Blog Meetup And Happy Yoga Feelings!

Today’s Happy Note: Alicia Keys’ song Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart — it’s just got a really soothing but also penetrating rhythm and oddly makes me really happy. ¬†I’m listening to it on repeat. ūüôā

I swapped today’s eight hilly miles for tomorrow’s rest/yoga because it was blazingly hot/human today! ¬†I did walk about four-ish miles over the course of the day and took a really nice advanced flow yoga class at my favorite studio.

Part of my walk today was with Maggie (Say Yes To Salad)!¬†¬†Lynn of The Actors’s Diet was in town and we had a lovely little meet-up with some of my favorite bloggers, including Ada (NYCollegeEats) and Gabriela (Une Vie Saine). ¬†We had The Lite Choice then strolled then chatted at a new to me cafe where I had a tasty orange carrot juice.

I was having so much fun I never got a group picture! ¬†Above is Ada, Lynn, and reader Danielle. ¬†I love meeting fellow bloggers because we already have something in common and they are almost always sweet, kind, and caring. It’s sort of like you already know one another and genuinely care for one another. ¬†Blog friends are real friends! ūüôā

I loved getting to know everyone better today. ¬†Gabriela and I have gotten to see each other several times now and Ada and I ran the ultra together! I had not met anyone else previously. ¬†I think blogging had really helped expand my social circle, in a good way. ¬†If you’re a blogger (or a reader!), have you made new friends through blogging?

I had a really nice moment in the cafe: I couldn’t decide between an iced tea or a juice. ¬†I had a very tiny appetite at lunch and was starting to feel hungry again (it was late afternoon). ¬†At first I thought to myself “I should just have a plain unsweetened iced tea; why do I deserve to consume extra calories at this time of day for no reason?” ¬†But then I said to myself, damn it, I want a carrot-orange juice. ¬†Not only is freshly squeezed juice full of amazing vitamins and nutrients, it tastes good and I wanted some sustenance. ¬†So there. ¬†Take that, crazy brain.

Sometimes I feel like my silly brain gets in he way of just letting me live. ¬†I am learning how to let go of being so obsessive about everything. ¬†I find that my body fits into its natural size and shape perfectly when I do the least obsessing. ¬†Yoga has taught me that. ¬†I went into class tonight feeling sad and angry (not for any particular reason — they were just random moods) and came out feeling calm again. ¬†I love that my practice constantly reminds me to do the best I can — and that I can only do my best. ¬†Miracles can happen, too, though. ¬†Yoga has given me a nice balance and perspective.

Okay, no more seriousness. ¬†I promise! ¬†Onto some rather delicious eats from today…

This is an almost-empty container of fage 2% with about 2 tablespoons of sunflower seed butter, a handful of grapes and a tablespoon of flax peanut butter. ¬†I have decided that sunflower seed butter and I are in love. ¬†It’s like frosting only better. ¬†I had another several spoonfuls straight from the jar after this bowl. ¬†It has this creamy, full, earthy flavor. ¬†It does sort of taste “healthy”, but in a good way, I think — like raw tofu. ¬†But then again, not everyone loves raw tofu.

I get the weirdest health-food cravings sometimes: in addition to raw tofu, I also crave plain steamed broccoli, spoonfuls of sunflower seed butter, avocados, brown rice, salmon, spinach, and plain nuts.  My body really does know exactly what it needs most of the time.  I like that about myself.

What are your “health-food” cravings? ¬†Or junk food cravings! I don’t judge!

This just might be the best dinner SIAB (Smoothie In A Bowl) I have ever made. ¬†It consisted of a cup of vanilla soy milk, a whole lotta ice, half a banana, a scoop of vanilla whey/soy protein, cinnamon, and half an avocado. ¬†Topped with TJ’s honey roasted nuts (aka crack). ¬†The avocado/vanilla/cinnamon combo is amazing. ¬†Move over sunflower seed butter. ¬†I have a new lover.

