PAST MEETS PRESENT

Sometimes people from our past end up crossing our path again. Before we unlock the door to future possibilities, we can’t forget why we locked it in the first place.

It seemed different this time around. The issues that once plagued our “relationship” seemed to have resolved with time. A part of me knew it wasn’t going to work and if I’m honest with myself, I don’t think I really cared.

Isn’t it funny how you can be so removed from someone, but as soon as they let you down, a trigger is pulled? Maybe I never really opened up to him, or gave it an actual shot, because in my heart, I knew it never would be. And that’s not because of him, but because of me. Because I didn’t want us in the end, not the way we had become.

When you play with fire, you might just get burned. So why let an old flame seek redemption? I suppose there was unfinished business to take care of. There was the curiosity of whether or not time could heal old wounds. There was the hope of who this person could have become.

That’s problem. When you let an illusion dictate your actions, you lose sight of reality. In all fairness, this individual has a good heart, but unfortunately he doesn’t know how to share it. He’s so wrapped up in work that I sometimes wonder if he will ever look back and realize he missed out on so many other things along the way.

Learning how to prioritize and design a life that works for you is challenging, no doubt. Just ask all of the friends and family that have witnessed my many breakdowns over the past few months. That said, you don’t stop trying.

Amongst the many reasons why this man and I will never work out is that somewhere along the way, he forgot that though work will be waiting for you when you wake up and go to sleep and in the middle of the night when you can’t sleep (if you’re lucky enough to even be able to sleep when there is so much to be done) that alone it’s worth nothing.

Yo, I’m single and to be honest, I love it. I love it because none of my suitors thus far have been right and most haven’t been worthy of my time. That said, I have prioritized my career over the past year and for the time being will continue to do so.

I think the difference between this fellow and myself is that instead of being honest with himself and me, he genuinely tried to do better. I think you can teach an old dog new tricks, but patterns are hard to break without true self awareness and a genuine relentless desire to change.

I suppose the weirdest part about all of this is that I actually feel good about confronting him and letting him go for good. Sometimes you have to reel something in only to throw it back out. The interesting part is that I feel whatever unfinished business we had was finally taken care of.

What an amazing feeling to know that sometimes things simply don’t work out and that an idea is just an idea even if it is about someone.

My protective friends would say he’s an ass in efforts to comfort me, but it’s really not about him, or me. Sure, he’s immature, but what do I care?

At the end of the day, sometimes the shoe just doesn’t fit. You can fight the universe and your gut to try to force it, or you can ride with the tide knowing that all that is meant to be works out and all that isn’t slips away.

For me, I choose the latter. There is no reason to wallow and lick old wounds when there is a whole big world out there with open arms.

I suppose my biggest learning lesson here is to honor my feelings, trust my gut, and continue to devote the limited energy I have into the right people.

There are seasons where your career will win. It will be all consuming and you might feel like you don’t have the capacity to even talk to another human by the end of the day and that’s ok. Seasons come and go, but if you find that you’re stuck in an never ending drought, it might be time to reconsider. Because having the right someone to weather the storm with is actually kind of nice.

I suppose the whole point of dating is trial and error, so you can learn more about yourself. And truth is you don’t have to worry about any of these asshats. When the right person enters your life, you’ll know. Knowing that and truly believing that makes letting go all that isn’t right, so much easier.

So many people get caught up on why things couldn’t work out with someone they weren’t even crazy about to begin with. Let bygones be bygones and go where you’re celebrated.

There is no time in the present to waste on someone who was never really yours anyway.

YOU CAN HAVE IT ALL, BUT NOT ALL AT ONCE

Harvey Weinstein and Matt Lauer give me hope that our country is moving in the right direction. As a personal victim of work place harassment, I can tell you that it not only impacts the individual on an emotional and mental level, it also has a ripple effect on their career. We’re taught not to speak up about things because if we do it’s somehow a poor reflection on us. It doesn’t matter if your company stands by you and fires the ahole… the victim is left with the aftermath. You’re forced to be silent and not talk about the situation (especially if it’s one that was handled discretely).

