Monday, December 31, 2012

some thoughts on the best year of my life (so far).

you may have experienced "rock bottom" or what is sometimes called the "lowest low." mine was twothousand eleven. no, not every day and every minute- but much of that year, which meant that when it came time to start twothousand twelve, i was hopeful for something better. (naturally)

this year started with a move that literally changed my life. i'd gone from being in a house of guy friends from college to being in a house of girls who were either friends or acquaintances. soon after the move, i found myself in a meaningful romantic relationship that was healthy... i was present and it was built on trust. this new relationship led to the ending of a long time friendship because it was getting in my way and wasn't going to benefit my current relationship; especially because it was never going to be what i'd hoped it would be while we were each in our current state. so i let go and committed to redefining me; getting back the pieces of the woman i lost in twothousand eleven.

the next few months of therapy were filled with forgiveness, grief, excitement and grace. i slowly peeled back my layers, relearning who i was, what i believed i deserved, and remembering the type of life i wanted to create for myself. because i had previously allowed myself to be treated a certain way, the relationship i was in created many "corrective emotional experiences" that said to me, "you deserve so much more."

it was during the late spring and early summer that i learned what love is. in april i posted about what i thought love was, believing that i'd never just know because that wasn't my experience. later i'd learn how wrong i was. i didn't just know because in this very case, i wasn't in love. surely i loved this person and would do anything for him but it wasn't the same as what i'd eventually know to be love in the way c.s. lewis refers to eros love.

there was a saturday night in april and a letter in may and a weekend in july that changed my life. really, i mean that. it's hard to detail the feelings i experienced regarding these events but i can tell you now that they only changed my life because of the work i'd done on me, for me. and of course the person on the other side of these events had deeply changed and grown, too- but we both did these things unrelated to each other.

and there was that day in july where i came to realize why i was with the person i was with, which resulted in the ending of our relationship. this was also part of a larger discussion about allowing others the freedom to be themselves, without trying to change who they are. i was familiar with this concept, but only because i talked the walk instead of walking the walk. as i look back, i was in it because i believed he would be a faithful partner, good father, and we'd be secure together. but these are not reasons to stay with someone! i wanted to stay because of an authentic desire to be with that person, because our relationship was built on love. when i faced my doubts that day, it had nothing to do with that old friend; i left because i knew that i could very easily regret my "i do." i would rather be alone than living a life of regret.

the weekend that my friend nick ran around san francisco will always be marked with the beginning of love with that old friend. it's when i didn't settle and i actually knew what it meant to just know. it especially represents great risk and great reward. it is the beginning of learning that trust is a choice, not an airy-fairy feeling that you grab out of the sky or even something that "comes with time."

at the end, my big take away for this year is that i believe some people stay in (unhealthy) relationships because it's what they think they deserve. no, in twothousand eleven, i never thought "yes, i deserve to be treated like shit in this relationship- keep it coming!" but i tolerated it because i didn't actually believe i deserved more and because i dreamed up things with this person and created a life that didn't exist. i think this may be other peoples' experience, too; they believe the (unhealthy) relationship they're in is the best thing that will ever happen to them. this is either due to low self confidence or a fear of being alone. unfortunately, these both lead to loneliness. and worse than this realization is that we can't actually help the person who believes this- like me, they must learn it on their own.

cheers to this year, this best year, where i've learned about love.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

my (recent) story of failure.

at the end of february twothousand eleven i set some goals: i'd run a second marathon, i'd take my first mft exam, and i'd sing a song in public. i gave myself threehundred sixtyfive days, making the completion day march first, twothousand twelve. as march was approaching, i'd finished the marathon and the singing escapade but i'd neglected to study for my exam. i put it off and postponed the exam date until i realized i just needed to take the damn test, regardless of the amount of studying i didn't do. at the time, it was more important to complete the goal regardless of my preparation for the goal. i think this was symbolic of twothousand eleven- one of the most difficult years of my life; i needed to know that some of the central components of who i was were still deep inside me: courage, diligence and drive.

 so i went to the testing center on march first and took the first of the two exams. you learn the results immediately following the exam so when i read the big red letters FAIL i wasn't terribly surprised. okay maybe they weren't bigger than the standard twelve point font but they were red. either way, i failed. in that moment, and in the weeks following, shame followed me around like a rain cloud in seattle.

