if you could see the disparate thoughts that run through me every day, the scattered drafts i have littered in evernote, the things i never know how to say, the times i’m afraid i’m repeating myself.

the internet is an echo chamber. it’s awash in perfectly lit food photos, girls’ hands in cable knit globes wrapped around a mug of tea (i wanna be that girl too, i won’t lie to you), vacations, weddings, babies, perfect scenes and stories, food reviews, beauty reviews, parent talk, a series of “look at my perfectly curated life but i’ll punctuate it with one post where i tell you my life is messy and here’s why, but just that one”. there’s just so MUCH. there is so much muchness. do you know what i mean?

i made this huge change so i could build a life i wanted, and i’m not doing a great job. i’ve got a bad, lifelong habit of believing in the magic answer, the one thing that will make all of the puzzle pieces rain from the sky in exactly the right position and assemble themselves flawlessly in front of me. no, this isn’t how it works. i know. so i’m trying. here i am with this window open and everything else shut down and it’s trying. i’ll get up and do a plank on the floor for 30 seconds, 40, 45, maybe a minute one day and that is also trying. and it’s funny, now that i reread those sentences, and what i meant to say is that it is my effort, but the structure and the language, it also means that it’s hard. and it is hard. i suppose i made a pun.

you couldn’t imagine how often i want to wear a banner, to scream to the world my apologies and my rage that when i try it feels so fucking SMALL. to say i’m sorry but to spit on you for making me feel like i have to.

i won’t end this with some proclamation that because i’ve gotten this out, i can move on to other things, because there’s a good chance that would be a lie. this isn’t the first version of this post that’s appeared here or anywhere else, it’s just a reformulation and others have spun it much more eloquently than i will. but it’s the truth. let’s just go for the truth.

i was skinny for six months.

this isn’t the post i intended to write, after a three month absence, but it’s the post that’s happened

i say sometimes, “i was skinny for six months. i also wanted to throw myself off of the george washington bridge, so…” and i trail off and mumble something about depression. it’s comfortable because it’s a lie; it’s a lie all around. i’m 5’1″ on a good day and i was a size six, so i wasn’t skinny, i was passably average. and i didn’t consider throwing myself off a bridge, exactly. i did frequently wonder if i could muster up the nerve to step in front of traffic. i sobbed, hard, whenever i tried and failed to explain how and why i wasn’t alright. i made therapy appointments wherein i explained my symptoms, including weight loss, and quickly followed with, “no, i don’t need to gain it back. that’s the one good thing that’s come out of this.” most importantly, i lost my appetite, i easily cut my consumption in half if not more, and i was smaller than i’d ever been. it was a small light shining in a great darkness.

i got out of darkness and i went back to where i’d started and then some, size wise. sometimes, i’ve wished to trade it back. i’ll take the misery, just make it easier to buy clothes. make me not ashamed to exist outside of my four walls. make me not cry every time I’m getting ready to go out for a night and i can’t stand myself. i’ll take it back, just make me smaller.

what i’m getting at, the lede that i suppose i’ve buried, is that it feels like i’m not allowed to talk about it because i never achieved the goal. i read about women who battled eating disorders in high school, college, and my every sympathy is with them. then they say, “and then everything evened out and i’m (insert small size here) now.” 2, 4, 6. then an invisible wall goes up, because even though we came from the same struggle, i am now The Other. i am The Nightmare, i am The Cautionary Tale. i am What Could Have Been, but thank god is not.

i never hear, “i’ve fought this my whole life and my body will not naturally sit at the place you consider normal,” so i’m telling you, that’s what i am. i fought the same battles and because of my damage i don’t know any other way to put it besides that you won and I lost. those who preach, you must realize by now, are their own intended subjects. i don’t know if it is because i fucked up my body well and good when i was younger, i don’t know why i am this way, but i am. this is what i am, this is the shell that houses me.

