A Vintage Nomad went nomadic…again. This time to the City that Never Sleeps; The City So Nice, They Named it Twice; The City of Lights; The Big Apple. That’s right, New York City.
I’ve only been here for two weeks and they’ve been eventful, to say the least. I arrived in the city after an eight hour train ride, with several suitcases in tow, to discover my apartment needed several urgent repairs. However, this was Friday at 5pm. I don’t need to explain any further.
After a long, hot, discouraging weekend, I spent the first week trying to get everything repaired, find the nearest grocery store, and take care of my newly developed blister on my heel. This was not in any movie I watched about New York City. I have watched them all. I never saw Meg Ryan limping down the street with blisters trying to find a 24-hour CVS. I never saw Cary Grant in An Affair to Remember walk by an exposed man. Maybe it was in the extended editions.
One month before, when I went apartment hunting I lucked out on a studio with a washer and dryer (a rarity by NCY standards). I didn’t think I would need a laundry bag, so I didn’t bother bringing one. Welcome day five: the washer doesn’t work. Dirty towels and clothes are piling up, no sign of a maintenance man, and I don’t own a laundry bag.
Duck tape is every southerner’s favorite go-to, second, to Hefty garbage bags. So, you guessed it, I walked (limped) down the streets of New York lugging a giant black Hefty garbage bag of my dirty clothes. The whole time hoping I didn’t run into Harrison Ford or James Spader.
Fast forward a few days and I now have clean, folded, and ironed clothes. My apartment is coming together quite nicely. Thank you Ikea and Wayfair. I’ve made friends with several neighborhood dogs. And I’ve mastered the subway. Now if I can make friends with the dog’s owners and find a favorite coffee shop, I’ll have the city conquered in no time.
There have been a lot of good things the past couple of weeks too. My mom went out to grab coffee one day and saw Pam from the Office, I’ve eaten my weight in excellent New York food, and got to go to the top of the Empire State Building.
To my dear readers may you too step out and follow your dreams, however, make sure you pack a few Hefty garbage bags. Will update soon.
“There are eight million stories in the naked city. This has been one of them.”
When I was a kid my mom and I moved to a house with a large backyard. We had always had a garden; however, I decided I would grow something new: asparagus. Excitedly, I got out our gardening books and got to work. I soon discovered it takes three years for asparagus to grow to maturity.
Three years? No, that wouldn’t work. We were only planning on living at that house for a year, why would I put all of the time and energy into lovingly and tenderly caring for something that I would never get to enjoy?
Eighteen years later I moved out of that house.
Eighteen years later I packed my car with my essentials and moved to another state. I could’ve had fifteen years of homegrown asparagus to enjoy if I had taken the time to try something new regardless of who would get to enjoy the fruit of my labor.
At this point, dear reader, you may be wondering, why am I writing about asparagus. Hang tight. I’m getting there. Lately, I have been feeling disconnected from people and places. Partly, because I may be making a major life change sometime this year and partly because, I have realized, I have a “temporary” mindset.
What do I mean by “temporary” mindset? I have always had trouble being content where I am, because I always knew I was moving on to somewhere else, eventually. If I was struggling making a friendship work, I would always think in the back of my mind, “I’ll only be here for a short time and after I move I probably won’t see you again anyway.” Or I would put off decorating my apartment exactly the way I wanted to because I would only be there a little longer. I didn’t plant the plants I wanted to or paint a second coat of paint to make it look better. All because I knew it was temporary.
As I am figuring out where I am going in life, I have realized that everything is temporary. People, places, and things. They are all going to be gone one day. So why not make the world around me a more beautiful, generous, and kind place while I am “temporarily” here? If people around me are being difficult or if a project seems messy I should still try.
I hope this post makes sense to you and that I am not just rambling about asparagus. Basically, I just don’t want to miss out on fifteen years of blessings…again. I want to fully embrace the world around me regardless of how difficult it is, in order to know I did my best to add order and beauty to the ugly messes of life.
