Spent the past month or so in NYC, which you may have noticed…depends if you follow me on Instagram (hint, hint, wink, nudge)! Pretty sure I’ve never pulled off NOT staying in that beautiful, bloodsucking city at least 3x longer than I initially plan to. I think an hour in New York is kind of like five days in “real people” time…sort of as if you are moving at the speed of light, but without really noticing it. Without my 12 trusty Moleskines and Google Calendars I’d never stay on track. How I survived 5 years in the City is still a mystery to me…and props to my many strong and amazing friends’s who’ve been kicking ass out there for way longer.
That said, I actually do tend amaze myself with the amount of work (and damage) I’m able to accomplish while time-warping. I arrived, clocked some solid business hours, somehow managed to turn 29 years old, and now here I am, back in California…a little older, a lot more confused, and slowing down to process it all.
Special shout to my main man, Ringo, who was the best copilot ever — he took on the Big Apple like a champ. And so much love to my dear friends who let us crash on their couches, took me out and went along with my insisting it was NOT my birthday (but still let me win at ping pong), and the inspiring people I got to work with along the way…Amina, health coach/wonder woman/founder of Busy Happy Healthy, Art from Look Ave., Rupert from SpareRoom and a handful of others.
It really is amazing what can happen in a New York minute…let alone 3+ weeks. I never come back the same, but am starting to think that’s actually a part of the magic. Perhaps learning to embrace change, and welcome whatever surprises the universe decides to throw your way, might not be such a bad thing after all.
P.S. (!!!) Amina, author and wellness wizard is gearing up for what is going to be an AH-MAZING 21-day Health Venture. She’s worked wonders for me already and I am so excited to do a little detoxification before the holidays hit. Click HERE to sign up and enter code OnTheRacks15 at check out to save some $$. Join me, why don’t ya?!
“She has been through hell, so believe me when I say, fear her when she looks into a fire and smiles.” -E. Corona
We all face struggle and hardships, and handle things differently. People hurt in varying ways and my personal opinion is there is no right or wrong way to feel.
Sometimes we cry and crumble, genuinely believing we won’t be able to put the broken pieces back together the way they once were. I used to feel this way all the time. Then I realized I could view a difficult situation as an opportunity to rebuild a stronger version of myself instead…someone less fragile.
Some of us are more vocal about our emotions than others — we kick and we scream, and see to it that our voices are heard loud and clear. People might call it anger, but what’s wrong with being angry when someone hurts you? Under the circumstances I speak of, I call it strength, awareness, and self-respect. I am not a cruel or negative person. In fact, I consider myself the exact opposite. But I have been forced to evolve into a woman who can protect herself, because I’m tired of being stomped on.
“If he’s the guy, nothing you can say will ever fuck it up. You cannot do love wrong.
We have emotional needs–be needy.
Be “too much” or say the wrong things.
Fuck, we all say the wrong fucking things. And how many of us don’t use protest behaviour and distancing techniques and likely games–and all of these are trying to protect us from “doing it wrong” and being hurt or hurting somebody. Your person will see you trying to sabotage or withholding communicating something hard and create a loving space for it to be heard. Your person will want to exceed your emotional needs. Your person will not be able to get enough of you. They will hold you kicking and screaming into commitment and intimacy if you need it and when you ask why, they will just smile and wonder how you cannot see your brilliance, worth and beauty.
Say too much, say too little–you cannot do love wrong, you cannot fuck up the unfuckable and love is the strongest thing alive.”
AMEN, SISTER. When you live in fear of fucking up, you aren’t in the loving relationship you deserve. When you are expressing yourself and being so brave that you can share your heart, but receive shame for so, you could be in a dangerous place. Get out.
So feel what you want to feel, say what you want to say, do what you want to do (just make sure you don’t become a walking contradiction, and continue to respect the feelings of others if you want yours to be respected). If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. End of story.
“Leave it alone. The past is the past,” he said. He spoke and I listened. I agreed he was right.
Its sad but true that many of us spend days, months, and even years trying to love the wrong people. We give our hearts and thousands of tears to others who, intentionally or unintentionally, cause us ongoing pain that we willingly endure. Sometimes this pain, conflict and confusion can be so emotionally derailing that eventually you’ll stare in the mirror only to find the reflection looking back is a total stranger. You’ll recognize the fact that you’ve been doing things and acting in ways that make you feel ashamed, and it’ll probably hit you all at once, like a ton of bricks. It is not all his or her fault, nor is it yours. But if / when this happens, consider it a wakeup call and an opportunity to turn things around. But this time, do it for yourself.
