27 Things I’m No Longer Worrying About

A few days ago, after a walk with Lucy, I ate my lunch under a tree near my apartment. It was one of those perfect almost-Autumn days, and as I have for the past five-and-a-half years in New York, I watched life unfold around me. There was an old man who brought out a lawn chair and was sunbathing, some girls around my age talking up a storm (likely about the night before), a couple with their small baby and a snuggling two-some sneaking in kisses between the breeze.

And here I was, sitting awkwardly on my backpack, guilting myself for skipping an exercise class because I was tired, wondering when this guy that I met would text me back. As much as things have changed – and so have I – in all of this time, I still have to battle those same insecurities, regardless of how far I’ve come in my self-love journey. The park embodied so many of the things that I dream of having, and often times, I can count up the things I don’t have instead of taking stock in what I do. And though I can dream of the beautiful things I hope are before me, it’s hard to get past what’s in sight to believe in what you can’t see until it’s yours.

I turned over my iPhone and took a sip of water, rubbing my shoulders as the temperature started to drop, and I turned my attention on a kid’s birthday party. There was a grandfather with a toddler, laughing and chasing around each other until the babe accidentally let go of the red balloon she was holding. She started to cry, but her grandfather scooped her up and pointed to the sky.

I couldn’t hear what he said – I was too far away – but I imagine it was a distraction technique that somehow, piqued her interest away from a tantrum. The only thing was, all of the kids watched this happened and looked up…

…and they all let go of their balloons. Continue reading

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My Year of Happy

On pennies thrown into fountains, birthday candles, Chinese lanterns, first stars and shooting ones, at 11:11, when my necklace clasp gets turned around, while holding my breath going through a tunnel and just about anything else I consider lucky, I’m always making wishes.

Or at least — one wish.

It’s always been to find love. To have that relationship that I’ve wanted since I knew what a relationship was. My wish used to be broad and simple, until my mom suggested being specific with my desires. “The universe needs some guidelines, dear,” she said. So I started getting detailed: this height, that laugh, those eyes, that job, this move in bed, those preferences, this amount of children one day, delivered to me within three months. Or next week. Or ya know, now.

I know you’re not supposed to reveal what you wish for, but I can’t imagine it’ll affect my outcome too terribly much, considering how often I’ve wished almost the same wish, with little – or rather – no result. For my birthday this year, I blew out two sets if candles, one with my family on a cake and the other on top of a mini margarita with the family I’ve found in New York.

And though I thought about it, considered it greatly, I didn’t wish for love.

I just wished for happiness.

I want to be happy more than I want to depend on finding some man, somewhere to make me happy. I want it to come from me. I want that peaceful, easy feeling that comes when you’ve really figured out what you want, who you are, where you want to go and how you like to spend your days, without having to factor another person into the equation. The simplest of wishes, sure, but one that I think is more important than bumping into someone at a bar, the train, a dating event, online – wherever – the boys may be hiding these days.

Though I had so many blessings last year, I spent the majority of 24 thinking about the fact I was turning 25. And all of those things that I wanted this past year to bring me, it didn’t really. It wasn’t a bad span of time and nothing truly terrible happened, it just felt like a year that was totally full of work. I got a puppy, which is equal parts stress and joy. My dad found out be had cancer and then was declared cancer free post-surgery. I’m finally up to running 10 solid miles, but it came with lots of training and pushing myself, my bones, my body. I went on Accutane for 7 of the months to clear my skin, and though it worked, it wasn’t without very dry patches and many nights in, alcohol free. Mr. P moved overseas for the whole year, which made the process of letting go a little easier, but I didn’t meet anyone who I felt even a little bit of luster with. I lost weight and feel much more beautiful than before, but it was not a simple change. Friendships have blossomed and some have fizzled, many of my friends have jumped the single boat for a sweet sail for two, and much of the rough waters, I’ve navigated alone.

And through it all, I did come out better and stronger, more myself than I’ve ever been, bolder and flirtier, hopeful and intrigued. But I haven’t exactly been happy. Healthy, fine, successful and fiery, sure. But happy? Not quite.

And so, I declare this my happy year.

No matter what comes or doesn’t come, who I meet or don’t, what mountains I climb or planes I board, what things that happen or don’t, I will remind myself to see the happy. To seek it. To really, honestly feel it. Because there will always be another wish to make or hope to have, but without the happy, I won’t appreciate any of it. Without the happy, there’s no use in trying anything at all. Without the happy, I won’t know what another kind of happy feels like when it arrives.

My Third Birthday

My Third Birthday

My Sixth Birthday

My Sixth Birthday

My 18th Birthday

My 18th Birthday

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My 19th Birthday

My 22nd Birthday (First in NYC!)

My 22nd Birthday (First in NYC!)

