Hi, hello, I’m currently a freelance writer, editor, Jack(ie) of all trades…
but I’m very much still figuring out my life.
I earned a BA in Journalism from Northeastern University back in 2013
but, over the years, I’ve considered becoming a flight attendant…
and I’ve been rethinking this pursuit lately.
In fact, I recently applied to a bunch of airlines and even landed a few interviews!
But y’all know me. I’m essentially George Costanza.
And I’ve since reconsidered.
And, sometimes, it’s easier to find clarity when you figure out what you DON’T want.
I’m still not sure what I’m doing but I know
I definitely DO NOT want to be a…
Doctor – blood? eek!
Lawyer – abiding by the law? eek!
Drug Dealer – not abiding by the law? also, drugs? eek!
Chiropractor – fake news! eek!
Baker – have you watched my insta stories? eek!
Coroner – eek? eek!!
Mathematician – numbers? (I had to Google 9×7 the other day) eek!
Toilet Attendant – smell ya later? eek!
Librarian – shushing people? (I literally cannot whisper) eek! Candle Maker – SCENTsational headaches? eek!
So, like, I’ve basically got it all narrowed down. 😂
I left flight attendant off the list because it’s not a definite NEVER ever
but, like, never for now? Classsssssic Jackie.
“Why am I trying to become what I don’t want to be … when all I want is out there, waiting for me the minute I say I know who I am.”
– Death of a Salesman (speaking of which, I do NOT want to be a salesman either)
Truly, though, over the years I’ve realized the things that make me happiest are being outside and being around animals (the non-human variety, of course).
Anyways, I did a thing and made a YouTube video!
It’s been a minute and, as much as I LOVE writing, sometimes I just need to TALK to understand my own train of thought…
…because half of the time this train is choo-choo’ing out of the damn station before I have time to register that it was even there! 😂
As an INTJ, I live inside my head 99% of the time.
So, here are 3.5 minutes of me trying to decipher these thoughts of mine…enjoy!
A bit of culture shock is expected when you leave your own country, right? Like, oh, I’m going to Paris and everyone is going to smoke everywhere all the time and I don’t have to tip anywhere and I’m going to get dirty looks for even trying to speak French…TRES BIEN. I get it. This is not America and the servings here are not large and I’m ok with that (no I’m not). But, hey, life’s great and I’m eating my weight in croissants on quaint little streets named Rue Saint Dominique and such. Ya know?
But what about culture shock IN America? AS AN AMERICAN?!
I present to you, Montana.
I’ve been to the South. I’ve been to Utah. I’ve been to Texas. I’ve been here and there.
I loved it. I smiled the entire time I was there minus when the power went out in my Airbnb just as it started to snow and I was all alone but ANYWAY.
LOOK HOW PRETTY EVERYTHING IS.
Montana’s the kind of place where folks are friendly for no good reason and it’s weird because NY is, like, well…not like that. I mean, NY is my home and I adore it and I too hate when tourists stop in the middle of sidewalks and/or walk on the WRONG side (people, sidewalks are like ROADS…there is a right way and a wrong way to walk) and people who think Times Square and 5th Ave. are New York City, like, hello no bye.
New Yorkers are blunt, brash, bonkers, and bankrupt because the rent is too damn high.
We run on Dunkin’ and Montana runs on these adorable little coffee shacks that I quickly became obsessed with but oh so embarrassed to drive through in my dumb Cadillac (quick story time: I rented a car and they gave me a Caddy which most would love but I was like UGH and it didn’t have a CD player and I was SO mad because I brought my Man of the Woods CD because duh and I missed my little 2000 Toyota Camry and I felt like I was driving a spaceship and it had Cali license plates to make things worse and it was just so not Montana or me but ANYWAY).
Things I did in Montana:
Went camping for the first time.
Saw the Milky Way with my own four eyes.
Saw a half-full milk jug on the side of the road.
Saw a few bison!
Went to Wyoming.
Drank huckleberry wine.
