No More Projections, Please!

I was beat, abused, salted in wound and stabbed-in the front. Verbally. By a friend.

Now mind you it wasn’t the first time. I think we want to claim shock, surprise when these things happen but the truth as we know it is that we know our friends who do this have done it before. The friends that undercut, hit you where it hurts or take a dig at you. They’ve done it before maybe not so blatantly or maybe we excused or away. Perhaps we were “asking” for it or just turning the other cheek. After all they are our friend, right?

As Clare wrote about last week, Growing Out of Friends is an occurrence that happens. I started taking a look at my closet of friends. Who fits? Who’s in season or just a night on the town? On this particular night I decided to put on my Friday night family dinner outfit on. Everything was same old hang time until the evening went on. In an effort of caring my friend started lecturing me about choices I make, men I attract and why it’s all bad. I asked her to stop, I stood up for myself. She continued this time accusing of me being in love with “him”. I didn’t actually know who “him” was. So I asked her. As she said my ex’s name I got angry. First: NO. Second: why would she even say it? This totally came from left field and it stung. As calmly as I could I ended the conversation. Waited a minute and politely left the situation and went home for the evening. I am quite proud of myself. I do not know what she is going through but I have to believe that I know what’s best for me.

The situation got me thinking. This happens to so many of my clients. Friends digging into friends. I do not believe it’s on purpose but what if we caught ourselves? What if we stopped this cycle? Ladies, I love you. I truly do. But, I need a favor…please stop projecting your fears, worries, doubts, insecurities and any other negatives you’re feeling onto your friends.  Ok, I realize we all have been guilty of this, even me. However, I am working on. Taking a stand against projecting how I am feeling onto others in my life. Why? It’s really not helpful to anyone!

Let me give you another example: A Lovely Artist in my world had a chat with a girlfriend of her’s the other day. This other friend of hers was probably thinking she was being helpful, suggested Lovely Artist get back with her ex-boyfriend. After all she wasn’t getting any younger and it’s harder to find a good date, she should just go back. Lovely Artist was sent into day of feeling as if she maybe should go back to a guy she didn’t feel good about dating in the first place. Was he nice? Sure but he didn’t rock her world. She didn’t feel good about herself with him. This friend has told her more than once this week she just needs to go back to him. So, so wrong! Lovely Artist should do what makes her feel good about herself. She left him because she didn’t feel good about herself with him. Her friend should be supportive instead of projecting onto her the fears and woes she’s having in the daring world. Bad Advice Friend is probably wanting to get back with an ex, or is having troubles finding a good guy. Guess what? It’s tough out there but don’t try giving advice that 1) wasn’t asked for 2) puts your friend in a place that makes her second guess herself 3) that isn’t leading to a positive feeling towards oneself.

I teach Pilates to both men and women. I hear many stories about lovers, parents, friends and work. One thing I don’t hear a man complain about is his friend telling him to get back with an ex that wasn’t good enough for him. I don’t hear him say “my friend said I should just settle for the job I’m in.” Nope I do not have any male clients come into a session telling me that they are questioning their own judgment because of a friend’s advice. I have had many a female client come in after just hearing from their mom, best friend, female coworker that they “shouldn’t have done…” they “needed to do…” We women should be supporting each other. If your friend leaves her boyfriend: support her. If your friend says she’s thinking of leaving her job: support her! If she’s going back to the gym regularly: support her! Are you seeing the theme?

I understand that we worry for our friends. What if she can’t find another job? What if she ends up single for years? What if she becomes a gym rat? What if—who cares what if! There are what ifs for EVERYTHING! You can “what if” until the cows come home. Why not turn those “what ifs” into positives! What if she finds her dream job? What if she gets healthy feels good about herself, and because her self esteem is skyrocketing, she meets a great guy? What if she starts sailing her own ship? Wouldn’t that just be awesome?

I, honestly, do not think many of us ask the questions that put doubts in our friends minds on purpose. I really hope I’m right that its not a conscious decisions. Instead we should be more present in our conversations. Ask ourselves the question in our minds before stating it out loud how it might affect the person sitting in front of us, that we do care about. I think we would actually

1) learn something about ourselves.

