A New New Yorker | Tale 1

Well, I’ve done it – I’m a New Yorker! At least, as much as I can be five days into my move here. I’ve mostly spent my first week here taking a mental break from work, actually hitting the gym, going out on solo expeditions and giving an excessive amount of love to my puppy nephew Kingston.

The more time I spend in this city, the more I come to see the difference between New Yorkers and the rest of the world. It first hit me at a Moth GrandSLAM event – where people take the stage to share their own personal stories with the audience. There I realized, through both the stories and audience participation, that New Yorkers are unapologetically themselves. They aren’t afraid to (in my Midwest opinion, over) share tidbits of themselves with complete strangers – no matter how dirty the truth is. People sent slips, though anonymous, up to the host during judging breaks telling tales of “that time I got stuck in a sand dune during a threesome” or “when I did cocaine with the guy that I was in love with…and his girlfriend”. Actual performers shared in their struggles with depression, losing loved ones and accidental viewing of child pornography.

On the streets of New York, you’ll see completely normal city dwellers fully embracing themselves – whether that means wearing what I perceive to be a ridiculous outfit, having open and loud conversations about their weekend activities or driving down the street with the windows down, putting on a Beyonce-inspired show for everyone.

At times I would have found all of this alarming and, for lack of better word, improper. I have not been raised to catch attention of strangers or overshare my personal stories. But now, just five days into my move, these people make me smile. To be yourself, so unfiltered for the world to see, is such a beautiful thing.

As I’ve shared with all of you before, one of the things I’ve personally been seeking is a better understanding of myself. Maybe it’s because I’m 23 and that’s too young to truly know you, or maybe it’s because I stayed in one city for eight years, not pushing past my comfort zone. Whatever it is, I’m confident that taking a few years to grow in a place where people are comfortable to explore and be themselves is just what I need.

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Dreams For Sale

Happy hump day!

After searching for what seems like ever, I’m finally bringing you my latest playlist. It has months worth of emotions in it, so I can’t say it only has one feel, but I can say that I always put soul in them, but this one has heart.

Dreams For Sale

.99 dreams

Special shout out to P and N for sharing their impeccable taste in music with me.

Hope you grow to love and feel these songs as much as I do!

Always yours,

K

Getting To Know The Gautams

You have no idea how long we’ve been waiting to use this title…

Welcome to our first ever Honesty Hour on Jointly! To get our relationship (you + us = love) off to the right start, we decided to dig deep into our souls and bare our truest selves. Each of the below questions was answered with the utmost honesty, so you can truly get to know us and so we can set our precedence of down-to-earth, honest-to-goodness TRUTH.

A

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1. What do your days look like?

My days right now look like utter madness (“and you’re starting a brand new blog WHY?!”). I work like I’m a workaholic (but I’m not because work-life balance is THE most important thing in my world) who’s planning a wedding, hanging with my boo, trying to call my friends, gchatting my sister and cousin, journaling, trying to squeeze some exercise in there (or at least keep my core tight as I sit and type all day), and finally eating Indian food while watching Jeopardy (I’m literally 55), and other mindless TV until I start to drift.

2. What can you not live without?

I cannot live, die, breathe, thrive or survive without my family and friends. This is obvious. But I’d lose my mind without my fiancé, I’d lose my job without my dad, I’d lose my grip on adulthood without my mom, and I’d lose my excitement for life without my sisters (K + Cousins).

I also can’t live without moments of peace. In the last year or so I’ve realized that a big part of me is a total homebody. And man, do I embrace that part. Especially in a manic city like New York (<3), it’s essential to find peace.

3. First thing you do when you get home?

I keep my trusty mason jar filled with dried sage leaves right near my front door, and every night when I get home I grab one, strike a match, and let the smoke surround me. Sage is said to have healing and cleansing properties (ever heard of Smudging?), and I totally buy it!

4. One word that only people who know you well would use to describe you?

Gullible. I will trust someone to the moon and back. Even if they’re not worthy of it. I wear my heart on my sleeve and get hurt often. But I’m working on it!

5. If you were on death row, what would be the last thing you ate?

SOMETHING GLUTENOUS. I was diagnosed with celiac disease in November of 2012, and MAN do I miss my old favorites. But if I had to choose one thing, it’d be New York’s Artichoke Pizza. If you’ve never had it, look it up, and then book a ticket to New York.

6. What is your dream?

My dream is to do something I love, come home to someone I love, travel to places I love (or think I’ll love), and be near the people I love.

7. When asked to “think happy thoughts” where does your mind take you?

To my wedding day! I get chills just thinking about it. The picture is coming together so nicely (finally! Wedding planning is NO JOKE), and being able to finally visualize that day is wild.

But, when the wedding is stressing me out, my happy place is in my Mom & Dad’s living room. Fire place on, wine in hand, hanging with the entire Gautam clan with the pup in my lap.

8.  5 years ago. 5 years from now.

