I need to let a few things out.
In the immortal words of white girls everywhere, I’m over it.
I’m over the cold. Do you know how cold this winter has been? No one in New York remembers a winter like this in the last ten years or more.
That’s how cold.
It just keeps snowing, and the temperature keeps not budging above thirty. It’s a sick joke.
Speaking of sick jokes, here’s another one: No matter how cold it gets, I still have to train for a marathon.
That means one to two runs a week in the biting cold, wondering just how many times I can lose feeling in the tip of my nose before it just falls off. It means that at least once a week, I spend hours in literally freezing temperatures wearing various layers of spandex and fleece and telling myself that it’s not that bad.
And let’s talk about those hours. I’m getting tired, y’all. The last month, I’ve been leaving my apartment about half an hour later than normal because, when my alarm goes off at the usual time, my brain just rejects that it is time to get up. My body refuses to swing my legs to the floor and vacate the bed because I’m so dang tired and did I mention it’s cold out there?
Because, oh, another thing: My apartment is freezing. The super keeps playing dumb like we’re imagining that our thermometer says it’s below sixty degrees. Like maybe we won’t notice. But I notice.
And then when we complain, the heaters magically turns on for a few hours. And then it shuts off and we start the song and dance again.
I am tired of this dance and I hate this song.
And you know what else? In an effort to avoid exposing my tired, cold skin to even more frigid air, I foolishly decided taking the bus eight blocks would be smarter than walking this morning after a 7-mile outdoor run. I then sat on said bus for an hour before finally giving up at ninth avenue, meaning I STILL ended up walking five blocks in the cold. I COULD MURDER SOMETHING RIGHT NOW.
My apologies for this spree of negativity. I promise to do better next time.
Would you describe yourself as someone who handles disappointment well?
Until recently, I think I would have. I’m pretty resilient and adaptable, with enough grit to plow my way through just about anything. Sure, I needed to work on letting things roll off my back a bit more, but in general, I thought I’d outgrown letting other people how I should feel about myself.
But lately, I haven’t been so sure.
A few things have happened that have been, for lack of a better word, disappointing. Nothing terribly tragic or disastrous has happened. A few things in my life have just unfurled in unexpected and undesirable ways.
And, you guys? It’s messing with my head.
I’ve experienced a lot of personal growth in the last five years overcoming most of my insecurities, and for the first time in a while, I’ve felt them start to creep back. And I don’t like the reminder of how I used to feel and think.
In my first draft of this post, this is the point where I actually listed a few of them out. But the shame I felt at even seeing the words was a bit too much for me to share with you guys. Suffice to say, I think they’re things everyone feels sometimes. Suffice to say, I feel a lot like that unfortunate dude in the photo above.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with doubting yourself from time to time. I think it’s normal. The problem is when it starts to become a weight to carry. The problem is when it starts affecting your will to try again.
Whenever these feelings start creeping in, I always reread my Happiness Project post. I remember even when I was writing that thinking, “There is going to come a time when this is not going to feel so easy. There will be a day when I am so down, I will feel stupid for even writing these words. When I’ll scorn my own hubris at thinking I can control my happiness.”
But I still wrote them. And I still published the post. Because even when those two sides of my are at war, I want it on record that the most rational part of me sides with the optimist.
And I’m trying to keep perspective. I am so incredibly fortunate to have a great support system around me who love me and believe in me even when I stop believing in myself. Plus, like I said, what I’m dealing with are disappointments, not tragedies. If I was talking to me, this is the point when I would gently take my own hands and say, “I am both sad and happy for you that this is the greatest struggle you’re going through right now.” Because I know and love so many people going through so much worse.
So, I get it. I get it. I’m just wondering…how do you deal with disappointments?
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: I’m not a camping person.
I like the food, remember? I like hiking and lakes and campfires.
So at this point, I thought I could safely say that while I may not be the ultimate camper, I do like camping.
I thought wrong.
As I actually pointed out in the post at that first link, I had only ever camped in cabins before. Bare-bones-wooden-bunk-communal-restroom-type cabins, but cabins nonetheless. I had never expressed nor felt the desire to camp in a tent. And if I had just followed my (prissy little) gut, I might never have had a bad camping experience.
I’m sure you see where I’m going with this.
