5 Foods to Resist on a Sunday Night

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It’s a Sunday after a long weekend, meaning all I want to do is veg out, order a pizza, and fall asleep watching reruns of How I Met Your Mother.  We all know that expression you are what you eat, and lazy Sundays have a tendency to turn even the health conscious gym-rats into useless bloats.  With a long workweek ahead, Sundays are important days for the body to reset and unwind.  If you want to look and feel your best at the start of the week, stay away from these tempting indulgences…Read about it here!

What I learned at Year Twenty Five

Tomorrow I turn 25, a year that’s been sort of brooding on the horizon for some time now. It goes way back.  When I was 22 trolling the Newport Beach bars with Stephanie and company, 25 was this mystical year in which our drunken nights, mindless beach days, and personal freedom would be a thing of the past. You see, we got lucky after college: landed awesome houses on the beach, got good jobs that allowed us for the first time to have more money than time, and were embracing the single life the way few people can. But at 25 we figured this would all be gone. At 25 we might be married the way our parents had been, we might be over going out every night, and we’d most certainly be over the adult-frat life of the Newport Beach peninsula.

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Getaway Weekend to the ACE Hotel and Swim Club

It’s been three years since graduating college and entering into “real life.”  Nothing’s really changed: Stephanie joined the corporate world and started crushing professional life, Justine got herself married and moved to NorCal, and I found freelancing to be one of the most time-consuming jobs in the world.  Okay, I lied.  Everything’s changed since the three of us were playing hippie on the Newport Beach peninsula, only worried about making it to class the next day or some paper due by midnight.  Needless to say, it’s time to start a yearly getaway with the girls.  This year we chose the ACE Hotel and Swim Club in Palm Springs for a weekend escape.

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Why I Almost Called My Ex (and Why I Didn’t)

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There’s this funny trend I’ve observed while practicing yoga with my friends that I think applies to lots of things in life.  When someone begins practicing, the first couple of weeks are hard in a good way and there’s a very clear motivation to achieve something.  When it starts to become a routine, yoga becomes an addicting and almost religious dedication.  You can see the pride and the determination to go farther.  And then something weird happens.  It could be a minor setback or a change in schedule or some other uncontrollable thing that makes tests the dedication to the practice.  There’s a moment of confusion and, when you don’t freak out against whatever happened the ego becomes terrified that it’s becoming less needed and immediately looks for a reason to quit.  And that’s when the love affair with yoga ends.  People quit the second that not quitting matters most.

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Freedom in San Francisco

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San Francisco is magical.  It’s almost 2am and the city is alive with artists and musicians, writers and interns, bums and kids selling scrap metal shaped into rings; there are hippies and bankers, street performers and sailors, college kids and foreigners selling hot dogs with bacon.  In their pockets flasks and money, left over powder and cigarettes, lighters and flashing cell phones and with itching hands hold the vibrancy of a chosen life.

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On Choosing to Break the Pattern

I’m thinking about patterns.  With all of the choices coming up, I’ve been thinking a lot about how I’ve made decisions in the past.  I keep throwing around the idea of patterns.  Patters are safe.  They are predictable and make sense.  They let us feel all knowing.  They give us an illusion of security, of control, of safety.

I am guilty of patterns.  I have chosen the safe roads to avoid tough choices.  I have allowed my insecurities to postpone my dreams and block my future until fate feels uncontrollable.

If you are like me you graduated college with uncertainty of how you would obtain your dreams; not because you couldn’t make a plan, but because you were unable to identify your dream.  If you are like me, you may have chosen to chase another dream.  In my case, “the american dream.”  I found a company that valued inexperience and created a life that appeased my families, justified my debt, and distracted my recklessness.

If you are like me our daylight is spent in front of a computer, our evenings at the gym, our weekends at a bar.  The days past and we read stories about other lives but we do not understand them.  We feel pain in our dissatisfaction, but we disregard it.  We fall in and out of love.  We allow our hearts to experience longing and take comfort in others feeling the same.

For some (and there have been times when I have been very jealous of these people), it is easy to move along.  They recognize a calling in that routine and find their vocation in the distractions.  They fall in love, and suddenly there is a meaning that can justify the bullshit that got them there.  They recognize the talent needed to achieve a common goal and rise to the occasion.  Maybe their dream changed, or maybe they discover the dream they had been searching for all along.