2) have deeper, stronger friendships. We would be lifting up our friends rather than bringing them down.

How can you be sure you’re an uplifter? Think before you speak. Is what you’re about to say supportive of your friends decision? If its not, file it away for now. Ask yourself why you think that question is important. What do you fear?

My Lovely Artist spent a whole day feeling terrible and questioning whether she made the right decision when she left her ex for the possibility of happiness.   I will give her friend the benefit of the doubt that she did not mean to put Lovely Artist into a tailspin of self doubt. But, she wasn’t asked or this information, so why offer it?

Lastly, ladies don’t be afraid to tell, your friend: “Stop, hold up. Thank you for your opinion but I feel very good about this decision. I really just want you support.” Then check out Clare’s info one “growing out of friends.” (Read that blog post here: Growing Out of Friends)

I love being a strong woman, I love that my friends come to me for advice. I will be working hard to be their cheerleader not their party crasher. Who’s with me?

–LL

 

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Text-a-Bitch (or how to pause before irrationally texting)

You know that nagging feeling when you want to reach out to someone who you’re starting to feel romantic twinges for but you just don’t know if you should? For instance, you are sitting on your sofa on a Friday night, staring at your television set that randomly doesn’t work, and you open the bag of chips that a guy left at the party you threw two weeks ago… and they’re delicious, and you want to Facebook him to tell him how great they are? (Let’s face it, its kinda because of the yummy chips, but mostly because you want a reason to connect in the hopes for a response.) Yeah. I know it sounds like a good thought to text him… but here’s the thing, its probably not. And if you’re sitting on that fence and know what you should do and what you want to do are two different things: Text-a-Bitch! What I’m trying to say is that some times you need to bounce certain ideas off of friends to see if an idea merits a sent text message. So when you get a “great” idea to reach out to someone in a way that you shouldn’t, send one of your designated’s a text, and ask their opinion, i.e.:

Hey Lesley, should I Facebook this cute guy about his 2 week old chips?

Now, Lesley is living in a rational world outside of my romantic fantasy world (the one where he immediately responds, and not only appreciates that I told him that his chip choice was stellar, but he offers to come over, fix my television, accidentally make out with me, propose, … and well, you can fill in the rest) and she’ll respond with something like:

Don’t eat the whole bag, and don’t you dare tell him you like the chips.  That is something that a needy loser would do. And you’re not a needy loser. Don’t you have some writing to do? Stop thinking about boys and eating chips and go be productive. Or at least read a book. Muah!

So, after reaching out, I’ve achieved two things: One, I’ve fulfilled the need to reach out and two, I’ve gotten feedback (well three, if you count that I’ve also now put down the chips). And whereas the reach out and feedback weren’t to the person I wanted to reach out to, it still lessens the need to reach out. Also, I don’t sit around the rest of the night, eating the rest of the bag of chips and then moving on to the full box of cereal to keep busy, and either spiraling up thinking of my crazy chip-TV-fixing-making-out-marriage-proposal scenario, or spiraling down wondering why he hasn’t responded to my incredibly important Facebook message at 8pm on a Friday night, and convincing myself its because he is out on a date with another woman, and falling into self loathing, finishing the box of cereal, moving on to a bottle of wine and some really old chocolates left over from the holidays which were now three months ago. I know it sounds like I’m spinning a silly scenario, but I can safely say that a ¾ bag of chips is sitting across the room on the counter, wrapped up, and I’m sitting here writing this instead of alternating between wedding dress shopping and looking at every picture on his Facebook to see if any of the women he is in photos with look like they could be a better choice than me. (We’ve all done it. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be reading this blog and I wouldn’t be writing it.)

Now that I’ve given you this silly scenario that you’re probably shaking your head at because it’s very silly, and you’ve probably done something similar, let me tell you how Text-a-bitch works.

A quick how to:

–if you want to text about something goofy/weird/quirky that you’re not sure if you should: first, Text-a-Bitch (a designated friend who knows you could reach out for advice at any time)

–have a friend, or many, on call to use as a sounding board

–when you have a moment where you’re unsure, TaB the who and the what you want to say

–WAIT FIVE MINUTES

–if you hear, follow suggestions of your TaB. If you don’t hear, wait 5 more minutes.

