I turned 30 a couple weeks ago, and since then health has been.on.my.mind.
The Friday before my birthday party, my friends and I went to a local restaurant and ordered all the appetizers on the menu (this is a fried chicken place, so use your imagination), plus beers, plus shots, plus more food. Then we went to another bar, and ordered more drinks, snacks, and a cup of tea each (?). We were trying to get the bartenders to play Beyonce’s new album, and of the four bars we went to, only two would oblige, and only for a couple songs. This was also around happy hour, so when we started dancing, people were still eating dinner. While we had fun, I don’t think it was my cutest look. And certainly, the next day I didn’t feel as hot as I wanted to.
My birthday party was great, and I had a lot of fun, but picking an outfit was annoying because I had basically binged at a Greenpoint TGI Friday’s the night before. And then when the party was over, I did the cab-delivery trick, so there were cheeseburgers waiting for us when we got home at 3am.
THEN, the next day (which was the Sunday before I went back to the office after working from home for two weeks), I drank and ate crap, including mac and cheese that made me so sick I was writhing in bed. Plus a wine headache.
Why did I do these things to myself? Why did I choose these choices?
It makes me sad that I can’t party like I used to, but also, I kind of think I got enough of it. Weekends like this were not few and far between in my twenties — they were actually fairly frequent. It amazes me that I am not in worse shape than I am, but I can also tell whatever luck I have is running out.
The thing is, it was all luck. I’ve probably worked out 30 times in the last 10 years, including the time I “trained” for a 5k. When I lived in San Francisco, I was in the best shape, and that was probably because of the hills. Nachos and mac and cheese and wine have always been my favorite foods. Nobody knows me as a health nut. No one asks me to come to the gym with them. I’m a glutton, and drinking makes me more so because any ounce of care I have about what I put in my mouth fades after a couple glasses of red, or worse, a beer and whiskey shot.
So, I think the party is mostly over. I think I am going to (sorry, so sorry), “Gwyneth” my life a little bit. For the past week I haven’t had any gluten, and very little dairy, and only a couple glasses of wine (during the week, not in a night), and I feel awesome. I’m not interested in Lean Cuisines and diet pills, because this isn’t even really about losing weight, it’s just about feeling better. It’s about being responsible about the choices I choose, and the life I want to live. I want to feel superhuman and have skin that beams rainbows and a sharp mind that is always alert.
I want to live at least 70 more years and never have another red wine-whiskey-nacho-hangover.
Perfection is the enemy of the good, so I’m not expecting any miracles, but it would be nice to have a bit more balance, and probably a lot more juice. It will be weird to be someone who actually cares.
(Me in my bedroom on South 5th and Hooper (right across from what is now The Flat), in 2006.)
Around this time last year I wrote this little throwaway Thought Catalog piece about how things had changed in Williamsburg (but really, it was I who had changed). It was maligned and made fun of a lot. Strangers made fun of it. Bloggers made fun of it (okay the New York Observer made fun of it twice). Writers I respect made fun of it. It was okay though, because I figured, hey, it’s getting a lot of attention (and even bad attention is good) and getting made fun of is part of the process. Not everyone is going to like everything you do, and in this game (writing, blogging, whatever you want to call it) it’s important to develop a thick skin.
And then a few months ago, I received an email from CBS News. They wanted to interview be about my piece, and being a Brooklynite, a writer, and well, they pretty much thought I was going to be Hannah Horvath incarnate.
We met the reporter, the producer, and a small production team outside of Cafe Grumpy.
“Why do you think so many artists live in Brooklyn?”
“Is Brooklyn SO OVER?”
“If your parents watch Girls, is Brooklyn still cool?”
“What is a Hipster?”
It was that last question I was most nervous about. I was nervous because there is no right answer, and I knew whatever I said would be picked apart. But I had to say something, so I said something along the lines of “a hipster is a name people who don’t understand counterculture or live in artistic enclaves of big cities give to people who do.” I know that answer is not 100%, but I would rather blame the name on the jargon of people not associated with it than try to self identify myself or identify others in some boxy, awkward way.
I cannot stress enough how nice the entire CBS team was. They came to our apartment and met our pets and seemed genuinely interested in our small, domestic life. When the segment aired, Geoff and I were pleasantly pleased. We both looked moderately intelligent and relatively attractive, which was really all we could ask for.
When news broke of the development plans for the Domino Sugar Factory, and then today of Urban Outfitters and Anthropology (sidebar: I still don’t quite understand Joe Fresh). I was just sort of nonplussed. Everyone who made fun of me for my earnest recollection of a genuine time in my life is probably saying things like, “ugh, yuppies!” “Williamsburg is the New Park Slope!” but whatever, guys. Get over it.
(Hipsters love rooftops. That is a true fact.)
You get to choose who you are wherever you live. I will probably go to that Anthropology, and certainly that Whole Foods, because I am no longer trying to define myself by any kind of character description. I’m not Hannah Horvath and I am not a hipster. But I am also someone who really doesn’t care if you want to call me those things. It matters less to me now than it ever did before, which probably makes me more of an adult than anything else.
This was obviously a really proud moment for me. That evening was but a dream.
Post #BeyonveHBO Karaoke ::: EGO brought to you by @baddiebey and @mrglennon
We are working on perfecting our In-House Karaoke game at our place. I think last night proved we are on the right track.
The best part about getting older is realizing you’ve created something more important, influential, and powerful than any blog you could have ever imagined.