I’m feeling surprisingly content right now considering the number of things I have on my mind. ¬†Hmmmm. ¬†I like having a clear head, I suppose — it’s a good feeling.

Goodnight friends!  I hope you all have a most happy Friday.

And thank you for your sweet comments/thoughts yesterday. ūüôā

Weekend Update

Today’s Happy Note:

Hello hello hello! ¬†I have to blog and run because I have more work to do before tomorrow’s (procrastinator much?) early morning long run. ¬†Sometimes (okay, most of the time) I reaallllllyyyyy suck at time management.

Marathon Training:

Yesterday I had five easy miles on the schedule. ¬†I did that along with about 40 minutes of arms and abs. ¬†My leg strength training falls by the wayside whenever I am training for a race. ¬†My legs are tired enough from running so many miles, I can’t bear the thought of putting them through sets of lunges and hamstring curls and calf raises. ¬†I have decided that I officially love lifting weights. ¬†It is almost as fun as running and yoga for me. ¬†Makes me feel strong, powerful, confident, and sexy, in a weird way. ¬†I ended my run at the Union Square Farmer’s market. ¬†That is the absolute best way to do a Saturday morning run — then you can have a little snack when you get there and sit in the sunshine in the park and think about sunflowers and sunshine and other sunny Saturday morning things.

There was a chocolate chip coconut scone (yes, you heard that correctly) with my name on it at the FM!  With a side of honey-vanilla yogurt.

This was the best scone I have ever had.  I am normally totally a muffin person, but I think I am becoming a scone convert.

So. ¬†Something really good and awesome and happy happened at the farmer’s market after I ate my scone but I don’t want to tell you all about it because I don’t want to jinx it. ¬†So I kind of just told you, without really telling you. ¬†So there.

If you’re a blogger, are you ever afraid of jinxing something by “saying it aloud” on the blog?

Today was supposed to be a Sunday long run day, but I didn’t want to wake up super early, then it ended up raining the whole day anyway. ¬†I moved around my scheduled runs for the week so that I can do it tomorrow (hello 6 AM). ¬†I love Google calendar because it lets you drag and drop events from one day to another. ¬†I ended up doing a 30 minute abs class at the gym today followed by a six mile run that included 4 fast 800s (half-miles). ¬†The 800s were hard but not killer hard. ¬†I used to flat-out hate speedwork but now I think I have more of a love-hate relationship with it. ¬†It feels so goooooood afterwards but during it I just wanna die (usually). ¬†Regular running never gets my heart rate up or makes my face red or anything. ¬†Today’s speedy 800s sure did though!

It ended up pouring for the whole second half of my run. ¬†Somehow I don’t have a problem running less than an hour in the rain. ¬†I just couldn’t face two hours. ¬†Not sure why.

Enough running!

Eats hodgepodge:

Yogurt with a warmed peach and honey and granola.  Afternoon snackage perfection.

I’m pretty sure I ate an entire half of a big cantaloupe over the last two days.

Dates, carrots, PB, and more PB plate.  I am loving dates lately!

Pasta, lots of veggies, and tofu.  With a side of more veggies with guac.  One of the smartest things my mother ever taught me: you can never have too many vegetables.

Good eats (although maybe a little too much last night? ¬†It’s so hard to tell with marathon training!). ¬†Good running. ¬†Good friends. ¬†Good adventures.

Good weekend.

Update me on your lives my friends! ¬†What’s going on where you are?

Long Run/Weekend Adventures

Today’s Happy Note: I’m content right now. ¬†There are things to be done, papers to organize, a swirl of feelings sweeping around in my body. ¬†There are ideas to process and LSATs to study for and emails to be sent and bills to be paid and dry cleaning to be taken in. ¬†There are letters to be written, friends to call, my legs are all cramped and stiff. But I am content.

