who i am at 26.






























i woke this morning exhausted and not feeling terribly well. something about too much bubbly and too much cake last night.

and not enough sleep.

but the incessant call of the buzzer roused me from my warm bed--me cursing whoever thought it appropriate to make deliveries at seven-thirty in the morning.


flowers. 

flowers at the door. a beautiful fall bouquet. 

a birthday.

i tried to climb back into bed, reappropriate sleep for myself, but there is something so holy about the quiet and early morning hours in new york (anywhere for that matter) that once up i am helpless against its pull, tired as i may be.

and so i made my way to the kitchen, surveying the empty wine bottles and glasses along the way, brewed a pot of coffee, and pulled from the cabinet a green mug--the plant-potter mug. 

morning ritual.

bare feet on wood. cool tin of coffee grounds. the hiss and spit of the coffeemaker. the selection of the mug. the settling into my chair just in front of the window. and all the moments between. the connect-the-dots.

i am both the ritual and the departure from it. 

that's what i came to this morning, thinking about who i am now, at 26. 

i am the product of 25 and 24 and all the years before. i am the rituals i have made my own. and i am the departures. 

the air is getting cooler now. brisk and breezy. and i have this suspicion it won't be long before  the people across the street who take their morning coffee on the fire escape disappear inside for the long winter months. already i am wistful for that image, sorry for the loss of their presence. but this weather--oh how this weather heralds a hope like no other. how the cool air carries on its back a sense of possibility and precipice and great joy--old joy.

today i am the girl who is better than okay. the girl with a flirting, passing love-affair with happiness.

sometimes i can feel the thing--that joy, that happiness--just beneath my tongue, or behind my eyes. sometimes it's right there where my ear meets my neck and every once in a while, when i least expect it, it is everywhere all at once. it is profound and all-encompassing--swaddling and lifting.

i am the girl who is just now realizing some things must be fought for. happiness, yes, and courage yes, and people, too. and that pride isn't too tremendously helpful. 

i'm pretty good at giving up. at giving in. at letting fear dictate. but i'm working on that. i'm learning to fight for myself. learning to fight for the chance to suss out who i love and what i love and what i'm meant to do. learning to fight for the right words in this world. and the courage to say them, aloud. not to write them, but to form my lips around them and feel them as they move up and out of me, physically. this is the world of light and speech. right? isn't that what george elliot said? this is the world of light and speech--i'm just now coming into that, owning that. 

just the other night my father told me that when i was a wee of a thing he'd arrive home from work and my brother would run hollering at the door, daddy, daddy! and as he did so, i'd run to the furthest room in the house, silently, and wait for my father to come find me. 

only now at 26 am i learning one can't always wait to be found. endearing as that hunt was, my brother kind of had it right. sometimes you have to run headlong and fearless into the arms of the thing.

so here i am attempting to make my way down. coming from that back room, down the staircase. welcoming myself. my arrival. my decision to finally show up--to become an active participant in creating a life in this world of light and speech and the space between. 




coffee photo
found via

reflecting back. (25).



NOT MY PHOTO!!! found via audrey hepburn complex. source unknown. please tell me if you know who's photo this is.

i've been thinking a lot about what i would--what i should--write for this.

and the thing is, well, i haven't come up with much.

other than...

i'm okay.

here i am. 25. and i'm okay.

thrilling, right?

well, for me, it is. okay is nothing short of utterly and completely thrilling.

because for so long i was not. okay.

and then i was not quite.

i have moments. all the time. moments where i feel like i should have done more. been more. said more. moments where i feel so far behind. hell, i'm 25 already. this is it? this is all i've accomplished? but then i quietly remind myself that we all have different paths. different life trajectories. our stories vary. and my accomplishments, my multitudinous (yup, i just used that word) victories are mostly private. things that others might never understand. but for me those victories are the difference between not okay. not quite. and just fine.

and just fine, okay, whatever-you-want-to-call-it is the beginning. the beginning of everything. the part of my story where my successes become (i hope) a bit more public.



