Hardest goodbyes aren’t always for what you think

I’m not good at saying goodbye. Some people say that and walk with elegance away while my goodbyes equate to tennis ball sized swollen eyes from crying and snot bubbles dripping down the sides of my mouth.

My goodbyes aren’t pretty. When I’m placed in that position to have to leave something behind and know in my heart that I’ll never see it again, I start to call back every memory I’ve had. The ones where I am transported and I can still remember the smell of my surroundings. The ones where I can see the exact shirt I was wearing and how that person made me feel.

Today, by a text message from a friend, I received a Redfin link to a posting for a house. The url already told me everything I needed to know before I even clicked on it, but like any masochist would do, I tapped on my phone to open up the listing to my childhood home to further affirm my dad was putting it up for sale.

The one where I finally had my own room and had to stop sharing with my mom on nights she couldn’t stand my dad. The one where I had my sweet sixteen party – however sad and pathetic it was to other people, that party was the best thing my parents could have scrounged to afford.

This is the house I snuck out at midnight when both my parents were asleep so I could be cool and thought I was badass to go up the mountains car racing with other high school kids. This is the house where my mom left.

The house that had an empty room I’d go in and remember how broken our family was. But this house was where my dad raised me and I so fondly remember everything he sacrificed to ensure my life was one of luxury, and even if we were just faking it, I could at least feel equal to my peers at school.

The bones of that house kept me safe. Made me feel things were going to be okay when I was all alone restlessly sleeping on the couch closest to the front door when my dad had surgery so I could run out at mach speed to the hospital once he was out of the OR.

This house persevered a kitchen fire. This house outlived each one of us leaving.

First, my mother after she filed for divorce.

Then I packed up for college and barely came back.

Now my father’s remarried and moved on with the wife.

But I always felt that I could go back if I wanted to one day. My dad had rented it out all these years, probably for the same sentimental emotions I seem to have attached so much to.

2020 has taken so many things away. It took away kindness from strangers and replaced their eyes with judgement and uncertainty. It took away our way of life and replaced us with a box to live in 24/7. It took away the ability to see family and hug loved ones. It took away the plans I made to travel and see Europe for the very first time. It took away a hopeful future while we all wait unsettled without a target date to reach for a sense of normalcy. And now, it took away my past. The one place other than my dinky little apartment where I remember life when it was good. So damn good that when I think of it, I can see my dad in the kitchen donning his never-emasculating checkered apron nursing a sweet aromatic chicken stew while I’m upstairs in my heavy eyeliner from the early 2000’s banging out to some Avril Lavigne until he calls me down for dinner.

Good times.


If I could speak my truth to that house, I’d like to thank it for protecting me and putting up with me. The days when I yelled and cried for having to deal with curfew to the days I just needed a nice warm shower after a long day of ballet practice.  Maybe one day, I’ll pick up my kid from ballet and cruise by the street and show them, “Look, that’s where mommy grew up. That’s the house that saw all the good with the bad and kept standing tall to protect its family.”


Movies & Shows to Stream for Every Quarantine ‘MOOD’

I’m hit with serious show hole. If you didn’t watch the TV spot on Show Holes from Amazon a while back, here’s the link to describe the feeling:

So now that I’ve exhausted through every star studded big name show and movie on demand, what’s there left?? I created this list to help me recall the best of the best for each mood I’m having while learning to adapt to only 800 square feet of living for the next unforeseeable future.

