I know it’s the official/unofficial date…. Happy Birthday, Mom.
I always remember, even when you can’t anymore. xo

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The season for all the bunny shaped things and the crack cocaine Cadbury mini eggs

Azure ink stained fingertips on Valentine’s Day

Morning bed climb-ins cause it’s COLD (CA cold, you shut up)

The perfect combination of black forest + brie + dijon on grilled loaf.

The sense of accomplishment when you get your own taxes done.

When the bartender comps *all* the beverages

The explosion of freeway blooms from all the rain we’ve had. It’s so refreshing to see a lot more green in the horizon.

Having to part ways when that person has decided they want to fuel their heart with hatred and misinformation. Upsetting and disheartening but I don’t have space for people who want to be gross.

My fridge photo gallery – the faces of my people give me so much joy. (Note to self: print and add more)

Couch cuddles with the wolves

The way R calls me “a fuckin’ G”

The moment when you realize you’re more of a rest stop instead of a destination.

The unbelievable, affectionate growth in my familiars as they age.

Roadside graffiti wisdom.

When the people in your life grow and evolve with you instead of away.

Delicious brunch + a very overdue dishing session with the ladies. Why is hollandaise so fucking magical? Paired with the tea? Even better.

Getting gushed over my way with words and ability to compliment by delicious poets.

How the squad rallies the way ants build a bridge to get everyone across

The undeniable glow and power in a woman that chooses herself.

Daylight Savings and Spring are right around the corner. I am SO ready for warmer weather & open windows.

When the long overdue karma train arrives.

Daydreaming of His kisses on cathedral stone.

 


intuition that is met with validation you were on the mark
immediate reassurance that you didn’t even have to ask for – but needed
the room + linens smelling of lavender
a scent or song taking you back to wonderful memories
the struggle when you have to say no but old you wants to say yes
the simple satisfaction of peeling an orange in one continuous piece
the cat nap including and actual cat right next to you
an image of your spontaneous eye hemorrhage inspiring someone to create art
the way cotton candy dissolves on your tongue
the greeting of a mass murder of crows flocking the Disneyland gates as we arrived
a sleeping familiar on my desk as I work
two of us crammed into one hoodie to try and stay warm
sharing a slice from a freshly purchased loaf of bread with parking lot bird friends
the persistence of the “fuck more!” tagger in our area – they make me smile
our great “shoe and bra eviction ritual” the second we get in the car after a Disney Day
having a matcha latte in bed on a cold morning
eating with your bare hands like a total savage and not giving a fuck
how the group chat is trying to share at least one good thing, every day
keeping myself far from cynicism
sharing similar taste in music with R and singing it on the freeway together
trees blooming with flowers like it’s spring in the middle of winter
promises of saved kisses
words that feel like a hand on your thigh under the table when no one is looking

 

“…A particular part of this song mirrors the sensation that you inflict…
Angel by Massive Attack”

*swoon*
some things just need to be canonized for posterity’s sake.

 

Traveled: Mazatlan, Las Vegas, Barcelona (fuck, just getting to travel again is a gift within itself)

Saw Live: Amenra, Billie Eilish, My Chemical Romance, Youth Code

Bucket list ✔️: First trip to Europe/Barcelona, Museo Dalí Figueres, The Lion King Broadway production 

Notable Moments: 
Trip to Disneyland for Reza’s first Bat’s Day on Mother’s Day 
Monet Live art installation 
Sharing Art Alive with M. and watching him check off some really big things.
Long overdue reunions with Bee and Carolin who I hadn’t seen in years.
Overdue time with friends.
My new passport getting a glorious pair of stamps
Visits and eats with my birthday twin.
Crying with Reza at the MCR show.
Catching COVID after 2.5 years of evasion (10/10 don’t recommend)
Mazatlan with my Sisters
Got a new tattoo 
That even at this point in my life, I still get to feel and experience beautiful “first time evers”
The unspoken language of flowers and intimate poetry 
Watching and helping Ginny move to her new, out of state chapter 
Kept most of my plants alive!
Every moment of the Barcelona travel magic we had. Story and trip of a lifetime.
Stolen breaths behind and on a gothic cathedral wall
So many wonderful sunsets
Reza turned 16, Lucifer 1, Gomez & Judas 11, me? 48. Damn.
Watching my people get their due slice of happy.