–walk away. Do something else. Change your focus, you’re mind won’t be far behind.

–if all else fails, wait a day. If you wake up tomorrow and it still seems like a good idea to send off that text, do. 99% of the time, you’ll be glad you waited to text, because it won’t seem like such a great idea once you’re out of that headspace.

Oh, and just to be clear, you aren’t limited to “texting” with this, but I use it as a general term for contact, because at this moment in time, texting seems to be the prime way to communicate. Feel free to check in with your TaB via social media messaging, a phone call, a question over an already planned meet up, an email or whatever. Just communicate with someone in some way to double check yourself before committing the action. The thing is, these goofy/quirky outreach texts (like the chips) are gateway messages. Once you send one, you’ll want to send another, and another and another and another… and when does it stop? When you’ve texted about every grocery in your apartment, and possibly your shopping list for Trader Joes? NO. Stop the crazy now. I promise it will help, and you will have saved yourself from making something you’ll feel is a mistake later.

I know, that now that you’ve read this, you are wondering if this applies to you, because you’re in a great relationship… well, yes, dear reader, you can use TaB for just about anything in your life. A few scenarios:

Family: Want to rant to your sister about how many freaking pictures of her newborn she’s posting on Facebook? TaB.

Life: You’re tempted to text your ex (who you had an horrific break up with only three months ago) because you just saw someone walking down the street that reminded you of them. You know it wasn’t them, but a doppelganger. TaB.

Work: You want to resign and you’re thinking that texting or emailing your resignation is best because you don’t want to face the boss in the morning. TaB.

Remember the whole point of this is to double check yourself. Its like a math problem that has an emotional component. You need to take a step back from yourself and what you want to send out in the universe. Having a friend double check your thoughts is a great tool to have. Texting a confidante settles the craving and the impulse to connect with someone. I’ve now trained myself to weed the crazy impulse texts out on my own. But sometimes I still use TaB. Lesley, and a few other friends can attest. I’m telling you, strengthen those muscles, and make those messages mean something.  Cut out the excess chatter and find that peace within.

Clare

We would LOVE your comments on this.  Please post below, or try it out and let us know how it worked for you!

Eye to Eye

#tbt

One of the first things people usually notice about me is my confidence and my focused eye contact. I’m not afraid to talk to a stranger or smile at someone passing by. This hasn’t always been, in fact for a few years I lost this confident air. At some point, my eye contact went from easy, natural and welcoming to a quick glance and a dart away. I believe this happened because I was in a relationship. Not wanting to lead people on, I would of course acknowledge then look away. At least I’m pretty sure that’s when I began to not hold a gaze. One day pre-relationship, I was working at a jewelry store and while I was on the phone standing right in front me on his phone was Robert Downey, Jr! Aside from just being a handsome man to look at, RDJ and I locked eyes. We held that gaze through my phone conversation. Thankfully, he couldn’t read lips as I was trying to tell my phone mate to not hang up. I needed that call to continue so I had a reason to keep my gaze with RDJ. I mean it was like a total “eye f*ck” it was amazing! What moment, an experience. Yet, somewhere down the path of job changes, relationship ups and down and just figuring out what rocks for me, I lost the need, drive and comfortableness of making that deep connection with another human being.

Recently while in a work out session, my Personal Trainer observed the people around us do just that. Walk by and glance quickly and look away or not even see us at all. Too busy, too detached, too good for us, or whatever other reasons behind noncommittal eye connection. I asked PT if I did that. Did I just glance quick and look away as if there was something better to see? PT—one of the most honest people I know—said yes. “I train you several times a week. People watch your every move and you don’t even notice them. As if they don’t exist. You’re not in a relationship anymore you can take a look at those around you.”

Wow, brutal truth. I wasn’t as outgoing and welcoming as I thought. I started to playback some recent moments where I just walked by people. Not even noticing them. Whether I was staring at my phone or staring beyond them it didn’t matter. I wasn’t participating in life enough. Relationship or not people deserve to feel like they exist. You may think you’re just busy or shy or whatever. However, what comes off is your lack of desire to connect. You are too busy/good to acknowledge another human.

