Good bye.

A corner of my old studio.  A testament to time alone.

A corner of my old studio.  A testament to time alone.

In the last 3-4 months, I interviewed at one of the best lifestyle companies in the US and was also offered a freelance gig at my former company in the city I loved.  

All the while working at, now-my-former job with a team I adored, in a place I knew would never be home.  

I have never felt incredibly lucky and riddled with anxiety all at once.  Do you choose stability and stay in the job that you could most likely be promoted but in a city your likelihood of dying alone is above 95%, in a job that also isn't right for you?  Or do you go for the job where you know you can grow as a creative, work & learn amongst people you admire as creatives and people but in a city that you also know you'll always think what if .... because you got offered a long-term freelance position in the company you never wanted to leave in the first place, in the city you never wanted to leave?  The only other other city you love beyond the city you grew up in?  The city that you prayed and promised yourself you would move back to within one year or less*, if it wasn't your hometown?

In between working, weighing out pro & cons, business travel and working on a project for one company, my dear friends had to listen to me bitch and bemoan the what if's scenarios.... my dear friends....

After some severe insomnia, stress-induced weight fluctuation and months of deliberation, I'm back in the city I love, in the company I never wanted to leave the first time.  

Once again scared shitless, scared that I gave up the monetary safety of my job, the title of my job, my wonderful team...that I gave up the opportunity to work somewhere new in aforementioned, one of the best lifestyle companies, that I burned that bridge when I decided to pursue the less stable and prohibitively expensive option. 

Funnily enough, with all those WTF moments, the uncertainty of my future in all aspects, I know this where I'm supposed to be, at least now.  Even when the scaredy cat, which is me, wants to go run to somewhere safe...my only true fear is that I forget all the lessons I learned the past few years and think that I'm not worthy of this city and all those here.  

Then I remember this:

1.  My current job IS at the company I never wanted to leave because- it's the company that made want to me a lifestyle designer before I even knew that job existed.

2.  The people here grow me as a creative and I feel intimidated, then come to find out I like these people...like for real like.  

3.  That I'm in a city where I can walk all the time- fun fact, old city I averaged approx 200-500 steps, if I wasn't running, here; weekday 6,000, weekend up to 15,000 or more.

4.  The future isn't written.

5.  I can't tell others to be brave if I'm not willing to be in the arena with them.  Fuuuuuck.  Fuck it.

* I got the opportunity to move within 7 mo of deciding that I would leave that city- serendipitous, huh?

I love vegan and other restrictive dietary desserts

Cinnamon Banana Chocolate Chip Ice Cream- vegan and raw

image.jpg
image.jpg

I actually prefer vegan desserts over regular desserts even though I'm not vegan or restrictive in anyway.  My favorite donuts are baked, vegan and gluten free- yeah, I don't get it except I like the bean-y taste of the garbanzo flour base. 

Banana ice cream is another go to for those nights when you want to crawl into bed at some ridiculously early time.  So, instead listen to Tom Petty, eat your ice cream and read 97 Orchard.  Oh, one caveat- you need to have frozen banana slices on hand.

Cinnamon Banana Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
1 serving

approx 1/2 medium banana, sliced and frozen

1 tsp vanilla bean paste

1/4 tap ground cinnamon

1/2 tbs raw cacao nibs

1.  Place all ingredients except cacoa nibs into blender/bullet/what haveyou. 

2.  Pulse until smooth, watch to ensure it does not liquefy.

3.  Scrape into bowl and mix in cacao nibs. 

4.  Serve.

Change is good.

Mark Rothko, Untitled 1944, Museo de Tamayo

Mark Rothko, Untitled 1944, Museo de Tamayo

Mark Rothko, Untitled 1957, Menil Collection

Mark Rothko, Untitled 1957, Menil Collection

A month or so ago, my twin sent us an online character test (here) where they list out the ranking of 24 common human characters, the top being your natural strengths, "the real you", and the bottom, well, they are kindly put as your strengths that come less naturally and require more effort.  

My bottom 3?

22. Perseverance

23. Hope

24. Prudence

That's right, Perseverance, HOPE and Prudence.  I didn't even know what having prudence provided in life that wasn't seen as a trait associated with a prissy and fussy person (mostly a spinster from the 1900's)...  Then I read how this test defined them.

Perseverance- Finishing what one starts; persevering in a course of action in spite of obstacles; “getting it out the door”; taking pleasure in completing tasks.  (my million art projects that scatter throughout my studio can attest to that....)

Hope- Expecting the best in the future and working to achieve it; believing that a good future is something that can be brought about.

