list #3: the best makeup

dudes, you’re going to probably want to show yourself out for this one, and ladies, you can send all thanks in the form of nutella.

slowly, for years now, i’ve been transitioning and building my makeup collection past drugstore brands and into sephora brands. i have not advanced to mac because that store intimidates the life out of me. i will get there. and i’m not at all hating on drugstore makeup – i know there’s lots of rumors that it’s all the same anyway and yadda yadda, but this is one place where marketing really sinks its claws right into my soul. i feel a sense of Put Together Satisfaction when i review my collection and it’s urban decay, tarte, benefit, the balm, etc. i feel Fauncy.

but i’m giving too much away.

i (and everyone else) wanted the urban decay naked 3 palette for christmas – i have the first two already, as both an urban decay AND neutral shadow devotee. and in my research for whether or not i really wanted it, i happened to stumble upon a bunch of other stuff that i wanted. oops/yay!

come january, i ran into some magic money that just kind of fell out of the sky, and after i finished paying off the last of my credit card debt, i had enough left over to pick up a few things that had caught my eye. here i will tell you ALL ABOUT THEM as well as some of my other staple favorites.

Urban Decay - Naked 3 and the Lorac Pro Palette

  • urban decay – naked 2: i will love urban decay shadow for life. some say their quality has declined over the years and they’re less pigmented and so on – i disagree and i think they’re awesome. i owned several of their crazier palettes in my early 20s (emerald green! bright purple! hot pink! glittery black!) and i about died when i heard of the naked palettes. of the 3, the naked 2 is my favorite. 1 and 3 are peachy keen – i’ve just been able to create the most variety of looks with 2, and i think it’s colors work best for my skin. (pictured above, however, is 3. why? cause i felt like it/was tired.)
  • lorac – pro palette: if there is ONE neutral shadow palette you need, it is this one. it keeps you solidly stocked with high quality mattes and shimmers in neutral shades that are flattering to all. i’ve created the perfect nude, everyday eye from this palette, i love the quality of the shadow, and it’s universally highly reviewed online. this was one of my new purchases, and between it and the naked 3 that i did receive for christmas after all, i’m basking in the glory of eyeshadow.

January Makeup

  • NARS eyeshadow base: i asked around on twitter for recommendations, because UD’s primer potion wasn’t cutting it and i think my eyelids secretly run a pizza joint or something because they are amazingly greasy. i’d be impressed with myself if it didn’t render my carefully applied eye makeup useless by 11 am every day. twitter recommended this NARS base and i’ve been extremely pleased.
  • the balm – stainiac: i think every single person got a small sample of this in their birchbox once upon a time. i dig the balm as a rule and i love the simplicity of this product – it’s a lip stain or a cheek stain in a pretty flattering color. nothing crazy, just a nice berry tint. i love it for throwing in my purse when i know i’ve got to freshen up before going out after work  – it’s quick, easy, and convenient. it IS a little drying, so i generally use one of my (seventy) lip balm things over it.
  • benefit – boiing: i have some truly impressive undereye circles. i mean, i have marvelled at myself in the mirror when it really seems, some mornings, as though i had the sickest bar fight ever the night before. boiing is an industrial strength concealer and has done the job for me for YEARS.
  • benefit – they’re real: let me tell you the story of my eyelashes. they are stick straight and uber short. was that a boring story? yes. and that is how boring my eyes usually look unless i do some serious eyelash curling and mascara magic. this mascara does that magic, precisely.
  • julep – kajal eyeliner: i’ve been pretty impressed with the quality of julep’s makeup products, despite that they’re primarily a nail polish company, but this one kind of blew everything else out of the water. goes on smooth, double ended with brown and black.

tell me – what can you not live without in your makeup bag? (i.e., what do i get to covet until my birthday in september?)


hitting pause.

note: this was written back in the fall, in the middle of me taking a week-long break from social media. it’s something i’m considering making a quarterly habit. 

so i took a break from social media. here’s why, and what i learned.

