Here’s Who I Am.

I’m Essie. More specifically, I’m 2017, 18-year-old, anti-depressant-taking Essie.

I’m Essie that absorbs water like a sponge but won’t dare to touch it in its oceanic form.

I’m Essie that has fought with the concept of veganism so much that I might as well take the issues to court.

I’m Essie that still likes plastering her lips with medicated lip balms, likes slurping endless bowls of ramen and still denies the sense of urgency whenever she needs to pee.

I’m the Essie that believes, yes, this world seems to be “fucked up”, but simultaneously have trapped herself in a seemingly inescapable cage of reformed ideas, suppression and general sadness…

…but yet, I am also the Essie that realizes there is a beautiful world outside of this cage I have created for myself.

I am the Essie whose previous long-term relationship has allowed her to come to terms with her closed-off past.

I am the Essie who fucking loves mangoes (some things don’t change, huh?)

I am still the Essie who hates the idea of having kids, but loves to babysit them. (Note: new revelation)

I am the Essie who is terribly afraid of the idea of “wasting my time”. I am also the Essie who is slowly learning that all time is valuable.

I am Essie, not 1.0, 2.0 etc., but I’m just me, I suppose. And here’s to a new chapter.

Okay, seriously; what the fuck?

Yeah, what the fuck?

I just skimmed through all of my blog posts since the dawn of time, and I’m so incredibly disappointed in myself.

Really? Surf-gear, wax? Losing 6 pounds in three days on a detox-diet? “Thanks, Gwenyth Paltrow”? What the fuck, I don’t even like that lady!

Let’s start again, eh? Hi, my name is Essie Duke, and I’m so over bullshitting myself (and others who might read this). Seriously. If I wanted to surf, I should have just done it. Maybe that was some sort of pseudo-sarcastic hyperbole, but it was seriously uncalled for. Really, no one cares. What was my point in even saying that?

My “this is not a depressing story” endless rant of misconstrued ideas and failed metaphors couldn’t have been any cringier. It was literal shit, now that I look back on it. And I feel even worse in that I sent it to so many of my close friends, who were honestly probably like “Okay, seriously, what the fuck?”. To you guys, thank you for still sticking with me today.

There’s probably a lot more I could say about this, but I’m kind of over it. Listen, this was a great place to post my rants about anxiety, but clearly, and as I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I tried too hard to appeal to some particular audience; maybe it was a select crowd of readers, or maybe it was Essie in a parallel universe. I don’t know, but that Essie never exists. She’s hypothetical.

So– and this is to future Essie– stop bullshitting yourself, because the more you fabricate your life the more dissatisfied you become with yourself, and ultimately you’ll find yourself in a Catch-22 of never being able to live life authentically, because every few days your persona changes. You’re fine with being you. So, be you.

 

Best, almost-18-year-old-and-hopefully-wiser-Essie.

I Forgot

I came to WordPress to write something, and I forgot what I was going to write.

So instead, I’m going to visualize every sensation I’m feeling from the very core of my body to my epidermis; here we go.

 

  1. My head slightly itches towards the top-left quadrant of my scalp, nearing the forehead. (I just scratched it.)
  2. I have to pee pretty urgently, but I’ve suppressed this discomfort by sitting in a position where there’s the slightest pressure put on my bladder.
  3. The back of my head itches (haven’t scratched it yet.)
  4. Earlier today – I know this isn’t a sensation, it’s a memory – I started reading Plato, and my mind is still swimming with piousness and impiousness and all in betweens. I can’t seem to get a firm grasp on reality; maybe it’s because I’ve been spending too much time on the computer lately.
  5. My lips are slightly chapped, but nothing I can’t deal with.
  6. I’m sitting so hunched over my great-grandmother is probably turning around in her grave. As a result, there’s a relentless pull on my left shoulder going up to my neck, and I hope it doesn’t result in another injury.
  7. I just cracked my neck and shoulders; pulling sensation is still present.
  8. My hands feel warm, but also slightly dirty, probably due to how many times I rub them over my face, or also that they’re scraping the in-betweens of my keyboard, where a fucking valley of dirt lies.
  9. My mouth tastes absolutely vile – that taste when it’s been a few hours since you woke up and haven’t brushed your teeth, where there’s only remnants of that garlicky food you have stuck at the back of your tongue, and your body’s produced it into this disgusting no-substance sort of overall dreadful taste. You know what I’m talking about.
  10. I might as well stop it here, because seeing more than ten things on a list makes people feel a little worn out, I can imagine. Uh, I guess, I feel stripped of energy in the spiritual, emotional, mental and physical sense.
  11. (My stomach just rumbled.)

