Hey, hey you! Guess what! I turned 28! That’s right, I’ve officially moved into my late 20s and I have to say, I’m really digging it. With 28 years of experience under my belt, I feel like I can now confidently say I’ve perfected my “whimsical tomboy” style, no longer hesitate to tell people when I don’t know what they’re talking about (sorry “Masters of None” fans), and have finally made a dent in the piles of unread books consuming my apartment.
Seriously, I need to stop buying/adopting books.
May was a busy, fun, adventurous month in the chronicles of Carly. It involved many hellos, and a few goodbyes. At the beginning of May, my friend Imali and I played hookie and went to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. It was literally one of the greatest experiences of my life and I could talk about it forever … which I did in this blog post. Just go see it and then when you’re done there, head over to Lincoln Center.
May was also the last month my sweet friend Jillian was in New York City so we decided to live it up like the ladies of leisure we someday hope to become. First, we treated ourselves to Gisele, starring Misty Copeland, during one of the biggest rainstorms of the year.
Due to the massive rainstorm, I arrived to the theater early after work with no where to go and a laptop to protect. Stuck outside the Lincoln Center drenched from the waist down, I threw up my hands that Tuesday before the show and found a restaurant across the street where I could grab a beer and read. Settling in between two men sipping martinis and slurping oysters, I couldn’t help reveling in this very New York moment. Despite the rain, despite the stress of rushing uptown from work, despite being in heels, I couldn’t have felt luckier to be in the city about to go watch the ballet on a Tuesday night. I mean, how is that real life!
Jillian and I met three years ago after I sent her a fan letter asking for writing advice. At the time, she was also moving to New York and asked me to grab wine at the Tippler, a bar under Chelsea Market. I was so nervous to meet her. She was a famous writer! I was just a kid trying to keep their cats fed! But that first wine date turned into another which turned into dinners and “Game of Thrones” viewing parties which turned into attending her and Andrew’s wedding which turned into New Year’s trips to New Orleans and in May, tea time at the plaza.
As a tea fanatic, this was the big league for me and in the two hours we were there, I drank six glasses of tea. I buzzed out the front door, so hyped on caffeine I couldn’t get my words out fast enough. Over the last three years, Jillian has not only been an amazing friend but my biggest writing mentor/confidant and my most honest editor. Despite whatever might be happening in her life, she’s never too busy to give a midnight pep talk when I’m knee deep in writing blues or a reality check when I lament about an editor not getting back to me 11 minutes after I send a pitch. She’s brilliant and fearless and forgets nothing. She’s my person and while New York doesn’t feel the same without her (and Andrew!), I simply feel grateful for all these memories.
So the next time you’re nervous to reach out to someone new — a friend or a colleague or hell, maybe even a crush — remember, they could be your Jillian and trust me, that’s not a relationship you want to miss out on.
Perhaps I should actually retitle May as “the month I loved on my friends a bunch.” For my birthday Amy came and stayed with me for a few days. (Well, she actually came to meet her cousin’s new baby but I’ll pretend it was for me!) I don’t know who was more excited to see her, me or the cats, but Hem was all a flutter to hang out with her best friend and would just sit and watch Amy draw every night before bed.
Thus began the birthday celebrations! Now, I’m a simple lady, so my only requests for this birthday were: German food, good beer, and drag queen bingo. Not to spoil the ending but I achieved all three of these things — plus getting birthday bagels (above), tricking Amy into taking a two mile walk through the park, and finally, going to the Sackett on my corner. To everyone near and far who made me feel so loved on my birthday, thank you thank you. It meant more than you know and made me even more excited for another turn around the sun.
May is the month of birthdays amongst my friends and family. It’s a straight month of celebrating and when it’s all over, I usually need a minute to curl back into my routine and appreciate the little moments of magic in my life. Like getting to walk past Paul Bettany on my way to the Brooklyn Promenade or finally making pottery pieces that aren’t entirely hideous. The night I walked to the subway after dinner with friends in the city and stumbled upon Little Italy, packed with families and young couples toasting their wine glasses.
It’s now officially summer here in New York City and not only summer, but the best part of summer; when the humidity and blazing temperatures haven’t quite caught up to the season and I can spend hours wandering through Brooklyn. It’s that time when New York is collectively pleasant; when mums gather on their stoops to drink wine with neighbors and kids fly by on scooters hoping the sun will never set. It’s a time so beautiful it almost takes my breath away.
This is what I’m learning more and more. As an overachiever, I am constantly in a state of “what can I do next.” But in this rush to do as much as I can all the time, I can often overlook the little moments of gratitude, the tiny miracles happening every single day in New York City. Like the doorman I pass everyday to work who makes a detailed balloon character and hangs it outside the apartment building where he works. Or watching fashion bloggers stream into the West Village at 2pm to take their photos which look amazing on Instagram and very awkward in person.
28-year-old Carly, I’m excited to get to know and make adventures with you. May you bring lots of pie and peace, and in turn, I promise to make you as memorable as possible.