In my experience, my company at the time did everything possible to make up for the horrible months I endured while working under this individual. That said, when they fired him, they didn’t let employees know why. He was incredibly senior and I was in a position where I worked with essentially everyone in my department as well as everyone within the C-Suite.

People didn’t know why he was let go and constantly went to me for clarity. I had to act like I didn’t know and act like I was ok. I wasn’t and because of this I threw myself into a new another opportunity. I was desperate to start over and put this situation behind me and unfortunately my desperation led me to an even more devastating role where I was bullied and mistreated to the point of spending day after day crying in the bathroom stall.

One poor position after another spun me into a downward spiral of what should have been my career progression.

I’ve been wanting to blog about this, but I’ve been so afraid of the red tape that would potentially be associated with my name. So, years later I’m still paying for this jerk’s abuse of power. Paying by having to make up reasons for my sporadic resume and seemingly impulsive career moves.

My hope that eventually more people will speak out and our society will reach a place where when we talk through our resumes, where we can be honest and finally stop hiding and feeling punished for what happened to us.

Until then, I don’t define myself as a victim anymore. What happened was tragic and horrible and very devastating; however, I believe that life is messy and we can turn tragedy into beauty. I needed time to wallow and heal and build myself back up again, but now years later, I am stronger than ever and far less intimidated.

I encourage all of you to stand up for yourself and never let anyone scare you. I never reported the abuse I was enduring, but I had guardian angels looking out for me and because of them the universe got rid of him. I wish I could go back to that place with the knowledge that being nice doesn’t mean you tolerate inappropriate behavior. I wish I would have known that I was more important than anything he could have ever done to me. I wish I would have known I was worth more.

At least I know now. I’ve been through so much and maybe it was all necessary to learn that I am worth so much more than that and to find the voice I lost around fifteen. I hope that you’ll find your voice if you’ve lost it and know that you’re not alone.

I think we all have a choice when life hands us sour lemons, we can pucker up and cry about it, or we can keep going until we find a sweet one.

Sometimes life spins you out of control, but it is up to us to find ground again. In my next post, I’m going to share what I’m currently working on which is learning how to find balance without risking becoming a master of none. I believe that you can have it all, but not all at once. You have to make small consistent strides in your most valued environments in order to design a life you not only thrive in, but also enjoy.

Happy Anniversary, New York City

Today I had the pleasure of grabbing brunch with one of my dearest friends, Karen. Karen was visiting from Louisiana and headed back after our meal. Seeing Karen and catching up was so special and timely. This week is my 5 year anniversary of moving to the city.

Five years ago, I was going through one of the toughest times in my life. It was during that time that I had no one to rely on and no where to go. My sisters and mother were beyond encouraging and supportive, I wouldn't have made it through that period of my life without them.

Then the universe sent me Karen. I don't remember how Karen and I connected, but we bonded instantly. My ex had always tried to poison me against her, but she ended up being one of the people who saved my life. That whole period of my life is blurry. I would go to random parking lots and talk to Karen on the phone bawling my eyes out. She was my safe haven and support system when my entire world was upside down. She allowed me to be open and honest and never once judged me. She saw something in me that many people couldn't see and she pushed me to move to NYC.

The past five years have been filled with insane memories. Things you just can't make up. A shared bunk bed, underground casino, nightclub brunches and people who make you question everything about yourself. It's been good, bad and ugly. There are days I've sat on a park bench crying and others where I've danced my way home.

I've had my heart broken and sewn back together more than once. I've also broken a few hearts as well. I've rocked short hair, long hair and every color hair. I've read more books and watched more shows. I've predicted my future better than psychics and negotiated half decks for $10 bucks. I've found the best places for tacos and margaritas. I've entered into an open relationship with Manhattan and Montauk.

I've swiped right to the wrong people and left to potentially right people. I've given my business card out to a cutie on the subway. I've written my number in eyeliner on napkins. I've become family with most doormen in NYC. I've toasted on rooftops overlooking the most beautiful views of the city. I've gotten lost and then found. I've ridden every subway line in NYC. I've lived in 8 apartments and a hotel across Murray Hill, Upper East Side, Midtown, Lower East Side, Chelsea, Upper West Side and had a sharehouse in Montauk.

