Me Versus The Merlot

sawyerwine

The above is a photo of the 2002 Merlot I bought while drunkenly wine tasting with my BFF in Napa two years ago. It was a lot of money for me at the time, a little over $60, but I decided to splurge because A) again, drunk, and B) I wanted to use it as creative incentive. (In other words, once I accomplished something REALLY amazing, I’d drink it.)

In 2013, I got a book deal. It was exciting and arguably a time when I could’ve opened the Merlot, but I didn’t. I decided to drink it when the book sold to a publisher, because getting a deal wasn’t QUITE amazing enough. But then months went by, and my book deal was dropped. (It happens, but it also broke my heart in a lot of ways.)

It took me about a month to get past the dropped book deal and find a new project to focus on. That project was and still is a musical I’m currently working on with two wonderful friends of mine. It’s been such a creative and interesting process for me, and I’m so excited to keep seeing it through.

But musicals take time, especially since our producer and musician are both on the east coast. And as the months have ticked by and the musical is still being workshopped and re-written, this Merlot has sat, like some plum-faced ogre on our bar cart brought into this world to mock me. Fucking smug wine.

As some of you may have noticed, I stopped blogging on this page altogether in May. Because the wine was staring at me, and because I hadn’t made ENOUGH progress, I decided to take a blogging break and focus on the musical. But I missed blogging. I really missed having that other creative outlet where I could write about my life and share what’s going on.

And so, the Merlot began to feel less and less celebratory to me, and more like that toxic friend who makes you feel bad about ordering fries. It was a reminder that I’d failed; that I’d lost my book deal. It reminded me that I hadn’t hit a milestone that was important enough. It made me feel like shit, essentially.

I feel like a fucking asshole to even say that a WINE BOTTLE, an inanimate object, has been making me feel bad — I do realize that I’m projecting a lot of things into this poor Merlot. But to be honest, it just does. I’ve had this bottle for two years now, and I’m a rather impatient person. Shouldn’t I have accomplished something by now? Shouldn’t I have published something that is just mine? That’s what the Merlot makes me ask myself every time I see it.

Yes, a book deal fell through, but that doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world. I’m going to keep reminding myself of these things:

  • I’ve written a full draft of a musical, and we’re about 70% of the way to having a finished product with that.
  • I’ve joined a writer’s group and we meet every other week to discuss each other’s work. I’ve workshopped short stories there and found a group of women who support each other and are so insanely talented.
  • I started this blog, and I don’t want to feel bad about taking time to write on it.
  • I’m working at a job I love and get to go to everyday. And this past week, I got a promotion from Senior Editor to Deputy Editorial Director. (My Mom asked me, “Who’s the Sheriff?” when I told her.)

I decided this week that I’m no longer going to let this fucking bottle of wine make me feel bad about myself. Yes, it’s good to have goals, and I will keep those, but I won’t allow this wine to be a reminder of my failures. I will no longer be paralyzed by the memory of the book deal, and I won’t continue to dwell on it. I’m ready to move on.

So tonight, E is cooking steak. And we’re going to open that fucking bottle of 2002 Merlot that I have been saving to celebrate with, and I’m going to celebrate my promotion, and I’m not going to let anyone (or anything, rather) make me feel like I haven’t accomplished anything.

I’ve let go of toxic friends in the past when I realized they were dragging me down and making me feel useless, and I’m happy to say that I will be drinking this Merlot until it is gone and throwing out the bottle in the morning so I never have to feel like a failure again.

If any of you have something (or someone) in your life that’s preventing you from moving forward, I hope you know that I can now provide words of encouragement to get rid of it sooner rather than later! I just can’t believe I’ve kept this bottle for so long, and I wish I’d drank it down sooner. Here’s to feeling happy again, and to more blogging. xo

5 Things That Have Made My Life So Much Happier (And Pampered)

The-Raven-Spa

Few things in life make me happier than feeling pampered. This year has definitely been one where I’ve come to a point in my life and career where I can afford to spoil myself a bit more. (#blessed) And since the start of 2014, I’ve been making an effort to do just that. I’m going to share some of the things I’ve been doing that I absolutely love:

  • My new facialist, Kristen, at Lula Mini Spa in Atwater village has totally changed my skin for the better.

I’ve always had problematic skin, (my face is dry, but my eyes are oily, and I break out constantly) and because of that, I’ve been getting facials on and off since I was 16. The problem has been that since I’ve moved a lot in the past (from Florida to Boston to New York to Los Angeles), it’s not always easy to keep up with a consistent routine at the same place. And now that I’m living in Los Feliz, I wanted to find someone close by.

Kristen is like some kind of skin angel sent down from heaven to make me feel better about my life choices. The location itself is kind of funky and small. It’s just one long room, no reception area, and you get seen right away. But because of that, your skin gets so much personal attention. Kristen explains every product she’s using and why it will help, and while a mask sets, she massages your arms and feet as an added bonus. I have been getting a microderm facial, and Kristen changes up the products and routine each time depending on how my skin is behaving. It’s just amazing.

I got the Fizzini as a Christmas gift, and I now almost exclusively drink seltzer water. It’s so refreshing, especially now that it’s in the 80s in Los Angeles. Plus the whole thing is super compact and takes up minimal counter space.

My friend Lizzy has been singing this place’s praises for the past year, but it wasn’t until I moved close to a location in Eagle Rock that I’ve actually gone to it. The prepackaged meals for 1-2 people are so yummy, and FRESH, as the store’s name implies. It’s been saving me so much time to just heat one up. My favorite so far was a spinach risotto meal. So fresh, so easy. (OK, I’ll stop.)

  • The unbelievably relaxing massages at The Raven Spa in Silverlake.

Again, been getting facials since high school, which means I’m a bit of a spa junkie. So I was ecstatic when I found a massage place that blew me away. This is another cozy retreat, with lots of Trader Joe’s snacks to nibble on while you wait, but once you’re in the room you never want to leave. I think it’s entirely based on the masseuses they have, all of which are amazing. But my favorite is an older Asian woman who looks, from first glance, like a typical grandmother, but whose hands suggest that she might be a goddess.

  • Bar Method in Silverlake kicks my butt in the best way possible.

Kristina is the best instructor I’ve had so far. She basically does this thing where she tricks you into doing a workout that’s extremely challenging and will make you want to die a little, but does it in a way where you want to do it FOR HER. Like, I want to work harder because she told me I should. I don’t know how, and I don’t know why, but thank you Kristina, for making my booty better.

Important Lessons I’ve Learned From My Relationship

EandEBirthdayYesterday, we celebrated my boyfriend E’s birthday. It was a small party at our place, and he wanted to turn 31 with pizza and cake. (Why this food combo isn’t utilized more often is beyond me.)

I’ve been dating E for a year and a half now, and I can honestly say that it’s unlike any relationship I’ve ever been in. It’s not just that I think the world of him, but I really feel like I’ve learned a lot about myself, and what it means to be in a healthy relationship because of him.

Here are a few of the things I’ve gleaned from dating E: Continue reading