Bloom

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~ photos by cøzybøy

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Honey, Honey

Honey, honey. I will rise.

I feel on track and in tune with my inner momentum. You see, I’ve been stuck on carousels for a while. Up and down. Round and round. Stuck in a feeling.

Stuck has become one of my least favorite words. I never want to feel that way. It’s an absurd way to live life because as a human I have this incredible power of better choices, change and movement. Let’s always be moving forward, upward, sideways, and never backward or nowhere.


The beauty of analyzing the past comes with epiphanies. The “ah-ha!” moments. The “wow, why the heck did i do/say that??” moments. I’m trying more diligently to put lessons I’ve learned to proper use. I’d like to let go of a lot, while still nurturing an open enough heart and mind to let people, feelings and ideas in. 

New creative projects are in the works. Confidence in my authentic self is at an all time high. I’ve reached a new comfortable level of ambivert, which has me feeling so lifted I wake up with less anxiety and more excitement. With people or with just me, I am happy.


This is not to say I magically waved away all sinking feelings. But right now I feel balanced. Although often perceived as weakness,  I accept my softness, my sensitivity. They can be assets, just as much as my ability to be strong-willed and tough. Resilience is a major key. 

Honey, honey. I will rise.

Inflate Me


Inflate me with ego, desire, a new perspective. Lift me when the weight of my fears tie me too close to the ground, as I will for you.

I grasp for security in our ebb and flow. And when I rise too high, heartbeat escalating, I dread a pop.

Still, I expose and the elastic heart grows.

 

The Intimate Morning

My eyes hesitantly open. The lower part of my back aches. I was curled up in a strange way. My blankets are held tighter to protect me from the bitter winter morning air. The pillows are unshared today.

It’s Saturday with peace. No 7am alarms from an iPhone or the monotonous barking of my first floor neighbor’s pup. No screen filled with work emails. Less anxiety.

It’s a slower awakening.

I stare at the glow peeking its way through my window shade. I’m missing the stars on my ceiling that occasionally make an appearance. Only if I’m lucky. Only if the sun hits my disco ball the right way.

I pull my grey sheet and cloud-like blankets tighter around my body again. I’ve created a cocoon. Maybe I’m transforming and this is an intimate time. Only myself allowed.

Embracing 2017

 

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Polaroid by Courtney Coles

‪I love this time of year because people are bright eyed, renewed and hyperaware of their goals. ‪No matter how basic or complex their EOY reviews and new year resolutions are, I enjoy reading them. They glow with hope and inspiration, and there’s rarely harm in accepting more of both. For me, writing down my resolutions is cathartic. Sharing them here is my way of connecting with you.

…breathe…

Deep breaths feel so. damn. awesome. I need more of them. Exhale the bad, inhale the good. It’s no big secret I am an anxiety-cursed person. For such a simple act, breathing deeper and slowing my world down helps a lot with my stress. Side note: Does anyone else get a little tripped out when you randomly become more aware of your breathing? Like wow, thanks mind and body for having auto pilot on lock to continue my existence.

This body won’t treat itself

Traditional matcha tea from Midori Matcha, now open in Little Tokyo in Los Angeles

It’s a no brainer, because H20 is v important, but somehow drinking eight glasses of water always seems so HARD and BORING. I’m working on a game plan to motivate myself to guzzle more water because hydration is key. As a tea lover and new owner of a great amount of matcha, I’m also going to learn the proper steps to prep and brew the tea.

Food wise, I own at least four cookbooks, and have online recipes at my fingertips, but somehow end up buying the SAME ingredients week to week. Boring. 2k17 is the year for more meal variety and deliciousness. Also, bless the creator of gummy vitamins for knowing the way to the wannabe healthy hearts of adults who dislike pills. Gotta love fish oil in the form of sugary, fruit-flavored goodness.

Sleep well, sleep more


I have this resolution every year and fail miserably. Waking up to live life really shouldn’t feel like such a drag (especially when I get to wake up in my favorite space of comfort, pictured above). I’m a night owl, and my body is a bully and likes to wake up automatically after five hours of sleep. So this resolution is always tough, but I really need at least seven hours of Zzzz a night. This became even trickier when my team’s office moved to West Hollywood about a month ago forcing me to adjust my alarm to sound off an hour earlier.  Already after a couple days of having a more strict sleep schedule, I’ve felt more alert, less anxious and better prepared to make each day a good one.

Now I need to get in the habit of reading books, instead of scrolling through social media, before resting easy in bed. BY THE WAY (I’m really excited as you can tell), I got a memory foam mattress pad which has been such a treat.

