Widening the Margins

Thursday, September 26, 2019

My last season of life, I was choosing margin. 

Choosing to have few connections, few responsibilities, so that my heart could feel at peace. So I wasn't over working. Or over performing. Or over doing everything. I wrote about it HERE in February.

But after every quiet season - usually comes the season of what you've been preparing for.

And I have felt that in every minute of the day. It's the season I am in now. AND IT IS SO FULL I MISS HAVING A BORING LIFE. It’s a cycle, inhale and exhale years…and I swear they alternate every other year.

This Summer meant widening the margins back in my life. Opening the curtain, getting back to reality from my soul/mind/heart vacation. 

And LOL…Actually nervous laughing…

It's been an adjustment, and that adjustment came into full effect this Summer. Starting off with officiating a friend's wedding who I met at Church Camp from 2000, getting to room with my other friend from camp who I also met 19 years ago, and then getting to meet Aaron's sweet relatives in Southern California on this same trip.



I finally got to go to a new city – Toronto, for a conference and it was one of the most diverse cities I’ve ever visited. My heart felt so full there, and maybe my stomach too ;)

Because this year has been so different for me, not familiar, completely new territory, that I am glad I got to keep some sacred traditions like going back to South Dakota for the 4th of July. There is nothing like the 4th in small town South Dakota. Rodeo, fireworks, bar life, carnival, four wheeling, gravel roads, starry skies...it’s everything a Summer has always been to me. Aaron got to meet my parents, my family, and friends I’ve had since grade school.

We were also lucky this year to have my niece come back and live with us for a month! Living away from my family, the worst part is being a long distance Aunt. So, having her come with us for an entire month made me so happy, and we finished Summer with my brother, his wife, and kids visiting…the first time in 12 years that my brother came to visit me where I lived – Ike, I know you love me :D


Then, came August…Notoriously known in higher ed / Housing that I don’t exist until SEPT. DigiPen has been such a blessing in multiple ways, but I appreciate working there because of the students and people. I also feel heard and advocated for. Enough so that I was promoted.

I feel like I am typing a Holiday Card recapping my year, but I am just reiterating that if life seems slow, quiet, and forcing you to calm down…Maybe you should listen to it. Normally, I’d ignore it. I’d busy my life up so much to the point I’d be exhausted before I got started.

Now? I am so happy I listened to my gut for the first time, and took the calm season to actually relax. It helped regulate my pace for this season of busy and full. I arrived in WA last year, unsure if I made the right move, sad from a break up, never thought I’d be a Mom or a Wife because I was so over relationships and people, didn’t want to take any risks, or talk ever again to anyone….and a year later….this is where I am.

Planning a wedding in Mexico, learning Spanish to speak with my Significant Other’s family, converting to Catholicism, making new connections, and y’all…even keeping some plants alive!


Even though I’ve widened the margins, and allowed life to surprise me - I couldn’t widen the margins without choosing margin first. I am content that I took my unsure season as a time to train, rest, and believe whatever I’m training for, was to widen the margins of life – to gain what I’d been praying and throwing out to the universe. I hope if you are in that season, you do too. It’s not easy living in a culture where we are told to do MORE, be MORE, learn MORE, MORE MORE MORE. And just step back and say no, this is what I need and this is what I don’t need. To prepare intentionally, to break unproductive habits, and bad cycles.


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.

Open Floor Plan

Thursday, December 27, 2018

San Francisco - Spring 2018

This morning, I looked at my half full closet and 80% occupied dresser...with much space for more stuff...but also feeling like I don't even need all the space I have. A sweet reminder of how much space I've created for the unexpected and how stuff really doesn't make me any happier.

2018 has been more than enough for me, and this is how it has shown up...

I am thriving in my own skin. I listen to my body, and I am learning to rest.

I am loving God and faith without constraints of what it should look like.

Writing. I've had so much time to write and blog, and co-blog with beloveds.

