|Posted by Nikki Yeager on December 3, 2013 at 4:35 PM||comments (0)|
Every day in NYC I have to walk the two blocks from the subway to my apartment despite the winter weather. Snow, slush, rain, freezing winds.. all of the grossness that can hapen outdoors in December. But there's always been one miraculous ray of sunshine - the zoo on 116th street.
No matter how late it is, how tired I am or how miserable my day was, I always (ALWAYS) crack a huge smile when I cross 3rd Ave and 116th only to find multiple rows of miniature safari animals molded out of leather, lined up along the street. In the middle of the concrete sidewalk with cabs whizzing by and people hustling to and from their apartments, there's a little haven of animal-induced happiness.
Lions and tigers and bear, oh yes!
All the species are there and I love them. So when I ended up spending the bulk of this winter in Cleveland instead of NYC, my favorite person in the world sent me the best present ever. My husband boxed up a little piece of wildlife and sent me a cheetah.
He said the cheetah was made as an exact replica of my kitty-cat Mac, albeit an angry version of Mac. Sent through USPS from the rough and tumble zoo of Spanish Harlem to protect me in my suburban apartment.
A little piece of the sidewalk zoo that always makes me smile = the best ting anyone has every given me.
|Posted by Nikki Yeager on March 25, 2013 at 8:15 PM||comments (2)|
I am a woman. A power tool using, dish washing, 9-5 working woman. No matter what any man may say, no matter what the income disparity, I am a woman for better and for worse. And since that first job I quit over a sexist pizza position, I've known that nothing matters when it comes to my life and my capabilities. I am what I decide I am.
I am a woman, but that does not define me.
I define me.
I can work my 9-5 job, learn a language and create a collection of art simultaneously. I can build furniture, hoist 25 pounds of suitcase into an overhead bin and sit at an executive meeting amongst middle aged men without a single faux pas. I can command the attention of an entire room without wearing a v-neck shirt or a tight fighting skit.
Because I am capable.
Mentally, physically and emotionally. I am able.
I've taught grown men how to use computers, have managed adults two and three times my age and often sit myself in first class between middle aged males with business suits sagging from their bodies. I am often the only one with a vagina in the room. But it doesn't phase me.
Because the average man needs 8 minutes+ to run a mile. I can outrun him. The average 25+ year old man makes $52/year. I outearn him. Without a degree. The average man can do 27 push ups in one minute. I can out do that. In 40 seconds.
And the average male may think I need help carrying my bag up the stairs or answering a difficult question. He may try to jump in during a meeting or speak over me at a conference. That Man might prefer that I wear skirts, don long hair and cook.
But I will not.
I refuse to cook for anyone if I do not choose to cook. I refuse to conform. And I refuse to submit. I can outrun, outthink and out perform that "average" male. I can create life in my womb (and should be able to remove it should I choose) and can not only hold any position my male counterpart may be able to, but I can excel.
And I will excel.
Precisely because I am a woman. And millions of years after the first man asked the first woman to stew his buffalo or sweep his cave, I have broken my role. No matter how many times my rights are denied or my views are neglected, I continue to seize rights and have views. No matter how many women stand silently to the side while our politicians dictate to our gynecologists and society tells us to put work aside to be a good mom. No matter how many times I'm overlooked for a position becuase there could "never be a female manager at a financial non-profit". No matter how many women let the world deny us.
I will not be one of them. I will not be silenced. I will not be domesticated. And I will not be spoken for.
I am a woman.
But being a woman does not define me. Because it is not the fact that I am a woman, it is one simple fact above all else that must (and will) ring true:
I am a woman, but more than that,
I am equal.
|Posted by Nikki Yeager on February 21, 2013 at 6:10 PM||comments (0)|
If you want to feel absolutely terrible about yourself go to a New York City Dermatologist. I recently had to have a cyst removed (non cancerous thing, I get them all the time... no biggie) and the doctor was very, very.... helpful.
