Friday, August 31, 2012

{Happy Friday}

And hello from Connecticut! I'd like to say that I've done nothing out here but relax and take in the slower pace of living, but The Bantu Girl and I have been busy since Toby and I arrived on Tuesday. Last time I visited, we held a photo shoot for her in her aunt's beautiful handmade lesso dresses and this time we've been pointing the camera on me! Granted, my wardrobe is severely lacking on the stylish front, but it's been such a self-esteem boost to pose and smile and pretend I'm on a runway. Like baBAM! I got this! I can't wait to share some of them with you next week.

Have you ever staged a photo shoot with your friends? It's so nice when the other person is just as into photography as I am so we can both have fun no matter what side of the camera we're on. And bonus: I get to dust off my dresses and heels and practice my makeup techniques with someone who's all about that girly girl stuff.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

What Have Been Your Favorite Sad Books?

So I just finished reading The Time Traveler's Wife last night and oh my god, why did I do that to myself? I knew it was going to be a beautiful tearjerker and I went for it anyway just to spend the night tossing and turning and dreaming and missing. I should have waited until A. had returned from his trip or at the very least had resurfaced from the bowels of the desert that has eaten him up along with all service so that he could comfort me and roll his eyes behind my back.

And still I would read it again, much like I would have with Tuesdays with Morrie, The Painted Veil, and all the other books that wash this somber feeling over me once I'm through. Sometimes I just need to submerge myself into a sad story and cry until the tears over the character's plight mix in with the sadness in my own life. Before I know it, I cry for them, for myself, for this fantasy that's made me feel for something so unattached to me - compassion for people who don't even exist.

I felt the same as a child reading Where the Red Fern Grows and A Summer to Die and then decades later with The Road. It's slightly crazy, but I like getting wrapped up in this fictional suffering because it reminds me that yes, I still care, that I'm not yet jaded, that I haven't slipped back into the emotionless void I once knew, that I do possess this immense ability to feel and love. Sometimes it's to my detriment and only leads to more pain, but I will probably always let my heart weigh in on my decisions. It's too much a part of my being to completely remove it from the operating table no matter how much it might cloud judgment.

What have been your favorite sad stories? Hit me as I'm sure I'll be craving some more masochism soon enough. Last year, Flavorwire rounded up 10 devastatingly sad books and I've read that Flowers for Algernon could very well send me to an early grave.


Monday, August 27, 2012

{Monday Inspiration} Try to Love the Questions

This has been a favorite quote of mine for years. Rainer Maria Rilke's words have been following me from cubicle to cubicle and now rests on my fridge for me to dip into from time to time. This weekend I had to keep the quote in mind as I found myself starting to swerve down towards a mixture of guilt, confusion, and uncertainty. I hate questions. I can't stand the unknowns. I like being prepared for what may come next and I can't throw my whole heart in one direction if life could just swoop in and jerk me the other way.

I used to find it thrilling, the not knowing. To me, it was like a giant puzzle that only handed me a piece at a time. I could only build with what I was already given, but tomorrow's bit could change the entire picture. When I was young, I loved the notion that my life could change at any moment. Now? I find myself wanting maps and direction so I can plan accordingly and not get caught out in the rain. Maybe it's because in my mind, "you're 30" still means "you're stable." It means that after three decades on this planet, you've finally figure it out. Right.

It doesn't help that my decisions are often contingent on others' decisions. I let my life become so intertwined with those I love that I need them to lay out all their puzzle pieces alongside mine so that then I can figure out what to make of things, to see if I can allow myself to do the things I want. Imagine that! I can't figure out what my picture looks like and here I am expecting others to have their ish together for my benefit. Most of my friends can't even commit to plans a week from now. Everyone walks their own path at their own pace yet it's hard for me not to adjust my trajectory due to someone else's. Too many times I've found myself holding back, staying here, missing that because I was too afraid and too insecure to live those moments on my own. It's as if my own compass points to everyone else's north and I'm left roaming around in circles, utterly confused. A cacophonous thumping mess as I try to fit everyone's drum beats inside my head.

Luckily, I have people who help me keep my head on my shoulders. Who are gently guiding me back, who dole out honest questions with kindness, who tell me it's imperative that I put myself first.

I have much decluttering to do.

