Thursday, December 17, 2020

Be Water

I've been having a difficult time making decisions lately - crippled by the fear of making the wrong one. Today, my friend reminded me that the beauty of life is that nothing is permanent. People, places, things - they all flow in and out of our lives, constantly changing.

Truth is, there are no “right” & “wrong” decisions. Just the ones you make and the ones you don’t. If something doesn’t feel right, you can always make a change.

As Bruce Lee so wisely said, “be water.” Flow & move. Never be afraid to make a wrong choice, or worse, let your fears paralyze you into not moving at all. Be like water. Flow. 🌊

P.S. If you have the opportunity to, I highly recommend watching Bao Ngyuen’s Be Water, which is part of ESPN’s 30 for 30 series. There’s so much I never knew about Bruce and his timeless wisdom is the perfect reminder that we still need to hear today.

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Flowers of Gratitude

 - Thankful for the stillness this year brought: a reminder that it’s okay and very much possible (& necessary) for a go, go, go gal like me to sloooow down

- Thankful for hugs 🐻 (a note to self to squeeze every single person who allows it once it’s safe to once again)

- Thankful for flowers 🌻 many of which were honestly just downright necessary for some self-love & care

- Thankful for all the healthcare workers who have worked day in and day out to care for our loved ones with kindness and compassion, especially in moments where we couldn’t be there to hold their hands

- Thankful for the many beautiful & kind souls who lifted me up with love this year when my legs couldn’t stand ❤️

- Thankful for the abundance in my life: love, family, friendship, opportunity, passion, and everything in between

- Thankful for the hard lessons this year has taught us. i know the scars will remind us of our strength when tough times come back around.

Although this year brought its ups and downs, i hope the joy continues to outweigh the rain. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone - wishing you all love, warmth, and peace to fill your homes & hearts.

Saturday, November 14, 2020

The First Time: Devil's Teeth Baking Co.

For some, this is just a photo of a mouth-watering breakfast sandwich. And, in its simplest form, it is. And yet, it’s also a reminder of the simple pleasures of experiencing something for the first time.

When’s the last time you enjoyed something for the very first time? When’s the last time you did something completely and wildly new-to-you? For me, it was the day we went to Devil’s Teeth Baking Co., an Outer Sunset staple. It’s lauded for its amazing pastries and bakes, as well as its infamous “Special Breakfast” sandwich. Two eggs, bacon, avocado, pepper jack cheese, generously slapped with some lemon-garlic aioli against a fluffy homemade biscuit. *Chef’s Kiss*

Devil’s Teeth had been on my list for some time and I finally told myself that this was the day. So down to the beach we went. I’ve been spending more time at the beach because it was my dad’s favorite place to go when he wanted to clear his mind. He grew up in the Inner Richmond and being by the water makes me feel like he’s there, too. And, I’ll obviously take any excuse to enjoy a sun, sand, and breakfast sandwich combo.

Needless to say, this place is a must and if you’ve been thinking about going, consider this your sign to finally go. Do the thing. Enjoy the now. Go.


Wednesday, November 11, 2020

What Was The Best Part of Your Day?

What was the best part of your day? Really, I want to know 🤗

This weekend’s collective joy was one for the books. Seeing so many people laugh, dance, scream out in relief, and honk in celebration was so wonderful to take in. It was as if everyone had been holding their breath for months & was finally able to breathe.

I’ve been doing my best to soak up everything. All the joys, all the tears, all the laughs. the anger, sadness, and grief attacks, too. My grief counselor recently told me that working to find the little joys helps to rewire our brains - it changes the grooves (so to speak) & teaches us how to navigate & process our new lives.

Last weekend’s joy is one that I think we all very much needed. This year has been a hard one for us all; but, just as I was reminded to find the joys, I’m extending that reminder to you, too.

Consider the daily practice of asking yourself (& each other), “what was the best part of your day?” and watch as the grooves in your brain flow towards joy over time.

Here is a photo of one of my recent “bests” - getting this cute happy face nail art from @saundersandjames. I cannot help but smile every single time I see these tiny smiley faces on my hands (& getting a safe + much-needed mani/pedi after monthhhhs also felt really good, so there’s that!) 🙃

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Return To Sender


So many feels after making it to the last day of @mccalmanco’s "Tell Me Three Things That I Can Do/Return to Sender.”

First, what a treat to meet George and see his work IRL.

“Tell Me Three Things” centers around the triggering phrases @mccalmanco received from white acquaintances following the murder of George Floyd. (& that’s really just the tip of it.)

It’s a beautiful expression of emotions & an artistic summation of the overwhelming feelings many of us have held & processed inside. there was something especially healing about his body of work — realizing the power of returning things to sender & releasing the burden of someone else’s words on you. just “simply” giving them back to whom they belong to.

“This is the stuff that is under our skin, this is the stuff that warps us as a Black community because we are just storing all of this stuff, all this toxicity. And it affects our physical health, it affects our emotional state, it affects our bodies. And the people who’ve given it to us don’t even know they have given it to us.” (via @representcollaborative)

And then, consider his gift to us — offering a space to think, feel, talk about, & reflect on race. the world needs more of this — shared experiences that knock open doors of thought, channel self-reflection, and invite dialog among us. thank you, George, for the reminder that telling our stories is one of the most important things we can do.

If you didn’t get to see this IRL:
📰 Read @representcollaborative’s piece by @erinfeher, here
💭 Marinate on george’s words
💬 And then LMK, how do these pieces make you feel?


