I know this sounds wrong, but after watching the so-bad-it’s-good movie Mannequin (1987) starring the gorgeous Kim Cattrall (pre- Sex and the City, of course) and adorable Brat Pack alum Andrew McCarthy, all I want to do is hide in between the clothing racks at Bloomingdales, sneak out after hours with a hottie, try on all of the most expensive clothes and slide across the makeup counter in Louboutins while lip-synching 80s tunes. Role play is so sexy! I’d love to switch from rocker babe to Gatsby-esque flapper to modern uptight socialite to East Hampton bathing beauty all within an evening’s time. I am sure the rent-a-cops would have a blast watching it all on tape the next day.
A pan with only a few lingering driblets of red sauce is like the messy bed after a night of ravenous lovemaking.- Me
There’s a scene in the movie “Meet Me In St. Louis” (1944) where Esther Smith (Judy Garland’s character) swoons over the guy who recently moved in next door. She sits on her windowsill, twirling her hair and gazing at him from a few yards away. Of course, he doesn’t see her. He doesn’t even know her. But she’s already in love—determined to find a way to strike up a romance with John Truitt, the sweet-eyed cutie pie who lives at 5133 Kensington Avenue.
I never thought the same thing would happen to me.
Oh, it happened to me.
The second I moved into my old apartment and saw him through the peephole, I knew I just had to see this scruffy, rugged outdoorsman eat my cooking like a caveman – down n’ dirty – without a fork. I wanted to make a mess with him in my kitchen. If only I could get him to notice me.
I had done everything from listen to the wall with the back of my martini glass in lieu of a stethoscope. I pressed my back against the wall to feel his footsteps in the next room. Let’s be honest: we all know that I wanted him in my room. Better yet, in my bed.
I’d go downstairs to put my laundry in the wash then fall asleep on my couch, humming the Mr. Rogers theme song. I would accidentally leave a thong, a sock or an oven mitt on the floor as bait. He would casually knock on my door to ask if I’d been missing an item of clothing. I almost replied, “I’d love to be…” But instead I just invited him in for a glass of wine.
One night around 11:30, I arrived at his door wearing a pink and black cheetah print dress, carrying a steaming plate of yum yums. He was confused, but he sure was happy to see me. I didn’t know whether it was the food or the dress. Nonetheless, my cooking began a two-year fling with the smokin’ hot boy next door.
I love feeding people, but I especially enjoy feeding men I date. I also love when they cook for me (hint, hint). Cooking is such an act of communion with your lover. It’s all about adoration, appreciation, and sex appeal. Try this recipe for your sweetie and you’ll see and taste exactly what I mean.
Tease Me, Please Me Turkey Burgers Stuffed with Mozzarella (Topped with Roasted Tomatoes & Pesto)
What you’ll need:
- 1 lb. ground turkey
- 2 eggs
- 1 handful of breadcrumbs
- Fresh parsley
- 1 mozzarella ball per patty (so have about 5 or 6 ‘mozz balls on hand!)
- 3 chopped garlic cloves
- 1 finely chopped onion
- Olive oil
For the roasted tomato-pesto mixture:
Pick up some fire-roasted tomatoes from the deli bar at your local grocery store. You can even use sun-dried tomatoes (my favorite) for this recipe! This recipe doesn’t require a homemade pesto sauce. Why go out of your way to make it when you can find something perfectly delicious in the sauce aisle? After all, we’re only using it as a condiment here. And it’s going to be yum-a-licious.
What to do:
1. Mix ground turkey with breadcrumbs and eggs, then add the garlic, onion, chopped parsley, chopped basil, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. I also like to add a teaspoon of olive oil for extra flavor.
2. Use your hands to mix everything together nicely.
Form medium-sized patties in the palms of your hands, then press a small mozzarella ball right into the center of the burger patty.
3. Bake your patties on a non-stick cookie sheet for about 15 minutes at 350 degrees, or until the burgers are golden brown and cooked thoroughly on the inside and outside. The mozzarella will ooze out of the burger when you cut into it…delicious!
4. Top with your roasted tomatoes and store-bought pesto sauce. This turkey burger is so delicious that it doesn’t even need a bun. But if you need your carb fix, be my guest. And enjoy!
