Tag: love

There she goes again

This is not an end of the year review. In fact, I wouldn’t have remembered that today is New Years Eve without all the whining that appeared on my facebook news feed recently <3 This is NEWS!

I’ve drawn a rough outline of the next chapter in my life, and it’s going to happen on an organic farm in central Washington. After finally breaking the news to my family, I figured it’s safe to share with the internet. Acccctually… after delivering a compelling presentation on WHY I decided to do this, I ran from the room, frantically waving my arms over my head and squealing, “OMGZZ I HAVE TO BLOG ABOUT THIS!”

And I pronounce OMGZZ exactly how it’s written.

So.. why? Let me tell you.

0. I’ve been trying to get an internship on a small organic farm for the past few years. Until now, something has always prevented me from doing so: school, job, relationship, waiting too long to apply, travel plans, etc. I moved back into my parents’ house a little over a month ago right as a giant hurricane ate my home state. This made it impossible for me to get to my job in Brooklyn for a while, which I ended up leaving anyway. I knew I was ready to leave the east coast. With no work to do or electricity to numb my brain, I focused on obsessed over what my next adventure would be.

1. I had just finished reading Wild, by Cheryl Strayed and was seriously contemplating whether this was a good time in my life to walk the Pacific Crest Trail. It’s been a while since I’ve traveled. I’ve never touched the northwest United States, but I keep hearing amazing things and have been feeling pulled in that direction recently.

2. In fact, when I returned from Perú in 2011 I almost took a farm internship in Oregon. I didn’t go because of my boyfriend. Don’t ever let a relationship interfere with your dreams, it causes many things to break.

3. When said relationship collapsed in a fiery Armageddon last year, I moved back into my parents’ house (I guess you can say this is a regular thing for me) and started going back to school to study nutrition. After one semester of memorizing information solely to regurgitate onto tests and pass VERY EXPENSIVE prerequisite classes that I could have taught myself, I concluded that the money I had saved up for Fall tuition would be better spent on renting an apartment in Brooklyn. I still believe this was a wise choice.

d. Living in NYC was an east coast overdose. I started using the term “ASAP.” wtf? I wanted to smack myself.

5. The idea of having another office job has gone from “unappealing” to “revolting” to “twitch-inducing.” During one interview, I was asked if the helper monkey-type job responsibilities sounded like something I would be interested in. In response, I very coolly stated, “Interesting is definitely not the word I would use, but I could do that.” Furthermore, I need fresh air and physical activity.

6. Believing that sticking my hands in the dirt was just as significant in studying nutrition as having my face in the books, I volunteered on an organic CSA farm in Stillwater, NJ over the summer.

For those who don’t know, community supported agriculture (CSA) is an even better way of supporting local farms than shopping at farmer’s markets. It involves purchasing a share of a farm for a particular season. The members pay up front, providing small farmers with some financial security, and then receive a portion of the farm’s harvest on a regular basis (usually weekly) throughout the season. This is wonderful because it encourages members to eat more fresh, seasonal produce that came from a local source and is probably organic. You’ll know because you can ask the farmer, face to face. In addition to supporting sustainable agriculture, CSAs reduce the need to shop at those awful, awful supermarkets where you will be tempted to buy processed junk and cheaper bio-messedwith produce that has been sprayed with who knows what and shipped in from countries where the farmers can’t afford to eat their own crops.

Volunteering on this farm was hard work, but it felt good and gave me a peace of mind I haven’t otherwise experienced since returning from my travels. It was the farm’s first season, so every day was.. a lesson. Without an irrigation system, we would fill huge jugs of water in the Paulinskill River that ran along the edge of the farm property and then water the plants by hand using empty beer cans and yogurt containers. All the other volunteers were magically fascinating and bright. It was absolutely more intellectually stimulating than most jobs I’ve had (with the exception of neuroscience research). My strength and ability was never doubted even though I was a skinny girl with no farming experience, which is always empowering and rare to encounter. The farmer, James, is a wonderful person and I would highly recommend paying him a visit at Goodness Grows!

