City Diaries: Head Space
I went on an unintended end-of-summer hiatus. We’re now knee-deep in September, and while I’m unfazed by the fact that I haven’t posted/created/done anything, really, in over a month, I’m also acutely aware that I’m in dire need of some creative inspiration.
My writing, ideas, and creativity are in a constant ebb and flow. It’s a never ending balancing act that always seems to teeter between one extreme or the other. Deep down, I want nothing more than to wake up every day ready to create something new. But life...AKA work, AKA “adulting," always seems to get in the way
In my month off from this blog, I’ve been thinking a lot about head space.
You know that funny triangle graphic from college? The one that has 3 sections: Good grades, social life, sleep and says you can only "Pick 2"? Well, there’s a lot of truth to that meme—there’s only so much room in my brain, and only so many hours in the day. While I wish this wasn’t the case, I’m coming to terms with the fact I can only commit my time to about 2 major aspects of life at once.
To make matters more complicated, my own polygon is not some pretty triangle. It's more of a deformed dodecagon (thanks Wikipedia) with sides ranging from the normal “spend time with boyfriend” / “get dinner with friends”, to the tactical “buy cleaning supplies on Amazon” / “water your 6 houseplants” to the more niche “starting writing that book in your head”/ “figure out how to develop 3+ streams of income while simultaneously working full-time”…and I’m never entirely sure how to make them happen all at once.
In other words, my brain is all over the place and unless I fully harness my energy into something specific, my million-and-a-half ideas will remain just that—passing thoughts that never take shape or come to fruition. Concepts I’ll always wish became a reality.
So, in case you were wondering, here’s what’s been taking up my head space as of late:
Welcomed Houseguests. One of my closest friends and her husband came into town, so I happily played tourist for the weekend. There’s nothing better than seeing NYC through a visitor’s eyes. It brings back the magic of it all, every time. Except Times Square...which brings me only pure, unadulterated fear with its crowds and off-brand Elmos.
Un-welcomed Houseguests. I’m on Week 3 of battling a fruit fly infestation in my apartment. Melina: 1, Fruit Flies: 100. This has added a little "drama" to my life, and I've been regaling the tale like it's a piece of juicy gossip to whoever will listen. Aside from this experience bringing out an unexpected rage/aggression I apparently have towards innocent creatures, I’ve now developed a nervous tick of flinching at the sight of any floating objects (this list includes feathers, leaves, steam, etc.) PSA: if you plan to become an overnight plant lady…don’t leave dirty dishes in your tiny NYC apartment. This is a winning combination and will cause many a sleepless night.
Sparking Joy. As a result of said fruit fly battle, I went on a major cleaning frenzy. After bleaching any and all countertops, I set my sights on my closet—purging about 5 large bags of clothes/shoes/handbags that were from my "quirky" Anthro phase. I then proceeded to pedal these wears to every secondhand shop around town, which resulted in $80 cash and about 8 hours of wasted energy (based on that math, I’m still trying to decide whether or not it was worth while). And in case you were wondering, yes, Buffalo Exchange is still ridiculously picky and having your secondhand items rejected does in fact take a toll on one’s self esteem. PSA #2: Beacon’s Closet, on the other hand, will take anything as long as you play up the “back story” enough.
Shopping Frenzy. After receiving that hard earned $80 for my used clothes, I decided to immediately reinvest this into new pieces. I don’t know what it is, but I am either completely thrifty or a total shopaholic...there is no in between. Lately I've been leaning towards the latter, and I’m happy to announce that I’ve joined the trendy mule/loafer club and am now the proud owner of a black denim jacket that I’ve successfully worn 7 days in a row. #costperwear
5th Floor Walk-Up (x2). In other indulgent news, I’ve accepted the fact that my boyfriend and I are a super greedy couple. We now have not one, but two 5th floor walk-ups between us—one on the West side and one in the East Village. Although I'm kind of sad we are no longer neighbors, I've secretly been enjoying reliving the moving process all over again. I played interior designer for him last weekend and reacquainted myself with the NYC Furniture District. During the furniture shopping process I realized two things. 1) Shopping on someone else's budget is way more fun (is this my new calling?) 2) If you really miss that old sofa you had to leave behind in LA...just "encourage" your significant other to buy the same one in a different color. Definitely one of my better decisions as of late.