I explained how often I get these stupid waxy thingies growing under my skin and begged her to chop them off. As I was explaining the problem, the physician's assistant looked at me and scowled, "So what about that acne, are you here for that too?".
Umm, you mean the 5 zits on my face? All five tiny little dots along my hair line?
I just sort of stared at the woman for a few minutes and wasn't sure exactly what to say. Except possibly that she was insane.
"Well you know, HERE! All over here!" *she pointed at the side of my forehead* "THIS acne!".
She definitely made sure I was aware of the fact that she felt I had serious skin issues rather than a little pre-period breakout. So I shrugged my shoulders and agreed to listen to her acne spiel.
She continued on about my face, "so we can take care of that. I can prescribe you this"
*rubs lotion on my hand*
"It's a prescription moisturizer. And we could do a daily antibiotic wash"
*rubs that on my hand*
"And then some medicated, antibiotic sunscreen...."
*smears that all over my wrist*.
And then I understood why we have super bacteria.
So finally we get to the part where the doctor pulls out a scalpel. I described that out of the three cysts I had, the most important one to have removed what the one on my chin. The doctor took one look at it and shook her head "nope, you'll need a plastic surgeon for that one."
"It's in a really visible place so I wouldn't want to leave you with a scar..."
At which point I wanted to yank the scalpel out of her hand and cut the cyst out of my face myself. Out of all three I have, only the one on my chin causes me any pain. But no, I couldn't have it removed because that one was visible and apparently that requires a plastic surgeon. And maybe when I schedule that appointment the surgeon can also give me a nose job and a little lipo.
In the end I agreed to let her take one out of my back and I'd schedule something with the surgeon for the other two. While she was slicing, I had to lay on my belly staring at a full sized mirror on the wall. And the entire time I looked at my acne covered pizza face and ginormous cyst growth on my chin that would require a special surgeon to remove, and I felt so gosh darn happy. Happy because I absolutely love my face and body the way they are and instead of feeling distressed about all the little insults the doctor's had given me, I felt like they were off their rockers. Because I am absolutely normal looking and for me, that's just as good as being amazingly beautiful.
|Posted by Nikki Yeager on January 31, 2013 at 10:20 AM||comments (2)|
Dear Panera Lady,
You’re making me fat. And poor. Fat and poor. Ever since Panera opened that location right across the park from my office, I’ve been coming in as a devoted (read: addicted) customer daily. It’s been like clockwork.. which you know since you see me every single day at 8:40am sharp.
The thing is, your bagels aren’t even that good. I mean, this is NYC, the mecca of bagels. We have bagels on every corner… and most of them outdo Panera. Plus, my teeth are starting to hurt from drinking too many lattes.
Yet I still leave an extra five minutes early every single day to see you and buy baked bread and coffee every morning. Why? Because of your stupidly contagious smile; it’s driving me insane. I’ve never see someone so happy as you. It’s like you’re on crack every morning.. but in a good way, not a crack-addicty, missing teeth, anorexic way.
What I’m trying to say is this – you are psychotically happy. And it’s not good for me. I feed off happiness like a leech sucking some poor victim’s blood. I love that stuff. And yours is the best kind of happiness, purely genuine.
So every morning I come, not for the caffeine, but for your dose of enthusiasm. You remember my name, you shout HELLO! You greet every single person like they’re a princess. And may the world forgive me for saying this, but I certainly believe I'm royalty every time I walk in…. I think this is a bad relationship for my ego. And my waistline. Really bad for my waistline.
In summary, Panera Lady, I need you to stop being so gosh darn amazing before I get to the fat-point I need to be lifted out of your store by a construction crane. I speak for all your customers in the area – stop being so ridiculously positive before you kill us all!!!!
Thank you for listening, my dear Panera Lady.
|Posted by Nikki Yeager on January 18, 2013 at 10:30 AM||comments (2)|
Remember that post about the boy who stole my heart away? Well, turns out that story came with a happy ending considering we're running off to the chapel (figuratively speaking) in 7 1/2 months. Woo hoo!