I've had (not including temp jobs) 6 jobs throughout my time here. Some were absolutely wrong for me, but taught me all I know today.

Variety Is The Spice Of Life
If I hadn't catered, interned for a shoe designer, or worked at a million other places, I wouldn't be who I am today. I've learned that it's ok to hop around and find out what you like and what you don't like. I've learned that if you really enjoy something, you will be more successful. The only person you owe something to is yourself. Life is too short to be showing up to a place that doesn't value you, or see your potential.

Haters Gonna Hate
If I had listened to all of the people who told me I would never make it, I would've never made it. I was told I shouldn't even go to college. That I should work in a mall, because I love clothes. I was told I would come back with my pockets empty with copious amounts of debt and regret. Every job I left cautioned me against what the universe was moving me towards. People tried to make me afraid, but I let faith rule over fear.

The Universe Has You Boo
In 2012, the universe sent me Karen and 3 weeks later sent me to NYC. When you surrender to the possibilities life wants to open you up to, the universe shows up. Karen reminded me of times she was worried I wouldn't make it. There were so many times where I was beaten down by the man, homeless, broken up with, betrayed by friends, etc. There were times I thought I can't do this anymore. It's too hard to be supporting myself in this expensive city with no connections and no guarantor and no friends or job or love or hope. I'd let myself wallow, but eventually I got up again.

Get Back On The Horse
There were so many times that life just bucked me right out of the saddle. It felt like one day I'd be all trottin' along and the next I'm getting bucked off and stomped on. Regardless of how painful each lesson was I never questioned grabbing the reigns again.

Life Is Simple
We control our fate or we let our fate control us. Sometimes when you're at the lowest point possible the universe brings someone to pull you out of the hole. Karen did it for me and this weekend I saw strangers bond together to save a jumper in Nolita.

I was walking through the Broadway Lafayette stop when I saw people gathered around under a woman who was perched up on a beam. She wept so loudly as she shouted that no one cared about her. People below her talked to her and reassured her that she was cared for and loved. It was the most beautiful act of humanity I've seen in quite some time. I called the police and another person climbed across the beam to hold her and hug her. By the end of it, the police came and the woman rested her head on the stranger's shoulder.


As I celebrate my anniversary to my longest relationship yet, I'm filled with happiness and I'm proud. Nothing worth achieving is easy. I will be posting my plans over the next few weeks as I've spent this weekend evaluating what's next for me.

Thank you for reading and stay encouraged! The journey can be a lot, but it's always worth it.

Lazy Is NOT Sexy

I was in one of my favorite spin classes with my real life Ken doll instructor when he said something that hit me, “Lazy is NOT sexy”. Yes, we all know this, but something about hearing it out loud stuck with me. We want more money, abs, a rom-com romance, but do we really want to do the work? It’s easy to dream big and let wishful thinking take the wheel, but that’s like driving without a destination. You’re wasting time and fuel going nowhere.

Talk is cheap and without a planned road map, you’re gonna end up in the middle of nowhere having accomplished nothing but a burnout. Why do we stall planning? Why do we procrastinate? Personally, I do it out of fear. Sometimes it can be comforting to lean into complacency and hope that things will change and work out without you having to do anything. I do this and then I wonder why I haven’t lost a million pounds, or written a book.

The truth is we are the only things standing in our own way. We limit ourselves without even realizing it. Deep rooted beliefs can be transformed; we can rewrite our narrative and become someone new. I hate when people come to me with a problem and not a solution. If you’re going to complain and not do anything to change your circumstances then expect your circumstances not to remain the same.

I used to be so proactive and while I’m accomplishing many of the things I set out to do, I’ve become a bit complacent. Complacency is comfortable. Sitting on the side lines of your life watching it pass by without playing an active role is EASY. Playing the victim is EASY. Getting outside of your comfort zone is SCARY, but it’s doable.

