Friday, July 31, 2015

NaBloPoMo: hello.

Happy August! Happy my-attempt-to-start-another-project.

Inspired by VEDA ("Vlog Every Day in August"), I wanted to find a way to break out of the creative rut I've found myself in recently. Lately when I've sat down to write, I've gone through the usual process of word vomiting and then overthinking--and then doing nothing about whatever I've just written.

So let's try something else: every month is "National Blog Posting Month" with a different theme at BlogHer. Participation this month is partially a challenge to myself to do what I couldn't do last year, which was attempt to blog at least every other day. I've always struggled with the idea of "an audience," especially on a personal blog, and it would often lead me to waffle on hitting "publish" after writing a post. As I scroll through my drafts, I see so many half-completed thoughts that I never got around to finishing. There was always this need to make it just right before sharing with the world.

But that's silly, right?

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

the one where she went to California (part 2).

Santa Barbara (2015)

About a month or so ago, I became utterly determined to write a letter. I wanted to get all these thoughts and emotions swirling around in the "angry" part of my brain out, or at least move them to the part of my brain reserved for "the past." That part of my brain doesn't harbor any resentment or anything; it's just a place where certain memories go that have nothing to do with the present, and while they may have been nice (or upsetting or whatever) at the time, they're just memories now that don't bring about any emotions necessarily.

Anyways, I sat down to write this letter and in the midst of writing it, I felt something shift inside of my brain. Those words that were pouring out of my pen were emptying from the part of my brain I didn't want to keep them in anymore. It felt freeing and lovely, and I never gave the person I was writing to the letter, but that was OK because it wasn't so much about the other person as it was about me needing to understand where I stood on everything that had happened between us.

Which is what this blog was supposed to be about, but now that I've had a bit more time to reflect and a handful of thoughts collected on the subject, I think I'm in a better place to write.

The first photo I took from my NYC living room in Jan. 2012

Monday, July 6, 2015

the one where she went to California (part 1).

I'm a terrible over-planner. I get anxious when I don't have things planned out, but of course life is a lesson in learning to let go of needing everything to always go "according to plan." For my trip around Southern California, I packed very light and figured out what city I would be in on each day, and then let things happen from there.

And it was daunting and stressful, and I always felt like I was letting someone down. I've never been the kind of person to hang out with just one group of friends. I've always floated, which has been both great and not-so-great--great because I love the diversity of the people in my life, and not-so-great because I've never felt like a permanent "fixture" of anyone's life.

But I digress. I began my trip in Los Angeles at a hotel, spent a couple days on a couch in Santa Barbara, came back to LA and spent time in Torrance, then more time in hotels and apartments in Long Beach to end the week. I got to see so many people, and I'm sad I didn't take pictures with every single one of them (Geneva, Christina, Jun, etc.) because I was just too happy to be around people who gave me so many reasons to smile--from friends to family to friends who are family.

I tried to make this just a "leftovers" post, and, for the most part, it is. You can see more of my adventures on Instagram (or on Facebook/Snapchat, if we're friends), but here are photos that didn't make it onto social media (plus a few that did) taken by yours truly and a handful of friends.

(For more June leftovers, see my previous post.)

leftovers: June.

To be honest, June rushed by in a bit of blur because I was just anticipating my Southern California trip at the end of the month (separate post on that here).

The year is half over, and it's weird because 2015 has not been the kindest so far. I've got a lot more to write soon on mid-year resolutions and all that, but I'll save that for a different post when I've had more time to reflect.

It's been a little more difficult to choose "leftover" photos because I've been using Snapchat more (if you're on it, add me @traciglee!), but there's a good number of photos that never made it onto Facebook or Instagram, so here we go...