Truth or Consequence

I often wonder if I have anything meaningful to say, to write about. Sometimes, I believe that I don’t because there are things so much more important than my life and feelings. Ya know, like this bullshit in the White House or immigrant children being detained at the border (or, or, or - pretty much everything in the world is more important than my privileged life in the U.S.).

But then I remember a passage in Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert that talked about how her friend went to help some women that had been in prison camps. Her friend was worried that she wouldn’t know how to help these women deal with the traumas they faced. When she got there, she was surprised to find that the women were not asking her how to come to terms with war or dying. They talked about love - why he said he’d call but didn’t, whether he really loved her, if he was having an affair. In other words, the experiences and the feelings I have aren’t just mine. Nor do those you have solely belong to you.

They all - in some way - speak to a larger, more universal truth or consequence.

And that inspires me to write past the limits of how I think other people will receive my writing. Will they be offended by something I say? Will they feel welcomed and at home with my words?

Will they go digging online until they find that I have made the most insignificant statement about them in a piece like 3 people have read? Will they see this and text me about it?

I don’t know and it doesn’t really matter.

Everyone is always going to think something about you. Certainly, everyone always seems to have something to say about what I do - how I write, what I write, how I parent, how I believe. And the truth is, I hate it when people say negative things about me. Who doesn’t?

But what I’ve come to learn is that as long as you let other people have control over your life, especially if that comes in the form of having to moderate who you are and what you’re about so other people don’t feel threatened or uncomfortable, the longer you will find yourself doubting the sanctity of your own relationship with life.

The more times I stop myself in the middle of shrinking, the easier it gets. Just like not wanting to rock the boat and becoming less of yourself so other people don’t have to face being uncomfortable with themselves is a habit, so is not shrinking.

I don’t always succeed at this. In fact, I find myself moderating my words quite often. This isn’t all bad - I know I have a quick tongue when I get upset. I’m learning that so often whatever it is I want to say isn’t really worth saying and I’m glad I’ve learned to bite my tongue. But there are other times when I lean too far in the other direction, choosing docile compliance rather than to start World War 3. I’m learning to find the balance, the correct timing, and the grace to sit with my discomfort.

It helps to remember that, one day, I will process all of this through pen and paper or fingers and keyboard and I will be better for having had to learn the hard way that some people’s opinions really just don’t matter. You just do you, boo. This is the only life you get in this body - do you really want to spend it worried about what other people think of you? Or do you want to spend it breathing in all of the magic around you and loving fully every moment you can?

♥ CV


Monday Morning in San Francisco

The rain of last night still hangs in the air as I make my way down Guerrero; it has mercifully ceased. With a full two days of work and a book launch party ahead of me, I knew that this morning was the only time I would have to write on this trip. So I pulled on jeans and a green velvet top, layered on a coat and a scarf, and shoved an umbrella in my bag – just in case. Down Guerrero, left on 15th, right on Valencia. The coffee shop sign can’t be seen from the sidewalk, but the smell of freshly roasted coffee beans gives me confirmation that this is my stop.  

I walk through one side of the open double doors and am met with a massive interior. There’s a U-shaped coffee bar, chairs and tables line the wall, and, in the back there is a coffee roasting machine. Being the me that I am, I bought a vape pen at a dispensary and accidentally, let’s say, vaped one too many. Now I am too high on sativa and my head floats just above, just detached from my body. I wait in a short line, while texting Mika about today’s “crisis” which I will get to in a minute. The line moves but I don’t, and I’m left standing in the middle of a very San Franciscan-feeling coffee shop looking at my phone. I am in the clouds, though, and as soon as I realize I laugh and walk up to the counter and say, “what flavor syrups do you have?” I immediately regret the question as the barista (barrister? It was a dude.) looked at me with a slight but perceptible glint of judgement in his eyes. “We actually don’t. We keep it pretty simple here.” Of course they do. That makes sense – what kind of coffee shop that roasts Its own coffee is going to dump chemical- or sugar-laden syrups in their masterpiece? I order a latte and we chat about me being from Atlanta – he says it’s a cool city, I say I want to move to San Francisco.  

