What Three Years of Living in NYC Has Taught Me.
NoteBrooke Needs Summer.
Moving to New York City in Three Weeks or Less.
The Mass Marginalization of the Young Woman: Becoming a Caricature of Myself.
Swimwear Season, Let’s Get Real.
Finding the One
The Real Deal: Fashion Week from An Interloper in Disguise as An Insider
As the slightly wayward spawn of two Ivy League educated, fiscally oriented parents, I was raised to believe that success was something tantamount to a combination of corporate America and intensive/unyielding discipline.
Despite the fact that I spent the majority of my childhood altering my desired career trajectory more frequently than most people change their bed sheets and that my projected job descriptions ranged from Grammy Award winning songstress (That I had no rhythmic ability to speak of mattered little — invariably, I would release an album rivaling that of Whitney Houston’s greatest hits), to public relations mogul (Think Jonathan Cheban status) to corporate attorney, the underlying premise remained consistent. That is to say, I would achieve an expansive, longterm career that equated to mass public credence and a lofty measure of self sustaining financial stability.
I proceeded forth and realized many of my pre established goals. By twenty-three, for instance, not only had I long since graduated from a reputable university, but I also went on to complete three additional years of intensive schooling, earning my Juris Doctorate degree. Ostensibly, that propelled me further towards a tangible piece of paper proof that I was more than just a walking lipstick. And, at twenty-six, I stood smack dab in the center of a New York City newsroom and watched a piece that I produced air on national television for the first time.So, when I opted to become a blogger, which is unequivocally the single worst job title in the world second to… hooker…maybe, I never anticipated that I would be nearly as enamored with the endeavor as I am. Garnering a bold base of female followers who corresponded with me about a plethora of deeply personal, intellectual and relevant issues, I found it indescribably gratifying to share my life in all of its edited and unedited splendor.
Then came this gem:
Disgruntled Instagram User #1: “Before you try to relate to people, understand that most people don’t live the way you do yet manage to be as inspiring without it. The “’fans’” who don’t see through you are kind of pathetic.”
Followed closely by:
Disgruntled Instagram User #2: “In fact, on her blog posts, she has never even practiced law…probably because it would be too hard/too many hours.”
Since commencing this endeavor, I’ve been referred to as “SO ugly,” “SO fake,” “painful to look at,” “disgustingly thin,” et.al. People have questioned whether my hair is actually a wig that — unbeknownst to me — was somehow placed haphazardly on top of my head. They’ve fervently insisted that I must spend my days spinning around in the mirror while snapping an endless barrage of selfies. None of these comments have ever particularly jarred me or even warranted a block.
That said, why would the above mentioned sentiments inflict a substantially more serious wound?
The premise of my blog has a lot to do with a self propelled, if somewhat grassroots, effort to stop the incessant marginalization of women. I will never be only one thing — neither will you. I promise.
So Y-E-S. In many respects, it’s true: I’ve been blessed enough to lead a privileged life. It’s not as if that somehow evaded my conscious mind, rendering me immune to the sentiments of my readers. But here’s the thing — I’m not trying to portray myself as Lena Dunham’s ultra relatable, female friendly character in Girls either. My privilege is a single piece of a comedically large, overtly complex puzzle – one that a renown psychiatrist strives to put together twice a month before prescribing my recommended daily dosage of Clonopin and Zoloft and standing up to signify that my time.is.really.up.
That means:Get out, Brooke, and reenter the world all by yourself. Whether or not you feel like you’re going to fucking drop dead, face first on the pavement, you’ll survive this one too.
I’m not a character. I’m a real woman. In the same way that I wouldn’t intentionally overshadow my posts with visions of deliberate ostentatiousness, I also wouldn’t linger on the abuses that I’ve endured throughout my life, the moments of intensive self loathing that I’ve grappled with for decades, or the more cringe worthy decisions that have come to define significant portions of my adulthood. Because it’s all me. But I do fervently hope that, in choosing to be rather unfiltered in my writing, my readers will feel comfortable being equally candid with me. While plenty of people perceive blogging as being a thinly veiled excuse to retire early and procreate, I can honestly attest to the fact that I generally work from about 10 am to 1 am, and that I make my own living off of this endeavor, which is both my passion and my career. Listen, I’m not operating under the pretense that what I’m doing is neurosurgery. But I love the idea of creating a space where people can be inspired and feel comfortable to be themselves, and
I’m proud to say that this little big blog, and everything that comes along with it, is truly my life’s work.
I know as well as anyone that a level of every day exhaustion rivaling the residual effects of walking pneumonia is a thing, that crossing six New York City Avenues to reach preferred salad bar/therapist’s office/workplace, can render one desperate for an extended state of repose, and that day to day quasi adult life (because, let’s be serious…on time bill paying whereby the lights aren’t shut off prior to a dark and humiliating late payment? Right.) can diminish the concept of downtime to something that’s synonymous with a Real Housewives of Orange County marathon and a full body snuggie.
What I also know is that, at the risk of sounding grossly misguided (what with a career that’s centered around social media and a prolonged IPhone6 slouch that resembles more of a perpetual stoop than a graceful saunter), there’s no supplement for authentic engagement and the act of being physically and mentally present for one’s own life.
Regardless of what’s going on with Saint West via all of the click bait articles peppering the screens of our gently lit social media devices, nothing makes a more noteworthy memory than saying, “Even though I’ll invariably go numb and ruin the pointed toe tips of my suede BB pumps on the way to drinks with my bestie, I’m not going to pull out because of a psychosomatically manifested post work ‘headache,’ cramps, or even the all consuming nightmare that is chronic fatigue.”
When I got engaged in September, I immediately envisioned the loved ones who I wanted to surround me at my white and chrome laden (that’s a story for another post) wedding reception. I quickly flashed back to every no holds barred and often wildly inappropriate gargantuan laugh thats been shared between my best friend, Laura, and I, and realized, She lives on the Upper West Side for fuck’s sake – why aren’t I taking more proactive measures to see her as much as I did in college? Has the fear of a failed career and the need for an extra ninety minutes of sleep come to outweigh the importance of making memories that will eventually come to define the entirety of our lives?
Joyce Meyer encourages me to push past emotions (this woman delivers such powerful sermons that I often feel that she intends to communicate DIRECTLY WITH ME as I press play on YouTube and commence my morning listening/makeup routine); she insists that they’re unreliable, subject to frequent change, and therefore – fundamentally untrustworthy. In the same way, I’m learning to forego procrastination in favor of something substantially more gratifying –- the purposeful cultivation of my closest relationships. In sum, Joyce suggests (although never in these exact words) that we push past the bullshit. It’s a well-known fact that long-term happiness can’t be synonymous with complacency, so hello Isabel Marant walking boots, let’s get going in perfect Parisian street chic style.
On my wedding day, I don’t want to be surrounded by a room full of friends that I created memories with in “the good old days,”– you know, the many times we shared together long before entering the realm of adulthood, if adulthood were a thinly veiled reference for work, shower, cry, Zoloft, sleep, repeat. Instead, I want to make a decision to show up to my life, keeping my scheduled coffee, wine and dinner dates and relishing the act of basking in the presence of those who I love the most.
Why wouldn’t I want to reap the rewards of a life well lived?