Ten Things

1. As of a few weeks ago, Hummusworm (my tapeworm infestation) is officially GONE. So psyched. Since then, I did find out I've also been plagued with flukes -- the most common parasite -- but… it's all good. I'm excited to keep having these discoveries made by my beloved doctor. Every day I'm one step closer to maximum blissful health. :)

2. I can't get chocolate chip cookies off the brain. As soon as I'm home, I'm making a batch with just almond meal, coconut flakes, homemade chocolate chunks, coconut oil, maple syrup, eggs, himilayan salt, vanilla extract, and baking powder. Pure pure pure.

3. I love working out. I developed a love for it when I was living with my fitness guru of a sister last year, and I miss taking her ridiculous tabata classes every day. Now that I'm working full time and no longer living with her, it's not so easy to stick to a strict workout schedule. But I'm getting back into it. I need to. I crave the sore muscles and unexpected agility I happily experienced last summer.

4. It's been decided: I'm selling my car. I looove the convenience of it -- and, to be honest, I've been using it for pretty big trips every single weekend, but I know that it's not a necessity. Ultimately, it costs me way more money than what I'm getting out of it. I'll be living much more comfortably once I rid myself of the responsibility.

5. For the past few months, I've been on the hunt for a pair of platform espadrilles. Black with natural straw. Any nudges in the right direction would be much appreciated.

6. If you ever spot me on the subway, there's an 80% chance I'll be full-out dancing to myself, mouthing the words to whatever it is that's flooding my ears at the moment.

7. I'm closing the book on craft fairs for now. In my limited experience, the work is hard, the payoff low, and my summer weekends are just far too precious a thing to give up. I'm so grateful that I've been a part of 3 over the last year. I've learned a lot, and am walking away with some great experiences had; people met. But it feels good to wash my hands of it -- at least for the time being. Onto the next big thing.

8. What is the next big thing, you ask? Eh, I have an idea or two in mind. ;)

9. Every so often, I get really upset about the fact that I rarely find myself in a relationship. I have so so so much love to give, and all I want is a beautiful soul to share it with. Yesterday, I had my tarot cards read for the first time. At the end, I asked the oracle about this exact issue. "What am I doing that's hindering myself from love? What can I change in order to find it?" What she responded with was something that finally put my worries to rest once and for all. It turns out that it has nothing to do with what I am or am not doing. I'm being protected by my ancestors, she confirmed. "Even if you're out drinking at a bar, no one can touch you." You see, my ancestors still view me as a child, she said, and they're sparing me from those who are not worthy of my love. "But.. is this… forever?" I asked. "No, no. Let's find out how long," she said, as she drew three more cards. "2016," she said. "In 2016, these doors that have been blocked will finally open for you… and it will be because of a job." Next year… that's it? I can absolutely wait. Until then… I'll just be happily hangin'.

10. Still thinking about those chocolate chip cookies.


Beautiful Stranger

Sometimes, a beautiful stranger approaches you and asks to take your photo. A beautiful stranger from Tulum, with wavy sun-bleached hair and warm, smiling eyes. You say yes, of course, and immediately feel a familiar comfort in front of this human whom you've never before met in this lifetime. Sometimes, you discover that he's an incredible artist. You find yourself in awe of his creations; totally drawn in, wanting to know more. Thank you, Juan EspaƱa, for being that beautiful stranger.


Stay Curious

Stay curious; keep learning. Stay hungry for personal growth... in any and all areas. If you love something, keep doing it. Push yourself just a little each time. Learn another aspect of the skill. And another. And another. Improvement is in the doing.

This evening, I decided I wanted to work on my photo editing a little. I edit photos every day, and I love it, but all too often I find myself in a routine. Bump contrast. Add brightness. Lower saturation. Flatten. Play with colors. Repeat.

It's a great system. It works for me. It often produces beautiful results. But when I'm not challenging myself, when I'm not pushing myself to experiment, does growth really occur? I'm sure it does; of course it does. Slowly. But I want to thrive. I want to get excited; to learn something new, and be proud of it.

