I miss the calluses my fingers used to take on when I played music regularly. I think I’ll buy a ukulele.
For the past four years, i’ve invested most of my time and energy into fostering a fruitful career for myself - intellectually stimulating, creatively challenging, searching for a meaningful, rewarding trajectory to launch myself into.
it made my shortcomings unbearable. Putting all your measures of success into your career has the tendency to magnify all of the progress, or lack of, seeps into your psyche, fucks with your emotion more than this single part of your life ever ought to have influence over.
Coming upon my 24th birthday this past summer I started to reassess what I’d given up to be here- precious time with family, friends, I never even remotely considered a relationship as feasible and when I did halfheartedly attempt it I hurt that someone immensely. I still look back guiltily knowing that, even if I weren’t the sole contributor to that demise, I certainly didn’t give it my 100%.
God, the mid 20’s. Is there anything more damning than being in limbo? Watching friends enter engagements, have kids, travel the world, getting promoted aggressively - but they’re never the same person. It’s never one person who has all of it, the traveling AND the engagement, the kids AND the director position. Most of us are skewed in one direction, which begs the lean-in question: Can we have it all? And is “all” different for everyone?
One expects flying to feel light, but instead you feel gravity working harder than ever as you fight it to rise, your insides pulling back and down, trying to catch up.
How odd, this concept of floating a teeny room into the atmosphere, humans squeezed neatly into rows, moving relatively quickly but not nearly fast enough.
It’s the strange acoustics of an airplane that you can hardly hear the attendant’s call for drinks, and yet suddenly someone, rows down in the cabin, turns his head at precisely the right angle and his voice roars into your ears, the sound skipping along the ribbed tunnel.
She impatiently strides past the cluster of Latin tourists and scans the bar for a seat. She is one flowy, sharp blur; dark hair, pointy shoulders and a floor skimming dress, the first thing she orders upon sitting is a latte and glass of water, and with a dismissive glance at the menu she takes out her new notebook and strips it of the wrapping.
It’s been a few weeks since she’d confided her thoughts through a pen, and she didn’t know where to start. Her, here, at a bar at LAX at 9am was pretty indicative of her life.
Having successfully wrapped her fifth shoot in an amusing yet unfulfilling job, en route to visit and meet the parents of her not-boyfriend, awaiting news of a job opportunity at a new brand in San Francisco, she was undoubtedly in the mid20’s grey area- neither here nor there, searching for a satisfying challenge but staunched by fear of commitment and the opportunity cost of something better.
As an economist, she took opportunity cost very seriously.
The Affordable Care act has long departed, and it’s done what it’s supposed to, which is to lower the cost of healthcare. They’ve done this by capping the profit margin for insurance and health providers at 20%, rather than letting it float previously to around 30%.
Companies have prepared for this by decreasing their overhead costs - aka letting go thousands of people in the pharmaceutical and devices industry. Doctors also take a shorter cut of profit through prescription based commission in private clinics.
This was supposed to be offset by the increase of people who can now afford healthcare (aka buyers, demand increases). Market reaches equilibrium at lower prices, same profit.
It worked. Costs are lower! THE TRAIN IS OUT OF THE STATION PEOPLE. THIS IS HAPPENING.
These budgetary arguments, aka Ted Cruz’s fake filibuster are basically choking out that volume of increased supply of buyers by discouraging people from participating and freezing out government activity. Which, of course, is exactly what they want to do, to magnify the negative ramifications of obamacare by stifling the flow of revenue generated by more patients. Which is now instigating a larger budgetary discussion that has pretty much frozen all government activities.
No big deal, hundreds of thousands of people aren’t getting paid and can’t work because WE’RE RIGHT! Isn’t politics fun?
And for your viewing pleasure, a video of ted cruz reading green eggs and ham.
Which, as one viewer points out, is ironic because “Green Eggs and Ham a book about how ignorance towards something one knows nothing about (Obamacare), and then actually leading to one liking it”.
The cabbie took the long way to work this morning - coasting through central park, catching glimpses of the upper west side between boughs, a golden retriever bounding full speed then disappearing into a brush, the great lawn and pond swishing past to the left, uptowners running with strollers and dazed tourists squinting into the early morning light, trying to place themselves on the looping trails.
I tipped him extra.
Sharpen the mind, and realize it’s a swiss army knife
"Seriously! How about the part when she had sex with Anne Grandin?" Alice asks as we ride the elevator to the rooftop of the Olivia. The lady carrying a massive, elongated box we shared the elevator with shot us a look, then pretended to ignore us, in proper NY etiquette. We both paused to smile at her when the doors dinged open and she didn’t move, nearly missing her floor listening to our conversation.
"She did WHAT? I definitely don’t remember this." "It was symbolism, she reached into her pants and deposited the key…"
We were discussing Rules of Civility by Amar Towles, this month’s literary pick of the boozy book club and our second meeting. We’d barely missed the downpour that would beat comfortingly against the rooftop windows for the next three hours; as we waited for a few other girls to arrive we watched the thunderous black clouds roll in from both directions, creeping over the rising WTC tower from the south, lightning striking behind Times Square from the north.
