so this is the new year

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In less than 30 days, I will have been on this earth for 30 years. It’s a big number for me, and one that I’ve been self-indulgently thinking about a lot this past year (among many other things).

When do birthdays stop being fun?

I hope never.

My beautiful friend, who is a year younger than me, made herself a “30 things to do before I turn 30” list, and it’s inspired me to do the same. I realize I’ve given myself a lot less time, but 15 before 30 didn’t have quite the same ring to it.

The list started off ridiculously practical – a “to do” list of all the things I’ve been putting off for ages. But, they stand for all the ways I feel weighed down. If I’m going to be my best self in 2017, I figured I’d better start somewhere.

I wouldn’t say I’m a private person, but I am deeply self-conscious (is anyone surprised?). Even putting this list out into the world seems incredibly vulnerable, but I need you to keep me accountable. Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear, right? I am excited to write about my progress and fill in the infinite pages of this space again. Because I’ve missed it.

Last weekend, I spotted this on a Post-It stuck onto a classmate’s bathroom mirror. It was from a book I had read in college, and it’s something that’s stuck with me ever since. It’s always relevant, but seems so especially important to say right now:

“The idea that some lives matter less is the root of all that is wrong with the world.” – Paul Farmer

so this is the new year

Three Things

soko.jpg
 

“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

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

26. Not That Kind of Girl

 
 

I devoured this book.

It got delivered on Saturday in a sturdy brown box (thanks amazon prime), and by Monday afternoon, I had that empty feeling that comes when you’ve finished something good (not unlike binge-watching a tv show).

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not her biggest fan. I didn’t get pulled into “Girls”, despite multiple attempts to sit through the episodes, and I am guilty of once comparing her body to that of a turtle (I’m only human). But this book is good.

And it’s good firstly because Lena Dunham is a good writer. She writes deftly about first times, first jobs, and first therapists. She makes it something more than just a confessional, or “just a memoir.” Coming from a generation that published this book (and I’m going to add this one as well), this book brings substance and art back to the genre.

Secondly, she never questions whether her experiences are worth sharing. That would be the biggest critique of a twenty-something upper-class white girl writing a memoir. Probably exactly the reason why, in the title, she puts “learned” in quotes. It’s one of the first things she addresses in the book – almost as if to say, “Let’s get this out of the way.”  Because, honestly, isn’t it about time we owned our stories?

 
 

“There is nothing gutsier to me than a person announcing that their story is one that deserves to be told, especially if that person is a woman.”

 

 
 

 

If I’m being truthful, I ended up picking the book (instead of this one) because of Michicko Kakutani.  And homegirl never steers me wrong.

26. Not That Kind of Girl

22. Comparison is the thief of joy

Yesterday marked 21 posts.

As a profoundly undisciplined individual, this is a big freaking deal for me. They say it takes 21 days to make a habit. Well, I took more than 21 days, and some posts were less than substantial, but I’m here. On the other side of 21.

And yet.

And yet, it only takes a look at a list of winners to make me feel thissmall. 

Up until five minutes ago, I was feeling pretty great. I had woken up early and finished two online courses, sent out a long over-due email, gave and received love. And yet. In comparison to these amazing strangers, I felt like none of it mattered.

I realize we are all running our own race. The only person I should be trying to beat is myself. Yet, this is so hard for me remember when another accomplished person is a mirror, reflecting all the things I am not.

So, this is what I propose:

To surround myself with people I love. To live a life that makes sense to me. To continue to grow in ways that stretch me and scare me. To be better today than I was yesterday. To be happy for another’s success without making it about me. To know that a lot of things are not about me. To know success comes in many different forms, and resentment cannot coexist with joy.
Small accomplishments are still accomplishments.
And Happy Hump Day.

(Photo by Matt Blease, illustrator-extraordinaire)

22. Comparison is the thief of joy