So forgive me for the HUUUGGGEEE break in blogging, but I'm a Bride to Be! I have things to do, caterers to try and wedding venues to visit. Despite the fact I never imagined my wedding when I was a little girl and I won't have a big white dress, I seem to be consumed with wedding stuff lately. It's just one big blob of tulle, card stock and champagne flutes at this point.
But I love it. Mostly because I love him.
There are people in the world who go into their big day wondering if they've found the right person. Questioning that lifelong decision. There are people who get cold feet and night sweats about the commitment. I've known people who have gone to the alter with a little seed of doubt in their heart. And most of them have strong, long lasting marriages.
However, I am not one of those people.
I never questioned if Daniel was the one I wanted to marry. Never shied away from committing to one person forever (and no, I'm not an ardent believer in monogamy for everyone so that's more of a statement than you might realize). When he asked me, I didn't shout out. I didn't cry. I just smiled and thought "it's 'bout time!", kissed him and settled in for a lifetime of happiness. Everything suddenly felt complete.
Getting married, to me, feels like my life has begun. I'm an entire person. The one person in the world who is meant to be by my side is here. Forever.
And I don't think it will be easy. I don't think it'll be perfect. But I do think we're meant to be and nothing could be better. Moving in with him two years ago was easy-peasy. Spending the rest of my life with him should be similar.
That boy is a crazy fool and I can’t wait to spend the rest of our insane lives together.
|Posted by Nikki Yeager on October 11, 2011 at 2:35 PM||comments (6)|
As you all have probably noticed, I'm blogging very little lately. So little, in fact, that you might have given up on me all together.
Which is OK because in the end, I think I may have reached the end of this blog for a while.
When I first started to blog I had a dozen and a half reasons for doing so. I like to write. I wanted to stay in touch with my family who is scattered all over the world. I needed to share my life with the general public because I had no consistent companion to share it with.. my friends are rather transient. I liked the idea of making my life, my art and my adventures public. Oh, and I had a crap ton of stuff going on.. why not share it with someone, anyone??
But somehow many of those reasons have faded. For the past year I've been a pretty boring human being, which I say without regret. I've had responsibility-type things to worry about during that time... paying bills, saving money, finding a companion, etc. Now I've jumped most of those hurdles and I'm about ready to go back to my old self: adventurer and wanderer. Slightly eccentric but with more than a few good stories to share. Energetic and curious and hard to pin down.
But I'll be doing it without the intense blogging. I'll be doing it without being alone.
In the past, I've always prided myself on being independent to the extreme. I've never travelled any way but alone. I've never made a decision while considering anyone else but myself (which has led to some of the best decisions of my life). I've followed different paths with no regard for other people's arguments or concerns. Always pursuing life for nothing but enjoyment.
I still plan on following those random paths that shoot off to foreign countries and unexplored territory but, this time, it'll be with someone by my side. Two years ago I set out to "find myself a man!" and after countless dates, I did that. Little did I know that I'd find the person who (in the undeniably cheesy words of The Adjustment Bureau) would "be enough". I've found the person who became my journal, my shared memory and my long term companion. I found the person who makes it unnecessary to share every detail of my life with the general population.
Why? Because I can share it with him.
He loves that weird sponteneity I just can't shake no matter how many people think I should outgrow it. When we imagine our lives together, we imagine deciding to go to Europe on a Thursday and leaving on a Friday. We imagine living in Thailand for no reason than because it'd be a change. We both get antsy when in one spot too long but always plan on returning to NYC between adventures (I found someone who shares my obsessive love for the city). And some day in the future, if we ever take that leap and get married or have children... well, neither one of us considers "settling" to be something stagnant. We consider a "settled" life one that is stable but international, easy but adventuresome. We would like our children to be worldy and multi-cultural, multi-lingual and experienced.
And throughout all of those adventures I've found someone to not only tell about it all but to actually share it with. I've found the person who doesn't only put up with me grudgingly, but admires my oddities. Basically, I've found everything I ever dreamed I could find in one person.