i began processing my failure in therapy where i was quickly reminded of all that i've achieved. we talked about failure and why it was so significant to me: it was more about letting others down with the perceived expectations people had of me than it was about my own expectations for myself. for some reason, because i didn't waltz into the test and pass without studying, i now would be classified as stupid.

slowly i told people here and there but the most monumental experience of sharing my failure was when i told my small group of high school girls. showing these four girls that i could fail and my life didn't come crashing to the ground and that i could even still be successful in my career was what we all needed to hear. i was humbled by their response, but more so, i was grateful to show them that attending a good college will still be an option if they don't have straight a's, perfect sat scores, and more extracurricular activities than they can count on their toes and fingers. we laughed and talked about ways each of us had failed recently. we talked about what it meant to be smart, what it meant to live for (the perceived) expectations of others, and what it meant to have expectations of ourselves. it was so worth it. i became a little bit more human for those girls in that day.

i went on to put in significant time and effort to study for the first test. i took it over again on november twelfth and passed, which opened up eligibility to take the second test. passing brought me a new confidence and i decided to put everything into studying for the second exam. december seventeenth at eleven in the morning i saw a green PASS on the screen. the feeling of completion overcame me; the journey of becoming a marriage and family therapist started in a classroom in august of twothousand seven and it was finally finished.

failing that first exam and bringing my shame into the light has been the most significant part of this career journey. i am grateful.

Monday, November 5, 2012

my favorite day of the year.

my friend vincent recently asked if voting day was really my favorite day of the year.

"yes. absolutely. without a doubt."

he looked at me puzzled. "why?"

"vincent! we have so much freedom and opportunity here. there are so many places where people still don't get to vote." i went on and on and on. he didn't seem to care or resonate.

"do you know what it really is, vincent?" i left time for a pregnant pause. "there are very few days, or even moments, when my voice as a woman gets to be heard as loud as a person of color, or as loud as a person with a different sexual preference from me, or as loud as a person who practices a different religion from me, or even as loud as a white man's. there aren't many days when there's one hundred percent equal say- a day on the calendar when privilege and power go out the window!?! to not take advantage of this day and celebrate- not just my freedom to cast a vote, but an ENTIRE DAY where every person of voting age has equal representation- well that would be silly. if i really buy into the idea of power and privilege in this nation, i've got to celebrate the moments when it's minimized. this is my day to celebrate."

and so i am: at seven am tomorrow morning and proudly wearing my sticker for the entire day.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sunday, October 21, 2012


hearing dr. michael riera speak at the challenge success conference earlier this month has me thinking about integrity more. he discussed the rise of cheating within schools, sports, etc., which he attributed to a general lack of integrity being emphasized in communities, schools and more importantly, homes.

integrity, as defined by, is treating others fairly, controlling oneself amid promises of pleasure and threats of pain or loss, and the habit of gathering evidence conscientiously and not using deception to manipulate for ulterior purposes. you can read riera's book if you're interested in teaching and increasing integrity in kids. but what about adults?

the thought of adult integrity led me to think about my disappointment with the recent presidential/vp debates. i've watched all three uncomfortably and i've questioned, "is that true?" and thoughts of "that needs to be fact checked" occur throughout the entire hour and a half.

isn't that terrible? that the two men running for president of the united states have to exaggerate, bend the truth and straight up lie in order to convince people to vote for them? on a national stage no less.

one could argue that integrity is an oxymoron for politician. sure, nixon (watergate) and clinton (monica and lying about monica) are perfect examples. but does this mean it should be tolerated? absolutely not. in the aforementioned examples impeachment and resignation were part of the consequences, not to mention they will embarrassingly take up space in our history books forever. i get it- politicians aren't known for being honest. but if we're going to continue to accept this as reality, then we shouldn't for one second be surprised when a hundred and twentyfive students from harvard are caught cheating or lance (and his teammates and the majority of the tour) cheated all along. and hell, let's expand to infidelity and include tiger, kobe, and john edwards, just for kicks.

if i'm willing to vote and elect a president who lies to win, i've got to lower my expectations for kids and their ability to learn and practice the tenets of integrity. read that last sentence again. it's an absolutely terrible and distressing idea. but i guess naming it here helps me not to be surprised when the next cheating scandal hits.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

i've never gone this long without writing in this space.

my life is filled with things like new bangs and jobs and cars and boys and travels and and and totally unexpected fun. i am in the biggest change season of my life (to date) and it is awesome.