Music

My 22′ Release Favs (in no order):
The Weeknd “Dawn FM”
L.S. Dunes “Past Lives”
Night Sins “Violet Age”
Beyonce “Renaissance”
Crosses ††† “Permanent Radiant”
Holy Fawn “Dimensional Bleed”
SZA “S.O.S.”
My Chemical Romance “The Foundations of Decay” (a single that I played into oblivion)
Author & Punisher “Krüller”
The 1975 “Being Funny In A Foreign Language”
And honestly? Discovering older things I hadn’t given a chance

The highlights were fucking brilliant… especially after the absolute shit shows that 20/21 were. Gotta love the abject stupidity of a pandemic to put so many things to a halt. They weren’t all bad and brought so many eye opening perspectives and life changing connections. But 22′, what can I say? She was a semblance of a little bit of normalcy, whatever it is we call “normal” these days. Regardless of which, this year was a squinty eyed emergence on the horizon and a bit of fresher air after being stuck in an airlock.

She was risk and reward, lessons of trust, faith and surrender. She was a limit testing, breath stealing, emotionally challenging, heart swelling, tear inducing, blood racing, blasphemously delicious blur. I’m so grateful I got to see and feel so much of it and that a lot of those moments were shared. I cried a hell of a lot – sometimes from sadness, happiness, joy, pleasure. Sometimes all of the above. And sometimes it was from the jagged edges of disappointment.

On the morning of New Year’s Day 2023 I opened my list of hopes and intentions I wrote the year before. It has become one of my New Year rituals. I was pleasantly surprised to see that a handful of those things came to fruition. They were things I worked and sought to make reality and boy, did they come true in beautiful ways. On the other hand there were things I didn’t even come close to touching and perhaps that is where I am being called to focus this year. I keep coming back to words like: more. abundance. desire. manifest. ease. gentle. And perhaps that is how I will approach the year to come, with unapologetic truth and the mouth to match.

 

The happy accident of an out of focus sunset photo.
The echoing of Their laughter in the house.
Hearing what I needed to hear exactly from the person I needed to hear it from.
Unexpected hail.
Being sneaky sneaky even though I am terribly impatient.
The power in being thanked or told you’re missed.
Men that GET IT.
Xmas cheer in the form of cards and small prizes sent to far away places.
The gift of a clean slate to start the year on.
The possibility of new beginnings on a lot of levels.
How a month has passed and it feels like so long ago, yet I can still taste it.
The exorbitant amount of care I have been receiving as of late.
The optimism and hope for new adventures.
Judas sleeping in her new gingerbread house cat scratcher under the xmas tree.
The way He encourages me to create art with his living, breathing inspiration.
The itch of a new and long overdue tattoo.
The anticipation of snail mail arriving.
When the words and behavior align.
Being called “thoughtful” from multiple sources.
Reconnecting with old friends and falling into them like time didn’t pass.
Handwritten letters from my Mom I forgot I had.
Beans + toast banter.
Audio message exchanges.
The comedy in how they just can’t help themselves.
Living on my terms, and by “terms” I mean having ice cream for dinner if I want to.
The journey through the 5 senses embedded under my skin.
When the stress levels drop. Finally.
The hunger for dangerously uninhibited, vulnerable exchanges.
Bonding with friends over our mutual hatred of raisins.
Being fed the proof.
The longing for Spring. Yes. Already.
The plotting of new year manifestations.
Getting my hands literally and metaphorically dirty… with ink, potting soil and you.
When *home* is more than the place I sleep at night.

 

I have spent a large portion of years nurturing everything but myself that one day I decided it was time to really start flipping that narrative. After meticulous planning and conspiring, the time came to give to myself. Time to start making dreams reality, to warm my own hearth. And so I did. On the morning of my 48th birthday I woke up in an abyss of crispy white linens, across the street from a gothic cathedral in Barcelona.

