Feelings of Change

Change can sometimes be the most fantastic thing in the moment, but I still want to yell at the world to stop spinning, just for one moment, just enough to not spill my coffee on my dress or get on the wrong bus line.

I quit my job, twice.

I moved.

I got really mad at an IKEA dresser.

I bought fresh flowers.

I was offered a new job, and then another one.

I put a voice to a lot more truth.

I read.

I sold my camera.

I bought a coffee table.

I hugged two very dear friends who flew to see me in my city.

I sat in the redwoods in a spot that felt like magic.

I drove down the coast and remembered all the promises of the ocean.

I wrote a letter to someone who felt death.

I got a little bit closer to who I am.

And I finally went to see the eye doctor.

Sometimes I need to remember that all this shifting is not good or bad or too much. It just is. More stories (and changes) to come.

'Tis the season, apparently.

photo credit: deathtothestockphoto.com


Note to Self

The memos I should have sent myself if I could see into the future...

Eat breakfast. You're cranky when you don't.

You will find a new apartment in a neighborhood you love, for not-insane rent, with touch of SF charm. You will have a few meltdowns until you do. Just know you'll make it.

It will be the hottest it has ever been in San Francisco and you will refuse to eat anything but ice cream. Appreciate the warmth. You'll have it for approximately 2 more days. Enjoy that ice cream.

You will finish a book and then start 3 more, and they will all be worth it. But don't stay up too late.

You'll drink a glass of wine and get a raging headache. You will hate being 30 for a few seconds. Then you'll realize it was probably just the cheap wine. Spend more money next time.

You will struggle because you thought you'd be somewhere else, doing something else, being someone else. But you are here. So be here. And just let things be uncomfortable.

You will show up to work and realize they painted the lobby bright blue--just like the dress you decided to wear. Everyone will comment on this. Own it.

You will join Intentional Blogging because you think it will be fun. You will wonder what the heck you've done. Yea, sooooo got nothin' for ya on that one.

It'll be official: you may now use 30 as the ultimate excuse. "I'm too old for this" never sounded so sweet.

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Image from: deathtothestockphoto.com


Saturday Shout Out


My sis and her husband officially launched their photography/film business. It's also how I got that great picture above. #nailedit

Fenna Blue blogs at The Honest Badger and tweets at @fennarama and I love that she calls it like she sees it. Every. Single. Time. She’s someone who can dish it out AND take it. Sign me up.


Daily Show’s Jessica Williams completely nails it. We should all probably send her a thank you note.

In case you were wondering is SF is worth it. Yes. Yes it is. It’s a bit pretentious with all this high cost of living nonsense, but it’s pretty great.


I don't care if this is popular. I'm not a hipster. Also, how can you not love Bill Withers? You are so welcome.


I’ve been obsessed with what’s going on at Momastery—so much truth, and life, and light.

This bio from MarshMary: “I'm a hypertensive-nurse-turned-blogger who loves chocolate, believes in miracles and makes sure there's always a space after a comma or a period. Space.” Too great.


Just finished reading Wild, and I recommend it even if you don’t like hiking or backpacking or nature. Really. Cheryl Strayed gets at what it’s like to be human. Sometimes it’s really, really hard and you wake up and do it anyway, even when you're scared or tired or lonely.

Started reading Daring Greatly by BrenĂ© Brown. Whoa. Shame, vulnerabilty, people, relationships, it’s all in there. Brown, whose TED Talk I love, put some good life stuff in this book. It’ll push you.

On deck is Letting Go by David Hawkins because, uh, have you met me? Not a huge fan of feeling all the feels. Soooo, I'll let you know how it goes.


Traveling: Awkward & Inconvenient

Traveling is work. It can be frustrating, terrifying, lonely, exciting and everything else. You forget to eat, and struggle to sleep, and try to figure out how to be brave in between. You’re dependent on a language that isn’t yours. You check and double-check and hope you get on the right train, going the right way, at the right time, to see the right city.

And here’s the thing, sometimes you don’t. Sometimes you don’t get on the right train or go to the right hotel or eat the right food. Sometimes you end up at the wrong place with too much luggage and not enough sleep and it’s all you can do to not sit on the curb and cry. Sometimes you get sick in a German hospital in the middle of a Turkish city or miss your flight in a Spanish airport. There are times when you can’t figure out how to turn the lights on in your hotel room so you use the mini-fridge light as your lamp. You rent a car, you get lost, and it’s hours before you reach your destination.* You do your best, and your best is awkward, and tired, and so unhelpful.

So those travelers who are “good” at this whole thing? They’re constantly learning, pushing, living with the awkwardness, loneliness, unsettling moments, and embracing them as part of the journey. They get lost and sick and scared, but they realize that’s part of the trip—heck, it’s part of life—and it’s reason enough for a passport.

The gift of the trip is the opportunity to do those things that terrify us but remind us we are strong and brave and connected to this life. So that is why I love the journey. It’s why I’ll say yes again, and again, and again.

It is why I took a train to Blair Atholl, a place I’d never been and knew nothing about. I walked. I crossed the bridge. I made my way onto a path, through the trees, down to the riverbed. It was my secret place, nestled in a secret town that I may never see again. I leaned against the rocks, listened to the water run by, breathed in the warm air. I watched the light move across the sky, falling behind the green trees, raining light everywhere.

