This week is far from being less of a dumpster fire, but I’m trying to embrace it and just get on through to the upcoming long weekend. 9 days and counting, folks.
- Candle-Making Class: My SF bestie recently treated me to this awesome experience for my birthday — yes, that’s indicative of how busy we both are. WorkshopSF has plenty of DIY classes to choose from, but I couldn’t think of a better topic for us to tackle. We each made two candles, and personally, I think our scents were the best. #NotBiased
- An Exorcist Lecture: When the country’s leading exorcist lives nearby and gives a lecture at your church, you just have to go. I had no expectations going into the night, so imagine my surprise when we had a show within the show! The two elderly women in front of us (in the second row, mind you!) argued endlessly about leaving and provided pure entertainment.
- Dogs of the Dogpatch: My dear friend Sarah is one of the most creative and inspiring people I know, and her new series of pup portraits is on display at MiniBar until October 1. We celebrated her opening night last week, where nearly all of the original paintings were sold! Two paws way up, friend.
- “Hella Good” – No Doubt: Some colleagues and I were discussing various geographical phrases we can’t shake. Wicked, hella, you get the idea. And while I truly can’t stand the California catchphrase, I also can’t escape it so I might as well embrace it. At least it’s not as bad as Gwen Stefani’s worst work in the history of music, right?
In honor of my upcoming 30th birthday, I’ve researched countless “things to do before 30” lists. And while there are plenty to choose from, I kept coming back to “Thirty Things Every Woman Should Have and Should Know by the Time She’s 30.”
The List was originally published in Glamour by columnist Pamela Redmond Satran in 1997. Over the next 30 weeks, I’ll be tackling each item on The List and reflecting about it here… publicly (gulp). I hope you enjoy and we can grow together. After all, turning older is a privilege denied to many.
By 30, you should have…
6. A past juicy enough that you’re looking forward to retelling it in your old age.
Ayana Byrd began this week’s chapter describing her affinity for staying safe in the middle, never veering too far from the center to make waves.
I didn’t immediately relate. I’ve often considered myself somewhat of a rebel — or at least the black sheep — of my family. After all, I’m the only one who has a facial piercing (my nose, but it counts)! I’m the only one of my generation (until very recently) to get a tattoo — and at that, I have multiple. The horror! I’m the only one who left Florida to pursue a life beyond the Sunshine State.
This is where Ayana and I connect. She detailed her many adventures abroad, feeling limitless as she ventured far beyond the comfort zone of the middle.
It’s always surprised me when someone compliments me on my own big moves. I haven’t given them all that much thought, until now.
New York and San Francisco are largely made up of transplants. Sure, you have your lifers, the people who are quick to remind you they were born and raised there, and will call you out for any embarrassing transplant behavior. But by and large, there are tons of people in both places who’ve moved into these cities for the pursuit of something more. And probably because of that, I haven’t felt like my leaving Florida was all that big a deal. Plenty of people do it. Heck, lots of my colleagues have traveled much further — and risked much more — to come here.
But I shouldn’t lessen its importance, or how much those moves have changed me. Compared to my colleagues and friends, and yes, Ayana Byrd, I’ve done a paltry amount of traveling abroad. But aside from family who served in the Armed Forces, I’ve got the most stamps on my passport.
And without even leaving my zip code, I can see the world in a much more diverse way — challenging the status quo constantly — because I live and breathe in a city that pushes for progress and change.
I’ve had the privilege of learning about more cultures and backgrounds in four years away than I had in the 25 years prior. I’ve experimented with foreign (to me) ingredients, entertainment, customs and traditions. I’ve broadened my perspective on what an impact a life well-traveled can mean. I even spent seven weeks of the last year traveling — albeit, all domestic — because I can always find a reason to say “Yes” to a new experience.
Ayana’s story reminds me there’s so much to say “Yes” to, beyond the 50 states and how it’s OK to be a little scared the first (or every) time you venture somewhere new. Of all my wild and crazy antics, I’ll happily share a full passport and broader understanding of our world for years to come.
This week is full of firsts for me, and I’m pretty pumped about it. I won’t keep you guessing; I’m way too excited:
- Run Club: If you just fell off your chair, I’ll give you a moment to get yourself together. I’ve never, ever, ever enjoyed running — even in all my years as an athlete, I would muddle through sprints but hated any sort of endurance exercise. I’ve just begun a twice-a-week run club with a co-worker, and our two miles of run/jog/walk intervals were just the thing to start my week off right.
- Root Division’s Drawing 101: Again, I’ll give you a minute to let that sink in. I’ve always found creative outlets in writing but haven’t managed to develop my drawing skills beyond stars and cubes. Inspired by co-workers again, I began a six-session course last night for a more formal introduction to drawing. Here’s hoping I get more than just stick figures out of the experience 😉
- Toastmasters: Public speaking wasn’t an issue for me, really, until a few months ago, when I felt like I totally botched my maid of honor speech in front of more than 200 people. Thankfully, my company started a Toastmasters club, and I gave my first speech this afternoon. Tears aside — no, really — I’m excited to spend an hour each week learning how to best present myself.
- Mayer Hawthorne: Admittedly, I hadn’t heard of this funky guy (so it’s OK if you haven’t, either). My boyfriend suggested we go to his concert this weekend, so my Spotify has been on loop ever since. I can’t pinpoint whose music Hawthorne’s is reminiscent of, but I can tell you it sure is groovy.