Errare humanum est. To err is human, isn’t it?

I make a lot of mistakes.  I’ll admit it.  When I write, I can sometimes get carried away and forget to add a period here or a coma there.  I may type at such a furious speed-the thoughts coming into my head faster than my fingers can record them- that I’ve been known to misspell a word or two.  Really. I am being serious.

When I go shopping for clothes, I tend to forget that I’d be a size 8 instead of the size 4 I want to be; so I buy clothes that don’t quite fit the right way.  I keep them in my closet anyway in the secret hope that I will wear them soon enough, once I get started with this fabulous exercise plan I have been promising to go on for months.  Always with the promise that tomorrow I will start, for real this time.  Really.  I’m being serious.

When I go to the grocery store, I am often guilty of shopping by sight-which means that everything looks so inviting that it ends up in my shopping cart practically automatically and not necessarily… invited. Being surrounded by such delicious food displays, I am struck with the incredibly unrealistic inspiration that I can transform myself into Julia Childs overnight, when I don’t even know how to boil water.  So what winds up happening is that I have a kitchen cabinet fully stocked with exotic foods that I will never eat. I have faith though.  I will eventually get around to masterfully simmering these yummy chicken thighs in pumpkin seed sauce without burning the house down.  Really.  I’m being serious.

The point is-mistakes do happen and I’m guilty of making them-lots of them.  But, come to think of it,  mistakes are good things.  Besides the fact that I can learn from them (I can almost see my own kids rolling their eyes as I write these words), I think we can also enjoy our mistakes.

For example, the other day I had some friends over and, well, the wine was flowing . Perhaps I may have indulged myself to a little bit more than I should have.  Yes, it was a mistake, one I paid for dearly the next morning; but did I enjoy it?  Absolutely! Why?  Because I had a great time with my friends and I laughed like I haven’t laughed in quite a long time. I needed that.

So, yes I may get carried away when I dance at a wedding or raise my voice a bit too much when I am really excited about something but I’m not afraid to put myself out there.  You should never be afraid to make mistakes.  It makes life exciting and interesting.  Besides, if all else fails, one can always use spell check and order Chinese take-out to fall back on.

What do they say again-to err is human?   I’ve got that one covered.

Erin

Yes Virginia, There Is Such A Thing As Fate

Have you ever had the distinct feeling that some things in your life happen for a reason?  That the stars align and, through purposeful destiny, a series of accidents snowball into a life-changing event?  You can’t explain it.  You don’t even know how it happened and if you tried to will it to happen again, it wouldn’t be the same.

The only way to understand it is to simply call it “fate”.  Now I know how that the term gets thrown around a lot lately; calling fate everything from finding a twenty dollar bill in your pocket after forgetting your purse, through having a taxi stop right in front of you when you are about to be late for work, to your favorite sports team winning a monumental championship. But when it comes to love, I am a strong believer that fate does exist.  Call me a hopeless romantic, but I believe it as strongly as I breathe!  It is that unexplainable feeling you get when you lock eyes with someone and the strange sensation of butterflies in your stomach when you speak to him for the first time.  It may be that you meet in an unlikely place like the grocery store or the laundromat, when you are least expecting it and when you’re dressed in your sweats, hair in a ponytail with no makeup on. It may be at a work function, the one you seriously contemplated blowing off to spend an evening snuggled under a blanket on your living room sofa, watching an old classic movie.  Then, because of a change of heart or guilt bestowed upon you by your co-worker, you throw something on,  drag yourself out and by the end of the evening, you are so glad you did because it is there and then that you met the most wonderful person, the one who walks you home and calls you the next day just to talk; perhaps the beginning of something lasting. Fate.

Fate is a romantic notion and some people dismiss it as something as mythical as a unicorn.  But I happen to find unicorns beautiful and I believe in them, just like I still believe in dreams come true and gold waiting at the end of a rainbow; anything for that matter that makes me happy and hopeful.   I’ve learned that not everything in my life is under my own control.  I am not always the driver of my own destiny.  Sometimes, you need to let go of the reins of your life and let yourself travel the unknown but hopeful journey that fate puts you on.  Sometimes, you have to believe in unicorns and pots of gold at the end of the rainbow.  Who knows-maybe you’ll find that when you reach out for them, the love of your life might just very well be waiting there for you.

Erin

Searching For Better

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What did Thomas Edison say way back when? There is always a better way.  I believe in that statement.  In fact, I live by that statement.  There is always room for improvement.  No one is perfect, least of all me (just don’t tell my husband that).  If that were the case, life would be really boring.

I try to improve everyday and that means, always thriving to find better.   Whether it’s trying to find a better way to lose weight without exercising and dieting (I’m still not giving up on that one) or a better way to blow out my hair exactly like they do it in the salon (I have yet to crack their secret), I’m always searching.  Searching for a better reality show on TV (I’ve given up on anything Housewives or Jersey), the perfect flat board stomach (a combo of Hailey Berry, Jennifer Aniston and Jillian Michaels) or a better tasting chocolate (I’ll keep trying until the day I die).

The point is I never stop looking.

As an author, I’m constantly in that ‘striving for more’ mode.  I keep writing and writing until the ideas stop flowing (or the voices in my head stop whispering) and then I rewrite and rewrite some more until every T is crossed and every I is dotted (or until my hand falls off).

