“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek & find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”
We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.
After stuffing just about my entire closet into two suitcases, plus crayons, movies, crochet materials, way too many self-help books to divulge in a week and about 40lbs. of shoes I most likely won’t wear, I am finally packed for my first vacation in I don’t even know how long.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I have SO much to be thankful for … so much that I don’t know where to start. On the eve of our 10 day vacation in Maui, HI- which is sure to be a brilliant getaway from dismal November and a celebration of the first big holiday with my future husband- I kind of can’t wait to get back home. That is not to say I won’t embrace every second of sunshine and beach and beautiful moments with our dear friends while we are in Hawaii. However, the moments in time spent doing absolutely nothing in our cozy little apartment in the sky back home in Portland are my most beloved. Cuddles, cats and crafts. Wash, rinse, repeat. Simple as it is, my life most definitely does not suck. And that is what I am most thankful for.
Giving thanks today and every day.
Those little white star looking things in store for Sunday and Monday? SNOWFLAKES.
Summer is over in Portland. Almost literally, I blinked and it was gone. Which is kind of sad, because when I moved here last January it was the dead of winter and it seemed like it took forEVER for the rain to stop. Which is true (it stopped in late July). If it’s not raining, it’s dark and cold. All day every day, for like, 9 months out of the year. And Seasonal affective disorder? Also true. I didn’t notice at first, but I was sleeping my days away — every day after work and every weekend in the dark basement until Monday had arrived again (red flag much?!). Now that I know I am
invincible fighting a battle when it comes to the weather, I pay much closer attention to what makes me feel good. This is my current strategy for beating the winter blues!
Start a project (or five).
I’m kind of glad summer is over (not really), because I would feel like a loser for wanting to stay in ALL THE TIME to work on crafts ‘n stuffs, especially if the sun was shining outside. Starting new projects has helped me stay focused on goals and whathaveyou, and it keeps a creative spark alive and well at my fingertips (so awesome I could scream!). Keepin’ it crafty also makes me…
…Get out of the house!
Waking up when it’s DARK …and 40 degrees outside… before your feet hit the floor is a challenge (physically). Finding the motivation and energy to go out on a Friday night after an exhausting week is a challenge (mentally). I’ve come to accept that these challenges will not cease, but if I want to break out of a funk I’ve gotta channel my inner Nike and JUST DO IT (yeah, I said it). It’s true though! Whether it’s running to the Yarn Garden to re-up on supplies or stopping for a hot cup of tea around the corner, get off that ass and motivate! When I do leave the house, I make sure to…
Earmuffs over a beanie? Sure! Three scarves at a time? WHATEVER WORKS. I learned my lesson last year by sacrificing comfort for cute clothing and I R-E-F-U-S-E to be that naive again! When I lived in LA, stepping out of the house without a full face of makeup was *unfathomable*. Accepting the idea of makeup running down my face with the rain in less than 5 minutes is insanely liberating. Straightening my hair is no longer relevant. And I don’t care. When half of the community rocks trash bag parkas and puffy Northface jackets to shield themselves from the rain, it’s much easier to relinquish control over your own fashions because everyone else has already done it. Plus, the more I mismatch, the more “normal” I feel in my own skin. Which gives me a ton of liberty to…
What’s better than the Easter Bunny? A snow bunny! Between Spirit Hoods and these super fun (warm too!) earmuff headphones, staying toasty doesn’t always have to include trash bag parkas and puffy Northface jackets [golf claps]. I look at it this way: nothing is going to stop the rain, the frigid cold or the appearance of an ominous sky. But the little things — be it a ball of yarn or a fuzzy cat hat — do help tremendously.
Being a perfectionist in every sense of the sick word, I often times find no greater joy than crossing items off a list. There doesn’t even have to be an actual list persay; even taking a mental inventory of completed tasks makes me feel satisfied. And when I’m finished, it feels like being rewarded with a little trophy for making the most of my day. (Whatever helps, right?!)
Cleaning is cathartic. The idea for Small Victory Sunday came earlier this afternoon as I noticed the amount of things I had accomplished around the house. While they were simple everyday chores like scrubbing sinks and sorting dry-cleaning, I relished in the fact that I had gotten so much done and that even though these accomplishments were not grand by any means, in sum they were something.
