Our bodies all handle stress in different ways. Some people get an insatiable hunger and pack on a few pounds. Some bite their nails down to nubbins. But ask me what my body does? Besides sweat and develop a tight knot just to the left of my right shoulder blade, I twitch.

To be more precise, my eye(s) twitch. Usually it’s the flutter of an eyelid every now and then during the day. Annoying, but they’re usually temporary.

But as of last Tuesday night, I have developed the mother of all eye twitches, which I have come to know as “The Jerk.”

IMG_0687 (1)-polaLadies and gentleman, The Jerk might as well be a jackhammer underneath my left eye. Its jerky movements do not happen in cute little spurts. It does not show itself in semi-predictable episodes. It is all. The. Time. And worst of all, it is 100% noticeable. The only way I can hide it is if I adopt my 6 o’clock face for a 9:30am meeting—that is, squint my eyes and look really tired.

The sheer annoyance of this twitch has me conjuring up home remedies beyond what I can find on Google, which scolds me and says I need more sleep, less caffeine, more water, and less stress. But since I’ve always been terrible at maintaining healthy levels of all of the above, I decided to take matters into my own hands.

I’ve tried to exorcize the demon in the following ways:

  • Sit and stare at it in my 5x zoom mirror. (Note: the increasing intervals at which this has happened has done nothing)
  • Poke at it with my fingers
  • Cup my hand over it to essentially “hot box” my eyeball for 10 seconds at a time (this technique is based on absolutely nothing other than reading that a hot compress could help. I just hate when hot compresses get cold after 2 minutes then drip all over the place. Also, is there anything better I can use besides a paper towel as a hot compress? I feel like in the year 2016 there’s gotta be. Yes that is a serious question.)
  • Sleep and I’ll awake with it magically gone
  • Ask my husband to stare at it and tell me if it’s still noticeable
  • Complain to my mom
  • Watch the delightfully cheesy and terrifying “Fuller House”
  • Hold a headstand for 15 breaths

The fact that all the Google pages about eye twitches all report the very last time I visited the same pages have made me realize something—the eye twitch always wins.

What Ariana Grande has taught me

snl_1663_08_Ariana_Grande_Break_FreeI never knew I harbored such animosity against Ariana Grande until last night—during a replay of SNL hosted by Chris Pratt.

After unleashing a few expletives after seeing her take the stage in a sparkly, mid-driff baring number complete with kitten ears atop a 90s Madonna-inspired high pony-tail, I realized that I needed to check-in with myself and ask, “Whoa. Where did that come from?!”

It has come to my attention that my problem with Ariana Grande is that she represents a day in my life I thought would never come: not knowing everything there is to know about pop culture, especially music. In other words—feeling old.

Growing up, I loved teasing my parents about who was on the radio. Big music fans, they had a deep knowledge of music, but of course–they couldn’t keep up with who was on Z100’s “9 at 9”. To my mom, everyone was, “Is this Hootie?” and my dad pretty much prohibited pop hits in his presence after suffering though half of a New Kids on the Block track when I was in kindergarten.

So, at a young age, I always knew of this phenomenon I will call, “the great divide”—meaning, there will come a time in your life when you no longer care about what’s popular. In other words, the cultural references that you truly shaped you are now behind you.

For my parents, they always joked that they were torn away from pop culture the second my sis and I arrived. The 80s is a complete blur to them, and any references to this time in their lives only relates to The Muppets.

I’m not quite at that stage in my life, but as a newlywed and newly promoted at work as a supervisor, my life has shifted focus. When I was in my 20s (and yes, it’s taken me almost a year of being 30 to be able to feel comfortable making that statement), as a lifestyle writer I prided myself in following all the NYC-centric news and gossip blogs, being up on all the latest terminology and slang.

Nowadays, as a copywriter for brands, I find that I’ve on more than one occasion had to look up terms on UrbanDictionary to see if I’m capturing the latest lingo appropriately.

And, when I occasionally stumble on radio stations like Z100, I have absolutely no idea who is on the air. To me, they all sound like a group of 14 year-olds signing the same bad pop song over, and over. It’s official: my divide has formed. And as a result, I have no idea who’s on VH1’s top 20 countdown.

I just looked up Ariana Grande’s age and she is in fact 21, not 14. Ok. So, not only is she exactly a decade younger than me, but she will become a zeitgeist in my own life. To me, Ariana Grande will always embody the time in my life when I no longer gave a damn about what’s popular, but instead, what works best for me. I think I’m going to like my 30s.

Slipping On Sentiments

Sometimes, I “try on” feelings.

I’ve said YES to a super-size when I wasn’t very hungry.

I’ve said FINE and walked away when I wasn’t really mad.

I’ve howled OW! when stubbing my toe didn’t really hurt.

I’ve laughed when a joke wasn’t very funny.