When I’m feeling sexy, I tend to attract positive things into my life, and I also have a hell of a lot more fun. Here are a few ways you can help yourself feel like a goddess right now. Believe me, your soul will purr when you’ve accomplished everything on this list.
1. Lose your sweatpants. Please, honey. The only thing you’re attracting right now is a handful of lint pills on those over washed Victoria’s Secret PINK sweatpants. Put on some cute shorts or a flirty skirt that makes you feel your sexiest. Remember, you don’t need to wear dresses to feel sexy. You need to wear what makes YOU feel sexy. If that means a pair of tight-fitting jeans that show off your booty, then so be it. If it means wearing a pair of destroyed jeans with a hot tank top, then go for it. Just make sure you’re not wearing something that makes you want to curl up on the couch and fall asleep. Unless you plan on simply having dreams about sex and not going anywhere. That isn’t the goal today, though!
2. Spritz on some perfume. Don’t overdo it, though. You don’t want to smell like a hoochie in Gucci perfume. Wear something that boosts your mood. I recommend LAVANILA – a combination of lavender and vanilla that smells like the sex bed of angels. http://www.sephora.com/vanilla-lavender-fragrance-P231501
3. Brush your teeth and clean your tongue thoroughly. Most people don’t realize that the tongue is where much of the bacteria remains in your mouth. Gross, yes, but if you clean it properly with toothpaste and a tongue scraper, your mouth will be minty fresh and you will feel delicious!
4. Fix your makeup. Freshen your eyeliner and add some fresh blush to give your cheeks a shiny apple glow. But too much blush can make you look like Ronald McDonald. And we aren’t trying to get onto a Mickey D’s campaign. Natural and simple is best, with a coat of your favorite lipstick. Anything that makes you feel powerful.
5. Role play. Sometimes it’s fun to pretend you’re the lead character of a romantic comedy or epic love story. As long as you don’t take it too far and develop an identity crisis, you’re good
6. Eat something sensually and slowly. Say, a lollipop or a banana. You will feel a whole lot sexier when you take your time while eating. You shouldn’t rush through sex, so why rush through eating that yummy banana? Be sure to peel it slowly, too
7. Exercise. No, I am not one of those people who encourages exercise as a way to prevent the “muffin top.” I encourage exercise for the health benefits. But did you know that you can also increase your sex drive significantly when you work out? Hell yes, sista! According to a study published on ABC News, weight lifting, yoga, running, biking and even walking can give women feelings of sexual pleasure or something called Exercise Induced Orgasm. My kind of workout! Read more about it here: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/study-reveals-coregasm-orgasm-exercise-real-women/t/story?id=15955635
8. Dim the lights. Bright lights give me a headache. Turn to dimmer floor and table lamps for a sexy effect. Burn scented pillar candles that smell like your favorite dessert. Good enough to eat.
9. Fantasize. I do it all the time. Do you have any idea how many beautiful men I have fiercely undressed in my mind while on the subway? Let yourself imagine. What’s the hurt? It’ll only make you feel better and get your mind off of other things that are bothering you.
10. Listen to sexy oldies. Nothing like a little Chaka Khan, “Sweet Thing.”
11. Find your favorite body part and accentuate it with color, jewels, beads, feathers, whatever!
12. Ditch the granny panties. Or ditch the panties altogether. When appropriate, go free! There may be a time and a place for these. Now is not that time. Putting on your Big Girl Panties means knowing when to take them off.
13. Paint on a coat of bright, sexy nail polish on your fingernails and toenails. This makes such a positive difference in the way you will feel. Just please, please don’t dig into your handbag to answer the phone when you’ve painted your nails. Nothing says unsexy like a smudged mani.
14. Kiss the mirror. Leave your lip prints there and tell yourself how beautiful you are. This is where true sex appeal begins. Stop all criticism now. Love yourself every day and you will feel sexier and sexier.
Any other suggestions? Add ‘em to the list in the comments section!
I believe in wishes. Go ahead and laugh
I am a hopeless, old-fashioned romantic who wishes you so many beautiful things in this wonderful, often challenging life.