my birthday came and went and i have to tell you- i've never had a better birthday. i felt cared for and known and loved and supported in the most beautiful ways; from vitamixes and heirloom dinners to camping and camino and bi-rite ice cream pie. but those are all just things… it was the sunset saying goodbye to twentyseven and the trail run the following morning where i reflected on the people i'm surround by: my good good family and friends. i was overwhelmed with gratitude for incredible human relationships.

but i guess that's all i'm able to write tonight. the truth is i'm here, alive, pressing into my new job, studying, politicking, running, being in the most redemptive relationship and continuing in my personal growth as i get to create who i want to be, in God's image. i feel the most strength and support i've ever known. this is good, this is real good.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

learning and respecting.

first, the good news: last week was filled with quite a bit of tears and great moments of overwhelming loss, but thank God: i've stopped eating those damn rice krispy treats.

penelope trunk recently wrote an article about her best advice to twenty somethings... at the end, she says: “What should I be doing now?” is a question I get a lot from people in their 20s. The answer is that you should be respecting yourself as you learn about yourself. You should give yourself the space to do anything and then look closely to see what you enjoy. You do not need to get paid for what you enjoy, but you need to find a way to commit to what you enjoy, and then use that as a foundation to grow your adult life.

i'd like to think that i'm doing most of that... and i am, for the most part. these days i'm focusing on respecting myself as i learn about myself.

and what i'm learning about myself? seems like it's been the same things every day:

  • i have the ability to walk away from something that's not what i want, even if it's healthy and amazing. i respect myself for being courageous. 
  • i need to experience both romance and intimacy in the context of a relationship. i respect myself for this new understanding.
  • i'm pretty good at communicating in the context of a romantic relationship. i respect myself for working so hard and making this a priority.
  • i've put some serious work into learning about forgiveness and it's proven to change my perspective over time. i respect myself for giving and receiving second chances.
  • i am emotionally and mentally stronger than i've ever been before. i respect myself for committing to strengthening myself.
  • i am capable of functioning with honesty and integrity in an adult, romantic relationship. i respect myself for being vulnerable.
and through all of this i'll continue to take really big, deep breaths.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

my prayers lately.

i've learned recently that i have a bit of a sweet tooth when i'm sad. i've heard some people call this emotional eating. regardless of what it is, fresh made rice krispy treats are my weakness. hot cookie, molly stones- whoever is selling them- i am there. giving them my money like they're the newest charles schwab branch.

recently i've been whispering this prayer to myself: Lord, guide my decisions and bring me peace. and now that some decisions have been made, i'm asking God to help me stop eating rice krispy treats.

last night, while eating a rice krispy treat, i tried to make an angel food cake, except my bundt pan was too small and my batter was too big and now there is burnt marshmallow all over my oven. i guess this is indicative of how i feel: like a hot mess, all spread out, feelings too big for a heart this small.

and this is what i hope to remember in this moment: that as i feel these very real feelings and sit in this heavy sadness, i can continue to give and love and experience joy throughout the pain of transition.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

why women still can't have it all

this article in the atlantic has been really fascinating...

"ultimately, it is society that must change, coming to value choices to put family ahead of work just as much as those to put work ahead of family. if we really valued those choices, we would value the people who make them; if we valued the people who make them, we would do everything possible to hire and retain them; if we did everything possible to allow them to combine work and family equally over time, then the choices would get a lot easier."

read it.

Friday, June 22, 2012

lots of things come in threes...

for example:

tennis balls
french hens
an emu’s toes
microsoft word/excel education licenses
blind mice
monkeys (hear no, speak no, see no)
r’s (reading, writing, arithmetic)
power puff girls
terrible hollywood trilogies (twilight, for example)
good hollywood trilogies (lord of the rings, for example)
men in a tub
God (father, son, holy spirit)
wise men
being green (reduce, reuse, recycle)
donald duck’s nephews (huey, dewey and louie)
years i've devoted to working at my current agency

i cannot believe it's been three years today (though, we say the translation is more like dog years- twentyone years, really). i'm going to simplify my feelings by naming the fact that i sure have learned and grown a lot. a lot.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

my bicycle christening.

i'm getting rid of my car in a week and this means i'll be relying on my legs like i never have before. walking, biking, running... whatever it takes. don't give me any credit for the switch; this has nothing to do with the environment or my own health or any of the other fabulous reasons people choose to walk/bike over drive... this is simply a financial decision and my lease is up. it should be... interesting. my goal is to try it out for six months- november twentyninth to be exact.

