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This article.  If you have two X chromosomes, take the time to read it.  It's important.

Just in case: The Confidence Gap via the Atlantic Magazine

One of my smartest and prettiest girlfriends sent it to me this morning, and we had a frank discussion about the way it made us feel.  Reading it brought up a variety of emotions: feeling vindicated, disappointed, hopeful, bleak, and confused, yet in the company of many amazing women trying to manage the same thoughts and feelings I am. 

I really identify with almost all of the issues this article talks about-- feeling "lucky" and somewhat guilty instead of soaking in the benefits of my hard work; struggling with self-worth, fighting to master the "meek" aspects of my body language to "take up more space" and seem more confident when I'm really shaking in my boots on the inside. I fight to be seen as more intimidating and less intimidating at the same time.  I constantly wonder if I sound "bitchy" when telling people what to do or when asking serious questions.  And I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that I'm a girl.

I think it is important to recognize that there are inherent differences between the construction of men and women's brains.  This does, in fact, have an impact on the way we think and handle situations.  It doesn't mean that one is better than the other; it just means that given a task, men and women are likely to figure out different ways of approaching it.  This isn't a bad thing!


What IS a bad thing is women letting our worries and insecurities get in the way.  Letting them shake us.  And what is even worse? When we, as women, constantly tear other strong women down because they are confident, career driven, decisive, or assertive.  When women display these traits, we label them as bitches.  They eat alone or in their offices.  When they can't find a compatible mate, other women say, "tsk tsk, maybe she shouldn't have been such a bitch around the office." Seeing the fate of these other women makes us fear our own shame. We don't want to be "that woman."  "That woman" is alone, she is an island.  Yeah, maybe she gets the corner office and the title, but no one else likes her.

Baby Steps to Confidence


There are two ways we need to work on our confidence issues as a gender.  First, we need to STOP labeling other women because of their career choices.  Recognize that an assertive woman is a confident woman.  And recognize that she is, in the long run, probably helping your paycheck reach the same level of a man's. 

Second, we need to boost our own confidence.  Do things that make us believe in ourselves.  Stop judging and overanalyzing, and start doing.  The article says that
"The natural result of low confidence is inaction.  When women hesitate because we aren't sure, we hold ourselves back." 

THIS IS SO TRUE! 

Think about a guy your age in your office.  I bet he takes risks that you don't-- walking into superior's offices to pitch wild ideas, asking for "more" of something, be it a title, office, salary, or vacation days, or even approaching partners to ask for a cup of coffee and a chat.  I myself would be MORTIFIED to ask an executive for coffee or a meeting, but I know lots of guys who would do it.  What am I scared of?  The rejection.  Even if it was just me and the executive, I would be scared they would continuously judge me for the rest of my days.  But WHY should I care?!  The are one person-- and do you honestly think they would say no?

I'm definitely a more confident person than I was years ago.  I used to really struggle with being assertive.  I still struggle.  That is something that law school pushed me towards: feeling much more confident and self assured.  It's the one thing I will never regret.  But even still, I struggle some days.  On those days, I've adapted a "fake-it-til-you-make-it" mentality-- if you ACT like you know what you're doing, people will believe you.  I've actually picked this up from a lot of my guy friends.  They just DO it, and don't freak themselves out by overanalyzing. 

Photo of Miss Maya Van Wagenen,
aka the girl who grew her own confidence
and now has a book and movie deal.
But sometimes it is hard to even get to a point where you can "fake it."  Sometimes, you feel so self conscious that you can't breathe.  And I get that, too. I recently saw a segment on the Today Show where a shy middle school girl followed every line from a 50's book on popularity.  I'm talking EVERYTHING.  She stuck out like a sore thumb because of her dress, her gloves, her hair-- but she became so self confident in the process.  And she said something that stuck with me.  She noted that in the beginning, she was scared.  So she started incorporating one tiny thing into her life every day: first her socks, then her girdle, (!!!) then her shoes, etc etc.  And you know what?  Conquering each of those seemingly insignificant milestones made her more and more self assured. Every hurdle she mastered trained her mind to jump over bigger and bigger challenges.  And now? The girl is on the Today Show and has a book deal AND a movie deal. GET. IT. GIRL.

