros. Finance guy bf talks about. Imaginary late bloomer.

George spend his mid-20s working as a Starbucks Barista. His band hated on him for selling out.

Jackie O. Rich person and style icon. Imaginary late bloomer.

Every time Jackie would get a phone call from an unknown number, her friends would be like “yo Jackie, you gonna get that?” and she’d roll her eyes and be like, “whatevs, it’s just TimeWarner telling me they’re gonna shut off my internet again if I don’t pay my bill.”

Katsuaki Watanabe. President, Toyota. Very good at looking serious. Imaginary late bloomer.

Katsuaki never outgrew the desire to play Edward 40 Hands.

Joan of Arc. Milla Jovovich played her in some movie I watched at Catholic school once. Imaginary late bloomer.

Joan’s roommates often complained that she never contributed to the house toilet paper and cleaning supplies fund.

________________________

Don’t you feel marginally better? I do and that’s all that matters because this was supposed to be my birthday blog post so I am extending birthday rights to today.

Peace, love and I’m considering changing my age to 24 because then I’ll be normal, 

BWCE

P.S. –

Miley Cyrus. Paid lots to stick out tongue. Early bloomer.

Blooming is overrated anyway.

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Stuff I Hate More Than Will.I.Am

1. The fact that his newest album is named #willpower.

Honorable mentions –

  1. War
  2. Holding my jacket in bars

I dunno guys, I get SO angry every time that I think about Will.I.Am. Even the spelling of his name makes me all rage-blackout-y.

Anyway, this title was just a clever ruse to get you to pay attention for a minute. School has taken over my life (in a super good I like learning and life seems to have meaning kind of way), but for the interim I won’t be blogging that much. When school is over I promise to come back in full force (and hopefully with lots of computer skillz to make things even more fun. I’m imagining 90s gifs that steal credit card numbers or virtual puppy hugging sessions).

Meanwhile, please excuse my twitter being taken over by stuff about programming and if for some reason you have any interest in that type of stuff, you can read my school blog here. I still don’t really know what’s going on with even the basics of programming, so you’re not allowed to judge my mistakes, etc. K???

K!

Peace, love and lovelovelovelovelove(unless you’re Will.I.HATEYOU), 

BWCE

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All Over the Place

The other night I was sitting at a bar and the song “Changes” came on. The bartender, who was otherwise working silently, yelled out “CHCHCHCHANGES!” At the top of his lungs along with the chorus. It was weird and also I didn’t know people did that in real life (at least after 1975).

That’s really neither here nor there, except that whenever I talk about changing gears in life I think about this song because, whatever. You get it.

So yeah – changing gears. In a couple weeks I’m going back to school for web development. I am super excited about it and also constantly super nervous to tell people about my future plans. Telling people that you are making a big change in your life seems to invoke some sort of unsolicited-advice-giving beast within all of us, wherein they more often than not begin dissecting your choice and question the rationale and potential outcomes.

You hope their reaction will be something like – 

other people's approval

I was really hoping for a puppy to help me as I embark on my new life path…

And instead, 95% of the time it is something like – 

no puppy for you!

And now back to your regularly scheduled existential crisis.

And that’s why you don’t talk to strangers in line at the Starbucks…

JK. I wish it was strangers. The fact of the matter is that it is often well-intentioned acquaintances, coworkers, long lost friends, rando family members and all of the other people who you don’t want to bore with the details of all the years of trying to figure out who you are and/or how you are going to pay for your existence without fantasizing about throwing yourself onto subway tracks every Monday, Tuesday and — if it’s a really bad week — Wednesday through Friday. Ok, that’s a little dramatic. But I have fantasized about moving to Long Island City and I think that’s basically the same thing.

The worst reaction that I have received, however, is not adamant disapproval or slight, questioning jabs at my intelligence or competency. It’s one simple phrase-

“Hmm. Well you’re all over the place, aren’t you?”

Usually said in jest, I don’t think anyone who’s ever said this to me has given it more than two milliseconds of thought, but oh man, is it the worst. Telling someone they’re all over the place — whether it be referring to a college Junior who’s changed his major a bunch of times or a person who’s moved more times than they can count on one hand over the course of their 20s — undermines their act of searching for whatever it is they’re searching for. It calls to the forefront all of the chances someone has taken in his/her life and recognizes them as past failures. Personally, it has made me feel like I’m perceived as disorganized, lazy, weak, crazy, fearful or uncommitted.

