Posts tagged ‘personal’

April 14, 2014

How to be Alone

How to be Alone- performed and videotaped by Andrea Dorfman

If you are at first lonely, be patient.

If you’ve not been alone much, or if when you were, you weren’t okay with it, then just wait. You’ll find it’s fine to be alone once you’re embracing it.

We can start with the acceptable places, the bathroom, the coffee shop, the library, where you can stall and read the paper, where you can get your caffeine fix and sit and stay there. Where you can browse the stacks and smell the books; you’re not supposed to talk much anyway so it’s safe there.

There is also the gym, if you’re shy, you can hang out with yourself and mirrors, you can put headphones in.

Then there’s public transportation, because we all gotta go places.

And there’s prayer and mediation, no one will think less if your hanging with your breath seeking peace and salvation.

Start simple. Things you may have previously avoided based on your avoid being alone principles.

The lunch counter, where you will be surrounded by chow-downers, employees who only have an hour and their spouses work across town, and they, like you, will be alone.

Resist the urge to hang out with your cell phone.

When you are comfortable with eat lunch and run, take yourself out for dinner; a restaurant with linen and Silverware. You’re no less an intriguing a person when you are eating solo dessert and cleaning the whipped cream from the dish with your finger. In fact, some people at full tables will wish they were where you were.

Go to the movies. Where it’s dark and soothing, alone in your seat amidst a fleeting community.

And then take yourself out dancing, to a club where no one knows you, stand on the outside of the floor until the lights convince you more and more and the music shows you. Dance like no one’s watching because they’re probably not. And if they are, assume it is with best human intentions. The way bodies move genuinely to beats, is after all, gorgeous and affecting. Dance until you’re sweating. And beads of perspiration remind you of life’s best things, down your back, like a book of blessings.

Go to the woods alone, and the trees and squirrels will watch for you. Go to an unfamiliar city, roam the streets, they are always statues to talk to, and benches made for sitting gives strangers a shared existence if only for a minute, and these moments can be so uplifting and the conversation you get in by sitting alone on benches, might have never happened had you not been there by yourself. SOURCE: Copyrights: Tanya Davis

Society is afraid of alone though. Like lonely hearts are wasting away in basements. Like people must have problems if after a while nobody is dating them.

But lonely is a freedom that breathes easy and weightless, and lonely is healing if you make it.

You can stand swathed by groups and mobs or hands with your partner, look both further and farther in the endless quest for company.

But no one is in your head. And by the time you translate your thoughts an essence of them may be lost or perhaps it is just kept. Perhaps in the interest of loving oneself, perhaps all those “sappy slogans” from pre-school over to high school groaning, we’re tokens for holding the lonely at bay.

Cause if you’re happy in your head, then solitude is blessed, and alone is okay.

It’s okay if no one believes like you, all experience is unique, no one has the same synapses, can’t think like you, for this be relieved, keeps things interesting, life’s magic things in reach, and it doesn’t mean you aren’t connected, and the community is not present, just take the perspective you get from being one person in one head and feel the effects of it.

Take silence and respect it.

If you have an art that needs a practice, stop neglecting it, if your family doesn’t get you or a religious sect is not meant for you, don’t obsess about it.

You could be in an instant surrounded if you need it.

If your heart is bleeding, make the best of it.

There is heat in freezing, be a testament.

February 26, 2014

Everything is exactly on time.

I probably wrote this blog entry numerous times in my mind. I have thought the same chain of thoughts for a while now, so often that it seems like a broken record in my head.

I’m tired. The type of tired where it is an effort to trudge up the stairs to the train, the type of tired that is so mentally exhausted and bruised that I need a small getaway to set things straight again. The type of tired where I forget my wallet twice in one week, and have to bail on plans with a friend because I wouldn’t make it in time, or walk back to my apartment in the freezing NYC endless winter 2014. I feel like I am thinking about something else entirely while doing mundane tasks.

