Dear K, Happy (Belated) Siblings Day

Hey Sis,

Happy Siblings Day! Of course, while others are posting cute comic candids, I’m sitting here tearing up over the fact that it’s siblings day… Surprise surprise.

I feel so many things. Sad and blessed. Lonely and loved. Nostalgic and excited for the future. Right now, we are living in special circumstance. In the same city, the same industry. While we don’t share walls like we used to, we share our lives in a way most don’t. If we miss even the smallest details in each others’ life, we throw our hands up at the world, blame our jobs and force the other into essay-length text conversations, or full Saturday nights spent on the couch eating Mom’s frozen Indian food and talking for six hours straight.

There are days when I can’t help but miss when we were younger. Seeing the light under your door and knowing that no matter what you were doing, you were there for me. I miss waking up on Saturdays and singing songs together, making breakfast together, talking about our dreams together. And then I realize that even though on days it feels like you’re far away, if I called you or you called me, in a state of need, we’d be there in the time it took an Uber to show up and cross the Mid-town tunnel. We’re f*cking fortunate.

You know I’m a planner, and I always like to know what’s next. I can spend an entire day in a daydream… but lately I’ve been catching myself. Because who knows where life will take us? You’re in your mid-twenties, exploring the world, getting to know yourself, finding your footing. I never want your discovery to stop. I want you to go far and wide and crazy.

And while I’m not old or anything (despite that fact that just two weeks ago you discovered my first gray hair. Thanks a lot for that), at some point, my world may become more insular, while yours becomes more expansive. I may focus on home, while you may focus on more. While we have to be okay with that — the fact that life ebbs and flows — and we’ve both learned how to find the beauty in whatever life brings… very little in life is as beautiful as the time we spend together. So here’s hoping that we get boring at the same time. Start diets at the same time. And reach peak hangovers at the same time. That you continue to be precocious and act like you’re 35 when you’re only 25.  That whatever life throws our way, we’re always drawn back together – through the pull of a stiff cocktail, a decadent dessert or an unbelievably juicy piece of gossip. Or more likely, just through the simple power of our sisterly bond.

May we always act like the crazy kids we’ve always been.

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Love you,

A

Dear A, Happy Siblings Day

Dearest Sissy,

Happy Sibling’s Day! I thought this year, instead of the usual Instagram shout out, I’d give you something more.
It’s been quite a while since I sat down to write about you or our relationship. The last time I did, I wrote about living in your shadow. About how people would talk about me only within your context. And how, I guess that should have upset me. But it never really did. Growing up I could think of no better place to live than in your shadow. In the strong, graceful and kind cover and protection you provided for me. And in a way, we’re past that. I’ve grown into my own individual, yes – but still rely on that blanket of safety you continue to provide me.
The past few years have been a whirlwind for both of us. Each year going faster and changing our lives more than the previous one. From you tying your life to someone else’s to me cutting ties with an old home and starting afresh. We have been tested – in our careers, in relationships, in health. But never have we let this pattern of tests be applied to our relationship. In fact, I can only remember one time where we got close to testing the strength of our bond, only to drop it and order pizza.
Rarely do I say this, at the risk of hurting others who are important to me, but you truly are the most influential and important person in my life. You’ve taught me everything I know. You’ve shown me more than anyone else, how to love my family, how to love myself and how to live a life I’m proud of. You’ve shared your passions, an industry, a city, a blog (and most importantly, Kingston) with me, and I can’t imagine sharing so much with anyone else.
I am so grateful to have you to turn to, to learn from and to laugh with.
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May we always show up to places in the exact same (unplanned) outfits

Love you long time,
K

 

The Same, But New

K

When A first showed me her post on Newness and asked if I had anything to contribute, I hesitated before passing. Nothing new has really happened since I last wrote – nothing’s changed, I thought.

In a way, this is the truth. I’m still at the same job, working with the same team. Still living in the same city, spending time with the same friends and family. I continue to spend my free time doing the same things as before. An outsider would notice no difference in my day-to-day life. To them, it would be like those scenes in the movies where they show time pass, but the character living through the same routine over and over again.

