Slammin Lammon in the City
I woke up crazy early like any New Yorker would. It is the city that never sleeps afterall!
Let me take a second before I even begin this saga to toot my own horn for a second....
I DON'T SLEEP ANYMORE!
So a lot of you are like "cool, soooooooo awesome, wooooooooow" [insert slow clap and eye rolls]. I'm sure most of you go to bed at 2am and wake up at 6am or something like nothing ever happened and just LIVE. YOUR. LIFE.
Not in my case.
Up until recently, if I got less than 8 hours of sleep it was game over, not just for me but everyone around me. I would cry like a a spoiled toddler, sometimes throw fits like a spoiled toddler, shit myself like a spoiled toddler.... Ha, kidding on the last one. I PROMISE.
I was like a runaway freight train on fire steered by squirrels, heading towards a big populated area and carrying military grade weapons and some very important person. I'd say the train was carrying the President but half of you would be happy to see that train explode and the other half would murder me in my sleep and neither option would result in my desired literary effect.
Aaaaaaaaand that folks is as political as I'll ever get.
So to wrap everything up: I don't sleep now and am a full functioning adult who doesn't terrorize those around them. I've also only cried ONCE.
WOOO THROW ME A PARTY GIVE ME A MEDAL!!
Back to the actual post...
I had to be up on the Upper East Side by 8am for work and I know that the subways on the east side are notoriously bad.
Sorry, did I say subways on the UES are bad?
I meant the subways everywhere are bad.
Governor Cuomo has declared the NYC subways to be in a state of emergency. Trains have been derailing and hitting walls, there have been track fires, overcrowded subways during commuting, trains not showing up, delays for 85+ minutes....Yeah, that's an emergency.
Some politician stated that if New Yorkers want to arrive on time, they need to leave earlier. Yeah, I can leave earlier, but if my train doesn't come, that's not going to help AT ALL.
Google maps gave me an estimate but I always leave a little bit before their recommended time, even though I'm usually 10 minutes early.
Or in this case I could be 7 hours late.
After I dragged myself out of my bed, I attempted to sleepily and blindly walk to the bathroom. As I did so, I had to avoid my meowing kitties begging for their breakfast.
I have three, that's a lot of dodging and meowing for an early morning. Someone usually comes close to getting stepped on, or I take a tumble…
The kitties got their breakfast and their day is now complete, until 6pmish, when it'll be time for dinner.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have your whole world revolve around two meals a day? You don't even care what kind of meals those are! Cheap fancy feat, kibble or a good steak (lol I don’t feed my kitties steak, how much do you think I make?).
Here in the city, every meal I buy gives me a small heart attack when I see the price sticker. I am still optimistically preparing my own food and snacks, and yes, even my own coffee. Since moving here, I think I've bought coffee once. But I know that will change reeeeeeeeeal fast.
I dress in something I hope matches and is somewhat coordinated, everyone here is so fashionable and I want to fit in nicely. On the same track, I could be completely mismatched, half dressed and have my hair all completely all over the place and no one would bat an eye.
Wow, I love the city!
I walk to the train station (about a mile, but totally worth it for the apartment) to board the PATH train.
Yeah, that's right.
As much as I love the city, work in it, eat in it, spend all my free time in it, I, Alexandra Lammon, am a Jersey Girl.
It would be great one day to actually live in the city, but at the moment, I don't want to choose between eating and doing things or having an apartment.
I know, a bit nuts. Please forgive me.
I'm lucky enough to score a seat on the PATH train because I'm just a little bit before commuter hours. A seat on a subway or PATH train during busy hours is almost more prized than good real estate in the city.
However, after I sit down, I almost immediately become a victim of man-spreading.
Gasp! I know….
Except this time the man-spreading was coming from me…
I had taken a barre class on Saturday, 3 days ago, and my inner thighs were still so sore that when I crossed them they would just kinda pop apart. I wanted my legs to be as open as possible, which takes up a lot of space.
The PATH train is about 10 times nicer than a subway. So much more clean and new. I've also heard it's incredibly corrupt. But hey, I'll enjoy a nice, clean underground train any day!