I am completely, and utterly exhausted. My eyes have been sore since Friday, and I have bags that cover half my face. I am making a resolution to go to bed at an early time tonight and take care of myself. I want to sleep for a long time and have a week where no one speaks to me. I know that on a deeper level, this isn’t actually what I want, but silence sounds so tempting. Stopping the automatic, fake smile that I paste on day after day seems so tempting. I feel like I am constantly drowning. I have scheduled plans everyday this week because I know that if I don’t do it, I will give in to buying some wine, streaming Netflix, and feeling worse about myself.

Emotionally, I feel ridiculously drained. More so than I remember feeling in a long time. I know that these steps back are good in their own way. There will never be those good days, if everyday was a good day. But lately, it feels like everyday  (probably in the last two weeks or so) has been a battle to face. One of my biggest weaknesses is that I have high expectations, and a bad reaction when those things don’t appear. I have high expectations for my friends, my relationships, and the standards I place on myself. I know that I am the only person judging me, and therefore the only person standing in my own way. Things out of my control changed the position I was so excited about accepting, and it is a disheartening place to be. A bad day, a bad week, a bad month, a bad year does not mean that you have a bad life.

Almost two years later from when I started this blog, I am probably the healthiest I have ever been in my life physically. I make it a priority to walk as many places as possible, I start the day off with a workout sometimes, and I try not to miss yoga because it offers a mental escape for me.

I have noticed that I embody some traits that may be great for other people, but I deserve that same love and respect towards myself. I am the listening ear to many problems yet I don’t feel comfortable voicing my own problems, to the point where I have started and stopped journals ten times this year because pages don’t judge you. The truth is my friends don’t judge me either, but I judge me, so I assume that everyone is too.

It is all quite idiotic but very valid, and I am trying to find a balance between taking care of myself and moving forward. Right now, it feels like one step forward, two steps back. I know that life owes me nothing, and that I have a lot to be thankful for. I am grateful I live in a beautiful exposed brick loft and I am able to afford it. I am grateful I can buy organic food, fruits, vegetables, and I have never gone hungry a day in my life. I know that the problems in my life are completely and utterly relative.

I wrote this post because I think it needs to be brought out that no matter what it looks like on the outside, no one has it together 100 percent of the time. I know that my story is better and worse than other people. No one knows my circumstances quite like I do, but I also know that I could easily be doing more to take care of myself. This is a priority. Next week is my birthday, and I am not going to let my bad February dominate my life. The pity party is over. To be honest, it is probably the most motivated I have been in recent memory to change my situation, so I will make sure I do. It’ll pay off. And when it does, it will be big.

Here’s to bad weeks/months/days/years – they just make you better. If you let them.



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February 25, 2014


“This is one more piece of advice I have for you: don’t get impatient. Even if things are so tangled up you can’t do anything, don’t get desperate or blow a fuse and start yanking on one particular thread before it’s ready to come undone. You have to realize it’s going to be a
long process and that you’ll work on things slowly, one at a time.”

-Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood

January 21, 2014


I eat kale and spinach and make a green smoothie everyday, and I work out five days a week, get to yoga four days a week and stretch my brain, my brain pieces, my hamstrings, my legs, sometimes I stare at the mirror and tell myself I am the prettiest girl I have ever seen.

Sometimes I make chia pudding for the morning, and eat breakfast everyday, and I am the most positive person I know.

And then there are some days when I eat two bowls of potatoes because I am craving that soft comforting feeling or I order my favorite dishes and allow someone else to cook for the week for me. Sometimes I order Indian because I miss home or because I know that no one else will be making that for me, and it is not economical for me to make it myself.

Sometimes I binge eat brownies even if they are black bean brownies because I love chocolate.

And then I remember that all of this is okay.

No one is a hundred percent healthy all of the time. And with all this talk about health, shouldn’t someone be saying, “Well, health is not the same for everyone.”

January 21, 2014

There are times in your life where you need a good project or two, the kind of thing that makes you get up in the morning

Eager to tackle the day, eager to start doing that said task, to work on something bigger then yourself. I say acknowledge these feelings and create like you need to create.

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January 2, 2014


I have never been a fan of resolutions. Maybe I am more of a big picture type of person because those things come easier to me; they come more naturally. Resolutions so often end in failure that I usually give up before I start. Or I tell myself that every day is a new chance and that it does not have to be a new year for profound change.