I wish you a mirror that will only show you how inherently gorgeous you are.
I wish you a sword to cut through the bullshit of society. I wish you the courage to do it.
I wish you a cocoon of light to protect you everywhere you go.
I wish you a handful of true friends who love, understand and cherish you – even when you don’t feel like yourself.
I wish you a big, bright yellow umbrella to conquer the rain with a smile.
I wish you a bottle full of bubbly laughter whenever you need it.
I wish you a delicious meal that thoroughly nourishes the soul and body.
I wish you a pretty dress that sparkles and swirls across the floor…and someplace special to wear it.
I wish you fireworks in the sky, and in your love life.
I wish you a lucky penny, heads up.
I wish you a kite to fly and the ability to always feel like a child inside.
I wish you the most luxurious, sudsy shower in the world to wash away the dirt of life.
I wish you $20 in your pocket when you least expect it.
I wish you a beautiful moon, a clear night sky, and someone to share it with.
I wish you more wishes, and I wish that you will wish. Because wishes make life so much more radiant and wonderful.
A lot of people say friendships are short-lived in New York City. Everything moves so fast. You talk to a kind stranger on the subway then never see him again. You give someone directions and wish her well on her journey. I’ve had many of these fleeting conversations. But nothing compares to the one I had with Benny.
I first met Benny after waking from an afternoon pity nap– rosary beads in my hand and religious articles all over my room. A pity nap is the kind where you have nothing to do, no job, nowhere to go and no money in your pocket, so you just pull the covers over your head and pray to every religious figure (dead and alive) you’ve ever heard of– from Jesus to Buddha to Jehovah to the Dalai Lama –to make all your problems go away.
Thanks to a debt collector that woke me up from my nap, I couldn’t sleep. So I made myself a plate of leftover pasta. Just as I was about to heat it up, I found Benny on the floor near the microwave. He was lying on his back, kicking his barbed legs in desperation, his torso the color of a rusted coin from the 1970s. I grabbed a napkin, crouched and picked him up. There he lie in my hand, the ugliest, most pathetic cockroach moving slowly, like a battery-operated toy about to lose its power. I lost my appetite.
I wondered how many New York kitchens he ransacked before he decided to crash at my place. It didn’t matter now. So, I held him and gave him a name. He looked like a Benny — innocent and non-threatening. Just a sad little creature who wanted something to eat.
“Benny, baby,” I said, cradling him in front of my chest in the napkin. “I’m sorry. I’ve been searching, too. I can’t seem to find the sugar bowl, either. It’s like you almost seem to have what you’re looking for. But it’s always an almost. Always an almost.”
He curled his legs as if he understood me. But he didn’t. In another lifetime, Benny could have been my friend, my partner in crime who’d steal packets of sugar for me at the diner; the silent listener who’d hand me a tissue to wipe my snot after I’d been crying.
Instead, in this moment, in the quiet of my apartment with the overcast sky out the window, he was a dead insect in my hand. I wrapped him in the napkin and slipped him into the toilet.
“I’ll find the sugar bowl for both of us,” I said.
And I will.
Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve felt like a defective toy.
I looked normal, but didn’t “work” quite as well as everyone else. I was always somewhat offbeat. I had trouble tying my shoes, could never tell the time, had a hard time determining right from left and took a very long time to comprehend anything I read. I did poorly on standardized tests, and I was a little wonky; not graceful like other little girls. I always struck out at Wiffle Ball and tripped over my shoelaces. To make things worse, my voice was a little deeper than the rest, so I felt older and out of place yet was still very much a child.
When I got to middle school and high school I felt it took me so much longer to understand things than everyone else. It also was a lot harder for me to fit in social situations because I always felt awkward and anxious around my peers. I would go home and cry to my mom every night, feeling the sobs deep under my rib cage.
I was a broken child. After my parents divorced when I was five, I felt abandoned by my father and went through most of my childhood paranoid that my friends and family would leave me. Some of them left me because my constant paranoia, lack of trust and abundance of self-doubt made them anxious. I felt useless and unlovable. Yet all I wanted in the world was to be loved and accepted. Metaphorically speaking, all I wanted was a home.