After our session, I went up the stairs to my office. About fifty feet in my eye line was a very good-looking gentleman. Someone I would have instantly noticed but not dared to make eye contact with because this guy was so good looking I was sure he wouldn’t take the time to notice me. Usually, I’d preemptively look away. But not this time. This time I was going to compel myself to make the eye contact. I held his gaze until he was no longer on the trajectory to my office. Oh yes, and I added a little smile. It made it easier!

Arriving at my office, I sat down and told myself it wasn’t that hard. It actually felt pretty good. In fact, since he didn’t dart his eyes away it was fun. It put a kick in my step. If he had looked away, honestly it wouldn’t have mattered. I was on a mission to make myself a more connected person to this world. To be a more present person. This was a practice run for life. To do unto others as I would have them do unto me!

The story doesn’t end here! As fate would have it I would have to walk past this man a few days later on the way to my class. This time it was easier to smile, keep a lighthearted gaze and even get a “good morning” out. Then another day as I walked up those stairs, halfway to the top he ran up the steps to catch up with me and introduce himself. Yep, ran up the steps to stop me, shake my hand and ask me my name. This gorgeous man whom had been coming to workout at my work for months and all because one day I took the time to notice him was talking to me.

At the time of writing this gorgeous man is now a client and friend of mine. There’s no question that this wouldn’t be the case had I not looked him in the eyes that day.

What was I scared of before? Why had I lost my ability to “see” others? Probably a combination of a few things. Post break up and self absorbed in my own dealings, the darn phone that has an app for everything possible to distract me from reality no thinking I was working, busy, or that my fleeting glance was enough.

I’ll tell you it feels good when someone looks back. That attention and acknowledgement is a great ego boost. It does not matter if its a man, woman, co-worker, child etc. The act of taking a second to notice someone is another second in your day you can be noticed. You exist! You’re worth getting to know.

Will there be people who look away? Yep! But, don’t worry yourself about that. This is one of those “pay it forward”, “takes a village” beginnings of something going “viral”. They may be where I was. Not able too see, not willing to see, too scared, nervous not ready to be vulnerable. Don’t worry. You do your thing. You see them and continue on. Tomorrow brings a new day, you might even see them again. They might take a bit to warm up. The world is so small.

Are there people whom you shouldn’t may eye contact? Yes, you know those ones though. There are no absolutes in life. There’s a lot of shades of grey. So, trust your gut a bit here. Don’t be afraid to smile at the man at the gym. The business woman waiting for her latte. The little kid trying to hide behind his mom’s leg. You are a trendsetter. Yes, its time we make connecting in real life a trend again!

–LL

 

Growing Out Of Friends

Friendships are usually loving relationships with urban family members of your choosing.  However sometimes they do grow stale and even toxic.  Earlier today, I sent a link to a friend about an article online that I thought she would find comically introspective. Although I sent the article with good intentions, she got quite incensed. It used to be that she would laugh at something like this, and not take it so personally, but now she sees it as an attack—and I’m probably mothering and smothering, as I’m wont to do.  Both of us have changed along the way, and neither of the women we have become inside the friendship are the women who entered it.  We’ve evolved.  We are at the point of toxicity.  We’ve grown past our need for each other.  So the question begs to be asked: what do you do when you’ve found yourself outgrowing a friend?

Like a romantic relationship, a good friendship is a partnership. They should bring out your best, help you shadow your dark to the public, and help you tailor or fix these things in private. You’re not necessarily agreeing to go in half and half, but you do have to ebb and flow with what life brings to this coupling.  Someone once told me that kindred spirits find you when they are needed and then when they no longer are, they leave you. They might come find you in other lives (whether you’re a faithful person or a spiritual person, we all think that we will find people again that mean a lot to us).  The big question for today is: when is the time to leave people in this lifetime?

We often think about how to update and improve our romantic relationships.  Couples go to counseling in extreme situations, but successful couples continually strive to make the relationship new or constantly evolving.  In today’s society, where we are in consistent endurance to make our own selves better, and our romantic relationships better, the same society that applauds and reveres “friendship comedies” like Sex and the City, Friends, Will and Grace, and How I Met Your Mother, why are we NOT investing more time into friendships?