Everyday, you wake up with a chance for a new life. To be a different person. To start a new hobby. Meet someone new. I have this outlook most days. I have this outlook often. But I am like everyone else, and I have bad days, bad weeks, bad years. I am not sure where in the middle 2013 lies, but it has been the best worst year in recent memory. There was a time that I would deny this; that my unhappiness was somehow my own fault and that I was doing something wrong in life. That it was my fault that some days I woke up, and genuinely thought that I didn’t want to get up and get dressed that day. I wanted a different life. It didn’t hit me that a series of circumstances and the lack of a tangible goal were attributing to my sadness. I was in a job that lead nowhere, and I ignored the small things I learned because I was not in a place that I pictured. Ever since I was a young girl, plans gave me comfort. I love to do lists, and even make ones for things I have already completed for the sheer joy of crossing them out again. It makes me feel productive to look at what I accomplished in a day because in some small way, it just means I am going forward. Or maybe just moving is a more accurate description. Even if those things were basic tasks. Plans comfort me like a warm bath. They reassure.

This time of year is particularly reflective for everyone, and I am no different. Even if these resolutions don’t come to fruition this year, it will keep me in the mindset that it is never too late to change your habits, and by extension, your life.

Here is what I want to work on this year:

1. Dress Better

I often keep around clothes that no longer fit me and do not make me feel confident. Since my financial situation has changed, this will be more possible to change. I want to carry myself with more grace and class, and I want  to project that attitude out into the world. I have made a date with myself to spend some time going into stores and trying things on, seeing what works and what doesn’t work on my body, and acknowledging that those things I don’t like about myself will eventually fade.

2. Keep my health a number one priority.

I have drastically overhauled my lifestyle this year, and it has shown on my body. I am happier, my skin glows, my breakouts are at a minimum, and I have cravings for green instead of junk food. I still treat myself now and again but many of the foods I thought were so good once before do not have the same appeal they once had. I used to be crazy about Wawa mac and cheese in college, yet when I tried it when I was home in Philadelphia over Christmas break, I was pretty unimpressed.

3. Keep Active

I have periods during the year where I never miss workouts, I go to yoga regularly, and I am mentally in a very happy place. As things get busier and busier, I let those regular parts of my routine fall by the wayside and I find myself getting more and more frusrated easily. These routines in my life take care of my body and spirit. I need to make them more of a priority.

4. Learn to love myself.

This year, of all years, has been the hardest for me in the sense that I have been my own harshest critic. I can’t really perform the best when someone is mean to me all the time. This ends now. I am living this year like I am Beyonce. Life is too short to be insecure about everything (even though everyone has those days, even Beyonce) and life is too precious to be wasted concerning yourself with what other people may think. The people I care most about have had a significant influence on the way I carry myself, and sometimes that is not always the best thing for me. Self acceptance is a beautiful thing. If I am not going to be there for me and put me first sometimes, I will not be a good person to lean on for everyone else.

What are you guys trying to work on this year?






December 11, 2013

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more
of everything ready-made. Be afraid
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know.
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord.
Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it.
Denounce the government and embrace
the flag. Hope to live in that free
republic for which it stands.
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.
Say that the leaves are harvested
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion – put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come.
Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts.
So long as women do not go cheap
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep
of a woman near to giving birth?
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head
in her lap. Swear allegiance
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos
can predict the motions of your mind,
lose it. Leave it as a sign
to mark the false trail, the way
you didn’t go. Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

-Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front, Wendell Berry

August 20, 2013

Rules of a Twenty Something

This is a work in progress, and I am figuring this out as I go, and I have seven years of mistakes, triumphs, desperation, heartbreak, and joy left. Feel free to add to this list, I could always use another perspective.

1. Understand that you know little to nothing. You may have a fancy education that you paid thousands for but in the harsh reality that is life, you don’t have much common sense. If you realize this early, you will save yourself a lot of frustration.

2. Save money. The biggest mistake you can make financially is thin that there will always be a stream of money coming in. Save and work like you need the money. Let’s be honest, you do.