so last night i was practicing on my roommate's bike (yes, i need practice cycling around the city) and let me tell you about the muni tracks, those little bitches. i was already nervous because i was (one) on my roommate's bike which doesn't fit me and has super wonky and old school gears and (two) i'm usually the car who almost hits the bikers, not the biker who avoids the cars. you could say i had some anxiety during my practice session.

this is where the story gets exciting: literally one block from my house... i fell. over my handle bars and through the woods to grandmother's house we go -or- just over the handle bars and on the ground, with numb palms and bloodied and bruised legs to follow. good thing i was with my super-biking-hipster-friend-stephan, who was a champ and took care of me while trying to hold back his laughter while i tried to disguise my pain. and shame.

the strange thing is when people ask what happened to my hands and i tell them about falling on those little bitch muni tracks, everyone seems to have their own story of falling on those little bitch muni tracks, too. i guess this was just my bicycle christening?

here's to getting back on the saddle, just like my parents made me do when i got bucked off my horse at age nine. and here's to not giving up on cycling around san francisco. i sort of feel like i belong now that i've had my first fall.

wiggle, here i come!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

get your text on.

thanks to michele, i watched a fabulous ted talk on texting that saves lives. you can watch it, too.

speaking of ted, my favorite fourteen year old cellist is performing at a stanford ted talk. get out.

Friday, April 27, 2012

mamaw's derby pie.

when walking around the bart station with a homemade pie, it's hard for people not to smile. they stare, too, but they mostly smile. it seems that a young woman carrying a derby pie on a late thursday afternoon invites strangers to sit nearer and ask questions: where are you going? fresh pie, my favorite... who are the lucky recipients? the kids across from me who are eating chips ahoy original chocolate chip cookies are jealous- they haven't had an unprocessed sweet treat in years. in fact, they report they've never had a slice of homemade pie.

and it made me think about how the art of using my hands in the kitchen has been suspended in practice as of late. what a shame. there is so much joy, so much conversation, that comes from the beauty of baking... sweet or savory, it doesn't matter. creaming butter and sugar and adding bourbon and walnuts and chocolate chips to create someone else's mamaw's derby pie... it is so worth it, even if it doesn't turn out just "right." because it meant i received one-more-than-normal smile.

sometimes i crave this stranger's smile as it quickly reminds me of human existence.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

hey ma.

a haiku for my mother, on her fiftyfifth birthday:

your wisdom and strength
reveal themselves in your eyes,
love is in your touch.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

the quest for love.

i went on a hunt this week to determine what love means. when things aren’t linear or black and white for me, or if i don’t understand something or it gives me anxiety, i externally process and ask lots of people what they think about a topic. this week it was love.

i thought the questions i asked were simple: what did it look like when you fell in love? what does it mean for you to love? how did you know you first loved your person?

some responses i received:
it was a feeling in the beginning but now it just is.
love is getting up in the middle of the night when you're warm in your bed to get your partner a cup of cold water.
i knew i loved her because when we weren’t together, i wanted to be with her.
why don’t you try reading c. s. lewis’ the four loves?
a co-worker said, “i heard first corinthians has a good list.”
a better question is not whether you love your person, but whether you respect your person.
loving is a choice.
bask in this shit, because new love is so epic and it has an expiration date.
dude, you're over thinking this.
i missed him when we weren't together.
i just knew.

you should know that only some of these answers were satisfying. ultimately i was looking for a prescription and no one could offer me that. it was highly disappointing.

but a dear friend who knows me so well wrote this: emily, this isn't a question of loving your person, this is about receiving love and allowing yourself to [sit in your anxiety and drama and] be loved.

i re-read her words a few times. i took a deep breath and was able to let go of the responses i'd collected from the week. she was right; my quest for love hasn't actually been about my love for another. instead, this is about whether or not i'll allow myself to be loved by another... to work hard enough to believe that i am lovable. will i take this risk, stop asking what you think, listen to myself and swim face to the sky?

i can. and i will.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

last night i had dinner with my friend rusty.

i hope when i'm eighty i'm as vibrant and beautiful as she. we found ourselves sharing ideas about love and grace, and the concept of time as my friend. i kid myself as i write 'sharing ideas'-- rusty amused me and listened to my young thoughts, rambling on about redemption and life coming full circle. of course i listened intently and held on to her every word; as she spoke i could imagine Wisdom coming through the lines in her face, her crooked little fingers and white hair. God lives in rusty.

i hope when i'm eighty i'll have read more poetry and slowed down enough to memorize some. i'd like to be able to sit with a person and recite one as it relates to the conversation at hand. rusty shared with me this poem about grace... it was so fitting.

