Just fucking write.

So, in the last couple of weeks I’ve sucked at blogging. Things have been busy and I started a new job that’s amazing and came to me in a totally roundabout way and it’s great. I’ve also started to not like Tumblr. None of my friends actually write on theirs anymore, so I don’t like scrolling through my feed. But I never actually sit down at my laptop to actually fucking write either.

And I’m a little bit annoyed about it. With myself for not just writing. So, I thought I’d post a list of the blogs that are not on Tumblr that I read on an almost daily basis:

Laurie Ruettiman – Love this chick. She’s an HR pro-turned-pro HR writer. She’s a really cool person IRL (or at least on Slack) and she’s a badass. And she has, like, 5 cats. So, she’s basically living my dream life. 

H(OM)E – The lifestyle/yoga/food/whatever blog that my yoga teacher Chrissy writes. She just re-designed her entire site and it’s awesome. And she’s awesome. If you like food or yoga or just good writing, it’s a good place to be. 

Inspiralized – I love my Inspiralizer and I love reading Ali’s daily blog posts about recipes, and eating healthy in general. I also like her lifestyle blog a lot, too. 

The Balanced Blonde – Written by Jordan Younger, who used to be The Blonde Vegan, is super cool. She recently finished up her 500 hours with YogaWorks in California and she’s an awesome, verbose writer. She’s teaching at PureYoga one day in April and I have my ticket ready to go. Super psyched. 

Diary of a Yoga Teacher Trainee – I actually happened upon this lady in the comments section of the above blog. She’s going through the same intensive training at YogaWorks that I went through, although with a different teacher. She’s from England and she’s a great writer. 

Ramshackle Glam – I’ve been reading Jordan Reid’s blog since she started in 2009. I love some of her stuff and some of it not so much (style posts?! Nahhhh).  

Melanie Murphy – I follow ONE YouTuber in the entire world and it’s this lady. Does that count as a blog? It’s a vlog, so YES. I have no idea how I found her channel but she’s hilarious and insightful and lives in Ireland. I’m a fan. 

That’s about it. That’s most of what takes up my time. I can’t be bothered with Facebook anymore as everyone is running around, screaming like deranged child on it about how the world is ending, and nobody got time for that. I’m also really contemplating hiring help to switch my blog over to WordPress to get off Tumblr because that’s what all the cool kids are doing these days. Thoughts? 

Is there an awesome blog that I’m not reading? Let me know!

A Leap of Faith

Ever since I was surprised by a layoff in early November, I’d been contemplating doing a 200 hour yoga teacher training intensive with one of my favoriteeeee regular teachers (the inspiration Chrissy Carter!) for the month of January because it just so happened to be almost perfect timing. I just need a way, other than unemployment, to sustain myself until then. 

But then I’d been woo’ed by a recruiter to take a temp HR Generalist position at a tech start-up. The pay was pretty low, but it looked like a cool company, so I said I’d do it. The recruiter also said it had potential to be permanent and as soon as I saw the office and they gave me a bag of swag, I was like, “OMG I’M STAYING FOREVER,” and my yoga teacher training dreams disappeared faster than the color from my cheeks from the 4 AVENUE WALK from the subway to the office that the temp job was in. 

After about two weeks, I started to get pretty miserable though. It became clear that this wasn’t becoming a permanent thing in addition to the pay being stupidly low, and despite my “boss” being a lovely person who I had things in common with (meditation! rose water spray! rolfing!), she arrived late every day (her own schedule, whatever!), spent most of the day in meetings, and couldn’t answer my questions as she didn’t know a whole lot about HR – she had been thrown into her role with no flotation advice just as I had been. She gave me projects to do with no instructions and she wasn’t there to answer questions.

As I sat at my desk last night, I realized I was miserable. I knew I didn’t want to stay and I definitely wanted to have another plan, which was a surprise to everyone, including myself. Ever since college, when I interned and/or went to classes during the day and worked selling merchandise at Broadway shows at nights and on weekends, in addition to volunteering to do other production related things, I looked forward to the day when I’d be able to have a “regular” 9-5 job after which I’d be able to have my life and see shows, do yoga, and whatever else I desired. 

But after the last couple of weeks, I started to kind of admit to myself that maybe that’s not what I want to do after all. Maybe, as much as it kills me to say it, a “regular” job isn’t what’s right for me. Or maybe I was just in the wrong field. But instead of trying yet another job, I decided to sign up for yoga teacher training. I input my credit card number, submitted my application, forwarded the confirmation to my yoga teacher, and left for the day after offboarding someone.

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I arrived, as previously scheduled, at my yoga studio that night for class with my teacher and when she arrived she gave me a hug and told me congratulations. Shortly after, I received a phone call from the recruiter telling me that my assignment was over because they’d hired a generalist. The universe had my back and things all synced up. I’d found a job for the interim weeks before training and now I was free from it. 