  1. The I need Chicken Soup for the Soul Mood: Gilmore Girls on Netflix, the perfect blend of comfort and feel good warmth.
  2. The I miss my siblings and need a little bit of magic in my life Mood: Onward on Disney+, Kleenex is a commodity so use sparingly.
  3. The I need something suspenseful and based on a book mood: Little Fires Everywhere on Hulu, who’s side will you be you on??
  4. The I miss brunch on the weekend with my girls and legit any real type of social networking mood: Dollface on Hulu (break open a bottle of Cava and you’ll really feel like you’re back in your
  5. The it’s Saturday Morning, and I’m still having cereal for breakfast at age 29 mood: Recess on Disney+. I still can’t believe I can stream this whenever I want!! Oh how I miss swinging on monkey bars and playing hopscotch.
  6. The I need something bright and funny to lighten up the mood in my single bedroom shelter mood: Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Amazon Prime. I need a Midge in my life- to be my friend, mom, lover, style icon. She’s perfect, perfect…PERFECT.
  7. The I feel like garbage so give me some junk digestible TV mood: Real Housewives of Beverly Hills on Hulu, because other people’s million dollar problems are so much more entertaining than the fact that I haven’t worn jeans in 3 weeks.
  8. The I need to go on an adventure with my friends but can’t mood: Hunter x Hunter on Netflix and Hulu(entire series on Crunchyroll). This is by far one of the best bingeable animes for best buds all having their own goals but achieving them together.
  9. The I have wine and found some good cheeses at the store for once mood: Ratatouille on Disney+, easily one of the better culinary movies of our time and it’s family friendly!
  10. The I need to be healthier and stop ordering takeout mood: Jamie Oliver’s Quick & Easy Food series on Hulu. He breaks down how to make bombassery food with simple and quick 5 ingredients. I’ve been cooking for so long and still find surprising tricks from these snack size episodes. You’ll want to bookmark this one not just to cook healthy foods for yourself during WFH but remember them to host dinners and wow guests!

Honorable Mentions:

  1. Sex & the City on Amazon Prime: when you miss GNO
  2. Mulan: when you need a story about warriors & bravery
  3. Modern Family: When you miss family and need a laugh to remember all their quirks
  4. Chef’s Table: The closest thing we’ll get to fine dining for a while
  5. The Matrix Trilogy: Matrix 4 is on its way, and um hello? anything with Keanu is a win.


What we’re like to be in pain

It is so easy to feel bad for yourself
To wallow in self pity about everything that is wrong in your life and blame external factors for it

To feel as though an injustice was placed on you,
and you yourself is singled out to be worse off than everyone else.

It is so easy isn’t it ?
To listen to sad music and relate to the heartbreaking vocals
To sit outside watching rainfall while you light one up
To ponder at the same sky we all do and ask, “why me?”

When we’re at our worst, nothing feels better but hurting ourselves further
Testing our pain threshold more
Gauge how much more we can take.
Marinate in pain and sorrow.
Feeling sorry for ourselves.

It’s so wrong but feels so right to hurt

If I’m already in pain, what’s a little more ?

Read More. Believe More – Here’s my 2019 list of greats I will read.

Is it so terribly wrong that I’m already starting my reading list for 2019 when I’m still behind on finishing the last two for this year?

I got so excited with the list I have that I’ve just been researching, researching until I fell into this rabbit hole of anecdotal discovery.