The air feels breathable, unlike at home. Everywhere I look, there’s something different to look at. I have more creative thoughts in an hour walking through San Francisco (and New York, for that matter) than I do in a whole month in Atlanta. (I get that this isn’t everyone’s experience – there are dozens of brilliant, prolific artists and writers in Atlanta who seem to get inspiration aplenty. But me? It feels suffocating to be in a city where it takes 20 minutes to go two miles. I’d rather walk those two miles and be exposed to the grittiness of one block, the glamour of the next. It’s in those moments in between the moments – you know, the brief eye contact with a homeless man on the way to meet a friend, for example.) My brain surges with inspiration for story ideas, and I wish my muse silent until I have access to a pen or my computer – I don’t want to forget anything.  

I get my coffee from the counter and ask another barista for the Wi-Fi password. “We actually don’t have Wi-Fi,” she smiles. Of course they don’t. And I am instantly enamored with Four Barrels. I think this would be my coffee shop, if we were to live in the neighborhood. “Guess I’ll write offline,” I smile back.  

With no internet on my computer, I bypass the habitual procrastination that happens before I finally begin to let my words flow. The coffee is easily the smoothest I’ve ever had, and I am thrilled to learn that I can get coffee I enjoy without enhancing it with artificial flavors. I didn’t know what this would be about, honestly. I just let my fingers lead the way via my internal muse. It helps that the music is melodic, the buzz of chatter mild but energizing, and the level of elevation I’ve found myself at.

Which brings me to the “crisis” I mentioned earlier. I assure you it’s not a real crisis, and one that I must acknowledge is very privileged. At any rate, I momentarily turned back to my existential panic of “this or that”, or in other words, trying to decide what I want to do with my career. Do I keep on the digital health path? It is certainly fulfilling, not to mention lucrative. I can see a future for myself in this. Or do I intend to veer off on my own again, this time pursuing writing essays and books? This has been my lifelong plan, regardless of how many times I’ve placed it on the back burner. When I write, like I wrote my reflections on Cusco or like I’m writing right now, I feel a surge of life force that I don’t get from anything else.

It's unclear why I feel like I must choose. This was essentially what my only new year’s resolution – to feel good ­– was intended to safeguard against. It’s my thing – feeling the absolute need for an absolute decision and then torturing myself while I try to “figure it out.” It is no longer interesting to me to partake in this pastime. I set out to change this by committing to pursuing what feels good and letting go of what doesn’t. Right now, both writing and my professional digital health/PR career feel insanely juicy and delicious and fulfilling. It feels good to do both, so why do I force myself into this pressure of choosing? Mika reminded me of this, as she does, and I am pulled off of my merry go round and back into reality which is: I can do everything I want to do in my lifetime. Any other belief is born of scarcity and lack, not love and abundance.

In regard to wanting to move to San Francisco (or New York), I truly feel that I do. I couldn’t have answered this for certain even a month ago but now I can say that moving to one of these great cities would be a catalyst for even more joy and bliss in my life. I’m leading toward left coast living because California has always felt like home to me. I came to this when Mika posed the question: “The logistics may be complex but is the decision?”

And it’s really not a hard decision: if it were solely up to me, David and I would move to this glorious, walkable, creative, tech-y city and revel in the adventure of it all. Logistics are always figure-out-able. Once a decision is made, the Universe has a way of conspiring with the energies of the world to deliver what is asked for.

Look, I know San Francisco has flaws. All cities do. But the pros deeply outweigh the cons for me. The foggy sky, the dirty sidewalks, the shops and restaurants that have more history than I do, the ornate homes pushed up against one another and painted bright colors – all of the elements of San Francisco combine to create a sensory experience for me that leaves me breathless and blissed. Shouldn’t life leave us all more breathless and blissed?