Mental Health Note: A year ago, two years ago, these types of feelings completely overwhelmed me. There was no coping. ¬†There was no contentment. ¬†There was binging and self-hatred and fat talk and distress. ¬†Everything is not perfect now, but I can cope, on some levels. ¬†I am beginning to have that ability; I need to remember this when I get stressed about therapy not “going anywhere.” ¬†L has helped me get somewhere. ¬†Here: where I can have a rough idea of contentment and coping and lying on my back over my cool sheets and just breathing.

Weekend Workouts: Yesterday I did four easy miles and 30 minutes of abs/back strength at the gym. ¬†Today I did a ten mile long run. ¬†I feel silly using the words “ten mile” and “long run” in the same sentence. ¬†But I worked damn hard for those ten miles. ¬†Accomplishments come in different forms — sometimes an accomplishment is a 34 mile ultramarathon, other times an accomplishment is getting up and leaving the hospital. ¬†Speaking of which, today is the one month anniversary of my being admitted to the hospital with pulmonary emboli. ¬†It’s crazy that it has been that long, but it also feels like no time at all. ¬†I will continue to respect my body, care for it, and take pride in all of its accomplishments.

I needed to get out of the city to run today. ¬†I headed North to Westchester county, which has a decent trail system. Next time I will go further North, since I ended up in a fairly suburban area. ¬†I like wilderness. ¬†I like knowing that there are no other human beings or man made structures for miles. ¬†Sometimes I want to go to Wyoming or Montana or Alaska and just run for days. ¬†The run itself was pretty crappy. ¬†Meh. ¬†I felt like my legs weighed a hundred pounds. ¬†Each. ¬†I was struggling. ¬†But I finished, which was a mental and physical accomplishment. ¬†So I’ll take it.

Started the day with oats made with half soymilk/half water, frozen blueberries, and a bit of vanilla protein powder.

Yes, I eat things out of pyrex.  Yes, I am a food blogger (sometimes).  So sue me.

Unfortunately, while delicious, this breakfast reminded me why I never ever eat an actual meal (however small) before a morning run (especially a long run).  At this point, I have learned that plain jane oats or a banana is about all I can handle.

Snacked on dried fruit on the train ride home (there is a lot in that container) and an unpictured iced vanilla latte:

Grabbed a SIAB (raspberry/banana/vanilla) to take on the run to meet the lovely, smiling Joanne.

We saw Eat Pray Love. I like chick flicks.  I love Julia Roberts.  I like good storytelling and good writing.  I like journeys and discovery.  I like when women understand the importance of understanding themselves.

Therefore I liked it. Enough said.

Snacked on TLC afterward and got WF hot bar upon realizing I was too hungry to make it home sans food.

Dessert: Frozen blueberries with chocolate hazelnut butter and mini PB cups from TJs.

Yesterday, walking back from the gym, I saw a woman who seemed to me to have a perfectly proportioned, measured body. ¬†Of course, this is an extraordinarily subjective statement, but let’s put that aside for now. ¬†I admired the presence she had in her hips, the small belly, the way her skinny jeans fit. ¬†And I heard myself say (in my head), “I would give anything to look like that.” ¬†Of course, my rational side kicked in and said “that’s ridiculous”, but then something else happened. I asked myself, really, what would I give?

And I couldn’t think of a single thing. ¬†I would not relinquish my creativity, my writing, my piles and piles of poems. I would not trade in my ambition or my sense of justice or my weird thought patterns. ¬†Nor would I give up my intelligence, endurance, strength, health, friendship, compassion, or ability to love.

In short, in the span of about thirty seconds, I realized just how unimportant the precise shape and size of my body is.  In fact, it is at the bottom of my list.  Thinness translates into nothing else: it will not make me a succesful lawyer, it will not make someone truly fall in love with me, it will not help me understand who I am, where I come from, and where I am going.

Whew.  Enough about me.  That was a long post!  Did you have any adventures this weekend?  Any major realizations?

Edit: About ¬†to go find another small snack…

Hot Running, Frozen Treats

Today’s Happy Note: Top Chef! ¬†Anyone else watching this season? ¬†I have never watched it before this summer, but it’s a lot of fun (except Padma’s voice is really annoying)!

