Broken

wrists

“I’m not allowed to say anything, or else I’d tell you,” remarked the X-ray technician.

“Fair enough,” I shrugged.

I was sitting in the small, dark room having both of my wrists X-rayed after I took a nasty fall, while stepping off a moving boat to dock it, about an hour prior. I was in a lot of pain, but it wasn’t excruciating, I reminded myself, trying to keep positive.

“Oh my god, I feel so bad for you,” the X-ray technician declared. “How are you staying so calm? I’d be bawling my eyes out if I were you.”

Well, that’s not a good sign, I thought to myself.

The X-ray technician’s ominous remark was followed up by the no-nonsense doctor who saw me almost immediately after I had my X-rays taken.

“You broke both of your wrists,” she matter-of-factly told me.  “I could tell they were both broken the second I saw you.”

Soon, all of the doctors and nurses at the urgent care center were either laughing in disbelief or looking at me with sympathetic eyes.

“Oh, honey,” said one nurse as she walked in with bandages and splints. “Both wrists?!”

So it would seem…

Several months prior I was out celebrating with friends as I had recently landed the job of my dreams; a tour director for an international tour company.

We are sitting around a table, in a hazy post-drink bout of laughter. We all start talking about what our personal version of the “dream job” is.

“I’ve always wanted to be one of those people who direct the airplanes in,” I say. “You know, the ones with those two orange flashlights.”

I’m met with a mixture of puzzled looks and laughter. But it’s true! I’ve always been really fascinated with airplanes. Physics was never my strongest subject, so an airplane’s capability to soar through the skies and get people halfway across the world in mere hours is somewhat magical to me. Despite flying several times a year, I am still the person who parks myself by the observation deck at the airport to watch planes take off and land, and I’m constantly snapping pictures out the plane window when I’m airborne. How cool would it be to up close with planes all day and having the power to direct those magnificent beasts with my orange flashlights? Dream job, I tell you.

Since starting my actual job, I’ve been allotted more time to travel, not just for work, but the job also gives me the flexibility to take periods of time off so I can travel on my own time as well.

The night before I broke my wrists, I was researching flights to places I was planning to explore in the fall; Miami, Mexico City, and Oaxaca. JetBlue was running a promo and my flights would have only cost me around $300 total. However, for the first time since having the freedom to book such trips, I was hesitant to make the commitment. A stream of anxiety pulsed through my body and I couldn’t place why.

Was my subconscious telling me to slow down? Since starting this job, I haven’t been in one place for longer than a month or so. Maybe it wasn’t right of me to be constantly moving, instead of learning to stay put for a long period of time.

That’s all nonsense, I told myself. If it truly makes me happy, I am going to keep living that way, until it doesn’t. But still, I held off on booking my flights and sealing the deal on my trip, despite the irresistible flight price.

Less than twelve hours later, I was sitting in an urgent care center, my wrists buried beneath a bag of ice to combat the swelling and to numb the pain. Good thing I didn’t book those flights, I thought. If this was my body trying to tell me to slow down and to stay put, I was reading the message loud and clear.

The nurses finished bandaging me up. My arms were now fixed at a 90° angle; my forearms perpendicular to my biceps. I was certainly a spectacle to everyone as I was checking out of the urgent care center, where I was about to be whisked away to meet with an orthopedic surgeon to discuss my prognosis.

“What are you gonna do now?!” a nurse inquisitively asked.

My mind flashed to me partying with fellow twentysomethings in South Beach, practicing my Spanish in Mexico City, and sampling mezcal in Oaxaca. All pipe dreams now.

“I don’t know,” I replied.

“You won’t be able to work!” another nurse said.

I laughed at the thought of trying to work as a tour director or a writer with two broken wrists.

“I won’t be able to do…anything,” I answered, as I started to wonder how the hell am I supposed to accomplish daily chores and necessities with my injuries.

“Hey, you know what you could do?!” said one nurse, as he was eyeing my two arms in their fixed, perpendicular state.

