Taking the first step in moving toward a life that I don’t quite have yet, but hope to. Maybe it’s a bit premature, but there are lots of reasons why I’ve held back. I’m not a strong writer, I don’t really know anything about blogging and will be learning on the way. I am always too critical to show my own work and my nature is to observe and restrained at times. Why blog then? This is completely the opposite of how I see myself, so why do it?
On my last birthday was a rough one. As a married mother, I struggled with the idea of another birthday. Not because I would be another year older, but rather because of where I was in life. I had a sort of a career, a first child, a memorable wedding… the thought of having more life experiences after that was daunting. Let me be clear, it’s not because one’s life is “over”, but rather not much happens that doesn’t require additional money, planning, or effort by you. First day of school, falling in love, having a child… a lot of milestones in one’s life sort of fall into place at certain points, like the timing was perfect for it. I’m not saying this is the case for all, but generally. I’m past those milestones, but wanted more in my life. I don’t sit well, and have lived most my life in lessons of change and adaptation so what was next for me?
I decided to make some changes in my life. Small ones, but they started to change my own outlook on life. For example, I decided to go out and buy and try to regularly wear lipstick. For a mother, and one who has worked from home for the past couple years, lipstick is a bold idea. It’s the act of taking some pride in my own appearance and changing my attitude on how the world sees me. Making an effort to not wear sweatpants all the time, then taking the next step to make sure my outfit is something that wears well with lipstick?! It’s harder than it seems. Not to be a “new year, new me” cliché, but a couple months from my birthday was the start of 2016 and I created a list. I had just been on a life changing adventure in the Philippines and really was set on making some changes in my world. My list consisted of my own goals for the year: personal bucket things, skills I would like to learn, business goals, health goals, financial items, projects that would make a difference in the world, and my own REALLY REALLY AMBITIOUS DREAMS.
Writing these items down was a big step in getting me here to this point of really blogging. I had lots of ideas and I needed a way to both keep me in forward movement, but also document and share the experience. To be honest, I was basically scared by the shock of it all for most of January. February was when I tried to really make sense of this list, and March… well, March was my time to make moves, and here we are.
Now four paragraphs in, I realize I haven’t told you those plans. So what do I plan to do with this blog? I would love to focus on my own passions; family life, travel, the outdoors, interior design or design in general, living consciously, eating well, and learning as I go.
As a mother, I don’t know that I can read enough content to prepare me for what happens with my daughter and I. I have shared my own pregnancy experiences and my daughter’s birth story online knowing that no one will have that same experience. It was all in hopes that someone sees what I went through and can make their own choices in their life. Maybe it was helpful or maybe it told someone “this is something I NEVER want to happen to me”. Either way, sharing it was something that doesn’t make the act of being a mommy any easier. It was just to share and even in the recollection of it all, I may learn something about myself in the process. Sometimes being a mom can be the loneliest job in the world. Sounds a bit self-centered because I have a husband who is also so active in raising her. I don’t know if I have the words to write about it yet, but I’ll try to in the future, promise. In the end, mommies have a hard job- and writing about it isn’t a new idea, but something I could contribute to and maybe have different perspectives on.
The outdoors has been in my history since I was young; I grew up with a scout leader father who taught scuba diving at the local YMCA. I love being out in nature, spending a day fishing or camping seems like a lot of inconveniences for most people, but it’s those inconveniences that make it so great. I am a person who works on my computer, in front of a screen, for almost all of the week. In the time that I am not at my desk, I am constantly checking my phone for Facebook, or just to delete the endless junk emails one receives. My point is, I am on my electronics, and being out and about forces me to not be. Not seeing those Facebook posts or the constant spam mail does make life better, seriously. Disconnect from that every now and then, you will see, life is so much clearer. Getting away, even just for a weekend, is something most people need to do, and when you have a busy family it is something that creates time with them, long lasting memories and closeness in that relationship that most things can’t compare to.