What’s interesting though, is that my life feels newer than it has in years. In the past five years I’ve experienced being in college, being unemployed, being new to the work force, being in love, being heartbroken and moving to a new city – just to name a few. In the last year, nothing major has happened. And yet, more has changed inside me than ever before.

Newness isn’t always physical. It isn’t always a milestone, either. Sometimes it’s just a mindset. Sometimes it’s just falling asleep to new thoughts and waking up with a different energy and then applying that to whatever comes at you during the day.

 It’s taken me a lot to get here. I’m talking years and years of feeling stuck in the same rut despite making so many efforts to shake things up. No matter what happened – I felt the same. The same things caused my heart to flutter, the same things broke me down. But at some point, after the repeated flutters and breaks – after the same sources of joy and sadness – my mind said no more. I can’t pinpoint for you when or how the shift happened. All I know is that I was dealt the same cards, once again, but this time what I did with them was different.

 I’ve read hundreds of quotes about how a new mindset is all you need to change any situation at hand. I’ve always believed it, too. But I thought myself too weak to force such a monumental change. What’s funny about this fear is that I’ve never been afraid of physical changes – a new hairstyle, a different career path, not even a different city. But to admit that the way I was viewing situations close to my heart and imagining my future was the root of my problem, was the scariest and most difficult thing I’ve ever had to do. The most difficult, but the most rewarding.

 So here’s to new beginnings. For both Jointly and I – exactly the same as the old, but also so entirely different.

NEWNESS

A

If you asked me in my last post – in November 2015 – where I would be now, there’s no way in hell I would’ve been able to tell you.

I had a Tarot reading done at the beginning of 2016, in the backroom of a crystal shop in New Orleans. The Hermit was front and center. A card of introspection, looking for answers within, and allowing oneself the luxury of solitary retreat.  At the time, I didn’t realize that this card would be indicative of my entire year. That 2016 would be all about shedding my own preconceived notions about lifestage, success, and companionship, in favor of allowing my experience to inform my life.

After my one month break in November 2016 (which went by in a flash, as you can imagine), I started a new job at a company that I thought could give me the one things I was really looking for – longevity. I could see myself growing there, taking on more responsibility, moving to an office closer to our families one day.

And longevity is something I (along with many other “Millennials,” so I hear…) struggle with. I like change, I’m invigorated by newness, and I can’t see the point of staying in a situation that makes me unhappy. Especially now, when Mr. P and I are just living for ourselves. We give ourselves the flexibility to make mistakes, change up our careers, take pay cuts. We’re lucky in this way.

My plan felt solid.

But as we all know, the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry. And awry they went. So by September, on the eve of my 29th birthday, I had a new job. One that I don’t think would have come my way without The Hermit and a proper dose of being real with myself – despite what it looked like from the outside.

Since I started at Wolf & Wilhelmine, life has been a whirlwind. Or rather, the world has become a vortex?

The election was a debilitating punch in the stomach. I was in a fog for days. I couldn’t come to terms with what the new presidency would mean, and I was grappling with what I could do.

So, I signed on to teach at The New School at Parsons. I walked in the Women’s March on NYC with some of my closest friends. I attended the Unaugural Ball, thrown by two of my powerhouse friends. And, we decided to bring Jointly back. Because this is a better time than any to be joint. To voice opinions and hear perspectives. To facilitate new ways of thinking. To experiment for the sake of positive momentum.

Here’s our new take. This platform should be all about togetherness. About building bridges and creating bonds. About support and productive conversation. And therefore, if you ever feel strongly about something and want to share, we welcome you to use Jointly as your platform. Let us know how we can help you. Let us know if we can lend our space. Let us know if we can catalyze our network.

Also, we’ll still be talking about the magical mundane as always, to stay true to Jointly’s roots :). In the midst of all of the chaos in our worlds, sometimes it’s fun to linger on the small things.

Thanks for having us back, and allowing us to be a part of your days.

Jointly Yours,

A & K

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Farewell to Chicago

I’m not sure how to break the news, so I’ll just dive right in…

I have officially decided to move to New York City!