Wait, Wyoming is NOT in Montana. Whoopsie daisy.
Changed my mind about dinosaurs existing. I blame Zack.
Hiked a mountain by myself and thought I saw a bear but it was really a large deer.
Pulled over several times to let other cars pass me because I was driving grandma miles per hour to really take in my surroundings. SO MUCH BEAUTIFULNESS.
Said “Wow, everyone here is SO nice!” approximately 2,945 times.
Said “Wow, everything here is SO gorgeous!” approximately 2,946 times.
Couchsurfed for the first time and met the coolest family and fellow couchsurfer.
Fell in some mud in a field after dancing to JT on the side of the road. I blame Zack.
Turned bright red when my tour group and guide sang ‘happy birthday’ to me on a red bus tour in Glacier National Park the day after my actual birthday only to find out that there was another lady and it was her ACTUAL birthday and then the tour guide was like ‘sorry, we’re not singing again’ and I was like omg I just stole her thunder WHOOPS.
Saw Old Faithful erupt! That might’ve technically been in Wyoming but– oh, look! A bison!
I’ve been to quite a few places. And I always ask myself, “Hmmm, could I see myself living here?” whenever I travel somewhere new. I compare everything to NY. But we all know NY is incomparable. It’s electric, magnetic, rat-infested, and smells like pee most of the time.
But it’s wonderful.
And it’s safe and cozy and I know where all my favorite things are because the grid system is INCREDIBLE but hot damn huckleberry pancakes!
Montana sure felt like home.
Like your favorite worn-out book with all the soft, wrinkly dog-eared pages that you keep going back to, re-reading it over and over because it’s just so damn GOOD and you find new details and bits of gold and coffee-stained spots (whoops) each time you read it and it never ever gets old.
But the locals don’t want you to know it! They want to preserve the great treasure state– and I don’t blame them.
Here’s the thing. If you go to a place like Missoula or Bozeman, you can’t expect it to be like LA or NY or wherever, right? You have to EMBRACE the simple life. I mean, it’s not all dirt roads and log cabins and fishin’ and all that– in fact, I saw the prettiest Walmart while in Montana. And by “prettiest” I mean it was literally a regular Walmart SURROUNDED by gorgeous mountains and it was unreal and it almost made me want to shop there but I didn’t.
Ok, so where did I go, exactly?
Yellowstone National Park, Glacier National Park, Flathead Lake, into the woods, down some streets, here and there, you get it.
Right after Montana, I flew to LA for a weekend to visit some friends and, let me tell YOU, flying from the tiny little airport in Bozeman (complete with dinosaur fossils) to LAX (complete with yoga rooms) was culture SHOCKKKCKCKKCKCK. I was like, wait, what IS Starbucks and where are my little Cowgirl Coffees at and why is everyone wearing full make-up and talking about acting and avocados?
I found myself missing Montana as soon as I left. 😭
From the sweeping landscapes and the abundance of mom and pop shops to the suspiciously friendly residents and the unpredictable weather, I am HOMESICK for this state.
So, au revoir New York! I’m excited to call Montana my actual home beary soon.
Ah, New York. Home to the best of the best. From pizza and pastrami to bagels and bodegas, if you want it, NY has it. And it is the best.
Also, apparently home to the “best fly fishing east of the Rockies,” according to the New York State Conservationist Magazine. Who knew?
Of course, the Empire State is also known for its infamous New York-style cheesecake. From Junior’s to Eileen’s Special Cheesecake and S&S, it’s hard to argue with the feeling of your arteries closing as you take ‘just one more bite’ of the creamy cake made of fromage.
Back to Berlin.Remember that time I was in Berlin and it was awful? Ok, it wasn’t that bad…just, like, weird and grungy with a real sex, drugs, and rock & roll house music type vibe. Sounds like my kind of place, right?
*Taps ruby slippers off-white BOBS Skechers together, desperately trying to get back to NY*
Dammmnnn, nice photo skills, Loic! Ok, back to the cake.