Friday, August 24, 2012

So Let Me Tell You About Toby

Two years ago I made the tough decision of giving my dog Toby away. The time, stress, and costs of being a dog owner were proving to be more than I could handle at the time and I felt guilty that I wasn't providing him with the attention and care he needed. So in early November 2010, I gave him to a cousin of a friend convincing myself that it was for the best despite how torn I felt about the whole thing. I cried for days, heard his tags still jingling around the house long after he'd left, and up until recently, kept finding his fur clinging the corners of my home. After several attempts to reach out to his new owner for updates and photos were met with silence, I figured she was busy with three dogs and a personal health issue of her own and simply tried to get on with life.

Fast forward to last Wednesday when a phone call wakes me up alerting me that Toby was found wandering the streets of Brooklyn with my tags still on his collar. Cue the anxiety, the stress, and most of all questions. Where's the owner? Is she frantically looking for him? How'd he get to Brooklyn if I'd sent him an hour north of the city? Luckily, the family who took him in was a kind one who kept me in the loop, but there were children involved and I was worried they'd get attached to him before I could bring him home.

Come to find out - 12 hours later, by the way - that the woman had given him to her brother-in-law who lives in BK, but he'd yet to respond to her queries about the missing dog. She kept mentioning how confused she was over the situation while I kept it short and stern and asked why my information was still on the dog two years after I gave him away. Would he be tagless had it not been for the ones I'd left on his collar? Something just didn't sit right and while I still didn't have all the pieces to the story, I knew I had to go pick Toby up and bring him back.

I was so stressed I barely slept or ate the night before. Thursday morning I was still a nervous wreck. Will he remember me? Is he still the excitable, yappy little dog that barked day and night? Where will he live? Will the other owners fight for him? And for some reason I worried most about his nails. That night I dreamt they grew so long they curled under his paw and pierced him right through. When I arrived at that front door Thursday afternoon, I was upset to discover that my fear came partly true. Not only had Toby gained so much weight, but some of his nails curled around and around and had embedded into his paw making it a struggle to walk just a few feet. How he'd manage to travel five miles when he can barely make it down the block now is beyond me, but no wonder he's so pooped these days.

Still, after the initial shock over his transformation, I was thrilled to have him back in my arms. He even gifted me with a new fur coat on the drive back. And I know the chunker remembers his family. He licked my face as soon as he saw me, still follows me around the house, and cries if I leave him behind. We certainly never forgot him all this time.

"I'm sorry," I whispered as he looked up at me on the car ride home, panting and trembling just as he did the day I placed him in the back seat of his new owner's car.

I'm sorry for whatever promises weren't fulfilled and any hardships you have endured - including the possibility of having contracted Lyme disease. I'm sorry I didn't suss out these new people before handing you over or that I didn't go with my gut when I worried about you. But I'm also sorry that I still don't know if I can be your forever home because it's going to suck to give you away a second time around.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Burning Man 2011 Tilt-Shift Time Lapse

Yesterday, A. flew off to the west coast for two and a half weeks to visit family and attend the hippie fest that is Burning Man out in the middle of a Nevada desert. When he first told me about the annual event years ago I just wondered why anyone would willingly subject themselves to a week of torture in the heat and dust with few showers and a non-stop crazy parade. But now, after watching him excitedly prep for it and hearing about all the awesome art installations and the complete freedom of expression that takes place out there, I'm just hoping he'll enjoy it so much he'll want to go again - so I can come along, too.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Locking Down Love

I wish I were brave enough to let love rest on an open palm instead of clutching it with the jaws of life afraid that if I were to let it go it'd fly away and leave this unfillable void. I wish I were okay with creating a permeable life, letting in those who want to visit and simply wishing well to those who'd like to go, sad to see them leave, but accepting that not everyone is meant to stick around forever.

I was thinking on these things after reading an op-Ed in The New York Times about the padlocks that tourists clamp onto bridges in Paris and other cities. The author notes how this gesture represents the opposite of how the French feel about love because for them, love is more about freedom than securing it under lock and key.

"To love truly is to want the other free, and this includes the freedom to walk away," Agnès C. Poirier writes. "Love is not about possession or property. Love is no prison where two people are each other’s slaves. Love is not a commodity, either. Love is not capitalist, it is revolutionary. If anything, true love shows you the way to selflessness."

It's easy to get swept into the notion that love means holding on to your partner with those sweeping thoughts of forever. We learn thousands of ways to keep your man, but not how to continue caring for him when it's time to move on. Instead we're too caught up in what we've lost, in how we've failed, in who's to blame. Breaking up is difficult, but so is living with the fear that he or she might someday walk away from you the whole time you're together. Jealousy springs from that anxiety as well as the tendency to control and, quite frankly, smother the relationship to death.