Continuing sacred's and rituals - cousin facetimes, bestie birthdays, 3rd of July reunions, pageants over Thanksgiving, 4th annual Giants game, and a yearly hello email to all my former student leaders and teams.

Co working dates, daily starbucks runs, and new happy hour spots.

Got to officiate my besties' wedding; Saw Drake in concert; Traveled to Mexico City.

Hosted 26 visitors between San Francisco and WA.

Walked through the streets of San Francisco after a rowdy rooftop bar night.

Went go carting on the gravel roads passing through my family's acres on a warm July evening.

Felt the worn out moving boxes holding my belongings that are mostly gifts and the art I feel connected to.

And with who I've become and what I've done, this is where it has left me into 2019;

I miss driving on the Bay bridge into San Francisco at night. The lights were bright enough to reflect off the water and warm enough to make me feel at home.

But the green and precipitation of the Seattle sound is enough to nourish my soul, and I know I'm blooming in a season of what feels like starting over, but really it's just a continuation.

Love really does exist.

I also learned what it meant to let go of someone you have love for because that's what that person really needs...and also hoping the absolute best for them.

I like my grey hairs and wrinkles around my eyes, and the stretch marks on my thighs. It shows a well lived body participating in the life in front of me.

My smile feels so real; My heart is a direct line to my smile.

Getting to see the fridge with my loved ones holiday cards on it - each one of them drenched in memories.

I like moons, flowers, reading books that I bought so long ago, but never had the capacity to indulge in. I love celebrating. I like cheering people on. I love all the things that make others feel good about themselves.

I'm operating this next chapter of life like an open floor plan.

My family is healthy, strong, and very happy. That's probably the highlight of this all.

Experiences over things.
Presence over presents.
Humanity over perfection.

& Turning 30 this year, and I feel like life is just getting started!

South Dakota - Summer 2018
Seattle - Winter 2018

Death & Birth

Friday, November 30, 2018


While November started off as a total sham...Let me bullet thy ways.

  • Got into a car accident, had to buy a new car, got a $1200 tow, and a parking ticket
  • Grandpa died, bought last minute plane ticket to South Dakota for funeral (It was cheaper to fly to Ukraine)
  • Found out a friend got cancer and then their little brother died...in the same 24 hours
  • One of my best friend's dog died, who was her whole world
  • I had 3 rounds of meds to get rid of my 2 month Pneumonia...to finally get better before Thanksgiving, only to now be sick again and breathing through my mouth like a Jurassic Park dinosaur...you can make fun of me, I know I am

Am I ready for November to be over? Uh yes. But with death, and well, adulthood - I can say that my life is truthful, good, and exactly where I want it be. And frankly, although November was a sham, it could have been much worse. Death has manifested itself in many forms in this transition, but it's also birthed a life I had never anticipated. A life that's been a subtly sweet surprise.

Here are some of my reflections from November, a month of death & birth:

Love
I thought I loved X, but I loved the idea of X. I thought I loved Y, but I just had mad love for Y. I tell Z I love Z, but that love has had so few hours on earth that only time will tell if that love will last.

Church
I reconciled the ways of how I do Church & love God a long time ago. But today? Today, I love the way I do Church...in nature, in relationships, in solitude, in journaling and prayer. In long conversations with those of us who grew up in Church, but have later reclaimed our relationships with God in a very personal and deep way that only God can really understand.

Priorities
Unless you are my Home Team, Hustle(s), Spiritual Rhythms, & Rest, you matter, but you are not a priority in December.

Address Changes
This week, I finished changing all of my addresses from California to Washington. Erasing CA from my address has felt like changing my last name. Knowing the best is yet to come, but leaving a part of your identity in your past - is a sad & seems like a too soon goodbye.

Decision Making Committee
I don't make a big life decision without mentors, home team, and essentially my decision making committee. But lately, I've learned that some decisions are best decided alone in a quiet room. I am my first relationship and I'll be my last relationship, best to make decisions that's best for her.

