My Great Perhaps

Sometimes I feel that I am ambling my way through life, not sure of which direction I really want to go in, and despite not always sure of where I’m off to next, my feet continue to carry me forward. Though, forward sometimes follows a zigzag pattern. In my mind, there is no backwards, and I think, after several years of consistently working hard, that I need to take a step back. This doesn’t mean slacking off in the work that I already do, but allowing myself more time to enjoy and experiencelife outside of work.

There have been clues that I’ve needed to do this for awhile. These little flags consisting of burnouts and breakdowns were becoming all too normal. It became clear that I had been checking off ‘not attending’ or ‘unable to make it’ to a lot of events held by friends and family. And what was my reason?

Work.

Work. Work. Work.

And I wouldn’t have seen it that way until it was pointed out to me. You never come to these things, you’re always working. In my head, I was doing the noble thing. I was pursuing my career, my next big adventure, and wondering, why can’t they just be supportive? I’ll be at their next birthday when this project is done. But the projects are never done, and I continue to dip my hands in more and more because I like the intoxication of being busy, of letting work consume me. And now it’s consumed me so much, I look back on the past few years and pose the question; was I working to live or living to work?

Birthdays, like New Years, are points of reflection. And as my next birhday looms on the horizon, I realized, I need to stop missing out on these things. These events are important to me. They connect me with my family, my friends. I think we all have times where we have to reconsider our priorities and obligations.

The decisions I’m mulling over for my next steps do scare me. They are some of the biggest leaps I will ever be taking. But I’m comforted in the fact that I’ve been ‘fearless’ before. I’ve skydived. I’ve booked a spontaenous two-month trip to Italy with an agenda that was scrapped once I got there. But the skydiving was when I was 20 years old. The trip to Italy was in 2014. Now I’m  just a few years away from 30, and I wonder why I have tossed my bucket list aside. Rabelais’ last words were “I go to seek a great perhaps.” And I fully acknowledge that I don’t know what lies in store for me, but I hope the ride will be worth it.

I say I love travel but haven’t done much outside of weekend getaways or destination parties. Or even the occasional work trip. But in my inbox sits a bevy of travel emails, beckoning me to traverse the trails and wander the primordial lands of some far off place. And I sigh looking at these while on my breaks, checking my calender and seeing I’m already booked up or can’t take the time off because it will coincidence with something else. My busy schedule has allowed me to realize that my little day and weekend trips are travel. I live in one of the most interesting regions in the world. Take for instance, my last post, in which I legitametly stopped to smell the flowers  – the lavender flowers. I had no idea that there was a lavender field just a short drive away. But it’s opened my eyes to the possibility that there is so much more just within reach.

This summer I’ve taken a magnifying glass to my behavior and have been reassesing what I want and scarily enough, it may not be the same thing I wanted just a few short years ago. That thought alone absolutely terrifies me. I’ve worked so hard and now I may want something else. My mind spins gut-wrenching thoughts about starting from scratch again. Whatever my next move is, I’ll be glad to have just moved.

 

A Flirtation Through Lavender

 

Over the past year I have been grappling with the idea of identity.

Not in the same way the great philosophers of yore have pondered their own existence. Examining my identity is more on a personal level than where I stand in the universe. I’ve been thinking a lot about how to be my most authentic self within the realm of societal land circumstantial limitations. Admittedly, a big part of this is due to the fact that everyone in my life seems to be caught up in their own doings and it had me thinking how much of my own self I view through the lens of others. Who are you when no one else is around?

Yesterday, I took the nearly two-hour drive out East to Lavender by the Bay, a sprawling 17-acre farm that grows both French and English lavender. Accordingly to recent social media posts y the farm, it was the last weekend for the French lavender to be in bloom and I knew it was something I wanted to behold. But when I asked around, everyone already had plans or had something come up last minute. I was dejected because these kinds of sweet experiences in life that celebrate bounty and growth should be shared. And I had no one to share it with.

But I still went.

It was hard taking the drive out there, with my windows rolled down and my playlist bumping out a mishmash of indie and pop music. I was alone but trying to starve the loneliness. Once I got to the farm the persistent feeling of loneliness didn’t quit. Instead, it deepened. To be in such a beautiful place and feel so empty was disheartening. I felt I couldn’t truly be in the moment. But, nevertheless, I headed forwarded, loosing my self in thought and contemplation. I snapped a few pictures here and there and wondered if posting these on social media and receiving comments or likes would suffice. Photos are a wonderful way to share experiences, moments, even if through the lens they were fleeting. I think utilizing social media in this way can be a positive experience. I didn’t spend the whole time I was there scrolling endlessly on my Instagram or liking statuses. I didn’t even spend the entire time taking pictures or videos on my own equipment. There were moments when I enjoyed the solitude, wherein I was tapped in to the moment and every path I’ve taken in life felt like a direct route to getting here.