When I reread the story “Corduroy” by Don Freeman, I realized that I am, in many ways, the department store teddy bear with the missing button — I feel unnoticed and ignored in the ocean of toys and I lack some of the elegance the other stuffed bears and dolls seem to have. Yet, I am a sweet, loving creature in need of a friend and a place to call home. I am begging to be lifted from the lonely shelf with kind hands– to be welcomed and loved even if I can’t seem to find my missing button.
With love and affection, we thrive greatly. Let me tell you about Ginger, my cat. She is a lot like Corduroy; a lot like me. She was living alone in the dark basement of a sushi restaurant in a dirty cage until my friend rescued her and put up a Facebook status asking if anyone would like to adopt Ginger and give her a home. Immediately I answered, “that’s my cat! Bring her to me! I want her!”
I didn’t care that this cat was scared, unkempt, emaciated and very feral. I wanted to take care of her, love her unconditionally and take her into my apartment. At the time I, too, felt lonely and in need of love. I had just been dumped by my boyfriend and was yearning for something to hold, hug and feed. I wanted someone–something to nourish my soul. I wanted to promise another creature I would never ever, under any circumstance, abandon it.
A year and a half later, my cat Ginger is healthy, very confident and extremely well-fed. She’s no longer the meek little kitten who nobody pays attention to. She has grown into something more like a tigress! She is no longer emaciated and hungry; she is actually a few pounds overweight because she loves food so much. But she is happy and she is the most loved cat in the world. As I write this piece, she is sleeping comfortably in a ball in my couch. She looks like she’s smiling. My heart feels so warm. I now feel like the girl who purchased Corduroy from the department store, brought him home and sewed a new button on his overalls so he’d feel more comfortable.
In loving other creatures on this earth, we know we are not alone. In loving, we fulfill the emptiness and loneliness of the human spirit.
I know I am not alone.
We all take turns playing the role of the underdog. We feel inadequate, lonely, unnoticed and insignificant. We want to cry, “pick me, pick me!” But we can’t seem to find the voice to speak up for ourselves. Sometimes, in order to find the love we desire, we have to be the ideal friend, lover or companion to others. We have to open ourselves up. We have to love like crazy.
If you’re looking for something, honey, you’re gonna find it.
Lately, I have been looking for signs to know that I am going in some sort of positive direction with my career and life path. I have been begging my angels (yes, I believe!) to help me make my life more fabulous by showing me what the heck I should be doing with my life. I wondered whether my life might involve what I’m doing right here for you, which is to be a mentor, pal, confidante and all-around Golden Girl to those who really need a self-confidence boost and honest, savvy life advice.
Well, let me tell you about the affirmative signs I received. The other day, I was coaching a lonely friend through a low self-esteem situation where she felt fat, ugly, unworthy and “not good enough.” During our chat we stopped at a place called Heavenly Rest Stop near Central Park. The crazy and uber strange thing was that the total on the cash register came to $11.11. Then, a few minutes after that, I found a quarter heads up (which is, like 25x the good luck!). Looking back, I feel this was a definite sign from above. Something or someone was telling me to keep doing what I am doing — to keep coaching others and writing to inspire people in creative ways.
That chronic feeling of self-doubt of course came back after I said goodbye to my friend after our coaching session. I instantly felt sad because right after she left, I got a message from my bank that I had insignificant funds in my account. Basically, to me, it was a message that “you’re worthless” and “you should be ashamed of yourself.” I realized that I did not even have enough money to buy freaking tampons (TMI, I know, but still). I started crying under my sunglasses. As a part-time professor, freelance writer and startup entrepreneur, I’m lucky if I have 50 cents in my bank account after I pay rent. Oy.