People I Don't Deal With
Shauna Niequist's book, Bittersweet talks about making a list of THINGS I DONT DO...and as counter intuitive as that is, it also helps me re gain insight to my priorities. But this month, I also wrote out people I don't deal with, because I refuse to do others emotional or intellectual labor, and this is separate from empathy and grace. But reality is that some people are looking for layers of me that I shed a long, long time ago. 

29 & Navigating

Sunday, March 18, 2018


I turned 29 last week and had one of my favorite birthdays. A friend asked what I had reflected on this past year and any thoughts on 29.

Here are some reappearing topics, conversations, frustrations, truths, and sentiments I am navigating into 29.


Bay Area Birthday Party @ Sunset Brewery
My Wild SFSU/USF Fam @ My Tarot Bday Party
Monterey Bay Fam Bday @ the delicious Sur in Carmel

Womanhood is not 1 dimensional: This is almost a duh statement. But you'd be surprised the interesting things people say. As a person who has people from church, pageants, politics, career, many religions, and just anything else random in my life, I always get the, "You're different in different environments...Like you can be loud and wild, passionate and angry, joyful and sweet, positive and salty"...It's true. My energy changes, but my values don't.

Because I have EMOTIONS. Emotions as in PLURAL, and depending on the context, I will exercise whatever emotion that fits. But in a world where we are told, regulated, and shaped how to feel and think - Raw or multiple emotions seem "scary" according to a friend. Scary to who? You?...To someone who cannot live their own truth and scared by mine? I will never apologize for exercising my emotions, but I will apologize if my delivery and tact causes harm. Womanhood will never be 1 dimensional, so why should my emotions be?

Life Paths: I am a natural seeker. I formally studied college counseling and student development, but also grew up with a piece of my history closed (adoption). I love to ask questions, gather feedback, and make my own decisions. As I enter 29, if I don't own a house, have a spouse, and some kids, according to where I was raised - there is something "wrong" with me or I am not a real adult or I am not honoring "God's plan" for human life. But as a seeker, I have been gathering feedback from friends who have a spouse and kids, a spouse and no kids or who have kids & no spouse. And as I speculated, all of them gave different answers. Some were ecstatic, some were happy with a little regret, some just wished that they had waited or that it hadn't happened at all.

I have a list of goals, dreams, and experiences, and settling down is on it, but not today....or for tomorrow, or even through the end of 2018. Yes, wild, but I am very content and happy...and I don't have a 5 year plan, a spouse, a kid, or a desire to own a home with lots of space...right now. One day, yes. But time will certainly tell.

Romantic Love: I have known for some time that I needed someone independent, who has their own life, patient, loyal, and adventurous. A collection from both my desires and suggestions from my home team. I have learned I will never tell a man, "You're my everything"..."You are my better half" ...or say "They're the reason I live!"...First of all, my life was/is full before my boo came into my life. Secondly, I had a life I created worth living for before he was established into my daily routine...Doesn't mean I don't adore my boo. Doesn't mean I don't value him. But I know when I love my life, I have the ability to also love who he is and what he does and what our relationship holds.




Advice: A downside of being a seeker is that I seek advice from my home team maybe too frequently...and as I have learned over the years, but heading into 29 is that I have learned to journal more and blog less...that a private life really is a happy life...and that some advice is meant for me, and some that is meant for later or never meant for me at all...and it is my decision in how I apply or archive that advice. I have learned that as I evolve, my life looks nothing like I predicted and definitely nothing how people think it should be.

And at the end of the day, if I died, I could say for what I know and have lived, my life feels complete.



I have 1 year left in my contract at work, and I am going to enjoy living in the city I have planted some roots in.

I love the cultural blend of lifestyles the Bay Area represents. I value that I can walk down a street and hear multiple languages being spoken. I love seeing so many different races and ethnicities, places of worship, and varieties of foods.

I have a deep and wide type of community of people who I am living life with. I have a life that is fruitful, giving, loved, and known by who I want to be known by.