My 23rd Birthday

My 23rd Birthday

My 25th Birthday

My 25th Birthday

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make a Little Wish

I wish to be a princess like Sleeping Beauty, I closed my eyes super-duper tight, envisioning a dress of revolving blue-and-pink, and clicked my heels three times for good Wizardly measure. I opened to see my mom with her fluffy permed hair and big, bright smile that served as a gentle reassurance that my dreams would come true. I would be a princess. I’d get that fancy castle and the charming prince. I’d be able to sing like the songbirds and I’d have that hourglass figure I thought was so grown-up, so pretty, so princess-like.

Until I stopped wishing for crowns and crayons, and started wanting recorders and notebooks.

I wish to be on television! To be like Lois Lane and find Superman, I wished while wearing a more mature dress, toting around my recorder and interviewing anyone who would speak with me. I quizzed my party guests on how they felt the party was going, what they would have liked to be different, and if they were having fun. I even questioned my kitty, Indy. Then after the Aladdian cake was cut, the pinata was smashed and the presents were revealed, I went to write away the events of the night. I then would properly hand them to my mom, bounded with string, and retire to the sitting room to watch Nick Jr. My wish would come true one day, I’d be a journalist.

Until I didn’t want to be filmed anymore, but I just wanted to write. And I wanted to write about boys.

I wish that Mr. Curls would fall madly in love with me and we would get married and have babies and be happy and he’d be smitten. OH MY GOD, Please, please, please, PLEASE – just let him love me!!!, I wished through crooked-teeth while covering my pimply chin with Covergirl makeup, and sporting a totally rad crimped 90’s hairstyle. My cheeks were flushed red from skating to Britney Spears and the Backstreet Boys. I anxiously looked above the moms standing by and my friends, all chattering away and eating intensely sugary cake, to see if Mr. Curls had arrived. He was invited, he said he would come, but he was late. I looked at my mom who looked angry and frustrated, probably just as disappointed as I was, but angrier that I was sad on my birthday. That night, I cried while silently wishing he’d have a good excuse and listening to Mandy Moore’s, “I Wanna Be With You” on repeat. I wished he’d be mine. I wished that adorable little mop head would fall for me.

Until I got over him and moved onto other boys who fell for me quickly, yet not as quickly as my father had fallen.

I wish, dear God, that my father would get better. I hate seeing my mom sad and I’m so scared of losing him forever. I don’t know what’s wrong but I wish for it to be fixed. I wish for his health, I looked around our tiny kitchen while my puppy Suzie circled my feet, whimpering. Dad attempted a smile, though he never quite got all the way there. I knew he was equal parts happy for the birth of a new year, and then sad that I was getting older. I was terrified of him getting older, of getting sicker. There couldn’t be any better gift than his health, even if I was going off to college. I wished for him to find his peace, so my mom could rest. I wish for his happiness so I wouldn’t feel so guilty leaving.

Until he did fully recover and turn back into that jovial man I adored growing up. The only downside was now I wanted to leave. I needed to leave.

I wish that once I graduate, I’ll be able to make it in New York City. I wish to be a writer, to live in the city. I wish to leave Mr. Idea behind and find someone else. I wish for it all: my city, my job, my man, I looked up and greeted Mr. Idea’s stare, noting the deep wrinkle in between his eyes. Those eyes that just weren’t as doting as I wanted them to be. I was finally 21! Now, I can drink and be cool, sophisticated and employed. I have to move to New York – it isn’t even a wish as much as it is a demand. It can’t be wishful thinking, but positive thinking! If I can believe it, I can do it. I wish to be a New Yorker. I wish to write. I wish to come into my own.

Until of course, I do live in New York. I am a writer, or actually, an editor. I did ditch Mr. Idea and I did find something else that I may very well ditch, too. I’m not a princess but I feel royally blessed. I don’t desire to be on television but you may see me from time-to-time in an unintentional cameo, especially when my wonderful job gives me the opportunity to meet Sarah Jessica Parker. I’ve been able to move past guys who don’t do as they say they will, and I’ve found myself smitten with the life I’ve been lucky to lead.

So when all those wishes come true, when you have everything you ever wanted for this stage in your life, what do you wish for? When the pieces fit together, when you’re content and blissful, when all worked out in a more perfect way than you could ever wished – what’s a girl to do? What’s that birthday candle for?

What do I think when I close my eyes as my friends say: “Make a wish Linds!! Blow out those candles, girl! Get em!

This year, it’s for you. For all of you who have read this blog for the past year. Who have been supportive and dedicated, consistently giving feedback and advice when I needed it the most. For my birthday on this special day, I wish that all of your dreams come true just like mine have.

And most of all, I wish you all love. The kind of love that starts and ends from within. It’s the kind of love that makes you realize you don’t need all those wishes after all. They aren’t what got you here – it’s you. It’s all that love that makes you believe in the magic that is you.

Naked, Nosy, and Never Been Happier

I’ll admit I’m a jealous person.