I raaaaaaaan today! ¬†Happy face. ¬†I set out for 3-5 miles and ended up doing 4. ¬†At first, I let the angry/bad thoughts come up (“you suck, you’re only doing four miles”, “you’ll never be thin and beautiful when you’re this lazy!”), but then I said, you know what “shut up self” and realized that for me, right now, 4 miles is an acocmplishment. ¬†And I am proud of it. ¬†It may have taken me 50 minutes, but it was also 90 degrees at seven AM and I was pretty tired. ¬†I would love to run again tomorrow; we shall see.

I also did some strength training tonight since I have no idea when else I would be able to do it this week.  I lifted for about 40 minutes, doing leg, arm, and ab exercises.

The heat. Oh the heat. ¬†If you live in the NYC area, you know what I am talking about: the dripping bodies, the sweltering, deathly subway stations, the cracked hydrants. ¬†For everyone else: it’s been 100+ degrees the past few days. ¬†I have had to do work stuff in the afternoon, which has meant being outdoors in the middle of the day. ¬†Even if only for very brief periods of time, being out has been unbearable. ¬†And I sweat. ¬†And sweat. ¬†And sweat.

There is no point to this anecdote. ¬†Other than reminding you all to be careful when walking around or working out in the heat! ¬†Which you all know anyways so I’m being silly.

Thanks for your comments yesterday. ¬†Blog friends never fail to make me feel better. ūüôā ¬†I love blogland because it’s like a whole new social network of friends and comrades and supporters!

I have had no less than three delicious frozen treats today. ¬†Two smoothies and one “frozen dessert” from The Lite Choice. Speaking of TLC…

ÔĽŅ

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TLC people are so nice! ¬†They’re doing a promotion with Scoop Street, who features local businesses. ¬†They have a special flavor throughout July called Scoopstachio, made from pistachio flavor and ground peanuts. ¬†I think that it sounds tasty! ¬†Anyways, if you go to a TLC you can sign up for more info, win prizes, try the new flavor, etc.

My other frozen treats:

Breakfast (and dessert tonight!): Peanut butter peach protein smoothie! ¬†Frozen peaches, ice, vanilla almond milk, vanilla protein powder, and a giant scoop of PB. ¬†This was perfect. ¬†It filled up that giant 32 ounce water bottle almost all the way! ¬†Had to eat it with a spoon on my walk to work. ūüôā

I had an afternoon meeting for my other job. ¬†I brought a hummus/cheese/spinach wrap with greenbeans and blueberries. ¬†But when I got to the meeting it turned out they had provided lunch: pizza. ¬†I tend to be afraid of pizza, but it actually is something that I really enjoy, every once in a while. At first I was going to eat my wrap in the corner while everyone else ate their pizza. ¬†But then I decided that if I really wanted it, I should just enjoy it and save the wrap for dinner! ¬†And that’s exactly what I did. ¬†I had one slice of mushroom and one of pepperoni, with my green beans on the side and blueberries for an afternoon snack. ¬†Alongside this, of course:

Half mint and half chocolate with oreos!

Just ate an unnecessary bowl of cereal.  Meh.  Need to practice some of my self-soothing techniques I learned form this book.

Alright friends, I’m off to start compiling my therapy posts into one monster booklet for L! ¬†Happy Thursday! ¬†Almost the weekend!

I’m Fine The Way I Am!

Today’s Happy Note: Boats! ¬†I was going to go kayaking but it was too windy. ¬†Instead I just walked along the river and admired the boats. ¬†Beautiful boats!