Have you found that you’re sort of ignoring or avoiding a friendship?  Maybe you’re not reaching out to the friend at this moment because the person no longer serves you.  And that’s OK.  Really.  People come and go in our lives.  Humans are constantly growing, adapting, and making changes with our lives and where our journey is taking us.  This really is ok.  Change in friendship is bound to happen when you’re upgrading and updating your life.  So what do you do when this happens?

Friendships have to be whatever suits both of you.  At the beginning it could just be a mutual shoulder to cry on and bitch to, but understand that you’ll need to grow and adapt as you both grow and change as people.  When the friendship starts feeling labored, or even if you’re just simply not as excited as you once were to see the person, then its time to rethink your friendship formula, or even walk away.  Not a bad thing.  Change isn’t always bad.  Adapting your friendship to your lifestyle is something that does exist.  Sometimes its natural or unneeded, if you’re lucky, and the friendship just adapts itself.

Taking a break isn’t always detrimental, either.  Lesley and I met at work, many different life choices ago.  Dramatic things happened; I changed jobs, Lesley moved up in the company.  We stayed friends, but weren’t as close because our friendship was built into our work lives.  Lots of things happened in between. I do think that Lesley and I grew out of each other, and then grew back in.  I don’t think I ever got tired of Lesley (and I’m not writing this because I know she’s reading and editing it) but we truly just grew away from each other.  Because I listened to where life was taking me, it led me back to her at a moment that we both needed the support—A Boomerang Friendship, Lesley has dubbed this phenomenon.

Know that sometimes people come into our lives and accomplish what they need to and then move on.  Like anything else in life, change and adapt to what you’re thrown.  Feel free to keep in touch with as many people as you care to on social media, but know that the real friendships are those that both sides invest in and make a priority in life.  If you’re not making someone a priority, or enjoying your time, then its time to evaluate, try to fix, and possibly let go.  Its alright.  Change happens.  Breathe and let go.  A forced friendship is never a good friendship.  If you’re lucky, friendships just work, but sometimes you do have to work at a friendship.  Evaluation and evolution are never a bad thing to stop and do.  A good friend will be there to support change, not add to the aggravation of it!

Friendships are hard.  Cell phones, Internet, and social media allow a little more assistance with friendships, but they don’t do the work for you, they just make it easier to connect.  In a way, these technological advancements have made us even lazier at friendship cultivation.  You have to work at friendships.  You have to check up on people and invest in them to have them invest back.  A successful friendship isn’t a two way street every day, but you have to get back a good amount of what you put in order to remain devoted.  You just have to understand what you put in isn’t always the same thing you’ll get back.  Make sure that your friendships are still working and are serving your current life.  Friendships aren’t always fun, but they should never, ever be labored or make you feel bad about yourself or your life choices.  Evaluate yourself in your friendships—are you getting as much as you would like in return?  Is it you or the friend?   If a friend is driving you crazy, evaluate the relationship and maybe take a break.  Otherwise, you might keep trucking down past the point of no return.  Like any good relationship, a good friendship brings out the best in ourselves.  If you’re not seeing your best, you’re not in the right relationship anymore.

Clare

 

5 Things I’ve Learned From Moving (part 5)

This is the last part of a 5 part series.  For the first four parts, scroll down, or head to the LiveClareLesleyblog homepage.