I am going to live my truth.

I am going to live by the God I love and pray to and the route(s) God has for me.

Welcome to Jayme at 29 - Multidimensional and emotion exercising, skipping into my own life path watering flowers, clearing out the garbage, and shining my light to all who want to receive it...and open enough to let all the good people, things, plans, and ideas that are meant to land into my path.

Blog Collaboration 2018!

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Photo by J. Gomez
I write for myself.

I write because it's therapy. Because I enjoy stories and narratives in well-documented form.

I write because I am adopted...and there is a part of my history where that documentation is missing.

A part of me that I will never know. 

So, I write. I write my thoughts, feelings, to do lists, dreams, things that piss me off. 

I write about anything and everything.

I post though...for myself and for a person to resonate. I post because growing up I wish people talked about things that are honest and raw. 

I'm not here to read cliche phrases and sayings that are band-aid statements: 
I'll pray for you!
Everything happens for a reason!
Pull yourself by your boot straps!
It will get better!
Just be positive!
Go after your dreams!
Hard work pays off!

All with well meaning intentions...but some times doesn't get to the root of what I am searching for.

So I like to post from my lens. What it means to be a woman who is partner-less and child-less and the beauty and pain of this life. I like to post about my love life and how I should have learned about empowering my sexuality through school, church, family, friends....all the places that formed my opinions about my own body and who it belongs to - aka ME.

I like to post about purpose, reality, relationships, current issues, and anything that is considered difficult to talk about. The subjects we avoid. The ones we feel we need to be in edit mode...and why are we so scared about going unedited? 

And writing has taught me..

Who empowers me
Who I listen to
What I care about
What I am good at
What uh...are not my talents...
What uh...are my areas of growth....there are many....insert awkward giggle

But writing for me is therapy, a platform of empowerment, and a way to communicate.

So, I encourage anyone that wants to blog or write publicly that they figure out why they want to write and who are they are writing for.

And then stop giving a &%@#.

So in 2018, I decided that each month I want to collaborate with a friend / colleague and post their written narrative. If you are interested in collaborating, please email me at info@jaymealexis.com. We already have February and March covered and I am looking to post 1-2 folks per month.

2018 is the year of the update and upgrade for me...and after blogging for 5 years, it's time for an upgrade. An upgrade in community, in expansion, and in collaboration.

Role Modeling & Self-Care

Tuesday, November 7, 2017


Role modeling and Self-Care…

Both are almost an over-used, watered down sentiment that we use every chance we get.

And so many years later, so people have really shaped my idea on self-care and role modeling that I could write a separate post per person each day for the rest of the year - grateful for people who let me know some hard truths when I need to hear it.

Today's post was written mostly from my lens as a woman. Because we have different struggles. Different expectations. Different truths. Different narratives when it comes to role modeling and self-care.

I’m still learning and it’s really hard to role model and practice self-care, especially in the type of career I'm in - essentially a 24.7 camp counselor…it's hard to practice until students start to tell me they’re worried about me. Or that I don’t take enough time for myself. Or that they are genuinely concerned about my well-being.

And then I realize the awful habits I am teaching them. The habits that have ultimately made me miss weddings, baby showers, birthdays, funerals, impromptu dinners, dates, phone calls and the like.

And that is not something I want to teach my students. That is not something I want to teach my clients, friends, coworkers, or family.

It’s something I want to UN-learn myself.

And in the last 1-2 years, I have taken better measure to make sure I am there. That I am celebrating a precious baby. That I am making an effort to celebrate someone’s new promotion at work. That I take the time to plan a surprise birthday party for a friend.

And finally, I have been thinking so much on how as a woman I show up to my self-care. How I show up in role modeling to people. And how to stop apologizing for being.

As a woman, the world tells us to be confident and go without make up and exude our natural beauty! Then, part of the world is telling us to LOOK PUT TOGETHER! As anyone comfortable in their own narrative, we know whichever you choose, both are great. If either make you feel confident, show up in that.

