Resolutions: We know where they go after the first month of the new year. They are promises kept or not kept. They end up being reminders of our commitment or lack there of to ourselves.
My list for 2020 starts with one idea:
Commitment was never my strong suit. I’ve been in relationships where the exit plan was laid out from day one. I’ve started projects I’ve never finished and promised myself better and never followed through.
So if I’m going to boldly enter this new decade. No bullshit, is a necessary ingredient of the recipe for success. Primarily no bull shit towards the things that matter. I’ve often seen how a lack of commitment is the ever dragging on of promises, bold statements and grand ideas that fizzle out all too quickly in the second month of the year because let’s face it, we mean well and then we fail, we forget, we get caught up in our own dramas, we promise and then we default on our own promises to ourselves.
This year, I’m not making any promises or bold statements. Life happens regardless of our intent, so keeping our commitments to ourselves and knowing that if we default on them, it’s our own self we let down. So here is my short list for 2020:
1. Eat well- whatever that means. Including sharing a meal with people you don’t usually eat with.
2. Protect and care for the body and mind. If we are preaching to the world how to live better ( including myself) doing the same for ourselves is basically imperative.
3. Worry less. far less.
4. Love more. Even those that can’t accept, understand or comprehend what that means. ( including ourselves)
5. Give less fucks. Period.
6. Forgive, move on, get over it and let go.
7. See more of the world, because life is way too short and way too precious, to be stuck in one place wondering how amazing the rest of the world is.
8. Be more vulnerable and honest even though it might hurt.
9. Dance. Alone, with others, to music and in silence.
10. Create, something, however small and insignificant it might seem at the time.
Promises are best kept when we accept we might not keep them. Resolutions change, life happens and we try our best to stay committed to ourselves. Happy Fucking New Year.
She stands tall. Gotham dreams of a place unknown and known. A legacy thrown into turmoil, she breathes.
Her. guts scream.
Her power unseen.
She grapples with the visitors and the takers of her streets.
A queen, taken from her throne and thrown about like a beggar in her own neighborhood.
She stood tall, and she will again. The threading of her story is still in the making. Patterns left unfinished and long forgotten, will rise like a falcon over a clear sky. Triumphant, confronting, scrutinizing our every move.
This lady is still about liberty underneath the layers of depravity. She’s my sanctuary.
Nothing is more iconic and telling of New York life than during the holiday season. Rockefeller center and Macy’s light display, the skating rink in Bryant Park. Landmarks, and points of interest. Many more tourists come during Christmas and New Year’s eve than any other time of year. What I’ve always been drawn to and notice is the other side of the spectrum. Noticing the loneliness, the isolation and the art of the Christmas hustle. What makes this city especially harsh during the holidays; is that they are treated as a commodity, and everyone who does work during them is part of that mechanism.
This year I chose to ( was forced ) spend the holidays in the city. Work kept me here so I used the opportunity to take this unavoidable staycation and treat myself to a little bit of a tourist viewpoint.
New York has two ( at least) worlds; one of opulence and tourist attractions and one of familiar locality. Small local joints, people who know each other and greet you on the street, and an absence of frivolity and pretense.
Real New Yorkers however they might be depicted in movies and television; are a caring, loving people and the heartbeat of this city, and when you get to know them, some of the kindest people you will ever meet. Staying here during the holidays in what seemed an almost empty metropolis, gave me a chance to meet and actually talk to many more people I otherwise would have overlooked. Stay open to possibilities in the year to come, you never know where they will take you.
The Greekrabbit in NYC and the year that broke all the records.
2018 didn’t suck (oh It did but not as much as years past)
I say this in order to preface any loudmouth, bitch slapping I’m going to do to 2018 and how I do hope 2019 picks up the slack.
My shit list and wish list is simple. These are not regrets and resolutions. Regrets are for people who are ashamed at their blunders and wrong turns and mistakes. I don’t regret anything I’ve done (ok except that one thing, with that guy who was a total douchebag), because each set back, fuck up, wrong idea, bad idea, and pure crap shoot is something that will eventually lead you towards a truer version of yourself. IF you’re actually open to change and learning from your mistakes.