When I explained my plans to my parents, my mother very politely implied that she thought I might be making a big mistake ::cough::totallyfreakedout::cough:: My parents, like most members of their generation, measure success by their salaries. My mom doubted that farming could be a sustainable career choice. However, I think that it’s one of the only sustainable career choices. Everyone needs food. The economy is fake and prone to collapse at the push of a button. Current industrial farming practices are destroying the earth and poor nutrition is making Americans sick with fatness. Things really need to change, and they’re already shifting in my direction. Just think of all the people who won’t know how to feed themselves when the terrorists take down the power grid? Think of all the people who don’t know what food is, or where it comes from? We must correct this!!!!!!!

Sustainable agriculture is clearly something that I care deeply about, as is nutrition. The two go hand in hand, and as of right now, I think that I can make a more significant impact in this field (ha! pun!) by studying on a farm. Will farming be my career? I can’t answer that right now. Maybe not? Maybe I’ll integrate what I learn into a more holistic nutritional healing practice? Maybe I will travel all over the world, working on farms with my cloth-diapered baby and dirty hippie life partner? Maybe I will write a book about it and move back to Brooklyn. Maybe I’ll start an urban farm/music venue/book club/yoga studio in Bushwick and keep bees on my roof? Ohhh yeah, I left a little piece of my heart in Bushwick. <3

Ooo! Ooo! That reminds me of the best part! The farm I will be interning on has BEES! Remember when I said I wanted to be a beekeeper?!?! Hey! I’m gonna do it!

2012-07-25 17.53.50

Right on!

I will miss Jersey a whole big lot, I’m sure. It’s funny- at no point while I was living in Brooklyn did I feel like I wasn’t still in New Jersey. I guess this is what happens when you grow up so close to NYC. I consider Manhatten, Brooklyn and Long Island to be extensions of NJ rather than NY. I KNOW MY NEW YORKER FRIENDS ARE GONNA HATE THAT!

I’m spending my last month doing the things I love the most as much as I possibly can (i.e. going to shows, hiking/trail running, and spending time with my fwiends). Just in this past year (alright, here’s your review!) I’ve met so many beautiful, interesting, and talented people. I’m so grateful to have had the pleasure of connecting with and learning from these brilliant new friends. I’m going to leave in about one month and drive to WA with one of my most favorite new friends. I’m über excited about this road trip! I’m sure it will be an excellent adventure on its own and satisfy my itch to roam before planting myself in central WA for the growing season. Let’s hang out! Even better, let’s hike and go to a show! Rawk!


“How come every blonde girl runs?”

– some non-blondes talking shit about the new little white girl running through their neighborhood.. for no reason.

So the Leadville Trail 100 race happened this weekend. I also ran my first legit “long run” of 2012. 11 miles. More than half of the year slipped by before I pushed my mileage into double digits.

Slacker. I don’t know exactly why I’ve been taking it so easy this year. Maybe because I was working in retail and standing for long periods of time? Maybe I was excited to have time and energy to hike with friends or go to a show? Maybe it was just laziness? Either way, I’ve been much more disciplined about running recently and decided it’s time for a new goal.

I’m debating between trying to run an ultra and trying to run a sub-4 hour marathon. I’m leaning toward the latter because it seems way more feasible if I’m going to continue living in Brooklyn, and here’s why:

~ I don’t live near any trails, and I haaaaate long runs on the road. Yesterday I ran from my apartment, to Prospect Park, ran around the park a bit, and then came back. I got lost on the way back because I zoned out and stopped paying attention to the street signs. Hence 11 miles instead of 10.
~ I could accomplish this goal in a much shorter period of time.
~ Long runs take up a lot of time!! The more miles, the more time spent running, not to mention waiting for traffic and dancing around pedestrians.
~ $$ ultra registration fees are way more expensive, as is buying enough food to keep me alive while running 50 miles per week.