i make the subtle self deprecating jokes in public settings because it’s safest that way, because i have to make sure everyone knows i don’t think too highly of myself. there’s a lot of intersectionality there between weight and womanhood but i don’t have the energy to dive deeply into it. i’ve learned to do it in the way that doesn’t make everyone think you’re begging for their compliments or asking for contradiction, but in a small enough way that says, “i know my place.” i do this not because i believe in my heart that i should, but because it seems like my responsibility to culture as a whole. if i were a braver woman i’d refuse, and there are days i do, but they’re not often enough.

this is not a topic i can tie up in a neat little bow. it’s deep and complicated and the history is heavy and it is woven through my every single day, and this is just how i feel about it right now. it’s not an easy fight. i suppose nothing is.

notes from a weekend.

outside is lovely, and a key element to sanity. a long walk on the first mild day in memory does your soul wonders. breathe deeply. practically feel the vitamin d synthesizing in your bones. appreciate.

Prospect Park, Brooklyn

it is good to recapture a sense of carefree abandon, to let your constant stresses relax away for a few hours. you’ll feel remarkably lighter. and everything will get done, in due time.

Me - a selfie in the park

drinking wine and playing games with good friends never ever gets old. it’s rejuvenating.

a guest lesson from Kim: do not let the fear of the picture not being original stop you from taking it. you are building proficiency. capture what inspires you.

Subway Tracks, Brooklyn

writing with a pen and paper is inherently different from writing online. you never know what will emerge and escape. you will breathe easier once it comes out.

every night is nicer when you fill your room with candlelight. or even, like in times long past, with the smoke of incense.

Villa Bergamot Candle

gray december.

written during a very quiet december weekday when i happened to be home alone. 

almost four pm and it’s silent, except for the sound of the cars, the sound of the occasional hardy bird, and the sound of my fingers clicking and making words. i’ve got tea and warm light at my desk. it’s the last day before i leave my hermit-nest to go back to my real world, which involves commutes and offices and clothes that are not yoga pants. it’s been peaceful and calm and restful and actually rejuvenating. this is rare, for me.

left to my own devices i become highly nocturnal – i have always been this way, despite my mother’s hopes otherwise. give me two or three days off and i’m up til three or four am researching, planning, doing, shining. so i don’t get up until late morning and i don’t hit my stride until late afternoon and it is just about now when i decide to breathe.

i may have talked about it before, but there is something about winterlight that pierces me right through. in my world fall is a buildup, spring is a coming down, and winter, when these days are short and their light is thin and the shadows are everywhere, this is my peak. it is the way the world looks, filtered, that makes the most sense. the sharpness of the air and the silencing of snow are bonuses – it is the light that draws me in, every time, and puts me right at home.

peace. peace is a thing i’m thinking long and hard about these days, what it means, how i go about getting some. how i let go of all of the things standing in the way. how, a long, long time ago i explained that i never wanted happiness but i did want peace. and it’s not at all a natural thing for me – typically, i am a roiling and full person, i am overflowing, i am gigantic in my feelings and my words and my actions, but that spans both sides of the spectrum, from my joys to my sadnesses. and sometimes, i know i have to figure out how to tone it down, because it wears a girl out, and i wear out quickly.

al fresco.

the actress and i were sitting in front of a wide open bar window on a friday night. i was sipping a house made sangria, she had a glass of whiskey.

i look inside of houses all the time. i am fascinated, that every window contains another life with the same kind of heartbeat, breath, troubles and joys that i have too. there’s a word for it, i’ve learned recently: sonder. it’s overwhelming, in the city, to see giant crowds of people and know all of the same have the same little self obsessed universe that i do. it’s all so large, when you really think about it. it makes me anxious sometimes, walking down broadway every night, glancing up at the empire state building, pushing through crowds.

