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Three Little Words

A wildly beautiful thing happened to me the other night. A while ago I became very interested in the art of self-care (read this, this, and this). Every night before bed, I started saying “I love you” to myself. It felt so weird at first. I didn’t say it out loud, but just thinking it in my head still felt uncomfortable. Like, why was I doing this? Did it even mean anything? Would it ever affect anything at all? Eventually it became somewhat of a habit, a tiny nighttime ritual. I also started saying “thank you” to my body after every workout.

On Wednesday night, I had just finished a particularly hard workout–I pushed myself extra hard and felt very grateful to be there. As we began the cool down, a little voice popped out of nowhere. “I’m so proud of you,” she said. It was so surprising, yet completely empowering. Do you guys think I’m crazy now? Haha! Just a little reminder to always be kind to yourself. xo


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Good Reads & Tunes

Hey loves! I hope you’re welcoming 2015 the best way you know how.

So, to state the obvious: I fell into a major reading drought during the end of last year. I’ve gone without reading before, but nothing like that. I think it was the combination of reading at work and a shortened subway ride and the fact that nothing really caught my eye. The thing that always pulls me out of it is an amazing can’t-put-it-down book, and I’m so happy to say that I’ve gotten back into it. (For now, at least–fingers crossed.) The book that saved me this season is Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed. I’ve never bookmarked so many pages before. Guys, it is so right on and she gives the most beautiful advice on every subject from financial issues to love to family to friendship. Even though I don’t usually enjoy reading advice columns (it’s a collection of her Dear Sugar columns from The Rumpus), the letters published in this book are thoughtful and human and raw, and I can’t help but see myself in every one of them. This is one I’ll read again and again, and I haven’t even finished it yet. Go buy it now, please!

Next on my list are two YA books that caught my eye: Althea & Oliver and All the Bright Places. Well-written YA is my fave and I can’t wait to dive into these.

And two songs that I can’t get out of my head . . .

Oh, and this recipe is delicious heaven. A little bit of everything for ya. :) Hopefully I’ll be back sooner than later this time around. Peace and love ya’ll.


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. . .

Dear blog,

Hello. I miss you. I wanted to write to you today about the small things. Like how I saw this pin the other day, and thought about how perfect and so damn true it is (thanks, Paige). And that the leaves are changing, and it’s not too cold or too hot, but just right. And how much I missed the fall and didn’t even realize it until now. And how the entire Gilmore Girls series is now on Netflix, and I’m currently addicted. And long, rambling, nonsensical gchat conversations with my friends. And the mountain of pillows and blankets that make me feel safe in my bed, with sparkly lights and candles. And the book I’m reading right now, the one that’s taking me weeks to get through even though it’s only 96 pages. And finding the good Chinese place in my little perfect town. And putting the best song ever on repeat, turning it up a touch too loud. And this blog that has the shortest but loveliest posts. And texting people hilarious pictures too embarrassing for an actual #TBT post. And sitting on the couch for three whole hours on Thursdays for Shonda time. And the fact that I already bought my tickets home for the holidays. And being 24 and fun. And Jack Falahee. And new boots. And these beautiful planners. And burritos, always.

Thank you, universe.


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An Invitation

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Something came to me the other day and I haven’t been able to get it out of my head since. It’s the idea that who you invite into your life is a choice–your choice. And it is one of the most important choices you will have to make. Interaction is not an invitation. You can interact with your co-workers, dates, friends, family, and strangers, but it is not the same as inviting them to be a part of your life. Allowing someone into your heart, mind, home, bed–that is an invitation. You are giving them access to your most valuable resources–your time, your energy, your love, your innermost thoughts.

Usually your family members get automatic invites into your life. Your parents invite friends into your life when you are little and try to make the best choices on your behalf. That changes as you grow up. You start to make your own choices. You begin to let people in who might hurt you, use you, bring you down, use up all your resources so that you’re left with nothing. You realize that not every person is a good person. You begin to recognize the difference between a friend and an acquaintance. We are so quick to let others in–for love, to avoid loneliness, out of boredom, because we think we have to. The thing is, you don’t have to do anything.

Wait for the good ones, the extraordinary ones, the firecrackers, the ones who make you laugh out loud on a silent subway ride, the ones who remember your birthday, the ones who make your heart ache in the best way, the ones who answer your phone call on the first try, the ones who give the fiercest hugs, the ones who don’t skip a beat, even after hours, months, years have passed. They are the people worth gold-stamped invitations into your oh-so-fragile, carefully constructed life.

I used to be sad that none of those people for me lived nearby. It seemed like every single one of them was miles or countries away. But what I’ve come to realize is that it will never matter how far away they are. They are in your life. They have lifetime invitations. And they are incrementally better than a mediocre person who lives a minute away. Your life is too precious to settle for mediocre. Don’t throw a party inside your heart–strangers show up, things get broken, and you are the only one left standing to clean it up.