These days, I show up however the $(%^ I want to show up. It’s my self-care and I will show up in whatever attire and energy I choose to. I will show up in my womanhood in however I feel like that day.

And I will let the words flow from my mouth in whatever sequence, vulgarity, or grace that it may.

This is NOT an excuse to be disrespectful, to bring bad energy to a room, or to be irresponsible. It is permission to myself to create authentic space and be in that space with others who allow me to be.

It’s also permission to some times work late because in some regards that is my self-care/role modeling. By taking care of something I’ve worked so hard to maintain. And other days, it means re-scheduling meetings or allowing others to run my ish' so I can celebrate a friend’s birthday on a MONDAY.

Whatever the type of self-care, it’s not always on the weekends or in the evenings. It’s any time I choose it to be if I listen to my body/soul and what they actually need.

And whatever role modeling I am exuding - I want it to be transparent. I can still have a lot figured out and it is ok to admit I have even more to figure out than I thought. AND THEN SHARING THAT with others. And being real.

And not always answering “I’m good” when someone asks how I am doing. But also not over sharing with people who aren’t interested in how I am doing – Because they’re only interested in the information I can share so they can share with others.

I’ve been evolving in both of these practices.

And today, I showed up in all of my beloved womanhood, as is, with no apologies to follow.

The Home Team vs the Home Crowd

Monday, June 6, 2016


The Home Team. Also, known as your crew, squad, tribe, village, however you want to name the group of people who you reciprocally participate in each other's lives.

Each year, I evaluate the home team. Who is on it? Who needs to be benched, transferred, moved, or added? Why are they there? Was I a good person/friend to them and them to me?

And each year it has gotten more difficult to determine. Not necessarily if someone belongs on my home team, but rather, am I working on my relationships with my home team or am I too busy trying to impress the home crowd?

I've been thinking a lot about the home crowd and how it's easy to confuse the home crowd with the home team. The home crowd is very present in your life. You may actually spend more minutes with the home crowd, but the content within the minutes is what differentiates if someone is on your home team or the home crowd. 

I mean, I love the home crowd. 

They are your cheerleaders when you need a celebration or a pick-me-up. The home crowd is fun, convenient, and at times, seasonal. They make you feel important, after all they are rooting for you - the good side they see of you or I should say, the only side you decide to expose to them. 

So, in the last couple of years, I've been consciously working on being a better home team member. Creating time, prioritizing, and ensuring that the home team gets appreciated before I even acknowledge the home crowd. 

Because the home team? They experience the real you. They are the ones you share way too much about yourself and experience your wrath after a bad day, but care for you anyway. They are the ones who will sass you to your face, but sing your praises behind your back. They are your go-to's, the ones you can reach out to at any point of the day and no matter what still support you - even if they want to throat punch you for being stupid...I mean that never happens ;)

Life has been more peaceful learning to appreciate the home crowd while honoring the home team first.

Who do you root for?

No to reality tv, yes to my reality.

Monday, April 11, 2016

2016 ... HA HA HA. Let’s start there. This post is all over, which if you know me, at least it aligns with my personality ;)

March 11-14....In that 4 day turn over I left my former job, moved to a new city, and started a new job. I was also hiring a manager for a non-profit my friend and I are handing off as well as signing off my clientele to a new consultant with a few pageant systems. Essentially, I was leaving an industry I have been involved in for 17 years...OH and on top of that, my mother and family had been anxiously awaiting to see if she still had cancer. Then to add to the bizarreness of my life, a reality tv show wanted to follow my life for 2 weeks so they could cast me on a tv show about love. Because apparently I was nominated, passed 4 screening interviews, and they were in the process of filming my story........Yeah what a normal 4 days.....
My cute former office evolved a lot in the last 3 yrs.
Now I am in San Francisco. I am no longer in the honeymoon phase. It has hit me that I am no longer visiting...I am going to live, work, and breathe here...

Ready, set, PANIC......WHY GOD?! 

