Year: 2014

Did I Really Just Meet The Real-Life Carrie From “Sex and the City”?

…Yes, yes I did. I’m not kidding. If Carrie hadn’t married Big and wasn’t living in a multi-million dollar New York City apartment, she would be living in San Francisco, have a boyfriend, and would be running her own successful business helping companies craft their stories through creative writing. And she would be THE BOMB. Real-life Carrie worked as a journalist for 15 years, both in newspapers and in magazines; at one time, she was the editor of Elle. Like most women that have lived in NYC, she can rattle off crazy dating stories like it’s her job, and she’s quick to smile and laugh, just like fictional Carrie. They share a subtle similarity in voice tone, and they are both tiny, fit and, simply put, badass. Real-life Carrie has been in San Francisco for 7 years after pausing her career to get an MBA with a focus on sustainability. As a journalist, she discovered she didn’t like the objective gap needed when interviewing others; instead, she wanted to side with the people she met, feel …

On The Run: An Oregon-California Road Trip

“A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike, and all plans, safeguards, policies and coercion are fruitless. We find after years of struggles that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.” – John Steinbeck A friend and I spontaneously decided to visit Portland, Oregon, over Thanksgiving break because neither of us had ever been, so why not? We bought last minute tickets to fly up on Friday, and decided to drive back down that Sunday. Just like any trip, no matter how well planned, there are always things you cannot control. Although beautiful, Portland turned out to be freezing, and pretty wet: we got rain, snow, and hail. I assume all three were necessary, just for good measure. However, despite not being dressed appropriately for the cold (which goes to show that we’ve become California brats in a few short months, since we saw the 30ºF/-1ºC  forecast, looked at our winter coats, laughed, and thought “Who needs them, right?” WRONG. WRONG. WRONG. Thank God for Black Friday and 50% off at …

When Was The Last Time?

Close your eyes and take a deep breath. And another one. Feel your ribs expand as your lungs fill themselves with air, then feel them contract as you exhale. Another deep breath. No, that wasn’t the beginning of a yoga class. That was me trying to make you aware of something we do so naturally at each moment that we take it for granted. Do you realize what a blessing it is to not have to consciously think about breathing? That our bodies and minds silently and relentlessly do the work for us? When was the last time you stopped to be thankful and appreciative? Consider the rest of your life, as well. Consider everything you’re going through, good and bad. Are you able to recognize the blessings being poured out to you amidst it all? When was the last time you paused and took it all in? With the holidays around the corner, I urge you to take some time out for yourself, to get back in touch with everything you are, and to be thankful …

A Reckless Abandonment of Self

There’s a song lyric by my favorite Argentine band, Soda Stereo, that I love above all others: “El silencio no es tiempo perdido” – “Silence is not time wasted.” There are many times when words are not necessary, neither written nor spoken. It’s a hard lesson to learn for those of us who love words and who also love letting our tongues run loose. For me, the greater lesson I constantly struggle to grasp is to not fall prey to extremes. I don’t like it when things are black or white; there are too many shades of gray in between. However, if I happen to be in the process of teaching myself to keep my mouth shut, to listen to another instead of interrupting them with my unsolicited ideas and opinions, I will most likely end up defaulting to the other side of the spectrum: I won’t speak up when it is correct and healthy for me to do so. Anger is an emotion that I used to never keep inside, but I have started …

Because I’m…

“How are you?” a friend asked. For the first time in a while, I paused to think about my response. This has become such an easy question to answer with a quick and lazy “Good, you?” that stopping myself from vomiting that phrase was a hard task, harder than it should have been. This time, though, I pushed myself to think before responding because I wanted to get an accurate reading of how I felt. Without being fully aware of it, I was craving to get back in touch with myself, similar to the times I realize, almost all of a sudden, that I haven’t taken a long, deep breath all day and I force myself into it. It was a much-needed, please-just-take-one-second-for-yourself, break. Finally, I replied with an answer so honest that it even surprised me: “I’m… HAPPY!” It came complete with a wide, satisfied smile. How are you doing? Are you happy? Why or why not? What needs to change? While I welcome your answers, I don’t need them; you do. They’re for …