the why: it wasn’t fun anymore. it’s compulsive, it’s habitual, and it’s contributing to my brain feeling pulled in eight directions at all times. and it sounds bizarre, but when shit gets tangled in my life, i numb out via the internet and with twitter and facebook there’s always more. every second. and i think it became unhealthy, the way i just tune out to a screen when i can’t deal with my world or my head. and when i’m in that place, i don’t really see anyone or anything in a positive light even things that are perfectly innocuous. all in all, not good. i went into this wanting to quiet my lizard brain and see if it changed the way i feel overall.

some results:

a) i’m more productive. who’s surprised? without the constant distraction or siren call of the twitter, i do the shit i need to get done.

b) i’m calmer. without comparing my life constantly to what everyone else is doing and how that makes me feel, i process my own feelings much better.

c) it’s surprisingly not that hard. i removed my personal streams from hootsuite, i made a secondary Facebook to manage my work stuff, i removed the apps from my phone screens. i miss knowing what friends are doing or saying, but i’m in touch with those that matter most anyway via other channels.

d) i’m better at communicating with friends. i have the time and mental space to send an email or text, so i do.

e) i’m more present. i, in general, have a difficult time feeling integrated with the physical world around me. i spend a lot of time in my head and i usually feel kind of separated from, well, pretty much everything. while that hasn’t changed, this has forced me to confront that, as i don’t have the veil to hide behind.

f) i’m reading! and writing! i have more time, it feels like. i’m probably saving a few hours every day and i’m doing other things with that time, and that feels good.

i know some of you have also taken breaks from the internet – tell me what you learned.

list #2: 2013 via instagram.

i’m getting really into the role of images and photos in my world – i’ve been exploring a lot of local/popular tags on instagram and i talked in a post last week about my newfound adoration of tumblr. scrolling through my instagram feed, i found myself remembering some of the finer moments of last year. i’m pretty terrible at year in review things that happen in december, but clearly i’m quite good when they happen in late january. so here are 12 good moments that happened last year, conveniently separated into months.

2013 in review


(we’re starting at the top left and going across the rows)

january: rang in the new year with wafels and dinges (one of my very favorite food trucks), watching fireworks in prospect park.

february: i went to harry potter world with the bouncer, tiff, and her husband nick. we also went on a five day cruise, but i chose the hp world photo because i can’t remember the last time i was so full of unadulterated joy. please see evidence via my tears when the bouncer surprised me with a wand and robe. this photo is from the legit three broomsticks cafe.

march: nothing truly momentuous happened, but i did take this photo while we were out for the bouncer’s birthday celebration and i love the way it came out.

april: by this point, i’d begun taking on freelance clients and decided to legitimize myself via business cards from zazzle. i’m incredibly proud of the strides i made professionally last year, the skills i taught myself and honed, and the extra money i was able to pull in.

may: bloggers in sin city, obviously. there was no one photo i could choose that had people in it, so to save myself that agonizing decision, i went with this one of the hanging lanterns in the wynn (or maybe the encore, they’re connected and i’m never sure which is which).

june: i took an amazing trip down to dc to celebrate lauren’s birthday, and berto was kind enough to host me in his home and show me the city. it was an injection of joy and friendship and laughter and pure amazing. this photo is after the road trip from philly with raoul and ed, when we magically ran into tom in the hotel.

july: we took a trip down to coney island with paula and jr. second summer i’ve had a coney island trip and now it’s going to be a tradition.

august: and then we had a picnic in central park with paula and jr. please note, one of the photos i could’ve chosen from june was a trip to atlantic city with paula and jr so in short, we became pretty good friends with paula and jr this year.

september: i went away for the weekend for the actress’ birthday, and she got a hold of a beautiful mountain house in pennsylvania. after spending the night, we went on a hike at glen onoko falls. and then i fell in love with nature. IT IS SO COOL YOU GUYS. (have i mentioned i am often very late to the party?) (also note, if you follow that link, i am really desperate to see these falls during the winter. that ice looks truly incredible.)

october: the bouncer and i ran away to the mountains, mostly because i was excited to do more hiking. we stayed in the most precious little cabin and had an amazing, recharging getaway. we’re hoping to make it an annual tradition.

november: i joined my local CSA for the fall/winter share. i’ve gotten incredible farm fresh vegetables all winter, i’ve made an abundance of delicious soups, and i got to know my community a little better. next, we’ll be doing the summer fruit and veggie share and possibly also a meat share from the same farm.

december: you’d think i’d post something christmasy, but no. i didn’t go crazy on the christmas instagrams this year. this photo is from the union square holiday market, which i was dashing through with a friend from work after visiting julep’s popup shop here in new york.

