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We’re all starving for something.

If there has been a recurrent theme in the last decade, it would be hunger. My hunger is deep and wide and palpable.

I’ve craved calm in the chaos. Beauty instead of ugliness. Steadfastness amidst uncertainty. Human connection in lieu of screen time. Love. Always love.

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Sometimes it seems like there’s never enough love.

It’s funny to think 10 years have passed since I began this blog. One Thanksgiving night, I decided to be brave and put my words into the world. I didn’t know if anyone would care about what I had to say. I still wonder.

A decade is a good marker to reflect on what has been.

I remember feeling unhappy with my life back then, yet determined to crawl out of it. Writing has been a constant in my life. It is the way I express myself best. So I put together this little site, determined to focus on what is good in the world. I invited you to join the “goodness intervention.” (Click here to read the first post! And yes, I am still thankful for bacon.) Together, by focusing on the good, we’d find our happy.

Now I understand that unhappiness is just hunger for something else. That yearning doesn’t magically go away. You actually have to do something about it. 

That’s the hard part.

My life is vastly different than it was a decade ago. I am vastly different than I was a decade ago. And in many ways, exactly the same.

Jobs and relationships—I’ve let go of many, and some have let go of me. None of that was easy, but with the gift of hindsight, it all was necessary. We are what we tolerate. When we settle, our lives sink in to mediocrity and our home is built on that foundation.

Anything that came to a dramatic conclusion had warning signs. It first appeared with whispers.

“Are you gonna let that person talk to you that way?”

“Do you really want to cancel another dinner plan to work late again?”

“Should you let that passive aggressive comment slide?”

Left ignored, the whispers transform into megaphones, until you can ignore them no more.

It’s occurred to me only in the past year that much of what’s in my life wasn’t by conscious choice. It takes courage to have a life of your own choosing. Not one you were conditioned to want. Not one that you “should” have. Not the one that looks good on Instagram.

What I really want has become clearer. Also, I probably should relax a little bit. 🙂

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In the last 10 years, I began to see the world outside my own country. This, more than anything, has changed my life. It is a privilege I am immensely grateful for every single day.

I never learn more about myself than when I am somewhere new. It doesn’t matter if I’m on a solo journey, or with friends. Traveling points out my weak spots. It highlights the ways I’m not compatible with my companions. It emboldens my New Yorker pushiness when warranted (thank goodness), but triggers my shyness when meeting new people. It sometimes makes me long to share a particularly gorgeous moment with the special someone who hasn’t yet shown up.

It digs into the tender places. I don’t do vulnerability well, but traveling shoves it right in my face and forces me to deal.

But also, seeing a new place reinforces my sense of wonder. It helps me remember how much beauty there is in this world. How grand life is. It’s just waiting for us to remember.

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(You guys. I went to Iceland this year and didn’t tell you. I’ll fill you in soon.)

My ability to feel wonder is my favorite thing about me. It’s the thing that propelled me to begin blogging, and it’s what I hope to always retain.

Of course, it’s also easy to think life is better when you’re on a plane to somewhere fabulous. But the thing is, you still have to go home. And if you haven’t created a home life that is nurturing and welcoming, all the frequent flyer miles in the world cannot create that for you.

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The biggest thing the last decade taught me was about softness. Or, how too much information, too little compassion, too few real-life connections make it difficult to stay centered and sane. The world has changed dramatically, and I struggle with how my emotions have been altered along with it. The hardest thing for me has been to remain soft in at least of few of my inner spaces.

But when I’m in doubt, when I think there is just no hope, I go out into nature.

Nature always resets me just right. The trees, the flowers, the leaves all have a wisdom, and they help me remember to be soft.

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Also, somewhere during the last 10 years I learned you shouldn’t double space after a period. These are the times I wish there was some kind of universal memo to tell you everything you’ve learned about life has now changed. But, alas, no. Anyway…

Ultimately, focusing on the good is life changing. There is a next step to that, though. Taking action on what you want is key. Being willing to get out of your comfort zone leads to goodness you hadn’t imagined. I hope to always be willing to take a leap.

What about you—what have you learned? 

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And so we put these years behind us and look towards the ones to come. Where will the next 10 years take me? Only the future knows. But hopefully I will still remember to document the good, to celebrate life’s small graces, and to eat the best grub possible.

Whether you’ve read this little blog since that first Thanksgiving night or this is the first time we’ve met, thank you. In a world grabbing your attention at every turn, I’m grateful you’ve taken time to read my words. It means more than I could possibly say.

I may not be in this space as much as I used to be, but I’m always rooting for us. Here’s to the next 10 years. May we flourish.

XO, with goodness and grace.

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