 I can’t say for sure that we’ll move. I have so much to take into account, namely David’s feelings on the matter. Since Journey is moving to California with her dad, it really makes a lot of sense for us to move, too. What I can say for sure is that I want this with every ounce of fiber in my being. I want all of it – the good, the bad, the weird.

It's Monday morning in San Francisco. The coffee shop has light streaming in through the sunroof. My heart is full, my mind is buzzing, and my coffee is all gone.

 ♥ CV

Chasing Mountain Magic: Remembering My Time in Cusco

Darkness had fallen, the sky draped around the Vilcabamba mountains like a mother wrapping her child in a blanket. The inhalation moved air to every cell of my body and as I glanced upward, the deepness of my breath surprised me - as though my lungs were being filled directly from the cosmos. I leaned into the feeling of fullness, allowing my eyes to consume as many stars as possible between blinks. Mesmerizing, brilliant, absorbing, the sheer amount of light pouring down from the night sky was like a fireworks display of astronomical proportions. I couldn’t tell what was moving in the sky and what was my corneas playing tricks.

A snow-capped mountain sloping down into hills and small valleys, filling lakes, and reflecting the spring moon back into the atmosphere. A row of rustic mountain huts. Horses tied to a post. Me, standing there feeling as though I’d been turned inside out - my soul swirling around my skin. Everything felt so magnificent and, instead of feeling small or inferior in comparison, my heart opened to a different reality: it’s all inside of me. The mountains, the galaxies full of dancing plasma, the sky and the moon and the howling echoing in the distance. All the separation I’d put between myself and Life melted away and I was left with only the truth of who I was.

I had come to Peru, to Cusco, to those mountains because one day - out of nowhere - I had the overwhelming urge to go. Machu Picchu had never been high on my list but in that moment it became the only place I needed to go. After a quick “hey, you don’t mind if I dip out for two weeks, right?” call to David, I had booked a return flight, reserved a room in a hostel in the center of Lima, and paid for a 5-day trek to Machu Picchu. It felt so right, like the entire Universe had given its blessing.

Time both crept and flashed, making it all the harder to hold on to. Vegan curries and Argentinian men, accidental party hostels, the markets where you can buy fresh smoothies next to a stall selling fragrant coriander, basil, and huacatay. Then there was Kundalini and community dinners and meditations and lying about in a sun-soaked yard. Those moments taste like mint tea now, a tingling memoir of the most gentle time. There was Jake, who I felt like I’d known forever, and Sunni, who radiates light in such a special way. There was Gabby, who felt like a sister to me. And there was Vento, an elderly Chilean reiki master whose energy preceded him and lingered behind long after he left.

After my aforementioned one-night stint at a rowdy party hostel, I trekked across town and up a flight of stairs so steep I had to stop and catch my breath every few steps. The altitude was never my friend. At the top of the hill was an unassuming door that led to the Healing House Cusco. This yoga studio cum hostel for the, let’s say, more spiritually inclined. It was woo woo: there were yoga classes throughout the day and a full range of energy healing services available. I was in love from the second I pushed open the heavy door and stepped inside.

My time at Healing House was pure magic. It is where I met all the people who impacted me on this trip. It was a sacred container, cradling my growth. It is where I was handed a mirror over and over again, the people in my surroundings reflecting back to me all that which I felt was broken in myself.

I enjoyed telling people I was doing the Salkantay Trek. In Peru, it is one of the standard travel questions: where are you from? How long are you traveling? How long have you been here? Are you doing a trek? It seemed to elicit an enthusiastic response, though every time I said it I felt a tug of anxiety. I didn’t want to leave Cusco’s magical, pulsing energy. I had so easily matched the city’s cadence, to leave felt like a punishment. And so I left on the trek with only the slightest amount of resolution.