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It’s literally a dream come true on so many levels. The first level being that I would have never imagined having the opportunity to join such a sharp, passionate and kick ass team at Droga5. It’s been my agency crush ever since I entered the ad world. As a writer and quite frankly a chatterbox, it is very rare that I am at a loss of words. But here I am, speechless by this chance I’ve been given.

Another reason why this is – let’s be honest – the best thing that has ever happened to me is because I finally get to be in the same city as A! We’ve only been talking about this for the past four years and finally, it’s happening! I am so lucky to have her as my #1 person (she is my self-proclaimed lucky star), I would be crazy not to try my best to be with her. For years people have been telling me, “You two need to be in the same place – you’re always happier together,” and it is entirely true. I’m also thrilled to be joining a few of my favorite ladies – K, S & S. Is anything really better than taking on (what some call) the greatest city in the world with some of your oldest friends?

To be completely honest, the opportunity couldn’t have come knocking (well, it didn’t really knock – I sort of chased it down and tackled it) at a better time. Over the past few months I’ve slowly been uncovering more and more truths about myself that I failed to realize for the first 22 years of my life. It’s hard to face these truths, and it’s even harder to share them, but A and I have always wanted to be honest and real here, so here goes. I realized that never in my life have I made a decision based solely off of what I want. There has always been at least one person influencing my biggest life decisions. I wouldn’t necessarily say that’s a bad thing. But I can say that it’s tolling to constantly be working for others. I’ll admit it – I sometimes focus so much on other people that I completely lose myself. I’m so lost that I can’t even begin to tell you who I am. And it seems like there is no place better than New York City to discover yourself.

There are many reasons why this move felt right to me. But the biggest one of them all is that it is completely for me. I had an idea and I pursued it. There’s a thought I like to recite to myself these days – I want you to rediscover yourself in the absence of all those that have defined you. This is incredible and something we don’t consider frequently. At this moment, I don’t think there is anything more important than understanding your past, present, and future self outside of external influences.

So – all of that being said, I am currently wrapping things up in the city that has given me so much. Chicago has seen me grow from a young girl of 15 to an independent adult. It’s given me lifelong friendships and unforgettable memories (and many other cliche emotional things).

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But now doesn’t feel like the time for comfort and settling, now feels like the time to experience.

The move is right around the corner – less than two weeks until I hop on that one-way flight! I promise to try my best to keep you all updated on the move and my transition into becoming a New Yorker!

Lots and lots of love,

K

A’s Year in Review || 2014

To say this year was big would be a colossal understatement. It was huge. More than huge. It completely and utterly altered my life to a point of no return.

This sounds a bit ominous. I don’t mean it to be that way! It was just real. Real life, real changes, real adulthood (the mid-lifers are cackling at me again). It was the best and scariest year of my life. It was the year when responsibility hit me square in the chest. And when I learned to find happiness in others’ happiness. It was a year that took my relationships to a new level. My relationship with Mr. P, of course, but even beyond that. My friendships became deeper, my relationship with my parents became more dynamic, and my relationship with myself matured.

2014 started nonchalantly with a stomach flu in Chicago with my fiancé. We spent the night watching a movie and talking about our upcoming wedding.

Then it became a frantic race to the finish line (and by finish line I really mean a new kind of starting point), July 12th. Through a flurry of occasions, events, sweets, and prayers, we made it to our wedding day. It was easily, easily, the most heart-string-tugging, humbling, dreamy, day of my life. It reminded me of my humanity. What it means to love, and to be loved. And I’ll tell you, it’s the most wonderful feeling in the world. Mr. P agrees. He watches our wedding video all the time, and smiles ear to ear the whole way through.

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Me, myself, and a cocktail 😉

Handsome hubby

Handsome hubby

Sisters

Sisters

First loves of my life

First loves of my life

The best friends a gal could ask for

The best friends a gal could ask for

Be still my heart!

Be still my heart!