3. You’re entitled to nothing. The world is a different game and if you approach it like it already owes you, you’ve already lost.

4. Do things that scare you and don’t settle unless you know you have to settle for a while to save up for something you really want. Never stop trying.

5. Don’t let your boring entry level job eat you alive. Find your passion and keep searching until you do. I promise that you know what you’re meant for.

August 15, 2013

What’s on your:

Remember when everyone did surveys? Maybe it died the same time Xanga did.

From Vanity Fair, a survey:

Vanity: Nail polish, unopened soap from Duross and Langel that I have to use for fall, to do lists, nail polish remover

Feet: Essie, A list, my favorite color

Mind: Unsettled ocean, anxiety, future, trying to be present today but failing

Nightstand: library books, moleskins, a glass of water, vaseline for my eyes, coconut oil, nail polishes from Essie

Workout plan: Vinyasa, power yoga, planks, some cardio, some HIIT

Playlist: Sara Barielles, Blessed Unrest

Charities list: Anything for women and education especially international nonprofits

Walls of the favorite room in your house: It’s my kitchen and its walls are a tacky yellow that need to be repainted

Twiiter feed: Observations, gratitude sometimes, complaints, ambitions

Wish list: Travel and adventure

Shit list: Bigots, misogynists, racists

Go to menu: Asian or wine and cheese

Fantasy Itinerary: Germany -> Russia -> Hungary -> Turkey -> South America (all of it)

Bucket list: Travel every place

Pinterest Board: Recipes, outfits

Desktop Screensaver: the Holstee Manifesto

Online Bookmarks: Pinterest, travel blogs, how to travel cheaply, smitten kitchen, sprouted kitchen, Rabbit Food for My Bunny Teeth, The Exercist, Back on Pointe, This is Thin Privilege, Vulture, Though Catalog, The New York Times, The New Yorker, CNN, Crepes of Wrath

Fridge: Always on hand: Kale, spinach, a variety of veggies, whatever is on sale, some cheeses, english muffins, almond milk, mustard, miso paste, something I baked or made over the weekend, steamed sweet potatoes

Top five fears: Failure, losing everyone I love, not living a full life, not seeing the world, mediocirty

Ideal dinner party guest list: Anthony Bourdain, Bill Clinton, Louis C.K.

Biggest regrets list: Not taking chances, not taking leaps of faith

Quotes to live by list: Basically everything on the Holstee Manifesto.

Headstone if you could write it: Inspired many, lived a life she loved, embodied love and light. Never stopped smiling



July 11, 2013

The Proust Questionnaire

What is your idea of perfect happiness? Peace of mind, a stack of books and pens, a notebook, no deadlines.

What is your greatest fear? Living a life that never reached its full potential.

Which historical figure do you most identify with? Tina Fey, Hilary Clinton.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? I hate that I place so much value on failure and stop doing things because I am so scared to fail. I need to learn there is no such thing.

What is the trait you most deplore in others? Dishonesty.

What is your greatest extravagance? Glasses of wine, wedges  of cheese, crusty breads, and fruit spreads.

What is your favorite journey? The one I am creating now.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Those who see themselves as pious.

On what occasion do you lie? Not to hurt others.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse? Calling people love as a subject, or babe.

What do you dislike most about your appearance? There’s somewhat of a list.

What or who is the greatest love of your life? My family, my friends, my books.

When and where were you happiest? Traveling somewhere new with people I love.

Which talent would you most like to have? Dance ability.

What is your current state of mind? Cluttered, unfocused.

If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be? I wish they took more risks and lived life more.

What do you consider your greatest achievement? Taking advantage of almost every opportunity.

Where would you like to live? Around the world.

What is the quality you most like in a man? Drive.

What is the quality you most like in a woman? Drive.

What do you most value in your friends? Loyalty and drive.

Who are your favorite heroes of fiction? Harry.

Who are your heroes in real life? My mom and my dad because they are selfless.

How would you like to die? Saving someone else.

What is your motto? It’ll always work out in the end. If it hasn’t, it’s not the end.


What are your answers?