This is the way I've built confidence in my own life: tackling seemingly stupid small things that frighten me. For example, I am a phone-o-phobic.  I hate them.  I hate calling in orders, I hate answering them, I even hate calling friends. I would literally let the phone go to voicemail so I could check it instead of answering. Phones make me nervous because I don't have time to think! I much prefer texting and emailing. However, being a professional means-- gasp-- using a phone.  Being an assistant means using the phone a LOT, and having 12 DIFFERENT LINES at your disposal. 

So what did I do to cure myself?

I am NOT Carly Rae Jepson; please do NOT
call me maybe! Just text me!
I started small.  One night, I called in an order instead of using Seamless.  I called another secretary to make a meeting instead of emailing her.  I called tech support instead of trying to have them remotely connect to my desktop.  And you know what?  I feel a lot more confident about my ability to use the phone.  I've made and received calls from superiors and even executives.  And I haven't been humiliated ONCE.  Sure, I screwed up a conference call one time-- but after a few tries, I figured it out and moved on.  No one died. 

I've also used this method on the Subway.  I pick a different route every few days and go to a new
part of town.  Not only do I get to "master" a new skill, but I get to see all the neighborhoods of New York in the process.  It feels pretty rockin to know where you're going when no one else does.



Preach.
I don't know if this will work for you, but it has worked for me so far. So if you're struggling, give it a try.

Another thing:  moving to another city is a huge confidence booster; I've been able to do it a few times.  Not everyone can just uproot themselves and move across the country/ up the coast/ down south/ etc.  But if you get the chance, sometimes it works wonders to move to a new place where all you have is yourself.  I recently told one of my girlfriends here in NYC that I have noticed a HUGE change in her since she moved here, and I couldn't even really express how proud I was.  It was one of those moments where you internally beam, "That's MY FRIEND!!"

The bottom line is this: we have a long way to go, gals.  But hang in there, keep believing in yourself, and keep taking risks.  Don't get scared.  Support the women around you. 

And keep telling yourself how truly awesome you are.

I love this quote by Kaci Diane.  I think there is something big in loving yourself through all the struggles, your work, and your flaws.  Never forget who you are, where you've been, and how hard you fought to get where you are today.
 
 
Click to download a copy
 


It’s official. 

I am a HUGE fan of coconut oil.

Usually, my outlook is that anything that is so super hyped up as coconut oil can’t really be true, right?  Well it seems like I thought wrong.

I have begun to use this stuff for EVERYTHING—cooking, body lotion for my dry and cracked winter skin, facial moisturizer, my dry and damaged hair—I even tried eating a tablespoon plain, because supposedly it’s good for your gut.  While I immediately regretted the decision to swallow a tablespoon of semi-solid coconut flavored gel, I definitely am SO thankful I incorporated this super powered oil into my daily routine.

What is it?

Coconut oil is made out of mostly medium-chain fatty acids, so it is is easily digested and converted into energy in the body.  It’s a great source of those “healthy fats” that keep our hair and nails looking good.  Coconut oil also contains lauric acid which purportedly induces tons of healthy side effects, such as reducing hypertension, reducing arterial injury, helping to keep proper cholesterol balance, improving thyroid function, and aiding overall immunity.  It has antibacterial, anti-viral, anit-microbial, and anti-fungal properties, and when consumed regularly is said to prevent yeast overgrowth.

How to use:

A simple Pinterest search reveals hundreds of different uses.  I use it in several different ways—

1.       Cooking.  Use in place of vegetable oil or butter to sauté, coat pans, etc.  It’s a godsend for people cooking vegan/ gluten free diets!  Use at a 1:1 ratio.

You can also put it on toast in place of butter.  I like butter too much, so I mix it instead of using it plain.

You can apparently use coconut butter to season cast iron skillets or treat wooden cutting boards, but I don't have either of these in my NYC shoebox apartment.