Prudence- Being careful about one's choices; not taking undue risks; not saying or doing things that might later be regretted.  (ironically, with all the risks I take in life, I have had a pretty decent life...)

OH.  WTF.  HOPE?!??

I'm sure I could go into some depths of my story about my lack of hope, a childhood trauma that has caused me lack hope, etc... but I like to think that these "weaknesses" are ever changing and maybe it's more about where you are in your life.  It's not finite.  You can grow and nurture hope.  You loose hope when you think you can no longer change or grow.  And that simply is not true.  

You grow when you take risks, when you make the effort to do something, even so minor, repetitively, that while some may not notice, you do.  You start changing your path and future.  You grow hope.  Hope then gives you strength to keep on making those silly minute changes that nobody notices.  Hope gives you perseverance.   

Your present doesn't define you for the rest of your life.  But it does grow you into the future.

I was reminded of this when I went to Mexico City and visited the Museo De Tamayo (HIGHLY recommend) and came upon an earlier Mark Rothko, much more fanciful and figural, but with hints of the future to come.  To what he would be known for.  A reminder that you can change and evolve, that you don't have to be limited by others perception of you and more importantly, your own perception of you.  To have hope.  To persevere and I guess, have the prudence??  

Oh, and my top 3?  

1.  Appreciation of beauty and nature

2. Humor

3. Leadership

I'm good with that..... ;) and I'm glad I took this test- it was a good wake up call.

 

Traveling Lessons.

Refrigerator leftover dinner. 

Refrigerator leftover dinner. 

Things to know about me post travel. I hate to cook.  I much rather pick up food, get take out or if desperacy and my guilt of having already spent almost all my meals out hits, which it almost always does, I scour the fridge and pantry for the most hodgepodge assortment of food. Anything that hasn't died a sad lonely death in my fridge and takes less than 7 minutes to prepare works.

This meal consists of:

1/2 avocado drizzled with good olive oil (always have that on hand- that shit will literally elevate whatever worthless food to the next level) and sprinkled liberally with Maldon sea salt

a few slices of spanish chorizo  (which almost never expires)

blue cheese with a spoonful of manuka honey

cucumber slices (from the end that hasn't liquified) 

1/2 of white peach (close to shriveling but not quite) doused with lime (I actually found the lime under a pillow on my chaise lounge??) 

All eaten off the lovely terra-cotta bowl I bought on my travel and the one of the pair that survived.  Less than 7 minutes. 

 

 

 

 

Living dangerously.

Spicy salmon with sautéed brussel sprouts salad and leftover canned wine

Spicy salmon with sautéed brussel sprouts salad and leftover canned wine

The joys of living by yourself. Emphasized after 2 weeks of traveling for work...you remember how much you love making food for yourself.  Even if it takes a bit longer and you remember you like that part too...you can plate it however you like.  You can eat in your all white bed while natural light floods in while listening to really bad pop music.  After a 30-day-no-alcohol cleanse, you opened a can of wine, yes, a can of wine, last night and still have it tucked in the fridge, wrapped in cling wrap... where you now ceremoniously pour yourself a mini glass. You prop your incredibly fluffy pink Mongolian fur pillow to create a tiny fort for said glass of wine- satisfied, you then can take a shit ton of photos because, well, shit, you can. Also, because living by yourself, you can live dangerously by eating and drinking cold canned red wine in your all white linen bed and watch Gone with the Wind* all at once.

Spicy Salmon + Sauteed Brussel Sprouts Salad

by me.

6 brussel sprouts, sliced thin

1 tbls extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tbls oyster sauce

1 heaping handful of wild arugula

6 thin slices of English cucumbers, chopped into matchsticks

0.5 oz of seaweed salad

1.5 oz of smoked salmon, chopped

1/2 tbls aioli or Just Mayo

1 tbls Sriracha

2 sheets of Nori, roughly torn

1 soft boiled egg, halved

1/2 tbls sesame oil

sprinkling of Korean dried chili flakes

** optional homemade pickled onions for topping **

 

Heat olive oil in sauté pan on medium low heat and cook sliced brussel sprouts for about 6 min, until slightly browned.  Add oyster sauce and incorporate nicely for a few more minutes.

While brussel sprouts are cooking, mix salmon, aioli and Sriracha together.  Set aside.

Take brussel sprouts and place in bowl, mix with arugula and seaweed salad, top w/ spicy salmon mixture.

Place egg on side of bowl.

Sprinkle with nori pieces, drizzle on sesame oil and sprinkle dried chili flakes.

*Gone with the Wind- incredibly racist of a film...no big surprise there....