Choosing Margin

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Made it to Alaska to see the Bestie celebrate her 30th and to cross it off my list! 8 USA states left to visit!

"Outside of my career, I only love xyz"...this was such a common phrase for me for so long. For years, I kept saying I could only love a few things outside of my career, because my career took the biggest space in my life for so long. I hid behind it, like most ambitious (and insecure/haven't dealt with their ish) people do. As many (not all) are too scared to see if we could be good at anything else. That we could be capable of having lives that we do not feel we need to work to deserve.

Let me tell you, this is the season I've been needing for years, but finally chose to take. 2019 is a year of Rest, Roots, and Progress, and I have been practicing since December. At first it felt weird. Numerous times a week, I would tell home team member and roommate - "I feel so off...I want to rush and do 1,000 things to feel 'normal'"....and she would say, it's the shock to your system of leaving a career of stress, emotional emergencies, and high risks behind...Welcome to life, enjoy it.

And it's true. Nobody is going to force you to rest. No one is going to force you to stop valuing your humanity and self through money and achievement.

It's been such a humbling year, and now that I have 7 months of hindsight of what I was doing to my body, my brain, my heart, my relationships...I can't imagine going back to a life where I am constantly running myself into the ground.

I went from having 0 weekends free for 4 months, to leaving weekends free on on purpose. For the first time in probably ever, I can hear and see things without worry of "Am I doing / being enough". I just know I am enough. I am good enough, doing enough, being enough. And my enough may be a different measure to someone else's enough...and that is 100% okay.

Over the years, my career took precedent over literally everything. I missed my brother's wedding. My nephew's birth. My friend's funeral...All for work...for work I don't even remember, for days I can't even get back.

And this year, I've cancelled workshop after workshop. Even removed myself from a keynote speaker list to officiate another friend's wedding in May. I've declined projects to go to concerts and to attend birthdays and welcome visitors to my home. I've made time for family and the few friends I've made in Seattle.

These days, I am choosing margin. Thank God for home team members that have been blessed with words. KD, thank you for giving my current life chapter a title. I'm choosing margin. Choosing simple. Choosing little. Choosing what I do intentionally, and what I just don't care about, and not feeling guilty about it. I even started telling people who call me in crisis mode that they can set up an appointment with me through my side hustle business. I charge people for emotional labor - I am not your counselor, the person to solve your own issues, and I am definitely not your idea generator because you're too lazy to do the work yourself.

This season, I've enjoyed long drives. Walks. Reading. Writing. Attempting to learn Spanish. My work, but not the point of obsession. I enjoy sleep and water. I love, or try to love the growing pains of my home team and what it means to connect with the people we are today, not the people we were 6 mos ago or even 16 years ago for some.

Because I was "too busy" in my career, my bestie from high school / college has lived in Alaska for 7 years, and I had not visited her once, even though she has visited me twice in California. For her birthday 2 weeks ago, I made it up there. To see her home, the people who make her feel at home, and to meet my nephew kitty. I know I won't forget that trip, but that's a different post for a year when our parents won't read this blog - HA!

I just am enjoying the slowness of life.

My aunt, my friends, my family...said it's the happiest they've ever seen me and the wisest I've ever been.

And even though I am about to turn into another chapter of "busy", it's comforting to know I have a baseline of when I am leaving the margins of what I have chosen for this season.

Slow, steady, and kind. Here is to have Chosen Margin & to keep choosing it.

Mid-Autumn Moon Festival - Chinatown

Monday, October 9, 2017


I love Chinatown in San Francisco is the largest one outside of China - which obviously makes me feel like it's the most authentic experience I can get without traveling abroad. It's rare folks take credit card, speak English, and for the most part, I appreciate that much of this area is untouched and less gentrified. The streets are narrow. Kids to senior citizens are singing and playing games in the parks. So much energy. So many knick knacks, food, music, and dancing.

And too fun not to share our accidental pit stop:








You're invited

Thursday, September 14, 2017

I used to go on adventures by myself. But then I got assaulted and I barely would go to Target by myself.

I’ve come a long ways in 3 years. I used to pride myself on being able be my own best company. I’d invite myself to adventures. Waited for no one. Never wished my life away. Lately, I don’t even remember the last time I did something alone or was alone. I don’t remember the last time I invited myself to be my own best company.

So, on Saturday, I woke up, and invited myself on a road trip north. No destination. No time limit. Drove until I found something interesting to look at.

I drove north on Pacific Coast HWY 1 through the magical fog and the small coastal towns that hug California’s rugged and beautiful coastline.

I ended up stopping in Olema, CA at this little lodge near a stream with lots of outdoor chairs and logs to read and write. I spent time just listening to silence and in nature. 

I couldn’t believe it’s been 3 years since I’d taken a spontaneous self-adventure with no agenda…

Living life in the city is exciting. In October I have back to back concerts. In the last month, in August it seemed to be back to back reunions and parties. I love all the lights, the busy energy, and the eclectic people that reside in San Francisco.

But as someone who is also part country - I also need rural. I need a place that is simple, with narrow roads, gravel paths, no cell service. Nature that is limited or barely touched by any person. A place that grounds me, slows me down, and brings life and my living back to the center.

Just nature and God, which in so many ways I’ve felt are the same thing anymore.

My life although fun and liberating, has also lacked self-rituals and consistency. I’ve spent the last 1.5 years building mostly horizontal, which has been rich and full of exploring, but I haven’t spent much time building vertically.

So, stay tuned, you’re definitely invited. 