For me, having a routine and a schedule is absolutely necessary. My extreme zest for life aka ADD aka FOMO loves the fact that I can wake up and book a last minute class, schedule a brunch, go to a gala… all on a whim, but when I live this way, I’m holding myself back from major success. Sure, scoring last minute front row VIP tickets to X,Y,Z is something I would not only welcome, but definitely pursue; however, it should be more of the exception and less of the norm.

There is so much I want to see and do that I tend to do it all until I’m completely depleted. I run and run and run until my gas is on E and I end up wearing my clothes inside out (symbolic of my life at times). The thought of structure kind of grosses me out and makes me want to hit snooze all at the same time. Meal prep? A calendar? Planned workouts, set days for laundry…. Dude, gag me. I hate it. It bores me, but it’s what I need and when I think of the ROI it’s massive. The few minutes it takes to actually plan out a week is invaluable.

The next piece is committing to your plan. It’s easier to achieve commitment if you have a plan in place and defined goals and purpose behind your decisions. WOOF. I used to be so overwhelmed by the thought of making long-term and short-term goals. This caused me to be very impulsive and blame others when the universe didn’t go my way.

We can't sit around and let life happen to us because we're too afraid to take the reigns and make the changes we truly desire. Relying on chance, or hope is a waste of time. Instead we should create a life that achieves of our deepest desires by proactively planning and setting ourselves up for success.

You don't wake up and run a marathon, preparation is key. As soon as we actively set our intentions and define our dreams the universe will guide us, so long as we are making effort. The decision to change is the hardest part. As soon as you decide, the execution becomes easier. As soon as you've figured out what you want the universe will see to it that you get it. You just have to truly want the change with every ounce of your being.

As I reflect on 2017, I feel extremely optimistic and excited for the future! As I discover what’s next for me, I will be sharing tips and tricks and lessons I learn along the way. I will be consuming my time with a new routine and reporting back to this blog to stay accountable. I’m on a journey to be in the best mental, physical and spiritual place I’ve ever been and I hope you’ll join me.

Let’s carpe the diem together <3.

 

Xx

Avoidance

Yikes! Avoidance, I know it all too well. The funny thing about it is that sometimes you can't simply connect the dots on why you're avoiding something, or what at your core you're actually avoiding. Sometimes it just hits you like a sack of bricks and you're like… f&$@.

Yesterday it dawned on me that I had been avoiding something major in my life. I made excuses, I procrastinated, I blamed others and even got angry with others until I realized this was my beast of burden.

For me, I had lived in a delusional state thinking that if I ignored the problem long enough it would go away, it didn't. Instead, it grew bigger and bigger until I felt consumed by it and trapped. I felt overwhelmed and scared.

Last night, I talked to my best friend about this issue and she was so incredibly supportive. Sometimes just saying something out loud gives it less power. Sharing something with someone and asking for help made me feel more in control.

Apart from her listening and not judging me, she helped me think of next steps. This is what love is. For the first time, I felt cared for in a way that I hadn't in a very long time. My anxiety eased and I felt at peace with the universe.

I woke up today and a new day presented itself. A brand new chance to start over and to chip away at my now less intimidating monster. So, I started the day with a new workout class, Bari Bounce Lab. I entered the studio to open arms by one of my best friends who hugged me and loved me. I then got out of my comfort zone and bounced my heart out on a mini trampoline to amazing music and a bomb instructor.

When I walked out of the studio I felt an insane amount of gratitude. We get so caught up in the day to day. So caught up in avoiding the things we should be prioritizing that we forget to give thanks. Life is nothing without relationships.

The issue I had been avoiding made me feel alone. Today, as I walked out of the studio I realized just how far from alone I am.

I have best friends who are family who provide advice and help in times of need. I have mentors who advise me and deeply care about my professional success and personal development. I have trainers who fill me with inspiration and make me stronger each class. I have colleagues who hold me accountable and push me to be my best by stretching me. I have wonderful doormen and staff at my apartment building who keep me safe and listen to my stories. And biological family. The list goes on…

I owe it to myself and to the people who keep me going to embrace my challenges with a positive attitude. I don't believe in looking back, but every now and then it's nice to reflect on accomplishments. They can remind you of your strength and ability to crush any roadblock that comes your way.