so who am i at 25?



i'm someone who believes that unsolicited smiles by strangers are one of the most profound acts of kindness possible.

i still use the crabtree and evelyn room spray that my mother gifted me for my 19th birthday. it immediately brings me back to a time of naivete and endless possibility.

i find the music of florence + the machine to solicit more sock-to-wood-floor dancing than is proper or appropriate or even becoming of a lady of my pedigree (and now) age.

the quote that makes the most sense to me right now--right at this very moment: "sometimes i can hear my bones straining under the weight of all the lives i'm not living" (jonathan safran foer {of course}).

if i could go anywhere tomorrow i'd hop on a boat and sail up the dalmatian coast. or i'd return to rome. and sit in church after church after church. saturating myself in beauty and history. satiating myself with prayer (and a lot, a lot of gelato).




i don't know where life goes from here. but i'm so excited to go boldly into the unknown. to try. and to fail a little, as inevitably i will. but also to start gathering successes. collecting them one by one in the cradle of my arms so i can lay them on the alter of this life as my humble (and multitudinous) thanks.

i am so thankful to be 25. to be 25 and just fine.






see last year's who i am at 24.
image via.

reflecting back. (24).

tomorrow is my birthday.

i'm sitting in bed this morning contemplating that notion. drinking my coffee from a mug my father picked out when i turned twenty-three. it has a quote by thoreau emblazoned on the front of it.

i'm sitting here looking out at the river--the bare rock of the palisades and the green of the trees that will soon turn orange and red before fading away.

and i'm thinking how i'm not the same person i was three years ago, just after beginning this blog. and i'm not the same person i was at twenty-four. or at twenty-five. hell, i'm not the same person i was six months ago.

and i feel so fortunate. to have this. this blogspot-lover-of-mine. because it helps me keep track. chart the progress and the difference and the space between.

so will you indulge me today? tomorrow i'll post who i am at 26. but today i want to take stock of who i was at 24 and who i was at 25 (i didn't write one for 23). my hope is that reflecting on the past two years will help give meaning to this year.

let's travel back in time, shall we? or, at least, bear with me as i do?




who i am at 24...





this morning i woke up to a new year. 

i buttoned up my brand new, crisp-as-they-come, white blouse, took a good long look in the mirror and decided that yes, 24 felt different in the best possible way. i was different. better. immediately, i knew.

then i gave one squirt of smashbox foundation into my waiting hand and ended up with five gloriously large makeup blobs all over my brand new shirt--my never-been-worn shirt. and i was brought back to reality. this would not be the year of the immaculately clean white blouse. a new year, a new day does not a different person make. i am still the girl who gets make-up on her shirt (or food--more often food), stumbles over her words, and does not realize that the restaurant has not been serving broccoli now for a full 34 days (as my boss so kindly pointed out). 

and you know what? thank God above for my persistent little foibles. they're glorious. and i love them.

my girlfriend from high school and i were speaking on the phone today. about boys. (what all young, twenty-something women most love to discuss). and she mentioned a boy she had dated several years ago that she would be meeting up with soon. she expressed trepidation about the time elapsed and said, i'm not same person i was at fifteen. to which i replied, thank God,  whitney. thank God we're not the same people. 

okay, so i am different today. and i'll be different tomorrow. each day brings a new and exciting adventure. 

i may not be so young as i was last year. but i have a year's worth of knowledge along with a new number. and for the first time in my life i feel like i am on the precipice of... everything

so 24. who am i. well, here goes.

if i could have a constant supply of anything for the rest of my life it would be flowers and paper toweling. 

at the grocery store, i most love coming away with the tall, slender bottles of pellegrino. it makes me feel...french.

i hiccup any time i've had too much food or eaten too quickly. so... often. very, very often. 

there is a direct correlation between the quality of my mood and the cleanliness of my home.

laughter. above all, i need laughter. small hiccups of laughs and roaring guffaws. when i think of the man i'll marry there is so much i dream of. but the only thing i know--i mean really know--is that he'll laugh at my jokes and my constant mistakes. and himself. oh for a man who can laugh at himself! he'll make me laugh and for this i'll love him as though our lives depend on it. 