Summer Check-In, 2016

It’s July, slightly cool outside–or so it feels from through the window, as I’m inside, lying on my bed–and I decided to re-visit a long-lost pal.

Looking back on my other blog posts, I hated my formatting; it’s simply not “me” (although many might care to argue that surely, I don’t know who “I” am), and it’s evident that I try too hard to come off as funny, slightly sarcastic-cynical and maturer than my experience can carry.

So, this blog post is going to be a lot shorter than my previous ones. It’s still going to hold the same amount of information as others, but sans-excessive storytelling and unnecessary words. Hopefully this isn’t another “phase”…:

  1. I’m attending University of Miami in a month. Undeclared Major. Look up the stats. online if you want to, I’ve included a link. (For anyone reading after 2016, Acceptance Rate (2015): 37.8%, Population: 16,744)
  2. I attended my first Gay Pride Parade (NYC) with my best friend and former roommate from high school, Charlotte. (Sad Note: It was far more uneventful than people portray it to be on social media. Good Note: We ate bomb-ass noodles, and caught up after a year of not seeing each other.)
  3. I’m now one of those “old people” that talks about high school in some sort of reminisce. That’s right, I graduated on May 28th (3.8, y’all.)
  4. Right after HS graduation (cue reminiscent music), my school orchestra travelled 14 hours on a bus to NYC, where we performed new works by composers at Lincoln Center, part of NY Phil Biennial 2016. Phenomenal experience.
  5. The world is a different place than it was ten years ago. I realized that I now live during a time that we usually read about in history books: war, terrorism/hate crime, civil rights movements. You can look up the stories on the Internet, I’m not going to go at length here. But I’ll tell you, it’s scary as hell.
  6. I don’t think I’ve spoken about this before, but I may be less straight than I thought I had been before. Simultaneously, I fear I may also dread everything altogether.
  7. (This one is for me: Stop trying to be who you’re not. Stop looking things up on the internet. Wiki-How is your worst enemy. Stop it, you’re going to drive yourself insane. You’re going to wash away like watercolor. Don’t be watercolor. Be you. Stop looking things up on the Internet, stop comparing yourself. I repeat. Stop it.)
  8. Uh, I’m vegan(?)
  9. Oh, fuck, Trump (R) vs. H. Clinton (D). Whenever you’re reading this, we’re probably fucked anyway.
  10. This is the last one, I promised I wouldn’t keep you as long as I had before, but again, I’ve lied to you. So, this is going to be a blank one: ________________________. That’s for you to fill in. Write what you want. Write something you hate about yourself, or love about yourself (but maybe not that, because that seems to be too hard for most people). Write down what kind of animal you’ve always wanted as a pet, or something that’ll make you visibly blush. Keep it PG. Or not. Confess your kink for psychoticism. No one’s judging, I’m certainly not judging. Go for it. And for Christ’s sake, stop using the Internet to compare yourself.

Encore, encore!

HELL-O.

I wasn’t wise enough to go back and check when my last blog post was, but I have enough sense to realize that it was not less than six months ago.

Dear God, so much has happened since June (or whenever the hell it was). So much.

But I guess I’ll start with me, today, and where I am now: I’m seventeen, still sarcastic, still annoying, but with dyed hair. Okay, well, not that dyed, but I have a few highlights here and there. More recently, I have two cases of le ringworm (is there really not another way to make that sound less cringeworthy?) on my right arm that have diminished to mere scab-looking things, and I spontaneously ordered a nose ring off of Etsy (don’t worry, I’m not going to actually pierce my nose). I’m also still a violist, but less of one than I was a year ago (interpret that as you wish). And as of September, I’m an intern at the Wall Street Journal.

Yeah, I don’t know how the hell I got there, either.

I guess it just sort of came together, like it does for privileged millennials who have their lives “sorted out” courtesy of their parents’ $$$.