For me, this fulfillment did mot come.  I woke up in the morning and heard the in-ignorable shouts of the universe calling me in a different direction.  I learned to hate their sound.  After all, my salary was more than good.  After all, I had a boyfriend who, though unable to understand my heart, loved me with all of his.  After all, I was surrounded by beauty and I was loved and lucky.  After all, this was the way I should feel.  After it all, fulfillment would come.

And then it was a warm Thursday afternoon.  I was having lunch with my boyfriend and planning our Friday afternoon.  We got off early the next day, so we were going to the beach to rent jetskis.  I was looking forward to the afternoon, and I was happy.

We returned to work and I went back to my tasks and emails.  I was busy, so I was content in my responsibilities.  I was thinking how easy my day is, that maybe I just drew a good straw, this COULD be the life I chose, that maybe the realization that purpose is arbitrary is the secret to contentment.  I noticed how windy it was outside.  The trees were going nuts, and branches were all over the street.  My friend joked about the winds of change.  I laughed at him, but secretly hoped he was right.

And then – a few hours later, I didn’t have a boyfriend who loved me anymore, only the memories of what we had been colored black by the knowledge of what had happened.  A few weeks later, he was gone.  A month later, my kitchen table became by office.

If the Universe works in patterns, I’m not going to play anymore.  No more patterns.  They can’t possibly be good for us.  When did life become something we have to do?  When did love become a chore? When did hope become burdened by hopelessness?  The answer is yesterday.  But not today. Today, the world is full of endless possibilities waiting for crazy ones to set them in motion, shake things up, make things move, create, and always trust.

I Chose to Swim in November

Yesterday I woke up with the crazy idea that I could choose my life.  It was 6:30 in the morning, and I had 30 minutes of snooze time before I had to wake up for work, but I felt restless.  I just didn’t want to drive through traffic only to sit at a desk and try to avoid eye contact with my everydaymorehateful CEO.  I didn’t want to have to put on a cold face and a serious voice to hide what my boss calls “caring too much.”  I didn’t want to go, but that wasn’t why I felt restless at 6:30 am on a Wednesday.  I couldn’t shake the feeling that, despite how powerless I felt in choosing my life, I was in full control.  I couldn’t block the knowledge that each day I shape my day around a job and life I find meaningless, the more meaningless my job and life becomes.  I couldn’t ignore my responsibility in the whole thing.  I didn’t want to.  What’s worse after all?  Feeling like you can’t control your life, or feeling that you can, BUT?
So I didn’t go.  I woke up, got dressed like a normally would, got in my car, and went to get the mirror on my car fixed.  It had been bothering me a while, and I got sick of ignoring it.  I went to a yoga class, bought some delicious juice, and headed straight to the beach with a book.  I jumped in the November ocean and loved the rush of cold on my skin.  As I dove under a wave I thought, yes, I can choose my life, and I chose to swim in November.  In the solitude of a Wednesday in November, I felt more in touch with people than I had in a while.  After all, we live in our choices, and our soul is in our decisions, and I chose to dive into icy water and allow the oceanic lull to calm the adrenaline and I chose to be alive as me instead of survive as everyone else and I wanted to breathe in the water and live like a dolphin and exhale freedom and I wanted to swim away into the unknown and never come back…and walking back to my lonely towel I knew the truth – that this is why we move, this is why we progress, this is why we’ve explored new lands and discovered wonders and seek understanding – that we are powerful, and responsibility is personal, and eternity is a reply to the choices we make in the present.
I smoked and walked out onto the jetty.  The rocks were slippery.  That’s always my excuse not to walk out too far.  But there was a pod of dolphins were playing in the shallows.  The bigger ones were swimming around the surfers and the sun was setting.  A baby dolphin was swimming around the bigger ones until one of them ducked under the water and flipped the baby into the air.  The water was seafoam and orange.  The waves were white and silver.  The rocks were slippery, but those little decisions on where to place your foot next allowed me to experience instinct.  If I hesitated, I would second guess myself or take too long moving my feet and get off balance.  If I just walked, a rock was was always there.
I also had a bougie lunch at a nice restaurant with red wine with a drug dealer and his friends.  I meditated with a hippie and ate a pistachio macaroon.  I did a headstand because I felt like it would be fun to go upside down.  But most of all, it was November and I jumped in the ocean.  But most of all, I made a choice to be free of all the bullshit for a moment.  But most of all, if freedom is a choice, we are always free, and that’s what made the ocean in November feel so good.