Categories
conscious living mindfulness self discovery

You Can Take the Girl Out of the City, But You Can’t Take the City Out of the Girl

Winter 2016 on the Upper West Side

When I came back to Michigan, there were many things I wasn’t prepared for.

Winter in November was one of them.

Although I spent the past five years on the East Coast, Northern Michigan is a whole new ballgame.  Despite living in town, the heavy snow and the ice makes is nearly impossible to even walk down the street- this morning, I fell twice in my own neighborhood.

Ouch.

As I waited for the bus to get to work, a man called out to me, “you know, the bus isn’t coming up the hill today!”  I looked over at him, as snow fell off the fur on the hood of my new Michael Kors coat and into my eyes.  “Oh?” I replied, “Where does it pick up?”

“At the bottom of the hill!”

I stared at him as I wiped the snow from my face.  Well, I suppose I can make it to the bottom of the hill.

Begrudgingly, I turned around and started walking.  My clothes were already getting wet from the heavy snow, but that didn’t stop me.  I’d walk all the way to work if I had to!  A mile and a half is nothing when you’re used to walking over 10 miles each day in the city.

As I continued to walk, my feet slipped on the snow-packed pavement.  Catching my fall, my leg started to cramp.  I kept going.  Then, as I hit another icy patch, my coffee mug flew out of my hand, my phone detached from my headphones, and I fell flat on my back.  I paused for a moment.

I can’t do this shit.

All sorts of things began running through my mind at this moment.  Should I keep going?  Should I dry my phone off and see if there is an Uber nearby?  Or do I just go home, call my boss, and tell her what happened?

I decided to go with option #3.

I may be a winter baby who loves bundling up, wearing cute boots, gloves, and hats, but when my nearly 35-year-old body is in pain, the best option is to stay inside.

Maybe I should mention that I haven’t driven a car in almost six years- and I am not about to start now.  Can you even imagine the damage I could do to myself or others if I were to drive on this ice?  It wouldn’t be pretty- not to mention bad for my anxiety.

You can take the girl out of the city, but you can’t take the city out of the girl- even if it means she’ll attempt to walk a mile and a half in the snow and risk falling on her butt.

Categories
mindfulness

Back to NYC

We all have a destiny, and I am moderately certain mine is growing old writing on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, sitting in Riverside Park, and going to Zabar’s.

Retirement #goals.

Tonight I’m heading back to spend the weekend in NYC with my dear friend Nicoline. We haven’t seen each other since a Camille Styles book signing at West Elm back in 2014. Nevertheless, it’s been a long time.

That fateful October was the last time the SF Giants won the World Series, which was how we met.  Over conversation, baseball, and mutual ex boyfriend, we had the same Hunter Boots on as we watched the game at a Finnerty’s on 2nd Street.

Ah, memories.

The one year of Joe’s passing is approaching on July 1st, and Nicoline and I have become closer than ever since.  I am sure he would find it hilarious that we are friends.  Although we dated the same guy at one point in time, we were able to see past it and be there for one another.  That is what life is all about- and I am grateful.

Although it won’t be our Giants, we are heading to Yankee Stadium to celebrate our reunion over baseball and brunch.  I can’t wait.

A weekend getaway is just what I need- to reflect on where I’ve been, where I’m at, and how far I have come.

🧡

Categories
authenticity self discovery

Hiding Behind the Skyscrapers and Dreams

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The beginning of the end of my New York era begins with a weekend in Hoboken.

Ah, memories.

It’s hard to believe it’s been two whole years since that Memorial Day.  It was my third time in New Jersey, second time in Hoboken, and first time eating a Taylor ham sandwich.  I had a week-long relationship with a Jersey boy, who had me over for a Memorial Day celebration which I ultimately ruined thanks to showing up late, drinking too much, and then sleeping through dinner- where I was supposed to make scallops.

Oops.

After two days across the river and one final goodbye to the Jersey boy, I took PATH back to the city on a bright Sunday morning, feeling empty inside.  Going home to no one, clueless as to what I would do with myself for the next two days, I immediately walked into an Astoria bar after taking the below picture.

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I hid my pain well- unless you were one of the few who saw the way I lived my life.

Although I was smiling in that photo, inside I was in pieces.  At that point I was almost ready to face myself and stop hiding behind the hustle and bustle, drinking and dates- but not quite.

New York is an easy place for dreamers to hide- but when those dreams are broken, it’s time to live in reality and create new ones.