A few minutes after my crying episode and self-indulgent moment of despair, I was off to produce my radio show. If you didn’t already know, I host a weekly radio show (www.cityworldradio.com and syndicated on www.hollypinafore.podomatic.com) where I talk about food, self-love, and enjoying life with friends. I decided that since I felt sad, anxious and emotional, I would look for ways to create a happy feeling on the show. I realized that bringing happiness to others on my show and on this website makes me so unbelievably joyful. That night I had more fun than any other night because I was being real, speaking my truth and allowing joy to just flow through me as I chatted with my cohost and guest on the show. I made it my obligation to have fun and stop taking life so seriously. I promised myself I would put on a damn good show. I promised I would cater to the needs of the listeners by helping them have fun and wind down as they listened to my show at the end of a busy Wednesday. Knowing that I can make at least one person smile makes me feel like I am one step closer to my life purpose. Joking, laughing, being realistic about my life and my struggles to help people know they aren’t alone and that they ARE beautiful, wonderful, worthy beings opened up so many new possibilities for me.
And the Universe is continually affirming that it supports this career path.
I’ll give you another example. That night, after my show, I had no idea how I would tip our engineer like we’re supposed to do every week. I had no money in my wallet. Not a cent. Shit. I screwed up. Again. I was about to walk out and tell this poor guy I couldn’t afford to give him a tip this week and…dun dun dun… I immediately found $40 on the ground. I gave him a nice, generous tip of $20. It felt amazing not only to find the money, but to share some of that joy by filling others’ pockets, too! I looked for validation about my life purpose. I am meant to live joyfully and bring joy to others. Eureka!
You really can manifest miracles and find what you’re looking for no matter what it is. If you’re looking for loose change, just scour the streets of New York City looking for pennies and you will wind up with a jingling pocket by the end of the day. Start small and you will realize that the concept applies to bigger things, too.
Miracles start to happen when you expect them to happen. You first have to believe you’re worth miracles — that you’re worth your weight in gold. Then, you have to be patient. You also have to plant seeds by doing nice deeds! Give a lollipop to a homeless person or cook dinner for a friend just because. To them, that little act of kindness might feel like a miracle. First you give, then you allow yourself to receive. The universe loves to pay it forward. Hell yes she does.
I always cry at the end of The Wizard of Oz. Because it wasn’t all “just a dream” when Dorothy wakes up after the storm. Oz was a beautiful, colorful, wonderful whirlwind of a reality that existed for a little while. Scary and treacherous as it was (thanks to the Wicked Witch of the West), the Yellow Brick Road was a pleasure to follow. And it’s sad when everything fades back to sepia. It’s sad to hear the violin gently nudging the film toward the end credits. We’re glad the Witch is dead. But we miss the Lollipop Guild and the Lullaby League. We miss the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion and the adorable Scarecrow. And we miss the Shoes. The SHOES!
Maybe this is a metaphor for how we will feel when the struggles of growing up have passed; when we’re “finally adults” with lots of money and families of our own and stories of our crazy twenties and thirties to laugh at over a complacent, drunken Sunday dinner on the veranda while the kids body slam each other on the jungle gym.
But right now, we just wonder. We wonder what. We wonder how. We wonder who and when and where. We question everyone and everything. We ask ourselves, “How will I make it? Who will love me? Will I have enough? Will I do enough? Will I be enough?”
We toss and turn at night wondering how the hell we will pay our electric bill, begging the Universe for a lightbulb of an idea to pop over our heads so we can figure it all out immediately before we get trapped in the darkness. Then we realize, after crying and howling into our pillows like wolves with PMS, that we want something more; that we’ve got to reach into our spiritual bank accounts if we want the future to start looking brighter.
What do I mean by this? We have to stop waiting for the future –the right job, the right guy, the right networking contacts, the right lifestyle– to be happy. We have to learn to stop letting the conditional things of life get us down when they don’t work out “just right.” Sure, we want to find the end of the Yellow Brick Road and get home already– we want to feel “at home” in our lives and on this earth. Yet, if we don’t enjoy the journey, we will be crying at the violins playing at the end of it because we forgot to savor those moments of uncertainty, mischief, and living on the edge with our friends who were struggling right there with us.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that I think we should enjoy the ride. Enjoy the colorful part of the movie even though some parts may be scary and mysterious. Remember that other parts are fun. Remember that before you know it, you just might wake up in your bed to find that everything’s in black and white and the “dream” is over. So live with your eyes closed for a while. Dream. Live like a kid. Enjoy the hard times as much as the happy times. Because we all experience both. That’s life. That’s humanity. That’s the road. And it’s what brings us closer together as friends. Because happy times really are coming soon. There will be so much joy when everything is “finally” the way you want it to be — when you have found your perfect mate and your perfect job and your perfect home. But there’s also joy in the search. There’s joy in right freaking now.
