Category Archives: Musings

Why I Started This Blog + Where is It Going

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My morning ritual

I started this blog a couple of years ago without really knowing why. All I knew was that I wanted to continue writing and I hoped for this blog to be an outlet that would help me stretch and strengthen those creative muscles, whether it was through writing, photography, or other forms of creative expression that I hold dear. However, I’ve pushed aside those outlets and have felt lost trying to regroup and reconnect with my creative self.

Something I didn’t and haven’t focused enough on is my own voice as a blogger. I’m an avid reader of typical lifestyle, food, and/or photography based blogs, so when I started – or rather created – this blog I imagined it would look and feel just like those blogs because I admired them and wanted to emulate them. However, I’m not blogger A, B, or C, and I’ve come to realize I can’t blog exactly how they do because I’m simply a different person with different strengths, passions, and outlooks.

I majored in English in college and have an extensive background in literary theory and music criticism, but I haven’t written about either of those topics since graduating two years ago. Do I want to begin writing theory and criticism again? I think so. But I also want to write about my daily musings, just as I’m doing at this very moment, as well as my cooking experiments and everyday life. Why haven’t I done that more regularly? I’ve made excuses out of fear – fear of failing, fear of not being good enough – as well as out of lack of discipline. A huge part of writing is just having the discipline to sit down and do it, and that’s something I’m working on.

This blog is still a work in progress and I’m finding my voice and point of view as a blogger. But I can’t discover my voice without first using it, which is why I’ve got a couple of goals for the month: 1) write for 20 minutes a day and 2) post at least 1 blog post a week. I know it doesn’t seem like much, but I have to start somewhere.

I look forward to seeing how this blog evolves as I set forth on my goals. I do feel a little like I’m starting all over but I don’t feel self-conscious anymore. This is actually the most excited I’ve felt in a while. I think I might even start creative writing again…

I moved to San Francisco!

It’s been a whirl wind of a month. A month ago I was working a full-time marketing job in Santa Barbara and now I’m living the freelance life in San Francisco! And in between all that there was a Napa wedding, a new job, and whole lot of of moving boxes!

Golden Gate Bridge

Gettin’ touristy

Why the big move? A job, of course. My partner landed his dream job in tech and it truly opened the doors of opportunity and possibility for both of us. We had been wanting to move up here for a while but couldn’t justify the cost without either one having a secure job lined up. Now that that’s changed we are so excited about our new life in the city. We’ve been exploring our neighborhoods, eating tons of amazing food, and diving head first into the incredible culture and lifestyles the city has to offer.

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The Heart Attack roll at Nara Sushi is so good!

That said, it hasn’t been an easy move for me. I’m still getting used to not having a full-time job and trying to make my own ends meet through freelancing. But being in a city like San Francisco, it’s hard not to find inspiration everywhere I look.

The Painted Ladies

My first Monday in the city I got to meet these pretty ladies.

I’m also lucky to have some good friends and family up here already. Having a support system and a wonderful partner has definitely helped me during this time of change and transition.

I’m so excited to share this adventure with you! And please let me know of any SF recommendations you have!

Living with Intention: A Work in Progress

“The writing life isn’t just filled with predictable uncertainties but with the awareness that we are always starting over again. That everything we ever write will be flawed. We may have written one book, or many, but all we know — if we know anything at all — is how to write the book we’re writing. All novels are failures. Perfection itself would be a failure. All we can hope is that we will fail better. That we won’t succumb to fear of the unknown. That we will not fall prey to the easy enchantments of repeating what may have worked in the past. I try to remember that the job — as well as the plight, and the unexpected joy — of the artist is to embrace uncertainty, to be sharpened and honed by it. To be birthed by it. Each time we come to the end of a piece of work, we have failed as we have leapt — spectacularly, brazenly — into the unknown.”