“You could be one of those people with the flashlights who direct the airplanes at the airport!” he proclaimed.

“I’ve always wanted to do that,” I responded, with a grin on my face.

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Musings: 6/28/14

A collection of images, links, videos, and anything else I come across that I think is worth sharing and/or discussing on my blog. This is part two…

Jessa’s style on Girls

Ahh yes, Jessa, a character on the popular HBO series Girls, is my style muse! Played by the beautiful Jemima Kirke, Jessa’s style is always so on point. It took me a while to get into the show, but I found that I wanted to tune in every week just to see what Jessa was going to be wearing…

Broad City

Speaking of shows about twentysomething girls living in New York, Broad City has been my latest addiction. My cousin told me about the show, and as per usual, I put off watching it, until one night I decided to watch a few clips of it on YouTube. After that, I scourged the internet looking for episodes, and ended up watching the entire first season. It’s absolutely hilarious!!! It perfectly depicts the trials and tribulations of people in their early 20s who are falling short of trying to successfully transition into adulthood, but are having fun along the way regardless. I love it.

Maya Angelou

As I’m sure you’re aware, the brilliant and gifted Maya Angelou passed away a few weeks ago. I recently read this article about Dr. Angelou’s thoughts of women and modesty, and it’s most definitely worth the read. Here is one of my favorite quotes of hers from the article...

“So we mustn’t run out of steam. Sometimes young women think ‘Dammnnn, I’ve been doing this nine years and I don’t think anything has budged.’ But keep plugging away. Nothing succeeds like success. Get a little success and then just get a little more.”

West Coast

For my next adventure, I am staying “local” and exploring the US! I’m flying out west to Phoenix to meet up with my good friend, Ashlee, who I met on my Europe trip last summer, and then we are taking a road trip up and down the west coast! I’ve never been out west before, so I am incredibly excited, but I’m also mostly excited to see Ashlee again!! I cannot believe it’s almost been a full year since I embarked on my journey overseas to Europe. I miss everyone so, so much from that trip, and in addition to reuniting with Ashlee, I’m planning to meet up with others from that trip who live out west.

I will certainly be chronicling my time out there, just as I did when I was in Europe, so stay tuned for that…

I Never Learn

I discovered the ethereal Indie Pop artist Lykke Li around 2009, and she quickly became one of my favorite musicians of all-time. There is something just so honest and raw about her music, and I love how her sweet, innocent voice coincides with her melancholic lyrics. She described her newest album, I Never Learn, as a “bummer”, because she wrote it after going through a bad breakup. While the songs are certainly obvious that she is dealing with immense pain, the album is also so cathartic that I can’t help but love listening to it.

The Sartorialist

I recently discovered this Instagram account called The Sartorialist, where the photographer captures every day people on the streets in cities all over the world and their fashions. It’s so fun to look at all the different outfits and styles each individual puts together for themselves, and how where they live influences their looks.

Outside of Urubamba, Peru

Milan, Italy

David Sedaris

One of my literary heroes is David Sedaris…he’s lived such an interesting life and he knows how to tell us about it. His essays and vignettes into his travels and just everyday occurrences are so entertaining to read and they inspire me to keep writing. I saw him speak at UB a few months ago, but last week I saw him in a smaller, intimate setting at a book store. There he shared with the audience a new story about his recent visit to Sweden, but more excitingly, I got to meet him! He was incredibly down to earth and easy to talk to, and he’s known for asking his fans odd questions and autographing his books in peculiar ways. After chatting with him briefly, he envisioned me going on a strange picnic…

New York City Jaunt

Last weekend I took a quick trip to New York City with my friends, Kim and Sean. We are all huge fans of stand-up comedy, so a few months ago when we learned that Dave Chappelle would be making a return to stand-up by performing a string of shows at Radio City Music Hall, we knew we had to be there.

