But it didn’t happen the way I thought it would

A year ago, I was already sequestered inside my apartment, barely leaving if I could help it. In late February 2020, the pandemic hadn’t yet become a terrifying reality in Brooklyn, where I live, but the thought of opening my front door filled me with dread. I had already put myself into lockdown.

I’d already made up my mind that 2020 would be a lost year. My contract at the New York Times had just ended, and finding another journalism job was proving difficult. An editor for a new website asked me to meet him for coffee in SoHo and…

Every week, it would appear there is a new pandemic wall, and we are all hitting it

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This person is simply skating in front of their pandemic wall. Photo: 青 晨/Unsplash

I knew this would happen at some point in the pandemic, but this is the week I finally feel like I’m fully losing my mind. I am going to go ahead and assume you are an ungenerous reader and get my stupid little self-aware disclaimers out of the way now. I am a young, relatively healthy person in my late twenties. I live in a big city, I don’t have a family to support, I have the privilege of working from home, and I don’t have to interface with the general public a whole lot. I have the financial stability…

But I will tell you exactly how bad I am with money so you don’t have to be.

This post is a few things: A cautionary tale, a PSA, a story about money, and an explanation of how I finally attempted to get my shit together in a small but meaningful way. I am not known for being good with money: As I explained last week, I’ve never really “had” money so it did not make sense to me to learn how to be better about handling money. I might as well have bought a children’s toy cash register and learned about savings that way, or played with Monopoly money.

But at the beginning of this year I…

There’s a fine art to reporting on sketchy companies with billions while making $13 an hour

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Photo: Claudio Schwarz | @purzlbaum on Unsplash

Ihave never had a lot of money. And I’ve also never been particularly good with money. It did not occur to me to get better with having money, perhaps because it did not make sense to me to learn how to be better about handling money I didn’t have.

Why would I learn about investing in the stock market, for example, when every dollar I made was going toward rent or paying off my student loans? Does the stock market let you invest your leftover $40 after taxes and expenses? (Do not answer this question. I still have not put…

On needing to feel pure nostalgia because we’re not making new memories right now

There’s a memory imprinted onto my brain from the Before Times. Sometimes it’s so vivid and pure I think there’s no way I experienced it in real life, I must have dreamed it.

It’s late summer 2018 and I’m on the first actual vacation I’ve taken in years. We’re zipping down a highway on the Sicilian coast in a rental Audi we picked up at the airport. My friend Corey is driving, I’m in the passenger seat, and my friend Amanda is in the backseat. We’d just spent the day in the coastal town of Cefalù. We ate cannoli and…

Maybe this is the kind of life I would have had if I had just done a few things differently.

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A home that doesn’t belong to any of the trad wives I follow…as far as I know. Photo by Bertrand Bouchez on Unsplash

No matter where you run, you cannot hide from the realities of our cruel, cold world. I should know. Over the past 10 months I’ve tried everything: Spending money, spending less money, doing yoga, riding my dumb stationary bike, watching Gossip Girl. But at the end of the day, when I am still in my stupid little apartment and my brain is still on fire, I do have one last outlet I turn to to avoid the crushing reality of, well, everything: My trad wife influencers.

Lucky for me, my two best friends went to a small liberal arts college…

Nostalgia drew me in. But the escapism, absurdity, and innocent stupidity of the late 2000s kept me watching.

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Photos: Antonio de Moraes Barros Filho/FilmMagic/Bobby Bank/WireImage/James Devaney/Getty Images

It’s the second Friday in March, and nobody seems to be going outside anymore. I’m glued to my couch watching season 1, episode 11 of Gossip Girl, in which Blair Waldorf is coming to terms with her dad. He’s recently come out as gay and is moving to Paris to live with his boyfriend, who — scandal upon scandal! — used to be a model for Blair’s fashion designer mother.

Now it’s July, and I’ve moved a mile down the street from my old apartment. Gossip Girl’s Dan Humphrey is, improbably, getting a story published in the New Yorker as…

Buckle up! It’s a doozy.

I trust that my neighborhood bookstore has only the best selections on display, books that its employees have personally vetted and chosen, and because of this, I’ve never been let down by any of my purchases there. Until last week. Before absconding to the Catskills to sit in a hot tub for several days, I stopped by Greenlight to buy some books, which I planned to devour sitting in said hot tub or while wearing an alpaca sweater in front of a roaring fire at an Airbnb. I picked up a stack of books, and then I saw Cecily von…

Blankets, silk pillowcases, and a little wicker basket really can make things better

As the year draws to a close, I am looking back on what 2020 has wrought. For me, it was a year of adjustments (new job, leaving journalism full time, new apartment, etc.), which included trying to find ways to self-soothe during a global crisis. I bought a bunch of stuff that made me happy because that’s evidently what you do when you have a small amount of disposable income for the first time in your life. I donated to my local mutual aid organizations, and and I made a bunch of pretty small changes and purchases that improved my…

As soon as the scale of the pandemic became apparent this spring, I accepted that the rest of my 2020 was probably fucked: No enormous birthday party at my favorite wine bar in Clinton Hill, no Thanksgiving, no Christmas. So when my birthday rolled around in August, I saw some friends in the park and walked to Chinatown to eat my favorite wontons outside on Bayard Street. When the CDC all but cautioned against cancelling Thanksgiving last month, outside of celebrating with the members of your home, I was sad but I made peace with it and cooked a big…

Maya Kosoff

i’m a freelance writer and editor. you can also read me in places like the new york times and vanity fair.

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