Finish books in a more timely manner


I LOVE reading. Always have. I used to spend hours in one spot on my couch getting lost in a story. But in the last couple of years, I’ve developed a lame habit of starting a book and taking months to finish it. MONTHS. During the lull of leaving an unfinished book on my shelf, I would start a new book. The cycle would continue. Sometimes I’d switch between two books (currently it’s three) by reading a bit of each during the week. Maybe that’s OK for some, but it’s slowing my progress with them. So while I finish my current reads this month, please send me recommendations so I can get my reading habits back on track!

Save, save, save

One of the three books I’m reading is “Get A Financial Life: Personal Finance in Your Twenties and Thirties” by Beth Kobliner. I’ll be 25 in May and realize if I know what’s good for me, I need to be more serious about investing and growing my funds for future major purchases, play/travel, any unexpected and costly life imploding crisis, and retirement (if that is possible for my somewhat poor, workaholic generation??)

KonMari up in this bish

Speaking of saving, how about NOT saving things? Such as a pile of unopened credit card offers, a receipt for an earl grey tea latte I drank three weeks ago, a charging chord that was probably used for my old Nokia 3310, a dress I wore once two years ago, an inbox with 1,000+ retailer promotions, and …you get the point. Marie Kondo‘s book “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” is always at the back of my mind, and while I am proud of how tidy I typically keep my room, I know I can do better. Living clutter-free is liberating and easy on the eyes.

Letting go and patching up wounds

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Illustration : Kate Harvey

Easier said, than done of course. Life’s not fun when an unforunate fading friendship or almost-something relationship sits heavily on my heart and mind. Especially when I have to acknowledge the hurt, and make a firm effort to accept the situation and move forward to leave toxic feelings in the past. This is a tough process I’m not sure I’m getting better at yet, but I will.

These situations are reminders to be a better friend and to protect my heart – without ever becoming completely guarded or jaded. My friend Catherine shared F*ck Yes or No with me over the summer and it might be something worthwhile to try.

Dance, Dance


Dance at parties. Dance at shows. Dance in your room. Dance in your bathroom. Dance (safely) in your car. Whether I’m already in good spirits, or in need of a pick me up, doing a little dance actively boosts my mood. See ya on the dance floor?

Quick shout out to my badass pal Courtney Coles for inspiring me to be unapologetically myself and for always being down to shake it like a Polaroid picture.

p.s. A couple months ago, a guy/friend/something(?) started slow dancing with me at a show at The Echo in Echo Park when I was having a bad day, and it was magic. So despite owning a “No Slow Dance Allowed” banner, I can’t *actually* dismiss them 😉

La La Land and new destinations 

I’ve been living in Los Angeles for 6.5 years now, and there’s still so much to discover and explore. How exciting, right?! It’s also a little overwhelming, so I’m making a list (I freaking love making lists) of places to visit each month and challenging myself to actually visit them. My friend Kelly and I have talked about going to The Black Cat in Silver Lake for at least a year…and we still haven’t set foot in the joint.

Other destinations I plan to adventure to are Joshua Tree, Palm Springs, Fort Lauderdale, Austin, New York and possibly Hawaii twice. Some of these trips will be for work while the others will be for play. My first international vacation will hopefully become the real deal after I save to travel to Tokyo in the next couple of years.

In the meantime, I’m moving full steam ahead, ready for personal growth and new challenges. Cheers to living more in the moment and checking off some bucket list items.  Happy 2k17!

Keep well,
Jenay

I Got Up


2016 was unkind, but I’m still here. How? I got up. Each time something kicked me down, I got up. After I cried myself to sleep, I got up. When my anxiety nearly crippled me, I still got up. When the going gets tough, life can drain your soul, or feel insufferable at times. Despite this, I’m often impressed by our ability to muster up the courage to keep our inner fires burning. Even if it’s just a spark.

The first part of my 2016 was promising and full of light, then it took a dark turn. And I’m sure many of you can relate between your personal tribulations, and the overwhelming turmoil and tragedy our countries have endured.

Personally, I’ve dealt with a lot of life changing issues, many of them affecting me simultaneously. Existential crisis. Multiple heartaches. A month of not having a home to call my own. My grandfather, the closest person I had to a father figure, passed away. A struggle with my work/life balance. Possible depression. 2016 has been the year to test me more than ever before and sometimes I wasn’t sure how much more of it I could handle.

But despite a sadness that lingers, several key pieces keep a smile on my face: surrounding myself with genuine and kind people, live music, finding peace in nature, diy projects, good reads, dancing, laughter and good matcha tea. I fight to stay positive. I fight to maintain my ability to change my circumstances. I fight to be better. I fight for self-care. Because I am very fortunate to have the life I have. Putting all of the unfavorable parts of it aside, my life can be pretty damn rad and there’s so much more to explore and experience. THAT excites me.

Dear 2017: are you ready for me? I feel a spark and it’s filled with hope.