Walking with my head toward the sky

When you walk through the streets of Manhattan, do you ever notice the people around you? Do we ever take the time to lift our heads and our noses up from our phones and just really see the people or the buildings?

I will admit that on days when I am stressed out or feeling insecure, I will walk with my eyes glued to the screen of my phone, but I do my best to keep foot traffic flowing and avoid bumping into strangers. No one is perfect.

During my brief walk from Bryant Park on 42nd to the Fred E. French Building on 45th, I noticed that everyone walking next to or in front of me was staring down at the screen of their cell phone or behind the viewfinder of a camera. A young girl was moving at such a pace that she tripped into a woman because she never looked up – not once. She never thought to take her eyes off the screen and stop texting to check to see if someone was in front of her.

Texting while walking really grinds my gears. I cannot stand being stuck behind someone who is moving at a snails pace because she has her nose in her phone. In this digital age, it is so important that you look up and take in the sights once in a while. Not only is it rude, but it is actually dangerous! The New York Times, the Washington Post, Fortune Magazine, USA Today... the list goes on. These major journalistic outlets have studied this exact topic and have shown just how dangerous this nasty habit is. Take a look at this video:

NYT Texting & Walking

In Gait & Posture, Eric Lambert found that texting while walking produces navigational errors and that gait velocity is reduced when using a cell phone to text or talk. (2012) When you are looking down, you are limiting what can be seen around your person. You develop multiple blind spots, whereas there would only be one if you walked with your head up and watching for danger. Basically, walking and texting is like you are wearing a blindfold and you are prone to serious injuries. According to the NSC (National Safety Council), between 2000 and 2011, walking while using your cell phone accounted for 11,100 injuries.

There is also the courtesy factor.

It is completely inconsiderate of texters to come to a complete stop in the middle of a busy NYC sidewalk, staircase, or entry-way. Blocking foot traffic in Manhattan is a dangerous all by itself, but then you factor in that people are not even noticing that bodies are moving towards them!

What’s the considerate or proper technique you may ask. Well, you should really pull over to the side of the sidewalk, complete your text, Google searches or whatever you need to look down and view and then proceed down the street. Practicing pedestrian etiquette will allow for others to continue walking without obstruction and will lower pedestrian accident rates.

“Petextrian” accidents have risen to more than 3.5 percent, according to a report by the GHSA (Governors Highway Safety Association). Teenagers make up more than 40% of these accidents because they cross streets while texting and cannot detect the oncoming dangers while being distracted by mobile devices. Of course, driving while distracted or impaired will ALWAYS be the number one cause for accidents, texting while walking is a menace to pedestrians just trying to make it to the end of the next block.

Please, next time you are out, do me a favor – pick your head up and notice the world around you. Notice the world outside of the cell phone!

“The Road So Far…”

Here we are. December is finally here and everywhere I go I see Christmas. Honestly, I work so much that sometimes I cannot believe that Christmas will be here in only 15 days. Typically, this is my favorite holiday because I love hearing the music and seeing the decorations, but this year…I am struggling to keep moving. I have many decisions to make before the end of 2016 and I am having the hardest time balancing all of my responsibilities.

Every night, I come home from work – dead tired and defeated. I have not worked on my novel for four months, but luckily I was able to get the week after Christmas off from work. I anticipate many long nights of writing and re-writing.

Since my break-up with Zack, I have not been doing so well. I put on a brave face and I smile and laugh my way through the work day, but what I really  want to do is just curl into a ball and cry. I have been struggling to move on from him and from the memory of our relationship, but it is hard. Letting go of someone is really hard. I wake up every morning with this hole in my chest and sometimes I feel like I cannot take a deep breath. People keep telling me to just move and forget him. “He was a loser,” some say. “He was a jerk and doesn’t deserve you anyway!” Well, the truth is I was in love with that loser – that asshole.

Let me tell you something about Zack. He may not have been the best at actually being in a relationship and managing work and making time for his girlfriend, BUT he is one of the best men to ever walk into my life and I will miss him for the rest of my adult life.

He was warm and funny; childish yet filled with wisdom. He was level-headed and impulsive. He was quiet but opinionated. He never told me that there was something I could not do. Most importantly, he never asked me to be someone I am not. He appreciated the woman I was when we were together. He always made sure we had fun and he encouraged me to follow my dreams. I will never find another Zack and to be honest, I do not want to because I will forever measure that man up to the Zack I want to be with.

It sucks that he and I are not together anymore and I feel like I am drowning in an ocean of our memories, but I guess there is nothing that can be done about this now. It just sucks that now that I can move back to New Haven, we are no longer together. If only I had been able to move back there last year. We might have gotten our Valentine’s Day dinner.

The Five Stages

About three months ago, I made the decision to end my relationship.

It wasn’t healthy. No one was happy. And…let’s face it – it just was not working.

I spent a year and a half trying to find some way to make it work and I did all I could, but he did not want to put in the work.

He did not want to spend hours traveling to me. He did not want to take five minutes at night to call me. He did not want to use his breaks at work to text me “good morning” or ask my how my day is.  He did not want to make me a part of his world.

It’s never easy, deciding to break up with someone. Every day I feel this hole, this unfillable void, in my life and I miss him.

I wake up and I miss him. I ride the train and I think about him. I walk to my office and my mind is flooded with memories of walking places with him. There is not a day I don’t hope and pray that he would just text me and want to work it all out – but he doesn’t.

He may not know this, but he saved my life. He helped me find myself and question the path I was on. He encouraged me to try new things; he always told me I could do anything I wanted.

Without him, I would probably still be working on my Senior Seminar British Literature term paper.