Photos from my time in Olema, CA:

Celebrating Love!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

February 2016: I accidently found this cove at Carmel Beach. I was frustrated I couldn't find parking, but ended up driving to an area I hadn't explored and found these cute sea creatures. We always end up where we are suppose to.

I tried to sleep in the entire day today. It's Valentine's Day...I had no where or no reason to get ready, so why not pretend it doesn't exist? BUT of course, I was up at 7AM ready to take on the world. When I say take on the world, I managed to get myself a glass of water, some M&Ms, and scroll through my social media looking at the divide between romantic love posts and I'm single forever x forever posts. 

I wrote a post on relationship shaming around the holidays, which relates to this post. I'll be truthful, it was a bitter weekend for me. But whenever I get in these moods of self pity or sadness, I always ask myself...Where was I one year ago? I always tell people, it's amazing what can happen in one year. 

So, I did...and minute by minute I started smiling and water started welling in my eyes for the grateful experiences and people I've engaged with in the last year. 

In the last year, I got to be an explorer. I've never had to travel to far off lands to be an explorer, but I will say travel has always been my best therapy. Last year, my friend and I went to New York City for my birthday and spent well intentioned 48 hours. We packed a backpack and walked through every single neighborhood. It took us the entire day as we stopped off to admire people, art, food, music, broadway, athletes, tourists, and the like. There is something so intimate about a place unexplored, no real map, and walking aimlessly enjoying your surroundings. 

This is why I love places. Places are the healthiest relationship that's ever existed to me. Places are kind, beautiful, and full of light. They allow me to spend time with loved ones who travel and see the world like I do and most importantly, they take you as you are. When you're exploring places, you realize how little space you take up on this earth and that you should treat others and the earth well, for they give you a home and a sense of belonging. 

So, Happy Valentine's Day to you. I hope you find time to love - people, places, memories, etc. Valentine's Day isn't just for romance, it can be a holiday to celebrate all the different types of love that exist in your life. How rich are we to have so many different types of love?




Downtown Denver: Keeping it local

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Flyer Girl and I have similar sentiments during travel - we eat, purchase, and do things locally. If I have to go to a big box store it is because it's like Target and I need meds. 

Our itinerary post Union Station: Links included!
Fashion Trucks - Apparently this is a thing.
Tattered Cover Bookstore - Shelves on shelves of books and uncovered adventure.
Sputnik Bar - Who wouldn't want a 1PM booze? Pretty hipster. Say yes to a drink and no to the food.
Linger - great tapas and they're foods from the different continents.
Bazaar - Fun local artists and artisans with plenty of beverages.

Enjoy a bit of Denver and a dash of Fall!

Downtown Denver: Union Station

Sunday, December 6, 2015

I wanted to experience Fall, so I went to Colorado in October. I unexpectedly got to spend the beginning of Fall in South Dakota too. So, I got twice the fall treat this year! You can read other reasons why I traveled to Colorado, HERE.

Denver has revitalized its downtown area in the last 3 years. Growing up 8 hours from Denver, this was the major city we traveled to when we needed to fly or catch a baseball game. It has always been very industrial and I remember almost getting stabbed in front of the capitol building at 13 during a drug deal. Yes, that is the Denver I remember and did not recognize this time around - ha! I think my cat is jealous of the 9+ lives I've been fortunately granted.

It was a gorgeous Fall Day with minimal traffic downtown Denver. There were several cute fashion trucks...Yes, much like food trucks, but with etsy-like jewelry flocked to every curb corner. My favorite though in Union Station includes the endless amount of coffee shops and boutiques each with its own personality. Oh and you must get a boozey milkshake. Unless you don't like alcohol, then at least get a milkshake from Milkbox, you will have 0 regrets. That is unless you're lactose intolerant, then that just sucks, and I recommend checking out something that will make your trip more pleasant :)

Thank you for spending time with me, so in exchange for time, I also want to mention I spent the whole day in gratitude for Flyer girl, who has traveled in 3 major cities with me and she still tolerates me! I am also grateful for deep conversation and experiencing Denver from an adult (yeah I'm using that word loosely) perspective because Denver has always felt like another home to me.

What makes you grateful during travel?

Denver, you're a beaut!
New-ish remodeled union station in downtown Denver

Flyer Girl and I met in grad school in 2011!
Milkbox
Recommending the Butterscotch & Bourbon 
Inside one of the cute shops, I couldn't let this postcard stay on the shelf!

San Francisco: Coit Tower & Union Square

Monday, July 21, 2014

I have a slight obsession. 
I'm in love with a city I've never lived in:
San Francisco.

I've explored this city and its neighborhoods quite a few times in the last year and I always leave wanting more.

Reasons to crush on San Francisco:
Cultured.
Beautiful.
Balance of nature + city.
Boutique galore. 
Good live music.
Coffee shops........
Incredible views.
People watching.
Food....but seriously the food...

It's a magical city. They say Los Angeles is where dreams come true, but San Francisco is where you go to create what dreams you want to come true.

Views from Coit Tower
Getting close to Union Square aka Tourist City
Cable Cars :)


The Restless Sea

Monday, April 14, 2014

I apologize for falling behind. Life has caught up to me the past 2 weeks.

A scenic route that I wanted to show my mom when she was here in March was 17 mile drive. There are several beautiful points, but my favorite include the Spanish Bay, The Restless Sea, Pebble Beach, and the Lone Cypress Tree.

Travel tip: It's best to go here when it is sunny out. Take more time along the Spanish Bay. There are several picture perfect moments and when it's remotely cloudy, the wind and the cool breeze can make you freeze! Also, if you plan to hang around the Lone Cypress Tree, there is limited parking, so it is best to go as early as possible or after the 12-3pm crowd.






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