Despite the cleanliness of this train, there are still a lot of creepy people. They’re often financey types working their 9-5s and confused as to why someone is dressed to head to a workout class when work usually starts.
I just hope they think I'm a millionaire and don't need to work.
They LOVE to stare.
The PATH train I'm on will take me to 33rd street. The gateway to Penn Station. The front lawn of hell (Times Square). The sorta subpar area that makes everywhere else in the city look a million times cooler. In fact, I can see the Empire State Building when I walk outside the PATH station to connect to the 123 Subway, and when I do see it, it just looks like a big, unimpressive pillar of metal. The first time I saw it, I couldn't believe that that was the Empire State Building because it look so lame!
Lame? Who says lame anymore? I guess I do.
Today, I have the pleasure of not needing to walk outside the underground stations to get to my subway. This is nice, there's no dumb tourists to run over when they stop to take a picture at every little unimpressive thing. I swear, some of them are on a Starbucks Tour of the city and ABSOLUTELY MUST STOP AND RIGHTTHISSECONDNOW take a picture of one.
Nothing like running over a tourist in an angry huff.
Now even though I get the benefit of a better flow of walking to the subway train, not having to dodge tourists or taxis, I still have to succumb to the hot humidity of hell. We are farther underground, therefore closer to hell. Satan may be trying to tempt me, but this is doing the exact opposite.
I navigate my way through the station, all the while becoming even more convinced that this is a circle of hell. It's confirmed every time a confused tourist stops short right in front of me.
I guess I will never be able to get away from them....
It seems like FOREVER to be standing in Hades waiting for my train. Does it really exist? Am I dying of heat exhaustion and not realizing that my train really doesn't exist?
Just when I'm questioning my existence, my train arrives at the platform. I stand out of the way to let people exit the train (like a good person trying to facilitate ease of travel. Cough cough) but when I go to enter, I have to squeeze in the train because only one door has opened.
After spending so much time overheating in the subway I take the one door opening to be a metaphor for my life. Things will come your way but you're going to have to squeeze yourself in and possibly make things uncomfortable to get the full benefit.
Yeah, I think I'm officially starting to lose it.
I enjoy the delicious feeling of the crisp, cool air on the subway and am at peace, until I realize I'm on one of THOSE subway cars.
Yes, this one has air conditioning, thank all that is holy.
I'm talking about the subway cars that have the weird L seats. Instead of it being a row of seats along each side of the car, half the seats are on the sides and the other half are perpendicular to those. It can make things real uncomfortable when you're squeezed in the corner with your knees and personal items hitting the person sitting perpendicular. Or things get frustrating when you see that there's an open corner seat and you really want to sit down but can't manage to maneuver your way in there. I really want to know who designed these cars/why they were designed that way.
Luckily, my car is badly populated so I can have a somewhat “nice” time and relax in piece.
Well, until a mom and her child in a stroller get on my car at the next stop. The child is crying non-stop, and then proceeds to projectile vomit all over the car.
Uh… no thanks.
Today there weren’t any people performing or asking for money on my train, which I’m actually pretty surprised about. Yesterday, I had a man with one foot asking for money on my car. I was a little surprised when he said that because of his loss, he had poor balance. He was hobbling between train cars, you know, through the side doors that connect the cars, where if you were to fall it practically assures being chopped up to bits on the tracks and being mangled by the train. Sir, if you can still move between cars like that, or at least walk around a subway car when moving, then I want to know what your balance was like before you lost your foot. In fact, I want your balance NOW. Please teach me your ways!!!
I make the mental note to carry around protein bars or some kind of snack to people asking for some kind of handout. I know that there are people out there who really are asking for help and really do need it, but there are also people just scamming you. I feel a little uncomfortable giving people money.
One time my father and I were out eating at a local hotdog cart in Alaska when a man approached us asking for money for lunch. My dad stood up and told him that he would go over and buy the man a hotdog since he was hungry. The man kept pushing for my dad to give him money and refusing my dad’s offer to buy him lunch. Eventually he walked away and went on to ask other people for money. That memory has stuck with me for a long long time, I have no issue helping someone out who needs help, we all need help now and then, but I feel better knowing that my resources are actually helping someone out and not being a detriment to their life. Everyone, no matter who you are or what you do for a living, can use a snack.