7 Ways to Be More Frugal

i never realized that i was very good at saving money, because in my adult life it’s usually been necessary. being frugal feels normal, for me.

here’s a fact: i was financially independent starting at 17 and i put myself through college. i began living off campus and paying rent starting at 19, at dee’s house. a large portion of my tuition was covered by scholarships, but a good chunk of it wasn’t and in order to stay in school, i had to come up with $10Kish every year, in addition to living expenses. i never thought about it as a whole picture at the time – it was more a constant series of “i need $500 for this month’s rent”, “i need $300 for books”, “i need to put gas in my car”. so, i went about making the money i needed to, and cutting costs where i could. i developed some habits, and they’ve stuck with me over the years.

here are some of the things i do to save dollars:

1) i cut my own hair. i’m kind of lucky on this one, because i have curly hair and mistakes are easily forgiven. but fear not – there are a plethora of youtube tutorials on how to do this yourself, with good results. i think the last time i had a salon cut was three years ago – they’re insanely expensive in nyc, and i don’t miss them. also fancy environments make me feel weird and anxious, so i’m totally fine sticking to my bathroom. pro tip though: do order a pair of actual haircutting scissors. they’re not expensive and they do make a difference (spoken from experience).

2) i’m not fancy: i have bags from payless and clothes from target and old navy. i let myself buy things only when i actually need them – as in, when they are replacing something else that has worn out, or when i’ve noticed an emerging need over time (such as, “wow, self, it’s 60 degrees every day and you have tank tops. maybe it’s time for sweaters”). most of the time, i just tell myself no, and delete the email/click away from the tab that’s enticing me with something out of my price range. i refuse to put clothes on credit cards, and force myself to stick to the money i actually have. i’m an abstainer, not a moderator, so this works really well for me.

3) i cook: i know, some of you are totally averse to this, and I GET IT. there have been weeks on end where i relied on frozen pot pies and pizza delivery because LIFE. i know. that said, if you can make time for it (and you can), you’ll save a very huge amount of restaurant/delivery money. and start basic! roast a chicken (it’s actually really easy – here’s a great starter recipe), do rice+beans+veggies, or omelettes, or a simple pasta. you don’t need to martha stewart it out here. save that shit for the weekend. take one hour on a sunday and chop a bunch of veggies, and some lettuce for salads – most of that will keep in the fridge for the week, and you’ll save time when you’re tired after a workday.

4) i plan: so when you get to cooking level 2, you can do things like note when meat is on sale and dedicate a large portion of your grocery budget to it. then you have a lot of chicken (or beef, or whatever). you’ll get to the point where you always have something in the freezer, and you got it on sale because you are SMART. also in the food realm – plan ahead for your meals. even, like, two of them. this is where the sunday prep time comes in super handy. real life example – tonight, i made this butternut squash soup (and it’s pretty great, so i’ll recommend it). last night, i was lacking some of the ingredients, but i did have the squash and the sweet potatoes and the onions so i chopped them up and saved them in the fridge. once i picked up the stock and apple i needed tonight, throwing everything together was SO easy.

