How Sarah Got Her Groove Back.

So, Matt and I finally made it back to New York.  We are settling in quite nicely, and I have wasted no time getting back into the swing of things.  Like, work for instance.  We only got back last Friday, but I couldn’t wait to get back to my job.

As some of you know, before Matt and I moved to Grenada so he could attend medical school, I worked as a hair stylist in the city for years.  One of the hardest things about living overseas was not being able to work.  Because jobs are scarce in Grenada, Americans are not allowed to legally work, so I was left to my own devices, which usually included me doing hair cuts in our teeny apartment for other medical students.  It actually became a pretty lucrative business, if you ask me, and I managed to keep up my skills as best I could while away for two years.

Now that I’m back in New York, New York, the city that never sleeps, the place where dreams are made…and broken, I was eager to get my groove back, and start wielding those scissors (not violently, just cutting hair) again.

New York, New York...Ain't nowhere else like it...

So, I kind of thought I was going to go back to my old routine, without skipping a beat…you know just pop back in where I left off?  But I must confess, I skipped a beat, or a few beats for that matter.

The night before my first day back at work, I couldn’t sleep.  I tossed and turned, having nightmares of over sleeping and being late for work.  When my alarm finally went off at 5:30 AM I felt like I hadn’t slept a wink.  I got out of bed like a zombie, hurried up and got ready, and managed to down a cup of coffee before Matt drove me to the train that takes me into the city for work.

While buying my ticket for the train, I fumbled, as three people impatiently waited behind me for the train that was to arrive in three minutes.  Suddenly I felt like the “out of towners” that I used to get so fed up with back when I was in my New York groove.  Back then, if someone was in front of me that didn’t know exactly what to select of the touch screen to buy their ticket, I would mumble something under my breath to hurry them along, and then grunt something like, “Tourists,” as I scoffed away, coffee in hand, scarf thrown around my neck.  P.S.  I am sorry to any of the people I did this, too.  Just know that I got pay back yesterday, and I totally deserved it.

When I got off the train, I walked up to the little coffee stand on the street, where I used to order my uj, a small coffee with vanilla coffee cream.

Look at all those delish treats...

However, much to my chagrin, the coffee man who used to know me so well, didn’t so much as blink my way.  I was really hoping for one of those custard-filled donuts that he used to so kindly give me for free back when I was a New Yorker, but yesterday I got nothin.’

When I walked into work, I immediately saw some of my peeps, and things quickly started to turn around.  It was so good to see some of my old friends, and everyone was so welcoming.  Before I knew it, I had a client, and it was time to start doing some hair.

Let me just tell you, I only had four clients yesterday, but by the time I was finished I felt like I had run a marathon (not that I would know what that feels like).  I was so absolutely exhausted, that it took me all night, and all of today to recover.  The pure exhaustion took me back to the days when I was first doing hair in New York, and how I would go home at night and just crash, sometimes still in my work clothes.

While riding the train home yesterday, I began to marvel at the stamina I used to have. Around the time I left for Grenada, I could work non-stop for nine hours, and not feel a thing.  I could work a busy Saturday, then go home and go out to dinner with Matt, watch a movie, then go shopping, etc, etc.  I was like a fine-tuned machine!  I think it’s safe to say, I wasn’t a machine yesterday.  I was more like a car that needed some jumper cables.

Despite my elderly-esque exhaustion today, I really feel like I got my groove back yesterday.  I survived my first day back to work, after not working for two whole years, and I didn’t get eaten alive.

And any real New Yorker knows that’s an accomplishment.

~The End.

Photos by elizabeth-aboutnewyork.blogspot.com and pinterest.

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Detroit…WE NEEDED THIS!!!

So, tonight Detroit beat the Yanks!  In doing so the Tigers eliminated New York in the division series for the second time in six seasons.

I definitely shrieked like a wild banshee when they won…

Holy sh*tballs we won!!

Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes!!

Yeah, that happened. Woo-hoo!

I have to admit, last week when my New York family wanted to make a bet with me on who was going to win, I was weary.  I believed in the Tigers, but let’s face it, the Yankees are kind of the bomb lately…and not lately too.

As I have mentioned before, I am a native Detroiter and was born and raised in the mitten state.  That’s why I couldn’t even think about rooting for the Yanks (even though I’ve lived in New York for over 10 years now.)

I couldn’t root for the Yanks, you see, because Detroit is my hometown.  Period.

