Friday, November 30, 2007

don't we all

I often think about what it might like to be someone else. If just for a day. Do they get wet when it's raining, too?

More than I'd care to, I find myself saying, "why me?” I feel like I'm sick more often than other people my age. I feel like I must be in more debt than other people my age (how else can anyone afford to go out several nights a week in New York? I wonder). In my self-deprecating moments, I say it: my life -- past and present -- seems harder than most other people's.

Is it, really?

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The above is a recent confession from I love this site. I think it taps into that self-deprecating me that I hate, yet am oddly fascinated by. Because things really DO seem worse for me than others in my age range, sex, ethnicity and income range.

I see people every day that look like they lead utterly perfect lives. And I'm not talking about Hollywood-types and celebrities, or even the Queen of England (I mean, c'mon, to really be a QUEEN for a day?! Damn...). I see these people on the Subway. On the street. Walking out of my apartment building, even.

I wonder if they ever have to sell a handbag that they once coveted at the local consignment shop so that they can make their rent on the first of the month. I do. Tonight, as a matter of fact. Simply because I moved this month and overspent a bit on items for my new apartment. Yes, it is entirely my fault, but it still sucks.

A few weeks back, I came down with SARS. Okay, not really SARS, but I was very sick for over a week. I was in excruciating pain most hours of the day, couldn't eat, couldn't sleep; I was utterly miserable. I'm a week shy of my next mid/late-twenties birthday, and I spent a week holed up in my apartment because, briefly, I was pretty sure I was dying. I've felt this bad at least three times over the past year. Other 25/26/27 year olds don't have such deteriorating health, do they?

What I think is worse, in this situation, is that I went through a battery of medical testing (one of which actually making me more physically sick than I was before I went in for it), only to find nothing turn up. Earlier this year, I went through a similar round of testing, when the pain in my head and neck was so bad that sometimes I actually couldn't lift my head from the pillow in the morning, to -- again -- find nothing.

This year has been especially trying, but I know my life isn't that bad. I am (apparently) healthy. I have enough to eat each day. I have loving friends near me and caring family a bit farther but there. I have a job where I make a reasonable salary. I have heat, hot water and minimal pests in my apartment. I am lucky enough to have my own space. I have a lot, but I don't always have a smile on my face, nor a positive outlook.

So some people are probably just much better at faking it than I am.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

the things I should do

I won't sugar-coat it: I can be uber lazy.

I was extremely motivated to lead many extraciricular lives in high school -- from the School Board to cheerleading to Student Council and Students Against Drunk Driving.

I believe the laziness officially took hold at some point during my spring semester freshman year in college. This is probably not uncommon. But it took hold in a big way for me. It started with not doing my French homework about once a week. I didn't like taking French; I wasn't good at speaking or reading or understanding French; I had no interest in going to France or any other French-speaking location. So occasionally I skipped my French homework to talk on IM with my then-long-distance boyfriend, or to download the latest Dido song on Napster, or to Dome-jump (its not half as dangerous as it sounds, by the way. Not only am I lazy, but I am also quite cautious). After that, I eased into my laziness a bit more... to procrastinating on papers and studying for exams. Then I toughened up. I stopped studying French altogether. At my final oral exam, Spring semester of my freshman year, the only phrase I rehearsed walking up to meet my professor was, "I don't know." I said that 15 times during my exam (he counted). After, my professor told me (in English) that it made him sad that I had so little interest in this, considering I had told him I was a reasonably good French student in high school. I admitted that that meant that my French teacher in high school liked me. I couldn' speak the language worth a damn, but she just liked me. After that, I had fulfilled my language requirement, and stopped speaking French completely. Now, the only thing I remember is "c'est impossible!" and that's only because I am newly obsessed with Dinner: Impossible on the Food Network and the show makes me think of that phrase. Because everything Robert Irvine does is impossible!! (In my dream last night, he was playing the role of my boyfriend. Also impossible.)

Later on in college I stopped studying for exams -- even finals -- altogether. The only class I ever studied for was my Television Crit classes. Partly because I cared, but mostly because my professor's tests were unbearably difficult. Once, even when I did study, I got a 52% on my exam. To my credit, though, after taking my third class with this prof, I was scoring 98% almost every time. For the other classes, though, I favored watching Sex & the City on DVD with my roommate to even looking at a book. But, as a television major, that wasn't the worst possible thing I could do.

Now my laziness flucuates wildly. As I've posted before, I occassionaly forgo work for watching Grey's Anatomy at my desk. While other times, like last week for example, I don't give myself a minute to breathe non-publicity-related air while at work. This week I am back to being lazy. I am already contemplating which episode of Grey's to watch tomorrow.

The thing about being lazy, at least for me, is that I spend an awful lot of time thinking about the things I should be doing instead of being lazy. In college it was that I should have been doing some kind of assigned reading. Today it was that I could have called a few more journalists to pitch my client's latest product.

But I don't. Because I'm kind of lazy.

Friday, November 9, 2007

confession of the week

Sometimes on Fridays, while I'm supposed to be working, I download episodes of Grey's Anatomy on iTunes. I lock my office door and enjoy McDreamy for 45 minutes of my company's time.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

saving the world, one organic bath towel at a time

Sometimes I feel like I am the picture of change. I often think what a different person I was just five years ago.

Then: I eagerly anticipated my college graduation, moving to New York, and getting a "real" job.
Now: I eagerly anticipate winning the lottery, early retirement and moving out of New York.

One thing that I find radically different about myself is my approach to the world around me. I was not always the balanced, eco-friendly, world-hugging person you know and love today. The problems that I had while growing up once consumed me, and I am often thought only of myself and those around me (usually those around me more than myself, though [but, believe me, I'm certainly not bragging there]). Today, I can honestly say that I do my best to think globally.

I recently moved and needed a lot of new items for my fancypants new apartment. When I purchased these products, I took both eco-friendly and my more traditional products into consideration. With very few exceptions, I chose the eco-friendly options. I did things like clean with all environmentally safe products, order organic groceries and buy organic cotton bath towels free of unfriendly dyes.

I remember when I was six or seven, Nickelodeon started a marketing campaign with the then-new buzz phrase "reduce, reuse, recycle." I distinctly recall thinking that all the whole thing was stupid and it didn't apply to me. I mean, it wasn't like the polar ice caps were going to melt if I didn't recycle my soda can...


I can't exactly remember now why I had this mentality. I blame (at least partially) my parents. My father only started recycling when I was around 10 or 11. And even then, I think it was because it amused him to crush the cans. My mother still doesn't recycle. I now beg and plead but she makes a million excuses. I remind her that when Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn flood, her grandchildren and I will be washed into New York Bay and swallowed into the Atlantic. This has yet to phase her. And since I live three hours away from her, I can hardly mandate my recycling policy there.

I've personally committed myself to helping to protect the environment and limiting my own carbon footprint. I've made it a priority for me. I hope one day the energy-saver lightbulb goes on over the rest of my family's head, too.