Three Things

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“You don’t need anybody’s permission to start living your dream; the only person’s permission you need is your own. It’s your decision to make, so stop outsourcing it to other people.”

– Ashley C. Ford

 
 
1. I didn’t even know who she was before this, but I’m really feeling Ashley C. Ford and everything she has to say in this interview.
 
“Say yes to yourself. The hardest thing to get over when you’re trying to live a dream is the possibility that you might fail or that it might not be for you. But the truth is, that’s not the worst thing in the world. If you fail or find out that you don’t like something, then you just got closer to finding out what you’re truly meant for.”
 
2. New favorite jewelry site with minimalist pieces that are ethically sourced and won’t break the bank. win win win!
 
3. A board game for my nerds.

 
 
Merry Almost Christmas, ya filthy animals.

 

 

(Photo from soko’s f/w lookbook)

Three Things

Accidents

14 people were killed too close to home*. But I’m not going to talk about that.**

 

My grandmother is still in the hospital two weeks after being in a car accident. It has been one thing after another, and it’s strange seeing an elderly patient developing infections, dyspnea, and edema like a textbook case except this is your grandmother and she is supposed to live to be a hundred.

She’s going to be fine, though (and this is not just a granddaughter’s optimism).

Being confined to four walls without korean dramas or WWE for distraction has left her with too much time on her hands, though. When the steady stream of visitors leave for the day, she is alone with her thoughts, and lately they have not been her friends: Why is this happening to me? Am I ever going to get out of here? Is this how I’m going to die?

I imagine her assessing her body for signs of reassurance or, more likely, concern. Her heavy chest and shallow breaths from bruised ribs. Soft wheezes like a slowly deflating balloon. Swollen belly, thighs, hands (I used to have such pretty hands! she tells me) with taut, fluid-logged skin. Her hips and arms are flecked with purple-red bruises – battle scars from the accident and unsuccessful blood draws.

She woke up at 2am yesterday with her eighty-year-old heart beating faster than a jackhammer. I was scared, she said. There was no one here and I was scared.

So tonight, I sit by her side and stroke her arm until she stops moaning, reminding her that she’s not alone. I think of Danika leaning over Levi’s crib, her hand lingering on his little back after he finally slips into that tenuous space before dreams.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Shouldn’t anywhere be too close to home for a mass shooting?

**Except to say, we keep waiting for the world to change without actually making any changes.

Accidents

42. Podcasts

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I’m status post a 10 hour round trip solo road trip, and feel like it’s my duty to give a shout out to these podcast friends who kept me company along the way.

I lean toward podcasts that tell a story and really delve deep into someone’s life or teach me something new. Nobody wants to feel like they’re wasting their time when there is so much amazing content out there, whether it’s in the form of music, TV shows, podcasts, or audiobooks.

So to all the commuters, dishwashers, and dog-walkers, here’s a few that have helping me learn/laugh/think:
 


Warning: very NPR-heavy as their content and production is just so good. I swear they don’t pay me (because they have no money).

 

1. Invisibilia: Alright, alright. I was late joining the bandwagon, but it’s good for a reason. It is “a series about the invisible forces that shape human behavior.” My favorites were “Secret History of Thoughts” – the segment on “locked-in man,” and “How to Become Batman.”

2. Death, Sex, & Money: I just devoured these little 20 minute forays into other people’s lives. “A podcast about the big questions and hard choices that are often left out of polite conversation,” Highlights included, “Cheating Happens,” and the interview with Ken Jeong, who had the sweetest things to say about his wife.

3. Call Your Girlfriend: “A podcast for long distance besties everywhere,” Ann Friedman (of pie chart fame) and her bestie, Aminatou Sow, chat about smart girl things and help you realize it’s perfectly acceptable to talk about your period, diva cups, and the presidential debates all in one phone conversation.

4. Magic LessonsIn case you didn’t realize, Elizabeth Gilbert (my eat, pray, love hero) wrote a book expanding on her TED talk on creativity (I know you’re thinking, “real original!“). It might be a marketing scheme to sell more books, but if you’re like anyone I know and are made to create, it’s a wonderful listen.

5. This American Life: Because duh. And also because how much do I love Ira Glass.

6. Planet Money: Finance in general is a topic that both terrifies and fascinates me because I know so little about it. “Pay Patients, Save Money” was a really interesting take on one company’s approach to battling skyrocketing healthcare costs.

 

It’s not a definitive list, but it’s a good start, I think. My commute is 3x as long since I’ve moved, so please let me know if I’m missing out anything!
 
 
 


Photo: Woods Canyon Lake. I caught a fish.

42. Podcasts

41. Pearls from the Mat

I spent an hour last night in a 90 degree room, sweat pouring down my face and arms, into my eyes and ears. Hot yoga is a strange obsession but it’s mine.

The instructor was a youngish girl, with muscular legs and an old-timey mermaid tattoo on the small of her back. She gave us all a pep talk at the beginning of class, and it reminded me why I love this practice.

Two statements, One question:
We get what we deserve in life.
Successful people believe they deserve success.
Are we doing everything we can to get those things we deserve?

I know her words were primarily to motivate us during the 923759 vinyasas and low boat poses she had us do – because yes, we deserve those six-pack abs! yes, we deserve that amazing body!

But for me, it was a reminder to push. To find my edge and go beyond it. Because while everyone’s version of success may be different, we’re all entitled to it.

We just have to work for it.
(Video: Briohny Smyth and this video will forever be my yoga inspiration)

41. Pearls from the Mat

40. Lost and Found

It’s July 15th. Over half-way through 2015, and I can’t help but reflect on words I came across today in a slim navy notebook wedged between books next to my bed:
 
“2015 feels good, like slipping into new shoes that feel broken in somehow. like crisp morning air when you’re dressed appropriately and can appreciate it. this is going to be my year. this is my year.”

 

 

don’t forget it.

40. Lost and Found

39. Summer in LA

With year-round sunshine and a (concerning) lack of precipitation, there’s a lot to love about SoCal living. But summertime in the city – it’s the stuff rom-com dreams are made of. Balmy nights and late am brunches. Beachside fireworks and farmers markets bursting with produce.

It may very well be my last summer in los angeles, and I’m making the most of it:

– Because somehow joining a wine club made sense in my life right now (and they have food trucks and live music on the weekends!).

– Everyone knows watching a movie outdoors with a couple hundred strangers in a cemetery is way cooler than streaming netflix with your cat.

– Fireworks at the Hollywood Bowl

Hiking. Hiking everywhere.

This farmers market (with celeb sightings, because, LA)

– A list of the best bottomless mimosa brunches in every neighborhood (because, lush)

– The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 

Free Yoga 

– And ending summer with the LA County Fair in september (and a visit to Kailua!)

Make the most of these long summer days, everyone!

(Photos 1, 2, 3)

39. Summer in LA