So tonight, that's just what I did. I started reading an article on simulating VSCO filters -- this very same article introduced me to my last editing breakthrough a few months ago: the world of selective color. As I'm reading this article for the second time, I notice a link to another site; a site that has tons and tons of incredible film filters that you can simply drag into photoshop and place on top of your photos. "HELL YEAH," I thought. "This is amazing."

I notice that each filter comes with some rules -- usage rules put in place by its owner. For personal use only, some say. Use freely, but credit me, say others. Ah, credit. Of course.

So I begin to think... Every time I use one of these photos, do I need to write "filter by ___"? That's going to look kinda lame -- and, more importantly, take away from the impact of the photo. But I'm not going to refuse credit where credit is due.

What to do... what to do...

Girl, duh. Make your own damn film filter.

So, using the ones I just found as inspiration -- being careful to go in my own unique direction -- I play around. The first filter I create, BOOM. Into it. I love it.

And that's the filter you see on the images above.

And that is how these things happen.

Everything is a progression. Sometimes slow, sometimes quick.

You learn by doing.

This filter I created today isn't a result of just my mind. It's a result of tons of minds. The minds that discovered photography; film; cameras. The creators of Photoshop; of the Internet; of the machinery that created my computer. Of the artists who inspire me -- and the artists who inspire them. Of their teachers, and their teachers' teachers. Of the farmers who grew the foods I've eaten my entire life; of the Sun, Water, and Earth, which allowed those foods to thrive.

...I began that last paragraph attempting to make the point that instead of getting a quick answer, it took a little bit of exploring for me to accomplish what I created this evening... but instead, the point somehow turned into the notion that these filters have been a result of thousands -- millions -- of minds, hands, and hours, all leading up to this moment right now. That's the crazier thought.

So I shall end this post on a completely new note than what I had originally intended: My friends, we are all in this together. We all affect one another more than we can fathom; more than our brains can probably even comprehend. Whether we realize it or not; whether we want to admit it to ourselves -- or each other -- or not, we depend on each other. And I think that if we all took a step back once a day to remind ourselves of this... this plane of consciousness might become a bit of a more understanding place to be.

And on a totally different note, I think I'm a little bit crazy.


Ten Things

1. Shoutout bbgirl Jana Kirn for these dope-ass mother effing shots. That girl is pure talent in the chillest form.2. In case you've been curious… the #hummusworm (tapeworm) and its crew are ALLLMOST gone. I'm currently on a 3-week sugar cleanse to rid myself of the remaining sugar-esque substances I was allowing myself (fruit, potatoes, & the occasional Ezekiel product). Turns out it might be my ~*emotions*~ affecting my health more than anything else, but that's a story for a different day. Thank you all for being such an awesome support system throughout all this shit. The road to health sure is full of some damn big potholes. 3. Lately I'm jus liiiike, "AYO SUMMER. WHERE YOU AT?" 56 degrees on June 2nd is just plain blasphemy!4. Two of the people I love most in this world just married each other over the weekend. It was so beautiful, so perfect. I love them both with my whole heart.5. I got to see THIS BABE recently… for the first time in far too long. The original OG FP Julia. My old boss. My gurlfren. My Coachella partner in crime. Now I can't stop thinking about a trip to Austin. We gon' make this happen. 6. When was the last time you and your best friends bough friendship rings? Last week, this one and I did exactly that. I'm obsessed.7. I often wish I could hire someone to play with my hair throughout the day, every day, from the moment I woke up until the moment I fell asleep. 8. Still craving pizza. It's been almost one full year since I had a slice.9. Oftentimes -- usually when I'm on the subway during my morning commute -- I wish there was something I could say to snap everyone out of their own little worlds and come together and just hang. It's not the way we're brought up -- we learn to shield ourselves from strangers, to keep to ourselves for the most part. We develop fears and anxieties about relating to other people. I have them, too. I wish it wasn't this way, and I wish there was something I could do. I wish, I wish, and I know that there must be. I just don't know what. 10. I should start writing in a journal… regularly. Actually, I think I might.