Saturday, August 29, 2020

Love People Better

At the very beginning of this year, I asked derrick to walk with me to a local coffee shop that I’d been wanting to scope out. The shop is known for its handwritten “notes of joy” on their coffee cups, so you can see how this would be right up my alley. I thought it’d be a nice way to ring in the new year - with my first #pancakewisdom sighting of the year.

my cup said, “2020 resolutions: 𝚖̶𝚊̶𝚔̶𝚎̶ ̶𝚖̶𝚘̶𝚛̶𝚎̶ ̶$̶; 𝚠̶𝚘̶𝚛̶𝚔̶ ̶𝚖̶𝚘̶𝚛̶𝚎̶ ̶𝚑̶𝚘̶𝚞̶𝚛̶𝚜̶; love people better.” as life would have it, the pandemic took care of the first two right away.

Up until a few months ago, I didn’t really think much of what it meant to love “better.” I figured I knew? But, the more this year threw my way, the more I re-examined.

What does it mean to love better?

Well, for starters, how are you spending your time? Is it with the people you love? Do the people you love know that you love them? Are you sure? How are you using your energy? Are you making time for the people who are important to you? How do you show them that you care? How do you show your gratitude - even when things are hard? Are you taking care of yourself?

Eight months ago, I did not think of these questions in the same way I do now, if at all. This year has been a lot for all of us. And with each day, it seems like there is more to carry. But, my hope is that as this year continues to force us to slow down, we continue to use our time to re-examine.

I recently read a personal essay that urged that in this time of uncertainty we’re all experiencing, now is the time to love out loud; to “live intentionally in our actions and in the love we show” others.

What does it mean to love people better? I’m unsure there’s a perfect answer; but, I am certain that we can all resolve to do so. Be kind & wrap each other in love.

Friday, July 17, 2020

All it Takes is One

It’s no secret that the last few months have been difficult for more reasons than one. While I was hurting at home, the world was hurting, too.⁣⁣

Throughout my life, I’ve found writing to be a form of therapy. It’s funny because I’m always mistakenly described as a “quiet” gal (because I prefer to listen rather than talk). but I’ve never really been “quiet.” in fact, I find myself to be quite loud with my words. ⁣⁣
These last few months, we saw the world slowly open their eyes to the pain that many of us in the Black community have felt and experienced for years. recently, I had an unfortunate experience with a brand that I formerly supported and like usual, I talked to dad about it. that day, he prayed that we could get someone to share my story. “all it takes is one,” he said. ⁣⁣
I didn’t get to share this final piece with him, but I did get to see him smile when I told him that it was coming.⁣⁣
Thank you, to @thebolditalic + @medium for hearing me and giving me the opportunity to share my words. Thank you to everyone who amplified my voice and used their own to help me shout. ⁣⁣
If you take one thing away from this admittedly long post, let it be the reminder that all it takes is one - one person to speak up, one person to make a difference, one person to make a change. never underestimate your ability to be that one. ⁣⁣
This one’s for you, dad ❤️

Thursday, May 7, 2020

When is it Safe to Run?

When I was younger, my dad used to go out jogging every morning at 5 or 6 am before work. I never really understood it until I got older, but my mom always pleaded that he jog at a different time - “When there’s light out,” she’d say, or “When it safer to.” ⁣

I’m not an early bird and never was, so at that age, I assumed 5 am was a dangerous time for anyone who was out there running. As I got older, my dad kept jogging and I started to understand the real reason behind my mom’s pleas. ⁣

I can’t pretend to tell any of you how many times my father has gotten stopped while out for a run in our neighborhood. But, I can tell you it’s enough times for me to vividly remember the fear in my mom’s eyes. The anger in my dad’s. The collective sadness in both. ⁣

I’m much older now and not much has changed. My dad can’t go out for jogs anymore, but if he could, would I now be the one begging him to reconsider? I can’t imagine a life in which my father is not there. Truly. And my heart breaks for those who have to live with the reality a loved one gone... simply because he wanted to go on a jog, or walk home with skittles, or ask for help, or just live. ⁣

I recognize my immense privileges and implore those of you who read this to take a minute to do the same. It is my responsibility to remind those of you with the privilege of being able to simply live to stand up and use your voice for those whose voices cannot be heard. ⁣

Friday, May 1, 2020

Todo Va A Estar Bien

During this time, taking the time to go out for a short neighborhood walk has been one of the highlights of my day. I love smiling behind my mask & waving at strangers from a distance. I love finding sidewalk chalk with happy messages from the neighborhood kids. I love making derrick stop every five minutes to take a photo of said messages 😅⁣

Funnily enough, at the beginning of the year when I was making a list of the goals & practices that I wanted to work on, I wrote down “take more walks. explore. get some air.” Little did I know that it would take... a pandemic... to make me appreciate a daily walk outside my doors. ⁣

Life has a funny way of giving us what we ask for. Perhaps that is why I take comfort in knowing that everything will eventually be okay. As my friend reminded me today, “if it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”

Monday, April 20, 2020

Joy in Stillness

 Bright side of being inside:⁣

• Rekindling with my inner child & making time to “play”⁣

• Finally “having time” to film + edit videos - something that’s been on my to-do list for a handful of years now⁣

• Learning that working out at home *is* possible & enjoyable ⁣

• Guilt-free afternoon cat naps 😸⁣

• And, maybe my favorite thus far: giving myself the time to reset, sloooooow down 🐌 and get comfortable with not having a million things on my to-do list⁣

For those who can, I hope you’re able to find joy in the stillness, too.
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