I usually start backpedaling, justifying shit or simply caving in on myself like a dying star… insecurity-filled phrases bursting through my mouth like explosive gases in a deep dark space where for some inexplicable reason, no one ever interrupts me to make it stop. [In space no one can hear you make an ass of yourself]. I think of “Mean Girls'” word vomit as I hear myself trying to go through my life expectations versus reality and then I throw in some weird business terms I learned. Sometimes I reference a new hobby. It usually ends in “BUT IT’S OKMARGIN, I’M I RECENTLY TOOK UP POTTERY AND FIND IT FULFILLING OKBUTI’MOKIT’SRETURNONINVESTMENTFORTHEBESTANYWAY.”

It’s embarrassing. Caring that much about stupid, tiny things people think or say is a character flaw of mine. At this point I anticipate my reaction to other people’s reactions more than I even think of what I’m going to tell that brings about the initial reaction.

SO I MADE SOME PICTURES FOR YOU. TO AVOID THE WORD VOMIT.

Like most 18 year olds, I was totally positive that I knew my life plan. And, like most humans, my life did not go according to that obviously flawed and delusional plan. At 22, when I started to realize that I wasn’t going to be the real life version of Rachel Berry on Glee (luckily that show wasn’t on when I was in college because it would have further fueled my dementia), I realized I didn’t have a backup plan. As it turned out, my father, in particular, was right about the whole ‘having a backup plan is good’ thing. Damnit parents, I hate when you’re right.

Expectation: EVERYTHING YOU WANT WILL HAPPEN BECAUSE YOU’RE A GOOD PERSON AND THE WORLD IS YOUR MOTHERF*&KING OYSTER.

Seriously, I could have written for Glee when I was 18.

Reality: YOU ARE JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE, YOU IDIOT. REAL LIFE IS CONFUSING AND WEIRD AND OFTEN BORING. 

FYI, Wallace Shawn is this guy: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001728/

BUT IT’S OKI’MOKNOREALLYI PROMISEALLOFITIS OK.

No really, I’m not word vomiting now- it has been more than OK. My real life experience has been so much better than what 18 year old Tiffany wanted for herself because in between all the disappointments above I ended up in a bunch of different cities, getting to experience life as a bunch of different versions of myself, and through some serendipitous shit ended up in the city I hoped to end up in surrounded by most of my favorite people ever (Hibben and family, you are too far).

Of course, maybe I wouldn’t be saying that if I was so famous that all if took to get the whole world talking about me was rubbing my butt on Robin Thicke, but I think I’m good.

I’m going to get preachy for like two seconds. I’m sorry, it will be quick: This is why I hate the phrase, “All over the place.” The process of getting to figure out very slowly, and often uncomfortably, who you are is a freaking luxury. Getting to sit around and drink wine and be like, “Gee, I wonder what will make me feel fulfilled and ALSO let me buy shoes on the regular?” is an awesome problem to have. It’s why I’m determined to see all this thing all the way through, and if that means I will one day run out of naiveté-fueled energy and accept that fact that life is a meaningless, never-ending cycle of working for the weekend I will at the very least have less reason to wonder what could have been.

Ok, preaching over you can start listening again. I’ve got more posts coming up on this topic, so come back soon y’all.

Peace, love and CH-CH-CH-CHANGESSSSSS, 

BWCE

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All My Pets Are Dying

Party Animal
May 5, 1998 – July 23, 2013

Recently, my two favorite pets died. Our 15-year-old Golden Retriever, Skye, was put down last month and last week I came home to find that one of my two pet guinea pigs, Symphony, had died during the day. I think it must be one of those getting older things – just like the fact that all my (at least Facebook) friends are getting married or having babies, all my pets that have been with me for so long are dying. It’s awkward to harp on about your pets, but I want to tell you guys a little about them both.

I’ll be the first to admit that my obsession with animals is borderline weird. As a child, the only thing that mattered (other than my My Little Pony collection) was getting more pets. Over the course of my life, I’ve had turtles, every type of fish you could find at a suburban pet store in the 90s, sea monkeys, hermit crabs, two bunny rabbits, over 15 guinea pigs (that is another story for another time), 4 kittens, at least five birds and two dogs.

I hit the highlight of my scamming-my-parents-into-getting-me-pets career in 6th grade. My dad’s job relocated us to São Paulo, Brazil. Air Bud had just come out, and my little brother and I were obsessed with Golden Retrievers. At some point we came up with the idea that if we were to move to a foreign country, we required a puppy.  And sure enough, we got us a puppy.

Not quite Air Bud, but look at that flexibility.

The litter was born on Cinco de Mayo, which seemed fitting, because it would make sense that we’d get a dog with a little pseudo-Mexican flair. The owner allowed us to come over and choose our puppy before the litter was even able to open their eyes. Claude and I were taken with the tiny little puppy who had a white diamond on her forehead.