And also, think about the little things. Every response to an ex-boyfriend’s text, every happy hour you attend because you “have” to, every snap you send to someone not worth your time, every conversation with someone who is not listening–they add up. And they become one drawn-out invitation for those people to break your freaking heart. (You know better than that.) But it’s hard, so you keep playing the game. But next time, promise that you’ll think about yourself for just a minute. About your heart, your needs, what you really, really, really want. Do they deserve any part of you, of your life?

So I guess that’s why I’ve been shy about blogging lately. Because blogging is not an interaction for me. It is an invitation into my mind, my heart, my fears, my dreams. I don’t know how to write other than to pour myself onto the page, messy parts and all. But the thing with a public blog is that everyone is invited here, whether I like it or not: future employers, ex-boyfriends, dates, etc. But I realized I am not writing it for them. I am writing it for you, the loyal readers (even if there are only four of you) who come back day after day, for all of the people I have invited into my life. Thank you for always RSVPing.


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Sunday Night Thoughts

Oh hi, welcome to mid-August. Excuse me, when did that happen? It doesn’t help that Timehop keeps reminding me that exactly a year ago I was moving into my new apartment in the city of my dreams. Are you guys sick of me talking about SF yet? Sorry I’m not sorry.

So here’s the deal. I’m boycotting. AGAIN. (Dating gods, if you’re listening, please don’t send any charming, mysterious men into my life right now. I’M SERIOUS. <punch emoji>) We’re not going to go into it this time, but let’s just say I’m pretty much over the male species at the moment. I was feeling a little sad on Friday until Kayla gave me a stern but loving (and much needed) pep talk. She is one of the strongest, most inspiring women I know. 

I wanted to share a few things that made me feel happy and more like myself, in case any of you need a similar pick-me-up. : )

1. I DID IT. I signed up for the gym. I have been talking about this for months, usually while eating. I went to two Zumba classes, which I lovelovelove and highly recommend, as well as a full-body weights and cardio class, which promptly kicked my ass and made me unable to move, so.

2. Kayla also introduced me to the Oprah & Deepak 21-Day Meditation Experience: Expanding Your Happiness. It’s been incredibly interesting and challenging so far. Even though it already started, you can still sign up now and follow along. All about the self love.

3. Lotsa good tunes this month. My playlist’s a little angsty and heartbreaky this time around, but hopefully you’ll understand and even LIKE some of them? Listen to OctaHate by Ryn Weaver first. Am I the last one to hear this song or what?!?

4. Sneaking a little book review in here at the end because I know you crazies don’t usually read my review posts. Yes, I figured that out. Yes, I will keep posting them. For like, the one person who reads them. Ugh, I’m like a broken record but honestly, Rainbow Rowell is queen. I read Eleanor & Park first, then Landline, then Attachments, and just started Fangirl. Two are young adult and two are adult fiction, which I think is one the things that makes her such a unique writer–that she can create equally strong characters from both points of view. All of her stories are so different from each other, but her lovely writing style connects them all and makes you want to keep reading everything she writes. They make me laugh, cry, and smile, all in a span of five minutes. Can someone PLEASE read them so we can have a heart to heart? I also picked up Bad Feminist because of this blog post, so that’s next on my list.

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Have an absolutely fabulous week!


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Gchat Wisdom

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“But everyone has bad dates all the time. There’s no way that my first Tinder date is a success. Like how does that happen?” she asked me over Gchat on just another Thursday in the middle of work.

“Maybe you got lucky because you deserve it,” I said, so happy for my friend who finally took a chance and put herself out there. (And it’s working out so far. ♥)

“I dunno about all that.”

“Gotta believe in yourself,” I said before quoting the famous Perks quote. I told her to believe that she deserves good love, because she absolutely does. And then she asked me something that made me stop mid-type.

“Do you believe it for yourself?” she asked me.

And somehow, this question wasn’t as easy to answer. It’s always clear to see what others deserve, even if they can’t see it themselves. We think highly of our friends and love them so deeply for who they are that we believe they deserve the world and more, but what about ourselves? Don’t we deserve the very same?

But of course, it’s never that simple. We are not perfect. We get in over our heads. We misjudge people, body language, words, intentions. We are constantly rearranging and gluing the pieces back together. We fall for the boys with charming smiles, witty one-liners, mysterious eyes. The same ones who don’t call, who don’t ask questions, who don’t make promises.

As the cliche goes, you have to love yourself before you can love someone else. For the most part, I think that’s bullshit. It’s the easiest thing in the world to drown your flaws, your insecurities, your fears in the presence of someone who makes you feel alive. It’s so damn easy to place your energy on loving that person instead of facing yourself in the mirror every day and pledging to unconditionally love the person staring back at you.

But maybe it is only when you take the time to do this, to look in the mirror every single day with love in your eyes and heart, that you can allow yourself be loved by another in the way you deserve. You won’t waste time on the boys who don’t call, who don’t ask questions, who don’t make promises.

Because that’s settling.

So I decided to be honest with my friend. “Somewhat. A work in progress,” I replied, stuck in between my belief in the concept and reality.

“Aren’t we all?” she said.

 

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