i'd like to tell you that ned isn't following me into this new year. but he is. two weeks ago i would have said, no, no way. but with the onset of bed bugs and thus a disrupted sleep cycle, he has taken taken this opportunity to creep back in. when i am healthy it's as though i've found a little pocket of air in which to breathe--and i ride it for as long as i can. it's a sweet spot where ned can't touch me. and i know that in the process of recovering it's important to fall out of the pocket so that i can figure out how to get back to it quickly. so i'm trying to give thanks for the fall out. but giving thanks isn't always so easy. nor is finding my way back in. 

back in april i gave myself a year to fail, to fall on my ass again and again. and i'm doing it and loving it. and i've still got a good six months. 

i promised myself that come 24 i would take pictures. all the time. every day. it would take work and practice, but i would make it a habit. and it would be a crushing blow to ned. but i'm not feeling very picture pretty today. so i make this promise. it will be a week late, but come this weekend i will post some photos. full length photos. photos that pretty or not will show you who i am in a way that my words cannot. 

i feel good about this age. this 24 number will be a good one. ned will end. and i will fall in love. (that's my divination for the future...i guess we'll see if my predictions are on point!). 

ps: i have a crush on a man who snaps his fingers. and when he does it's strong and clear and reminds me of my father and this inspires great confidence. 

photo via sabino.








25 coming this afternoon. 


who i am at 25.


NOT MY PHOTO!!! found via audrey hepburn complex. source unknown. please tell me if you know who's photo this is.

i've been thinking a lot about what i would--what i should--write for this.

and the thing is, well, i haven't come up with much.

other than...

i'm okay.

here i am. 25. and i'm okay.

thrilling, right?

well, for me, it is. okay is nothing short of utterly and completely thrilling.

because for so long i was not. okay.

and then i was not quite.

i have moments. all the time. moments where i feel like i should have done more. been more. said more. moments where i feel so far behind. hell, i'm 25 already. this is it? this is all i've accomplished? but then i quietly remind myself that we all have different paths. different life trajectories. our stories vary. and my accomplishments, my multitudinous (yup, i just used that word) victories are mostly private. things that others might never understand. but for me those victories are the difference between not okay. not quite. and just fine.

and just fine, okay, whatever-you-want-to-call-it is the beginning. the beginning of everything. the part of my story where my successes become (i hope) a bit more public.



so who am i at 25?



i'm someone who believes that unsolicited smiles by strangers are one of the most profound acts of kindness possible.

i still use the crabtree and evelyn room spray that my mother gifted me for my 19th birthday. it immediately brings me back to a time of naivete and endless possibility.

i find the music of florence + the machine to solicit more sock-to-wood-floor dancing than is proper or appropriate or even becoming of a lady of my pedigree (and now) age.

the quote that makes the most sense to me right now--right at this very moment: "sometimes i can hear my bones straining under the weight of all the lives i'm not living" (jonathan safran foer {of course}).

if i could go anywhere tomorrow i'd hop on a boat and sail up the dalmatian coast. or i'd return to rome. and sit in church after church after church. saturating myself in beauty and history. satiating myself with prayer (and a lot, a lot of gelato).




i don't know where life goes from here. but i'm so excited to go boldly into the unknown. to try. and to fail a little, as inevitably i will. but also to start gathering successes. collecting them one by one in the cradle of my arms so i can lay them on the alter of this life as my humble (and multitudinous) thanks.

i am so thankful to be 25. to be 25 and just fine.






see last year's who i am at 24.
image via.

this chapter.


i've been thinking a lot about what i might call this period of my life when i look back on it in twenty years.

(because this is the kind of thing one must think about. {obviously}.)

and i have decided, after much consideration, that it shall be called:

the period in which i learn to blow air through my lips in all directions and manners of fashion as an attempt to keep myself calm.




(and find that alone to be completely insufficient. {obviously}.)