As I mentioned before, Detroit needed this.  Detroit has been through a hell of a lot lately, and tonight was finally our time to shine, and we did.  It’s no secret that I get a little sensitive when people bad mouth my home state.  It’s sad that there is such a stigma behind where I’m from, and it’s hard not to get down when it constantly gets such a bad rap.  I may be petite, but I will take anyone on that has anything to say about the D and fight the bitter battle.  Why, might you ask?  Well, because it’s simple…

I believe.

People just assume Detroit is going under, and that it’s a place that is filled with nothing but violence.  By the way, these things are mostly assumed by people who have never even stepped foot in Detroit, let alone walked a mile in our shoes.  No matter what, there is one fact that always remains…

Detroit is for fighters…plain and simple…We’re scrappy…but most of all…

We have heart.

The Tigers displayed that immense heart tonight.

And nobody can take that away from us.

Go Tigers!

How we learn the alphabet in Detroit.

Would You Rather…

Be stranded on a desert island with your 4 worst enemies?

B*tches might make your life miserable, but then again, maybe you'd start to like each other after awhile...

Or be completely alone?

And lose your marbles like this fool...

Would you rather be alone and rich?

Leona Helmsley was so rich, but died so alone that she left her fortune to her dog. No, I'm not kidding.

Or be loved and poor?

Are you really poor if you're rich in love?

Would you rather live a long life but never find true love?

Can you ever truly be fulfilled if never loved in return?

Or live a short life but experience passionate true love for 6 months?

Can anything really match the feeling of being loved? Even if it's in exchange for a shorter life?

Would you rather be able to fly?

Just think, you could go anywhere in the world you've ever wanted to go...

Or be able to read minds…

And you could know what everyone is really thinking...but maybe your feelings might get hurt if you could...

So…

Tell me…

What would you rather?

On Taking Criticism….

So, apparently I have a lot to learn.  For starters, taking criticism.  I have to admit, I have never been good at accepting a sharp critique.  Anyone with me on that?  I could be wrong, but I think you have to be a really strong person to be able to allow someone to give you an honest opinion about something you really care about, and to be able to sincerely accept it with an open mind.  Sure it’s easy to receive judgement on something you could care less about, but when you have truly put your heart and soul into something, and someone doesn’t like it?  Well, it hurts.  It kind of feels like someone is bursting your bubble, or like someone decided to bring around a cloud to rain on your parade.  Now I know how Barbra felt.

Almost like she's saying, "Please, for the love, don't rain on my parade!!!"

Today, I got some critiques back from my classmates in a Writing For Young Adults class at the college I attend online.  I was anticipating the feedback all last weekend, because I knew that early this week I was going to get the verdict from my classmates.  The class is set up to be a workshop environment where each week a new student submits a few chapters from the novel they’re writing, and your fellow classmates honestly critique it.  Now, I probably set myself up for disaster because as some of the feedback started rolling in early Monday, I felt like nothing could bring me down.  I had some positive feedback, where one classmate even compared my writing to Judy Blume (which totally made my life, because I basically love her, and read all of her books growing up.)  I was feeling really confident, and even started fantasizing about the Pulitzer Prize that I might win one day.  Okay, so that’s really awkward, but if I’m honest, I think I did actually wonder at one point what the requirement for a Pulitzer Prize was.  Hello, delusional!

Later this afternoon I cheerfully signed on to the forum for the class to check if anymore feedback had come through on my novel, and BINGO, one new message.  Hooray!  I was extremely excited to receive the rest of my feedback, that would confirm my Pulitzer Prize writing future.  However, much to my chagrin, it was not positive at all, it was downright, devastating.  It was from a classmate, and she criticized everything about my piece.  This b*tch went cray cray on my baby (my novel) and destroyed everything in its path, from my use of parenthesis, to the main character whom she called “dry.”  P.S.  That character was basically modeled after moi, so I was a little offended.

I spent the next hour on the phone with my mother going off about her. I used an array of tactics to cut her down the same way in which she had done to me, (e.g. saying things to the effect of, “Hasn’t she ever heard of a prologue before?!  It’s like she’s never read a freaking book before!  She must read effing Harry Potter!” <–Btdubs, no offense to anyone who like the Potter-inator…I was just angry when I said that, and JK Rowling is amaze.)  So anyway, I basically just went off about it, until even I got sick of hearing myself talk.