I know I'm guilty of the above, of creating an entire lifetime in my head despite what the other person is trying to tell me. I can feel my grip tighten the more insecure I get and truly wish there was a way to jump from this point to one where I'm at peace with whatever may happen next. Be it good or be it bad, I want to learn to let loved ones play whatever role they'd like to play in my life (so long as it's a nurturing one) in their own rhythm and at their own time - not mine.

That fluidity would let go of so much tension and unhappiness, to let each person in your life love you how they can instead of spending energy trying to contort to your mold. It's a scary thought. It's risky and leaves one feeling utterly vulnerable, but then again love and growth are not for the weak. And what kind of life is the one lived driven by fear?

Monday, August 20, 2012

{Monday Inspiration} Six Quotes from Sylvia Plath

Have you ever read any of Sylvia Plath's works? I never have, but after reading a quote of hers that a friend posted on Facebook, I've been completely overtaken by sudden intrigue. The poet and novelist, who was only 30 when she committed suicide, had such a way with expressing life and emotion that I can't wait to dive into her journals, poems, The Bell Jar, all of it. I have a suspicion I will find so many of my own thoughts nestled within those pages only presented a hundred times more beautifully.

"So many people are shut up tight inside themselves like boxes, yet they would open up, unfolding quite wonderfully, if only you were interested in them."

"I can never read all the books I want; I can never be all the people I want and live all the lives I want. I can never train myself in all the skills I want. And why do I want? I want to live and feel all the shades, tones and variations of mental and physical experience possible in life. And I am horribly limited."

"And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt."

"I am still so naïve; I know pretty much what I like and dislike; but please, don't ask me who I am. A passionate, fragmentary girl, maybe?"

"Remember, remember, this is now, and now, and now. Live it, feel it, cling to it. I want to become acutely aware of all I've taken for granted."

"Is there no way out of the mind?"

Sometimes I wish there were...


Instagram: The Clouds Come and They Go...

I'm supplementing {Monday Inspiration} with a little photo + words of my own each week. So if you're on Instagram let me know! Find me under @dorkysramos or view my photos on

Friday, August 17, 2012

{Happy Friday} Old Friends + New Friends

Okay I have to say that I'm feeling pretty wonderful right now. I spent an entire afternoon with The Bantu Girl catching up on life over tea at Radiance Tea House & Books and making plans for my return to her Connecticut home in a week. Afterwards, we strolled over to Bryant Park for some glamour shots where my serious model faces looked more like someone killed my dog and she showed off how she has it down to an art. "Girrrrl, you need to watch Top Model," she says.

I walked home in the evening after a passing shower had cooled down the air (and after swinging by A.'s to wish him a bon voyage on his weekend trip to Atlanta) feeling spirited and happy with the day. It didn't hurt that I was styling my easy breezy romper and successfully breaking in my new (8-month-old) flats.

Yesterday, my junior high school held an informal reunion and while it was so nice seeing a handful of old teachers and classmates, it made me wonder what happened to those friends I was so close with back then. It seems that for every phase in my life - elementary school, jr. high, high school, undergrad, grad school, each job - I've had someone or a group of people that I formed close relationships with…until one or both of us moved on to the next stage and over time a wedge started forming between us. People move away, get married, have children, get busier, and suddenly keeping in touch seems like a bigger to-do than what you want to commit to.

So while I'm grateful that I have a handful of childhood friends who are still bugging my life on the regular (like Anonymous, shown above, who I've known for 16 years) and am cherishing my time with more recent gems, it also got me thinking: how on Earth do you make new close friends once you're an adult? Since I work from home I don't have the opportunity to mingle with coworkers and bond over happy hours and it seems like the bulk of my friendships were formed during my school years. Social groups and meet-ups have also yielded some fun relationships, but usually I'm so shy that group settings make me want to hide and wait for someone else to come and say hello!

Do you make new friends easily? How do you grow your social circle and stay tight with the ones you already have?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Six Bites Around New York City

I swear I never ate out a few years ago as much as I do now. These days it seems like I'm trying out a new spot every week. Either friends and family want to meet up over food and drinks or A. and I will go out for a stroll and stop into a favorite eatery or check out the menu at a new place. My friend Cindy of Cynla just gave me a couple Zagat guides and A. and I spent a while flipping through and listing restaurants we'd love to check out someday. (By the way, the average price of a meal at Masa is $520?! Yipers!) Here are six yummy bites I had around the city over the past few weeks:

La Marina: When Dad wanted to dine out with his children, he took us to the newly opened riverside spot La Marina in Inwood (that's way up at the tip of Manhattan where I grew up). It's really nice and has great views of the Hudson River, the Palisades across the way, and the Washington Bridge. The service, the tiny portions, (and honestly the inkjet-printed menus) could have been better, but it was still good dining.