One can’t snort a protein bar, at least I hope no one is trying to….
After I get off the train and I get to the next bathroom I wash my hands HARD. I know I may be a grown adult with a fully functioning immune system, but this is NYC, all bets are off here. I recognize that if there's a plague or virus of some kind like in those doomsday movies, I’ll probably be part of the masses in NYC to die. Sure, we all like to think that we’re special and would survive, but I’m not holding my breath for total survival.
Or maybe I will if the disease is air-born…
I’m now at the MNDFL studio on the Upper East Side, enjoying the sweet sweet feel of air conditioning.
What is MNDFL? I’m sure you’re wondering.
First off, it’s not a word created by a Wheel of Fortune goer who can’t afford to buy any vowels. It’s a pretty sweet meditation studio. There are three branches all over the city, Greenwich Village, Upper East Side and Williamsburg, and it’s the first of it’s kind in NYC. At the studio, they only offer meditation classes in 30, 45 or 60 minute time slots, and a calming oasis in the middle of the city.
Yes, New Yorkers are THAT desperate for a time to pull themselves out of the hubbub of the City That Never Sleeps. Many come to help crack open their hardened shell built up over their time in the city, some want to forget the lady who just walked by them with a parrot on their shoulder, others just want to have some peace and quiet and not be shouted at by a crazy person (whether on the street or leading their fitness workout), some just want to get in touch with their true selves without city stimulation.
I’ll have you know, my computer just tried to autocorrect meditation to medication and that pretty much sums up how I feel about meditation now.
I was at MNDFL today because I was going through a part of my training for lululemon, we talked for a bit, took the meditation class and then did more training. The fact that part of my training as an Educator is meditation is just one of the many reasons why I am SO STOKED to be working for lululemon!
Oh don't worry, there will be so much more writing on my new job. I'll talk all about the beautiful store I work in, the AMAZING, fun, kind, interesting, unique coworkers I have and how much fun our job is.
I'll try to only make you slightly jealous.
The class I had at MNDFL was one of my first meditation classes I had done. Just recently, I’ve been getting the urge to meditate and I honestly had no idea why. I took a class when I was in Alaska at Anchorage Yoga and really loved it, but wasn’t quite sure what pulled me to attend.
The class was a Mantra class taught by this gorgeous woman named Valerie, she was kinda exactly how I imagined a meditation instructor to look like. We got into a meditative state and then started chanting “Sat Nam” 6xs and then followed by one “Wahe Guru”.
So I’ll put all of that in plain terms for the un-blissed out reader.
The teacher was teaching a Kundalini mantra and chanting class.
Man means ‘mind’, tra means wave or projection, basically clearing away the subconscious garbage and focusing on the elevated consciousness we wish to embody. There are 84 meridian points on the upper palate that are stimulated during the chanting which sends signals to the brain and nervous system and affects our chemistry and brain.
That’s pretty cool right? There’s actually a bit of science to it, not woo woo hippie dippy shit.
SAT NAM (rhymes with hut mom) means Truth is my Identity, it helps cut through mental clutter and bring you back to your truth, possibly bringing you to your higher purpose.
WAHE GURU “Wha-hay guroo” refers to an infinite experience, whether it be with God, the Universe, or another higher power, that helps us bring us out of the darkness and into understanding and enlightenment or elevating our consciousness.
We chanted this to music for about 7 minutes EXPERIENCED and the feeling was incredible.
So now I meditate.
I also wear a shirt that says “Highly Meditated”, some days that’s very true, other days you better back OUTTA MY WAY YA DAMN TOURIST.
Have you noticed yet that I have a thing with tourists? I can almost guarantee that will be a post some day...
And now, I must wrap up the story of my day, even though it was probably only like 10am in the story.
You're getting bored, my arms hurt from my workout yesterday and typing is hard, I need to meal prep because I am broke AF....
I am committing now to you, my dear beloved, smart, intelligent, stunning reader, that I will be better at writing and posting. I am working towards a balance in my life and now that I don't sleep, I should be able to publish more content.
Whether or not that content will be good....
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So much love to each and every one of you