Obviously, since I admitted to stalking Facebook profiles for wedding, engagement, and baby pictures, I have a little bit of envy in me. I can’t even being to estimate how many times in a day I desire something I don’t have –when I see a trendy couple walking, leaning on each other in the subway, a man kissing his pregnant wife’s forehead in the rain.

Most of the time, especially now, I’m able to deal with these resentful feelings –soothe myself, close my eyes, and say a little prayer for things I hope will come.

Imagine my delight yesterday when I found myself not jealous, not envious, not sickened, not insanely mad –but happy about being single.

Tonight my company is hosting the NYC Small Business Awards and because I’m a procrastinator (not usually, but lately), I waited until yesterday to buy my cocktail dress for it. With a lovely birthday card from my friend A, I set out to Forever 21 on my lunch hour yesterday to find something stunning. I figure, it’s a great excuse to buy a new dress considering I’ll be around 500 business owners –right?

I scour the three floors of wonder that is Forever 21 and with an armful of dresses and make my way to the fitting room. As I’m struggling to figure out what my size is because my new workout regimen has made me somewhere between a small and medium –I overhear a conversation.

Its two girls in the rooms next to me laughing, chit-chatting, and they seem to be catching each other up on their lives. At this point, I’m struggling to get a belted blue dress over my head that’s in two pieces and incredibly difficult to maneuver, and sighing because I’m a tad bit bloated, and PMS is breaking me out something fierce. As I’m starting to get frustrated, I hear one of the girls say, “Oh my God! I loooooveee this dress. Do you love this dress?” to which the other replies, “Oh girl, you look so sexy. Chris is totally going to love that. He’ll rip it off of you.”

I giggle to myself and think about my friends who would say that to me (practically all of them) and I take it that Chris is this gal’s boyfriend. She laughs and then her ringtone “California Girls” by Katy Perry goes off and she says, “Oh my God! He must have read our minds, he’s calling!” I’m still weeding through my outfits as she greets Chris with “Hey baby!” and continues with her conversation.

I stop listening for a while until I hear “Baby, I thought we talked about this…*sigh*….but I said this weekend that…well, I know….but we talked about this…Chris!…will you just let me talk?…you’re being ridiculous….I told you she was going to be in town.

Of course, because I’m being incredibly nosy, I stop trying on clothes, stand there in my panties and bra and over-the-knee boots and just listen.

Chris, she’s in town this week only. We can hang out this weekend, can’t we?…Why do you  need to see me?…I thought we had this conversation…No! I’m not breaking my plans…No, I’m not…what was that? Say that again….Really?…You’re doing that? For me?…Okay. Aw, Chris. Let me talk to her…yeah…I love you too…I know baby…yeah, I know baby…I’m sure she won’t mind…No she won’t mind…Yes, I’m sure…I love you too. Bye baby.”

Now, I’ve decided that she gave into his pleas to see him, even though, I’m guessing, her friend is visiting from out of town.

“Hey, do you mind if I see Chris a little bit tonight? I mean, I’ll just go over to his apartment and you can stay in my apartment and check your email or watch TV or whatever. He just really needs to see me. You know how he is –just needs me. It’s like that when you’re in love.

I couldn’t see her friend’s expression, but if it were me, I would have rolled my eyes, dropped my jaw, and called her out on giving-in even though I was visiting and was promised girl’s-only time.

“Yeah, I mean I guess that’s alright. But weren’t we going to go to the village tonight? I’ve never been there before, ya know,” her friend replied.

“God, I know. The village isn’t that great anyways. He’s just so persistent. You’ll understand one day when you meet The One.”

Now, I’m fully dressed and fully pissed at this girl for being so rude to her friend. It took every fiber in my being to not talk to the other friend and say, “It’s okay to be single! It’s empowering to be single! You’d rather be single than have a lame boyfriend who begs you to break plans with your friends because they ‘need’ you! How pathetic is that? You want to go get coffee with me in the village tonight and we’ll bitch?”

Not everyone who is in a relationship becomes obsessed with and powerless to their boyfriends. I’ve definitely been in relationships that have taken over my entire life and I know how easy it is to get wrapped up when you’re head over Jimmy Choos. I get it, I really do. But regardless –it’s never right to do that to a friend. Especially an out-of-town friend.

The best part of this story, though? I wasn’t jealous of her relationship and I wasn’t envious of any relationships the rest of the day. From the outside –on the train, streets, and cafes –all relationships look beautiful and loving. But when you get down to it –they are messy and uneven and sometimes involve pleading annoying men.

As I walked out of Forever 21, I thought: “Thank God I’m not in a relationship like that. If I was with a clingy guy I’d have to cut him lose. Already did that. Been there, done that. Wow, I’m so glad I’m single. I can do literally anything I want today, this week or this weekend. I think I’m going to buy some shoes. Or maybe that rain jacket…ohhh he was cute! Who is that? Maybe he’ll be at the Small Business Awards!”