in any case, i like looking in the windows of strangers. it’s voyeurism, but of the curious kind, not the creepy kind. Also, i like to see furniture. on the third floor of a nondescript building someone leaned out and surveyed the street below – i could only see him in shadow, he was lit from behind. and i invented, as we all do, a little story for him in my head, of how he was taking a break from getting ready for a night out. how he was looking up and down the street before putting on his button down and joining the rest of the bros in the lower east side to do shots until way too late and try to bring home a girl in a bandage dress and nude pumps.

i understand what people chase in new york. or at least, part of it. i tried, too. i was never thin enough or pretty enough or had the right clothes or enough craziness to let go the way you need to to give over to night, here, but i tried. when i realized it wouldn’t be mine, i just wasn’t the right kind, i walked away and found other things. i had an intense amount of fun, but i never really fit. and i’m still trying to figure out, always, where i belong.

the man leaning out of the window reminded me that you don’t get time back. i’ll never have the time back where i am new to the real world and stomping glittering streets until four am. i’ll never have college with stone buildings and sense of crisp academia and finals and the ability to make learning a foundation of my world. i’ll never have youth, though i really never felt i did.

you can’t go back, not ever.


when the vacuum fills.

we get greedy. there are good things in front of us and still, all we can see is more, what else, how much more could i have. it doesn’t matter, not quite, if you’re satisfied where you are because we deserve more than satisfaction, we deserve fireworks, we deserve every moment to be a sparkleburst of unadulterated joy. we’re told we’re complacent.

me, i don’t have answers. but you step back and you look at what’s around you and you put the brakes on, and you say, absorb this.

we all exist on the same push pull continuum, in and out, every breath, every day, every commute, every sleep. we exist in cycles, rhythms, circadian and otherwise. we exist in joy and despair, dark and light, everywhere in between. and lest you think the spectrum just goes left to right, no, it does not, it is three dimensions or even four if you’re calculating it right.

they say light is the absence of dark but it’s more than that, i know now. i know about middle ground and i know about real nothingness, what the vacuum feels like. and i know when it fills. it makes you more grateful, it really does.

i’m glad for summer, for sun, even for oppressive levels of humidity. i am glad for love, and work. i am glad for paint colors and couches, for insight, for people i call my own that make me smile.

i’m glad for so much.


it’s in lists that i find myself, lately, it’s there that i feel safe, and venturing beyond the very safe, the stuff of the everyday, well, there’s the challenge.

i know i’ve been detached, i know i’ve been behind a veil, i know i lost something and i never figured out what to do with the voids that were left behind and maybe i didn’t do the best job of filling them, but do we ever? i know i’ve had the thoughts that are supposed to make you worry. i know i’ve been hopeless, but i’ve also been hopeful.

in little moments, i get it. i get it, deeply. while i’m scrolling through a year’s worth of direct messages on twitter to find something, i realize how many people have expressed care for me. when a saturday comes together so perfectly, better than i ever could have planned, i realize i am loved and i am lucky. i had a whole emotional revolution in a span of fifteen minutes, so clearly that i felt, really, physically felt, my heart being pulled through a time tunnel. i felt it advancing and i marvelled at how it extended through all my nerves. i realized then that all is not lost, not for all of my tears, not for all of the days i can only resort to anger or silence or sadness.

there is always a pinpoint of hope. i don’t always see it.

if this isn’t nice, alana taught me.

i don’t know if i’m really okay. i stood outside a week or so ago and i explained that a certain percentage of the time i really am ok and a certain percentage i’m not, but it is a scale, of not being okay. sometimes i’m just a little removed. sometimes i’m an incapacitated mess. usually, it’s somewhere in between. and you know, i can handle it. i’ve learned to handle myself. i think of all the things that it’s important to do in life, this is pretty far up the list.

nothing is perfect and everything changes. nothing is perfect and everything, every single little thing, it changes. we learn lessons and we grieve and we celebrate and there is a whole plethora of things we do that are really pretty universal to humanity – we are not very different from each other. we are all warmed by the sun and we shiver under moonlight. we all want to be loved. we all want to be liked. we all struggle, we all fail, we all succeed, at something.

i am no different.