Remember: if you get squeaky and rusty, I’ll be happy to grab the oil can so you can move again.
I have always wanted so much to be acknowledged and revered for doing something great — for accomplishing something amazing in my life. I’ve always wanted people to say, “Look at her – she’s awesome.” I guess it was an ego thing. It was a narcissist thing. I felt the world revolved around me.
But this is not what our life is really about. We are here to be happy and take care of ourselves, but we are also here to do the same to other people. We’re here to be kind — to make other people’s lives a little bit happier even if it means bringing a cup of tea to your coworker who has a slight cough. Even if it means high-fiving the newspaper guy in the subway station. Even if it means thanking your cab driver for getting you safely to your destination.
I’d always used to be angry. I felt a sense of entitlement. I felt bitter and closed off. I was a very cold person for a long time. Many people thought I was a snob. I guess I was. But when I realized how badly I needed love, I learned that the only way to feel loved is to share the desired feeling with everyone in this world. Once you start, you don’t want to stop. I guess it’s like having sex or eating chocolate. Except the entire world feels the sensation! :-p
On a more serious note, though, you really do create your life by the way you act and think. Things do not simply HAPPEN to you. You make them happen. And you choose whether to allow them to continue or not. I choose peace in my life, and I choose to bring peace to this world. Here are a few ways to be the silent hero — to bring peace and kindness to your world today:
1. Sit for a minute, breathe deeply, close your eyes and imagine a sphere of white light surrounding our beloved earth. If we all did this, I truly believe our lives would all be more peaceful.
2. Buy a snack or a drink at the vending machine and leave it there for someone else. When that person goes to buy something, he or she will be super surprised to see a freebie bag of pretzels already waiting to be eaten. Or better yet, M&Ms.
3. Leave little Post-It love notes on the doors in bathroom stalls, bar stools, windshields and street poles. Post-Its are great because they don’t damage surfaces and people who need them can simply peel them off and take them.
4. Hug an animal. No, I don’t suggest climbing over the fence at the zoo to embrace a cheetah, but hugging or petting a dog or a cat, yes. If you’re feeling sad or angry, this will help to save your day!
5. Share a sandwich with a friend the way you did in the first grade. Nutella always guarantees a great day! Remember — we all hunger for a good sandwich and a good friend.
6. Send an email to someone you haven’t spoken to for a while just to let them know you are thinking about them and that they matter to you. So many of us feel like friends only want to talk to us when they need something. Let the person know that you need THEM in your life You will make this person’s day for sure!
We are here to enjoy each other and care for each other. If you’re one of those cynics who rolls your eyes whenever you hear anything slightly sentimental, take heart. Please. We need more good people in this crazy world who will spread the love and light.
Life is too short to not kiss, make up and hug the people you love (or even just like a lot!).
My friend and I had a chat the other day about feeling small and insignificant in the world. Why? Because we’re approaching 30 and aren’t anywhere near where we’re “supposed to be.” Well, at least, according to society we’re not.
Like many others, we’re single, broke little fish in the massive pond of New York City. We survive on “dreams and Spaghettios” as Martina McBride puts it in “This One’s for the Girls.” We’ve listened to Bon Jovi’s “Livin on a Prayer” so many times that we’ve lost count. We’re looking for every ounce of inspiration we can find.
We’re passionate writers with big personalities, big hearts and big hair. We rejoice when we find a lucky penny on the ground, taking it as a positive sign from the Universe. We praise the Lord when we can scrape up $2 to buy a hot chocolate from the local deli after we used up the rest of our cash to pay rent.