Why do we let this happen? Because we love them. Because we’ve convinced ourselves that their happiness is all that matters, or allowed their weaknesses to become our own. Ultimately this deteriorates confidence and encourages an internal misconception that we aren’t good enough or that we don’t deserve kindness. It leads us to feel like we are not special…that we’re inadequate and unloveable. NONE OF THIS IS TRUE.
“Selfish” isn’t a bad thing, when you find yourself giving far greater than you know you’ll ever receive (and I don’t mean supporting someone you care about through hard times, I am talking about the “big picture”). Sometimes in order to preserve dignity and a stable, happy existence, you must accept that the person you’ve opened your heart to is incapable or unwilling to reciprocate…but that doesn’t make you flawed.
You may even come to find that, as much as you might love someone, you are actually SO drastically different that things you feel are vital to building a sustainable, long-term relationship (things like “trust” and “compromise”), are admittedly irrelevant to them. When my ex told me that he didn’t believe in compromise, and that trust, for him, was not essential when it came to his relationships (friendly or romantic), my first thought was “are you twelve years old?”, and my second was that I should go running for the fucking hills.
I cannot claim that my views are right and his are wrong (trying to be neutral here, but by all means I am open to hearing your opinions). However, I will say that these are two values I, personally, feel are pretty much essential. I know in my heart that I could never live my life with someone who doesn’t comprehend or, at the very least, respect this. I’d forever be walking on eggshells and wondering if the words he told me were true. No, thank you.
I think it is also important to remind ourselves that we cannot change people, nor should we even attempt to. It is a lost cause and a waste of energy (especially if they are “anti-compromise”). We don’t match up with others so that we can “save them” or make them what we personally consider to be “better” — because these things are subjective and that would be completely unfair. A couple doesn’t have to see eye-to-eye on everything (in fact, that sounds frightening and also boring), but when two people who are in a relationship have such drastically different standards and viewpoints on fundamental topics, there is no way to move past it. Lesson learned.
I have had two pretty serious relationships in my life. The first one didn’t work out, but I look back on it fondly. The second was different, though. Most of the time it didn’t seem real, and I very rarely felt my heart was in a safe place. They are both GOOD men, who I respect for different reasons. I sincerely believe they wanted and tried to make me happy in their own, very different ways, while maintaining a desire to find personal happiness at the same time — fair enough. There were plenty of outrageous and unforgettable times that I will always treasure. But when it came to a point where the bad times outweighed the good, we should have called it quits. It was like trying, over and over again, to catch a pretty cloud and failing miserably…then the rain would start to pour.
In my most recent relationship, the good times were sogood, that we kept on going because neither of us wanted to face the discomfort and sadness of accepting we were incompatible and it was time to let go. It took hitting rockbottom for this relationship to come to an end. And while it has been extremely difficult, it also feels like a weight is being lifted…sometimes, not always — but each day it gets a little easier, I suppose.
I feel I can breathe a little deeper and that parts of me I subconsciously let slip away are starting to make their way back. We were lovers, enablers, best friends (in my mind, not his – which he frequently pointed out), enemies, and weird, silly, stupid companions, all at the same time. We had nicknames and secrets and inside jokes that will only make sense to us, and there are so many things I already miss about him. But we were broken beyond repair.
We are both kind hearted people who care about one another deeply, but oftentimes we failed to show it. We were sad, desperate and addicted. We couldn’t ever NOT come back to one another, but with every additional attempt to “try again”, we were welcoming in more unneeded pain. Instead of taking on obstacles as a team, we turned against each other, until the biggest struggle of them all became a battle between the two of us, and one that would have no winner.