Spain was a dream come true on more levels than I even hoped for. You ever go somewhere completely new and the second you’re there it just feels like home? That is exactly what it felt like. There aren’t enough words or photos that will ever summarize the impression that was left on me. Start to finish it gave me beautiful weather, incredible nourishment, a concrete labyrinth of beauty and art that I lost myself in, endlessly and willingly. And in her, I found even more pieces of myself that I thought were lost. When you have nothing to do but exist, wander and take in, I had a lot of time to think. I didn’t realize just how much I was willing to accept crumbs until a banquet was laid out in front of me… and not only did I make that happen, but I allowed myself to trust in its process and myself a little more. And for me, that is an enormous but uncomfortable revelation. I needed this Catalonian love affair far more than I could ever have imagined. It was perfection.

It has been a week since I returned and I am still trying to wrap my head and heart around it even happening. I was ready for it, but what I didn’t expect was just how deep it would sink into me. When you finally make something happen, a lifelong daydream turn reality, and then for it to come together so seamlessly, you can’t help but wonder its veracity. Even when you have the carnage, bruises and longing embedded deep in you as evidence. I will forever twist my own flesh into believing it even happened.

For a brief moment I got an exquisite taste of life, thriving, passion and my own capacity. I (and others) saw a depth in my eyes that hadn’t been seen in quite some time. I can’t even think or talk about it without weeping… not sure if it’s the post travel blues? Joy or happiness incarnate? Fulfillment and cup filling after being in a state of deprivation? I walked myself into something special, something so beautiful that I knew would change me even while knowing of the possibility it would split me in two, and boy did it. A voluntary walk into the fire that while transformative, also burned. It aches. Deliciously.

One thing I do know: this birthday was the most perfect Spanish autumn, a series of firsts and bucket list checkmarks, an adventure of a lifetime that I will soon not shut the fuck up about. Best. Birthday. Ever.

And now all I can think about is “what is next?”, because there will be a next…

Mark my words.

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There is great power within you, you just need to know how to hone it, where to direct it and when to withdraw it. It is a delicately mastered art. 

Convey your feelings often, hold onto nothing. The good, the bad, the ugly. All have an appropriate outlet but the timing is just as important as the delivery.

Ask for help when you need it. It’s ok. Needing help is not weakness. 

Take your own advice. 

Don’t listen to them and trust your gut. You may be wrong but you may learn or gain something out of the process. It’s never a waste if the lesson was learned.

Don’t ever let anyone tell you how or who you should be, what you do with your time and who you give yourself to.

If a partner treats you like shit, you leave. Life is too short to spend it with people who don’t cherish you. Same goes for friends, family, jobs. Better is out there.

Speaking of friends, sometimes the best ones will be in the most unlikely of places. Always pay attention to the ones that listen and reciprocate. Get rid of the ones who don’t – some we write chapters with. Others? An entire anthology.

It’s ok to be a little shameless. Revel in your guilty pleasures, hang onto the things that bring you joy – that’s where the magic is.

Don’t place value in how others perceive you. You will deny yourself so many wonderful life experiences because of it if you do. And honestly, there will always be someone who doesn’t care for your brand but on the other side there are others who will stock their pantry full of You.

Learn and master the art of humility, grace, gratitude, giving/accepting a compliment. (You will excel in this, I promise you)

Having boundaries doesn’t make you a bitch, too much or picky. You need them in your life and if people want to push them, it’s because they benefit from your not having them.

Say “thank you” A LOT.

Spend more time with critters. They will teach you far more about love than some of the people you bring into your life.

Find intimacy in the mundane. Intimacy it not something that is reserved exclusively for romantic partners and means far more than sex and physical contact. You will learn to discern it and it is one of the most rewarding feelings ever. You will crave it with unparalleled intensity.

Do lots of things for yourself, don’t wait for someone to do it for you. Make that bucket list and start checking it off. Go to the places, buy the plane ticket, take the leaps.

Don’t let people harden you. Trust is a beautiful thing and one of the many ultimate acts of love. And when you find it, sink your claws into its back.

Question everything but know when to surrender to uncertainty.

Learn the difference between loyalty and fidelity.

Get outdoors more. Some of the best places are outside and free. They will fulfill you more than clubs and bars ever will.

Be better with your finances. I know people say that it doesn’t matter. It does. It doesn’t buy happiness but it certainly helps keep you from being stressed out all the time. Taking care of what you have is > abundance.