2.       Digestive health.  This is the whole reason I tried to swallow a spoonful of this stuff.  For me, that wasn’t the best route to take—I felt a little ill afterwards.  However, it is said to kill all sorts of digestive system baddies, such as bad bacteria and parasites, that can make you have stomach cramps, feel bloated, or suffer from fatigue.  I’m going to keep trying.

3.       Face moisturizer.  THIS IS MY FAVORITE USE.  Law school basically destroyed my perfect skin.  I never had zits or acne, but law school stress changed that.  I started breaking out all along my chin and forehead, which stressed me out even MORE.  My skin had dry patches and generally looked dull.  I used lots of different types of moisturizers, but some of them made me break out.  I started putting coconut oil on my face before bed, and it makes my face baby soft in the morning without any greasiness.  My makeup goes on smoother, and my face looks generally healthier.  And the zits that plagued my chin are almost gone! The forehead zits are slowly going away too.  #WINNING!
      One recipe suggests using baking soda mixed with coconut oil for an exfoliating face scrub.  I haven’t done this yet, but I plan to.  I’m just too lazy to go get any baking soda from the store.

4.       Body lotion.  Coconut oil has been said to soothe skin irritations like diaper rash, eczema, sunburn, poison ivy, etc.  I used it this winter to save my dry, itchy skin. After moving to NYC during the never-ending winter of 2014, my skin was SO dry and my legs constantly itched from the dry air coming through the heater.  I started applying coconut butter at night, and it worked like a DREAM.  My skin is now super happy and much healthier looking.  Use post-shave for a little slice of heaven.


5.       Hair masque/ deep conditioner.  For super shiny, healthy hair, replace your conditioner once a week with good old coconut oil.

1)  Wet hair.

2) 
Apply a small amount to the bottom section of your damp hair 

3)  Pile that hair on the top of your head and clip it there.  This is a good time to get use out of those alligator clips you had in elementary/ middle school.

4)  Slap a shower cap on top of that so it doesn't slime on anything or wash out.

5)  Either let sit for 15 ish minutes or finish your shower (shave, etc) and wash out at the end. 

6)
Wash out thoroughly. 
 
      Or, if dry scalp is your thing, use a TINY amount on your scalp to fight irritation and dandruff, and wash out.  No matter what you do though, make sure you get it all out—or else you’ll have greasy strands.

6.       Eye makeup remover.  Use like cold cream—eye makeup slides right off.

7.       Nail strengthener.  OK this is the one place where I feel like coconut oil actually HASN’T made that much of a difference.  My nails are still brittle.  The only thing that helps is still Sally Hanson. Sigh.

Other uses that I haven’t tried:

These are some other interesting uses that I’ve heard… add yours in the comments section!

1.       Tattoo preserver/ healer. Put on over tattoos to help make them crisper looking longer, and put on over new tattoos to help them heal quicker.


2.       “Oil Pulling” for white teeth—According to Gwyneth Paltrow, Divergent Star Shailene Woodly, and some crazy woman I saw on the Today Show, swishing coconut oil in your mouth for no more or less than 20 mins. leads to healthier gums and whiter teeth.  But I ask them:  HOW DO YOU SWISH FOR 20 MINUTES?  HOW DO YOU NOT SPEAK FOR THAT LONG?? Don’t your cheeks get tired??  So many questions…. 
 

3.       Breast feeding.  Because I have so many pregnant friends, I thought I’d include this.  Put coconut oil on *ahem* irritated areas during breast feeding for a natural and non-harmful way to get some relief. My little sister was born with a tooth, y’all.  My mom could have used this info.

4.       Get chewing gum out of hair.  Just like mayonnaise, but with a much better smell.  This one goes out to all those nursing moms as well, because you’ll probably need this tip in a few years.

5.       Magic Shell topping.  This is something I NEED to try.  Apparently you can mix chocolate and toppings into this stuff, and it hardens on ice cream just like Magic Shelltopping. 

6.       Sugar Scrub.  I just bought a body scrub not too long ago, so I don’t have need for this yet.  However, here’s a great DIYrecipe if you want to make your own.