But unlike with my personal addiction with Coach bags, I’m never 100% satisfied with my own work and I am always looking to find “perfect”.  I know it doesn’t exist (with men or plastic surgery) but I’d like to get as close to perfect as humanly possible.  Maybe rub shoulders with it or share a cocktail.  I am, after all, a sucker for cosmos or any drink with a tiny umbrella in it.

And when it comes to finding better, that goes for my book covers too.  Just a few months ago, I rolled out my first novel, “And The Winner Is” with a cover I really liked.  But as the months went by, I decided it was time to look for better.  Sort of like when you’ve been in a relationship with someone you realize isn’t working out.  Nice guy, just not the right one for you.  This is how I felt about my cover.

I wanted a more chick lit feel to it-something to really convey what the story is about.   So I knew I had to break up with my old cover and find myself something new.  I knew it was going to be hard and feelings were going to get hurt but I did it.  And after taking the plunge and putting myself out there, I finally found ‘the one’.  My illustrator gave me a book cover I absolutely fell in love with.  I knew it the moment I locked eyes on it.  We’ve been happily together ever since.

Now I can’t promise that I’ll stop searching for better.  I realize that giving up is not in my DNA.  But I don’t see anything wrong with that.  After all, better is a good thing. Wouldn’t you agree?

Erin

I Heart Postcards

 

Today I am enjoying a beautiful fall day in NYC.  Walking around my neighborhood, I see the leaves turning colors and I can smell the crispness in the air. I wish I could take a picture of all this and make my own postcard.  I love postcards.   Who doesn’t?  I love the fact that the picture in the front of it conveys just the right mix of beauty and sentiment, peppered with the memories being created by the person who sent it.   It makes me want to step into the postcard and stand right in the middle of the picture just like a cartoon character would.  If only life were as simple as an early morning cartoon show!

Although quite often the imagery on a postcard takes my breath away, I think I love the back of it even more!  I know what you’re thinking.  It’s a blank space.  What can you possibly love about that?  It’s not so much the blank space that does it for me but rather the message that is scribbled on it.  It’s like a blank canvass where so much can be said from the person doing the traveling with as little as a few choice words, a simple sentiment such as “thinking of you” or “having the time of my life.”   Call me old fashioned but in this age of technology, emails, tweets and texts, I love the look of a handwritten note and can almost imagine the traveler sitting in her hotel room or at some café outdoor terrace, pen in hand and heavy with thought as she writes out the words I will read a few days later. It takes time to find the right postcard. It takes time to write it.  It takes time to send it.  But it lets me know that someone is thinking of me, wanting me to share in the experiences.

So as I walk along the uneven concrete sidewalks of my own town and, as I look up to the blue skies and the trees in all of their green, red and orange glory, I take a mental picture in my mind and flip it over.  In the back, I write, “Wish you were here.”

Enjoy your weekend.

Erin

Love Letter to New York

I was born and raised in the city known as the Big Apple.  Skyscrapers and hot dog stands on every street corner have been part of my landscape since I first learned how to walk.  I have perfected my “don’t mess with me, I’m on my way to somewhere important” look as I walk the sidewalks of Manhattan during rush hour.  I have also perfected my “don’t mess with me, I can be just as crazy as you” look as I ride the subway.  I root for the New York Yankees, live for designer sample sales, wait on long lines for a cup of coffee at Starbucks, complain about everything, can maneuver a busy street filled with people with the finesse of a prima ballerina and flag a cab down with just a wave of a hand.  I talk too fast and use lots of hand gestures.  I dress in various shades of black. I am what you call a New Yorker.

Part of being a New Yorker sometimes means that you take for granted how lucky you are to be part of this wonderful, crazy and loud city.  I realized this the other day as I was making my way down 34th Street to catch my train home.  I was walking past the Empire State Building and bumped into a group of tourists.  Normally, I would just keep going, sighing with frustration at being delayed for just a second.  But this time, I actually looked at them and followed their awestruck gaze up.  I saw what they saw and I found myself glued in place and smiling.  I mean, who wouldn’t be amazed?  Here I was standing in front of one of the most famous buildings in the world-the building which serves as the backdrop to many famous movies, from an Affair to Remember to one of my favorites-Sleepless in Seattle.  The place couples go to fall in love, get engaged or share a kiss.

Then it hit me like a ton of bricks or a dozen counterfeit bags being peddled on Eighth Avenue by men pushing nondescript shopping carts-I live in one of the greatest cities in the world.  Don’t get me wrong-every city is unique and has its fabulous qualities.  I’ve been to London, Paris and Rome, among others.  I’ve seen the most amazing things there and met some of the most wonderful people too.  But there’s just something about New York.  I’m drawn to it like a moth to a fire- drawn to its smells and its soul.  It’s ingrained into my memory like my family and friends are.  It’s where I go to eat with a choice of millions of restaurants from Ethiopian to Italian.  It’s where I can get a manicure and pedicure at any time of the day at dirt-cheap prices.  It’s where I can stroll through Central Park one minute and watch a hockey game while sipping on cold beer the next.  It sparkles with pretty lights during the holidays and explodes with energy during the hot summer evenings.  New York is the place where dreams go to live and it’s the place I call home.

And I realize that no matter where life takes me, it will always be there for me.  It’s true what they say-you can take the girl out of New York but you can’t take the New York out of the girl.

Erin