Block 79: May 7, 2013

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Tuesday! Today I’m going to see a production of ‘Night Mother downtown… How long will it take before I start sobbing?

Date: May 7, 2013

Crane: 79

Days Spent on Project: 79

Location: Apartment, Washington Heights, NYC

Person I would have sent it to: We’ll jump to the present day, today. I’ll dedicate this Crane to my neighbor, Ben.

I met him and his wife pretty quickly upon moving here last year. Ben seems to be one of the advocates of the building and its community, so it’s been great to get to know more about this place and the people who live here.

He even, and this floors me, made HOMEMADE Indian food for me last night when I told him I was probably just going to make a snack instead of having dinner. And it was kind of amazing. And delicious.

I need to learn how to cook better… or more efficiently… or just find the time to cook… or make more money so I can splurge on foods that are exciting instead of just foods that will do for the meal.

Add that to the list of things to work on.

While I’m still torn on how I feel about this apartment, the building, and my new neighborhood, I have to say it’s a complete 180 from where I had lived for three years in Manhattan. While I may wax nostalgic about it occasionally, I have to remind myself of a few things: the building was falling apart, badly lit in public spaces, the radiator had a tendency to spew hot water everywhere, most of the apartments in that small walk-up had been vacant and were in bad shape, my actual apartment was around 350 square feet (if I’m being generous) total, it wasn’t surprising to run into crowds of drunk people hanging out in its entrance on the weekends, and one of my neighbors had a tendency to get drunk and loud and angry frequently.

As much as I miss the life I pretended to live on the Upper East Side, this new place is a much more positive place to be. Yes, there are things I wish I could change, but it feels like I’m in a community in this building and neighborhood.

So, at the very least, I will dedicate a Crane to my neighbor: for the welcome, for the conversations, and for the Indian food.

Thanks, Ben.

Music I listened to while sewing: The Supremes! What could possibly be a better way to start a day that some early career Diana Ross?

Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: There are times when I wonder if things like low self-esteem and lower-case “d” depression and angst are crutches that we cling to in order to get ourselves through the day.

I’m not trying to lighten the emotional effects of low self-esteem or upper-case “D” Depression. Trust me, I’ll be the first person to admit those moods can be debilitating and extremely harmful.

But, I have to question if there are times when we cling to those feelings.

Does having self-doubt give us an excuse NOT to strive for more?

I’m sad because I’m not attractive. I’m upset that boys don’t like me. I’m frustrated that I’m not skinny enough. I’m angry that I’m not appreciated. I’m jealous that I’m not the center of attention.

I think there are times when we all believe those thoughts. But if those “times” seem to happen with regularity, if those thoughts become mantras that we use to explain our behavior, and we don’t take actions to act around them, what does that mean?

If it’s that you’re not attractive; I find that in a world of how many billions of people there isn’t a handful of people who wouldn’t be ecstatic to know you. If it’s that boys or girls don’t like you; I have to ask that maybe you’re hanging out with the wrong ones. If it’s that you aren’t skinny enough; I’ll offer to schedule some time for walking or running.

There are things we can do to fix some of these things. Find a way to change your surroundings physically, socially, mentally, or emotionally. Take steps.

Find someone to talk to. None of us are actually, truly alone these days. Be brave and reach out. Most people are too busy dealing with their own struggles themselves to see that someone may need help.

And if you do need help, be strong and ask for it. Someone will help.

But, in all seriousness, don’t rely on blaming the world for your self-worth. You’re a gift; remember that and take ownership of it. Do what it takes for you to realize and remember and believe that.

Happy Tuesday, everyone.

Cheers.

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