7.       Pets.  According to multiple sources, pets reap the benefits of coconut oil when small amounts are placed in their food.  It is also a non-toxic way to help relieve dry skin and redness.

There are many, many more uses for coconut oil that I haven’t talked about here.  I just love it because of the space it saves when travelling—imagine combining toothpaste, lotion, facial moisturizer, conditioner, etc. etc…. my suitcase will lose about 10lbs!

 

 
 
Happy Equal Pay Day! 

In a way, it almost pains me to say those words, simply because that means that something is unequal.

Why do we have an Equal Pay Day? Because women are still being paid LESS than our male counterparts.

Levo League has a great info graphic chronicling the history of Equal Pay Day, from Susan B. Anthony's call to arms for women everywhere right on up to today.  But here is the gist:

Today, women make, on the average, $0.77 to every $1.00 men make. 

In 1963, President John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay act of 1963.  This act made it illegal for employers to pay men higher than women for substantially equal work (the lawyer in me is rolling my eyes, but hey, it was a start).  At that point in time, women were making $0.59 to every $1.00 men were making.

By 1979, women had nudged the average up to $0.62 for every man's $1.00, but the gap was still there.  We kept inching our way up with help from some inspirational girl-power champions like Gloria Steinham (happy late birthday, girlfriend) and Oprah Winfrey, and kept moving with the signing of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in March 2012.  A month after the signing, Equal Pay Day was established.

In 2013, Anne-Marie Slaughter gave an amazing TED talk titled, "Can We Have it All?" in which she
revisits an article she wrote in June of 2012, titled "Women CAN'T have it all," which lamented the difficulties of being a working woman. 

By 2014, more than 50% of households have women as breadwinners. The Senate is looking at revisiting the Paycheck Fairness Act.  And our current President has drawn attention to the issue, stating that "Women with college degrees may earn hundreds of thousands of dollars less over the course of her career than a man at the same educational level, and that's wrong."  Media disseminators like FastCompany and Contently, along with my favorite imaginary-bff Mindy Kaling are echoing the sentiment loud and clear, while companies from fashion-forward Bonobos to marketing agency Razorfish to WeddingWire are proud partners in the #ask4more movement.  However, even with all of the attention drawn to equal pay, women are still only making $0.77 to every man's $1.  According to Levo, if the pace of change continues at the same rate as it has since 1960, women won't be on an equal earning scale with men until the year 2058.


Come on gals, that isn't acceptable.

What can you do?


The flat out answer is that we can ask for more.  As a female, we are often (try not to jump on me over these generalizations, yall) less aggressive in asking for what we want in the workplace.  I know I am.  When it comes to negotiating for other people, I will go down fighting, but when it comes for even asking for a day off, I cringe.  I don't want to be seen as "difficult," or "particular" or even worse, as "a bitch"-- a common insult thrown at aggressive women.

However, you won't get what you don't ask for.  When I need to ask for something that I feel awkward about, I disassociate from the fact that I'm asking for myself, and imagine that I am fighting for one of my friends.  I value the people in my life so highly, I would go to bat for them any day of the week-- but we need to treat ourselves the same.  That's why I say, "Ok, you're asking this for [insert awesome friend's name here] because she [insert all of your qualities here].  For example:

Think to yourself: I am asking for a job for Chelsea because she singularly drafted X, Y, and Z, which led to a win in case A; she works extremely well with others and has created intra-team harmony, and because she has never missed a day of work.

"Chelsea" sounds like a killer employee, right?  Well, you're actually talking about yourself!

Also, having results-oriented data to back up your claims is important.  A lot of times, it comes down to money-- how much money have you made them?  However, in a starting role, it is hard to monetize your skills.  I mean, I could say that I "make amazing binders that saved 100 billable hours!" but that sounds a little far fetched and bizarre.  Instead of making such a major leap from tabbing files to saving thousands of dollars, you have to find a way to show that your organizational skills are valuable and directly tied to the bottom line.

No matter how you do it, don't be afraid to #Ask4More. Keep pushing for equal pay.  Don't settle for less than you deserve.  Don't be wishy-washy or shy; the worst they can say is "No."


And go over to visit Levo League for some fantastic articles on how to close the pay gap.


Ryan Gosling image credit to We Are Women Online
 
 
 
I'm no wimp.  I can handle lots of critters without batting an eye-- lizards, mice, frogs, spiders, snakes-- hey ask my boyfriend, on my first date with him I STEPPED ON A SNAKE IN THE DARK in the streets of Georgetown, and didn't even flinch (that's when he said he knew I was a keeper).

 
 

However, I have a phobia of a certain type of critter.

Clingy, BEETLE TYPE BUGS.

My biggest fear: those crazy orange June bugs that fly around in the summer.  But I also hate Japanese beetles, black beetles, grasshoppers (they cling) and even get a little weirded out by ladybugs sometimes. 

It's completely irrational.  I understand.  Beetles don't bite, sting, or hurt people, really.  But it's something about the way they fly and get stuck in your hair, they way their little legs cling and get stuck on your skin-- it's TERRIFYING.

So what looks like a beetle that lives in NYC?

COCKROACHES. 

BIG.  UGLY.  COCKROACHES.

I can't.  I just Can't.

They are just.... no.  They scamper.  They cling.  They have wings, so I am assuming they FLY.  WHY GOD??

Yesterday, I had my first run-in with these underworld creatures.  It went something like this:

-------------------
Here we go, waking up, happy Hump Day!  Let's carpe this diem!  Ho hum, I'll just mind my own business and get ready.  I'll just finish this fantastic outfit by putting on my glasses andOHMYGODWHATISTHAT?  That is totally a bug.  No it can't be. It can't be it's hugeOHMYGOD YES IT IS IT'S A HUGE BUG OMG.

WHAT IF IT IS A COCKROACH?? No it can't be, I am clean and OH MY GOD IT'S A COCKROACH WHAT THE HELL.


 


*stand there and have a stare off with the thing for a good two mins*

OK what do I do.  How do I even kill this thing.  It's big enough to have a SOUL.  This is the size of a MOUSE.  What do I kill it with?  I don't want that thing's insides on my SHOE!! That's one my favorite new flats! Oh my God I need to hurry up, it's going to start moving, what do I do.... ok.  Suck it up.  You can handle this.  You have to go to work.  Hurry up.

You can handle this.

Oh god.

[at this point, I beat it to death with sneaky ninja-esque speed, praying to God that it didn't fly at me in it's final moments.  I suggest thick soled, heavy shoes to ensure complete annihilation.  I used my nude Nine West pumps that I bought for court]

OH MY GOD IT CRUNCHED SO LOUD WHAT WAS THAT THIS IS SO GROSS I CAN'T EVEN LOOK!!!  WHERE DO I PUT THE BODY?! WHAT DO I DO?

This is so NOT FAIR.  I have been so NEAT and CLEAN in this apartment, I do my dishes right away-- where do they COME FROM?  What on earth do I do with THIS DEAD BODY LAYING ON THE FLOOR UNDER MY SHOE?!



 

Ok.  Just pick it  up with a paper towel really quickly.  Just do it.  Just OH MY GOD IT IS SO GROSS EW EW EW WHERE IS THE TRASHCAN EWWWWW

------------------

And I then proceeded to take the trashcan outside so it wouldn't come back to life and haunt my dreams.

Clearly, I was not prepared for this.

Apparently, roaches are EXTREMELY present in NYC, and if you haven't run into one yet it is just a matter of time.  After Googling WAY too much and spending wayyyyy too much energy freaking out, I got three different kinds of roach killer:
  1. Killer traps
  2. Killer Raid spray (lavender scented!)
  3. and KILLER GEL that used to be only available to exterminators, but is now available to the general public.  You basically just put tiny dots around, and the bugs eat them.  Then, they themselves become poison bug bombs, and when they go back to their little friends and KEEL OVER DEAD, their friends have a little poison-filled feast.  Cockroaches apparently even eat each other.  Gross. 

 
Yes, I only found one.  Yes, it was big enough to have a soul.  NO I am not over reacting.  I do NOT play games.  This is all out war.







 





My favorite!
 
Behind every successful woman is a big bag she hauls around.  You can quote me on that.

After three weeks in NYC, I have perfected my tote bag.  I have enough stuff in it to get me through emergencies, impromptu happy hours, and just through life in general. I've listed my choice of (inexpensive!) things that every girl should carry around!





What's in my Bag?

  

Forever 21 umbrella
forever21.com
Umbrellas are a MUST for inclement weather.  Use your umbrella as an extension of yourself-- don't just settle for black!  This cheap option from Forever21 provides a cute way to fight back the rainclouds.



Accessorize crystal headband
accessorize.com
I am a HUGE fan of the "Princess roll" hairstyle.  It is so simple, is done best with wet-ish hair, and makes you look glamorous.  Rolling your hair with one of these babies can take your hair from scary to cute in about 5 minutes!



Goody hair pin
target.com
Self explanatory.  I like to buy the extra long ones because I have found they hold my hair better.



Stella &Dot Nancy Earrings
stelladot.com
These are my absolute favorite studs.  For $24, they are a bargain.  Plus, it gives you something to buy when you go to your girlfriends' Stella & Dot parties that won't break the bank!  I love these in Peach because they are simple but very fashionable, and can take an outfit from drab to fantastic in an instant.  I like them much more than traditional "diamond" studs.  They are small enough to be tasteful, but big enough to make a statement.



Nars cosmetic
beauty.com
The top-rated blush by women everywhere, Nars Orgasm can be used to add a healthy glow. Also try mixing it with your chapstick for lipstick in a pinch.



Wet n Wild eyeliner
$3, Walgreens
I LOVE this liquid eyeliner!  Let me tell you, I have tried MANY kinds.  However, I keep coming back to this little drugstore power player.  It is easy to hold and creates a nice, strong, crisp black line.  It's perfect to apply for work, but can be used to glam it up after work for happy hour.  I am actually going to put mine on for a date tonight after I leave my office!



Johnson's Baby Powder 624g Johnson Johnson
amazon.com
Let's face it: feet get gross after being in flats for hours and running around the city like a crazy woman.  Baby powder helps calm that crazy train down, and keep your Reva's smelling FRESH.



Purell instant hand sanitizer (9 bottles of 2 fl oz each total of 18...
amazon.com
NYC is DIRTY.  I apply this liberally.  Do yourself a favor and just buy an entire case.  I go through about a bottle a week after riding the Subway.



SABRE Red Pepper Spray Key Chain National Breast Cancer Foundation
dickssportinggoods.com
Ok ok, so Pepper Spray is supposedly illegal in NYC.  I honestly don't care.  This baby goes with me EVERYWHERE.  I like this because it has a handy clip that makes slipping it on and off your keychain simple (and won't wreck your nails, like undoing a jump ring will).  I keep it hooked on the inside pocket of my tote bag.  The clip comes in handy when I feel like I need extra incentive for people to leave me alone-- I just unclip it and hold it in my hand.  It's also good if you are a frequent traveler, like me-- TSA doesn't really like for you to bring mace through security (although my friend tells me she successfully gets it through every time....).



Gym:

Equinox 43rd Street
521 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10175

 

Class:

Spinning

My take:

NYC is full of fitness options.  As I am going to Aruba next month (woo!) I am on the hunt for the perfect place to get my body back in bikini-shape after this never ending winter.  I figured, why not share the experience?  I'll be blogging about the different places I go and classes I try. Maybe it will help another NYC n00b one day!  I didn't take pictures this time, but I will going forward.
I was lucky enough to attend the Levo NYC Networkout at Equinox Gym this week.  Levo’s Networkout concept is fantastic: get busy career women into a room where they can multitask by networking and working out AT THE SAME TIME.  Genius.  No one really has time to do one or the other, but give me a way to max out my time and I’m THERE.
Equinox was kind enough to offer a free cycling class for the Networkout, as well as gym tours and a free 3-day pass for Levo League attendees.  The dedicated spin studio was nice and cool, with lots of air movement.  The bikes were great too, and offered toe cages for those without spinning shoes. 

Our instructor, John, was FANTASTIC.  He took the time before class to get to know each of us, and to make sure we knew exactly what we were doing, patiently adjusting bikes and making us feel comfortable. 

He began class with the national anthem of girls everywhere, “I Love It” by Icona Pop. I DARE you to listen to that song and not want to kick ass. He kept our heart rates up with club music and even a house mix of “Lay all your love on me” from Mama Mia.  I mean, we’re in NYC, so why not jam out to Broadway tunes?  He was the perfect mix of encouragement, drill sergeant, and Zenned-out yogi; he pushed us while making us feel amazing and empowered.   John said he teaches classes every Tuesday at 5:30—and if I decide to join Equinox, I can guarantee I will be there.
After we finished our class, I had a good amount of time to check out the facilities.  Equinox is GORGEOUS, and pumps top 40 tracks for a high-energy feel.   The front lobby almost feels like you are stepping into a club, with shiny tile and glass and a bumpin soundtrack.  The locker rooms are stocked with Keihls products, and I heard several girls say that they like showering here even more than at their apartments.  Because we were there during the actual equinox (where night and day are the same amount of time, remember?) we got to enjoy free fitness tests, snacks, and massages.  The staff was wonderfully friendly, and extremely accommodating.  And DON’T FORGET the eucalyptus towels stocked in coolers in the gym area.  Heaven in towel form!

Overall, Equinox 43rd St. was fantastic.  It was clean, not crowded, and full of attractive young people.  The only drawback is the price tag.  With high enrollment fees (sometimes waived) and almost $200 in monthly gym fees, it’s out of most Millennial’s budgets.  However, the high fees lend to the zen atmosphere, low crowding, and generally fantastic condition of the facilities.
Yesterday, I shared a link via Facebook via Slate about how "Female lawyers who are dressing too sexy are apparently a 'huge problem' in the courtroom."  My mother sent it to me.  As a female who attended law school in Richmond, VA, I am quite familiar with the standards of dress required by many judges.  In Richmond, as a woman, you are told that you MUST wear a skirt to court.  No pants.  And while I hate pants with a burning passion, I can't help but feel upset that I am expected to wear skirts only.  However, it isn't something that really bothers me.  The article on Slate, however, ruffled my feathers enough to share it on Facebook, and exchange in a dialogue with many of my peers.  *Sigh* we thought.  Another day, another hurdle for women to dodge.
Then this blog post came out in response.

I bet Alicia never had to deal with this crap.
 
Federal Judge Richard Kopf, a George H.W. Bush appointee to a federal court in Nebraska, decided to voice his opinion on the matter in an "effort to educate the bar."
He used inflammatory language and stories about his own daughters to illustrate his point that women who dress a certain way in the courtroom are being judged on our "ample chests" and are "truly upset[ting]" the female law clerks.
I do agree with him that the courtoom "isn't about[us]" as lawyers. It's about the client. Dress professionally, and look like a lawyer. But that's not where my issue lies.

I have more of an issue with the tone he takes with female lawyers.
Someone forgot to tell Elle that her cleavage is showing.
With just about as much respect as I can muster, your honor, how about, instead of calling young female lawyers "ignorant sluts" and making the rather sexist assertion that the "female law clerks" are the only ones judging, you stop being a self proclaimed "dirty old man?" 
You are a father of two daughters.  How would you feel if someone called your daughter a slut?  I am sure your children are well educated and probably very well rounded.  How would you feel if after years of education and hundreds of thousands of dollars, someone called them "ignorant?"
It's time to change the way we talk to women.
Stop the slut shaming. 
I guarantee you that these women are, in fact, extremely intelligent.  They are probably wearing short suits or tight skirts.  Maybe they are showing a bit of cleavage.  MAYBE THEY ARE PROUD OF THEIR BODIES and PROUD THAT THEY ARE WOMEN.  It's not anyone's place to say, except for the client.  And is it really anyone's business if they are "slutty"-- which, as a woman, means having multiple sexual partners-- or not?  I think not.
Let's stop talking about what women are wearing, and more about the culture we live in, where even Federal Judges are slut shaming.  Let's talk about how still, women are blamed for enticing men by their clothing.  Men are still "victimized" by the feminine wiles of women showing their curves, which were given by God himself. 
Let's change things.  Stop blaming women. Stop calling us sluts.  Be the change.


It's no secret that this is the never-ending winter.  It's as if Frozen was real life, and Elsa forgot to turn off her magical snow powers in the end.  This little boy's pleas basically reflect my-- and everyone else's-- life right about now.

I haven’t blogged in a long time.

 A LONG TIME.

A lot of that has to do with the circumstances.  I graduated law school, took the bar, and was working at a job I hated.  I had no motivation, no excitement in my life.  I’ll touch on these at a later date.  Those events are the past.


This is the present.

 
And the present is a GIFT.

 

Over the past three weeks, I have had the ride of a lifetime.  People have been asking me what happened, so here is a nice timeline of the end of Feb/ beginning of March:  Things went kind of like this:
Thursday before the Feb. Bar Exam: Got a call for an interview.  Didn’t get the position because I was “not experienced enough.”  Said thanks, etc.  I was just glad I got a call.

Fifteen mins later: A temporary position opened up as soon as I got off the phone with HR.  Did I want to interview for it?  Obviously I said sure.  HR said that “they” wanted me to come to NYC.  I had no idea who “they” were, but I knew they were in the legal department and pretty high up.  I was internally freaked out because hey, I was in crazy-five-days-before-the-bar mode.  As in I don’t think I showered that day.  But I said SURE, lets do it.  I’ll come up next week.  I made a flight and pushed it out of my brain because—let’s be honest—I needed all the space available to remember the English Covenants and the elements of conspiracy in Virginia.
Monday: Drive to Norfolk.  Listened to a sermon on the radio on the way there (stop judging me) and sobbed hysterically.  If you’ve taken a bar exam, you know where I was mentally at that point.

Tuesday and Wednesday:  Took the bar exam.  NO BIG.
Wednesday Night: Drove back to RVA.

Thursday: Flew to NYC. 
Friday, 1 p.m.: Interviewed.  Tried to form coherent sentences.

Friday, 3 p.m.: Got offered the temporary position.  And oh hey, could I start Wednesday? Kept my cool on the phone. Hung up and danced on the sidewalk.

Friday, 3:15 p.m.: Reality set in.  What on earth??! Am I moving to NYC for three months?  Proceeded to begin to cry.  In public. Normal.  After speaking with my parents and boyfriend, I decided that this was an amazing opportunity for me to gain experience, get to know NYC, and generally get out of the rut I have been in for the past few months.  LET’S DO THIS!
Saturday:  Went apartment hunting.  Shout out to my fantastic friend Holland, who not only let me stay with her for the weekend, but went apartment hunting with me.  By some miracle of God, we found a perfect apartment right near her. 
Ok, maybe “apartment” is too strong a word. 
It’s a shoebox.  A Prada shoebox, because of how expensive it is.  It’s tiny, but perfect for my needs.  But I can touch both walls if I lay down and stretch out my hands/ legs.  Oh, and I had to basically sell a kidney on the black market to pay for it.  It’s a short term solution for sure.
Sunday: Flew back to DC.  My amazing boyfriend agreed to drive me back to Richmond from there because flights are so much cheaper.  Thanks babe!
Monday: Packed like a mad woman.
Tuesday: Flew back to NYC, tried to unpack and get some sort of order in my life.
Wednesday: OH HEY I STARTED WORK!
 

 Then, that weekend, I flew back home for a baby shower for my wonderful best friend since kindergarten.  She was BEAUTIFUL!  And at 7 months pregnant, she was wearing heels.  I can only hope that I am as pretty as she is when I’m pregnant, but I am probably going to be angry/ fat/ wearing sweatpants only.  I am so excited to meet her little man!

So now, after this crazy few weeks, I have decided that I need to start blogging regularly.  I have free time now, and am doing fun things!  I’ll be documenting my time in New York City as a young, broke 20-something, as well as continuing to blog about the legal life.


 Here’s to the next big adventure.