Anger has its place but ask yourself why you’re angry instead of letting it poison you. One day that anger will fuel you in ways that will change your life.

Don’t reward the bare minimum. A poorly made meal on your fine china is still a poorly served dish.

Travel. See new places, road trip, try new things. You will come back a changed person and will teach you more than a book ever will. Experiences > things. The comfort zone is where happiness goes to die.

Go to therapy. It will, quite literally, save your life.

Pay attention to who celebrates your wins with you and who stays silent. Not everyone around you wants to see you succeed or be happy. The miserable disguise themselves as snakes, and in some cases, flowers in your garden.

Student loans are a sham. Higher education is not a unit of measure for your value as a human being.

Romanticize the absolute poetic fuck out of your life.

Love your own company above all others. The company you do keep should match or elevate what you bring to the table.

One day you’re going to die and no one will give a fuck about your resume or what you had. But will they remember if you were a good person? Absolutely. Focus on that part because your accomplishments really mean nothing to anyone but you.

Be honest. Deceit is for the morally corrupt and you’re better than that.

No one likes a sourpuss. So if you’re going to be that person, work on finding the source and fixing what is making your puss sour.

Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

One day you’re going to bring a tiny person into the world. Their arrival will be transformational and the greatest and purest lesson of selfless love you will ever know. Relish in every second you have with her.

Hold on to your integrity, it is the kind of thing that will let you sleep peacefully at night.

Save the softest parts of you for those who show you that you’re cherished to the bone and hold you with white gloved care. Undress your soul for them, let them sink their teeth into your dripping everything.

 

After what seems like it was never going to happen, My Chemical Romance finally did. Reza and I had a pre-birthday trip to Las Vegas to go to the show and while it was a quick jaunt back and forth, we had a great time. There were a ton of tears, everywhere. It just makes all the difference when you go to a show and the love for the band is not only mutually shared, but it was like that with the whole building. It was super special and I am so glad I got to not only able to do that, finally, but share yet another of many firsts with Them. The show ending with crying and hugging to “cancer” is a core memory I soon won’t forget.

Reza turned 16. It has been an absolute blur of time and while it has gone by faster than expected, I am grateful that I have been able to stay a consistent fixture in all of these years for Them. It hasn’t been without its challenges and blows, but I know it will matter so much down the road. I just love this kid so fuckin’ much.

What do you like? Need? How? What unsettles you? How can I do/be/try? I am not used to being on the receiving end of thoughtful and selfless of that caliber. And being able to answer them without fear of judgement or repercussion? Fuck. And when these questions come from men? An entire mind fuck. Unpacking trust issues is a whole lot of something for me but slowly and surely I am allowing myself to lower that drawbridge. It is not easy but I sit with the discomfort and try. I just don’t do it so freely anymore. People have no idea how much power there can be in words when they’re fueled with sincerity and surrender. There is so much in the ask, just as much as the answer – if not more.

Halloween/Muertos came and went. R was Patrick Bateman and absolutely killed it. I on the other hand have been opting for full blown hermit mode. Odd for me, I know, considering this is my favorite holiday and season. I have some things in the works that are just so meaningful and big (for me) and this year, sitting out potential exposure risks outweighed festivities. Setting up the altar was an emotional one this time around – my gut tells me next year there will be an addition. It’s not morbid to accept reality… doesn’t mean it doesn’t sting. The sky being lit ablaze on Halloween night was not lost on me.

November has always been a reflective time of year for me. The end of yet another trip around the sun, weeks shy of turning 48. This one will come and go just as quickly, no doubt, but there’s a lot to think of, look forward to, do, and my god… I cannot wait for every transformative second of it. I have been a hell of a lot more private about so many things because I have come to discover time and time again that there will always be someone willing to project their fears and nonsense onto you. Not that I am closed off to contradictory opinions, I am just not here for people with no first hand experiences trying to set the tone for shit they know nothing about. I am not here for hive mind mentality. What I am here for are meaningful experiences and connections – especially when I get to share them with the caliber of those who get it.

Recently someone told me that those big moves, the risks, the stepping outside of the comfort zone… while scary, are also where the growth is. I seek it. I invite it. I will it.

Looking back at my track record, I can’t say I disagree.

 
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