5) Seeing your life as a stack of boxes is one of the most horrible but oddly satisfying feelings. I’ve had the allowance of time to assemble all my worldly belongings into a pile. So boxes have been sitting in my living room for about a week, filled with my things. I’ve procrastinated a bit, because I wanted to continue living with my things, and not just staring at a pile of boxes that were ready to be transported to my new space. Its horrifying to look at this stack of boxes and think: everything I am is in these. My life, now, fits into about 30 boxes. Remember grown woman: clothes, shoes, dishes, 8 coffee mugs, art, breadmaker. A year ago, it was twice this much, plus more furniture. The only piece I own now is the rocking chair. Last summer I filled up a quarter of my friend’s living room with my boxes of stuff—as we both agreed that it was silly to rent a storage space when I would be moving again in only a few months, and I would be the only one living there after the first six weeks went by. All summer long I kept looking at my 6’ X 6’ X 10’ tower of belongings. Saddened by “all I had left.” A year later, I’m posting on Facebook like a madwoman about how little I have, delighted by the fact that with four friends helping, this move will take half a day. Maybe the difference of then versus now is that I’ve now moved the things multiple times and felt the sore muscles and the lightened wallet—it cost me $600 for professional movers to move that stack of stuff 80 blocks, less than 10 miles. The second go round, I moved with help from friends but it cost me $200 and a couple of bottles of nice liquor to the friends for helping. The third go round I did in parts and pieces via cab and subway… and was a pain, but I did it myself, not noting the cost. It is oddly satisfying that I can make a home and a life out of a medium amount. (I was about to say “little,” but I have friends who continually live out of suitcases.) Whereas it is a really weird feeling to look at the things I’ve accumulated in a pile, after this year, it is a really nice feeling to know that I’ve only got with me the things that have made the cut—the things I love, or can’t live without, or don’t want to live without. Do I need everything in that pile: probably not. However, I know that I want everything in that pile in my life. At least for now. Until I have to move again. Hopefully, not anytime soon.

I know that everyone is different in their transitions, and everyone has their opinions on how to go about things. So take what you will, and will what you take—use it and share it. Or not. My lessons are mine that I had to learn, and I’m not sure that I’m done learning yet. Maybe you’re ahead of me, and maybe you’re behind me, or maybe you’ll never have to learn these things. The most important thing I’ve learned is just as in any other lessons in life, remember to breathe through the painful moments and just keep moving forward. If nothing else, you’ll figure it out as you go.

Clare

5 Things I’ve Learned From Moving (part 4)

This is part 4.  For Parts one, two, and three, scroll down or go to our main page and scroll down.

4) Its OK to have stuff. I know this goes against the first thing… but this is also another one I grit my teeth on… part of the reason I don’t want to have friends help, is because I don’t want to burden them with the over abundance of things I own. But here is the thing, I am a grown woman in my 30s. I have sheets that I LOVE that are expensive and amazing. I have dishes that are beautiful and match. I have my grandfather’s rocking chair that I was given when he passed away. I have a set of silver from my great grandmother. I have a breadmaker and a seltzer maker. I have art, lots of it. All of these things I use in my daily life. If you use it or appreciate it regularly, there is no need to apologize for having it. Most people my age are in marriages and have multiple times the amounts I have. These things I have because I’ve cultivated my life. They’re not here just to be here, they are here because I want them here. I am allowed to have things, and not just be living in a Spartan existence just because I am in a profession that requires gypsyism. Keep the useful, keep the utilitarian, keep the pretty—if its used and it makes you happy, keep it.

Tune in tomorrow for the grand finale!

Clare

5 Things I’ve Learned From Moving (part 3)

This is part three.  For parts one and two, scroll down or go to  http://wp.me/p4FEKs-Q   for part one and  for part two  http://wp.me/p4FEKs-S

3) Ask for help. I’m HORRIBLE at asking for help. I’m an only child, a very single woman, and a fierce female, so I’ve continually been told that I can handle anything on my own. To some extent this is true. However, this has told me a TERRIBLE lie all through my life: its NOT alright to ask for help when you need it, because you should be able to do this on your own. Woof. This one is a big one for me. Perception of others mixed with my own actions and self-sufficiency make it incredibly hard to ask for help, because others see I don’t need it. Well, tough cookie Clare. Be vulnerable. Take a breath. Ask for what you need. If people can, they will. I’m terrified at people saying no and having to do it all by myself, so its easier to just shoulder the burden alone and know where I am from square one, rather than to hear the no and be disappointed in my friends and have to still do it all by myself. This is such a dumb rationale. I repeat: Dumb. Rationale. So I texted friends. I asked people in person. I put a Facebook status up. Two people said yes. (Shew, that is half the trips up and down the stairs for me). Then the day before my move, two more friends said they were available for a couple hours here and there on the day….even LESS trips up and down the stairs for me. And better yet, people to laugh at and with me on the move day to make it go faster! Make yourself vulnerable: ask for help when you need it.  (And thanks again to everyone who helped me lift a box, move the van, or just told me to keep going.)