I’ve been fortunate enough in my life to cross paths with many beautiful vistas. The lavender fields on Long Island have been added to that roster. They were enchanting, and every time I encounter the charming fragrance I’ll have another happy memory to think about.

My identity was challenged yesterday because I feared if I was alone that I wouldn’t matter. This wasn’t the case as it has never been. I’m still an adult trying to navigate through life and it’s okay to be alone but not lonely.

The redesign is coming

Quick website update, I’ve been working hard behind the scenes redesigning my site so it may look a bit odd at the moment. There’s a lot of components behind it! Thanks for stopping by and please reach out to me if you have any questions. I look forward to the relaunch in a few weeks!

 

Best

Laura–

After the trauma

On Saturday night I was on a train home that derailed. Preliminary investigations by the NTSB suggest a service train violated our trains space as they were both traveling eastbound on both of the tracks. There had been service work on the Long Island Railroad trains all weekend.

It is so strange to go through this experience. In one instance, I am so connected to and on another I am brimming with curiosity. My day had been so wonderful up until that point and I’m finding it difficult to put the feeling out of my mind. A quote I read about another tragedy this weekend, the Palms Springs shooting of two police officers during a domestic violence call, replays in my mind. I feel awake in a nightmare.

The worst part on a personal level about today, about the day after, is I can’t stop feeling like I am shaking. My body is tense and if I close my eyes for too long or don’t have my mind occupied on something else, I get the sensation of being thrashed around. When our train and the other vehicle hit each other prompting the train to derail, that is the moment I keep reliving in my head. It’s not just picturing it over again, it’s the sensation of how my body was contorted. There was no sense of balance or control, it was chaos. In my head, the loud bang resounds and I cringe.

On another level, I have been viewing this day with profound humility. There were about 600 passengers on the train, 33 were injured and 4 seriously. I am so thankful to walk away from this event unscathed.

As a try to categorize my thoughts and reflect, I’m reminded about my fortune. It’s been a crazy 24 hours. At the moment, my life exists in a fishbowl and I’m not sure if I’m look in or looking out.

For more information on the LIRR derailment, read up on the following news links:

Time: http://time.com/4524216/long-island-train-derailment-what-to-know 

ABC News: http://abcnews.go.com/US/commuter-train-derails-east-nyc-injuring-11/story?id=42675137

train

October and the Wonders of Fall

This year has been marked by several outstanding events. From weddings to engagements, to conventions, Broadway shows and milestones. On a personal level, it is a year to remember. Entering October, with three months still in the balance, it’s a good time to go through a little reflection. Not to mention, I’m also gearing up for NaNoWriMo, which I’ve done the past three years (and won).

Fall is my favorite season. It really boils down to the coziness of the entire time. Also, the best things happen in fall. New York Comic Con, Halloween, Thanksgiving… basically nerdy stuff and food. I will be at NYCC this year as an attendee, which is nice considering last year I worked at the event. Looking toward next year, I hope to return as a guest. It will be another great year at the event as I am already booked to meet the great Stan Lee.

On Sept. 21, I had the opportunity to see Hamilton on Broadway. The musical created by the genius Lin-Manuel Miranda went above expectations for me. It was humorous and honest, self-depreciating and intelligent. I have been listening to the soundtrack on a daily basis since November of last year and it has truly been gift to me throughout the entire year. I mention it because I want to get to my point.

My life is filled with so much art. And fall is always that season where art is incessantly there. I curl up with books more, watch more movies and television shows. Even video games fit into this section. I am my best self when I am surrounded by it, and people who feel as strongly and passionate about art.

With a chill in the air and leaves returning to warming hues of autumn, I am most excited for all the art that I will get to experience.

My sister’s engagement video

Steph & G's Engagement Reaction Video Compilation

This video is about SSteph Rdh Cerrone & Giancarlo DiMonte's engagement. Check out the reactions of some of my family hearing about the big news. It's best if you watch in HD 😀

Posted by Laura Cerrone on Sunday, January 31, 2016

I put together this little video of my sister’s engagement story. The link sends you to my public Facebook page. You’re more than welcome to follow that page. That’s been getting a facelift, too.

It seems I fell asleep for a bit.

Yes, look at this large gap in activity.

I let life get in the way, and now I’m busier now than ever. Which isn’t a total bad thing, but, I wish I had more hours in the day.

A lot has happened since November

  • I won NaNoWriMo, I never posted a celebratory message, but I did. It was insanely difficult this year, given my work schedule. Yet, it was so relieving to know that I can set my mind to an intense goal and accomplish it.
  • December was quieter, post-NaNo is pretty much catch-up-on-sleep-month. Christmas was 70 degrees here in New York and we barbecued. My dad also stood outside our house in shorts, a Hawaiian shirt and an alcoholic beverage in a pineapple.
  • January was a mic of work and more work. We’re gunning down to the last few months before my brothers wedding, so it’s been crazier. Even crazier, my sister got engaged. So, now preparing for two weddings. If you would like to go to a zoo, just come over.