We took an old bus up through the mountains, stopping at a literal shack of a restaurant for a breakfast of eggs and cold bacon. I was eating vegan at the time, so was left to eat a couple pieces of toast. Looking back, I wish I’d just eaten the food put in front of me. The ride was not unpleasant. I mostly zoned out looking at the landscape rattling by.

We arrived at the base of the mountain around 2pm. We hiked up and across to see the glacier-fed lake. My lungs burned the entire way up, causing my breathing to become slow and deliberate. I stopped dozens of times, needing a full 30 seconds to refresh my oxygen. Finally reaching the top, I was able to really absorb the crisp intensity of my surroundings. I felt good - it was hard but I had done it. There was no stopping me. I felt high on life and mountain air.

Downhill went easy on my lungs but caused my already troublesome knees to ache and burn more than they ever had before. I guess I hadn’t taken into account the impact of carrying a backpacking pack while going up and down hills. It took everything in me not to cry right there on the side of the mountain. Not only was I in pain but I was embarrassed. The following two and a half hour trek to the mountain huts we’d sleep in that night were miserable. I alternated between anger at myself for not having prepared better and anger at whatever inspired me to go there - why bring me all the way out here just so I could fail?

By the time the triangular wooden huts came into view, dusk was approaching and everyone was worn out, starving, and cold. We claimed our huts, two to each, and set down our packs. Some stretched out on their sleeping bags, some beelined for the showers. I sat down on the floor and furiously journaled how I was feeling. If I didn’t let it out here, it would come out in some other way that I’d most likely regret. I felt only slightly better. The leader of the group called out a ten-minute warning for dinner and all of the hikers still in their huts filed up a slight hill to the dining hall.

Gathered around a wooden table, we passed pitchers of boiling water to one another and snacked on trail mix while waiting for dinner. Everyone swapped notes about the first day of hiking and got more acquainted. There was a couple from Australia, an American guy who proudly and openly told us he voted for Trump, a very sweet nineteen year old girl who was also having a hard time with the altitude, and a handful of others that have faded into the past. Everyone was friendly and talkative but I felt as though all the words hung in the thickness of the air and pressed against my mouth and nose. I floated there, answering questions and throwing in a well-timed laugh for good measure, all the while feeling suffocated.

Relieved when dinner was over, I headed out before anyone else, eager to take advantage of the empty showers. Walking down the slight hill, we arrive again at the beginning. This is the moment I looked up and felt the surging power of the infinite universe melding into me. I felt at once whole and broken apart, like the pain had to crack me so the light could fall in and heal me.

After seconds or minutes of stargazing, I can’t recall which, I laid down in my hut. The infiniteness I’d felt under the stars still lingered but anxiety began to rage:

There was no cell reception - what if something happened to Journey or David and no one could reach me? What if something happens to us out here and I die in Peru, three thousand miles away from my family? What kind of mother would I be? What kind of wife would I be? Traveling at every opportunity, wanting more out of life than the ordinary, being adventurous - these were luxuries afforded to people with no responsibilities - why was I pursuing this? Why had I felt called to come here, to this beautiful, punishing mountain if I was just going to be so miserable? What was the point?

I closed my eyes and was engulfed by the darkness, flecked with glimmering constellations superimposed on the backs of my eyelids. It’s as if I’m falling backward into space, the floor spinning ever so slightly underneath me. I press my fingertips into the ground to reassure myself. I let go, allowing my eyes to roll back and my muscles to relax. It is in this moment I am sure that I want to turn back instead of finishing the trek. It was never the trek I was supposed to do; it was the stars that brought me all the way out here. And I get that it may sound crazy but lying there with pure mountain air filling my lungs and the stars hanging securely in the sky, I felt like I saw the vastness of my being for the first time.

Seeing how expansive I was, and how easily I became one with the cosmos, shook me awake: I didn’t want to spend another second on this earth doing things I feel like I should do. I should finish the trek, I should eat vegan, I should feel guilty for not living with my daughter. I should grow my business this way, I should forgive my mother, I should be happier.