We also take freebies from stores when they’re offered; before going to work, we give ourselves makeovers with tester products and spray Tom Ford perfume all over ourselves in Sephora, then sob uncontrollably at 2:30am at Tiffany’s on Fifth Avenue (yes, I did this, and I did this SOBER) because a) we want so desperately to be able to afford what’s behind the glass and b) we love and understand the character of Holly Golightly from “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”. We see the pain and the fear behind this fun and quirky girl who wanders the streets of New York with a case of the mean reds. We know that she eats her French cruller in front of Tiffany’s as opposed to in a coffee shop because staring into diamonds rather than a caffeinated cup helps to soothe one’s wounded spirit early in the morning.
We flirt with the chef at our favorite restaurants to get occasional free meals (really, we’re talking about actual food – nothing else). We are sometimes late on our rent and have to call our parents to help us out. And they then tell us to move back home if we can’t afford the city lifestyle. They yell at us for living beyond our means, and they say we’ll never make it in New York. They tell us to just give up, grow up and start acting our age. They tell us to hang it up already. The only thing we hang up is the phone.
We apply to hundreds of jobs we know we’re overqualified for — we’ve got the outrageous student loan bills to prove it. We go on interviews knowing we know all we KNOW we need to know, and still we get serious jitters, acting like puppies at the pound, praying they’ll choose us. Then the blonde, skinny human resources woman who’s around our age, probably living in a penthouse with her fiance on the Upper West Side and bidding on Elizabeth Taylor’s jewelry at Christie’s auctions (alright that’s not true), glares at us, grills us with canned questions she reads off her clipboard, scribbles down notes, looks up at us and says, “we’ll let you know” in her fake, high-pitched elitist voice.
But we never seem to find out. Because either, to them, we’re not good enough or we’re too good for the job. We never learn the answer. We always wind up feeling insecure and vulnerable. We feel rejected. We hurt! But we force ourselves to keep smiling; to keep searching. We give it the all-American effort. We consider selling our hair like Fantine in Les Miserables. We consider selling our souls to corporate companies that drain us to death with their round-the-clock demands. We consider moving to another freaking country.
And then we slowly begin to realize that we’re just different. We’ve got minds of our own and ideas of our own. We’re entrepreneurs with small start-ups who work odd jobs to pay our bills. We don’t fall into a category. Or do we?
We start to realize that we’re damn talented–that we’re too bright for the crayon box and too wild for the cage. We are unique and creative and fiery. We have something important to say. We are self-starting artists with stories to tell. We are not Union Square Occupy Wall Street hipsters with ripped boho clothes, faux eyeglasses and septum piercings. We are no Carrie Bradshaws leaping through the streets with Chanel shopping bags and twirling around in Balenciaga.
We aren’t your typical business people, either. Actually, corporate people roll their eyes at us. We flip them off behind their backs while they’re busy reading the Nasdaq. We’re joyful, yet sometimes cynical, but working toward being more joyful, more charismatic, more fun…just happier with who we are.
We would rather take an adjunct professor job for low pay (guilty) and walk dogs all summer for cash than work at a job we don’t believe in – or at a place where the managers treat us like crap. We suffer the consequence of being told what we should be doing and what we fail to do, but we know that we aren’t really failing. And even if we are, we will use the story of that failure to motivate us toward success. We are already well aware of the stupidest success myths that exist.
We know that we can’t always take people’s advice, because we’re radical. We’re rebellious. We take risks. We live life on the edge but somehow regain our balance when we fear falling off. Nobody will understand the method to our madness until we provide tangible results. And we’re okay with that. Because we have each other. We have the future, but even in our pain and disappointments, we are happy with the now. We are actually even thankful for these experiences. They’ve taught us so much about ourselves, and have shown us how resilient we are. Somewhere inside ourselves we know that what we’re doing is right for us. And we believe in ourselves so deeply that we’re willing to take the risk. Either way, we know that the risks we take bring us closer to the person we want to be.
Right now we seem like we’re broke, but we are well on our way to an abundant, beautiful, happy life. And if time is only an illusion, we’re already THERE! If only we appreciate the little things that nourish our souls — the lucky pennies, the sun showers, the happy fortune cookies, the books and films that inspire us, the encouraging words of friends who really speak from the heart — we will be blessed beyond belief. I am so sure of this that I feel the need to tell it to you right now as I am.
Know that you’re never alone on your journey.