It doesn't even make sense. I liked my life. I was comfortable. I was living in one of the most beautiful places. I had a huge apartment, lived next to the ocean, worked a job that I had more seniority in, had a deep community of people who I loved and adored and it was instantly returned. I was going to be on reality tv with this cute little picturesque life.

And I exchanged all of this for....

A job that I have 0 clue what I am doing. Instead of overlooking the rugged California coastline, I walk through a homeless camp every day. I stepped on a bundle of used needles that people disposed of on the curb. I live with a family that doesn't speak English and not to mention I live in a very run down (sketchy) part of the city. I went from no commute to commuting on public transit every day. I went from nonprofit to for profit/corporate and when you consider cost of living, I am actually taking a $500 deficient each month paycheck wise - which also means I'm living on a smaller budget than when I was in college! 

I also left a guy that could give me the life I dreamt of since I was a little girl and traded that dream in for a life I wanted to create from scratch, possibly on my own...and finally, I threw out or gave away between 40-50 boxes of "stuff" to my students, the womens shelter, or the dumpster. I only took with me 2 car fulls of items and as I am unpacking, I'm still finding I could have gotten rid of more items. 

NOTHING SEEMS LOGICAL, yet I am INFINITELY happier, more joyful, and more rested. I am more gratuitous, light hearted, and giving. I can't stop giving away my possessions, food, money, clean water, clothing, and positivity. 

But my illogical decision has also led me to the following:

A personal life. 

Time to chase my dreams/goals. 




My career now does not own me. When I leave work, I have my best energy for my family and friends. I get to focus on being a better daughter, sister, and a more engaged friend. Someone who is able to treat others with a 100% presence. 

A better understanding of my Korean heritage. What is more emerging than living in an all Asian neighborhood? My cul de sac speaks Chinese, Hindi, Japanese, and Korean. When I go to the bank, the bank teller greets me in Korean. So, maybe this city is not teaching me about my specific country of origin, but I am absolutely getting a cultural experience with my continent of origin. 

Dating. Creating an Alumni Chapter for my Alma Mater. Cultivating friendships and  acquaintanceships into deeper relationships. Exploring the city without a time crunch. Finding a Church home that I later have found out is a church plant - something I've always desired to be apart of! Oh and finding an awesome community group from the Church to boot!


Another layer to my ministry. For those of you who are a bit lost, in my Christian faith, ministry can also translate into purpose. I have been trying to be more inclusive in my wording in my blog posts while still remaining true to my Christian faith.

The opportunity to share my lunch on Tuesdays with a homeless family or any day that I find the other half of my lunch can be given to the person who was digging through the trash to find left overs. 

Having more time to love/live/speak/be.




Making connections on public transportation or in uber. One woman invited me over for her daughter's 2nd birthday just because I was the first person to ask how her day was...We really are in need of connection with others.


So yes, this life I am living seems illogical, yet I am obsessed with every minute of it. Even the messy minutes. The lonely ones. The minutes I yearn for my old life. 

I may have said no to reality tv and my life may not be documented for the world to see, but it can be documented through living what I consider an honest life and that is enough for me, my reality. 


Quick video from my birthday & going away party!

Selectivity

Wednesday, July 22, 2015


Being selective does not mean being rude, disrespectful, or neglectful, it means choosing and choosing well.

Being selective can also be interpreted in several ways. However, I want to keep it simple:

I spend time with people who care about me and who inspire me to better and in return I do the same for them. Don't settle, you adapt your tribe's habits, make sure they're at least good ones. 

I only add people/events/things to my calendar that I like. 

I love being in a variety of time consuming roles. This means cutting out the unnecessary obligations from my life. This doesn't mean burning bridges or pissing people off, it just means being diligent in how I utilize time. Example - I stopped getting coffee with so many people. People who I started to feel obligated to see. Removing these hangouts made my schedule more free for people I wanted to actually connect with.