As you would try-on patterned pants you’re not sure are quite you, or perhaps try a sip of wine that’s not your usual rosé, I sample emotions when I’m not quite sure how I feel.

It takes a lot to really move me. (Pixar films or movies with animals don’t count.) For me to fully embrace an emotion as it rushes through me is very difficult. I may sweat and blush instantly, but my mind isn’t so quick.

This is why I was so surprised to feel emotional when I purchased my wedding dress.

photo (4)Here’s something you may not know about me: I have not been planning my wedding say since I was 6 years old. If you were to ask me what my dream wedding was when I was younger, I would have said anywhere but NJ and there must be a band.  Never did I ever expect to be excited to be getting married where I grew up, or that my fiancé would be performing at our own wedding.

But that was about it. Any decision I’ve made thus far has been a truly new experience.

First of all—trying-on wedding dresses is one of the girliest/giddiest/amazing moments a woman can experience. And it all goes way too fast. But—when you know, you know. As the intern at Kleinfeld’s said, “It’s like finding your fiancé. When you find the right one, you stop looking.”

But, it wasn’t saying “yes” to this dress that got me. It was seeing it hang expectantly on its satin-lined hanger while the wedding consultants took my measurements that got me. I suddenly realized that the next few times I’d see my dress were going to be right before my wedding day…waiting for me to slip it on to marry CP. This is what I’m wearing when CP and I get married. Right before I walk down the aisle, this is what CP will see me in. Think of any variation of this, and that’s what was racing through my head.

Looking back, slipping on each dress took me closer to figuring out what I wanted, and what I felt. It wasn’t booking the venue, or even the band that made realize what we’re doing in about 10 months. That’s just the party element of it. Maybe it’s because neither one of us are religious, so I haven’t really thought much about the ceremony, but the dress finally got me thinking about what is really happening that day, and how grateful and appreciative I am that we somehow met each other, get each other, and have such unbelievably amazing friends and family that support our relationship.

I feel like those words don’t even do my feelings justice. (How am I ever going to write my vows!?)

With each thumbs-up or thumbs down of a ruffle or strip of Chantilly lace or French netting, I moved closer and closer to fully embracing what CP and I are doing next Spring. Is it possible to feel sentimental over a moment that hasn’t happened yet? I say yes.

A Peek Inside A New Day In A New Year…

200220114-001Woke up as CP was leaving for work. Tossed and turned for another 10 minutes and debated about sleeping in on my last day off, then finally threw off the blankets. Decided I needed coffee before making the bed. Walked into living room to find that CP left the Today show on. Loved how my habits have influenced his morning routine. Switched on the Twilight Zone marathon as I have since I was in single digits. Scrolled through NYE pics on Facebook, shuffled through emails in Gmail. Texted CP to see how things were at work, while sipping my coffee. Pulled a blanket around my shoulders. Inspired by 2013, I stared at my blog while trying to think of an interesting way into talking about resolutions. Got lost in another DIY blog I lurk. Thought about actually becoming active community member by posting comments on bloggers/writers I admire and jotted down ideas for a 365 project my sis and I can share. Stretched my legs out and found that my calves are sore. Remembered that I must keep my yoga trend going in my quest to find ways to calm myself on a daily basis. Work is tomorrow but that doesn’t bother me. Yoga must be working. Fingers jittered slightly from coffee reminded me to go pick at last night’s steak and potato leftovers. Took a deep breath and left one potato chunk behind. Couldn’t do it. Set plate down and looked to see which episode of Portlandia was on and wished I found it more funny since I love Fred Armesin. Remembered I still had to make the bed and dragged myself into my room for more yoga. Felt the potatoes settling during downward dog. Finished practice and then frantically ran around opening windows because it all of a sudden got SO HOT in my apartment. The hissing of pipes somehow got louder with each inhale and exhale. Jumped in and out of the shower then moseyed over to my phone while combing hair to see what CP wanted for dinner. No ideas and still full of potatoes killed any desire I had to cook. But no cooking means no leftovers for lunch so I’m already setting myself up for buying lunch tomorrow even though I’m trying to be more fiscally responsible in the new year. Pouted to myself as I pulled on my puffer coat and tucked my damp hair under my new green hat to leave the nest for the first time in the new year. Filled basket with ingredients for grilled cheese and soup for dinner. Returned home to stock goodies and settled into the couch again to call my sis and see how she fared during her NYE shenanigans. Thought about how happy I was to celebrate the new year with CP. CP came home and I poured myself the last of the wine leftover from the other night. A few more Twilight Zones later, a lightbulb in the overhead light popped and reminded me of how we’ll have to take the Christmas tree down in a few days. And we really need to get another lamp since I can’t stand overhead lights. Now it’s just me on the blog, sharing the first of what I think will be an awesome year.