5) i use things until they’re done: look, I KNOW THIS SOUNDS INSANE, and you’re free to laugh at me in the comments. the comments are there for you, but this is for me, so here’s my freak flag. you know white stick deodorant? you know how when you’re done using it, there’s a little plastic grid left, with deodorant stuck in it’s squares? yes. i poke out the deodorant, put it in a plastic snack bag, and apply it with my fingers for as long as it lasts, which is usually another two weeks. something less insane: i try to apply this philosophy to as many consumable items as i can. and this goes perfectly with the next item…

6) i fix things: i have an ikea dresser that’s at least seven years old. it’s a lovely dresser and it’s in excellent cosmetic condition. except that thing happened where all the drawer bottoms started sagging. so i googled how to fix it (hint: it involves strong glue) and i fixed it, one drawer at a time, for a week. i have a cheap full length mirror. the mirror started to detach from the frame on the back. duct tape, guys. duct tape. it leans against the wall – the back doesn’t need to be pretty, and the mirror still works just fine. most of the things you own are reparable, with a little research and time. did you know you can fix a cracked eyeshadow or blush? do you know how to sew a basic tear on a clothing item, or replace a button? it’s totally worth learning.

7) i research: do yourself a favor right now and sign up for ebates and fatwallet. they are not scams – when you visit certain retailers through either of those sites and make a purchase, you will get a small percentage of cash back. is it huge? nope, not at all, but it’s something. ebates even has a chrome extension which will LIGHT UP when cash back is available. don’t ever make an online purchase without checking retailmenot. i actually don’t use these (YET!), but there are services that will track amazon items for you and let you know when the prices dip. camelcamelcamel is one, but there are others. also, just google the stuff you want and see if you find better prices somewhere else – i just saved $60 on a pair of awesome boots because i used google’s shopping search. i ended up buying them from a site called, but what do i care? spend five minutes with google, and your checking account will thank you.

8) i wait: this is a biggie. most of the time, when i want something that’s non-trivial, i wait a while to get it. either to make sure i really need it, or to make sure it’s worth the expense. sometimes this lands me in a spot where i feel sort of like a hobo (such as earlier this winter when none of my boots kept my feet dry), but hey, i’ve made sure that i’ve gotten as much use as i can out of a product. i wait until things i want go on sale. my advice is this – pick a dollar amount – let’s say it’s $30. the next time you want something that’s over $30, make yourself wait a week. do you still need or want it? how strong is that want? if it’s not quite strong enough, wait another week. usually you can wait out your own desires, or at least save them until your birthday or another gift-giving holiday.

how do you find ways to save some dollars here and there?

friday favorites

a while back i started doing a linky list called friday favorites. i did it once. here’s to a resurrection!

some of my favorite things i’ve seen online in the past week(ish):

  • me as a stone: kim’s piece on why she’s keeping up her blog, how she’s owning her space in the stream, and what her goals are with writing online struck a huge chord with me. i’m fairly positive they will with you as well.
  • xosarah’s new ebook: as i’ve ramped up my freelance game, i’ve started reading xosarah (formerly known as sillygrrl). i bought her brand new ebook this week on doubling your blog traffic and really enjoyed it – it’s part of what sparked me to get a little more serious about this space and put some interesting thoughts into my brain about merging all of my (*cringe*) “brands”.
  • what’s real, from sarah rosemary: i love sarah’s blog, specifically how honest she is about life and motherhood and marriage (even though the latter two categories don’t apply at all to me). it’s exactly what i believe online writing should be about. she’s got a pretty awesome focus this year on being real, and i adore it.
  • ask polly, from the awl: this particular edition of this advice column deals with a girlfriend being obsessed with the blog of her boyfriend’s ex and it’s pretty hysterical. i mean, not that any of us know anything about internet obsession…
  • how to run a weekly social health check, from simply measured: this speaks more to my professional life – it’s a great account of social analytics you can check on a weekly basis to see how your channels are doing.

tell me what you’ve been digging around ye grande olde internet (i.e., help me make this friday go by a little faster.)

list #1: small joys

kim is working on a years worth of lists, and she got the idea from hulaseventy. i’m maybe giving it a shot as well. this year i’m looking inward, not outward. i’m finding the small happinesses that already exist in my world, and i am focusing on them and savoring them. let me tell you the things that have brought me joy.

tumblr: for the longest, i didn’t really get tumblr. i’m still not entirely sure i do. but i’ve made mine a place for pictures i find peaceful, calm, and inspiring in a way. i’m learning my style, what i like, what appeals to me. why i’ve avoided doing such a thing is a much longer story that i’m not sure i can properly articulate, but i love having this small piece of real estate that’s devoted to my own calm. you can follow me!