Loic asked if I’d like to stop somewhere for a drink (beer) or a coffee.
Me: ‘Oh, yeah! Cawwwfeee for sure!’
On we went. Loic insisted that the place we were going not only had great cawwfee but the *best* cheesecake as well.
*New Yorker skepticism sets in*
Who does this guy think he is? He’s not even from Berlin and now he thinks some random cawwfee shop has the ‘best’ cheesecake. We’ll see about that. Has he ever been to NY? Nope, he hasn’t. WHAT DOES HE EVEN KNOW?!
Five Elephant is on an unassuming street in Berlin’s more artsy fartsy district, Kreuzberg. And, well, I’ll try to describe the cheesecake…but first, a photo:
Do you see that thin layer on the top?Yeah, I don’t know what that is either. But cheesecake will never be the same without it.
And that crust?Yeah, again, I don’t know but it was THE BEST.
And the actual cheesecake?‘Holy bananas’ is all I can say.
It was as if the cheesecake was whipped for days on end by little elves. Magical, delightful, cheesecake-making elves. (Sidenote: I am ready for snowy weather and Christmas. Can you tell?)
GUYS. I know I can be dramatic, but LOOK at Jonathan’s review. He is a “LOCAL GUIDE.” The internet doesn’t lie!
Yo, that guy Jonathan that reviewed this place WAS RIGHT. 😂
The comments go on and on…I’ve noticed folks have knocked off stars for the cafe’s lack of WiFi, but seriously. You will not need to connect to anything except your inner soul once you take a bite of that cheesecake.
I almost don’t want to ‘publish’ this blog post for fear that this place will really catch on and turn into a chain and then it’ll be awful.
But I’m not that popular, so publish I shall!
Alas, it was a cake made of cheese that left me beguiled by Berlin.
You win, Berlin.
Spread kindness and cheer (and cheese and cake), xo
Adventure adventure adventure. My mind is always wandering and wondering. What’s next? Let’s go go go go go! I want to go everywhere, see everything, leave no stone unturned, as they say.
I sometimes worry that I’ll never be content with where I am. The status quo. Settling down. Eek! That phrase horrifies me. I want to spend a lifetime in so many different places. London. Iceland. A beach town in Maine or Rhode Island. Vancouver. Seattle. A cottage near a beautiful lake in Canada. Does anyone else feel this way?
Sometimes it feels like it’s not enough to have visited these places. I want to truly be a part of these cities and towns. I want to be as much a part of them as I am a part of New York City and the Empire State.
I want to know what it’s like to live on a farm for years and raise chickens and goats and to know what it feels like to live a simple small town life where, really, everyone knows your name. I never want to feel stuck. Unmoved. I want to constantly feel.
Passion and purpose. Why am I here? What am I doing? Aaaaack, I don’t know!
I love this quote from Hermann Hesse; he was a German-born Swiss poet, novelist, and painter.
It is not our purpose to become each other; it is to recognize each other, to learn to see the other and honor him for what he is.
Follow your gut and always stay true to yourself. People will judge you and have opinions along the way, but guess what? This is YOUR life to live. Nobody else’s. We need to recognize each other’s differences and celebrate the quirks and oddities.
I cannot believe it’s already May. I feel like I say this every year with each passing month, but seriously time seems to be flying! Three months ago today I was off to Iceland of all places! Now, I’m back working in NYC and I’m actually loving my job. Like…I’m not dreading going back to work tomorrow. It’s truly a beautiful thing haha-
Anyways, one of my first “assignments” at work was to come up with two truths and a lie…you see, each Thursday the company introduces new hires to the office and every new hire has to say two truths and a lie.
When it was my turn I said:
Last summer I hitchhiked around Canada.
Though I’m a native New Yorker, my true dream is to open a senior pet sanctuary on a farm somewhere.
Both of my parents have a twin, but I’m an only child.
If you’ve read my blog enough, I’m sure you know the lie — but if not, take a guess in the comments below!