So that leaves us in February, which is really just filled with wedding planning and personal training. Winters are usually quite quiet for me, but it’s been the opposite. I wouldn’t say that I fell asleep, but rather just got so caught up in life ~outside~ the internet that I took a little break.

But I’m back.

Hello.

P.S. – I desperately want to see Hamilton the Musical. Help?!

 

 

NaNoWriMo 2015 Edition

In the past, I had spent the beginning weeks of fall blogging about my ventures into NaNoWriMo. If you asked me a week ago if I was doing NaNoWriMo (the National Novel Writing Month), I would have shrugged and leaned on a ‘no’ answer.

But here I am, November 1st, in a local cafe with other local writers churning out words like many people woke up today spewing post-Halloween party vomit. This is my third year undertaking NaNo, and will most certainly be the most difficult.

My first year, I had carefully mapped out and concocted a well thought out story weeks, and months in advance. Last year, I had the idea, but didn’t construct it before, and still won.

This year, having no story idea and no prior preparation, will be tough as hell. I am doing it though. The past two years I had primarily been doing freelance work, but now I am full-time working, so I feel that pressure. I guess I will be penning things on my break time to make up. Weekends will also be used as a tour de force. I asked a bunch of friends to send me writing prompts, so I’m just working on writing a bunch of short novellas and piecing it together as one entity. They aren’t continuous, but that simplifies the process.

So, as I’ve wasted a good five minutes getting this blog post together, I won’t relent another moment to distraction.

Back to writing!

And Happy NaNoWriMo!

Recipe Time!

I have never posted a recipe on my blog but at the request of my Mom, so she could easily access it and share it around, I’m sharing one of my favorite recipes. It’s also a recipe I learned two years ago when I was eating healthy. I’m working on getting back on track. This recipe is so, so good. I can’t remember where I had originally found it (it may have been a Jillian Michaels recipe honestly).  It’s super easy and quick.

Honey-Lemon Marinated Chicken

Ingredients:
¼ cup organic raw honey
¼ cup lemon juice
2 teaspoons vegetable oil (can be substituted by canola)
1 teaspooon crushed rosemary (I picked mine fresh from the garden and minced it up)
1 teaspoon lemon peel, grated
½ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
4 organic chicken breasts

Preparation:

Combine all ingredients (except chicken) and mix well.  Marinate the chicken in honey-lemon mixture for 1 hour in a shallow baking dish.  Broil chicken for 5 minutes (I put the broiler on 350) brush with pan droppings, flip chicken, and broil for 5 more minutes. Check if cooked, if not, another five minutes should do. If desired, bring marinade to a boil; simmer 2 minutes.  Strain hot marinade over chicken.

Servings: 4
189 Calories
5g Fat (1g saturated fat)
60 mg cholesterol
388 mg sodium
18 g carbs
0g fiber
23 g protein

marinade

honey lemon

Summer Satisfaction

The past week has been a whirlwind for me.  We were invited to a friends of a friends summer lake house for the weekend. I had two jam-packed days of sun, jet-skiing, boating, tubing, water slides, trampolines, and lots of BBQ. On the second day we spent a good chunk of time just sitting on the dock or on the water mat, our feet dangling off the sides into the water. We barely spoke for long periods of time. We stood in awe of a beautiful hawk circling mere feet by the tree canopies. It was a weekend where I often left my phone in my bag, and the times I did take it out I forgot I had it on me. Luckily my waterproof pouch worked. My utmost gratitude to the family that invited us to enjoy a beautiful weekend on Connecticut’s Candlewood Lake. tubing on candlewood lake

 

We arrived back home at midnight, and on Monday morning we were up bright and early to visit my grandma and enjoy her beach. My mom met up with a bunch of her friends. I was feeling fatigued so I mostly sat under the umbrella and napped, too sore and sunburnt from all the activity I had enjoyed over the weekend.

My week of fun didn’t stop there. Last night my cousin called me up and asked what I was doing in the evening. Nothing was my answer. She just so happened to have two extra tickets to the Yankees vs. Minnesota Twins game for her friends birthday. My sister and I met up with cousin, trekked up all the way to the Bronx (I was there on Monday for my grandma’s house), and we ended up having an amazing evening. Our tickets were for the Champions section, we were six rows from first base. We pigged out on food and drinks. A-Rod hit an amazing Grand Slam to pull the Yankees into the lead after being down a few runs. The ball boy gave the birthday girl’s daughter a foul ball. We danced the 7th inning stretch YMCA on the jumbotron. After the game ended our connections took us on the field. We delighted ourselves with a ton of pictures and videos. I cartwheeled on the Yankees grass, tossed around the foul ball, and stood among the spotlights to feel just a touch of greatness.

It has been an amazing week and just goes to show how wonderful summer can be. If every summer could have a week just as perfect as this past one was, I would have it made.

My mind feels at ease, my body is recharged, and with a new flurry of energy I’m about to annihilate all the writing projects I currently have going on.