wantable: i gave up on birchbox a while back, and judging from various online reviews i’ve made the right decision. last year i got into julep, and i still love it but i’ve racked up SUPER MUCH nail polish so i’m going to slow down for a bit. wantable’s a little pricier than your average monthly makeup box ($36/mo.), however, you get a few full size products and i love how specific their quiz is to determine what’s good for you. bonus – there are also options for accessories and intimates boxes! (yes, i want to try them.)

outside time: because i bought my boyfriend a remote control quadcopter for christmas, we’ve been making a point to get outside to fly it. i love prospect park – it’s one of the main reasons i wanted to move to brooklyn. we had a really awesome day after it snowed hanging out by a frozen over lake and taking our dog, sophie, to play in the snow. that’s a video there, and you’re going to want to click it.

lord of the rings: i knew nothing of these stories until i was into my twenties, and even then, the actress couldn’t get me to fully pay attention for ten hours of the extended edition movies. fortunately for everyone, i learned over time, and because of her, i love to watch them around the holidays – she always watches them while doing all of the gift wrapping for her family. i was a little late this year, but we watched them last week and oh man, i had the most cathartic cry after (some of) our heroes sailed off to the undying lands.

my new teacups: i’ve been on the hunt for amazing teacups for a little while, and when i spotted these anthropologie teacups (you don’t even have to click because you know how amazing they are if i said anthro), i needed them. luckily, my boyfriend’s dad was on the hunt for a christmas gift for me, because i was absolutely not shelling out $12/cup for myself. now i have three beautiful teacups that bring me great joy. in addition to tea, they are the perfect size to make a microwave mug brownie.

gray december.

written during a very quiet december weekday when i happened to be home alone. 

almost four pm and it’s silent, except for the sound of the cars, the sound of the occasional hardy bird, and the sound of my fingers clicking and making words. i’ve got tea and warm light at my desk. it’s the last day before i leave my hermit-nest to go back to my real world, which involves commutes and offices and clothes that are not yoga pants. it’s been peaceful and calm and restful and actually rejuvenating. this is rare, for me.

left to my own devices i become highly nocturnal – i have always been this way, despite my mother’s hopes otherwise. give me two or three days off and i’m up til three or four am researching, planning, doing, shining. so i don’t get up until late morning and i don’t hit my stride until late afternoon and it is just about now when i decide to breathe.

i may have talked about it before, but there is something about winterlight that pierces me right through. in my world fall is a buildup, spring is a coming down, and winter, when these days are short and their light is thin and the shadows are everywhere, this is my peak. it is the way the world looks, filtered, that makes the most sense. the sharpness of the air and the silencing of snow are bonuses – it is the light that draws me in, every time, and puts me right at home.

peace. peace is a thing i’m thinking long and hard about these days, what it means, how i go about getting some. how i let go of all of the things standing in the way. how, a long, long time ago i explained that i never wanted happiness but i did want peace. and it’s not at all a natural thing for me – typically, i am a roiling and full person, i am overflowing, i am gigantic in my feelings and my words and my actions, but that spans both sides of the spectrum, from my joys to my sadnesses. and sometimes, i know i have to figure out how to tone it down, because it wears a girl out, and i wear out quickly.

debt free: a retrospective.

i’ve been in debt in one way or another for the past ten years.

it’s not your typical story. i wasn’t an irresponsible college student racking up expensive dinners or alcohol, i never had a ton of clothes, shoes, or makeup. i knew about responsible credit use thanks to my mom, and her instructive tale of a $2,000 desktop computer that turned into a $5,000 computer after she only made minimum payments on her sears card. (thanks for that, though, mommy, cause i probably wouldn’t be on my current career path without that thing).