—Dani Shapiro*

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Two weeks ago I wrote about how I’m trying to practice mindfulness to revive my creative self and I’m doing so by spending my time intentionally. However the goal as expanded and evolved into a process of becoming the best person I can be. It sounds trite but I am really pushing myself more than I ever have. I’m running 5k three times a week, I’m learning accounting when I’ve never thought of myself as a “math/numbers person” and I am also rekindling my affair with literary giants, by which I mean I’ve started voraciously reading fiction again. I just finished Walter Mosley’s Devil in A Blue Dress and am now reading Samuel Beckett’s Three Novels: Malloy, Malone Dies, The Unnamable with a side of Sylvia Plath’s Ariel. 

It’s going well, but it’s also challenging, especially working full-time and maintaining a social life. Nevertheless, I feel capable, clear headed and motivated to keep going. It’s exciting being on the brink of potential and I’m looking forward to learning as much as I can from the experience.

As for creativity specifically, I’ve been planning a photography series and I’ve also started writing fiction and poetry in short bursts. I’d like to work toward writing more consistently but fear of failure has always been a hindrance to my creativity, which is why I introduced this post with the Dani Shapiro quote (I love the quote so much, I think I might print it out or write it somewhere to keep it with me as a pre-during-and-post-writing pep talk).

By pushing myself to do things I’ve never done, I am learning that I am greater than my fear and that limitations are just starting points toward greatness.

I’ll let you know how the rest goes.

*Quote Source: I found this quote on the wonderful, Brain Pickings, which, in addition to the quote, shares an interview Dani Shapiro has with Design Matters on writing, living a creative life, and living with presence. Click through the link to listen. It’s well worth your while. 

Rediscovering My Creative Passion Through Mindfulness

Don’t consume—create.

I’ve been repeating this phrase to myself for the past few days. After becoming aware of how much I “like”, “pin”, and thumb through the endless scroll, I’ve decided to create routines that push me to be mindful of what I’m doing and how I’m contributing to my self-improvement. I think creating is one of the greatest forms of self-improvement, whether you’re creating an app, a photograph or an essay. It’s a form of learning and I’m in the mood to learn more about myself and perhaps a craft. And while this self-imposed impetus has been a form of inspiration, it’s all been a source of anxiety. I want to contribute, I want to create, but what exactly am I creating?

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This question has me thinking about my interests and, more importantly, my passions, because I do believe creation stems from passion and how we wield it. As a way to reflect on this, I’m actively trying to lower how much I use my smartphone, especially in the morning. I now wake up half an hour earlier, and begin my day thoughtfully. I used to wake up and immediately start seeing what people were posting on Facebook, Instagram, etc….but now instead of spending my time with the internet, I start my day with myself and my goals for the day. It’s a routine that I plan on sticking with and improving on.

But I still haven’t answered the questions: What is my passion and what do I want to do with it? I’m not sure just yet but I’m going to continue working toward the answer while being mindful of the question. Or rather, I’m going to follow Rainer Maria Rilke’s advice, and I’m going to live the questions and see what happens.

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Here I Go

Beginnings are scary. As a writer, I find that trying to figure out how and where to start is the most daunting task of all. I’ll ask myself questions like, how do I entice the reader? Do I have an actual point? Or, worst of all, I’ll just do this later. But I’ve also discovered once I let go of the questions and actually begin, everything else falls into place.

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For a while now I have been wanting a place where I could write and create, a place that could nourish my thoughts and would push me to learn and explore. I took too long with the questions, wondering how to begin and what to say. But here I am. Finally starting.

So this is my place, my blog, where I will share anything and everything that inspires me, including music, food, miscellaneous think pieces, etc. This is a work in progress, so I don’t want to get too ahead of myself, but I’ve got ideas and I’m excited about them. As for the name of the blog, to be splendid is to be magnificent and isn’t to be inspired the most magnificent–the most splendid–thing of all?

That was kind of cheesy, but I had to.

Enjoy!