It’s too much work to pick at the details right now (it’s actually quite easy, but I’m too lazy. Nothing’s changed, huh?) but I’ve been in New York since September. Whoa, don’t freak, I still attend my boarding school, I’m just here on a semester-long excursion that allows me to do such things as intern with… the Wall… Street… Journal…

Alright, I’m really not sure how I got here. It doesn’t matter, ultimately, I guess, because I’m getting paid. Oh, right, and I’ve acquired some skills that I can take with me back to school (shrug).

Doncoui. It’s been a hell of a wild ride since the last time we spoke. (Not particularly, but I just wanted an excuse to make me sound cooler.)

The reason why I’m back on here is because, well, one: I recently created a Twitter account (follow me!), and my anxiety didn’t allow me to leave the “Website” box empty, and two, I’m here to talk about my anxiety.

I know that a while back, I created a post describing how “depressed and anxious” I was (I really was; I just put that in quotation marks to reiterate what I had posted before) but things have dramatically changed since then… and not all for the better.

Regardless, I’m really trying to keep this post as short as possible, because I know that if one thing has changed since six months ago, it’s the attention spans us tech-obsessors lack, and I’m one of them.

With that being said, I’ll talk to you soon- don’t know when, no promises, but we’ll see.

Love,

Essie 2.0

 

What It’s Like Eating in NYC

(My choice of capitalisation in the title is a little off, and I apologize in advance for any disconcertion I’ve caused.)

I live in New York City, home to rabid pigeons, squirrels and people alike. Stating the obvious, it is really busy here; in fact, whenever I go on vacation (or to another borough) I find myself unable to sleep with the deadly silence surrounding me.

And since we’re busy people, restaurants cater to us. So considerate, I know. Between Five Guys and Hale and Hearty, at least one restaurant in the city can cater to every individual, literally. If you work from the crack of dawn till the end of a Saturday Night Live episode, there are restaurants open 24 hours just for you. However, if you’re a person that works for that long, chances are that the healthier options won’t be available to you, and so you’re usually left with eat-outs like ‘Bamn!‘ and McDonald’s (gross).

But for the rest of us, especially the Manhattan-goers or chic Brooklynites, the insanely large amount of kale shacks that exist is astounding. For example, for people like me whose diets consist primarily of pink coconut water, kale and spicy detox juices, small, non-franchised restaurants such as ‘Picket Fence‘ or ‘Raw Food Star’ are the ones for me. Because I can guarantee you that no franchised chain of restaurants have any sort of “quality” ingredients. (Sorry, low-quality salad bars.)

However, there is a commonality amongst us New Yorkers that we all seem to enjoy very much, and that’s a cock.

On a bottle with a green cap surrounded by foreign text. Yes, I’m talking about Sriracha.

Sriracha is everywhere, all the time. I’m pretty sure even homeless people have a bottle tucked somewhere in their stash. It’s the new fad, it’s spicy, flavorful and totally low-calorie. Put simply, it’s amazing.

Usually I combine Sriracha with soy sauce and sesame oil on white rice for a quick carbohydrate lunch, but ever since I went to an organic kind-of-covert restaurant (that serves farm-raised animals only) in Chelsea Market, I’ve been putting Sriracha on practically anything. As a bonus, if you have a low-spice tolerance, using a lot of it will make you poop. Great detox.

That restaurant changed me, I like to tell people, forever. I had ordered a garden salad with fennel seeds (and of course, kale) and wasn’t feeling too great about the tart vinaigrette until I peeped a flaming red bottle out of the corner of my eye. I turned around and lo and behold, six or seven bottles of the garlicky goodness sat, crying, unloved, unwanted. So I brought two to my table.

I like to think of Sriracha as that one thing everyone confides in to make them feel better, whether it’s a Birkin or a buttercup. When all dressings, toppings, sauces or oils fail, Sriracha is always there to save the day, although it leaves my upper-lip smelling a little funky. As a matter of fact, I just had toasted edamame with Sriracha. So good, yet so underrated. It’s sad, really.

But, really, the next time you come to New York City (or the first time, if you’re that deprived) definitely check out some of the best juice spots, vegan restaurants and organic farmhouse-restaurants in town. Oh, and make sure to bring around $300, but just for the meals, though. What can I say– healthy eating comes with an “healthy” spending habit.

Bonne chance!

I admit– I’m a Faddie.