I hope you don’t find yourself in a situation like this — with someone for 4 years who cannot say they love you, unless under pressure, in which case they will cringe as they utter the words I’ve personally found to be so natural, happy and easy to speak…because they were true. Toward the end, I would say “I hate you” in a loving tone, like one would use when speaking to a puppy who doesn’t know what the words mean, just that they are nice. This seemed to make him feel more comfortable reciprocating the sentiment. The thought that I did this regularly in our final months, because it was the only way I could get a response, sickens me (and I take full blame for this masochistic, desperate move). However, when pressed by uncertainty so intense where you lose sight of yourself, or place unfair expectations on others because it is what you want, people act out in crazy ways. And yeah, I am kind of crazy. But that doesn’t mean any of this was right.
With every hardship we can grow to become better, stronger people (if we allow ourselves to embrace these opportunities). Even when you feel like you are burning alive in the pit of fucking hell, just try and look for the silver lining. It might feel like the world is over, but how about this…maybe it’s actually just beginning. You are giving yourself another chance to start fresh…and that is really exciting, if you think about it!
So appreciate your experiences — the good and the bad. When you are down and out, remind yourself that being alone is the perfect time to get back in touch with who you truly are — who you were, who you’ve become and who you ultimately want to be.
Treat yourself with respect and only accept the kind of love you know you deserve. Make an effort to be a better companion in the future by fixing the things you realize you did wrong the last time around (nobody’s perfect). And don’t give up just because something you wanted so desperately didn’t work out. He’s gone, you don’t need him, but rest assured he won’t forget you.
I happen to be a big fan of experimenting with new beauty products…not really a “regimen” kind of gal. In fact, I typically see better results by mixing things up when it comes to my skin and haircare routines.
Right now, my latest obsession is a Lemon Rinse by Beautiful Nutrition, which smells amazing, holds in moisture, and leaves your locks feeling so fresh and so clean, clean. Basically it accomplishes the same thing that top of the line facial toner does for your skin…but to your hair!
You know me, I tend to go with a beachy, messy look. Problem is, sometimes this style borders on scraggly. The Lemon Rinse actually eliminates frizz more than any other product I’ve tried, and has been helping me achieve loose waves without being mistaken for Medusa.
You can do anything and change everything. All of the answers are inside of you, so keep on discovering. When it comes to accomplishing the things you love or starting again, you have to leave the unimportant behind. I do not mean by blaming anyone. On the contrary, being thankful for them because they helped you to understand what is yours and what is not.
Get a new source of energy, powered by gratitude; gratitude for your parents, for your health, for your body, for your soul, for friends, for Ringo, and just take that step forward.
“Bad” as well as “good” are choices, because when many things are happening in parallel, in our word of entrepreneurship, the key for us is to do what is really important and focus our limited resources in a positive way.
In many situations, the choices we make are not rational ones. You make choices that are dictated by your brain, but they are emotionally powered and conveyed by your heart. The key is to be able to listen to that voice inside. In order to do that, first you must be able to connect with yourself.
These important words moved me, and with the same gratitude he speaks of and his permission, I am happy to be able to share. I hope that, if you are feeling down and out, his letter can impact your mindset as well.
We’ve all been kicked down and learned how to stand back up, because that’s life. Sure, this is typically easier said than done, depending on the circumstances and your experience in dealing with whatever it is that might be troubling you. However, ultimately, it all circles back to knowing your self-worth, being proud, thankful, confident, and passionate about something…being passionate about anything that keeps your blood pumping. Channel that passion toward something proactive, as opposed to steering down a road that leads to self-destruction. Internal-respect and desire are two major gateways toward achieving peace of mind.
Passion and purpose…dreams and aspirations…love, not only for others, but for oneself, are what give us a reason to get out of bed each morning. These are the things that keep us going when the going gets tough. And the going will get tough. It might not even get easier, but if we can learn to handle our struggles with grace and self love, we can live lives that are rich and filled with promise. We can make all of our dreams come true.
If I could be naked all the time (at least in this weather), I probably would. Unfortunately, I cannot. So, in the meantime, I will wear as little clothing as possible, but try and maneuver this in a somewhat charming manner (no promises to brush my hair, though).
I do happen to really love this skimpy little two-piece for summer. AND for some more things I am loving (like these shoes, for example) bounce on by my bloglovin’ shop (which launched today!) to get your fix on “indie style with an urban twist”. A little combination of metropolitan trends and classic pieces…check out the items I’ve picked as my personal favorites, influenced by the various cities I’ve called home over the past decade or so.
