By: Carsen Zarin
Cheers yogis! I'm Carsen, the socializing guru on the Grip The Mat team. I wasn't really sure what to say that’s interesting about me! Even my Instagram bio simply says, “Aggressively normal” (but at least I’m honest). So I decided to share the most important things you should know if we are going to be friends:
I put BBQ sauce in my macaroni and cheese (you won’t regret it)
I don’t like wearing skirts (but dresses are okay)
I met my boyfriend the day after I deleted Tinder (and yet the first date was still a drunk misadventure)
I’ve always wanted perform spoken word but never have the guts (I was a poetry fellow in college)
I curse a lot (Mom’s from New Jersey)
I’m obsessed with all Asian food (Dad’s from New York)
I have a cat named Guy Ranger (but he’s a cuddle muffin and not testosterone-y at all)
As October rounds to a close, we’re saying goodbye to sweet summer and heedfully welcoming autumn. With fall comes an array of things I welcome with open arms, like warm alcoholic drinks, big scarves, and Halloween!
Halloween is always full of cute children running around in ridiculous costumes begging for a sugar high and movies so terrifying you insist your roommate walks around the dark corners in your apartment before you do. But this year, there seems to be something even more frightening in the air.
You know what is scarier than the scariest holiday of the year? MOVING! Right now, there’s a moving-bug going around and it’s packing a punch. Our very own Christy is moving to L.A. to begin amazing adventures in the sea-salt soaked air. Alden, one of our most enthusiastic Production Assistants, is also heading to the west coast, Ava (read her hilarious experience at Soul Cycle) is returning to the homeland in Manhattan and I’m taking the long, treacherous and exhausting move six whole minutes across Washington, D.C.
And even outside of Grip The Mat, another friend is moving to Florida. As we were saying our goodbyes over a few beers, he mentioned that if he didn’t move now, he feared never would. How many of us can sympathize with that? How many of us know we need to hold our breath and make the leap, or it might never happen?
Moving can be difficult, daunting, stressful, financially burdensome…and the list goes on. Yet, whenever we move (by choice, at least) we are outweighing the sum of all those feelings and fears with the chance that the move will be worth it. It’s human nature, it’s progression, it’s healthy.
Our brain needs to exercise, just like our heart and our lungs. For most of us, getting to work, or school, or any place we go on a regular basis is a very routine journey and requires no thought. We go on autopilot. There’s a study that came out years ago that struck a chord with me about the importance of variety for the brain. The author suggested taking a different route home for a brain boost. Reluctantly, I did. I saw new things, made left turns instead of right turns, and stumbled onto different streets and neighborhoods. It felt like I had brought my brain back to life.
Just imagine what our brain sees when we return home to the same room, apartment or house every day. Better yet, imagine what your brain doesn’t see. Do you look at pictures on the mantel? Paintings on the wall? Books on the shelf? In my many years in DC, I’ve lived in nine different places (and let’s be clear- that’s not by choice), but I can’t deny the enormous growth I’ve acquired from it. The truth is, sometimes great things come in stressful packages, brown boxes, and U-Haul moving trucks.
So moving may be scary, but it's a fear worth facing. I want to wish the best of luck to all of my dear friends moving near and far. My suggestion: top it off with a tall glass of spiked apple cider and cheers to the excellent workout you just gave your brain.
Cheers + Namaste,