We waited the five painstaking weeks until we could take her home, and in my memory of that time, the idea that the puppy was coming lessened the pain of packing up our home, saying bye to our friends and planning to move somewhere far, far away.

Aeropostale sweater tee, WWJD bracelet, chipped blue nailpolish. Yup… it was 1998.

Some other important facts about Skye: 

  • She was a fast learner: She brought new life to Amadeus, who was arthritic and near death, but never missed an opportunity to hump her. I guess she thought it was a game, because once she was large enough she would jump on him and start humping him.
  • We thought adding the ‘e’ to Sky was super hip: If you remember, the momma dog in Babe is named Fly, and then there was this girl on my bus named Skyler who I thought was really cool.
  • She had a hot boyfriend: We were about to get Skye spayed when our minds were changed after watching an episode of “Full House” where the family golden had puppies. Somehow, we convinced our parents that this would be a good idea for us, and set up a date with a neighbors dog. Buddy was a pure bred Golden Retriever, so I can only assume that in dog standards that means he was HOT. Their baby-making attempt was unsuccessful, but I did learn a lot more about dog sex than I ever needed to know.
  • She was not the brightest/ loved cars: We were pretty sure that Skye was eventually going to get run over because she LOVED cars. Not chasing cars, or barking at cars… just, cars. She’d run right up to them as if expecting them to be humans who would pet her. It was terrifying.
  • She provided the entire family with endless entertainment: For example, this video of my brother carrying old, limping Skye around the kitchen so she could chase after this piece of meat my dad was holding.

  • She was a party dog: She really liked licking beer off the patio whenever it was spilled during parties.
  • While she didn’t age gracefully, she didn’t seem too upset about it: Here’s a video I took of Skye the last time I saw her. She had a cone and weird booties, as well as a limp and was completely deaf… But she was as happy as ever.

Seriously… endless entertainment.

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After a few years in college, I started to really miss having pets.Not having a furry something to cuddle felt wrong. During my senior year of college, my little brother lived with me and we started to plot the purchase of pets again. As a child, I’d had at least 15 guinea pigs so they seemed like the natural go to when we started talking pets. Before I knew it, we’d purchased two baby guineas and named them Symphony and Professor Commonwealth, after nearby streets in Boston.

AKA Pat and Vanna, if you’re calling from Wheel of Fortune

While guinea pigs are nowhere as exciting as dogs, they have provided me with a lot of entertainment in the past 4.5 years, and holding Symph’s poofy little body comforted me during a lot of my quarter life crises.

Some facts about Symphony:

  • She was definitely the leader of the pack: I don’t think Professor ever walked anywhere that wasn’t directly behind Symphony’s butt.
  • She got around: The guineas have lived with me in Boston, Atlanta and New York. That means they’ve been on a plane and in a Uhaul for a cross country trip.
  • She might have been a bit of a stoner: Back in my college days, as the scent of pot smoke waft through the floors of my music school apartment building, Professor would sneeze and hide in the corner, while Symphony would walk up to the front of her cage, place her paws on the metal bars and sniff as vigorously as she could. I think sometimes it made her paranoid though, because she started some pretty nasty fights with Professor.
  • She was my favorite, but we had our differences: During our New York move, a few bars on the guinea’s cage came off, creating a tiny little window out of which they could stick their heads. I thought this was adorable, until I realized Symphony would sneak out the cage during the night and poop on everything under my bed.
  • There must have been something in her hair: Because Professor ate so much of it that I took her to the vet TWICE thinking she had mites-induced hair loss.
  • I buried her at sea, like the fucking sailor she was: Is it sailors they bury at sea? Anyway, whoever it is. The awkward part of losing a pet in the city is that you don’t really know what to do with it. All my previous guineas were buried in my backyard, with proper little guinea gravestones. This time, I wasn’t sure what to do so I decided the most romantic thing would be a burial at sea – er, river. I brought her down to the tip of Manhattan so I could put her shoebox coffin in the Hudson, near the Statue of Liberty. As it turns out, finding a break in the fence and throwing something into the river isn’t so romantic, because I was pretty terrified someone was going to See Something and Say Something. Either way, her tiny body will forever lie at the bottom of the Hudson, close to Lady Liberty.
  • Yes, the means I brought a dead rodent on the subway. She was in a box, and a bag, and concealed and it was a grief thing, ok guys?!

In light of all this, I still have one pet left. Professor Commonwealth and I are bonding over our mutual feelings of loss (that I assume she also has) and now at night she sits on my chest and eats my hair while I watch TV. It’s pretty creepy/adorable.

Peace, love and hug your pets, 

BWCE

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