Normally when I get into a rut I try to think of an escape plan. First comes the where and then comes the how. I start creating travel ideas in my head; NYC apartment hunts galore! Every summer I create a bucket list of activities I plan on accomplishing. Instead, this year I focused on living in the moment without making unnecessary forced check off lists and grandeur getaways. For four years (between school, internships, and travel breaks) I never gave myself the opportunity to focus my efforts into little things in life that made me most happiest. Just to let things be and happen naturally. As a fervent go-getter, standing back and letting things come your way instead of chasing them is no easy feat. After graduation, in lieu of the job-hunt prowl, (I know, me the workaholic. Shocking), I decided to dedicate my time exploring my city and myself (as cliché as that sounds) before jumping into a career. Thus began my journey to grab life by the bootstraps and begin to be more present. Here are highlights so far from my Summer of Mindfulness:
1: Camp Man Repeller
For those of you that actually ~know me~, you know that I am completely and utterly obsessed with Man Repeller. Like a non-fathomable unicorn in the clouds, I was presented a dreamy opportunity to attend their weekend retreat upstate. Because tickets were selling fast (they sold out in 48 hours), I couldn’t recruit anyone in time. So I packed a bag, rented a car with three strangers from the mass Brooklyn email thread and we made the six-hour trek to Warrensburg, New York. Needless to say, it was the best weekend of my life.
2: Started What Does She Do
Woooo. It’s been a fun ride thus far! I'm constantly interviewing people and love getting to pick your brains one neuron at a time.
3: Write, Write, Write
Bought a journal that I’ve been writing in every day. Also banging out fresh content on Bon to be Wild on the reg for you guys to peruse.
4: Read, read, read
Challenged myself to read a book a week. Thanks mom for reading to me every night as a young one. I’m a total book junkie now.
Summer Book Reads Thus Far:
-Option B by Sheryl Sandberg
-The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo
-Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
-Before We Were Strangers By Renee Carlino
-13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl by Mona Awad
Also started reading the Daily Skimm because me and politics and worldly affairs are strangers but now we’re buddies and you could totally join us for drinks next time we hit up a bar and I may even be able to tell you what's going on in South Korea.
5: Sit in PARKS (and make people feel uncomfortable)
Most people have travel bucket lists. I have park bucket lists. I also am a certified (psycho) people watcher. Parks I’ve frequented whilst reading aforementioned books/writing in aforementioned journal/lots and lots of self-reflection and sorting out existential crises are listed below.
- Gramercy Park
-St Vincent’s Triangle Park
-The High Line
- Some hippie garden park near The New School (??)
(I don't play favorites, love all my parks equally.)
6: Binge Watch a Series in one Week
- The Handmaid’s Tale. Must, must, watch.
7: New Bookstores/Library Adventures!
Argosy: An antiquated bookstore on 59th street and Lexington. Old books with inscriptions dating back to the 17th century.
Three Lives and Company: Snug neighborhood bookshop in the Village. It’s also across the street from Van Leewen’s. Ice cream+Books = Heaven is a Place on Earth.
Book Shop + Story Telling Lab: An adorable curated collection of children’s books in Park Slope.
Poetry Foundation Library: Library dedicated to loads and loads of poetry. (!!!). Overlooking the River Terrace; scenic views. A block away from Loopy Doopy rooftop. Poetry + Drinks = Even Better Poetry.
Not much of a museum girl but I tried. A for effort?
- Whitney Museum of American Art: The Biennial
-Rubin Museum of Modern Art: The Sound exhibit
10: Met up with an Old Friend:
This is the third time in the last few months I cold called someone I haven't spoken to in years just to get their perspective on life. This particular gal was an old high school bud and I missed her and needed advice so I reached out for coffee.
10: Wrote Someone a Letter (and actually sent it)
I write people letters all the time but never actually click send. This time I did because y'know when you need to tell someone how you're feeling and apologize before it's too late? In some crazy turn of events I received an apology letter from someone (a few days after sending my own) that I haven’t spoken to in 6 years. Talk about irony. Or fate. Or God. I don't know, you tell me (???)
11:Take a New School class:
Always secretly wished I was a New School journalism student. In the spring I took Sue Shapiro's Writing for Magazines class in her apartment (a writer's absolute dream land.) In June I took a ‘Meditation and Writing’ course. It was super dope! Also tied in with my whole mindful concept I was trying to achieve.
12: Trying to be Less Hard On Myself
A work in progress.
*Gonna try to update this list end of summer, stay tuned comrades*