Archive | December, 2017

Sweeping Generalizations.

6 Dec

Fifteen days until the Woolf-Manas’s hit the road and head to Charm City.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the last time I lived down there, in the summer of 2012 while interning at the Baltimore Sun. It was awful. I lived in a dirty apartment with zero furniture aside from a bed, a folding table and a giant stuffed lion Ari won me at Six Flags that I used as my couch.

I knew no one in the town, I rarely ventured outside my neighborhood for fear of wandering into ‘stab city’ as my coworker called parts of the area she thought were dangerous. I worked Tuesday-Thursday and as soon as Friday came I would drive right back to NYC. I only explored the city ONE time and that was when my mom came to visit and asked me to show her around.

But there was something that sparked my interest that summer. I was procrastinating some task (my main job was to research and collect info about all the events taking place in Bmore into one database – I fully understood the irony of knowing about exactly every hot and happening thing in the city and going to 0.0 percent of them) and stumbled into a rabbit-hole which led me to an article about how horrible the working conditions are for the people who make H&M clothing. I dug deeper and deeper into the world of sweatshops and fair trade and factories overseas. It’s terrible. And sad. Ultimately I came across a site about minimalism – a lifestyle where you have a very limited number of belongings which will lead to hopefully, a more intentional life, uncluttered by material objects.

I loved it. I vowed NEVER TO BUY ANYTHING AGAIN. 

That lasted three weeks. When I needed a new dress for my engagement party.

It just wasn’t sustainable. I love to shop. It’s a bonding activity for me and my mom, and me and my friends. I love decorating my home with fun things. I love finding treasures at thrift stores or better yet, from the sidewalk or book-share. In the back of my mind however, I occasionally thought back to the one week where I was SURE I could live off a few T-shirts, a couple of books and my laptop. It never happened.

After my last post where I talked about how getting rid of Facebook has led me to get rid of other unnecessary items, I actually borrowed The Magic of Tidying Up. I didn’t just read the article with the bullet points! And now I kind of understand why it didn’t work the first time.  Five years ago, I eschewed material items out of guilt for how they’re made. I wanted a pat on the back for being socially conscious without actually doing anything. And my little shopping-strike barely lasted a month (in the words of our “esteemed” president: Sad!)

After actually reading more about minimalism, I understand that it’s a conscious and intentional choice-filled lifestyle. It’s not about getting rid of stuff but purposefully choosing to KEEP the stuff you truly care about. And I’m not making any grand promises but I’ve been going through the apartment in the way KonMari lays out and it’s amazing how much stuff I’ve steadfastly been holding onto because it was free, or expensive, or a gift, or from a relative, or a souvenir, or a wedding gift. I wasn’t keeping it because I LIKED the item for what the item was. Things are not people. A necklace from my mom is just that, a necklace. It’s not the relationship in and of itself. Once things outlive their purpose (and sometimes that purpose is to make me happy for a few days and maybe be worn once) it’s time to let them go. (Also, I don’t need trinkets from my mom. I literally have her exact facial features so it’s not like I can ever not be reminded of her).

I’m not going to make outlandish promises this time. I am not going to pat myself on the back. I’m not even gonna pat myself on the back for not patting myself on the back!

I am going to donate a shit ton of stuff to Goodwill and hope that someone else will get a happy day out of a new necklace like I had the chance to.

 

Goodbye Facebook!

4 Dec

Hello friends!

I am here to tell you that I deleted my Facebook exactly one week ago.

Well, not exactly because FB doesn’t let you actually delete your profile for two weeks. They put it in deactivation mode for 14 days and if you don’t log in at all within those two weeks THEN it’s deleted. But if you log in even one time within that time frame, you have to start the whole process over. I can’t tell if it’s courteous or diabolical.

(PSA: I’m not here to tell you that you’re all zombies under Big Zuckerberg – Facebook brought me a lot of usefulness during the 12 years I had it; jobs, friendships, news, happiness. But honestly, in the past few years it stopped bringing me joy. The few opportunities I got from the site (including the one that led me to perform on the Lifetime Channel which was very groovy) stopped being worth the seemingly endless time I spent scrolling mindlessly throughout the day).

To save time, here are all my answers to questions I’ve received this week:

“Why didn’t you just deactivate it?” 

I tried that. I tried deleting the app from my phone but I just logged on via the Chrome app. I tried making other people change my password so I couldn’t sign on. It just stressed me out that people might be messaging me and I wouldn’t be able to respond. I am totally addicted. I have a pretty helpful rule in my life and that’s that if something strikes me as scary then it’s a pretty good indicator that I should go through with it. The thought of deleting my Facebook was scary. The more I thought about it, the more I questioned why that was. And that fear was all the more reason to severe ties.

“But I like my Facebook!”

Good! I’m glad! You should do and hold onto things that make you happy. There are some things I will miss but a lot I won’t. It comes down to the fact that I spent a lot of time on Facebook being jealous. Of other comedians’ shows and success and likes. Of people’s vacations and babies and wondering whether my own posts will cause the same envy in others. Reading political fights and seeing cyberbullying among friends and strangers added an unnecessary stress to my life. Not to mention the social experiments FB regularly administers.

“Don’t you need Facebook though? To promote shows and yourself etc?” 

I am far from off the grid. I have Twitter and Youtube and Instagram (if you need to see pics of Whiskey) and God help me, even a Tumblr which I never post on. And this very website you are reading! Plus, I’ve PAID for ads to promote shows on FB in the past and have still had underwhelming audience attendance because I relied so heavily on Facebook promoting for me. Now I guess I’ll have to get creative. Maybe skywriting or going up to people and telling them about shows until I get restraining orders.

“But I liked your posts!”

Feel free to text me, 646-229-1418 any time and I will be happy to tell you any new thoughts on West World, the MTA, working at the Museum of the American Gangster or any other non-sequiturs that cross my mind during the day.

“Will you ever make a profile again?”

Maybe one day. I always knew I wouldn’t want to post baby pictures on Facebook (when that day comes) since giving photos of someone who can’t consent, to a corporation seemed icky (it might be hard to avoid though since Google/Apple probably will own any photos on my iPhone anyways).  This week has been pretty illuminating though in the sense that I catch myself typing in ‘www.Fac…’ before I realize what I’m doing. It’s also not the first thing I check when I wake up or on when Shabbat ends. It’s immensely freeing.

Ari and I are moving to Baltimore in a little more than two weeks and I’ve been decluttering while packing. In The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up (which I have not read yet but I’ve read articles on) there is a question posed: Does it bring me joy?

Some stuff does: a stuffed rabbit with a mustache Joy and Liana got me for my birthday, a beta fish my sister bought me that’s lived for an surprising long time, a Ukulele I have not learned to play yet but dammit I will, a T shirt from Urban Outfitters that says “United States of New York: which I am currently wearing.

Some stuff does not: Skirts I bought to wear when I worked at Fox and don’t really fit into anymore nor have any place to wear them to, papers and expired coupons and receipts, DVDs I took from the free stuff pile simply because they were free. Actually most stuff I’m getting rid of were taken to begin with because they were cheap or free.

My friends bring me joy. I’ll still have them no matter what social platforms I subscribe to. My family brings me joy. Even though they live in Israel I probably talk to them more than ever. Ari and Whiskey bring me joy and they are both currently 20 feet away from me.

Writing brings me joy and now I have one less distraction or reason to put it off.

You bring me joy too reader and I hope we can chat face to face soon 🙂

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