Most importantly, I found someone who prizes me as an individual. And I, him.
One time an ex-boyfriend asked me: "So, Nikki, when will you finally let someone tie you down?"
And I answered: "The right person won't want to."
And for all the people who never understood that, Daniel does. Which is how I know I've found my person who is, and always will be, "enough".
|Posted by Nikki Yeager on June 9, 2011 at 2:40 PM||comments (1)|
So I’m currently 4k in debt. In serious, high interest, painful, exhausting, endless… debt.
I pay so much money towards minimum payments each month that I could easily rent another apartment in Manhattan if JP Morgan Chase didn’t own my soul.
However, I’m happy.
Because I’m only 4k in life-crushing debt. 6 months ago I was in double+ that amount. And then I made a life changing decision. I waged an all-out war on my credit cards and so far,
I have been victorious.
Armed with nothing but an enormous capacity to live in abject poverty and an affinity for extremes, I’m beating down each balance every single week. With a good 300 dollars automatically removed from every measly paycheck I get, I’ve managed to slaughter two cards. I took their 2 thousand dollar balances and laughed in their faces. I ate pasta for a month.
I gained weight from eating nothing but snacks from my office for a week. I lost weight from eating nothing but apricots the next week. I sold books, picked up promos and put my bridesmaids dress up on ebay the day after I wore it.
I stopped having fun unless it involved the word “free” (which still involved quite a bit of fun).
I gave up shopping, lived penny to penny and usually purchased breakfast with leftover quarters on Wednesdays (the day before payday). Aside from rent and cell phone bills, I use money for nothing except my ongoing debt battle. Each 300 dollars making nothing but a tiny, disappointing dent in the never ending debt.
And then, one day, I woke up with only one card left. The largest and most vicious – this is the card with an interest rate that eats other interest rates for breakfast. This card has no other goal then to crush the dreams of little girls trying to survive in big cities. This card is my biggest opponent yet.
Yet I am happy, because I know that after 6 months I’ve almost completely eradicated all those pesky little payments from my life.
And I feel like Achilles… before anyone learned about his heel.
|Posted by Nikki Yeager on March 3, 2011 at 10:38 AM||comments (2)|
The other day I had a work breakfast for REBNY (Real Estate Board of NY) and of all the strange things to make me stop and think, this breakfast was one of them.
I got there a few minutes early and met up with a few other people from our company. Clad in business casual slacks and sweaters, we made our way to the ballroom of the Roosevelt Hotel. Amidst the many department store suits and middle aged men, we found our white-linen covered table and sat down to a much fancier breakfast than any of us girls were ready for. While waiters brought out silver carafes of coffee and plates full of breakfast food, we half-heartedly listened to the first 2 speakers.
Then came a third - one of the NY government guys from the Communications dept. He was clearly politicking his little heard out for the current Bloomberg administration (something that elicited quite a few eye rolls), but he was doing a fine job of renewing my enthusiasm for NYC. Something I don’t usually need help with but lately Brooklyn’s been wearing me down.
As a city we have the 2nd largest amount of investments in Tech startups, we had a record breaking 48.7 million tourists visit in 2010 alone, our unemployment rate is a good amount lower than the national average and we have one of the most comprehensive train systems in America. Then he went on to say we’re on the cutting edge of new technologies, are dedicating a huge amount of resources to balance our budget instead of waste mass amounts of money, we’re donating money to the arts. Our streets are clean, crime is down, murders are almost nonexistent. According to this man, New York is better than it’s ever been.
While all these positive facts were being stated, the native New Yorkers scoffed and rolled their eyes, “New York better than it’s ever been? You’ve gotta be kiddin’ me.”
