Thing #39 – Conveyor Belt

Sissy and I were at the conveyor-belt sushi place…for the second time in two days. It was convenient and delicious. Plus we knew how to easily navigate getting what we wanted, which was half the battle in Tokyo.

We had two options. The first was to control our sushi destiny by selecting things from the menu – a tablet that made it dangerously easy to add items to our cart before pressing the “order” button. The second, and more fun, option was to grab the little plates that traveled down the conveyor belt. With this option, there was no telling what would come next. They were often things we never considered trying. 

Each spot at the sushi bar had a number so the server knew how to find you. I chuckled to myself when I noticed we were seated at spot 39. I stared at the little plates choo-chooing down the track, passing number 39 on our countertop. The plates kept coming. Some food was recognizable, some wasn’t. Some were happy surprises (fried shrimp!), … Read the rest

Thing #38 – Junk Drawer

Pure joy. I want more of this.

I’m getting ready to pound the final nail in the house of My 39 Things. Is it six months past deadline? Yes. Does anyone other than me really care that I missed this arbitrary deadline? No. Ok, there are a couple of you who are kinda be dicks about it…but I know you’re only trying to keep me motivated. 

I set out on this project as a way to hold myself accountable to a consistent writing practice. As with most creative ventures, my consistency ebbed and flowed.

My inspiration shifted depending on what was happening in my life. Sometimes the ideas would come so fast, I had to split my “thing” into three (Hallmark!) Sometimes I struggled so hard to find something to write about that I wrote about not having anything to write about

This project gave me the gift of helping me process my internal world by making connections in the world around me. It forced me to pay attention on … Read the rest

Thing #37 – Ichigo Ichie

I don’t remember the last time someone french braided my hair. It’s relaxing to have someone pull your hair into a braid. I felt remarkably calm as I sat in my kimono, looking into the mirror, admiring the two smiling Japanese women braiding my hair. They embellished my new ‘do with flowers, fully preparing me for our tea ceremony. 

It was our first full day in Kyoto, and as sleep deprived as we were, we were ready to jump in. As tea enthusiasts, we wanted to learn more about this tradition and found a place to participate in an abbreviated ceremony. After we got dressed in our kimonos – undergarments and all – we made our way upstairs and sat on the tatami floor with a dozen new friends and learned about this intricate, rich tradition.

While traditional tea ceremonies last a couple hours, ours lasted 30 minutes. We mixed our matcha, then learned how to appropriately hold our cup, sip the tea and slurp the remains. Accompanying our tea were “sweets.” We ran into … Read the rest

Thing #36 – How was Sedona?

purple sunset

It’s impossible to capture. No words or photographs do it justice. You have to be there, standing alone at dusk on a rocky trail as the mountains become spooky silhouettes against a sky that turns a new shade of purple every twenty seconds.

That’s when it sinks in. The feeling of everything being important and meaningless at the same time. It’s one of my favorites. Like how staring into the Milky Way long enough makes me believe I am capable of anything because ultimately I’m a tiny speck in space and time and I’m truly insignificant.

The permission that comes from feeling insignificant is powerful fuel. No fear. No ego. No worries and what ifs. Pure possibility. It’s comforting, really. Cozy insignificance.

That’s the feeling that coursed through my body for the entirety of my time in Sedona. But when people ask, “How was Sedona?” I smile and simply say, “Really nice.”

It’s easier than trying to explain cozy insignificance. 

looking into the horizon

Maybe it was the whole spiritual vortex thing. Maybe it was dehydration and too … Read the rest

Thing #35 – A Path Forward

I didn’t forget about you. I know I’ve got like five more things to write. I’m struggling with my creativity right now. Things have been hard and I’m challenged by how to write from an authentic place. And while I know it can be powerful to write from a place of vulnerability and candor, I’m not there yet. 

Earlier this year, my creativity was at an all-time high. Ideas came faster than I knew how to manage them. And now I struggle to connect with that piece of myself. To put it mildly, it’s bumming me out.

I shared this frustration with one of my besties and he described creativity as a “calorie in/calorie out” situation. It resonated. I’m not in a space where I have enough creative calories coming in to produce any output. My body is trying to be smart about where to send my calories and I’m running a deficit. I’m losing creative weight. My creative spark is still there, but it looks more like a weak flicker on a breezy day.  … Read the rest

Thing #34 – Pay Attention

Last summer, an acquaintance connected me with a woman named Leslie and assured me she’s someone I need to know. Since she lived a state away, we arranged a standard networking phone call. Within a few short minutes, it became apparent we had more than our work in common.

Fast forward one year (exactly one year to the day that this acquaintance gave me her name), and I finally met her in person. 

You know that feeling when you meet someone and you’re certain you’ve been friends for ages? There are people from whom you can physically feel a gravitational pull. It was that. We spoke the same language. We talked about signs from the universe and our sensitivity to energies around us. We shared our love of Sedona and the pivotal experiences we had there. We shared our big dreams and nudged each other to tackle the next steps. It was one of the most inspiring and affirming meet-ups I’ve had.

Not to mention, it was a perfectly timed meeting. It’s no secret … Read the rest