I’m really excited for the training. It’s a big step and it’s a big commitment, for sure, but it’s better than sitting around and taking another job that I might end up hating. All of the reasons that I didn’t think I should do it are still there (I don’t really want to be a yoga teacher, per se; I’m not flexible enough; I can’t even do a handstand!; It’s expensive!; My arms are short!; I’m not fit enough!) but they’re at least fading into the background now that I clicked the ‘confirm’ button.

If you’ve done 200 hour yoga teacher training before, I’d love to hear some tips and insights, if you have any. 

Come on, people.

My yoga teacher, Chrissy, said something incredibly sad at the end of class on Monday night. She was talking about using yoga as a way to really strip off our layers that we build up by living in the world. She added the addendum that hopefully when the layers are stripped away, hopefully you’ll simply be a nice person.

She added when class was over and we were putting away our props that she knows the holidays are hard for everyone. She told us she was checking out at JCREW earlier in the day and the woman at the desk said to her, “thank you for being nice to me!” So sad. Let’s get it the fuck together, folks. Yes, Trump won and a lot of people would like to sit around and mourn all day long for the next 4 years, but that’s pointless. 

That’s a reminder to everyone, and my impatient ass especially, to be extra nice to people you meet. Especially during the holidays. And especially to people who are working shit jobs dealing with disgruntled customers all day.

And: Retreat

I’d never gone on a yoga retreat before last weekend. I remember a few years ago I was debating on coming up to the same farm for a similar yoga retreat with one of my favorite teachers at the time and I decided that I couldn’t, or wouldn’t, spend the money. This time around I’m a little better off and it was pretty cheap as far as weekend yoga retreats go (they’re sometimes thousands of dollars???) so I signed up as I found out that one of my current favorite teachers, Chrissy Carter, was teaching up at a spot called Heathen Hill over the last weekend in the Catskills.

I’ve never been much of a nature person (the one time I tried camping I was bit by a deer tick and got limes disease) but I was willing to give this a shot because I wouldn’t necessarily have to be out in nature. I wouldn’t have to hike or go in a canoe. I could read and journal in between yoga classes and have that be that.

There’s also incredibly limited cell reception up there. You have to walk to the top of a hill about 8 minutes away to get, at best, spotty service. I was nervous about that but Justin was watching the catch for one night and then my mom wanted to hang out in the city, so she took over the second night. Still. No cell service?! AH.

I carpooled it up there with three lovely women – two of whom were yoga teachers themselves – and we had a fun time, despite getting lost in northern Jersey and the traffic heading up there that made us miss the Friday evening class. It was what it was. We were able to relax into our rooms and walk amongst the chickens instead.

The food was farm fresh, mostly vegan, but all at least was vegetarian. The only time we had meat was at brunch on Sunday. There was even cauliflower flatbread. We all freaked out over it. There were also the farm fresh snap peas and homemade dill dip which was to die for. And the homemade ice cream? And the homemade asian coleslaw? Dead. 

Chrissy kept talking reiterating during her dharma talks in class about creating space in our lives for stillness and that we all had space that weekend to do whatever we wanted. There was no internet or cell phone service, or work commitments that we had to take care of. We were here for self-care purposes. She talked about not having to rush from one thing to another because there was no place to be. We had permission to stop pretending to be busy. She said we could stop and truly find out what we needed at that moment, and maybe in our lives going forward.

She told us that one thing she wanted us to take away from this weekend was the ability to create that space for ourselves even when we were back in the city again with a million things to do when it seems like we have no time (from that bad habit we Americans have of having to make ourselves appear busy when we never really are). 

It was incredibly liberating to have nothing to do, as well as incredibly frustrating. I have all of this time and nothing to do.. oh my goodness. I could read, or write, or take a walk, or go hang out with my fellow yogis, or meditate, or try to pick up one of the chickens, or pet the owner’s cats. 

What did I end up doing? I read Elie Wiesle’s Night. I journaled a lot. I spent about 5 minutes down by the watering hole before deciding that the bugs were just not for me. I watched the sunrise on both days. I meditated. I met a lot of awesome people. I made s’mores by the campfire. I ate delicious food fresh from the farm, and I slept really well. I also drank some wine. 

I really felt like not talking during the weekend. I started wishing it was a silent retreat on the first day. I balanced out my alone time with the time that I spent with my fellow yogis. Also: no one talked about politics. Score.

There were several women – in their late 30′s and 40′s – who also wanted nothing to do with having kids. Oh, what’s that? You have a completely fulfilling life without having to devote it to raising human larve? You’re my heros. #vindication

I never did catch a chicken, but my new friends did place a chickens in my arms not just once, but twice. Those guys are so cute!

By the time Sunday brunch was finished, I was ready to head back to the city. Fresh and clear-minded this time. I’d had my fill of nature for now.

i’ll definitely do this again. I’m not sure when but sometime soon. 

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