Last weekend, we joined a few of our friends in Vermont for a little camping adventure. I knew going in that it was tent camping. I knew it. But I had convinced myself that it would be fine. FINE. I mean, how much time do you spend in your tent anyway, right? I would still have all the parts of camping I genuinely like. And the company would be great. WHERE COULD THIS WATER-TIGHT PLAN GO WRONG?
Actually, “water-tight” is particularly apropos. Because it rained. The entire time.
And what did we discover upon arriving at the campsite and opening our tent? That we were missing the top part that keeps the rain out. Le sigh.
Fortunately, Joey was able to fashion a frankentent out of a few extra tarps:
Unfortunately, the door zipper was also broken, meaning water could leak in from all sides. Fun!
After one night of torrential rain and damp EVERYTHING, I opted to sleep in the car. I have no regrets about that.
Other than the rain, though, it really was a nice trip.
We toured the Magic Hat Brewery:
Visited the Ben & Jerry’s factory:
Shopped at a local farmer’s market that made me miss the Midwest like whoa:
And, you know, spent some time communing with nature:
Plus, we swam and rowed at the lake, ate way too much of everything, and enjoyed the company of our friends. All in all, can’t complain.
Though I think we can rule out tents for the rest of my life.
1. Joey admitted that the creature he had killed in our bedroom was roughly the size of a chipmunk. We should all just start evacuating now.
2. Apparently this fact lessens the chance that it was an actual cockroach and increased the likelihood that it was what people around here call a “waterbug.”
I’M SORRY. A waterbug is one of those spidery things that dances across ponds and lakes and looks like the insect version of a ballerina. IT CANNOT BE MISTAKEN FOR A COCKROACH.
Apparently New York waterbugs look exactly like cockroaches except giant. I had to hear no fewer than three people tell me last night, “Oh, that doesn’t sound like a cockroach. It had to have been a waterbug.” Then they would look at me like they had just delivered reassuring news.
Cuz, uh, guys? “Bug that looks just like a cockroach but is technically not a cockroach because it’s BIGGER” is not a consolation.
The only thing that might actually be a consolation? Apparently waterbugs are less of an infestation-type thing and more of a one-off occurrence. WE CAN ONLY HOPE.
On the bright side, when you tell people your cockroach horror stories in New York, invariably someone tops you. Which means I have heard some of the more horrendous, nightmare-inducing cockroach stories of my life in the last 12 hours. I haven’t even begun to live the cockroach nightmare. (One of my friends was actually pinned down and had an entire cockroach nest swarm his body. At that point, I’m pretty sure I just black out and hope I never come to.)
So anyway. I haven’t burned down my apartment (yet). But if this happens again…I just don’t know, you guys.
***EDIT: OMG I FORGOT TO TELL YOU THE MOST IMPORTANT PART. Joey also admitted that the reason why he woke up and saw the cockroach/waterbug/stuff-of-nightmares in the first place is because he HEARD SOMETHING CHEWING THE PLASTIC THAT OUR RUG IS WRAPPED IN.
I need you to take a second and think about that. He woke up from SLEEP because he could HEAR this INSECT CHEWING. CHEWING. LIKE YOU CAN HEAR A SMALL CHILD CHEWING. CHEWINGCHEWINGCHEWING. I literally cannot get over it. CANNOT WILL NOT.
I don’t even really want to talk about this, but I also can’t stop talking about it, so I’m just going to come out and say it.
Joey killed a cockroach in our apartment last night.
I just…I just can’t, you guys. You remember this? That was less than two months ago. I have just BARELY recovered. I JUST CAN’T.
Here’s how it went down:
I was sleeping soundly when I was suddenly ripped from my sweet dreams by the sound of Joey yelling and (at least what sounded like) killing someone. Violence. I was awoken by violence.
In half a second, I realized that he was stomping on the ground a mere two feet from where I had been sleeping. And I knew. I knew, you guys.
“WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” I shrieked, still half asleep. He whipped around to look at me, a wild look in his eye. (I assume. I didn’t have my contacts in. But he was definitely frazzled.)
“I don’t want to tell you,” was his reply. AND I KNEW.
“What, wh- HOW?” I stammered. I may also have started repeating “no no no NONONONONO.”
He explained that he’d spotted it crawling on a rolled up rug we have in the corner. When he shined the light from his phone on it, it took off. “It was fast.”
At this point, I start just shaking uncontrollably. And maybe hyperventilating. I just kept asking, “Is it dead?!?”
Joey assured me it was. “ARE YOU SURE?!?!!!!”