I’m one with the cosmos for fucks sake - why would I waste my precious time on earth in this body finishing books I don’t like or tearing up my body just to prove to a group of strangers that I’m not a quitter?

The stars and I talked all night and when the sun rose not enough hours later I said my goodbyes and traipsed back to the bus stop where I’d have to wait for a drop off so I could catch a ride back. I passed three hours with writing and playing games on my phone. When a van finally arrived, I secured my spot in his front passenger seat, said muchas gracias, senor, and settled in for the long, stuffy ride back to Cusco.

I spent my final week in Cusco fielding questions about why I was back early from the trek, eating curry, drinking red wine, and talking into the deepest hours of the night with the temporary family I had found.

On my final night, I stopped at the pizza shop at the bottom of the stairs to Healing House. Waiting for the pie I ordered to share with friends back at the hostel, I sat and stared off into space, attempting to digest how the trip had unfolded. A woman came in and sat a table away to wait for her food. She pulled a can of Peruvian beer out of a plastic grocery bag and held it in the air toward me: “do you want this? We’re leaving early tomorrow and I have this one,” she nodded to her open beer. Totally caught off guard, I laughed and said, “ya know, I could really use a beer.” We started talking, each sharing our experience of the Salkantay Trek. When I told her I had felt called to do the trek but quit after day one, she looked me in the eyes and said “that’s incredible that you had the strength to honor yourself in that way. Maybe there was no reason you were brought here only to turn back, or maybe you turning back was the lesson you were brought here to learn.”

Both of our pizzas were sitting at the counter now. We wished each other well and walked away from each other, each a little different than when we sat down.


Some New Year's Ramblings

Am I the only one relieved that the holidays are finally over? For a time of year that seems to swoop in unexpectedly, the last 6 weeks sure have dragged on. That’s not to say they were bad, by any means. Just long and exhausting. Now that we’re reveling in the freshness of a brand new year, I feel like I can breathe again, like I can put effort into something other than trying to navigate the sticky holidays.

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Listening to: ayokay and Quinn xcii

Loving: My new snake plant (which is also called a mother-in-laws tongue) we got at Lowe’s today. His name is Maurice. And his neighbor, the white rocking chair from Society 62.

Looking forward to: San Francisco, Seattle, Denver, and Asheville - all this month, whew. The Procedure launch party. Turning 30 this year.

Thinking about: What the future holds - I’m excited but trying to be mindful and stay in the moment. What I want to write about. How happy I am with the way our home is coming together. How to launch my freelance course. What my first “motherhood project” will be.

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All I really want to do in the world is to encourage other people to follow their hearts, even when it’s hard, even when they’re uncertain. I’ve definitely been in a place of fear and lack and scarcity, where the idea of following my heart felt...foolish. So I understand how frustrating and hopeless that place can feel but I also understand what is on the other side of letting go of people’s (and society’s) expectations of you.

It’s amazing. The more you do what you love, the happier you are, the better your life gets. Duh, right? But I’m not talking like you’ll just have a better attitude. I mean that life in all of its various forms will get better and better in real, tangible ways. You’ll start drawing in more of what you want out of life because what you are putting into life matches that on an energetic level.

What is it you want more of? Money? Love? Friends? You can have that. All of it. There is literally no limit to what you can attract into your life. Many, many wise people and experts on the Law of Attraction have taught this before me. And I am just so stoked on it. I’ve personally had wild experiences manifesting all kinds of wonderful things - and I didn’t do vision boards or anything. I just lived in a way that felt good - as Gala Darling says, I stayed in the vortex (aka the place where all the magic happens). The more you stay in the vortex, the better life gets. And all you have to do to get in the vortex is do what makes you feel good.