Lantern Thai: As much as I've always loved my old Thai restaurant Pongsri, the Pad Thai I had at Lantern Thai surpassed the ones I've had before. It was sweet, mixed well, and flavored just right without drowning in sauce. I can't wait to go back to take advantage of their $8 lunch special again.

Wafels & Dinges: We'd seen the Wafels & Dinges cart around the city, but never tasted their sweets. From the photos the stuff looks GOOD and friends have attested to the wonderfulness that is a waffel with Nutella and strawberries (*drool*). Well A. stopped by a cart recently and didn't come back with a plate to share, but rather a jar of the brand's spekuloos spread made from Belgian gingerbread cookies. It's great over toast, but now I want to hunt down a cart to eat through the rest of the menu.

La Maison du Macaron: This turned out to be a cute cafe with big comfy couches, long wooden tables, and a huge selection of macaron flavors. Two former greeting card classmates and I met up here this week to talk about our creative projects, stationery, and goals. It's a bit expensive, which is why I opted for a $1.75 chocolate croissant rather than a $3 macaron, but I'd like to return to this quiet space to do work or catch up with a friend.

Vanessa's Dumpling House: I've already mentioned how much I love Vanessa's Dumpling House in Chinatown. Not only are the pork chive fried dumplings good, but at four for a buck, they're so damn cheap.

The Meatball Shop: The first time I went to The Meatball Shop in Williamsburg, I couldn't stop thinking about their arugula and apple salad for days. Don't get me wrong, their meatballs are delicious, but oh my God that salad!! So when two friends suggested meeting up for dinner, I quickly threw the Meatball Shop into the hat. Thankfully there's one in Greenwich Village so I didn't have to schlep to Brooklyn for the meal of my dreams. I've ordered the same thing twice (the side salad and pasta with the beef meatballs in classic tomato sauce), but after trying my friend's Parmesan cream sauce, I'm going to need some of that the next time around. The portions seem small, but it'll fill you right up.

But because we can't eat out all the time, we made pasta and baked our own meatballs for dinner this week. This recipe turned out so juicy, flavorful, and plentiful that we topped them with provolone cheese for sandwiches the following day.

What's been on your plate lately? What are your favorite eateries around your city?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

On Wandering

I was born in a city of pedestrians; New Yorkers take pride in the amount of walking they do and I find the most pleasure in wandering around aimlessly. For me, it's a happy string of meditative and observatory moments and I'd happily walk to nowhere and back for all the things I take away from it.

Sometimes I pay close attention to the details in my surroundings: the way the speckles in the concrete sidewalk glitters when it catches the light, the curves in the neon storefront signage, how a plane seems to catch on fire as it jets across the setting sun, and the ponytailed runners weaving through and around us at their iPod playlist's pace. Most of the times I turn inward. I think on an idea or let the thoughts come and go as they please. I remember moments or create whole new scenarios. If I'm battling through a dilemma, this is when my mind fiddles around with it, mulling it over and over until I've reached some better understanding. If there's a conversation that needs to happen or a topic I want to discuss on the blog, this is usually when I start formulating the words I will express. Walking is when I let my mind do cartwheels in my head.

When I worked at my first magazine job, I'd look forward to temperate evenings in the summer. That's when I'd walk from Times Square and up 3.5 miles all along Central Park West before catching the train the rest of the way home. (Once I walked the whole nine miles there!) I'd wander and wonder about work, life, nature, even the mindless act of putting one foot in front of the other. Zen podcasts would sometimes turn the hour into an on-the-go lesson on any number of self-awareness topics.

Even if the route is the same, everything else is different. The people I cross paths with are different, the sky is different, I'm different. Depending on my mental and physical state, I might experience the walk in a new way day after day. Not only will I be exposed to new catalysts, but the thoughts I come away with because of them will be different every single time.

I recently discovered that Maira Kalman feels the way I do. In THNKR's interview with the artist/author for its Epiphany series, Kalman shares her feelings on walking and movement as a way of generating creativity and awareness.