So I encourage you to plant the asparagus in your life this week. Whatever it is you have been putting off because it is just “temporary.”
“You can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will.” – Stephen King
Goals usually give me a sense of dread. Although I love lists and a clear sense of where I am going, the word ‘goals’ used to make me feel as though I was lacking something. I felt as if I needed to do more, to accomplish more, or just to be more. I used to have 5 am runs, kale shakes, and eight glasses of water a day on my list, but let’s get real. I’m not a failure if I ate a doughnut and overslept: I AM HUMAN.
Goals are those things we accomplish in the awkward period between life and death. Although, the seconds are slipping away as you read this, there is still time to do what you want, to be what you want, and to go where you want.
I have found that goals are there to make sure I am living life to the fullest. If I accomplish my goals, then great and if I don’t then I can figure out what went wrong and do better next time. Goals are not there to make me feel inadequate, but adequate. I can and will accomplish whatever I decide to accomplish.
In October of last year I wrote 101 goals in 1001 days. Some were as simple as smile more, while others were more ambitious as sell one of my screenplays. Some I’m really confident in and have already accomplished, and others are going to be a stretch. Some are physical, mental, and emotional. One is just a wish to meet someone I met over Instagram.
I was inspired to start my own list after I read Makenzie Horan’s at Design Darling. She has had several lists through the years and I thought this is a great way to see how much I will accomplish in a couple of years. The time is going to pass regardless, so I might as well do what I want.
Here is my list for the next couple of years. I have a bit to go, but now that I have a healthy view of goals, I am looking forward to every step of the journey. I will update you as I get to mark off items on my list. Do you have a list or if you are inspired to write one, let me know. I’d love to see it!
Until next time, don’t forget to drink a kale shake every now and then,
As 2019 is speeding steadily before me, I am reminded of how 2018 was full of moments that got me to where I am today. As cliche as a blogger can be, I’d like to show my favorite moments of 2018. Last year was the year of endings in order to have new beginnings. It was one of most tiring years I’ve ever lived. One thing remained the same: I drank a lot of coffee. So without being a usual narcissistic blogger, I’ll recap my big moments from 2018.
jan // home
It has been a year since I’ve been home. And I’m okay with that. Home has a few good memories, but I’m busy making new ones.
feb-march // New York City
As Mark Twain said, “Make your mark in New York, and you are a made man.” For my birthday last year I went on a fun getaway trip to the city. However, the true purpose was to see what possibilities the city had for me. Conclusion: a lot.
april // the month of no rest
This was my most tiring month I have ever lived. By this time I had been working one, full-time management position and one part time job for over a year. As well as taking 18 hours in order to graduate. I didn’t sleep much or eat right. Somehow I managed to still make lattes, write papers, and talk coherently. But all of my hard work paid off….
may // GRADUATION
FINALLY!!! In May I graduated with my BA in Strategic Communication. All those late nights and early mornings and stress acne paid off. Look out world!
summer // who am I?
The rest of the summer I worked a lot, hiked a lot, went to the lake a lot, and saw every movie that hit theaters. It was fun, busy, and tiring. Trying to enjoy this time and everything in between.
fall // 12 state mother-daughter road trip
12 states. 7 days. Endless cups of coffee. One mother. One daughter. And an open road. Our final destination was Maine and we squeezed in every state in between on a fully caffeinated road trip. We hit every coffee shop we could on the East Coast and our best moment was accidentally driving through a toll booth. My bad New York. Thanks for the bill.
December // Cut the Starbucks apron strings
Five years. For five years I closed and opened Starbucks. For five years I made customers half-caf, no foam, no whip, whole milk, 180 degree white mocha. And STIRRED. It was an incredible experience and it taught me a lot. All the while giving me fodder for my future writing. Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up.