What makes you feel good? It can be so many things, ideally high vibe things (i.e. getting drunk to alleviate feelings of pain) like meditation, tapping, dancing, singing, listening to music, moving your body in any way, having an orgasm!, and so many more things!

When you’re in the groove of life, feeling good, anything is possible. There are things out there waiting for you that are so good you couldn’t have even imagined them from where you’re sitting right now.

It’s challenging to be positive all the time and I fail constantly at it. But the most important thing is to just redirect your thoughts and move on - no need to beat yourself up over it. But you know what else is challenging? Not living the life I want and feeling miserable. This doesn’t have to be hard but it does take effort. That’s worth every ounce of energy, I promise.

I’m so excited to be moving forward with that through my writing. I truly feel that 2018 was the long pause I needed to take to calibrate my spirit. Life had just been so crazy for so long and I was constantly going and going with no fulfillment and I knew I had to stop if I wanted to enjoy this one precious life I’ve been given. And oh my has it been magical. It has been hard at times and definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone but it also showed me a depth to myself that I had forgotten existed without all the personal development books and podcasts and trending types of meditation. I’ve found a cadence with myself that has brought me so much peace and clarity. I wrote but didn’t share a lot because I needed to keep things close to my chest so I could heal. But now I feel so ready to start sharing my writing with the world again. So, if anyone is reading this - thanks for being here. See ya again soon,

♥ CV

2018 in Review

There are just 3 more nights left of this topsy turvy messed up beautiful hectic weird AF year. Are you as glad as I am that it’s almost over? It wasn’t all bad, not even close. But the last few weeks of every year make me eager for that exhilarating newness that arrives on Jan 1. It’s as though I can do anything, everything is possible. I know better than to wish away time but I find myself doing it every year.

But 2018 deserves more than a backwards glance as I cast myself into the sea of possibility that is next year. When I saw that Gala Darling did a 2018 in Review post, I decided to follow suit. There’s nothing like reflecting back on your year with thoughtful questions.

What did you do in 2018 that you’d never done before?

Visited Peru. Did an overnight hike and slept in a hut under the stars at the foot of the Andes. Bought a home! Spent 3 weeks in Spain with David.

Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I honestly don’t even remember what they were - surely something along the lines of losing weight, earning more money, and traveling more. Did I meet them? Yes and no, I suppose. I didn’t keep track, as usual. That’s why I’m opting out for next year. There are an abundance of things I’d be incredibly happy if I did - I could set goals up to my eyeballs. But what I really want more than anything else is to get into alignment, AKA get (and stay) in The Vortex, AKA feel good. (This also comes from Gala Darling, as well as Abraham Hicks.) My only intention for 2019 is to be aligned. (Ok, I do have a few goals (because of who I am as a person): volunteer my time more, especially at Junior Achievement; do more things out of pure joy - I already signed up for French lessons, and I’m also going to spend more time learning how to hoop; and deepen my roots where I am. Travel would be a major bonus.

Did anyone close to you give birth?

Nope!

Did anyone close to you die?

When we were in Spain (I believe it was September 12th), I got a message on LinkedIn from my biological father’s sister. She asked me to call her and, since I really never talked to her, I knew something was wrong. She told me that my biological father died of a drug-related pulmonary embolism when his 2-year-old son jumped on his chest a day earlier. It was shocking; the only person I’ve ever lost is my Grandma Catherine, who had emphysema and was very sick (and elderly) when she passed. That was in 2007. I didn’t have a relationship with him and haven’t for many years because of his abuse - drug and otherwise. I won’t go too much into that because I intend to write about it more in depth at another time. Suffice to say that I feel free.

What countries did you visit?

Peru. Spain. In the US, I visited San Francisco twice (once including Napa Valley), LA, Virginia Beach, and New York. I’m excited for next year’s travel, too. I go to San Francisco in January for work, then tagging along on David’s work trips to Seattle and Denver, and I’m planning a solo trip for my birthday. Perhaps Sri Lanka? France?