"I'm always aware of the vulnerability of people and the heroism, the struggle to walk down the street, the choice of clothing, where are they going, what are they doing, who are they talking to. Walking enables your senses to really pick up lots of things and you can feel your body going through space," she says. "Walking clears your brain and fills your soul and makes you quite happy actually. A lot of what my work is is waiting for the unexpected and to be surprised, to be walking down the street and to not know what I'm going to see and go, 'Oh! A ha! That's what I was going to see today. That's what I was supposed to see today.'"

But my boyfriend, who hails from a land where everyone drives (Los Angeles), does not see traveling à pied the way I do. To A., walking without a destination is merely a vehicle towards Tiredville and he'd rather know exactly where Point B lies.

"Yes, but walk where?" he always replies to my invitations.

"Anywhere," I respond. How else will we stumble upon something new if we always know where we're going?

Walking and exploring is how we happened upon the best gelateria in the middle of Berlin and how we found ourselves having a wooden sword fight in a Florentine toy store. If we don't allow for the spontaneous, we will always know what to expect at the end of the journey, never leaving room for serendipity to step in.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Life is Sweet + Over Photo App

Instagram fiends, have you heard of Over? It's a cool little iPhone app that allows you to add typography to your photos in different fonts, colors, and sizes and then share them on your social media of choice. It's really simple to use and I'm enjoying adding captions to some of my images. In fact, I'm thinking of supplementing {Monday Inspiration} with a little photo + words of my own each week. Would you like that?

By the way, those Nutella stuffed cinnamon sugar muffins were evil! And by evil I mean they were hurled down from heaven they were too damn delicious. And you know what's the super perk of being an independent adult? If you want to eat these bad boys for dinner there's no one around to tell you otherwise.

Are you on Instagram? Then let me know! Find me under @dorkysramos or view my photos on

{Monday Inspiration} Trust Your Inner Awesome

Sometimes I get so caught up in the ways that I'm falling short and the things I still need to accomplish that I forget about all the ways my life and I are fantastic already. Does that ever happen to you, too? Obsessing over the things that are missing from our lives can overshadow the reasons why we should be grateful and make it seem like there's just nothing going right. And that's exactly when you start doubting yourself, when you refuse to believe all the wonderful things people say about you and your talents (and start letting the haters slip under your skin), and you start focusing on the mountain instead of the smaller steps you can take up ahead.

Jena Coray and Jen Neitzel of The Maven Circle were sweet enough to create this set of "Trust Your Inner Awesome" cards that you can download for free and display around your home/office or mail off to a friend. I can count off a few awesome peeps in my life who could use the reminder: that you can accomplish amazing things, that if you combine passion, focus, and the perseverance to get up fall after fall, then you can make your ideas - no matter how crazy they are - spring to life.


Friday, August 10, 2012

{Happy Friday}

Happy Friday, my tiny monkeybutts! I'm so tired after an hours-long attempt to catch a bus out of Atlantic City and then a four-hour ride back into the city, but we're back and looking forward to some lounging around in bed for the rest of the evening. (I've decided that gambling is just not my thing, by the way.) Are you doing anything interesting this weekend? Tomorrow I'll be taking a family member in from the Dominican Republic to see the Statue of Liberty for the very first time, but we'll be cheating by passing right by on the free Staten Island ferry instead of riding the $17 boat to the monument.

I hope you have a lovely one! Here are a few loved links from around the web:

Twilight Zone creator Rod Serling tells us where good ideas come from.
Happy tat.
How cool are these rubber dipped eco toothbrushes?
United States rubber stamps and another for your adventures.
Imagine walking under a colorful canopy of umbrellas.
A pop-up dinner party in an alleyway. (And here's a dreamy A Midsummer Night themed party!)
I. Want. This. In To Kill a Mockingbird, The Little Prince, or some vintage fairy tale classic please.
Beautiful striped leather card cases.
"Thinking is the enemy of creativity." -Ray Douglas Bradbury
What are your favorite photo editing apps?
Nutella stuffed cinnamon sugar muffins. 'Nuff said.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Beach Break

And right now that spot is a beach in Atlantic City because I've only worn my swimsuit once all summer and that is simply unacceptable. And while I'm here I might as well pop my slot machine cherry, too, right? Hey, you never know...