He informed me that its “carcass” was on the ground “right there.” But I couldn’t see it because I didn’t have my contacts in. Probably for the best.
I asked him why the traps we had bought and set out in every corner of the apartment hadn’t caught it. Joey got shifty and replied at the traps he bought “weren’t made for something this…size.”
At that point, I promptly lost my mind.
I mean. I tried to fall back asleep. But I would literally jerk awake if ANYTHING touched me (blankets, Joey, my own hair, ANYTHING). Sometimes nothing would touch me, I would just wake suddenly and smack Joey and say something like, “TRAPS. YOU NEED TO BUY TRAPS TOMORROW. LIKE TWENTY TRAPS.”
He would mumble okay and then go back to sleep. I would doze until my next conniption. (“DID YOU FLUSH IT?!? YOU HAVE TO FLUSH THEM.”)
I mean, they can survive atomic bombs, you guys. They survived the dinosaurs. WHY DOES MY HUSBAND THING HE’S MORE CAPABLE OF SLAUGHTER THAN WHATEVER KILLED THE DINOSAURS?
Obviously, I’m not okay.
I started telling my boss about this, and she replied with her own cockroach nightmares and then finished with, “You know they fly, right?”
Me: “NOT ALL OF THEM. Only some of them fly.”
Her: *leaning in* “Most of them fly.”
My eyes actually welled with tears when she said it. I can’t live in a world where most cockroaches fly.
I’m thinking my options are to buy a cat (according to my boss) or burn the apartment down. Those are the ONLY options.
And that’s how I wound up naked in a building in the middle of Manhattan.
Hmm? What’s that? You find my Tarantino-start-at-the-end-and-work-your-way-back-to-the-beginning-style of writing alarming?
Well, DEAL WITH IT. It’s called a hook. Consider yourself hooked.
Anyway. Though it ends with me in the buff, this is a story that starts with trying to get buff.
As I may have mentioned, I recently joined a gym near my office. It’s a bit pricier than any other gym I’ve ever paid for (in my life), but it’s actually moderately priced for the area thanks to an employee discount I get through work, and it’s so dang convenient that I can’t even get home without passing it. Which, as we learned from my Brooklyn Y experience, help ensure I actually go on a regular basis.
For the last couple of years, I have been a staunch evening exerciser. While I would prefer to start my day with a trip to the gym, my crazy-long commute prevented that from being a viable possibility. (Unless I wanted to get up before 5 a.m. Or die at the hands of a (possibly) homicidal homeless man.)
Thanks to our recent move, however, my commute is much, much shorter, meaning I don’t have to wake up as early unless I want to work out.
I think you can imagine where this is going.
For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been telling myself that it would be a good idea to wake up earlier, go to the gym before work, shower there, and then walk the four blocks to my office. I’ve been telling myself this, but had yet to actually act on it.
UNTIL THE FATEFUL MORNING I DID. Also known as…this morning.
For the record, it had always been part of the plan that I would shower at the gym. And this is not the first time I’ve showered at a gym. It had just been a really long time, and I had completely forgotten how unbelievable awkward it is.
To be perfectly honest, I rarely even change at the gym. I’ll usually change my clothes at the office, in the privacy of the spacious handicap bathroom stall, before making my merry way to work out.
I mean, on one hand, I know I’m being silly. I know pretty much everyone averts their eyes awkwardly just like I do when I see someone half- to fully naked in the locker room. But I just…I don’t know. Nakedness. In front of people. Ehh.
I’m a prude, is what I’m saying.
Today, though, it just had to be done. Lest I want to become known as the “sweaty girl” in the office. (Not a very clever nickname, but it still stings.)
So after working out, I stripped down only to discover that…
1. …GOOD LORD those towels they provide are tiny. Who are they made for? Toddlers? I normal-sized woman can barely keep her dignity in one of those.
2. …few things make you feel less like a grown-up than showering in flip-flops. Though I was grateful I remembered to pack them.
3. …those hairdryers you’ve been seeing in the locker room for weeks and telling yourself “are so convenient!” because now you don’t have to pack your own? They suck. You still have to pack your own.
4. …showering at the gym is not your favorite thing.
Plus, as we covered in the first sentence, there’s something about being naked in the middle of the city that just makes you feel more…exposed.
So! My fellow morning gym-goers. How do you survive showering at the gym? Do you skip it? Do you bring fancy shampoo to make yourself feel more human? Tell me your secrets!