Went for two strolls today. ¬†Very windy — I had to walk backwards for a while! ¬†It’s nice to have one day of the week where I don’t do any formal exercise — no yoga class, no run, no lifting weights. ¬†Nothing planned. ¬†Obviously, walking helps clear my head and gives my body a break from more intense activity, but having one relaxing day like this per week also helps me remember that I’m okay the way I am. ¬†About a year ago, I remember telling my former therapist that I knew I would be perfect and finally happy if I lost 5-10 nagging pounds. ¬†She asked me to describe how my life would be different if I lost weight (that doesn’t really need to be lost anyways). ¬†The only thing I could come up with was that I thought men might pay more attention to me. ¬†Um, really Caronae? ¬†Do you really want men to pay attention to you because of the minute details of your body and weight? ¬†Or do you want them to notice how much you know about history or how passionate you are about running and writing or your deeply compassionate personality?

Christina just wrote about this at Eat The Damn Cake. I read the post last night and my walks today helped me internalize what she said and what I do, deep down, believe: I am fine the way I am.  So simple yet so huge.

Weekend brunch/breakfast is and always will be the best meal of the week. ¬†I try to do something I wouldn’t do on a weekday (oatmeal, smoothie, yogurt, cereal). ¬†It’s glorious to sit down in a sunny kitchen with a morning meal that I feel like I’ve actually created and read the newspaper (or blogs). ¬†No rush. ¬†Nowhere to go.

Today I did a cinnamon raisin bread French Toast with apple and peanut butter.

Doesn’t the peanut butter look like it’s making a little blanket over the apples? ¬† Like it’s keeping them warm? ¬†I actually used some peanut butter oil/drippings in the egg batter. ¬†I couldn’t really taste it in the finished product though.

Fun fact: I got a basil plant (!) at the farmer;s market yesterday. ¬†His name is Balthazar Basil and his sister on the windowsill is Fanny Fuschia. If you didn’t know I was weird already, now you know I’m extra weird. ¬†Like, I-name-my-plants-and-make-pretty-signs-for-them weird. ¬†Hey, it was a fun art project!

Basil is my favorite herb. ¬†Least favorite: cilantro. ¬†Although, unlike most cilantro haters, I don’t think that it tastes like soap. ¬†I just don’t like it.

Dinner was fun and easy!  I call it Lazy Girl Tacos.

1 chopped carrot

1/2 head chopped broccoli

1 veggie burger of choice (I used Dr. Praeger’s tex-mex)

1 egg

1 wrap/tortilla (multi grain gives it a nice chewy texture)

Steam vegetables in microwave (you could use other veggies as well) in a few inches of water for two minutes.  Remove and drain excess water.  Add veggie burger and egg.  Cook entire mixture for another minute.  Remove and break up burger and mix entire mixture thoroughly.  Heat one more minute.  Remove and place on tortilla.  Consume.

Not sure why this works so well given the five random ingredients, but I think it’s amazing. ¬†It really is very taco-like!

Dessert #1

TLC (Oreo and peanut butter flavors). ¬†Light and pillowy. ¬†Makes me feel like I’m eating a cloud!

Dessert #2 (just wanted a tiny something before blogging/bed).

It is one of my core beliefs that you can never have too much peanut butter and chocolate. ¬†They’re a woman’s best friend.

Hoping to squeeze in a CP run tomorrow morning — I haven’t run the main loop in a few weeks! ¬†Tomorrow is a very busy day and I’m hormonal. ¬†Let’s hope I don’t get too crazy and bite someone’s head off. ¬†So much for the “compassionate personality” I mentioned above. ¬†Oh, and my L is on vacation this week. ¬†Hopefully I’ll survive.

Do you feel like there is something wrong with your body the way it is?  Or have you learned to let go and just be at peace with things? I think that, for individuals who are not dangerously overweight or having health problems related to lifestyle, it is actually healthier to just accept ourselves.  I have expended so much mental energy hating myself.  Now, I put that energy towards doing things I like!

Goodnight and have a fabulous Monday!

Adventure Friday

Today’s Happy Note: I now have a beautiful temporary tattoo of a dolphin on my left arm. ¬†My life is complete.

Lazy day again! ¬†I did a 30 minute ab/cardio workout video this evening with my mom. ¬†It was called “Envy Abs” and was actually pretty good. ¬†I hadn’t done a lot of the moves before so it was unpredictable.