But you know what? It is. And I say that proudly as a New Yorker, well aware of my transplant status and well aware I’m not the most knowledgeable person in the world. Which reminds me of a little quote by E.B. White:
“There are roughly three New Yorks. There is, first, the New York of the man or woman who was born there, who takes the city for granted and accepts its size, its turbulence as natural and inevitable. Second, there is the New York of the commuter--the city that is devoured by locusts each day and spat out each night. Third, there is New York of the person who was born somewhere else and came to New York in quest of something. Of these trembling cities the greatest is the last--the city of final destination, the city that is a goal. It is the third city that accounts for New York's high strung disposition, its poetical deportment, its dedication to the arts, and its incomparable achievements. Commuters give the city its tidal restlessness, natives give it solidity and continuity, but the settlers give it passion. “
And it’s true. Those of us who move here from other places have an undying love for the city, we make the New York that brims with passion and overachievement. If for no other reason than to prove we were right in moving here. To prove we too, can make it in such a place. We’re not too weak or two dumb despite our small town backgrounds, funny southern accents or excessive Midwestern conversation.
When that man was shouting out to the old fashioned ballroom full of real estate management companies, he was talking to us, the transplants. The people who felt his fiery passion. The people who agreed, NYC is better than it’s ever been. Better than anywhere I’ve ever been.
And in that REBNY breakfast I felt a new surge of pride for my home, something that sneaks up on you odd places like hotel ballrooms and dirty streets. Something that never gets old.
|Posted by Nikki Yeager on February 15, 2011 at 8:50 PM||comments (2)|
When I was 18 I moved to NYC with a friend from my little 2-mile-wide city. It just so happens that my friend (let's call him Barry*) was a little too big for a town so small. Something I could relate to at the time.
So we took off for a city that would make all of our dreams a possibility. Mine - independence and networking. His- fashion, art, acceptance and life. We were two teenagers ready for the world.
And we took it by storm. He found a job at a store he adored, I worked my butt of to prove myself to everyone who ever knew me and everyone who ever would. We rode the subway for the first time, shared our failures (and occasional successes) and giggled before bedtime. He became the best friend I had at the time. When I spent 24/7 working my butt off at a non-profit in the Bronx and moonlighting at a yogurt shop nearby, he experienced NYC inside and out. He took every doubt anyone could have had about him, lit it all on fire and then danced on the ashes (all while paying his bills, getting in amazing shape, enjoying his social life and exceling professionally). And when I came home exasperated and he came home exhausted, we collapsed together and relied on each other. Little did I realize at the time, he was becoming - and eventually became- the person I'd always tried to be. He was the person who could do it all.
On top of that, he made that first year what it will always be in my memory: perfect.
And then there was the day I felt particularly abused by the world. The day I blamed Barry for everything that was hard in life. And I didn't just blame him, I took out my rage at my coworkers, my deadly exhaustion, my sleepless nights, my work overload, I took it all out on him by writing a journal entry I thought he'd never see. I figured it'd be ok to pour my anger out on him as long as he never knew.
But I left that journal open and I managed to come closer to ruining a friendship than I ever had before.
Sure, I spent the next week avoiding him, and he considered moving home. But it eventually blew over. He brushed off my scathing comments as well as he could and I never brought it up again. He left the event holding his head high, I left it cowering in a corner.
But we healed as well as we could and I continued to consider him as the one person I needed in my life. I hope he always knew that.
A few years later we casually fell out of touch.
And it turns out, my once best friend, turned into a boy I haven't spoken to in over a year.
And for some reason I keep rereading that journal entry in my mind. I can never take back those venomous words but I hope wherever he is, he knows that not a sentence of that entry was ever true. Because this boy, he did what he came to do from the moment he set foot in Manhattan. He made it in NYC and he did it without the help of anyone. He did it with more initial enjoyment than me and more feeling than I could ever seem to muster. He did it while finding love and finding himself. And Barry, he never had to make up lies about his roommate in a journal for the sake of faceless rage. No, he was always too kind for that. Too kind, too responsible, and too good a friend.
I'd be lying if I said I didn't miss him. And I just hope that that wherever he is, he would believe that I've never met a person I'd be more proud to know. A person I'd believe in more.