As swimmers dare to swim face to the sky
and water bears them,
as hawks rest upon air
and air sustains them,
so would I learn to freefall and float
into Creator Spirit's deep embrace
knowing no effort earns
that all-surrounding grace.
-Denise Levertov

i hope when i'm eighty i have house guests and visitors and the ability to parallel park in the city and a desire to break bread with someone one third my age. i hope i still travel and i hope i still vote. i hope i have faith as beautiful as rusty's and i hope God still lives in me. i hope.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

a corrective emotional experience.

this weekend i am going to have what we in the therapy world refer to as a corrective emotional experience.

last year at this time i attended (and coordinated!) a wedding. i remember asking lisa to meet me in the bathroom for a pep talk; i cried and whined and didn't want to do what i needed to do but she was a gem and probably said something great and recommended i lean on my liquid courage. after the wedding ended, i endured the longest and most tearful drive back to san francisco. hope tortured my heart and anxiety consumed my mind. i didn't want to go home. the next few days were a blur filled with more disappointment, but some of the most grace-filled words exited my mouth and forgiveness was the only response i knew. a big God surrounded me, as well as a strong group of cheerleaders.

this year i will attend another wedding. i won't coordinate or have any responsibility except to listen to the bestman practice his speech and tell him how dashing he looks in that tux. [i will be a great plus one.] i won't be preparing to end things with someone, but rather, i'll be excited to continue on with this really good thing that's happening. there will be no long drive home, just a quick flight back to san francisco where i'll be thrilled to walk through my front door. i probably won't shed a single tear unless it's representing joy. that same big God and cheerleaders are with me.

the fact that this weekend aligns with the easter holiday encourages me; this story has come full circle and demonstrates redemption. never, not once, did i imagine this would be my current situation. i'm so grateful for the way things are unfolding, and especially for what i did not know i even needed. this is good.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

the chicken and her eggs.

a while ago during staff meal at the restaurant we ate the most delicious salad and a frittata made of potato skins and chicken (very gourmet, straus). before my fork met the frittata, i crinkled my nose: for one, i had never eaten this combination of items and for two, is it okay for one to eat the mama (chicken) and the baby (eggs) at the same time?! i've probably made you crinkle your nose now. ultimately, this comes down to my aversion to eggs that aren't cooked all the way through. (yolks make me think of a fetus. sorry.) this story has no point, whatsoever. i just wanted to document the first time i ate the baby-mama combination.

it's the last day of march. where has a quarter of the year gone? time is passing.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

to love the world.

my friend sarah posted this poem and i fell in love all over again with mary. i'm spending my time these days getting back to loving the world well: close to onehundred handwritten notes of love sent via snail mail.

My work is loving the world.
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird —
equal seekers of sweetness.
Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.

Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me
keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,

which is mostly standing still and learning to be
The phoebe, the delphinium.
The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.
Which is mostly rejoicing, since all ingredients are here,

which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart
and these body-clothes,
a mouth with which to give shouts of joy
to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam,
telling them all, over and over, how it is
that we live forever.

-Mary Oliver

Thursday, March 15, 2012

quitting is never as easy as you hope it to be.

often times people quit jobs because there's a new adventure or something more exciting waiting for them. sometimes they quit because it's a terrible environment. my friend erin quit her job because she was going on a seven month travel escapade and another friend lauren quit because her dream job working with obese kids was knocking on her door. i'm sure there's other reasons people quit, too.

i recently gave notice at the restaurant, a place that i've grown to have a fond attachment to... in the year that i've been there i've learned a lot about food and wine and hospitality. and serving and hosting and cleaning up dropped floral arrangements and the service industry in general. and apologies and management styles and eating habits and table manners and couples who turn the table to sit side-by-side and human-resources-stuff and invoices and statements and entertaining and life... i sure have learned a lot about life.

you see, i went to the restaurant in order to escape; to turn my grief into a money-maker. i had a feeling twothousand eleven would suck so i thought it would be a good idea to grieve by keeping busy. this is not something i recommend. in fact, this is a terrible way to prolong the grieving process. but it's what i did.