I stood on my tip-toes to see over stone walls and set my camera on the faces of white furry sheep. I did my best not to trespass, reading signs, distracted by everything, excited at the new. I stopped for tea and watched the green hills become silhouettes as the evening started.

Sometimes I need to see simple, hear quiet, remember beautiful things are also part of the adventure. There’s that balance, that push and pull, between rest and work, noise and silence, busy and still, and I think I got closer to it somewhere in Scotland, somewhere in the Highlands.

*All examples based on real life experiences. Sorry if you had a higher opinions of me and my travel companions. 

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Dating & Not Dating & Being Okay

I dated, then I didn't, then I sort of did, then I completely did, and I currently am. I can count on one hand the people who have had front row seats into the mess of me during this time of life. They tell me it’s been a fun ride.

This whole dating thing—the saying yes, the saying no—can be part of moving forward.

We’d been dating for two weeks. We were in a parking lot, late at night, sitting on a curb, and I was sobbing as I said, “I can’t. I’m not ready. It’s really me. I’m not ready. There’s nothing you can do.”

If you’re wondering if you read that right, let’s be clear: I lost my shit in a parking lot while breaking up with a guy. I didn’t want to hurt feelings or cause pain so I cried and cried and cried and knew for certain I wasn’t ready.

I wasn’t ready to date. I was still working through emotions from that big breakup. They were spilling over into other areas; they needed my attention.

In the future, I would need to come across as something slightly more—I don’t know—stable. I needed to get my shit in order.

I thought about why I wanted to date. Did I really want to try? Was there a purpose? The goal wasn’t marriage or kids or that white picket fence. That is not me, and it is finally okay. So what what was it? Why all the effort?

I realized it’d be nice to have a partner—a someone to share with, and be with, and have space in-between. I wrestled with the needs and the wants and the not-quite-understanding-it-all. I was okay alone, and I was comfortable with the risk. I took a deep breath and finally dove in.

I’d tried a few times—this and that and not—and I kept waiting until I thought I could do it. I said yes. I meant it. I was completely petrified, a little excited, mostly nauseous, and a hilarious mess of mistakes. I wanted to be all in, both feet, learning, trying, being brave.

I figured out a few things about myself. I wrote them down. I met some awful people. I met some good souls. I said “yes” and “no” and “let’s give it a shot.” I worked hard to be quick when things didn’t fit and I tried to stay calm when they did. I realized sometimes we should stay strangers, sometimes we should be friends, and sometimes we should date, it’s the respectable thing to do.

So, I'm in it, and making mistakes, and making progress, and growing in all the good sort of ways. I’m learning to say what I need and what I want, and realize the answers can come slowly. I still get scared and uncomfortable and quiet, but I know the signs and push, and try, and talk.

This whole dating thing—the saying yes, the saying no—it's been a part of moving forward.
And I rather like the guy I’ve been dating for the past year now.
So, there's that.

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photo credit: deathtothestockphoto.com


Crossing the Street

I landed in Scotland, and now that I'm here, I'm doing my very best to not get hit by a car.

I'm still adjusting to the timezone, and the Scottish accent, and drivers on a different side of the road, but I really do love this place. I'm in a small pocket of Glasgow, near the West End, in a proper flat with a Scottish woman and her 8-year-old daughter. The city is beautiful in an understated way.

I’ve been walking a lot, drinking tea, thinking, working. I’ve been making time to look around. I’ve been reading, writing, eating. I’ve been trying to be present. Ugh. Being present.

Know what? It’s incredibly uncomfortable to be present. To be present is to acknowledge how you have not-arrived, how there’s still so much work, how you want to create art but sometimes it’s really just crap. Yea, being present, even when you’re in Scotland, isn’t really glamorous.

I’ve made myself think about how next weekend I'm turning 30. I’m asking the annual questions: Where do I want to be? What needs to change? Who am I becoming? Do I want to live in San Francisco in a really expensive apartment?

Birthdays often create this kind of question-entire-life thinking. I hope I’m getting closer to the answers, closer than I’ve been before, but a part of it is scary, and overwhelming and really really annoying. It’s annoying in a way that won’t let go. In a way where you realize what needs to be done and you’re the one who needs to do it.

It's scary in a way that reminds you of the past, the painful ugly past, and you want so badly to not live there anymore. I often worry that I might, that I might just find myself accidentally in a pit, reliving the most painful experiences because I didn't learn, because I didn't see it coming, because I let my guard down.

Vulnerability is a hard thing. It's pushing through the fear, past the guard, and learning to say "I trust you. Will you listen? Can I share?" It's hard and scary and uncomfortable. It's uncomfortable to sit in the present: it's acknowledging what was and how it's over, while realizing there's a future, and it's unknown.

So, yes, being present this week has been scary and overwhelming, and annoying, but I’d be lying if I said this growing space wasn’t also a tiny bit exciting. There’s a part of this that I’ve never done before. I’ve never seen 30. I never imagined this far ahead. There’s some excitement in that—potential, I guess.

So, somedays I’ll do my best, and somedays I’ll completely fail, but I suppose that’s life, or my life, and I can live with that.