Against all odds, I honestly believe he has everything it takes to set the world ablaze.
* Sorry for the awful fake name, Barry.
|Posted by Nikki Yeager on December 3, 2010 at 7:44 AM||comments (0)|
Last night I had a full blown Madrid night complete with great Spanish wine, lots of sightseeing and tapas that would make your mouth water.
It started at a bear statue outside the Metro station where my third CouchSurfing host met me and proceeded to take me through every neighborhood in Madrid. He explained what different buildings were, told me about the population, the culture, everything. Then we wandered into a huge market with small stands for random tapas and caña. A few small beers later we wandered back into the cold air and discovered a holiday market, wonderful coffee shop for Cafe con Leche (seriously, coffee here puts all of the United States to shame) and worked our way back to his apartment for dinner.
To finish off the night - and boy, was I ready to finish the night considering I slept for 3 hours on a bus between Barcelona and Madrid the previous night - we ended up walking through one of the huge public parks in the city center and then met up with a few friends of his at a bar. One girl was Polish (now living in Spain), my host is originally from Argentina, and we were soon joined by a Brazilian girl who spoke little English but was one of the best human beings I've ever met.
Sitting behind another glass of Spanish vino, I took a moment to look at where I was. Around me were people from three different countries using an awkward mix of English and Spanish. Somehow, from sheer interest in one another, we managed to make it work. After discussing accents we moved to sharing silly jokes and talking about discotecs (sp?).
And the four of us had some of the best conversation I've ever seen until well past 2am in a small Spanish bar in Madrid. The perfect addition to an already wonderful vacation.
|Posted by Nikki Yeager on October 17, 2010 at 4:12 PM||comments (0)|
Him: "You're going to Spain? That's awesome."
Me: "Yea, I've never done Europe before."
Him: "You and Daniel will have a great time. Perfect place for couples"
Me: Bursting with giggles "I'm not taking Daniel! This is MY vacation."
Him: Drawn back in something resembling horror, "But... you can't go alone"
To which I could only chuckle and ignore the remark. Why is it that boys always find it inconceivable that a girl should travel on her own?
Is it only boys who are supposed to embody a traveler's spirit? Well I think that's just silly. Poo poo on the ingrained idea of a vulnerable female. No, I'm ready to take on Spain and do it alone. I'm ready to visit the Dali museum and spend just as many hours as I like staring at the very pieces of art I respect more than Monet or Rembrant. And after the museum I'll attempt to decipher signs and maps, trying to figure out public transportation in a country I know nothing about. I'm ready to laugh out loud at my inability to read, speak or write even beginner's Spanish and am already preparing for the misunderstandings that will follow. Hopefully some good natured hilarity will ensue.
Please bring on the delicious food in Barcelona and the interesting travelers who are offering their couches for a night here, a night there. Bring on the culture and the night long bus ride to Madrid. This is what I live for- experiencing. Experiencing the taste of another country's food. The pace of another country's life. The language, the sights, the wine.
Bring it on world. I can't imagine a better way to spend 9 days without a companion. 9 days with no one to rely on but me.
Nobody to lean on except a little short-haired American girl.
|Posted by Nikki Yeager on October 5, 2010 at 8:06 PM||comments (2)|
I cut my hair, I didn't kill a baby animal. Yet by the reaction of some people you'd think I did much worse.
But you know what? I don't care.
It's not a statement of rebellion or any particular statement in general. I did not chop off my chin length locks to impress anyone or to promote an increasingly popular androgynous image. I didn't do it in protest, nor as a vague statement of feminism.
I did it for me.
I went in and said "as short as you want" because I wanted to. Because when I face life I do it looking forward and without fear. Why have bangs and messy strands falling in front of my eyes? Why hide behind a full head of hair when I'd rather have my face out there- without shadow. Ready to take whatever comes my way.
I did it because I'm beautiful.