December pt 2 // Celebrated 2 years of dating the SAME person
In December, I also celebrated 2 years of dating my fellow ex-barista. Coffee and movies is what brought us together. I introduced him to Casablanca and All the President’s Men and he convinced me to step outside of my cinematic comfort zone to watch movies that keep me up at night. Here’s to many more years of flannel lattes and rainy hikes.
2019 // New Year Same Me but kinda cooler
So now, my dear readers, we have spent enough time in the past, it is time to look into the new year. This coming year I am focusing on blogging and writing. Please join me as I share with you all my new adventures. I am also taking this year to contribute to the world of YouTube on a regular basis. Coffee, travel, film, goals, books, family, friends, and anything new and quirky in between are just a few things I will share.
Wait, what? It’s been over a year since I blogged? How did that happen? Apparently going off and having adventures doesn’t leave much time for writing. Oh well I am writing today and that is what matters.
It has almost been two years since I moved away from home to look for adventure and boy did I find it. It wasn’t exactly as I had imagined but it was adventure nonetheless. This year was a mixture of joy and pain that created the tools I needed to begin the next chapter of my life.
What is the next chapter? I am not sure, but it is soon upon me. There are major life changes and decisions to be made, but I am taking it day by day. Although I do have plans for 2018, I am not setting specific goals, except to remember to put on eye cream every night and wear red lipstick.
This year I killed a spider without running out of the room. I hydroplaned for the first time and was in my first car wreck. I learned that you can’t live with and you can’t live without insurance companies. I learned to balance two jobs, full-time course load, and a relationship. I learned that forgiveness is a gift you give to those you love with no strings attached.
There are endless stories from the last 365 days so I will not bore my readers with the details; however, I will highlight the top five stories from my life in 2017.
ONE // I Lost the Majority of My Islands
My home island, pet island, and friendship island crumbled this year. My home for the majority of my life was sold and my family moved from my hometown. It is a strange feeling not having a home. I can’t go up the driveway where I first learned to drive or open the door and hear the familiar creek. Or go to my childhood room and see the pencil marks in my closet that documented my growth.
I also lost my fish, Frank Sinatra, and my beloved 14 1/2-year-old golden retriever, Liberty. Grieving for my dog was, and continues to be, one of the hardest things I have been through. Liberty was my best friend, my roommate, and my constant companion. I was there when she was born, chose her when she was two weeks old, brought her home when she was eight weeks old, and held her paw as she took her last breath 14 years later. She never left my side and I never left hers.
One of the casualties of having adventures is your friendships. Although I still have many friendships that have carried on, there are many that slowly faded into the abyss. When you first move away there are frequent phone calls, snaps, and texts; yet, as time goes on they grow farther and farther apart until some stop completely. However, the ones that remain you cherish most ardently.
TWO // Virginia Really is For Lovers
The first day I moved I met a barista who made my latte and welcomed me to Virginia. Nine months later we were dating and two weeks ago we celebrated our one year anniversary. We are both baristas, film addicts, and strong-willed individuals. We saw over 70 movies together and drank countless cups of coffee in 2017. Being in a relationship has stretched me in more ways than I imagined, but each trial brings a greater joy and a deeper commitment.
THREE // Invest in a Good Plunger
As a life-long saver I was raised to use what you had and save for the greater things in life; however, once I started dating Colton he encouraged me that it is okay to spend on things to make your life easier. Buy the dress. Buy the better plunger. If you like a pair of jeans buy two of them because you’ll wear them (and look great in the meantime). Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a saver, but the time to enjoy the simple things in life is now. Not wait until graduation, or marriage, or retirement.
I started using the reserve bag of coffee I had been saving. I started wearing my good dresses to work. I started getting up a little earlier and putting on lipstick. I took the time to meet more people for coffee, or lunch, or drinks. One of my greatest investments in 2017 was travel. I got to take several trips that I had only dreamed of in years past and I am so thankful I took the plunge (pun not intended).