“I didn’t always know what I wanted to, but I knew the kind of woman I wanted to be.” -Diane von Furstenberg
I have always been the kind of girl who tends to stray off path and doesn’t mind getting a little lost along the way. I am not ashamed, nor do I regret any step I’ve taken, on my roundabout journey thus far. I am 28 years old, and apparently this happens to be an age where people start declaring that I should “have it figured out” (whatever that means). Needless to say, I do not. At all. At least not in the cookie cutter kind of way society tends to encourage. It’s some serious bullshit, if you ask me.
I don’t fear unpredictable decisions nearly as much as the idea of living a life that doesn’t make me feel proud. I worry more about investing my time and energy into various ventures that might leave me unfulfilled, or giving away my whole heart without truly knowing what might happen. But I am a proud hopeless romantic who will always believe that love has the power to beat all odds…so long as there is commitment and mutual respect. I would rather be a good person than an “important” person, who is glorified for the wrong reasons.
I pride myself on the fact that I’ve earned a reasonable level of success by working hard and being eager to learn (and never stop learning). I never want to stop getting better, and I know that I will lay down each night with a little more knowledge than I had waking up.
I’ve also been blessed with some incredible mentors who have played varying and invaluable roles in my professional, and eventually entrepreneurial, growth. In fact, there is one special woman, in particular, who really helped me differentiate doing things to get them done vs. doing work that stands out, turns heads and raises eyebrows. She wasn’t easy on me, by any means, at first. But now, looking back, I am eternally grateful for the “tough love”, because she taught me humility, thickened my skin and helped bring out a level of confidence in myself and my work that I never knew I had. She’s like a big sister and it is because of her that I am capable of expresssing myself in an intelligent manner and can tangibly back up the work that I do through case studies, numbers and facts. Now I believe in my abilities, and don’t settle for second best. Instead of crying when I get kicked down, I stand the fuck up, stronger, better, and more eager than ever with each experience, be it “good” or “bad”. I feel very lucky.
For me personally, the hardest experiences I’ve endured professionally have also been the best ones. Trials and tribulations that really shake you hold more power when it comes to potential transformation and growth. Not to be cliché but I do believe things happen for a reason…let the tough times make you rather than break you. Make it a decision and not your final destiny. Feeling sorry for yourself will get you nowhere, trust me. Sometimes things seem unfair, but look at what is going on in this crazy world right now! Get out a pen and paper…write down what you are grateful for. And then, when you are ready, write down how you can do better next time.
Three months ago I lived in Paris and had no real intention to leave. Then I got a couple calls, moved to LA a week and a half later, threw caution to the wind (again), and then arrived at a major crossroads. I chose the wrong path (for me, at least), and it didn’t take long to realize. I simply wasn’t happy. And if you aren’t happy with the job you devote your time, heart and soul to, as well as thee work that comes out of it, what’s the point?
I’ll be the first to admit that if I don’t feel I have the freedom to move forward, in a manner that has proven to be pretty effective in the past, and apply my unique, hard-earned skill set (we all have an area where we thrive) in a way that stands out, turns heads and raises eyebrows, I become creatively stunted, and quickly lose steam. This is why I love consulting and working with young designers and under-the-radar innovators…even if that means I have to hustle a bit harder. I don’t mind the work (actually I LOVE it), but for me, communication is key and I deliver strongest results when given the trust and opportunity to become fully immersed in building something different and effective. It’s not always about one person’s vision, but rather being able to work in away where my colleagues, clients, partners, etc. are just as excited as I am to put our heads together, listen, and produce something that fucking sparkles.
After a year abroad, moving to LA helped me recognize that I had actually started to build a life that left me feeling more secluded and detached than I had thought / wanted to be. I am happy to feel like myself again, and pleasantly surprised by how much I am enjoying LA.. The short-lived experience also gave me an opportunity to work with some incredible, creative characters and an innovative, unforgettable team. It was also a refreshing reminder of the kind of woman I have fought (yes, fought) to become, the better version I want to be, and will eventually become as a result of each and every high and low…I feel lucky for it all. I want to be a teacher, a student, a boss, an achiever and, most importantly, a person with integrity and a kind heart. So here I am, ready for the best kind of adventure…where detours are seen as enjoyable and bumps and shakeups as the roller coaster of life, which is the most fun fucking ride of all.