Five years ago, I was in my senior year of college. It was such a crazy time with super lows and super highs. My now Fiancé and I were broken up (low), I was living with three of my best friends (and future bridesmaids!), dancing on the Bhangra team, and trying to do my final college year justice.

I hope five years from now I’m a better version of myself – more understanding, more patient, more accepting. I’m lucky enough to know who I’ll have by my side five years from now, but I hope to be closer to our family and friends. And be on track to having a family of our own (MADNESS). I hope to still be pursuing my individual dreams, too. I find so much fulfillment in what I do. And maybe just maybe… I’ll be writing a novel. #truth.

9. What’s the best compliment someone can give you?

The best feeling in the world is to write something that people relate to. I once wrote a blog post on my old blog and a few of my friends sent me an email, thanking me for talking openly about something that they too had been feeling. It was AMAZING. It’s like when you finish a book and hold it to your heart because it just spoke to you. That is epic.

10. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

To take what life gives me and make the best of it. To not let things get me down – I’m built to be resilient and persevere. (Thanks, Papa).

11. What’s your current life mantra?

“Slow progress is still progress.” We are so hard on ourselves all the damn time. It’s okay to take things slow as long as you’re moving in the right direction. This whole “instant gratification” mindset has got to change sometime! Work hard, put in the time, try your best, and you’ll progress.

K

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1. What do your days look like?

Honestly, most of the time my days end up looking like a mass of struggles and chaos. During the week I rush between work (the Loop) and class (Rogers Park). On a good day I’ll fit in some time at the gym, or I’ll spend some time blogging or catching up on Netflix. On the weekends I paint the town red (and blue, and green, and even purple) with all my best friends.

2. What can you not live without?

First and foremost, I cannot live without my family and friends. They are my life and the reason I am who I am today. Also, I know it’s so 21st century to say this, but I cannot imagine life without my laptop. Everything is on it and it connects me to the world! And if you know me, you know I can’t do without some Chipotle.

3. First thing you do when you get home

Everyday, as soon as I get home, I change into sweatpants and throw my hair up. Ain’t NOBODY tryna stay cute while relaxing.

4. One word that only people who know you well would use to describe you

I think I have the tendency to come off as a bit of a hard-ass when you’re first getting to know me. Probably because I’m huge on teasing people and calling them out whenever I can…even when I’ve just met them. I think teasing is bonding. But I think people who truly know me know how compassionate I am. When it comes down to it, I do everything with heart. I pretty much never think with my head (this is a huge character flaw actually). I make my decisions based off of love and comfort rather than sense and success. So bold, badass? Maybe at a glance. But really just a sensitive fool.

5. If you were on death row, what would be the last thing you ate?

A nutella long john from Firecakes. Duh.

6. What is your dream?

My dream is life. I dream about life all the time. I want to, as cliché as it sounds, live it to its fullest. I want to travel. Eat. Laugh. Drink. Love. Work. Even cry. All of those are a part of my dream of life.

7. When asked to “think happy thoughts” where does your mind take you.

This is something that changes pretty frequently, depending on where I am in life. Right now I’m consumed by thoughts of my post-grad life. So when I can’t sleep at night, I try to picture myself in my dream job (and obviously in an awesome outfit and a well decorated office…okay fine, I’ll be realistic…cubicle).

8. 5 years ago. 5 years from now.

Five years ago I was 17-years-old. I had just started adjusting to the move my family had made from Solon, Ohio to Naperville, Illinois. I had spent the past year miserable, missing what I knew. But as a Junior in High School, I decided to roll with the punches, and it ended up being the best thing that ever happened to me.

Five years from now I’ll be 27-years-old. Oh my god. Hopefully I’ll have that well-decorated cubicle (maybe even a small office by then?) at an ad agency in a city that fills me with life and aspirations. Honestly, I hope I’m at least engaged so I don’t need to call up my grandmother’s older sister in India and tell her to find me some guy (she’s already told me she has a few in mind…my dad was not happy). And most of all, I hope that my family and friends are still in my life the way they are now (see…foolishly sensitive).

9. What’s the best compliment someone can give you?

“I love your writing/blog”. Seriously that is my absolute favorite compliment.

10. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Actually, this is a piece of advice A gave me a few years ago, and since I’ve spread it to a number of people. Let me give a little background on the issue that was at hand. I wanted to reach out to someone because I felt like I needed to get something off my chest, but I was hesitant. You know, you never want to annoy people or come off as clingy. She told me, do whatever makes you feel better. What a simple thought. Why don’t more people think like that? I don’t really care how Person X feels about it. If me saying something or doing something will give me peace of mind or make me feel better, I’ll do it.

11. What’s your current life mantra?

One step at a time. Guys…life is crazy! If you try to take it all on at once you collapse under the debris of it all. One little thing at a time, and we’ll all be just fine!

Hopefully you feel like you know us a liiittle bit better now. Keep an eye out for future Honesty Hours. We promise to always tell it how it is!

Jointly yours,

A & K