FOUR // Clowns to the Left of Me, Jokers to the Right, Here I am, Stuck in the Middle…
I learned in 2017 that sometimes you are stuck in the middle and there is nothing you can do. You just have to go through it until you reach the other side. In work, in school, or in life. At work, you may not get the promotion you deserve simply for the fact that you are you. You are not always going to be appreciated and that is life. You can spend years in a career or in a difficult program and not get recognition or a pat on the back or a gold star for effort. You just get through and know that you made it to the other side and because of what you went through you will be prepared for the next chapter in your life.
I have found you learn more from the no’s in life than the yes’. You learn more from the challenges than the opportunities. You learn more from the trials than the triumphs. You learn more from the people who don’t like you than those who do. You need to spend time in prison to learn how to lead Egypt during a famine. The middle has helped guide me to who I am and where I want to be in life, or more importantly where I don’t want to be.
FIVE // The Best is Yet to Come
The last two years have shown me that you never know what is around the corner. Life is exciting and so are the people in it. As Anne of Green Gables found, there really are more kindred spirits in this life than I had imagined. No man is an island. It does take a village. There are people who have stood beside of me and encouraged me this year to whom I will be forever grateful. However, there is more love and joy to experience and share. There are more books to read. There is more food to try. More coffee to drink. And more continents to explore. I may not know where I will be this year or what I will be doing, but the best truly is yet to come.
“I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow but through it all I still know quite certainly just to be alive is a grand thing.” -Agatha Christie
I am currently sitting in a coffee shop where nobody knows my name. I look around and the faces are unfamiliar. The accents are strange to my ear and I don’t recognize the people or places they mention in their conversations.
Three weeks ago I moved to another state; transferred with my job, packed my car and left. I left my 13 year old golden retriever, Liberty, my family and my friends. I put my fish, Frank Sinatra, in a cup in my cup holder and I packed my guitar, a quarter of my book collection, a few other belongings and left.
I left people who love me and people I love. In fact, I have felt more loved the last year than I have my entire life. I couldn’t sit in the coffee shop where I worked and write for more than a couple of minutes without someone joining me. Whenever I went to restaurants or events I knew most people there. Most of my customers had become family. I had people to talk to me or sit with me on my good days and bad. I had people who listened to me and read whatever I sent them to read. I was respected and loved at work. I had people from all backgrounds and walks of life that were my kindred spirits. In most areas of my life I finally felt like I belonged and was accepted for who I am. So why leave now?
It was time. I am needed elsewhere for now. The walls of my town were closing in on me and I was suffocating. My eyes had lost their brightness a long time ago. There wasn’t anything left to do but leave. I was a novel in a town still learning the alphabet. The people I love most in this world are there but I couldn’t be anymore. I don’t know what will happen in the future or what will happen tomorrow.
I don’t know how long I’ll be here. I don’t know if I’ll find what I’m looking for or even what I’m looking for. I don’t know. I do know that I’m changing and I’m sure the people I left are changing. And one day we can catch up to each other. I miss them all and I know most miss me.
My last day of work I had my closest and dearest friends come so I could make them one last drink and see me my last day as a barista at my home coffee shop. I tried to remember everything: people’s faces, their hugs, my view from behind my espresso machine, where I had spent the majority of the last two years. Some of the best memories of my life happened during that time and I’ll never forget. In a lot of ways I feel like I grew up over over the last two years. A lot of firsts. A lot of joy and a lot of pain. And as I walked out the door I took one final glance around knowing that it would all be different after that night.
Life is deep. Life is real. As are the people in it. I hope all my readers (all 2 of you) learn and grow and go after what you want this year. Even if it’s painful. Even if you don’t know the outcome. Even if it seems impossible. Just do it. Just ask what you’ve been wanting to ask. Just go after what you want. If you don’t go for it you’ll never know what could have happened. This is the time. Please join me, a vintage nomad, on an adventure of a lifetime. May all you hope for come true in 2016. For it is a special year.