After my rant was over, I thought about what I was really upset about.  I was let down.  I had a moment earlier in the week when I had received such positive responses that I felt like nothing could touch me.  My ego was hurt because someone didn’t like my work, and because I had put my full effort into it, she told me her honest opinion, and maybe some of what she said had some truth to it.  I retaliated by cutting her down to make myself feel better, but it didn’t make me feel better, it just made me feel worse.

It made me think of a quote that I once heard that says, “Whatever you do, don’t
congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either – your
choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s.”  The part about congratulating yourself too much, is apparently the part that I need to take note of in the future, and obviously something I need to work on.

Also, something to remember for the next time…

I don’t know if accepting criticism will ever get easier for me, but I do know, I am going to work on it.  Apparently I haven’t exactly taken my own advice.  To those of you who have read, “Stuff I’ve Realized Recently,” well, you all know what I’m talking about.  Perhaps in some ways I really have stopped caring less about what people think since I’ve gotten older…However…

Maybe there are some things, no matter how old you are, what you proclaim to the world in a blog as gospel, or how much you say you don’t care what people think, are always going to sting and trigger something in that little place inside you, until you learn the right way to just Let. It. Go….

The End~

The Best Advice I’ve Ever Received…

Are you ready?

Be genuine.  

Or also…just be yourself…be authentic…be real…etc…

These two little words ‘be genuine’ sound so simple, don’t they?  However, I think they are harder to live by.  I think that sometimes in life it’s easier to not be yourself, and to be the person that people want you to be, and not who you truly are.  I think it’s human nature to want harmony, and sometimes the easiest way to get there is to be someone you’re not.  This might come in the form of not speaking up in a situation where your opinion differs from others, e.g. politics, religion, etc., or in relationships of all kinds, both romantic and platonic.  I can honestly say that, I for one, have done this, and have also been a repeat offender of it, too.  At my bridal shower someone put me on the spot and asked me what about this relationship with my husband was different from other relationships I’ve had, and the answer was simple.  I can be myself.  It’s not that I wasn’t myself in other relationships, because I was, but I think that I was an edited version of myself.  I didn’t do it intentionally, but I think I also didn’t really know who I was at the time, either.  After a particularly bad break-up in my mid 20′s, I spent a long time just being alone, and had an opportunity to figure out the things thatenjoyed.  During that time on my own, I realized what the problem was in other relationships; I wasn’t myself completely, and the reality was, I wasn’t dating people who allowed me to be me.  Once I realized that, I decided that in my next relationship I was going to be 100%, without a doubt, completely unbridled, me.

And I was.

And it worked out for me.

Unfortunately it doesn’t work out that way all the time, or it actually does in retrospect.  Sometimes being yourself means the end of a relationship, but I think that’s okay.  In fact, I think its better than okay.  It’s the best thing for you.  The end of a relationship, where you have genuinely been yourself, is a gift because it means that you are no longer wasting your time, and you’re now free to move onto finding the person who will truly appreciate you for who you are.  That’s exactly how it happened for me, and I wouldn’t change a thing.  With my husband I can say whatever I want about anything, and although he might look at me sometimes like I’m crazy, he never judges me.  I don’t have to apologize for who I am, or what I think, and I’m glad I have finally learned how to live by such simple words, and at the same time, have found someone who also allows me to.

I think if you aren’t genuine, it can really bite you in the ‘a for various reasons, some of which I have just discussed…

So…

And when you do, be you. Just do it. <--That's what Nike said.

And that is why, in my opinion, there is no better advice than “be genuine”…

Or is there?…

I thought I’d leave you with a couple of silly zingers that were also in the running for the best advice I’ve ever received.  These quotes are courtesy of my Grandma Barkoff and Matt’s Nana.  Don’t G-ma’s have the best advice, like, ever?!

My Grandma Barkoff:

“Sometimes you gotta eat the sh*t.” <–A simple saying for the times when you have to just suck it up, and deal with the curve balls life throws you.

“People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.”

“What a life without a wife, and here I am without a man.” (She said this both to me when I didn’t have a boyfriend, and about herself after my grandpa passed away.)

“You can’t catch ‘em on the second bounce.” (Basically means that sometimes you don’t have more than one chance, so be mindful with the first.)

Matt’s Nana:

“You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.”

“Pat someone on the back while you’re kicking them in the a** at the same time.” <–Ha!  Classic!