I make my own decisions.
I may ask others questions or for their thoughts, but I make my own decisions and I've stopped feeling bad for disappointing people who were upset I didn't make the decision they had for my life...Because it was never theirs to have.





Time with Gratitude

Sunday, November 9, 2014


I changed the name of my blog. It just seemed fitting.

It's easy to be thankful when things are great. When your family and friends are healthy. You have a steady income. You're comfortable and without a worry in the world. But that's not real life.

Life happens, tragedy and people shake your world and you're left feeling the way you do. But gratitude? It's still there. In the most lonely, dark, and hopeless of moments, gratitude is hiding, waiting for you to uncover it.

It's sometimes quiet and sometimes in your face. It's hidden, exposed, and everything in between. You don't have to apply for it or qualify for it, gratitude is a choice.

Gratitude is one of the least discriminate things. It's for all ages, people, and creeds. It's found in seasons, in people you love, in the homes you nest, and in the events that change your life.

Gratitude is found in the lives of parents, students, soldiers, people of every craft, third world citizens, and those who have absolutely nothing. It's in the depth of your soul and in the rumble of your laughter. It's everywhere.

So, I hope you continue to spend time with gratitude in your own life and I will try and share as much as I can about how gratitude is being uncovered in my own.

xoxo.




Harmonizing goal setting and being present

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Achieve by August 2016
I've always been an avid goal setter. I can't tell you how many goal lists I have - short term, long term, a travel bucket list, and a yearly priorities list just to name a few. I basically take a life inventory of myself. It's okay if you rolled your eyes, I did too.

In the last year and a half or so, my goal was to learn to be present. I've always admired those who could be so consistently present. Whether it be conversation or quality time, they're just there 100% of the time.

I've been more of a 60/40. 60% mentally present and 40% planning ahead or wandering elsewhere. I noticed how it was affecting my relationships and completely feeding into my already awful perfectionist habits.

So, I've in a way, taken a break from goals. I've just lived, breathed, and pretended to be spontaneous and I can't tell you how freeing that's felt. Even through photos, my face looks more peaceful and joyful than it did a few years ago.
Goal Setting in Big Sur
However, I'm bad with moderation...in just about everything. If I'm focused in on something, I can leap from one end to the other. So, I've recently been thinking, when was the last time I set personal goals? Ones outside my job?.......Yeah.......

So, I opened a notebook that I had written 20 goals to achieve in  20 years as I did a 10 goals to achieve in 10 years - and I achieved all, but 1! After crossing some off, I decided to add a few more to make it 20 again.

It boils down to this for me, there has to be a happy medium of wanting to achieve the most for myself every single moment and being present to enjoy what I've achieved and learn from what I haven't. Maybe one day I won't be so hard on myself, but I'm human and it's in my nature to want to be better and to do more.
PCH 1

Anniversaries & Nesting

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


I'm not sure what it is about tonight...
Maybe it was the soothing of Jack Johnson playing in the background or hearing my family's laughter over skype. It could have been the home cooked meal that filled my stomach or maybe it was the sunlight seeping through my blinds.

But it's been lately too...
I scurry around my kitchen and it's familiar and known. I've grown to like the way my apartment smells after making my morning coffee or how the twinkle lights brighten my living room on a summer night. I enjoy seeing familiar faces and feeling fortunate to know a small sliver of who they are.

Whatever it is. Whatever it has been. It feels like home. Who knew the every day, the mundane things are what make my home, a home. It's not the adventure that I thirst or the times spent exploring a city I haven't explored. All of those things help make me feel alive and attached, but the quiet and simple things about my life the past 373 days have established this sense of home to me...and it feels good.



On July 8, I approached my 1 year work anniversary and on August 3 I approach my 3 year anniversary in California. I may have lived in 4 different cities in this beautiful state, but each with its own lesson and each have played a role in my story of becoming. 

It's just different this time around. I'm not in transition or worried about where I'll live next. My belongings aren't scattered between friend's garages, my car, and a storage unit. It's all here with me, nesting in my peaceful home. 