  1. The Lessons of History 
    • What are the possibilities of humanity? Where did it start and where does the potential go? Questions I believe we should all ponder as we look to past generations and hope for new.
  2. The Sun and Her Flowers – Rupi Kaur
    • I received this for Christmas and finished it before the clock struck twelve on the 26th. It’s a great follow up novel to Milk & Honey. If you love soft poetry colored with beautiful personification, grab it off the shelf and read it to your beloved.
  3. Laws of Human Nature
    • Robert Greene’s latest that I aim to finish right ater art of seduction
  4. The Art of Seduction
    • a classic Robert Greene providing historical figure’s tools and devices in realizing charm
  5. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
    • If you haven’t heard about this book, you haven’t been in the literary world recently. Praised by Captain America himself, Chris Evans shared that we must all understand our roots and how it lead our people (all people) to where we are today. I haven’t finished this just yet but I do want to share, this is what our grade school teachers should have taught in history class.
  6. The Decaying Pillars by Steve Ruygrok
    • I know a published author! Proud to be a coworker of his, Steve Ruygrok dropped of this book for me to read before beta reading his next novel.
  7. Herstory: 50 Women and Girls who shook up the world
    • Women lead. Women breathe life. Women are just as important as the men we remember from history. So why aren’t they on a pedestal as much as the great men? Let’s honor the women who long ago have broken the glass ceiling before Sheryl Sandberg.
  8. East of Eden
    • This is a hefty read but who doesn’t love a John Steinbeck classic?
  9. #GirlBoss
    • Sophia Amoruso is a special kind of person. She breaks all the rules and rebels with every bone in her body. I idolize her intrinsic nature to lead, mix personal style with passion and drive to help other women strive for what they deem as success.
  10. The Golden Compass
    • This is a must purely because I received the collection (#11, #12 below as well) as a christmas gift more than 2 years ago now.
  11. The Subtle Knife
  12. The Amber SpyGlass
  13. An absent mind
    • alzheimer’s touches me deeply with it taken my grandfather not long ago. This story follows a man’s struggle with the disease and the effect to his family in the final days.
  14. Getting to Know Gen Z .pdf
    • I feel old when Gen Z is the major topic of discussion and no longer the “entitled” millennials. I will say after finishing this PDF earlier this month, it made me realize the affects my parents had in raising me with a “can do” attitude and how it lead my generation to come off as “entitled.” Gen Z is the safer generation learning from the failures of mine and reaching further than my cohorts did in fighting for their beliefs. Not just racial, gender, and sexual orientation equality but also a long winded battle for environmental conservation, social imprint in bringing people together and much more. They have a louder voice than we did and it makes me so happy, we’re all leaning in and learning from generations younger than ourselves.
  15. The Autobiography of Malcom X
    • this was a recommendation and I honestly haven’t researched much.
  16. Michelle Obama’s Becoming
    • Top seller towards end of 2018, Michelle Obama is a powerhouse but continues to spread kindness.
  17. The Power by Naomi Alderman
    • What would happen if young women had superpowers balancing the status quo between genders? Will there be a shift in the superior gender juxtaposed to what it is now IRL? I’m curious to read
  18. On Writing by Stephen King
  19. Unlimited Memory: How to Use Advanced Learning Strategies to Learn Faster, Remember More and be More Productive

  20. The Day the World Came to Town
    • Come from Away, the Tony award winning musical guided me to understanding what I could not comprehend at age 11 when 9/11 had happened. I was 4 years into arriving on American soil, still picking up the English language when my 6th grade teacher made us all stand staring at the TV showing the planes flying into the Twin Towers. The Day the World Came to Town is a tribute to the kindness in others when the US needed it the most. Newfies (the locals in Newfoundland) took in the stranded for 5 days and showed a kindness I never thought could exist. We all think of how crude this world can be, but here was a pocket of land where people only shared kindness. It’s right there, above where we live and we just need to adopt that same philosophy. Help those in need, spread love and kindness, and give hope where we can. We’re all brothers and sisters to the land Mother Nature gave us, so why do draw lines on a map dividing each other?
  21. Crazy Rich Asians
    • For the light hearted who want nothing but hilarity and couture mixed with of course much needed old school Chinese tradition.

Sometime during age 27 I stopped feeling invincible

In the past year, I entered my “late twenties” and I felt this shift in my mentality.
During my late teenage years, I was still holding onto something that made me feel like superwoman similar to Clark Kent. Invincible to illness, superhuman powers that kept me from dying normal human deaths and so on…

“I can do anything”- Is this the dubbed millennial disease our baby boomer parents unintentionally conditioned my cohorts into believing? We’re raised to believe we had the power to achieve anything we set our mind to. We could enjoy life, eat that gold leafed cake, and realize ultimate work life balance.

And so from that conditioned philosophy of invincibility, I thought death was a foreign intangible far-off land until the past year it hit me like an anvil slamming from overhead.

The shift was slow but insidious. I  noticed not “saving” expensive things anymore so not to exhaust its use. For example, not always bringing out the expensive Louie I had in a cloth bag, not always wearing that Cartier my dad bought as a last gift to his baby girl before she entered true adulthood, and not spending money on things I wanted because those meaningless digits in my bank account needed to be there to remind me of my hard work and where it needs to be invested for a decent future.

Another small and almost forgettable thing I did this morning was use this nail polish I loved but hardly let breath. It has this beautiful iridescent shimmer I vowed to only use on “special occasions.” But what stemmed this fear of having to “save” things so not to use them up? Why was I saving them as though I believed like time, I’ll be around forever?