We Can Do More

“That man is always in a bad mood!” I said, annoyed. Brando smiled back and, with a you-should-know-better-than-to-say-that look, he responded: “Well, I would be, too, if I had to sleep on the pavement every night.” Aaaaand that is how I was promptly and swiftly put. in. my. place. Touché Brando. You win. For the last month, I’ve been volunteering at Glide, a non-profit that, among other things, has one of the biggest free daily meals programs in San Francisco: they serve over 500 people per meal three times a day. Once a week, I join other volunteers and help serve breakfast to poor and low-income residents of the Tenderloin neighborhood. I’ve found it to be very rewarding thus far, which is why I continue to go back, and Brando, the Free Meals Program Manager, and everyone else I’ve met has been wonderful. Glide’s clients, as they are referred to, range from being quiet and distant, to bubbly and outgoing, to pretty aggressive at times. No matter the circumstances or the mood, as a volunteer …

Your Trip, My Journey

I needed to write this before you answered me. You are sleeping right now, which gives me the perfect opportunity to finally breathe some life onto this page. We embark on a journey from the moment we are born and until the day we die. We do not choose to be thrust into this world. Some may consider this quite unfair. I, on the other hand, am glad I was not given the choice to be born, because that is one less thing off my shoulders. I may have not decided to come into the world had I known beforehand how much cruelty and destruction humans are capable of. But one thing is certain: I would have also missed out on the beautiful and miraculous possibilities of love. Therefore, since I am here anyway, I am happy with my decision to do my best to make an impact, whether it be small or large. Either one is fine by me, and both are completely out of my hands. Truly, it is better this way. Throughout …

Again

You were the only person I saw at that moment; the only one I could focus on. I wasn’t expecting you to be there, but oh, what a lovely surprise. I caught the smile in your eyes when you saw me. It was a brief, vulnerable smile that you did not have time to disguise. My favorite type of look: honest and open and bare and raw. And real. This is real talk. The kind you don’t get to hear or read everyday. The kind that escapes my mind and flows through my fingers and onto this page because my brain has been spinning at such a fierce speed since I first saw you that I needed to find an outlet and a way to hold myself steady. Run-on sentences help. They run with me, but they don’t let me stop to catch my breath. Who are you? How do you do this to me so easily? You sparked something in me that I’ve been trying to tame, a passion so deeply rooted that, when I …

Our Only Home

Humans don’t need to keep re-inventing the wheel. Similarly, writers don’t always have to try to re-write what someone else has already penned beautifully. In honor of the climate change discussions held at the UN last week, in honor of the peaceful protests held worldwide urging our leaders to act now in order to save our precious planet, in honor of Nicholas Stern’s insightful Ted Talk, and in honor of the wonderfully and exquisitely made show, Cosmos, which I am now watching for a third time on Netflix (yes, I’m a nerd. If you haven’t watched it yet, I really don’t understand what you’ve been doing with your time), I decided to recycle Carl Sagan’s words, found below. As a communicator, as a writer, my job is to spread the word about things that matter. As a human, though, it’s my responsibility to alert those around me, as best as I’m able, to the dangers of inaction. As a friend recently said, we have a hard time understanding the consequences of chains of events spread widely …

A Big, Fresh Breath of Living

I had to battle a lot of demons in order to get the photo you see at the top of this post. Mood swings can be aggressive… Forget feeling bipolar; I was multi-polar, volatile, and explosive that day. I went for run to get it out of my system. I walked down Bush Street to Polk, where I took off all the way down to Ghirardelli square, past Fort Mason, around Chrissy Field, and onto Fort Point right next to the Golden Gate Bridge, where the only options, once I got there, were either to jump into the water or turn around and head back home. It turned out to be a 10.8 mile, 2.5 hour ordeal, with the wind beating against me. I admit to walking most of the way back after passing Fort Mason again, but I did lunge up the Taylor Street hills, in case that counts for anything. I am obsessed with the Golden Gate, which explains why I take so many pictures of it and why I always tend to …