who knew i'd grow to love coming to this place three nights a week, smiling and buffing wine glasses while exhausted. or tasting new kitchen creations and learning about new and old world wine. or learning how to make an espresso and problem solving when people tell me they (God forbid) won't sit at the communal table. who knew i'd get to exercise a different part of my heart muscle as i worked with middle and upper class privileged people- quite the change from what my day job offers. who knew i'd stop judging servers who are serving because they want to make a career out of food and this isn't just a stop on the train getting them through school or supplementing their income. who knew i'd train for a marathon while working sixtyfive hours a week. who knew? i didn't.

so now i'm realizing that quitting this restaurant thing is not so easy. there's no better job or adventure waiting for me on the other side of this quit, just a need to put a little more effort into studying for my licensing exams. matt keeps telling me i can change my mind and stay. i'd be lying if i said i hadn't thought about it... but i can't. as much as i want to, i can't. it's time to be a bit more serious about my career, my relationships and me. i hoped this would be easy to quit... it's not; my heart aches as i think about not being part of staff meals and discussions about acid and tannins and blind tastes. and the people. i will miss the people... they've become a second family.

this type of quitting is not enjoyable or easy. especially because i'm not a good quitter. help.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

it's time to own a few things.

when i started this blog it was because i was studying abroad in florence and i didn't want to send people a mass email; i'd hoped they'd come to the blog on their own instead of getting another lengthy item in their inbox that they'd likely never read. after coming back from florence i kept writing... since that time, all three of my brothers got married, i moved to san francisco, all of my niece and nephews were born, i worked at the urban house, went through grad school, moved five times, started my current job, lost myself-found myself again, ran two marathons and two halfs, attended and coordinated some weddings, learned a thing or two about growing up, giving, friendship, pain, love and humility. it's been seventyeight months of documenting my life.

it's hard for me to recall the exact moment when this space shifted from the things i was learning and thinking to cryptic and mysterious posts that could only be interpreted if you were in my inner-circle. the time period, however, is very clear: somewhere between starting my work at my current agency and my self-inflicted heart break. many factors contributed to this shift; becoming more serious about my career- especially as it relates to confidentiality, working to make this space anything but passive-aggressive, and wanting a sense of privacy while having an outlet to write. ultimately, this shift was one part intentional, two parts accidental.

i'm at a point where i'm trying to make some decisions about where this thing is going. over the years it's become less of a priority but it still holds a place in my heart where i'm able to document, write, and not forget. it's my piece of history on the internet. (dangerous, i'm sure, though my teenage dreams of running for public office don't so much line up with my late-twenties dreams.) i've thought about shutting it down but that seems silly since i once told myself i'd like to document my twenties and i'm more than two thirds done. but i'm pretty tired of hiding behind posts which often don't make sense to people and are really just about the latest drama that's dictating my feelings. this is mostly because i don't have a strong dimmer switch; i want to tell you everything or i want to tell you nothing. you could say boundaries are sometimes hard for me. but here's the truth: i want to go back to stories from the day and learning from those around me and experiences and dreams and dialogue and thoughts and ideas that aren't fully formed, but where i feel safe enough to show you... you, the world of my biggest fans, my biggest critics (mostly me), stalkers and old friends and people i don't even know. but none of this is for you... this is for me. this is because twothousand and twelve is a year of renewal and honesty and taking care of myself. it's a year of showing up for me- the organized, reliable, judgmental, thoughtful, sometimes tactless, smart woman that i am.

i'm not sure what all this means... i had the thought that i should write it down here, sharing with you in order to have some accountability. so i guess that's what i'm doing. owning that there's been some change over time, i'm not super satisfied with it, but it was what it was, and now i'm hoping for something different. and if every time i sit down to write and the same types of posts come out as the last couple years, there will probably be longer gaps between each published post. i'm okay with that for now.

i'm looking forward to what's next.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

(L cubed) lessons learned lately.

smart looks really different, all the time. wanting people to believe you're smart is also really foolish.

quitting is never as easy as you hope it to be, especially if it's something you love. or like.

unrequited love is terrible. but it gives whatever's next a deeper meaning, i think.

gifts given to me, when i'm the most undeserving, remind me about the simplicity and beauty of generosity.

peanut butter sandwiches can't get old. i mean, they can, but i refuse to let them.

when a mistake is made, michele is the person to tell. hands down.

gameless relationships are life changing.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

tonight at the restaurant.