Maybe not model beautiful and maybe not obvious beautiful. But because I love my features. I love my mother's cheeks and the fact I can see my dad in my bone structure. I love the way my face shows every thought or feeling I have no matter how hard I resist. The way any simple joy in life makes my eyes light up and my face explode with uninhibited happiness. It's silly and it shows how unguarded I am - but why hide the things that make me me?
I did it because it makes me feel more like a woman.
Not in the conventional sense. Not in the demure, fifties sense of a woman but in the confident, collected and independent sense of today's 'woman'. The fact that my hair may be harsh but my features remain undeniably feminine proves that I am a girl. It sits on my head as a testament to my individuality - which every woman has. It expresses who I am and who I want to be similar to a person's fashion sense. The way my hair is makes me different, it makes me an individual, it makes me a female.
I did it for me.
Despite the fact some people say I look too old. Despite the fact boys have a natural aversion for all girls with less than chest-length locks. Despite the fact I'm not what everyone wants me to be.
Because honestly, it doesn't matter what you think.
It matter what I think, and I think it's fabulous.
|Posted by Nikki Yeager on June 24, 2010 at 10:07 AM||comments (3)|
Sometimes I get antsy. Who doesn't?
Sometimes I need to jump around, move, change things up.
More often than not I start breaking down without ample vacation time, constant changes in setting, big life events and so on.
So goes my life and I love every second of it.
But when I hear the comment "you've done so much," I can't help but thank my insatiable desire for change. I would'nt have the accomplishments under my belt that I do if I was content with monotony (no matter how much I wished at certain times that I'd be ok going to the same office every day or I'd be happy living in the same place every year or I'd be content showing up to the same campus for 10am classes).
For all of that I can thank my dad- the original family vegabond.
Anyone who hasn't had the stories, I thought today would be a good time to share
If you ask my dad about stories when he was younger he'll chuckle, turn a little red and walk away. Sometimes he'll share a small insignificant detail and then say "eh that's really all" and he giggles. But sometimes I get the goods. Not all of them and not with full disclosure. But I get the basics.
It goes something like this.
He hopped freight trains from PA to Cali where at some point he had friends who grew pot in their dorm room. He then went to live in a tent (seriously, he lived there.) and headed off from there to Vail where he worked as a maid for free ski passes. His other man-maid-friends took him up to the backside of the mountains and they'd jump off the side of the road and extreme ski through the forest to the bottom of the untamed mountain where they'd hop in a passing taxi to take them back to their car.
You'd think it'd stop there but it doesn't.
He worked in some sort of mine, had a job lighting the Christmas lights in his town with a giant stick (his little chicken legs would have to run him from one light to the next with a pole vault sized wooden rod in his hand), lived with ex-convicts (who may or may not have been planning another heist of some sort in his living room), had a motorcycle, grew a beard, ran wild across the country.
But I was always kept in the [semi]dark about his young and crazy days.
Since I've known him he's been a grey haired old man who reads the newspaper every day and never takes his shoes off. Even when we're inside.
He was a stay at home dad when I was little, taking full responsibility of volleyball dinners, school meetings, housework and cooking. He baked cookies (and then ate the whole pan), he did my laundry before I learned how, he took on carpool duty and shuttled my friends back and forth from the mall, from track practice and from school with the prowess of a seasoned soccer mom.
And he never yelled at me. Just gave me 'the look' which was more disappointment than anything and used his 'upset voice' (it wasn't angry... more sad than anything) to talk to me when I did something wrong. And boy would that voice make me cry. For HOURS! ... in the privacy of my room.
So I never thought about his wanderlust and, at times, ridiculousness, except as a vague point of fascination.
However, as I get older I realize his wandering ways didn't disappear when he decided to go domestic. They're still alive and well. His restlessness appears in my hatred for 9-5 jobs in a single office every day. His need for adventure manifests itself in my snap decisions to take a plane to Cambodia, to the Bahamas, to Japan. And even his slight introverted tendencies come to life in my quest for individual adventures, solo excursions and long walks with no one but myself to keep my company.