Adventure Friday:

Kate went on an Adventure Monday here! ¬†So happy my idea is rubbing off. ¬†It really is fun — I always look forward to my adventures throughout the week.

Today’s adventure? ¬†Visiting my best friend from high school and her family’s seven dogs. ¬†There were actually eight there today since an extra dog was visiting.

Eddy (I *think* that’s who this one is) says hello! ¬†He was trying to eat my…

…coconut milk green tea ice cream! ¬†Seeing as today was supposed to be an adventure at all, when we wound up at the grocery store and wandered past the alternative ice cream aisle, I knew it was fate: it was my time to try the coconut milk ice cream. ¬†The verdict? ¬†Pretty tasty, but with a slightly odd aftertaste. ¬†It honestly tasted like a slightly less creamy version of standard green tea ice cream. ¬†I would like to try more of their flavors this summer and will probably eat this one again as well!

I know this was kind of a lame adventure; I didn’t take too many pictures. ¬†But trust me, being climbed on by eight rambunctious dogs is no picnic. ¬†For some reason they all really liked my feet…

I have always been a cat person but I also love dogs.  When I have my own apartment I want to get a cat, since I think it will be easier to take care of.  I really do like dogs though.  I want to name my cat Stanley.  Or Ceaser.  Or Miller.

Are you a cat or a dog person?  Or neither or both?

It’s been raining cats and dogs here today (pun intended) so adventure options were a bit limited. ¬†I desperately wanted to run but it was, quite literally, pouring. ¬†And it’s supposed to tomorrow as well! ¬†At least the plants will be well-watered.

Eats hodgepodge:

Okay so this was a smoothie made with plain yogurt, water, frozen blackberries, ice, and chocolate amazing meal. ¬†It was disgusting. ¬†I didn’t want to waster it so I added loads of stevia to mask the flavor but yeah, it had a distinct, unappealing grassy flavor. ¬†And I actually like grassy flavor — but this was a bit extreme. ¬†I feel like it’s this kind of food that gives health food a bad name. ¬†For your own sake, don’t buy it.

I do, however, love all the Amazing Grass bars!

Frozen fruit in cereal is really delicious. ¬†Crunchy and cold but also smooth, sweet and satisfying. ¬†You should try it! ¬†And yes, that is peanut butter in my bowl. ¬†I am obsessed with peanut butter — I might even call it my favorite food — and will add it to pretty much everything.

Blondie bars with lots of secret ingredients including cherries — the fruit Michigan is most famous for! ¬†With a glass of milk for dipping. ¬†These are being sent to a friend but I had to test one or two for quality control purposes, of course. ūüôā

I want to make scones this summer.  A lot.  With fresh berries and warm butter on top. Nom nom nom.

I may have had the most random dinner I’ve ever consumed tonight: a few unpictured bites of steak with a warm apple with cinnamon and pb. ¬†Hey, it was exactly what I wanted!

Lots of links to catch you guys up on!

Averie is giving away Naturally Nutty here.

Ever wanted to know how a vegan ultramarathoner eats? Check out this New York Times article.

I have a reader (hi Xenia!) who writes a sporting goods/sporting events blog called Be In The Game.  Definitely check it out if you need any equipment or are a traditional sports fan!

And finally, a fun Lite Choice contest here! ¬†Their frozen dessert is one of the most delicious I’ve ever had. ¬†Go support TLC!

That’s all for tonight. ¬†Maybe I’ll be more fun tomorrow. ¬†This rain needs to go away!

Home Is Where…

Today’s Happy Note: Family dinner! ¬†I have not had a beautiful, home cooked family dinner with all members of my family (mom, dad, sister, me, cat) present at the same time in months, if not a year or more. ¬†It was delicious, comforting, and loving. ¬†ūüôā ¬†And yes, my parents are divorced. ¬†They’re still best friends!

Vegetables galore!

Pad thai cooking away!  My sister has the best pad thai recipe outside of Thailand.