i was on my own through college. i paid my tuition, i paid my rent, i bought my food. i had a tiny amount of help from my boyfriend at the time, but he also stole many thousands from me at one point too, so. you know. it evened out, most likely. some months, the numbers just did not add up. i wasn’t eligible for loans or extra financial aid, and i was fortunate enough to have a large part of my tuition covered by scholarships, but what they don’t tell you is that tuition goes up every year, and your scholarships remain what they are your freshman year. so, with easy numbers, if tuition is $100, and you have a 75% scholarship, you have $75. the next year, tuition is $110, but you STILL only have $75 in scholarship and the rest is on you.

i made it through the years, with taking a semester off to work at a tireless and tough job, 50-60 hours a week. i found rooms to rent, because it worked out to be cheaper than on campus housing, and i could not take living in the bubble of privilege that was my private university campus when my world was full of anything but. i was given a car, by my ex. i made it all work, somehow, but times were absolutely tight. i distinctly remember sitting down to do my taxes with all the determination in the world, realizing a few hours later that i owed the state something like $700, and being totally shell shocked – terrified because i knew i could not pay, knowing i’d balanced so many plates so carefully, and devastated that i’d managed to screw up anyway.

my ex, the one who stole from me, one of the ways he did so was via credit card convenience checks. you know how sometimes your card will send you checks in the mail that you can write in order to pay something with your card? yeah. he made them out to cash. the interest rate on them was something like 30%, so while he did pay me back, i’d accrued a ton of interest in the time it took him to do so. mostly, though, i had to make ends meet. could i have been more frugal than i was? sure. no one needs candles at target, but when you’re in that kind of a hole, you’re desperate for just something small to make you feel more normal. after i got out of school, i would very rarely use my cards for extraneous purchases, but i would do things like put plane tickets on them. and then i wouldn’t pay off whatever the whole amount was, i’d just continue my previous payment plan (which was always way above the minimum, but still, those plane tickets would take a few months to pay off – and by then, there may be another big purchase). i definitely used one to get my car out of impound once, to the tune of $1,000. things happen in life. so the balances hovered between $3,000 and $4,000 for several years.

like i said, it’s not your typical story – that’s not a ton of debt. it’s not the kind people freak out about, or call . i’m sure it’s well below average for my demographic. but eventually i realized i had this rotating balance, $400 in payments that was choking me, preventing me from hitting savings goals, and moreover, i was PAYING for the privilege of holding this debt (in interest). i mean, what?! that was totally unacceptable. i knew if i didn’t let myself purchase anything further on the cards, i could tackle it within a year.

i opened a balance transfer card with 0% interest for 18 months in january of 2013. i told myself that this was the year. there was already some travel on the books, but i limited myself to what was already planned. i sat down with myself, put all my accounts into mint, and committed to however much it would take to get this all paid off by the end of the year. i dedicated my tax refund to paying down this debt. i took on side work this year and put some of my earnings towards paying down this debt. if i had any extra money left over at the end of the month, guess where it went? yep. paying down the debt. i did end up using my cards for some unplanned expenses, but i made damn sure to pay off whatever that expense was in full asap – my cards were no longer my savings plan for big purchases.

i got smart about credit and opened some cards that would net me awesome rewards for money i’d be spending anyway (groceries,, etc.) – but that’s a separate post. through it all, i made sure my total debt was going down – and every month in mint, my net worth crawled up and up. in late december, i realized i would probably hit my goal in february of 2013, which was cool. maybe i’d be one month late, but i’d still be thrilled to get it done. i paid my bills right before the new year, content that the end of january would be the last time i’d be making these payments and the start of a super aggressive savings plan.

last week i realized i had a spare $900ish sitting around because of income from some side work that i got paid on, some checks i haven’t cashed, and an unexpected refund. and so, with very little thought, i decided to get it done. i wiped out the very last $500 of credit card debt i have remaining, and i am totally and completely free.

why am i sharing this? why am i including numbers, which many probably think is gauche and tacky? because we don’t talk about money the way we should in this world. it’s a hidden ghost that lords over us and draws so many lines in the sand, and we’re so rarely honest with how and why we struggle. i believe in the importance of those stories. i’m proud of myself for making a decision, making a plan, and then just doing a thing. you don’t get these victories every day, and i am savoring it.