"That thing I’m waiting for, that adventure, that movie-score-worthy experience unfolding gracefully. This is it. Normal, daily life ticking by on our streets and sidewalks, in our houses and apartments, in our beds and at our dinner tables, in our dreams and prayers and fights and secrets—this pedestrian life is the most precious thing any of us will ever experience." - Shauna Niequist in Cold Tangerines
Shauna's books help me digest the seasons of my life and I couldn't agree more that this current pedestrian life is one of the most precious lessons I've had in my young twenty something life.

Happy Nesting!

Spending time like I do cash: Wisely (sort of)

Monday, July 14, 2014

I like to plan. I like to prepare. Not as meticulous as I used to be, but it happens. That also leaks into how I blog. I like lists, goals, and plans. I talk about them, write them, and achieve them or usually they're a work in progress. 
Instead, I tried doing something different. I was writing a post 2 months ago from today and instead of pre-determining what I wanted my summer to be, here is what it has been. 

I hope you have been enjoying your summer too!


I've spent less time...
cleaning my apartment
organizing my life
shopping for things I don't need
cussing
attached to technology
checking social media
on personal appearance
checking my work email when it's not necessary
with anxiety and its best friend stress


I've spent MORE time...
in two cities I haven't explored much
with family and friends
being spontaneous
praying
making memories
GARDENING...I know hell is cold
trying new things....like going to professional soccer games...hell is now frozen...
reading
beachin' it
connecting with God
at farmers markets
meditating
reconnecting with old friends
in solitude & silence
dating...
cooking dinner before 8pm
at concerts...ok all 2 of them, but none the less
watching sunsets

Feels good to have a well rested mind, body, and soul - In large thanks to where I've been spending my time this summer :) 

Happy Monday!

I took my student leader staff hiking one day
San Francisco
Smashmouth Concert in Santa Cruz
Carmel Beach
Lots of visitors this summer!



A beautiful Fall night

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The extent of my Fall decorating: 3 pumpkins & Fallish flowers.

Nights like tonight are rare and beautiful in my world.

Before 7pm, I was curled up in my soft comforter under my twinkle lights drinking hot chocolate and breathing in the crisp fall air flowing through my windows. The breeze picked up and filtered in some chimney bonfire-like smoke that reminded me it was my favorite season of all: FALL.

I read. I watched tv. I baked cookies. I caught up with an old, but good friend. Sweet and savory moments in my new home.

AND

it is because I don't know how to relax when I am sick and I felt if I was productive (baking, reading academia, still responding to emails, and catching up on my phone list) that I'd feel better about being sick. I have issues. No, definitely still have issues ;)

None the less, a beautiful fall night. 

Re-defining happiness

Thursday, September 5, 2013


I have everything a human would ever need in this world. I have Christ, a Faith to believe in, family, friends, and people who I love and love me back. I also have a paycheck, shelter, clean water, and food.  I am so passionate about my job that it doesn't feel like a job. I wouldn't trade my life for anything, even though I am alone in a place where nothing is familiar - I've still never known life to be this good.

So, what's my deal? What's this post really about?

Shouldn't I feel like I finally made it? Why is there a need to re-define my own happiness?

I've always had a mile marker for my happiness. Society has always had a mile marker for my happiness and I'm a bit embarrassed to say I sometimes feel like a sell out when it comes to that.

I mean....high school graduation, college, graduate school, marriage, kids, money, whatever it is, there has always been a mile marker for feeling like I made it.

I realized in the past month that I am out of mile markers. It's a bit scary to think I will determine what my next mile marker of "happiness" will be and determining if I should celebrate those moments or if I should continue to work hard, be humble, and put forth the effort to achieve my next big moment in life without marking it as another mile stone.

How do I re-define my own happiness based on what I measure it to be, and not society's indicators?

I definitely don't have the answers. What I do know, is I can't wait to stop and celebrate all of life's moments that I've been so fortunate to have and will continue to have.

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