Monday, October 31, 2016

when the colors change.

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The other morning I was driving to work. It was overcast, as it usually is this time of year in Portland. I drive through the heart of the city on my commute and am met with many, many shades of gray. This song was playing. I had just enough time to swing by a drive-thru and get a cup of coffee. The best part of my commute is that I can see the southwest hills in a sweeping landscape as I cross over the Ross Island Bridge. Jeffrey is constantly telling me to look at the hills, to take it all in.

It was the sort of morning where I was just feeling thankful for so many things. It was a welcome feeling after what has been many, many mornings of feeling pretty lost, confused, and uncertain about many, many things. But on this particular morning, I could recognize the beauty and fullness of my life so clearly and so perfectly that I almost could've cried.

As I crossed over the bridge and wondered — audibly — at my great fortune, I noticed (reallllllly noticed) the southwest hills. It would have been impossible to miss them. The trees were bursting with autumnal colors. The gray Portland sky was the perfect backdrop for really capturing and amplifying the bright, vivid colors of the leaves. And I couldn't believe it.

I thought of all the times Jeffrey has told me to look at the hills, to take them in, to immerse myself in the beauty of the city where we live and I have been stubborn. I haven't done it. I've pretended not to care or not to be in awe of it or to find more beauty and joy elsewhere. And it's because I've stiff armed Portland for so long. Moving here brought all my insecurities right to the surface and I was forced to acknowledge them and challenge my best self to do the work of walking through the dark parts to get to where the light is.

There are still so many moments when I feel lost or question my purpose or wonder what I'm doing in this rainy city or feel thoroughly confused and uncertain and foggy, but those moments make way for the moments when I see everything clearly and can glimpse the light and recognize the sheer beauty that is the life I'm building. And a life needs the dark and the light. The confusion and the clarity. That's what makes it whole and rich and vibrant and beautiful.

Thursday, October 27, 2016


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In an effort to document more of my daily life, here's a new series all about Sundays. I'll never forget a conversation I had with a colleague of mine where we basically trashed Sundays (sorry, Sunday). If you are someone who has a Monday through Friday work week, you can probably relate to the Sunday blues, which for me would typically begin at around 4 PM. The thought of an impending work week and what that encompasses, was often enough to send me into an anxious tailspin.

It wasn't until recently that I really came around to appreciating Sundays. We typically like to try and do something a little more ambitious on Saturdays, so Sundays became the low key, relaxed, cozier day of the week. And at exactly the same time on a recent Sunday afternoon, Jeffrey and I both remarked on what a perfect day we were having.

So thanks, Sunday (and sorry for taking awhile to warm up to you). xo

Saturday, October 8, 2016

what i know at 27.

Don't make your career the thing about you. Make joy the thing about you. Or a sense of humor. Or optimism. But not your career.

Try to remember that everyone is going through something that feels hard and a little bit hopeless. Show compassion for others and also for yourself.

Give yourself permission to let things go. Forgive yourself. Move on. (This is hard. Start really small.)

You will begin to notice lines (re: wrinkles) forming between your eyebrows and you'll spend too much time examining those lines in the mirror. Stop. Be more interesting than that.

Make the bed most days, but don't make it every now and then, too.

Find joy in small things. File those small things away and save them for a moment when you really need them* (*middle of winter, very cold and wet, dark at 4:30 PM).

Choose kindness. There are a number of ways to respond to situations and people. The kind way is the best way. Every time.

An expert will come to your house to help your dog with his separation anxiety and tell you that dogs don't have a sense of self or think human thoughts or feel certain emotions. Recognize that while this is "true," it's actually not true. Talk to your dog anyway and know that out of all the dogs in the universe, he is the one single dog that actually understands.

When you feel a little bit sad about the state of the world, remember that flowers bloom through cracks in the sidewalk without any help from anyone.

At one point in your life, 27 seemed like an age where you might have lots of things figured out. Realize that "having things figured out" is an illusion that was mostly created to make you feel bad. You are a human being with lots to give. That is enough.

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