Image: via Cyd's Pinterest

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Summer Concerts

Have you been to any outdoor concerts this summer? Just yesterday A. and I passed by the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park just in time to catch a free tango concert! We laid back on the grass, wished the people behind us would shut up, and just stared at the sky until the sun set behind us. And last Sunday, I got to enjoy a bit of Lollapalooza through a live video stream of Florence + the Machine's set. Have you ever been to the music festival? I'd love to go someday or at least see Florence perform live as we've only just gotten into her and think she's a little awesome.

In September we'll be catching Yeasayer in Central Park's Rumsey Playfield and in a few weeks A.'s heading out to Black Rock Desert to participate in the hippie craziness that is Burning Man. From the looks of it, it'll be full of arts, experimentation, and testing your boundaries and I wish I were tagging along, but there's only so much a girl can do on a freelancer's budget.

What fun cultural things have you been squeezing in this summer? And what music are you listening to non-stop these days?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

"And Though She Be But Little..."

Standing tall at 4'9" I've always struggled with making my presence felt somehow. Like the wild birds who ruffle up their feathers to confuse predators into thinking they're larger than they really are, I admit I've taken on sarcasm and a sharp tongue to put people in their place. Sometimes it's more harsh than it needs to be, but insecurities and a childhood full of teases and taunts have taught me to strike preemptively. Perhaps if I develop a loud personality people will know not to mess with me, I figured, or at least acknowledge my presence. Then they won't treat me like I'm so tiny.

But there are other ways to be fierce. In college, I had a close friend, an incredibly calm guy from Ghana who made me laugh with his quiet wit and ran away from my overly eager self when our friend tried to teach us karate. During our training to become resident advisors I discovered something about him. He was easily the quietest in the sea of noise and only slightly taller than me, but when he spoke, people grew quiet and paid attention. He rarely raised his voice and they knew that if they kept yelling, his message would be lost on them. He demanded respect and attention not by trying to overpower the din, but by remaining calm and collected instead.

I want to be fierce in that quiet powerful way where I can just be at ease in any situation, completely fueled by my passions, and have that confidence translate into respect. Then I'll know that my small stature is of no importance; that I could just as easily be 10 feet tall for all the attention my ideas and my actions command. I may be tiny, but you'll hear my roar.

Do you ever struggle with being heard/listened to/respected because of your size or shyness?


Monday, August 6, 2012

{Monday Inspiration} The Spark

Hey folks, had to take a breather ventilator there and get myself sorted out on a few things, but here I am! Only now it's too freakin' hot and humid to even think of blog post ideas. Never the less I shall try. For you.

I typically tend to close right up when something's not right even though everyone's advice is the same: reach out to others, speak, go out, share, get dressed, put some makeup on, shower, blah. Do you get that, too? I only had the motivation to try it about halfway into my week and yes, I always feel so much better once I do, but I just can't care less about any of that when I'm still simmering in it, you know? Instead, my funk style consists of starvation, quiet spirals of self-criticisms, tears, and plenty of sleep in the same worn out shirt. Now what I would like it to evolve into is a quick dive into determination, creative arts, healthy reflection, and bounce back with my spirit renewed in a kick-ass dress.

I'm not quite there yet, but this time around my upturn was ushered in with a need for conversation, trips to the park, family outings, watching the Olympics with my sister (isn't it so addicting?), and then letting her kick me right in the butt about designing. I spent the weekend painting way past my bedtime and thinking about what she'd told me (something about how awesome I am and that I shouldn't be so hard on myself, but mostly about how awesome I am). Through this I discovered that I'm slowly learning what my artistic style wants to be (I might finally like the way this looks - maybe) and that I shouldn't be so timid about opening up about my happy successes and big fat failures. In fact, a close friend and I later bonded over how we were battling through similar issues at the same time and neither of us reached out to the other thinking we were alone in this. I felt bad knowing there was someone who could've used some comforting while I was too busy dwelling on my own problems.

I don't want to keep wearing that negative attitude. It's much too heavy on me and doesn't fare well with my complexion. So I'm starting to point out my triggers before it snowballs (even out loud sometimes) and currently putting my mind on my short term goals rather than the mountain up ahead.

A week ago I had a nice virtual pow wow over Skype with my friend The Bantu Girl and during our convo she mentioned a Tony Glaskins quote that rung so true:

"If you don't build your dream someone will hire you to help build theirs."

"Oh, snap!" I laughed and completely agreed. If you don't go for yours, you'll soon find yourself caught up in someone else's baby. That's not to say that we shouldn't support each other's projects, but don't forget to check in from time to time and ask, "Self, what have I done for you lately?"

Now if you'll excuse me, I have some more designing and playing to do before bed. Night!