Resolutions on the other hand, constitute finality and if we’re being honest with ourselves and the #lifegoals we set for ourselves, we never stop learning from mistakes and evolving, so if I don’t get to it in 2019, I guess I wasn’t ready. We take the good and the bad and make an assessment as to what we can keep from years past as lessons and what we can let go of and NOT REPEAT in the year ahead. 2018 overall was a step up from years past if people want to read last years list please feel free. There were some slip ups, mistakes, ridiculously toxic people that I thankfully learned lessons from and also thankfully no longer have in my life, there were goals reached, and others not so much but overall, I would say 2018 gave me many more gifts than it did head aches. Although I still miss my travel and writing hero Anthony Bourdain. So without further delay here you go…
Shit List 2018 TOP TEN
No more second guessing. Original instincts are usually the ones, you should follow. When someone tells you more than once what a narcissistic, asshole they are; believe them. ( They did you a favor)
Some friends are there through the thick and thin, others only when it’s to their advantage. (reminds me of a brilliant lecture I attended earlier this year by a cool football player turned motivational speaker named Trent Shelton — check his spoken word on friendships here. )
Not all people are worth your time, money and passion. (pick wisely)
Don’t give expecting to receive.
Saying no is absolutely necessary. Do it more often. (pick wisely)
Don’t sacrifice your truth for someone else’s lie. ( Lies are like cobwebs they trap you like a fly)
Fame doesn’t mean credibility.
Don’t take anyone’s word for your own comfort, taste, or knowledge. (build your own and often)
Convenience isn’t friendship, companionship or love.
ok this is a bonus from me to you — Small Penis, Large Ego (never fails)
WISH LIST 2019 TOP TEN
Give someone who has shown they have earned it a second chance to be in your life. Redemption is more powerful than absolutism.
Nature. That’s it. BE IN NATURE, WITH NATURE, FIGHT FOR NATURE.
Love is complicated but also absolutely wonderful to experience in all its forms. More love please.
Have the audacity to live your way, love your way, dress your way, and express exactly who you are. (Life is short)
Spend much more time with people, than looking at them in a fucking screen (Life is too damn short)
Write a letter to your future self to remember the stupid shit you put up with in the present and to show yourself how much you’ve grown learned and developed (hopefully) in later years.
TRAVEL (life is… you get where this is going right?)
EAT– Eat good, healthy, amazing food and preferably with others
Art, in every form, with love dedication, focus, discipline and community. Make it, buy it, make some more. Because when we’re all gone art remains.
Shitty people come into your life to remind you of how long they will last before you tell them to fuck off. (sorry to the swearing but I don’t think anything else is appropriate here)
Bonus…. Piss people off more often, by being exactly who they tell you not to be. YOURSELF… But be kind, to those who make valiant, imperfect efforts to understand who you are.
Today the phrase “your home is where your heart is” is my topic of self conversation.
As I get closer and closer to the end of this experiment of daily postings about my observations, thoughts, emotions, opinions, and ideas; this phrase came up and it’s the only thing that seemed important for me to talk about.
I’m the daughter of an expat American woman who grew up in a small town in western Massachusetts; but spent most of her adult life (45 years to be exact) in Athens, Greece; and a Greek man born in Athens, who despite all his protests has moved between Greece and the United states twice. I’m the amalgam of one true roamer and one homebody (nope it’s not my mum). I have moved house 20 times since I was born, and have moved and lived in Athens, Western Massachusetts, London, upstate New York, New York City, London, Athens, Mykonos and again New York. (if you’re not dizzy; I am!)
What comes to mind is a phrase in Greek which loosely translates to “the land you live in now, is your homeland). “Όπου γης και πατρίς” which is originally attributed to the politician and orator Cicero. This encapsulates the whole way in which I’ve navigated my travels and my many “homes”.
Πατρίδα-in Greek means homeland (fatherland to be more precise); the place where you were born; which is very different from Χώρα-Chora or country (also referring to the village/the countryside) which can be seen as a place of residence or nationality. In recent years I’ve seen myself as a nomad with no country, no homeland and no place to call home. I come from Greece, I was born there, I lived there most of my life, but as of now it is no longer my home. I no longer have a family home that I grew up in, I don’t have a bedroom with all my childhood memories. I carry that childhood, and those memories with me wherever I go. I’m somewhat of an exile, having chosen to leave my home in Greece, and come to New York “for a better life”; and not really wanting to. As most exiles I feel uprooted, and this idea of connection to where I now live is quite frail.
This fragility of course does not come without a better understanding of oneself in connection to identity and belonging. A house is just a roof over our heads, but a home is where we feel comforted, protected, familiar, and at peace. I’ll bring two more Greek words to the mix to show the complexity of meaning and feeling.
οικία (oikia)– means house or home
οικεία (oikeia) — means familiar or something you find comforting
For now my house is in New York City, but it does not feel like my home, so the heart keeps roaming, and if my life is any indication of a pattern, it will roam again.
So when you close the door to your home tonight make sure that you feel at home, comforted and safe.
You were quite possibly the most abysmal, disgusting, disappointing, disenchanting, disillusioning, dysfunctional, dystopian year. Oh you know what you’ve done. You started out ever so shy and unassuming, but you rocked the boat so much we were collectively puking in our barf bags. And you know what?? Thank fucking god. It was the best and worst thing that could ever happen to us, them, me.