Inspiration comes from the very back of my brain, and as more things occupy that space, I feel further away from creative potential. When I sat down to write this, I reflected on how similar my mind felt to the corners in the house: Clean and ready for a fresh start. Clearing out the physical clutter had totally compartmentalized the mental debris that had been accumulating like a cobweb in my noggin.
It feels like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. The house is spotless, my mind is clear. I feel ready for the coming week. And because of that, I found myself swimming in a wealth of inspiration that allowed these thoughts to pour effortlessly through my fingers — and that is the small victory worth celebrating.
It’s Things I love Thursday, otherwise known as…the only day I ever post! Nothing to say about that other that I’ve been slacking on my hustle…aaaaand celebrating the last 24 hours, because in a year from today I will be a married woman (that alone gives me countless reasons for gratitude every day)!
Here’s a short and sweet little summation of the things that made me smile this week, for what it’s worth:
* New glasses (I can see again!) * One of my most favorite people (we used to be neighbors and super close friends) moved back home to Portland last night * Searching for new ways to beat the Northwest gloom * Juicy Journaling with Sark * Enlightening conversations with transients * “Happy 11:11, 11/11!” * Morning snuggles * Stealing one-of-a-kind street art in the middle of the night (shh) * Flexing that communication muscle, breaking down some walls * Sushi date YUM * 2 shows this week = mucho dancing * Heart-shaped fuzzy pink earmuffs * Good friend, Mike, sitting in for me with my family at brothers football game back home * Countdown to Hawaii Thanksgiving is on like Donkey Kong * Girl’s trip to the Sanrio store * New box of tea: Candy Cane Lane (SO GOOD) * “Cheers to manifesting and positivity!” * Asking future hubby a zillion questions when we watch basketball because it intrigues me * To-Go mugs filled with hot cocoa * You. *
o happy day,
Let us toast to animal pleasures, to escapism, to rain on the roof & instant coffee, to unemployment insurance & library cards, to absinthe & good-hearted landlords, to music & warm bodies & contraceptives… & to the ‘good life’, whatever it is & where it happens to be.
— Hunter S. Thompson
Happy Friday Jr.! Because I’ve successfully procrastinated my way to this entry, this week’s post will be a twist on Things I Love Thursday. Getting this blog up and running has been more challenging than I expected; settling on a definitive narrative voice is difficult. I find myself tossing and turning over what you expect of me, not trusting my own process and the idea that this will eventually take the shape I want it to. But at the end of the day, this is about being honest and true to myself and my experiences and with that said, personal happiness, fulfillment and the human journey is comforting, important and familiar to me. Even moreso after I moved to beautiful Rose City.
[ Disclaimer: There is a likelihood that I’m going to catch some heat disclosing how amazing Portland is, especially because I am a Los Angeles native, and Portland is very protective over their city (as they should be, especially towards abrasive Los Angelenos). However, I didn’t move thousands of miles from home to do Portland. I moved here to do me. So far this city has done a remarkable job making this transplanted misfit feel welcome. ]
I live in a whimsical little pocket of Southeast Portland – the Sunnyside district. Jumping off my porch steps, I am enveloped by everyday magic waving at me from everywhere. Some of my favorites…
Trees and leaves exploding with color
and beautiful houses with history
and inspiration that I don’t have to chase down with a stick
I’m inclined to believe that the architectures and landscapers here designed everything keeping the rain and gloom in mind (smart people)- the unique colors serve a remarkable purpose. I’ve never lived anywhere that could change my mood by simply stepping outside and soaking up the city’s charisma.
I believe that the gorgeous surroundings in the city contribute immensely to my overall happiness, which allows my heart to feel open to more happiness; effortless manifestation. Perhaps manifestation is equal parts intention and perspective – either way, this cycle of happiness is infectious, magical and real. I spend more time feeling fulfilled, every day, as opposed to feeling like I’m in love with the wrong city, a feeling I spent many years falsely accepting. I feel lucky to be tucked away in this corner of the Universe right now. The signs are everywhere.
It’s been almost a year and I still feel giddy about Portland. My love affair away from my love affair. This is the good life, and it is right here.