It was the most perfect trip ever! Dave KILLED it, he was absolutely hilarious. And his opener was Hannibal Buress! I had no idea if he would have an opener or not (he had a different lineup every night), so when Hannibal was introduced onstage I was so excited! I recently got into him because he’s a regular character on Broad City, and after that I discovered his stand-up and he’s great. So we got Hannibal, Dave Chappelle, and…. Kanye West?! Yep, Yeezy made a surprise appearance after Dave’s set and performed three songs. Insane!

Dave killed it!! And then Kanye West gave a surprise performance right after Chappelle's set!

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We spent the next day wandering around SoHo and Greenwich Village in picturesque weather, enjoying the sights and sounds of Washington Square Park, which probably ranks as one of the best places in the world to people watch, and we stumbled upon a block party a few streets away.

Summer days in NYC

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That night, we went to Sleep No More, an immersive theatrical experience. It was Kim and I’s second time there, and it was Sean’s first time. It’s so hard to explain Sleep No More to a person who has no idea what it is, but the best way I can describe it is if you traveled to an alternate universe and participated in a production put on by Shakespeare, Alfred Hitchcock, and Stanley Kubrick. It’s an unbelievable experience, and I think the less you know about it, the more you will enjoy it! If you’re adventurous and are looking for an incredibly unique experience, definitely go!! It’s produced by famed British theatre company, Punchdrunk, so you know it’s legit! I think one of these days I am going to dedicate an entire post about Sleep No More, because it’s just that awesome.

As I mentioned, it was Kim and I’s second time there, and it was COMPLETELY different than the first time we went. I discovered different rooms, wings, storylines, and characters.

Mementos from Sleep No More

This trip to NYC was also my first foray to the world of AirBnb, and it was great! We stayed with a guy named Tony in Harlem. I was a little nervous, because I was the one who convinced my friends to use AirBnb and I was the one who booked the place, so I was apprehensive and I crossed my fingers that everything went okay. And it did! Tony and his roommate were so nice and made us feel right at home. Our first night there we had some drinks on their rooftop, and then later met two German guys who were staying there for the night. They were on a 10-month, around-the-world trip, and NYC was their first stop. It was such a great experience and I can’t see how I could ever go back to normal hotels… With AirBnb you have the chance to stay somewhere way cheaper than you would at a hotel and you meet and interact with people you may not have the opportunity to at a hotel. Plus staying with locals is always a plus when you’re in a different city!

Musings: 2/21/14

A collection of images, links, videos, and anything else I come across that I think is worth sharing and/or discussing on my blog. This is part one…

1. Olympic hockey!

(AP/Julio Cortez)

So as I’ve mentioned before, I am a HUGE hockey fan. And I love the Olympics. So when the Winter Games roll around every four years, I am super stoked to see all of the hockey teams. Of course, I am 100% behind Team USA, especially since my main man, Ryan Miller, is the GREATEST AMERICAN GOALIE EVER. In 2010, Ryan Miller had an amazing run in Vancouver, but unfortunately, he and Team USA fell short of a gold medal and lost to Canada in a really tight and entertaining game.

USA and Canada have developed quite a rivalry when it comes to hockey, and on Friday afternoon they are meeting again in a rematch in the semifinals. The winner of the game will advance to the gold medal game, and the loser will compete for the bronze medal. It’s not the rematch we were hoping for, where both teams would again compete for the gold medal, but it’s close enough!

Team USA has been pretty dominate so far, but Canada has been struggling a bit. They are a team full of world class hockey players, all of whom are in the NHL, but they have been facing some difficulties against unexpected opponents. On Wednesday they played Latvia, and WOW, was that a great game. There is only one player on Latvia who is in the NHL, and he happens to be 20-year-old rookie Zemgus Girgensons who plays for the Sabres. While Canada was basically in control of the entire game, the score remained tied at 1-1 until late in the 3rd period. Canada had FIFTY-SEVEN shots on Latvia. 57!! The average shots on net in a typical hockey game is around…20 to 30 shots I’d say. But that wonderful, amazing, steadfast Latvian goalie held Canada at bay despite facing nearly 60 shots.