When it comes to traveling, my large family of 7 looked forward to the 2-3 weeks of vacation we shared with each other each year when we would all pack into our van and drive all over the country. Through these vacations I was able to travel to the 48 contiguous states, Alaska, a handful of Canadian provinces, and Mexico at least once by the time I turned 14. As an adult, I was able to finally make it to Hawaii and complete all each one of the United States. These childhood vacations were the reason I love traveling so much. I have visited a couple countries and experienced other cultures, but really hope to expand on that. I strongly feel like there’s lots of really great traits you discover as a world traveler, more than just the lifetime memories, creative inspiration, and the deep appreciation of other cultures. There are skills like planning, organization, and general problem solving that come with traveling. There are definitely some “big-ticket” items on my New Year’s list on this topic, but I’ll get more into that another time.
Being born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, it was no surprise that I would have a deep love and appreciation of architecture and history. Most of my adult life has been in contemplation of both. I ended up finding passion in interior design, which has been rewarding for me as a professional. The idea of being in a well-designed space is something that goes underrated. Having an idea, drafting it, and seeing it come to fruition is so rewarding. There is also something truly personal about discovering your own habits and how they end up changing how effective or ineffective your personal space is for you. Of course there is also beauty and design principles that comes into the equation, but that’s where I feel there’s enough design blogs out there to tell you how to perfectly layout your furniture or select the right color combination for your zodiac sign. (Partially sarcastic, but not really) Professionally, I consider myself a designer in many ways. My creative husband and I constantly have discussions on visual appeal, spacial relationships, and just really having it out about whether something is a “slate blue” or a “dolphin blue”. The color thing is really an ongoing battle, for real. I would love to share thoughts on design, I don’t make claim to being the best out there on the subject, but I have done it for over 10 years now and I feel like this is one of those skills that I have to offer the world.
Lastly, and my Chicago-self would probably side-eye my Oakland-self for saying this, but my lifestyle has changed to be less consuming, environmentally conscious, and health balancing. I’ve always considered myself a bit of a conspiracy theorist so I think it stems from a place of “the more you know”, and you end up changing your life accordingly. I am constantly in the battle of living with less, material things don’t bring you happiness, and although it’s cushy and comfortable, it’s unnecessary. Slowly purging or being more considerate of products I do buy. This is a constant battle, which I am sure you will learn more on this as we go along. Healthy living and eco-friendly living kind of go hand in hand for me. It’s something that you really wouldn’t find me talking about when I was living in Chicago, and that’s why that self side-eyed my new self. I was known at one point for eating McDonalds every day for lunch, my diet at home was pork with a side of pork and some deep-fried pork skins as an appetizer. Now, I’m not one for cutting the good (and yes, I’m talking about pork) out of my life. I’ve just been more conscience about how often I eat this and where the pork is coming from. In an example of this new conscious self, I know my ancestors are from the Philippines, it makes sense that my diet include fish because over time my relatives all ate this and our bodies are familiar to processing this. Now, I know there is some seafood that my daughter may have to live without, which is crazy to me. The ocean is so big, and yet we are totally overfishing it to the point I am concerned my daughter will not have the same selection of seafood that I have. Now, as a seafood lover, this kills me, but as a mother, I need to be aware of this and make conscious decisions on what I choose to spend my money on in order for her to share tuna with her children. It’s a lot, I know, but it’s something that I’ve become passionate about as you will learn.
I’m sure there’s a lot more that I’m forgetting to include in this introductory post, but I am so pumped to be really getting just this down and out in the world. Again, I’m so shy about sharing so much and I feel like in this one post that I’ve barred A LOT. At the same time, I am glad to, I need to get all of this out there in the universe to help me attain all the things I wrote on that New Year’s list or even all those ideas that I had on my last birthday. I hope at the same time next year to have so many new experiences to discuss with you, learning as I go. Follow me on Instagram, Pinterest, and this blog. Comment and keep me on my toes, I am a bit scared to invite this, but need the questioning and criticism to know what readers want to hear. Lastly, thank you for reading, and being witness to my journey.
My family: my husband Bryan or “Peabe”, my 4-year old daughter Evie Colette, and my 5 year old rescue Toaster or “Toastface Killa”. Taken in Oakland, California at the Redwood Regional Park in March 2016.
Featured image: Sunset on Asilomar Beach in Pacific Grove, California. Taken February 2016.