Shoving a few couches together and ignoring the Japanese guy trying to watch the Real Housewives in the shared lounge, we compiled our handle of gin and rosé. The seven of us were all supposed to bring sharable food, and Abi had gone to a bodega buffet and picked up two ribs, five chicken wings, a pile of fried rice and the one slice of potato. ”There were two!” she sheepishly retorts when we point this out, “I ate one.”
We all politely opted for popcorn instead- most of us were still getting to know each other, this motley crew of young professional NYers, high school chums and work friends assembled by Alice and Abi.
"I love the way this was written," I pull out my kindle. We’d poured our tonics and admired the snare of rain against the massive windows, settling into our spots. "She, like, says everything I want to say, her words are so precise… like she says all the witty come backs that i wish I could come up with on the spot, only mine are usually like five minutes or five hours later or whatever."
"Yeah, there were like so many phrases in this book that stood so nicely on their own, like they could be tweeted out of context and it makes total sense."
"I think my favorite thing about this was the fact that you know from the very beginning she doesn’t end up with him - like, she keeps getting it wrong. She makes assumptions about everyone - Eve, Tinker, even Wallace, and because you’re reading it from her point of view you’re lead to believe it too, and then they catch you by surprise. It’s kind of irritating, cus you feel like misled, but in a good way.”
"Isn’t that what we all do though? We all do that. We all make assumptions about peoples’ motives, and sometimes we’re wrong. The difference is, sometimes we never find out. It makes you wonder about what conclusions you’ve probably made about other people…"
"You know how there’s like platonic love with her and Wallace, and they get along perfectly and he’s just what she needs to get her mind off Tinker? And obviously she ends married with someone else, someone who’s not even relevant in this story but clearly she’s content with, so I mean, what if that’s real life? What if crazy romance isn’t what we should expect in a long term relationship?”
"Maybe," Jenny, a newcomer who had been quiet for the most part, "the biggest love you feel in life isn’t the one that lasts forever. Isn’t that ok, though?"
We sat and sipped, letting this surprisingly profound statement digest, all now slightly buzzed.
"Have you guys heard of the Five Love Languages,” I changed gears. ”it talks about how we express and receive love - and the weird thing is how you express may not be how you give. Like i love giving gifts, but I hate receiving them. And like my dad… for the longest time, I thought he didn’t love me cus my entire life, he’s never said ‘I love you’ or hugged us or whatever, but growing up I never ONCE had to wait for him to pick us up. And when it was raining, he would run out to the car and get us right from the door. And when I would join him on the costco runs, he would buy me an ice cream, and I would eat it in silence in the car, because I’ve never had a conversation with him that didn’t eventually turn into scolding.”
"I actually have, my boyfriend and I’ve actually discussed this before. He’s def more of the acts of love and spending quality time type, but like, how is he supposed to do those things when he lives SO FAR away? That’s something we’ve been struggling with. LIke I know he’s not a super verbal person or like a gifty guy, but ever since I moved to NY it’s been extra hard, and if I didn’t know better I would’ve thought he didn’t care about me. But he does, he just can’t show it the way he feels it."
The night continued like this, conversation drifting from love to drugs to partying to sex to careers to sci-fi books to the modern woman and then back to love, until we’d polished off both bottles and the rain had stopped. Six of us headed towards Penn, then diasporatically hopped onto different trains.
What’s the point? Why write here when I abandoned it so long ago (a year on the internet is positively ancient), why should anyone care what I think and how I got there? Because, while I love my moleskine, I think I have substantial enough impersonal thoughts that graze informative and entertaining, even if putting them on here is highly self indulgent.
I’ll be honest - most of what I post - twitter, mostly (@marciayl), is to entertain myself, and I think entirely too much, often out loud and to myself on this social media soapbox. I know a teeny bit about a lot of things, which is to say, is the same thing as not knowing anything at all, but the touch of background I have in literature, art, politics, fashion, social responsibility and economics have tinged the lense in which I view the world, and I do believe this is a burgeoning trait in this millennial generation (oh, that’s you too?).
Who am I now? I am a 24 year old Creative based out of NYC with paychecks issued from the fashion industry, educated Pre-Law/History doubled with Economics with a concentration on the socio-political environment on the Middle East. In my “free time” (if such a thing exists) I volunteer for two non-profits, orphanages in Africa and SE Asia. I eat, I quip, I am taking a stab at fantasy football. I’m part of a boozy book club made up of other young female NYers, all from a variety of industries with a shared love for literature and gin. I’m currently going through a Jazz Age/Surrealist moment, fascinated by the emotional detachment, absinthe infused loose morals that provoked a generation of creative genius. I give myself whiplash.
Hello. Nice to see you again, friend. I hope I haven’t taken too long.