Come visit us tomorrow for part 4!

Clare

5 Things I’ve Learned From Moving (part 2)

This is part two of a 5 part series.  For part one, either scroll below or go to http://wp.me/p4FEKs-Q

2) It doesn’t matter where you lay your head, as long as you have a place to lay it. 

Sleeping on an airmattress isn’t as bad as you think it is. Ok, well it is. Especially in the summer. I spent 6 weeks on one living in a gracious friend’s living room last summer, and I spent almost three weeks the same one in my new place. Although I’m a princess about sleep, and so much of the personal growth teachings these days are refocusing on sleep and rest, the honest thing is that like much of life, its only temporary. There is an end in sight. I might not have had the most restful for a fortnight, but I’ve endured it before, and I’ll endure it again. But like most uncomfortable situations, sleeping on an airmattress is not the most comfortable, but I’ll get through it. I’ll figure out a better option, and be better on the other side.

Air mattress

Also, bunk bed living isn’t just for studio apartments and children.  I’m now the proud owner of a loft bed.   Which I never thought I’d be.  For the record, I have never been against having a loft bed, I just never pictured myself the owner of one. Thanks to my mom who helped me purchase it, and my friend Jeff who helped me masterfully build it from the worst instructions known to modern man, I have not only a place to sleep, but a place to keep all of my worldly belongings.  I installed a bar underneath to hang the out of season clothes, I have plastic storage bins so I can rotate in and out of seasonal clothing.  Things I own might still be in boxes, but I can get to them easily, and I don’t have to go to a storage space.  Loft bed

Always the Pollyanna, I’ll make good out of any living situation!

Tune in tomorrow for part 3!

Clare

 

5 Things I’ve Learned From Moving

I’m an actress, so my chosen profession makes me a gypsy. I’m also a child of divorce who had parents in different states while growing up. That being said, I have never been good at moving. Through a chain of choices that may or may not have been the best, I’ve moved 4 times in 400 days. As a grown woman. With stuff. I’ve learned what is important and what is not, and mostly, I’ve learned what I’m made of and who my friends are.  I have learned several lessons through relocating myself, both about moving in general and about life.  Here they are:

 

 

1) You really don’t need to keep things. Really. I love my coffee mugs and my wine glasses. I collect them and they’re one of the things that make me happy. However, over the years people have given me glasses and cups—some I like and some I kept because they were a gift, and some got cracked along the way and I’ve kept them anyway. Because I thought I should. Well, there is no should in moving. It really is a do or don’t do. I got rid of half of my coffee mugs, because, well, there is really only me, and I drink out of the same mug for months at a time, and then move on to another one. I’ve kept ones that are special, and that I really like, but I’ve dialed my mug count from the 20s to 8. Because even on my worst week, I will remember to wash at least one mug. Same with wine glasses. I’m in New York City—the land of people meeting OUT. Why, because our apartments are tiny and no one wants to travel more than two trains or 10 stops if they can help it. So I’ve kept my favorite ones, and one of my mom’s favorites, because we drink a lot of wine when she visits. I’ve got a stack of “things to give away” that is about half the size of the boxes I’m actually moving to my new place. I will buy new things when I want them, and the things I’m giving away I was keeping because I was too lazy to deal with the emotion or the guilt about getting rid of something. Its only stuff. Possessions are chains and all that… I only believe that quote when its time to move. Possessions give me an ease of life. As a poor kid and an even more poor adult, I want to remain as comfortable as I can… but does that really involve 20 coffee mugs, 10 tank tops that I never wear anymore that I’ve had for more than 4 years and haven’t worn them in that long, 10 sets of Christmas lights when I haven’t put up a tree in two years, and a pair of fabulous heels that I got two years ago, but I have never worn because they hurt my feet? Nope. Control Alt Delete. Gone. The funny thing is I tossed them two days ago, and haven’t thought about them until writing this. I probably won’t think of any of it again after this moment.

This is part one of a five day post.  Come back tomorrow for part 2!

–Clare