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My personal manifesto:

“What makes me happy? Being good to myself. And by that, I don’t mean pampering my body at the spa, exercising or eating the healthiest food all the time. I mean forgiving myself, not judging myself, letting myself live by my own rules, letting myself decide when and if the rules should change and knowing that ‘doing my best’ every day doesn’t mean being the best every day (or maybe ever).

Even if I fall short of what I expect, I don’t punish myself.

The knowledge that I’m on a journey and it’s completely my own, unique, completely average and, yet, enormously special and meaningful makes me happy. Knowing that everyone else, judging me, as they are, by their own journey’s rules, cannot know what’s right for me, makes me happy.

I spent what seems like a lifetime trying to live by others’ rules and abide by the world’s collective definition of being valuable, intelligent, capable, etc. Well, actually, it was the United States’ and New York City’s version of those things.

Now that I’m ‘defining myself for myself’ – to paraphrase Audre Lorde – I feel like I’ve walked out of Plato’s cave and discovered the ideal.

The Song of the Sannyasin says ‘thou art that’ and it means that we’re all part of one living, breathing life and are never separate, never more or less than that. I see that this is true and it’s this knowledge, and meditation on it, that, ultimately, makes me happy.”

Today, I had to make a choice – a choice about how I was going to value myself, my work, monetarily.

I’ve discovered I’m uncomfortable with making money (thank you, Tara Gentile!) I have always been proud that I don’t have much ambition when it comes to money. Yes, PROUD. This was me – “I just want to be comfortable, materially, so that I can thrive spiritually.” Um…wait a minute…what?!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A couple of years ago, a friend of mine left her comfortable magazine job to pursue happiness. I had, without knowing it, done the same a few months before she did. Her blog, “What Makes You Happy?,” was a compilation of her old friends, new friends, and strangers’ answers to that question.

I did a post, and am so happy I did – because though I was going through one of the most transformative times in my life, I wasn’t documenting it myself like I wanted to.

The story – I quit my job at People magazine with nothing to fall back on (except 6 months’ severance pay). What I found was what diving into your deepest fear felt like (terrifying) – and though I tread water desperately for what seemed like forever (2 months), there came a point where I discovered, finally, miraculously!, that I could float.

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I think I am turning into a dinosaur, because lately I’ve been extremely concerned about my privacy. Not that I ever truly had any. Experian, Equifax and TransUnion obliterated any privacy I thought I had when I turned 18 (or maybe it was when my mom put me on her store credit card, or when I got an SSN, I don’t know any more). But for a while, it was possible to actually make sure that only people/companies that I wanted to check my credit score actually did.

Here in New York, people lament the lack of public space. It is ironic, then, that what we used to think of as private spaces are increasingly considered, by the advertising agencies, to actually be public, in the sense that they can get in edgewise and pester our brain with “You need this! You want this!”

Allow me to explain. This article in The New York Times today troubled me. The article explains what’s up next in the realm of targeted advertising – cable companies accessing your financial data from the credit monitoring companies and sending financially-targeted advertising your way during commercials.

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More TK (in journo-speak, this means “To Come”) but can someone please explain to me why a Gawker blogger and her experiences with sharing TMI on the internet is the cover story of the New York Times Magazine this week?!

I say “can” you explain it because I mean that – is it even possible to find a valid, justifiable reason for this? Now I have no questions as to why “journalism” is failing. People like to be entertained, but people do not enjoy masturbatory drivel written by 26-year-old wannabe writers.

It could be said that my blog is also masturbatory drivel written by a 26-year-old wannabe writer. I concede your point, but at least I’m aware that what I write here may be nothing more than worthless ramblings.

At Park Slope used bookstore. I love all things ephemeral. Found: First run edition of an obscure gay studies book, Sappho was a Right-On Woman. Holla!

Just a thought to ponder. Recently I used a can of genuine American Coca-Cola to clean my bathtub…and it rubbed off like 200 years of dirt (that’s an obscene exaggeration because my building has only been around for about 100 years, give or take).

There were skin cells from people who wrote books during the Harlem Renaissance that finally were liberated by a Coca-Cola bath (you’re welcome, Zora Neale-Hurston! Rest in Peace down the drain.)

In all seriousness, though, I was told that to kill weeds, a can of Pepsi or Coke’ll do it (I don’t think the same holds for generic store brands of cola, so save your money).

The same works for the tub.

So, my question is, what happens in our stomachs when we drink it?

Any doctors with answers, please let me know. Comments please!

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