Unfortunately, Canada scored a late power play goal and ultimately ended up winning 2-1. But what a game! No one expected Latvia to get this far in the tournament, and for them to keep Canada to only one goal for almost the entire game is just nuts. I was really hoping they’d win, not just because USA’s rivalry with Canada, but because who doesn’t love a great underdog sports story?!

As an American Olympic lover, sometimes I forget that it’s not about racking up the highest medal count; it’s about the unknown, “regular” athletes competing on a global platform against the best athletes in the world. It’s neat to be exposed to athletes and nations that we don’t normally hear about when it’s not Olympic season. So I salute you, Latvian hockey players! You guys are fantastic.

2. Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demick

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Back in October, I saw the amazing David Sedaris speak and read new material at UB. He told us how he had just finished reading this book, Nothing to Envy, and how as soon as he finished it, he read it all over again. The book tells the stories of six Koreans who defected from North Korea. I know many of us are aware of how dire things are there, but to hear the real-life accounts of just day-to-day living from actual citizens really impacted me. I’ve always been fascinated with the country, mainly because of how isolated it is with the world, so it was quite eye-opening to read. The book mostly details life in North Korea, but toward the end it also focuses on how difficult it is for defectors to adjust to their new lives living in a free country. I highly recommend reading it, I think it’s important to gain perspective on how different life can be for individuals around the world.

3. Frozen Great Lakes

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This winter has been pretty brutal, yeah? It seems habitual at this point to bitch about how nasty the weather can be this time of year, but it seems as though most of the country is facing the harsh impacts of winter more so than usual. But winter can be beautiful! All of the Great Lakes are almost completely frozen over, and ice caves have formed over Lake Erie, drawing a lot of people to visit them.

I took a quick trip over the border to Crystal Beach in Fort Erie, Ontario to see the ice caves in person with my mom. It was pretty neat to walk over the lake, I must say. Cold, but neat…

4. grav3yardgirl

I randomly stumbled upon this girl while cruising YouTube the other night. And she is hilarious! She has over 2 million subscribers and her videos get hundreds of thousands to millions of views, so clearly I’m late to the party. But I’m glad I found her. She is delightfully bizarre in her own special way, but every video I watch I find that I’m laughing out loud because she is pretty damn funny. Her channel ranges from fashion videos, vlogs, makeup tutorials, and the like. However, my favorite installment is “DOES THIS THING REALLY WORK?” in which she buys As Seen On TV products and tests them out. Hilarity ensues.

5. Georgia O’Keeffe cell phone

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I found a website where you can make custom made stickers/skins for your phone, so I got this one made of O’Keeffe’s Ram’s Head White Hollyhock and Little Hills. It’s always been a favorite of mine, I love skulls and flowers, so. What a world we live in where we can have priceless works of art decorate our phones!

6. Disclaimer

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If you haven’t played Cards Against Humanity yet, well what are you waiting for?! Since first being introduced to the game last year, I’ve put “Writer for the White Cards” on my list of dream jobs. A few months ago while playing a round with friends, I discovered their disclaimer. Genius.

7. My fortunes

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I just love the sentiments of the first one.

My second fortune has a little story to it. After my mom and I explored the ice caves, we went to a GREAT Chinese restaurant called Ming Teh to eat and thaw. Upon walking to my table, I couldn’t help but notice an older man staring at me, and throughout my meal, every time I glanced over, he was still transfixed on me. So it was with great amusement when I opened up my fortune cookie at the end dinner and read this…

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8. Lorde

I’m really digging her! Her song Royals was a big hit over the summer, and right now her single Team is getting a lot of radio time. I decided to give her album a listen because I like both songs, and I am really, really enjoying the entire album. Usually when I listen to a new album, a few songs will stand out, but it takes a bit of time for me to really appreciate and enjoy all the other songs. It’s quite rare and lovely when I can listen to a brand new album and love almost every song on it, which is exactly what Pure Heroine has done for me. Give it a listen if you’re looking for some new music to add to your playlist.