“It’s better to be a silent and thought a fool than to speak up and remove all doubt.”

And finally, a quote that Matt and I discovered both of our grandmothers told us when we were growing up:

“He who laughs last, laughs best.”

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Who does that?!?!I Like, seriously, who does that?!!!!!

Do you ever notice that there are certain people who seem to have no shame whatsoever?  This inappropriate behavior can rear its ugly head in many, many forms.  Examples of these kinds of people, might be the person who tells a really inappropriate/obscene joke in front of your g-ma (grandma), or someone who ignores a blind person who needs help crossing the street.  These are the individuals whom you just can’t help but declare…

Who does that?!?!I  Like, seriously, who does that?!!!!!

Lately, I have had a ton of “Who does that?!?!I  Like, seriously, who does that?!!!!!” moments.  I am not even kidding, I have seriously looked over my shoulder a time or two for Ashton Kutcher to jump out of the bushes, and to say, “Dude, you’ve been Punk’d,” or I glance around for anyone who even resembles Borat, to make sure that I’m not being thrust into feature film that I haven’t consented to.  However, much to my chagrin, there are no cameras, no Ashton Kutcher, no Borat, and nothing at all fake about these encounters.  This is just real-life, bat-sh*t crazy bull stuff that is goin’ down in a major way…and also really good material to blog about.  Without further adieu, I bring you…

My top 5:  “Who does that?!?!I  Like, seriously, who does that?!!!!!” Moments Lately…

1.)  I was in line at the grocery store with a cart full of groceries, when a man walked up behind me with one bottle of water and a pack of gum.  He kindly asked me if he could cut in front me because I had a lot, and well, he had a little, and he had a friend waiting outside in a car to pick him up.  I said, “Sure.  No problem,” and I proceeded to let him step in front of me…when all of the sudden, his wife/gf came rolling up with a cart full of twice the amount of groceries that were in my cart, and he let her also step right in front of me!  I made eye contact with him as if to say, “What the h is going on?!”  He was not fazed at all by my dirty look, and he actually smiled and winked at me. <–Ummm eeew?


2.) 
The bus system on campus, where my husband goes to medical school, was totally out of whack one afternoon.  It was so backed up, that it caused more people to be waiting for a bus, than there was enough room to accommodate.  People were being fairly considerate, letting others step in front of them, who had waited longer, but there was one exception to the rule, as there always is.  After having waited for at least 45 minutes for a bus (that normally comes every 10 minutes), it was finally my turn.  As I stepped forward for my turn to ascend up the bus steps, I was quickly interrupted by a man 3 times my body weight, who proceeded to step on my foot, and basically remove me from his path, so that he could get in front of me and take my turn.  The worst part, is that I actually see this person at the gym every single day and he has no shame whatsoever.  <–Oh no he di-ent.

3.)  Last semester I was in our apartment on campus, and had just gotten out of the shower.  I walked over to the window to shut the blinds, when I noticed a custodial worker, who was just about to sit down right outside my window to enjoy his lunch, and a free peep show (or so he thought.)  Instead of getting up and being embarrassed once he saw me standing there at the window, he actually waved and smiled at me, and proceeded to sit down and open up his brown bag lunch anyway. <—Ummm, WTF?!

4.)  I was in line at Subway getting my uj (usual), when the sandwich artist complimented my head band.  I was surprised, because it was just a stretchy headband that I wear to the gym to keep my bangs back, but I said “Thank you,” to which she proceeded with, “Can I have it?”  So, I laughed (hoping she was joking), and when my uncomfortable laughter subsided, I glanced over at her, but she was not laughing…or smiling…she was just looking at me.  So, I was so uncomfortable that I actually took the head band off and gave it to her…yes, you heard me right.  I gave it to the creepy girl, and she took it…and she put it on, right then and there in front of me, and continued to make my turkey sandwich.<–Ummm, wait.  Did that, like, really just happen?  Why, yes, yes it did.

5.)  I was walking out of a store when a random man and I crossed paths.  As we passed each other, like two ships in the night, he actually yelled out to me loudly, “Hey, why don’t you smile a little?”  I was so dumbfounded as everyone else turned around to see what all the hollering was about, that I was actually at a loss for words.  The thing was, I didn’t think that I wasn’t smiling. <–Umm, seriously dude?  WTH?

Perhaps I should have told him that sometimes Sarah Smiles Awhile…and sometimes not so much…

The End.