we'll seat a lot of people, one hundred percent couples. i'll make up a little story for most everyone who walks through the door... it'll include something about their first kiss and how they met: in the rain, at a party, on her bed... friends from college, colleagues at work, at a bar, blind date... it will all be a little bit romantic. which is strange because i'm not very romantic.

this has been a year (all fortytwo days of it) of raising expectations back up to where they belong. recreating memories and believing in outcomes. risk taking and showing up for exactly who i am- all of me- because i've got nothing to lose.

and despite how i felt last week (and the previous twentysevenish years), this is a year of celebrating the small things, including valentine's day.

growing up, i guess.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

my friend lisa taught me a bit about poetry tonight.

not so much about poetry itself, but more about why she writes poetry and how it makes her feel. i was able to connect with the misunderstanding of topics that she imagines and clarity she can bring to them.

spending time with lisa is so worth my time; we share stories from our own books, closing old chapters and opening new ones, providing details that you only share with a trusted person who walks the lines of inner circle and long-distance friend.

being with lisa as she gets excited is as good as it gets... she's on the list of least dramatic women i know, so you know her facial expressions are authentic. i'm looking forward to her excitement when i prove to her that poetry- her poetry- is something people should care about.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

recipe for singing in public for the first time.

two glasses of wine.
in a room full of people who love you.
with your best friend introducing you.
singing with one of the most encouraging people.

goal two of three complete. unfortunately,
you can't help me with the third.
this one's on me.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

the anticipation of a terrible week...

..has turned out to be fantastic. i know we're only on tuesday, but the combination of the following has brightened up my [already bright] life:

pour some sugar on me playlists.
surprise flowers as a just because gesture.
fur coats, big hats and curling-iron-microphone dance parties.
surprise! you don't have to work tonight calls.
more handwritten notes off in the mail: signed, sealed and delivered.
two hour trainings that lead themselves.
visiting the torture room to heal my it-band before this weekend's half.
frozen yogurt conversations with laurel where we own our Crazy.

and i can hear so many of your voices in my head: "you, sweet emily, are exactly where you're supposed to be. " and i agree.

i LOVE twothousand twelve.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

brings me back to my first clients.

i cannot wait to see this documentary. i miss late age adults and dementia so so much.

more info: you're looking at me like i live here and i don't.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

thanks mag.

for your encouragement amongst the anxiety of tests and life and newness and change.

"Every one of us is called upon, probably many times, to start a new life. A frightening diagnosis, a marriage, a move, loss of a job...And onward full tilt we go, pitched and wrecked and absurdly resolute, driven in spite of everything to make good on a new shore. To be hopeful, to embrace one possibility after another- that is surely the basic instinct...Crying out: High Tide! Time to move out into the glorious debris. Time to take life for what it is." -Barbara Kingsolver

i love this quote, especially as my twothousand twelve feels a little bit like a new life. making good on a new shore... definitely.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

for what it's worth.

"It's never too late, or in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. You can change or stay the same. There are no rules to this thing. We can make the best of it or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. I hope you see things that stop you. I hope you feel things you've never felt before. I hope you meet people with two different points of view. I hope you live a life you are proud of, and if you find that you're not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again." (quote from The Curious Case of Benjamin Button)

i wrote this in a card to someone at some point in the last two years and i found it saved in my drafts folder today. it was profound timing as i watch myself take courageous steps to start some things over in my life. new beginnings, even if it means something has ended, are [mostly] always good. i am filled with gratitude today, even while running on a low amount of sleep. [standard]

Sunday, January 8, 2012

there's only one cow in my life.

and his name is angus andy. he's ginormous and lives in the kitch.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


this morning i went on a long walk, came home and did a snow angel in my room. i'm not kidding: i did a snow angel in my room. not because there's snow, but because i can. in the last five years of living in san francisco, i've never been able to do a snow angel in my room.

there's other exciting things on the horizon and i am grateful in days like today that i can read texts that say, "you will never regret making this choice. i am one hundred percent sure of that. if it wasn't hard, it wouldn't be worth it. you are worth it."

twothousand twelve is going to be amazing and so worth it and full of joy. i am ready.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

hello, 2012.

surprisingly, i'm going to partake in the resolution making. however, i started five days ago so in my mind this isn't a "new year" resolution, which means it's more likely to be accomplished. and i might have already made this goal five years ago and achieved it, so i know it's totally do-able.

from december twentysixth and for the next year, i'll be logging the next threehundred and sixtyfive days. no, not on here... by hand in my chartreuse moleskin.

ready, go.