the close.

i was really anti new year’s things this year. a good friend wanted to work on goal setting together, and i told her that while i was totally supportive of her, i wasn’t sure i was up for it. the below is from my email to her – edited for clarity.

here’s the thing about me and the intense goal setting things that the internet is so fond of. it just makes me feel like shit about myself. every time i’ve done these things, i end up feeling broken and worse than everyone else and deeply, deeply ashamed and convinced my life is worth nothing. all i can think as i go through these exercises is “am i doing it right? am i choosing hard enough things to accomplish? am i being weak about it? i am, i must be. TRY HARDER. MAKE BETTER GOALS”. it’s actually ridiculous. i’m trying really hard to overcome this attitude, because i know it is ALL ME and no one else’s fault – but i don’t have that process down yet.

goals are important, work is important, passion is important – that said, i cannot spend my life feeling crushed anymore. i just can’t. and i have to face the fact that i am out of the house with my attention focused on my job for 11 hours a day (9 hours in the office + 2 hours commuting). i have about 3 hours when i get home at night, out of my day, to do other shit. that is very little, and i need to be careful with it. i am not going to be able to do absolutely everything in my 3 hours of spare time a day + weekends. that’s just not human – i mean, maybe the special people of the world can do this, but i cannot, and i have to know that about myself and forgive myself for it.

it’s christmas time and i want to enjoy it. i want to look at my little village that makes me so happy, i want to get a tree and put too many lights on it and sit and stare at it with tea, i want to make my own cards and send them to people to tell them i love them, i want to breathe. i want to breathe and appreciate my life, and not hang myself up feeling awful about every part of my life and how i need to improve it. i’m frankly pretty tired of feeling like shit.

but then i actually read some of the materials she sent over and i realized there’s nothing wrong with my goal not being some big crazy tornado whirlwind. there’s nothing wrong with a quieter, more private, introspective goal that has nothing to do with make x dollars or lose x pounds or write a book or something very external with a finished product. i get caught in the idea that it must be fear talking, stopping me from the Big Crazy thing i actually want to do, but – no. it’s not. the biggest thing i want to do is calm down. find peace, actually. if i had to wrap up my mantra for the new year, it boils down to finding peace.

i’ve stepped back from a whole hell of a lot in the last few years. i’m learning what it means to curate. i am trying to remember to eat something on saturday mornings so i don’t turn into a rage monster. i’m making time for words, for creation. i’m remembering that the pieces are very rarely all in place – it won’t be contrived when you stumble across the moment you created in your mind, it will be organic and you savor it then. but when you wait for it it never ever comes. mostly, i have my shit together and about some things, i just don’t know. a therapist once told me, “well, what’s wrong with being confused?” she was a pretty awful therapist but that one line, that stuck with me. but about some things, i’ll be confused and the sky won’t fall. it really won’t ever fall.

that’s how i’m moving time along. with a commitment to calming the fuck down, and opening the door to some peace in my world. i’m too young for some of the ailments that have befallen me, and the details, they’re boring and there are enough people complaining on the internet – i don’t need to join the chorus. i know in my heart this is what i need.

ghosts around.

we won’t even talk about the debts i owed, because that slate should have been wiped clean long ago. but i obliterated them and it should have been enough and what right do you have, pushing yourself into my now?


six times today, rings, and they’re him, a number i’ll never forget no matter how hard i try. two recordings his voice, and it doesn’t sound right. i know when it doesn’t sound right. i always knew.

a search tells me his mother died, over a year ago. his father, a few years before that – she was not the kind of woman to survive without her husband. they were such a deep part of my world, a decade ago.

a decade. can we discuss that for a second? can we discuss that there’s a decade of history between then and now, between me and all my knowledge and all my faith, and me, this girl who lives grounded so hard in reality but doesn’t know, not ever, how to escape the labyrinths of my mind.

there are things i have locked away in trunks, thick-walled, metal, with locks that no one, nothing, will ever crack. nothing contained within is welcome in my present.

because i put that shit away for a reason.