Before the wedding, but in the midst of it all, Mr. P and I made the second biggest decision of our LIFE (singular because now our life is shared). Driving to upstate New York to pick up our little Kingston. He’s laying right next to me as I write this. I know I’m biased and all, but he’s so wonderful. So much raw, true love. It’s a wacky and wonderful thing to be a dog mom. And by wacky and wonderful I don’t mean easy! Leaving your dog – whether it’s to travel for an entire week for work, or to go on a luxurious honeymoon – is SO hard. And it never gets easier (because you just love them more and more everyday). So make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into!

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A most amazing weekend with the Hamptons with loved friends and dogs.

As if we hadn’t had enough change, 2014 was also the year Mr. P and I made our way out of Manhattan. After the wedding we found an amazing place in Williamsburg. It was the first place we saw – those of you in New York will realize just how wild this is – and I knew we had to have it! Honestly, it’s brought us more joy than I thought it would. It actually feels like a neighborhood. I’m always making this insanely dramatic statement about how it’s “my favorite place I’ve ever lived(!!!!!!),” but it really is. We’re really happy here. Which is why I rock a Brooklyn bridge bracelet now (jk, not all the time, but it’s a gift from a dear friend and I LOVE it).

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The move to Brooklyn was also great because it brought us into the same borough as family. And for those of you who know us this is huge. ESPECIALLY when we had two new additions to the family. First a little niece, and then a little nephew, and they are very simply the cherry on top of 2014.

And last but certainly, not at all, least – while we were home visiting family and celebrating the wedding of two great friends, I got an amazing job offer. So amazing that it forced me to propel myself further into the wind-tunnel of change. It should’ve been a total no-brainer, but of course it wasn’t. Because Mother New York, or more specifically, the people at Mother New York, had made their mark on my heart. When I say deep relationships, Mother was no exception. In the middle of the long nights, hard meetings, impossible briefs, I made some amazing friends. Like lifelong amazing (crossed fingers). And although this picture is super weird, it’s so incredibly meaningful. You’ll just have to take my word for it.

MNY <3

MNY ❤

2014 had way more… an unforgettable bachelorette party, a beautiful bridal shower, more photoshoots than I will ever be comfortable with, new beginnings, and old endings. Ambika from January 2014 had no idea what was coming her way. But if she did, I think she’d have been thrilled.

Thanks for the ride, 2014. Here’s hoping 2015 holds a flame.

Love,

A

Switching Gears

When we first started Jointly, we were sitting in our hotel room in Delhi brainstorming what our blog would mean to us and what it would entail. After pages of notes and hours of discussion, we came to realize a blog would be a huge commitment. We were unsure whether now was the right time to commit, A being busy at work and planning her wedding and K being busy at school, looking for work, and also planning A’s wedding. We decided it wasn’t the right time. But, of course, after choosing a name and building up so much excitement, we reached a consensus and took the leap anyways. 

After the decision, life took off at full speed. I’m not sure where time went, but an hour turned into a day which turned into six months. Before we knew it, here we were, in August. 

Now that life seems to be returning to a more normal (whatever that may be) pace, we’ve decided to return to the basics with Jointly. Jointly was meant to be a life blog. Not your typical “look at how I redecorated this tiny space” or “my Hermes scarf matches this outfit perfectly”, but an actual life blog. We want to show the world that real, working women, who may not necessarily have the funds for a lavish Tumblr lifestyle, can have a life worthy of following. We wanted to be real with you guys, but also use you guys as motivation to keep aspiring for more. 

Enter: Phase II of the Jointly journey. Blog posts will now come in a few different forms…

  1. Monthly city adventures (in NYC and…well…wherever K may be)
  2. Weekly Friday posts (with varying content and titles)
  3. Monthly playlists 
  4. Book/article reviews/POVs
  5. The occasional “Mama Says” – featuring Minnie Gautam 

Of course, because we love to share and “keep it real,” you will still see our life rants, thoughts and musings. Just with a little more structure.

Can’t wait for your guys to take this next step in the Jointly journey with us. We’re excited to start phase two of something that has become such a large part of who we are.

Jointly yours,

A & K