My sister and me! Some people seem to think we’re twins, others think we look nothing alike. ¬†She’s actually five years older.

Exercise:

Yesterday (Friday): 6 mile run plus four hours worth of MOVING  which I did entirely by myself.  It was a serious workout.  At one point a friend helped me lift a huge box back onto a dolly, and another friend returned a rolling bin for me, but everything else was all me.  Independent women rule.

Today (Saturday): Travelling with heavy bags. ¬†Hey, that’s serious — I was lugging my bags around for five hours. ¬†Won’t go into the details of why (JFK airport=evil) but suffice it to say my arms are feeling it right now.

So as you’ve probably noticed by now, yesterday I MOVED and today I am “HOME”. But, proximity does not imply relationship! ¬†I did move, but not back home. ¬†I moved into my apartment for the summer and then flew back to Michigan today. ¬†Needless to say it’s been an exhausting two days, and I want to go cuddle with my sister and have some ice cream right about now.

Up in the air!

Random selection of eats from the past few days:

Biscoff.  In honor of Kath!

Cookie Friday and caramel fudge lite choice in one day.  It was that kind of a day.

Storytime: Home

Two and a half years ago, after about a semester of living in NYC, I felt decently at home there. ¬†I knew that I felt a special connection to the city and that it would probably be an extraordinarily meaningful place for me. ¬†I knew how I felt looking across the rivers, finding beautiful buildings, or noticing a depth of cultural diversity. ¬†I knew these things made me thrilled and happy and I even referred to the city as my “home.” ¬†Well, actually, I thought of the city as one of my homes, with my town in Michigan and the house that I grew up in being my other home. ¬†They were both my special places. ¬†In Michigan, I have open spaces with the most lovely pumpkin fields and running trails that wind lazily through meadows. ¬†In New York, I have wonderful buzzing streets and 20-story buildings and thousands of restaurants in reach.

My father picked me up from the airport this afternoon. ¬†As we made our way along the highway and then along smaller city roads and then onto the little side street where my house sits — looking content and almost serene — I had one of the biggest realizations I’ve had in a long while: New York is not only where I live now. ¬†It is my home. ¬†New York being my home was a story that I told myself for the last three years, and in a small sense, it was true. ¬†But in the larger sense — of “home” being where my life and love and passions and future and everyday joy comes from — I wasn’t quite ready to declare the city my home. ¬†It is now, and I suddenly knew this quite clearly today.

At the same time I feel a deep longing for my family. ¬†I am not a child, but I am still a rather young person: I’m twenty years old. ¬†I have been living on my own for three years now and I still miss them deeply, daily. ¬†Many people refer to “home” as a place where their family is, and in that sense, I will always have a home in Michigan. ¬†But in 5-10 years I think I will have my own family and I believe that it will surely be in New York. ¬†With that said, being here, with the three people in the world for whom I have the most powerful, beautiful feeling of love, is a gift. ¬†My mother, sister, and I have not lived together in seven years. ¬†That’s more than a third of my life. ¬†I intend to treasure this time with them (a week and a half) as I suspect that, outside of vacations, it is the last time we will be together in one place. ¬†And not any place either, our original home. ¬†Where we climb crab apple trees and jump from thick ropy willows and hide under the sleeping bags in the basement and sit at the same mahogany walnut wood dining table that we have sat at since before I was born.

The conclusion? ¬†I love both places — among other places that are meaningful,including a special spot in Northern Michigan and Ottawa, the capital of Canada — but New York has moved from a place that I live to a home. ¬†When I walk down Broadway and know exactly how the ground feels at every street corner, I know this. ¬†I feel it. ¬†When I lie down in the sun in Central Park I feel a bit like a compass, sometimes. ¬†Like a compass that knows exactly where it’s pointing and wants to point in that direction. ¬†I sprawl out into a star shape, my limbs different places in my life. ¬†And through all this, I am centered in the city. ¬†The gorgeous, flying city. ¬†City like a flock of birds.

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