The fact that I'm sitting here thinking of my 21 days of my 21st Birthday and getting the urge to take off immediately...my leg is jiggling and I'm spending time alternating between work and looking up flights.
Which reminds me of those characteristics that made my dad who he was when he was younger. And who he still is inside.
It's quite obvious I'm his daughter through and through.
|Posted by Nikki Yeager on March 26, 2010 at 7:17 PM||comments (0)|
There are people in the world who live life out of boredom. The ones who keep things on track, the ones who offer stability but little enjoyment.
Then there are the people who live life with an air of enthusiasm and authenticity.
These are the people I love. They keep positivity alive; they breed optimism and the world is their playground. These are the people I choose to surround myself. The people who keep me on track.
One such person is my friend Moses (hope you don't mind me mentioning you, buddy!). Never mind the fact he dresses with a confidence few men can pull off. Never mind the military background and current fashion career. Never mind the unconventional lifestyle, ability to speak Arabic and million other traits. The thing that makes him worth knowing is his undeniable genuineness. The ability to experience the world in precisely the way that makes him happiness. So he wants to visit a certain corner of the country? He does it. So he wants to be better with names? He learns how. There's a zest behind his actions that can be spurred by nothing but appreciation for life. There's an ability to understand, accept and even enjoy the day to day in a way so many people don't dare attempt. I guess that's what you;d call "making your own happiness"
Something I hope to emulate, but occasionally fail at. After all, no one can be perfect.
Having people in my social circle who radiate confidence and happiness does something for my life that is hard to put into words. It inspires me and keeps me going. It confirms my independence. These friends take a mirror, turn it to me, and reflect only the positives. They affirm my quirky lifestyle and give me the "ok" to be me. Granted, I'll be 'me' any day of the week without prompting... but it's the people in my life who make me feel great about the decision.
So thanks. To all the Moses' of the world. It's not just your experiences that make me thankful to know you - it's your love for the world. I adore that.
Let's all take a moment and appreciate the people who mean the most.
|Posted by Nikki Yeager on February 1, 2010 at 4:27 AM||comments (1)|
Two of my friends are going to Egypt in the next 6 months. Two speak Chinese after living in China and one invented a sports bra. Another one is starting a magazine, another finishing a book. One is working on two television shows simultaneously and all of them support my lifestyle. All of them brainstorm and laugh with me, share their life decisions and indulge in mine.
No wonder. We're all birds of a feather and just happen to flock together. We're all slightly insane and slightly delusional. The successful people always are (or the near-successful). After all, making it big has so much to do with being yourself and so little to do with formalities.
Which is why I'm going to be thankful for the few people who wander in and out of my life as the epitome of convention. They mean well, they just chose a different path than I and the unwarranted advice I recieve from the do-as-I'm-told not-as-I-want perspective is nice to hear once in a while.
Nice because it makes my blood boil and my brain hurt. It makes me want to lash out and start screaming. It makes me grit my teeth and smile silently. After all, my life needs no defense because the only girl who's living it is in love with every waking moment.
However, that doesn't change the fact it makes my ears hurt and my eyes cringe when I hear advice from others who so chose the path that was taken by all of those family members before them. Those people who are in school without a career aspiration, drinking away evenings with no necessary desire (I'm not insinuating all college students do this- I'm just mentioning a very specific minority who happen to chat with me once in a while). Those people who then tell me I'm doing it wrong. Me- who pays my bills by being a so called 'free sprit'.
The reason I'm thankful is simple. I forget about reality on occasion. All of my friends being slightly delusional (in only the best way) means I can forget the majority of America is grounded and slightly more predictable. Meeting those people reminds me what average is. And knocks my dreams back down to earth. It grounds me, makes me evaluate my life, appreciate it and rework any aspects that aren't spot on.
So to the person with advice- Thanks for the suggestions but it just so happens I have deliberately fashioned my life this way in order to maximize my enjoyment and minimize my boredom. Which explains my constant smile. Life is good in this Chinatown apartment.