Alright, alright, down with all the hullabaloo. Yes, I’m back, I’m sixteen (as of six days ago), I’m not dead and this is not an assassin writing in my place (I can almost guarantee).

Oh, right, I’m also a vegan.

You heard right. As of an hour ago (because five minutes before that I ate a piece of salmon skin) I transferred out of the omnivorous world and into the world of animal lovers, also known as the “factionless” in the carnivorous world.

Why I’ve decided to become vegan now, you ask? Well, growing up, I was surrounded by no one else but vegans and organic foodies. I’m talking co-op members, homeschooler families (including the Shapiro’s that didn’t eat their meat with their milk); even Ms. Jackie who brought vegan cupcakes to every one of my group violin lessons (I salute you, heroine). I guess I had always been immersed into the world of veganism, but never really noticed it until, like, a month ago.

As well as eating organically and primarily plant-based as a child, I was also one that didn’t know what my limits were (still not a surprise to this day). Whenever I went to my cousins’ house I ransacked their sugar and fructose-filled pantries containing so many things I had never even heard of before. Zebra cakes?! What the heck, I gotta have four of those! And as if that wasn’t enough, Aunt Millie used to spontaneously show up from Georgia and fry up three, four pots of chicken wings. Not complaining, though, they were hella good.

However, with my somewhat healthy eating habits (and my covert one a few blocks away), my body was confused as to how to process anything it consumed. So, I usually ended up throwing up. A lot. I’m lactose intolerant, and so pizza, turkey cheese-burgers and even a scoop of ice-cream make my stomach upset. As well as this, fried foods or foods saturated in oil also make my stomach upset. One could say that my body and digestive tolerance were built for a vegan/vegetarian lifestyle, but I was completely oblivious to this at the time. Listen, kids; kids can’t control cravings.

And if they say they can, they’re lying right to your face with a handful of mini powdered donuts behind their back. Not even with their fingers crossed.

But here I am today, trying low-carb veganism. It’s been working well for the last couple of days (up until an hour and five minutes ago). I’ve been eating minimally sauteéd kale and spinach (and no, it doesn’t get rid of the nutrients but in fact enhances them, particularly with these set of veggies) in a salad with sliced mangoes and a few raspberries (because everyone’s measurements are different, by “a few” I mean, five) and a sprinkle of salt, pepper and organic lemon juice, freshly squeezed. As opposed to spinach, the kale holds really well with the lemon juice, giving the salad a little ‘kick’ with every crunch.

It’s great, it’s healthy, and it’s my new best friend… as well as Gwenyth Paltrow (thanks for the kale cleanse, bt-dubs.)

But don’t worry, this isn’t all I’m eating. I’m drinking smoothies (throwback to this summer) consisting of two cups of spinach, half a cup of fruit (watch out for the carbs), half a banana and just flavoured seltzer water that’s been left out for too long and hence has lost all of its carbonation. It all tastes great, it’s pretty much low-calorie (something I’m not worried about) and provides me with a lot of the nutrients I need to go throughout the day.

Now, I know you noticed one thing is missing, especially all you secret bacon lovers out there: protein. Vegans in general usually get their protein from carbohydrates, but since I’m going low-carb, I’m getting my proteins from soy, which I’m slightly allergic to. I’m also allergic to nuts (except for peanuts, which are legumes and carry a high dosage of carbs) which are other protein-holders, so I’m kinda outta luck, here. But, I’m trying as hard as I can. There’s never an “I can’t” when referring to changing eating habits, and just because I’m eating low-carb doesn’t mean I’m going to restrict myself in every way possible. I need certain nutrients to survive, I’m highly aware of, and the last thing I’d want is to lose six pounds as well as faith in myself.

So, yes, that’s me. Or at least me for about three weeks or so. And if you’re interested in vegan recipes and such, I’ll post a couple of things, here and there. I’m about to post a vegan pumpkin pie recipe that’s low-carb, in heart of Thanksgiving.

Amazing.

Here’s a Quickie ;)

Okay.

Speed, go.

Smoothie challenge, day whatever-it-is, I wasn’t keeping track. 

Decided to do the modified version, because chocolate-chipless cookies (gluten free, too) are too irresistible to, well, resist.

Total pounds lost since the first entry about the cleanse? Six.

Bonus, I did Bikram Yoga, which I’ll certainly never do again.

Peace out, champions!