Only a few days remain in this epic fail of a year. Politically it’s a nightmare around the world, and more so in the United States. People are suffering more than ever before, and there seems to be a collective confusion about everything that is surrounding us. Yet despite all that, I must sit down and be brutally honest, not only with myself but with you my dear, loyal and amazing readers. This was the worst and best year of my life. I began it with a notion that things could be better, and I was greeted with slap after slap after slap and a bunch just in case I had any other positive ideas. At some point I felt like I was in a 10 round fight with Muhammad Ali. (What an amazing boxer huh?). In the end of it all, I must confess I am finishing the last few days of this rotten year with a far different and revived image of myself and the world around me.
Things that happened in 2017
I met a man who thought he could destroy me emotionally and mentally, ( hah! think again ). He made me doubt myself, he publicly humiliated me again and again, he wanted to pull a handbrake on my spirit and push me over the edge, but quite honestly he did me a huge favor, cause when you hit rock bottom and an asshole is pushing you further down; you wake up to the fact that you’re the only strength you have. Then you get up and walk away, walk off the court and NEVER look back. I learned the hard way to put my self first. I have since met many beautiful people through this journey; some of them gorgeous men of incredible honor and stature. One piece of shit man-child allowed me for the first time in years to see my value to honor my body, to enjoy flirtation, truly love again, and to open my heart and be loved, all thanks to my shitbag ex. THANK YOU
I was harassed by my Greek family online and continue to be dragged in the Greek court system by my two uncles and aunts who for whatever reason think I give a fuck about them and their petty little lives. I now cherish my immediate family, a few chosen relatives, and my friends more than any other time in my life. People who stood by me over the years have become closer than my “blood” family ever could. The unbreakable bonds I’ve built with friends in Greece and the U.S are stronger than ever; you know who you are. We continue to love each other, console each other, grow with each other and are show up for each other. You my dear friends ARE my family and always will be. I cherish you to no end.
I saw the inside of a hospital emergency room three times and visited countless doctors. I suffered so much pain I thought I was going to die. I hit my head leaving a noticeable scar on my face; and now I find it to be the coolest thing about it. I underwent an abortion 8 weeks into a pregnancy that tore me apart. It broke my spirit like nothing and no one ever has. I decided to speak about it publicly and on this blog; connecting to amazing people who supported me, and showered me with their love in ways I can’t even describe. I connected with other women who’ve gone through exactly what I went through. Despite my lingering pain, that never could have happened If I had not gone through this path, no matter how devastating and difficult. Undergoing this procedure was a way of connecting with my mother and my trusted friends who were there for me every step of the way. I have received more love than any one person can handle; I am eternally grateful to all who were there for me. My health and my body have now more than ever become a vehicle for my expression and my steadfast commitment to health and wellness. I will continue to grow and develop a new holistic view of women’s bodies and health because of what I went through this past year.
I reconnected with an old love… after 18 years of not speaking. My old College boyfriend and I spoke after many years of silence. I never thought in a million years that I would ever see him again or get to meet his amazing loving and beautiful wife and children. He is a great man with a gorgeous family. His wife and kids are now part of my extended family and I love them all dearly. My old beau, who is now my dear friend; has lifted my spirits though the deepest gutter of my sadness and I’m glad 2017 brought us together again, even through the darkest of times.
I fell in love with New York… again after very determined plans to leave her. She all but pushed me out her doors in 2017 when I came to a stark realization that for now this fucked up city is my home, thanks to two very special people who have showed me their view of this metropolis like no one has ever done before. My Daybreaker family is part and parcel of this insane city, and getting up at 3 am to meet them and be part of their lives and they part of mine has been a gift unforeseen three years ago. Yes, I miss Greece like hell; I will go back one day, but for now; NYC is my home. I share my love of New York in my writing, and will continue to do so in the next year. My new friends here are my family and my life has become all the richer for it. New York as crazy and frustrating and overwhelming as it has been in the past five years, is also be warm and welcoming and loving in ways unimaginable to me a year ago.
I write more and more in my blog each day. 2017 has been the year I’ve truly dedicated more of my time to writing this blog. Writing poetry, writing prose, and sharing my thoughts with a wider audience almost every week. I’ve stood on stage and read my work, I’ve shared my moments with more friends who are far away, who resonated with what I was sharing, and I’ve received lovely feedback from incredible people. My writing experiments have been published on other blogs, and my short stories are slowly becoming a big part of my creative process. I have been continuously writing this blog since November 2012, and I am committed to growing and developing this in the years to come.
THANK YOU all for your support over the years and for reading my ramblings.
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