Thank you, Zack…thank you for keeping me awake that night, even though I kept taking mini naps and you would have to keep calling me. Thank you for making sure that at 3:45 AM, I woke up from my nap and finished page 6. Thank you for acting as my silent support system as I finished my final exam paper for my Literary Criticism class. You were watching the Kurt Cobain documentary, but having you next to me kept me focused because I knew that as long as you were there that I would get the paper done. Thank you for coming to my awards ceremony when we had only been dating one week.

Humbati…you oaf. xo

New Year’s Resolutions

I have a plan. It is a really good, solid plan. I have this schedule that I developed last week. It maps out my workouts, writing time, reading sessions, hours of job hunting, and when I get to just sit in silence. I actually in Saturday and Sunday morning swims at the indoor pool up the block from me. I am really excited to get started tomorrow. It is pretty awesome. I also have a list of resolutions for the year that I have posted right next to the headboard of my bed. This way I look at them every morning. Some of the are bound to be accomplished in 2016, if not the year after.

  1. Do tae bo everyday
  2. Run on the treadmill
  3. Meditate daily
  4. Take up yoga
  5. Cook and eat healthier
  6. Shop less
  7. Save more of my money
  8. Get my license
  9. Buy a car
  10. Find a job
  11. Pay off all of my credit cards
  12. Rent an apartment
  13. Get a cat
  14. Practice the clarinet
  15. Take piano lessons
  16. Drop three jeans sizes
  17. Write three short stories
  18. Self-publish a second book
  19. Enroll in a graduate degree program
  20. Study jamais vu

I was listening to Z100 last Monday and they said that the best way to write a real list of resolutions is to avoid using negative words and phrases. For example: Lose weight, stop smoking, stop over-eating. Telling yourself to stop doing something is as effective as weighing yourself every single morning, rather than at the start and end of every week. It is counter-productive because really you are causing yourself to continue bad habits you may want to break. I am a major offender of this advice, but this year I plan to try harder to follow it.

I am also planning to prepare my own lunches, utilize my Betty Crocker cookbook for dinners, and cut back on desserts until my birthday, in March. It will be so good for me, my complexion, and my over-all health. We cannot all have the super-metabolism and china doll complexion of the Gilmore Girls…even though I try.

Tomorrow’s menu includes my homemade chicken salad for lunch paired with delicious cucumber water. Dinner is still to be announced.

 

 

I Will Never Stop…

My boyfriend has no idea how lucky he is to be loved by me. I am pretty sure that he and I are not going to be a thing soon.

I am sure that I drive him crazy.

I will never stop being in love with him, until he tells me to. Until the day he tells me he does not want to be with me anymore. He came into my life at a time when I felt so lost. He saved me. Zachary saved me, and now I cannot imagine my life without him in it.

So, no…I will never stop caring about. I will never stop trying to be the best girlfriend I can be to him, and I definitely will never stop falling in love with him.

Sometimes it hurts

Did you ever notice that small spark of pain that shoots through your body, when you are faced with a difficult decision? It starts in your nose, jumps down to your toes, and then slowly worms its way into your heart and shocks your core.

That has happened to me more often than not lately. I am torn between something I do not want to do, and something I should do. What DO I do?

Why would I want to make the decision that will only break two hearts in the end? I just do not have the ability to break someone’s heart. It is not in my genetic make-up to hurt someone. That’s what makes me such a special kind of girl.

I’m the girl that has the best intentions; I’m the girl who loves everyone and makes friends with everyone. I’m the girl with too much empathy. Sometimes I feel the pain of one thousand people all at once and it tries to shoot out of me all at once.

I’m not going to do it, by the way. I refuse to break my own heart, or his heart for that matter. I’m in love with him. I will always be in love with him, and nothing can stop that. He is crazy about me as well. When I imagine my life ten years from now, all I can see is him. All I want is him. I think we were made for each other, otherwise he could have dumped me the minute I left New Haven.

We are made for each other, and I intend to stick by him until he looks me in the eyes and tells me to let him go.

I do not think that day will ever come.

We have each other’s hearts gripped in the palms of our hands, and if one of lets go…I am not sure what would happen.

A New Path

When I was a college freshman, I had this crazy dream of going to Law School. Somewhere between May 2011 and the Spring semester of my sophomore year, I decided to surrender that dream to the anxiety-ridden brain, inside my skull, that was screaming “Law School??!!! Is she crazy? We will be lucky to graduate from Albertus!”

Well…I did it, and I finished, with honors.

Now, I have re-booted that dream. For the next year, I will immerse myself into a pool of intense studying for the dreaded LSAT. My personal goal is to score at least a 150, on practice tests, by December. I will study from now until next fall, and in that time I should know if I definitely want to pursue the Law School dream.

If I did actually attend Law School, I would concentrate on the intellectual property law, trademarks, copyrights, patents,etc. I think it is a perfect match for the side of me that wants to work in the Publishing industry.

The only downside to this plan is that I would have to use any money I have saved, and that I save over the next year or year and a half, to pay for the test itself and for Law School. There is no way my parents could ever pay for it even if they offered. Right now, I am looking into Fordham University Law and Hofstra Law. Hofstra is right down the road from my house, and it’s tuition is pretty reasonable.

This could be an amazing journey for me, and I already have the support of my sister, my boyfriend, and my therapist. I still have to talk to my mom and see if she would be on board with my plan. I bet she will be, but it will definitely be a struggle. Although, if I live at home for a while longer than I had intended, maybe I can get an apartment somewhere around here. Hofstra has graduate housing. Maybe I can look into that, after a while.

I still have so much to do in regards to this plan, but this gives me so many different options. Law School means more money once I have graduated. Better job opportunities. More money. More doors will open up for me in life.

My timeline:

Sept 2015-Sept 2016 Study for LSAT

Sept 2016-Dec 2016 Take LSAT (possibly again)

Apply to Law School

Let’s do it!