Running around Brooklyn is definitely interesting. Not my favorite, but you gotta do what you gotta do. It reminds me of running in Arequipa, Perú except less hilly, less dusty, fewer donkeys, and the cab drivers don’t try to run me over. I don’t get as many cat-calls or whistles here, either. Oh! and Brooklyn gets bonus points for always having a hydrant or fountain for me to run through when I get too hot!!!

This past week has been really stressful for me in my search for a job and trying to figure out the whos whats and wheres of my near future. One particularly rough day after a job interview I felt so frustrated that I had to run just to avoid tears and hysterics. I went from my apartment, across the Williamsburg Bridge, and back again. Approximately 7 miles. Normally, this would be no big deal, but it was the farthest I had run since moving to bk.

On my way back, I started to lose steam and felt really worn out. I focused hard on my posture and my breath. Running is like a moving meditation for me, which is one of the reasons I never bring music.  I knew that if I let my form get sloppy I would just be wasting precious energy I could be using to move myself back to my apartment, where food and a nice show were waiting.

And then I had one of my major epiphanies: Stop wasting your energy on actions that aren’t helping to move you in the direction you need to go.

Once in a while I learn a lesson while running. From what? I don’t know. Running gods? The chemicals that flood my brain after pushing myself through something not-so-comfortable? I’ve been able to draw so many parallels between running and life that I feel there must be some kind of little spiritual guru affiliated with the exercise who only appears to the weirdos who go out and do it for hours. I don’t know. The important thing is, this was exactly what I needed to hear at that very moment, and I don’t know how or if I would have gotten the message otherwise.

I love you, running Yoda.

If anyone’s interested for whatever reason, you can check my geeky running stats here.

This album got me through a really tough summer once.

It’s all happening!

We break our lives up into various different epochs. I, myself, am moving through a lot of noteworthy changes.

Yesterday was my last day of the crappy part-time job at the outdoors store I had been working at. Love y’all, really ;) Tomorrow, I’m moving out of my parents’ house, again, and into a SAHWEEEEEEEET place in Brooklyn. We all knew it was gonna happen.

And today… I renewed my driver’s license!

I waited at the DMV forever, of course. Only the smartest cookies wait until the end of the month, right?

This event caused me to reflect on all that’s changed in my life since the last time I renewed my license, when I was 25, I think??

~Two boyfriends
~Four apartments, all with my parents’ house and various hostels as a stopover in between
~Disturbingly high friendship turnover I don’t care to count
~SEVEN jobs
~Classes at three different colleges
~Two cars, and a period of carelessness
~Four countries, three for periods of 10 weeks or more
~More miles traveled than I can count
~Thousands of miles ran, many barefoot
~ I don’t get carded anymore when buying cigarettes or alcohol.
~I’m evidently old enough now for guys in their early twenties to feel the need to lie to me about their ages…. I know I said i was going to be 27 before, but I feel very 24 right now.
~I stopped being afraid of ghosts, spiders, and love
~Saw mah first BEAR!
~ZERO publications, graduate degrees, husbands, Nobel Prizes, or children

Okay, I think that’s enough.

Friends, lovers, jobs, and homes all shape who we are at any given time. I feel like I’m always saying hello and goodbye to people, places and things, and the time in between is way too ephemeral. For some reason, that’s just how my life has always been. I’ve had so many last days at work and said goodbye to so many people I’ve loved intensely.

Fact is, I can’t sit still to save my life. I’m not the most nomadic person I know, but I’m definitely beyond restless. When my body and mind start to get bored, they wanna shag ass.

I freak out when I think about committing to anything.. EXCEPT FOR ONE THING… and now this is going to turn into a post about running.

Running is that one thing in my life that I will love forever and happily devote (at times the majority of) my time and energy to. I love it so much it makes me want to cry. It’s that one thing that I’m happy to start and finish, over and over, on my own free will, no matter how long or painful the experience in between is.

When I find a person or place that makes me feel the same way, I guess that’s when I’ll settle down.

Okay, I’ll leave you with another song: