dating doubt

Mirror selfies and self reflection - waking up to celebrate both life + feeling alive.
Because along this journey, of self discovery, i have a newfound self awareness, connected to others’ pleasure and pain. I hear laughter and feel happy or see sadness, self doubt and cry.

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i was running on the west side highway saturday, with pep in my step as i bounced buoyantly on the pavement, so aLIVe, until i saw a biker face down on the concrete, not moving, no life. Now, i didn't see him fall just the aftermath. and i went from LIVING to literally crying because i felt his pain.

This self awareness carried over me today as i snapped my morning selfie, in a token ex boyfriend’s tee, and then the tears returned,
I cried for us this morning. For all of us,
who at times, have lost belief in ourselves, questioned our confidence and enabled self doubt.
I cried for us, for letting outward opinions forward our insecurity. I cried for the experiences we’ve had, that resulted in our sacrifice of self love, that left us with feeling less than. That lack of self love which leaves us incapable to love one another.
I cried for us today. For all of us. In sadness and guilt that i am among us,
who at times has not loved Me enough to be loved at all.

And then i cried for you.
Because i acknowledge my dark side + commit to growing from it. I have embraced me as me, love me as i am, and continue to grow into my best self as my lightness offsets my harshness, and my #workhard is balanced by my love of celebration.
See this life is a journey, of learning and growing and living and loving. It never ends. There is no “there,” but i have found a place of comfort: with a healthy dose of ego + a whole lot of heart, and too many self hating ex boyfriend tees.

I cried for those among us who smear self hate, hidden behind a surfaced smile to mask self doubt because it will always seem easier to slap it on than to feel at all-- But to free yourself, you must face yourself:  see your flaws + embrace those too, to be Just As You are.
I cried for you today, because you can’t see you like we do,
brave + bold, strong + kind, so much more than you give yourself credit for.
I cried because we are better than this.
But it is a choice to turn off the noise, to find a better balance between critic + fan,
to embrace ourselves, dark and light.

But to do so, we must lead with love, for ourselves, from within,
because the only way to win this cruel game of judgement, comparison, and the resulting insecurity, is to Love ourselves and let us be loved.
To See ourselves to be seen.

I snapped a morning selfie, to see myself today in hope that
as we enter this holiday season, we find the gratitude, the grace, the gracefulness, to celebrate
all that we have, and all that we are.

Among family + fun, can we we find peace within to allow patience for others? Forget judging + comparing, rather focus on the energy we can control, that which we carry + share.
Let's choose kindness, free spirit and love - less fight, more fun.
Full - not empty. From within.
Love of self is what enables love of others.
And judgement of others is always a projection of self.


But sharing is caring, so I gladly give you my tears,
but i will share them whilst wearing your softest tees.
Grateful. #workhard #livyoung

self celebration

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Celebration to me is not a symbolic affair with tigers + extravagant trips...today.  
Rather it is little tokens of self love and shared love to take notice of all the hard work, The struggle, the time, to build a vision, rather to build the life i want to live.
Choose your life or let it choose you.  
Of course there are unforseen circumstances and curveballs along the way, but we can’t plan for that. And in choosing your life there will always be tradeoffs, no doubt --
But it doesn’t mean celebration is spared. Balance is the key: hard work is not only what you do physically, externally but also the work we put into ourselves to find self respect, self love, to be who we are. It is the work we put into seeing ourselves, so that we can share ourselves, our true selves, without the facade: what lights us up, challenges us, excites us, hurts?
We must be honest within, face ourselves to free ourselves ---and embrace who we are,  particularly our darkest sides. To celebrate you fully, you must first get to know you fully, all sides of you.
It is my goal to learn something new everyday. learning about others lets me learn about me, i connect to further connect within. I am committed to waking up and moving my body daily no matter the hour. I am committed to asking myself the tough questions, challenging myself mentally and emotionally, and opening my heart to vulnerability and even hurt sometimes.
And in all this effort, the ever challenging life ive chosen to build a business, a vision, a team -- and to build myself, I never lose sight of the balance i seek along the way.
Balance in big ways + small ways, but in my way, there is always a way to celebrate:

10 hours of sleep to reset + reconnect, to give my brain rest and my body recentering,
A hot toddy or cold beer surrounded by friends + filled with connected conversation.
A messy no bun burger, made messier as i maul it apart with my hands - tasting, feeling, experiencing my food.  
Cooking in quiet to hear the simmers and pops of my creations, then shared + enjoyed.
A call to my 90 year old grandma to share excitement of new loves or sadness of old ones
Dancing in the streets to hail a cab curbside as i go from one meeting to the next.
A splurge purchase of sexy stilettos i have no business buying.
Eye sex with strangers, ie sporadic eye contact street side, or even better, deep conversation with a cab driver who opens his heart for the brief 10 minutes we share. Seeing + being seen.
Bouts of deep belly laughs that often make onlookers watch in wonder. Hearing + being heard.
A banana laffy taffy, or two bought for a quarter at my favorite corner store.
Feeling + being felt. The best hug, indulgent sex, or just my own crisp sheets the encapsulate me, hold me up, hug me in, after a really long day.
No matter the celebration, it’s there -- i celebrate it.
it is what keeps me centered. connected. present.

Personally, I relate much more to my dark, rigid, hard work side. it is of no issue for me to wake up at 4am, run 5 miles in 25 degree weather before grinding out a 15 hour work day.
I find solace in working for hours in silence, lights off, writing, building, strategizing, alone with laser like efficiency + complete isolation, powering thru tasks or working thru self doubt,

which is why celebration is essential, in the simplest of things, particularly on days when i haven’t let love in, when my energy is heavy + work overwhelms play, when restless thoughts keep me awake, balance escapes and there is only hard work, no livyoung aka living.
Getting to know me, putting in work in myself has made me aware of my habits-- skills and flaws. Getting to know me has led me to face myself, particularly my darkside, and let love in, self love first, to then find a love that fills, continue to do work that inspires, and manage my mind + body to find ease yet always crave more.

Balance is a challenge all of us face, forever.
And to find balance, we must first know ourselves --
Celebrate who we are, rather than regret who we’re not.
This celebration of self, gratitude within, for all that we do + all that we are, allows us then to appreciate all else. Because what is hard work without celebration?
But to celebrate another, we must first celebrate ourselves -- all sides, dark + light.
TO love another we must first love ourselves.
It is hard work, to know yourself, and more so to love yourself.
So the question is, are you willing to look within to see, and be seen?
To love yourself you must know yourself. Are you willing to do the work?
#workhard #livyoung

sexy, selfie, self love.

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Sexy is a feeling
confidence is a choice
do you choose you?

what do you see when you look in the mirror? judgement and/ or comparison?
or do you just see you?
love or hate
fear or opportunity
worthy or unworthy?
what do you see?
consider that how you see yourself, is likely how you see others.
how can you love another if you do not love yourself?
how can you find freedom outside if there is none within?

Sexy is a feeling
confidence is a choice
do you choose you?

it is hard work to love yourself, to livyoung.
my name is olivia,
to me hard work often comes easy
it is the living, the celebrating, the livyoung part ---
that has always been more challenging.
don’t believe it? scroll down my @instagram to anything prior to 2 years ago +
find one photo of me.
no such thing.
ironic, i know - considering i throw selfies up like i drink beer
but it wasn't until i faced myself, that i freed myself.
that i saw myself so that i could share me with the world
it wasnt until i was comfortable enough with me, to be seen, and
to embrace sexy as a confidence, a swagger,  a feeling.

we judge + compare + carry so much concern for others and what they think - or don't think,
that we lose sight of us -- our wants, needs, dreams -- who we are.
but it is a choice, to lean in, let go and be #selfdefined,
a choice we make over and over again,
to love ourselves,
to choose confidence over insecurity. Our choice.

box + flow is my way to share this feeling, this message. that thru hard work (physically, mentally, spiritually) thru resistance to find ease, we create balance and find connection within,
because It is hard work to liv young, to love yourself.

I #flowthruthefight everyday
to celebrate me. confused? come take class.
curious? come take class.
no mirrors, just you, a bag + a mat, your fight + your flow,
we sweat thru darkness to find light,
surrounded by people who want to feel, to connect, who are willing to #flowthruthefight.

be willing to face yourself, to free yourself, perhaps to forgive yourself.
it is hard work to love yourself.
but if you dont love you, who will? #workhard #livyoung

50 First Dates VI: Matchmaker Mishaps

50 First Dates Ive come to realize that the best things in life make you sweat. Heart beating. Sweat dripping. Deep breathing. Food. Sex. (and love). Fitness. Whatever it is that makes your heart skip a beat --To remind you that yes, in fact you are alive - and human,  mistakes included. For me, much of this reminder has come thru love lessons - to remind me of life lessons … no mistakes, just lessons, thru the men ive sweat with - in food, fitness + otherwise. Some made me laugh. Some made me cry. Below is a manifesto of sorts. All in good fun, in the end - each has taught me more about myself. Unpeeling my layers, as i learn about others. But a leopard never changes its spots. We are who we are. Short stories below. Names have been changed. And Grudges have been dropped. And i am more than conscious that there are 3 sides to every story - mine, his + the truth. Take a peek.
a much needed lighter approach than the depth of diary IV.

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Most little girls dress up as fairy princesses or their favorite disney characters. Me? A modern-day bride. Hair down + walking down the aisle with honeymoon bags packed and “here comes the bride” blasting down my childhood home corridor. Only thing missing was the husband. Age 4. This procession did not just occur on halloween. It occurred often, whenever i was in the mood to get married. i would suit up, grab my hat bags and makeup kits, turn the music on loud + make sure my mom was watching and hope my dad was ready to give me away -- via phone, as he slaved away at his office. 28 years later, i’m in bed at 4am, writing about 50 first dates, matchmaker mishaps, below.

Now, love is love and
Business is business.
But let us also consider the business of love,
which is just a hair shy of the business of lust,
Lust + love are both among the oldest businesses in the world, no doubt.
But lets stick to love, matchmaking in particular where Fiddler on the Roof immediately comes to mind. Not much has changed, matchmakers are yentahs. they sell relationships + their networks, with the possibility that love might spark.
Like any broker (stock, real estate, art, love), some are good, some are not so good.
And some just get lucky. You may wonder, how it works. In my experience, women are sought after to be introduced to their paying clients, after a phone interview or too long questionnaire with personal questions and personal preferences. the men pay a service fee, upwards of $10K-50K, depending on the matchmaker -- which always felt a bit suspect, or rather, a blurring of lines between the aforementioned business of love + business of lust. two stories below.

Matchmaker Mishap 1
Age 25, Eleven Madison Park.
I have only visited the former best restaurant in the world 3 times. Once or twice at their annual kentucky derby party for juleps, jubilees + fried chicken, dinner for my 25th birthday, and a ten-course wine-pairing dinner -- on a blind date. I invited him. Risky or not, i typically do what i want and in this situation, it was no different. I had recently met a matchmaker who was young + fun, someone i’d want to be friends with, whose clients (or members rather) paid upwards of $50,000 fees to find love. If you work with a matchmaker, it should be someone you’d see yourself befriending, because they’d set you up with someone they’d likely date themselves. the hook is, they also have to do their job. And i would be held accountable to give feedback following the first introduction. My setup was Eric, age 40. Doctor or lawyer, something seemingly stable or sounding predictable enough to be my plus 1 to a ten-course wine-pairing dinner with strangers at the best restaurant in the world.

The variables were already unpredictable, so i went for conservative attire: silk dress, black patent pointy louboutins, smoky eye and surreptitious smile. Director of communications for chef michael white + the altamarea group at age 25, confident AF but sweet nonetheless, “looking” for love in all the the wrong places, which certainly didn’t include a stable blind date with a banker + a tasting menu. I was much more interested in the trouble-hunting trader catching my eye from across the room. Course after course was delivered, palm-size portions on platter-sized plates and with it all the first date getting-to-know-you conversation and another pour of french wine. Two issues of note:

  1. My drinking skill is below average at best. One glass of wine is borderline too much. Ten tasting pours could potentially result in a post-college-party type fiasco.

  2. A first date should be a casual beer at a dark bar.

Thankfully we were seated at a table of 10, a safe cushion for small talk. Dinner was fine, too much wine, for too little humor -- too many courses and too little food. Three hours in, just before dessert, and after our 8th pour of f wine, eric excused himself to the restroom. A woman i’d never met started asking questions and all too honestly, i answered that yes it was our first date and no, there wouldn’t be a second.  As Eric returned i excused myself next -- and then returned to find eric had already gotten his coat. The good samaritan next to me let eric know he was toast. No goodbye, and nearly 9 courses in, he left. My blind date was blindsided. And i was left at eleven madison park 9 of 10 courses in, toasted, terrified and with serious explaining to do tomorrow to the matchmaker i trusted, who trusted me, to behave.

Matchmaker Mishap 2

October 2015: A family friend urged me to meet her. “Everyone knows they are the best on the upper east side trust me.” More than ample reason to decline but rather i curiously cabbed myself to midtown. Enter into a too loud, too greasy Greek restaurant on a too rainy night after a too long work day, after convincing myself that the $30 cab ride + $250 entry fee was a cheap price to pay if it procured my prince charming. See, the male clients pay the 10k plus fee, but to enter your name in the race, there is an entry fee. i bypassed the host stand and took a deep breath as i headed upstairs to an empty table and strong smell of saganaki. I wore business casual as requested, and waited patiently while the host carelessly collected cash from husband hunting hopefuls. And she was dressed carelessly in sweatpants and sneakers. The dress code was specific, for everyone except her. As the women gathered around the table, she sat, stuffed herself with hummus and simultaneously began her interrogation. Women of all shapes and sizes went around the table introducing themselves and then the questions began.

  • Height? Age? Weight? Occupation?

  • What do you see when you look in the mirror?

  • If you could change anything about yourself, what would it be?

  • Have you had any surgeries?

  • Do you plan on having any surgeries?

  • What size are your breasts? Are they real?

She was just getting warmed up. Photos. Men like photos. You need better photos.

I thought i was going to be sick. I paid this women to degrade me, to degrade us. I spent hard earned money and time on a sweatpant clad she hating saganaki eater. Furious, i got up from a table of gold digging desperates on the hunt for deep pockets and went downstairs. The manager stopped me as I scurried out and asked if all was ok. I explained that there was a woman upstairs degrading women, collecting money to belittle, disguising herself as a helper but rather just inflicting harm. I gave him my business card and left, with $250 less cash, a little less pride, but a hell of a sense of what integrity doesn’t look like. He texted me the next day to tell me he will no longer host her husband hunting hummus gatherings and i emailed her asking for a refund, rather verbatim: “i work hard from my money and while i respect what you do, i am not a gold digger and this program does not fit in my moral compass. I assume you don’t refund but i’d hope you might reconsider.” i have yet to hear back and the smell of saganaki still makes me sick.

sunday self love

A sunday type of love. Of self.
In my class yesterday i kept repeating this:
“Choose you --
Or wait to be chosen.”
We spend our lives waiting for the right time
The perfect opportunity
to send the text
Or start the project,
switch the habit
Or book the trip
My question is:
What are we waiting for?
When is the right time,
If all we have is now.
Isn’t now the only time,
To choose you?
To do what feels right,
make the first move,
Or take the big risk?
Not to plan the future,
But to open up to opportunity
And let the universe take it from there.
What if you choose you?
Now.
#workhard #livyoung


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change

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i am full of emotions. and my eyes are filled with tears. happy + sad. empty + full. i feel like im being cut open + fear ive chosen the wrong choice, to knock down + tear thru. Growth or destruction? construction or destruction? such a difference in definition between two words, but just a matter of perspective. I know my fear is natural, fear of the unknown, fear of growth + that which is out of my control. so ill wipe my eyes + trust myself because if I don't trust me, who will?

Within these sweat laden walls are love + hope, fight + flow. Dreams turned into reality, energy exchanged, connection created, community built. And the reality that anything is possible, even in 1500 feet on the 2nd floor of bond street. And as the walls come down and the space opens up, my heart does too, with new possibility, a bigger team, and all the challenge that comes with it.
and as my wallet shrinks, my dreams grow, so if you wanna buy me a beer, im in. lets drink to dreams becoming to reality. ease > resistance. #workhard #livyoung

to be seen

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Really though, we just want to be seen.
To be acknowledged, regarded, appreciated, loved. Life is all about connection - connecting to ourselves so that we better connect to others without the distraction, the judgement, the affirmation, comparison. To be seen as we are. The more I teach, speak, write, share, liv -- the more i connect. I spread my truth not just to be heard, but to hear myself. And maybe you can relate, or better, learn from my experiences. We all have stories. I share because I’m seeking connection. Thru introspection. Thru me.

People take my class and i do my best to remember their names, because i want to be remembered. I connect thru instagram DM’s, random eye contact on the street, even acknowledging cat calls with a smile. We revisit the same neighborhood restaurants, coffee shops + corner stores — for connection, the coffee becomes secondary. But Connection is a two-way street. I connect because i seek connection.
I see because I want to be seen.
We all do, no?

I dated a guy who slid into my DM’s but didnt follow me, or show any interest in what i share with the world. Sounds petty, perhaps, but im putting myself out there, to let people in. His failure to acknowledge me made me feel less than, or rather, I gave him that power. Truth is, i don’t need anyone to validate my mission if i believe in it myself. and to be honest, i dont follow him either.

I share to connect. And as i put myself out there now more than ever thru my blog, photos, teaching, etc, i do so not for affirmation that i am good enough, but for affirmation that my message is heard: The message that balance is a never-ending journey, a journey that begins within, because we have everything we need inside. that life is messy, but messy is sexy - raw + real. So let's embrace all of it, thru all sides of us, dark + light, fight + flow, resistance + ease, because we are enough, as we are - all done up + all undone.

For better or worse, Social media serves that, as a tool. We want the follow, the likes. the friend accept. So, I use it to share my story. But it is a tool that can be used or abused, and i’m just learning what works for me, thru sharing vs. oversharing. But all that surface shit doesn’t define us or make us whole.  it’s easy to look great in photos, and to like great photos, but how do we connect in real time? We don’t. We are shy. Afraid of rejection. Afraid of judgement. Fixated on comparison.

My mission is to change that. Not because i have found the light. Or the answer. But because i am on the same mission, to be self-defined. But to see others, we must first see ourselves. Drop the comparison, the judgement, the not good enough, the better than.
So are you willing to look within to see what you’re hiding from?
To connect within? To see + be seen?
It always starts with you.

#workhard #livyoung

help

it can be such a dirty word, no? some are afraid to ask for it and others seek answers for everything. Me? i used to refuse a helping hand until confidence escaped me and i drifted to the latter, reaching far and wide for “help” — psychics, shamans, shrinks to give me answers. eventually i came back to me: who i am, what i have + what i seek. So, I’m not looking for help - i’m looking for collaboration.
I’m not looking for a caretaker, or to be a caregiver, i’m looking for a partner.
But seeking outward instead of looking wtihin, for help -- is not my way forward. let me clarify -- we all need an extra hand sometimes, but there is a difference in “needing” help and asking for guidance. In relationships, when one person becomes needy---the relationship is off balance.

When we are our best versions of self, in our flow, our energy attracts just that, different than energy put out in times of need, in desperation. In need, we attract disconnection disguised as connection because it is sourced from a disconnected place, from a place of need.
example: I need HELP for my business to grow.
I need HELP finding the answers.
Or HELP to be my best self.
Or a PARTNER to make me feel full.

Seeking outward is not the way forward.
Some ask for help + others are afraid it shows weakness. it is a happy balance, no doubt. To grow in life, in work + love, i believe collaboration is the key. Businesses stay small when owners suffocate - when they don’t delegate, when they micro mange. Children grow up needy, not self sufficient when parents just give what is asked for - be it help, money, answers, guidance, etc. And relationships end up broken if one party is seeking fulfillment or definition thru the other.

We must be full on our own before we can be full for another. Confidence in ourselves rather than seeking help outside. A man recently asked me how i became so open in life in heart in spirit. He said, when did you decide to love yourself.”? My response, unknown. But i woke up one day and i chose me - like the little engine that could, i think i can i think i can i think i can. Because if you choose to be your first choice, you will be chosen first, and i will never turn back — in life, work + in love. Is everyday gumdrops + happy hour? Yes. and sometimes it is to fuel my life and sometimes it is to fill a void because i’m feeling less than best and seeking help thru sugar or substance to make me feel full. But for the most part, me, as i am, is all i need.
And with that, partnership and collaboration in work, life + love, will just add to the life that i love, the life that i choose, the life that is mine.
Are you willing to look within to see what you’re hiding from?

#workhard #livyoung

50 First Dates - Volume 1

50 First Dates

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Ive come to realize that the best things in life make you sweat. #workhard #livyoung
Heart beating. Sweat dripping. Deep breathing.
Food.
Love. (and sex).
Fitness.

Whatever it is that makes your heart skip a beat --To remind you that yes, in fact you are alive - and human, mistakes included.

Much of this reminder has come thru love lessons, which remind me of life lessons …
no mistakes, just lessons, thru the men ive sweat with, and sweat because of.
Some memories make me laugh. Some make me cry. Sharing bit by bit. So - below is a manifesto of sorts. All in good fun, in the end because each has taught me more about myself, and people in general. What i want + don’t, in a man + in myself. I am unpeeling my layers, as i learn about others.

Short stories below. Names have been changed. And most grudges have been dropped.
And cognizant that there are 3 sides to every story - mine, his + the truth.
These are out of order. And out of sorts. Consume as you wish. Perhaps with a cocktail.
A leopard never changes its spots. We are who we are.
But there are certainly wolves dressed in sheep’s clothing.

12/29/2011

An email to my mother, typed ferociously late night on my blackberry hiding under the covers:

Vail, CO. Early in the game. Fly out to see Beau at his famiIy house for New Years.

I step into this massive mountain cabin. Xmas decorations line the exterior and interior. Animal heads on the walls. I am the only jew. Do they want to wall mount me too? Blond haired trophy wives wearing winter white congregate in the kitchen drinking white wine. pinot noir for me - in my black leather pants, silk blouse and booties. Why fit in when you can stand out? A sinkful of wine bottles on ice graces the corner of the massive kitchen - each bottle emptied and replaced. No recycling in these Rockies. 25 minutes in everyone is red faced. The laughing gets louder, intoxicated howls echoing off the taxidermied walls. Oh and there is food! a massive selection spread across the regal wood dining table extending the full length of the room, adorned with renaissance-esque red velvet thrones. The menu closely resembles every treat recommended via Semi-Homemade by Sandra Lee for the perfect cocktail party. Andrew Cuomo would be proud. cream cheese crab dip with fritos and triscuits, mini sweet and sour meatballs, cocktail weiners soaked in bbq sauce, puff pastry wrapped brie with bubbling brown sugar, water chestnuts adorned with liverwurst and bacon, proscuitto wrapped melon on tooth pics, baby tomato/mozzarella skewers...and for dessert, a crowd favorite: Ferraro Rocher chocolates and candy canes. Conversation drifted from guns to wolf dogs to plans for new years eve in Vail Village. However, I will be at the family home eating oysters, tenderloin, and the pate of pheasant that Beau shot last year.
Shalom for now, Olivia

**the following morning, said mom was supposed to cook new years eve for 20 friends. Too much white wine interfered. So she sat on a kitchen stool and directed me as i plowed thru her menu, recipe by recipe, to complete her culinary tasks. After i was done with my chores, i called my mom, changed my flight, and got the hell out - just in time to start the new year, on my terms, back in new york city.

07/ 15 / 2018
Hot Aussie. J-Date. Skinny Jeans. Entrepreneur.
Sunday night eating sardines or JG Melon no bun with my hands. Text alert - “if you’re still free for a drink tonight, lets do it.” non committal - fit me in, but i was bored. reply, “lets go. Dante on MacDougal. See you in 30.” Tall sexy dark features swoops in like a tsunami with fast moves + fast words. Over educated + Over committed. Rushed to meet on a random Sunday as i sipped my mezcal ever so slowly, and spoke even slower in hopes he might slow down. MIND BLOWN. I used to be him. Rushing to fit it all in. searching. Emotionally unavailable, unwilling to commit to love, yet completely over committed in life. Speeding thru autopilot to prove to myself i could do everything just enough, without digging deeper into anything at all. Because i wasn’t willing to dig into myself. It was phenomenal to see ME --- in real time. Deep conversation and a quick make out in front of mermaid inn, before he rushed off to Mission Chinese — Bold move considering Mermaid’s happy hour line floods to houston street. but there was chemistry, so i went with it. We had dinner once more at via carota. My choice. Branzino for two, verde salad, roast carrots. He anxiously watched his phone in anticipation of a deal closing. It did. We celebrated with another makeout in the park. But his aggressive hands around my neck felt too freaky too late on a tuesday. Dude, i don’t know how they do down under but choking is a lot to ask + your hyper hands can’t be trusted. Aussie, out.

Hurricane

I had this thing for hedgefund guys. It was the power, the money, and their complete utter lack of care for anything in life - besides themselves that drew me in. Sick, i know. but—i could change them, i could win them, i could help them invest in resturant side hustles, and show them how to open their hearts. Funny, right? I met hedgefund during a hurricane. A minor one, en route sunday eve. Random nolita brunch, overpriced avocado toast + cous cous towers with friends + some guy who knew numbers. Nothing epic, at all. I don’t actually think we spoke because he was busy talking shop - typical. Afterwards, we strolled thru soho as the city emptied to prepare for the storm. Silly me, i went along to hedgefund’s new apartment to put away his patio furniture. Light wind + rain trickled down as we hung out on the couch and talked about nutella. And then he came at me - aggressively assuming i was DTF - as if hurricanes grant that permission. I felt like a prisoner in his palatial pool furniture filled flat as the thunder got louder. So i left. I ran home - just about 7 blocks, in the hurricane. He thought i was kidding when i said i was leaving. I wasnt. If i couldnt save him, i could certainly save me. But really Olivia, what did you think was going to happen? No mistakes. Just lessons.

More to come. Comment below.

#workhard #livyoung

empty

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I believe so deeply in humanity.
Connection.
The power of collaboration.
Self love. The human experience.
You are the energy you attract.
You get what you give.
We are better together.
I believe in people. And myself,
roughly 98% of the time.
And sometimes i just feel empty.
Depleted.
Used.
Sad.
Alone.

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See i have this dream. Many dreams. Big ones. To change the way we speak to ourselves. To each other. The way to relate to us + everything around us.
That there is power in perspective, that life is not easy but it doesn’t have to be so hard.
To flow thru the fight. Ease thru transition.  
That there will always be room for more - growth, love, balance. To liv, not limit. Be bold.
Feel everything. So i do. Even the bad.
And 2% of the time i feel used, and alone. Like my sad fridge this morning. empty,
With hints of hope. Signs of celebration. Highs + lows. Bud heavys + bottles of krug.

See i give. So much of me. So much of the time. As a choice. For nothing in return. For no other reason than it makes me feel good. I want to share that energy, emotion, love, self love. Thru box + flow, my words, actions, and my heart + mostly thru my willingness to see people as they are, because i woke up one day and decided see myself.

I am selfish, sure. But you must be selfish to be selfless.
And with all the giving, i realize more and more how often so many just take.
Take what they can. Whatever they can. Take your money, time, advice, beers from the fridge, hand weights, hand wraps, petty cash, corporate card, monthly retainers, take your words + ideas as their own, your assets as their artwork, your methods as their invention, take your heart. As long as it isn’t nailed down, its up for grabs.
That’s when it gets complicated.
You give and you give. And you wonder, who is there to give to you?
So you give to yourself. Whatever you can.

I do not give to get.
I do not show up to fit in.

Im just me. Happy, energetic, open, present, 98% of the time. Its taken a hell of a lot of hard work to get here, but to livyoung 98% of the time, is worth it.
But i stand out. Ive had to accept that people either repel me or welcome me. Judge me, or open up to me. Part of me embracing all of me is accepting that i am polarizing; strong conviction with flexible perspective.
And that ill never just fit in.
And with that self definition, came self acceptance and a small sense of sadness.
And wonder:
How can you be everything to everyone and still be enough for yourself?
I imagine parents might feel like this too. When their children are ungrateful.
When you put yourself out there, people will take. You will harden. And i have.
But i don’t know how to harden enough to hold back. Because i want to lean in.
I want to learn more. I want to open my heart + hold my head high.
I just dont want to get hurt.
Because the more that i give, the more there is to take.
And for better or worse, it hurts, sometimes.
And then i come back to my 98% of hope, and happy. And start right where i left off, but with a few more bruises and a reminder that no matter what,
all i have to be is me. That is enough.
Self definition is your definition.
#workhard #livyoung