So, I encourage you while encouraging myself to abandon avoidance and take back control. I tend to want immediate results and I'm learning that life is about consistency. You have to try and try and try until you see change. Nothing worth having/accomplishing comes easy anyway.

Xx.

Go Where You Are Celebrated

Wow! It feels exciting and scary to be blogging again. I started Big Apple Little Seed years ago to share my New York experiences with friends, family and the worldwide web. I was very consistent and found so much joy in writing. I stopped blogging and picked up other pastimes, some good and some bad. For years, I wrestled with the decision of whether or not to blog again. I started a personal website, but it felt way too formal. I started blogging about my dating life, but I didn’t feel inspired.

It wasn’t until today that I felt inspired and clear on what I wanted to do next. I owe my clarity and inspiration to my friends and family. This past week, I was going through a lot and my friends and family showed up. Last night, my girlfriends and I got dressed up, pranced around the city, danced on stage at Public, made new friends, and laughed until we quite literally cried.

Last night, I injured myself. I was walking up the steps of Public’s stage and checking someone out simultaneously and the universe wasn’t having it. I busted my ass. I woke up with a foot the size of my face and have had to spend the day rotating frozen Brussel sprouts from my knee to my ankle. I don’t do very well with down time. I like to keep moving and going and accomplishing something. So, being a lard all day has felt a bit out of my comfort zone. That said, it’s led me to major realizations.

Throughout my day, my friends and family called and texted me. They offered to help me, to bring me things, to take me to the doctor. They reminded me that they love me and they made me smile. So tonight, I want to honor these lovely humans and share what having solid female friendships has done for me personally and how these women have changed my life.

If you know me, you know that I’ve been through some really awful experiences. Who hasn’t? We all have obstacles and pain that we can use to propel us, or bring us down. I’ve been betrayed time and time again by some of the people I’ve loved in my life. This betrayal was across various relationships, but tonight, I want to focus on the impact female friend betrayal has had on me.

I tend to greet everyone with open arms. This means that when I meet someone, I assume the best until they’ve proven otherwise. I’ve gotten myself in trouble from assuming that everyone deserves your trust and loyalty before they’ve earned it. I’ve learned the hard way that everyone has the capacity to betray your trust and you have to be careful about opening up to people before you know their true colors.

I’ve been burned throughout my life by those whom I considered family. Due to this, I unknowingly lived life thinking that if I allowed females to get close to me, they would stab me in the back. I’ve always been incredibly independent, so I began relying on myself even more through hard times. I got tired of surface friendships and surrounding myself with people I had to censor myself with. I lost interest in surrounding myself with those who made me feel bad about myself, those who constantly made me feel like I was doing something wrong, with those who didn’t make me feel inspired.

2016 was one of hardest years I’ve ever had. It was lonely. There were the friends I still carry today, but I was working through things and changes and my life holistically was in Β a transitional state. Carrie Bradshaw nailed it when she said in New York City, you’re always looking for an apartment, job, or boyfriend. If everything in your life is perfectly aligned, you’re a walking miracle.

2017 has shown me the beauty and power in strong, positive and inspiring female friends. At the beginning of this year, one of my best friends told me that you have to build your group and know that these people will have your back no matter what. That you could rob a 711 (do not advise this) show up on their doorstep and they would take you in without judgement. These are the friends who tell you to put the ICEE down, return to the store and help you make amends/ develop an action plan for next steps.

This example sounds silly, but it totally resonated with me. When you surround yourself with people who love you no matter what, who have your back and who want you to be the best version of yourself, you grow. This year, I’ve found my squad. They consist of career-driven women, fitness fanatics, foodies, world travelers, fashionistas, philanthropists, volunteers, adventurers, dancers, artists, health nuts, and everything in between.

These women bring so much to my life and have made it a life worth fighting for. We keep in touch via FaceTime, phone calls, texting, or if I’m lucky in-person. I cherish every second with my soulmates and I’m so thankful that the universe brought me my angels. Find people who celebrate you and never let them go.