What would you like to have in 2019 that you lacked in 2018?

Confidence and trust in myself.

Did you suffer illness or injury?

I’ve been relatively healthy - a couple sore throats but nothing serious. I’ve been taking good care of myself overall.

What was the best thing you bought?

MY PINK VELVET COUCH. Hands down!

What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Giving up my freelance business to go full-time at an agency based in San Francisco. I took a role as their brand publicist and it has been thrilling to experience the growth and challenges I have so far at this job.

What song will always remind you of 2018?

Everything on my Top Songs 2018 playlist.

Compared to this time last year, are you:

i. Happier or sadder?

WAY happier! Praise beeeeee. ←— This was Gala Darling’s answer but I’m leaving it because YES.

ii. Thinner or fatter?

Thinner!

iii. Richer or poorer?

Interestingly, slightly poorer - I made a bit more money freelancing than I do at this job. But I’m spending more on what really matters to me and my abundance mindset is so much stronger.

What do you wish you’d done more of?

I wish I had been more present with the people I love and I wish I’d have loved myself more thoroughly. Also, solo travel. I could have used a few weeks of recharging somewhere else on the planet.

What do you wish you’d done less of?

Less comparing myself to others - it’s one of my biggest struggles.

How will you be spending New Year’s Eve?

I considered getting super dressed up and going out but ultimately settled on staying in with a bottle (or two) of bubbly, some candles, and each other. It feels fitting.

What was the most embarrassing thing that happened to you in 2018?

Aside from blanking out during a phone meeting with a new client (and being absolutely mortified) and crying on a video call with my boss (only slightly less mortifying), the most embarrassing thing that happened to me was identifying patterns and behaviors in myself that were really hard to look at.  

Did you fall in love in 2018?

Over and over again

How many one-night stands?

Zero! Married!

What was your favorite TV program?

None that particularly stand out. I really enjoyed watching a bunch of Woody Allen films, as well as movies with Natalie Portman.

Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

I don’t hate anyone. That said, there are some people whose true colors I finally see and I’m being infinitely more discretionary with the energy I lend them.

What was the best book you read?

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin and They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 29 and I attended a surprise party (that someone gave away haha) that David threw me, and we went to Six Flags which was great fun!

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2018?

My personal style has evolved so much; I really came into myself and started trying new (to me) styles that went beyond what I was comfortable with. The best part is that I finally understand that I’ll never have just one “style” (and thus will never have a capsule wardrobe). I’m a Gemini - I need a variety of outfits to fit my mood. I can go from silk pajamas and long kimono to Vans and a snapback to dazzling cocktail dress in the matter of a day. Having a lot of options allows me to present my inner world through my clothing and that feels so good.

What kept you sane?

Meditation. It truly did change my life. I started with Kundalini which I loved for a long time but then switched to gentler guided and silent meditations. I still do some of the breathwork that I learned in Kundalini, too.

What political issue stirred you the most?

Definitely the government holding immigrant children at the borders and separating them from their families - it makes me sick to think about. I also think it’s really important to limit your news consumption. The human nervous system is only designed to absorb the stress of its community - not the entire globe. As Gala said, you’ll burn out your adrenals. Be aware, be engaged, but also remember that you being able to find peace matters, too.

Who was the best new person you met?

To be honest, I didn’t mean many new people this year. I really stuck to my existing friends but only because this year asked me to do a lot of introspection. Using so much of my energy for healing meant that I didn’t have a ton leftover to give other people. I’m looking forward to calling in the tribe that’s meant for me in 2019.

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2018:

If you go around giving away your power, you won’t have any left. It’s your power - you don’t have to give it away. I had to learn this on so so so many levels this year through some exhausting situations but I’m grateful because now I have taken most of my power back and I no longer feel beholden to what others think of me. Taking your power back is freeing.

Feel free to copy/paste this survey and fill it out on your site! I’d love to read about your year!

♥ CV