I’m feeling grateful this Memorial Day to be able to make peace with my past.  I’m also grateful to finally say goodbye to the old Kristin- the Kristin who was so scared and alone.  The girl who ran toward comfort yet pushed it away.  The girl who wasn’t sure what she wanted, and didn’t know if she would ever find out.

The Jersey boy couldn’t fix me.  He wanted to try, but it only lasted seven days.  A job, apartment, friend, family member, or therapist couldn’t fix me, either.  I had to step out of the skyscraper shadow, look in the mirror, and fix myself.

and I am so glad I did.

“Manhattan. Sometimes from beyond the skyscrapers, across thousands of high walls, the fearful cry of a too-well-known voice finds you in your insomnia in the middle of the night, and you remember that this desert of iron and cement is an island of un-reality.”

-Albert Camus

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Categories
conscious living mindfulness minimalism self care

Living Beautifully

 

I used to get tied up in day to day monotony and focused on all of the things I “had” to do or “should” do.  This was especially prevalent in New York.  I didn’t always stop to enjoy the beauty around me or the small details that bring each day joy.

My life was so chaotic that I didn’t enjoy the little things, such as sitting to enjoy a smoothie at Starbucks, journaling, listening to the birds, painting my nails to coordinate with my outfit, or taking pictures of the sunrise.  I just rushed through life to get to the next moment.  That’s no way to live.

After leaving NYC last summer, I lived with family by the lake in a small Michigan town, away from the modern conveniences of city living.  It was the perfect “reset.”  I enjoyed coffee in the backyard each morning, relaxed by the water, and actually enjoyed my meals- I stopped rushing and began to enjoy the moment.

That was when my true passion for mindfulness began.

When I started this blog in the beginning of December 2016, I wanted to combine my mindfulness lessons with my love for style and living beautifully.  People have continually told me to relax and stop worrying about my makeup, outfit or hair- but those are things I enjoy.  It’s a part of “living beautifully.”

I believe there’s a fine balance between relaxing and simply feeling good for you.  Some days I want to run around in a baseball cap and flip flops, and others I want to wear my staple- the little black dress.  It all depends on the day.

Living beautifully is about balance.

Life in Boston has provided a perfect mix of city life and mindful living, as this historic city is so diverse with beauty, culture, nature and sophistication.  Mindful in Style came naturally to me after just six short days, and I’ve enjoyed writing about my life of mindfulness, minimalism, style and spirituality ever since.

What does living beautifully mean to you?

Categories
mindfulness

Roll the Dice

It’s hard to believe I left NYC one year ago today.  I remember that morning well- I was half packed, nervous and defeated.  I had been staying at a friend’s house with air conditioning because my tiny bedroom was full of boxes, humid and cramped.  I needed to be around other people to keep my mind off the decision I had made- to trade in my dreams of the New York hustle to create a more mellow, mindful life.

Although it wasn’t easy, it was one of the best decisions I could have made.  You can’t fit a square peg in a round hole, and I didn’t like the person I was becoming.  I had become cold and bitter, even when my work life was going well.  I vividly remember a hot afternoon walking down Fifth Avenue, pushing through people while trying to deposit a very nice paycheck into my bank account.  Money didn’t make me happy, nor did my surroundings.

I wanted peace.

Although I was able to find serenity in Central Park, along the Hudson River and at the New York Public Library, I stopped enjoying life day to day.  I figuratively “rolled the dice” and made the decision to leave.  It has been an interesting ride ever since that day in late July, and this morning I have been reflecting on how grateful I am and how far I have come.

I’ve never been nervous to make big decisions, but over the past year I have learned to focus on the moment and take life step by step.  Over the years I have continually looked at the “bigger picture,” not realizing that the simple choices I make in my day to day life can lead up to amazing things that I never would have pondered.  

My decision to move to Boston was one of the best I ever could have made.  It is the perfect balance between city life and mindful living; being along the ocean, the Charles River and lakes has brought me peace, while the opportunities I’ve been given have helped me practice living in the moment.

I’m still learning to slow down, focus on what I want, and let the universe do the rest.  If I am able to live in the moment, the fruits of my labor will be revealed in ways I couldn’t even imagine in my own mind- and I’m grateful to be present to notice them. 

Although I still hold New York near and dear to my heart, bigger, better, and faster isn’t something I need to implement in my daily life.  With a grateful heart, I’ll focus on the day, do the best I can and continue to live in the moment.  You never know when you’ll get lucky and roll a Yahtzee!