A Plant-Based Experiment. On the topic of good decision making—did I mention I've become a vegan? Well, more like a dairy-free vegetarian (translation: I eat eggs. But, only because brunch as a vegan was becoming way too depressing). In true millennial form, it all started with a Netflix documentary. But, before you jump to the conclusion that I'm just some bandwagoner that will believe anything I hear, let me explain. The documentary sparked a conversation. The conversation sparked a "two week experiment." And that experiment has begun a 2 month long adventure in plant-based eating and cooking. While I'd love to say that I did it for the moral and/or sustainability factor, my biggest motivator thus far has been my skin, and in turn my overall health. Knock on wood, but I can proudly say I've pretty much eradicated the hormonal acne that has plagued my skin for most of my adult years. I'm not sure I'll keep to this diet forever, but it's been an interesting couple months and I'd recommend anyone who is curious at least give it a go.
Solo Dates...yet another thing I've been pushing myself to do more of lately. After a friend had to cancel, I decided to still attend an Everlane speaker event by myself. I enjoyed every minute of the smart discussion between the interesting panelists and it just so happened to be moderated by my latest #girlboss crush, the chic founder of The Wing (more on that soon!) When the rooftop happy hour rolled around, I worked up the gumption to wander the event space alone—oddly feeling totally OK with my solo-status—and ended up having a great conversation with another woman who had also come on her own. Is this how to make friends as an adult?
Weekend Getaway. Speaking of adulting, or really the opposite-of, I braved the LIRR to the Hamptons on the weekend before Labor Day. And in case you didn't know, that train is a very scary place during the summer where finance bros shotgun canned rose standing up and fight over who has the shortest Chubbies for 3 hours straight. However, my best friend lives out there so I gladly made the journey. We met up with one of our old college roommates on a day trip to Block Island and cliche aside, it was one of those perfect summer weekends that made me wish I hadn’t been putzing around the city for the past 3 months.
The Eclipse. Something I was actually thankful to be in the city for. Thanks to my office building’s awesome/illegal roof, I had a clear view of that little crescent sun around 2:45pm. Despite the fact that my parents actually roadtripped out to see the eclipse in the "zone of totality," I didn't have the forethought to order a pair of viewing glasses ahead of time. So, the morning of, I scrambled and printed out Warby Parker's flimsy “pinhole” projector and immediately felt inadequate after seeing other people’s intense box projector contraptions and glasses all over the city. While it was pretty cool to see everyone in NYC stop working for a solid 2 hours in the middle of the day, I'm still waiting for my life to somehow change dramatically from this cosmic event.
Indie Rock Nostalgia. Which is basically the best thing that's happened post-eclipse. I went to see Young the Giant in Central Park and it was a welcomed throwback. Backstory: a few of the band members were a couple years older than me at my high school. To this day, my claim to fame is that I once rode in the bass player’s red mustang. Seriously though, nothing is more sobering than the lead singer prefacing one of their original songs with “we recorded this 10 years ago”…and realizing that those long angsty drives spent blasting that exact song as a wide-eyed teen was, in fact, 10 years ago. $%@%@#. Where has my youth gone!?
Birthdaze. And my fleeting twenties. I have a birthday coming up and I think this may be the first year I'm uneasy about becoming one year older. I'm planning/plotting some creative project(s) around my big day and once I figure them out, I'll share soon...
OK, so there you have it. My late-summer in a nutshell.
And, I know you're probably wondering, what about work? What does this girl do all day? Well the short answer to all your questions is...yes, all of that was still there too, taking up 50+ hours of my week. But, this being a safe space and all, I'd prefer to highlight more obscure stories about my demon fruit flies instead.
Have a great week ❤