The sad part is, this past year, I unconsciously made moves as though I wouldn’t. The Louie has seen more action than it did all the previous years combined. The shimmering nail polish that sat in a basket has been brushed over and over on my nail beds.

Somehow in my subconscious, I started to treat myself better. Stopped saving for that rainy day because I’m not invincible and some unfortunate event could cause me to not see this rainy day. I worked hard for the “fun coupons” to purchase these commodities. The best way to treat myself is to use it. I’m not invincible and certainly don’t feel it anymore. The magic dust all feathered away and I need to feel better about living everything to its fullest. That means finishing the bottle of nail polish, bringing Louie to casual events, and wearing my Cartier proud.

The first holiday of season has passed

Halloween went by faster this year than any other. It could be that as we get older we have more days to compare to so the days get shorter. When we’re younger, say only 2 days old, our whole life has only consisted of 48 hours.

Time is such a complicated and inconceivable concept. We as humans get such a minuscule fraction of it.

Alas, I wanted to share my reading list update since I really only have a few weeks left before I need to finish the necessary 12. I’ve got 3 left – wish me luck!

  • Meditation by Marcus Aurelius
    • Progress Report: arrived and ready to start once I can finally finish out the other 4 books I’ve started.
  • The 4 Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris
    • Progress Report: I’m about a quarter through my re-read and now realizing I should also keep a log of all the activities instructed by Tim. So this one’s going to take a bit to finish. More of a marathon than a sprint.
  • Milk & Honey by Rupi Kaur
    • everyone and their moms should read this one. You can finish it in half an hour, one sitting. It’s that good.
  • You are a Badass by Jen Sincero
    • Progress Report: oy, self help books like these are just so hard to get through for me but I’m working it!
  • Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday
    • Progress Report: arrived! on my next task once I finish out at least 2 more
  • Wildcard by Marie Lu (out 9/18)
  • The Purple Cow by Seth Godin
  • The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene
    • Progress Report: Love love love! I’m halfway through and love the blend of history with tools to utilize in daily life.
  • Bonus: We Should All Be Feminist by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday
  • Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
  • [CODENAMED] My friend is writing a Trilogy and I’m beta reading Book 1
  • All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

I used to think you were my forever

“I love that word. Forever. I love that forever doesn’t exist, but we have a word for it anyway, and use it all the time. It’s beautiful and doomed.” – Viv Albertine

There was a time when you were my here and now
I thought you were my person
Like how everyone is destined to have their own unique soul mate
The other half I saw myself in a cliche future with
Reading on a rocking chair staring out to nature when we’re old and weathered

Forever meant I would think about you every second I had to myself
Those sacred moments I invented about us together

You were the air that hugged me tight as I walked in the park
The dream I wasn’t willing to let go even as you started slipping through my fingers like when you’re trying desperately to grab onto water

That means here and now
That means tomorrow and beyond

But you’re not here
And forever doesn’t exist

It’s a romanticized fantasy
An impossible feat
Like desperately trying to grab onto water

I Escaped and Experienced WWII

I have yet finished another amazing book. This time it was Anthony Doerr’s Pulitzer fiction about Marie-Laure and Werner’s insufferable childhood, then adolescence, during the Second World War and their brief encounter that changed both their fates.

I’ll admit, All the Light We Cannot See completely gutted me and left me hopelessly heartbroken near the end for our main protagonists as any World War II novel should. It was the first book to ever induce tears three times in one sitting as I reached the finale of my adventures traversing through European history.

Imagine reading and feeling the full threshold of fears as you hide out in the Diary of Anne Frank and explore militia advances and being entombed in trenches from The Things We Carried all intertwined with emotional prose on steroids. That was the outcome in Doerr’s narrative. His capacity to paint with words and take me through all five senses enduring the terror of war still makes the hairs on my arm shoot up.

I found an escape this morning for a few hours sitting on hardwood floors with my derrière almost cramping and locking up, but it was an epic few hours that taught me human resilience and kindness even at the brink of one’s final few breaths.

Read it. I’m deeply envious you’ll be opening the book for the first time and living it with fresh senses.