• another trip around the sun

    August 11, 2014 No tags Permalink 0

    it feels like my life has come full circle since my last birthday–27 was such a year of change, awakenings, transitions. and i’m happy to report that i’ve made it out on the other side, with a few scrapes, bruises and a whole lot more than i started with it. it’s amazing to me that to gain you have to lose, and at least in my case, to lose big. it’s salvation through complete failure, through falling through the floor in a very public sense.

    but now i’m finally a whole person, finding out that i’m more than i ever imagined, than i thought i could be. that i love to be in love. that i love to work–on my own terms. that i love that my life feels meaningful in a way that i never thought it could as i have a bit of an existential bent wedged in my brain. it’s still there but my world is so much brighter, more open, more full. it’s finally becoming real in a way and i’m starting to come in to my own. i’m ready for new adventures, to push myself to the limits and back to center again, to feel a sense of abandon and freedom, to let myself love. to not be perfect or pretend to be. to embrace my idiosyncrasies, my demanding nature, my lack of tolerance for mediocrity, of polite platitudes, of people that make me feel horrible or whose presence makes me dumber.

    i learned that it’s ok to fall, but it’s not ok to stay down. so i didn’t.

     

     

    in the last year i wrote a manuscript. i started my own business and built it from the bottom up, almost accidentally at times. i fell in love. i painted my nails a color other than clear. i saw the darkness and ran into it, embraced it, conquered it and came out on the other side. i had an ankle injury that kept me away from my favorite form of stress relief and pushed me to rest and reflect. i went to paris and spent a cold christmas by myself and celebrated the holiday over a bottle of red wine and the remainder of my manuscript. i sobbed on the phone to my best friend who was about a million miles away ad naseum. i learned how to pay a bill and set a budget.  i missed my sense of safety. and i grew. it’s the year i refused to live in fear any longer, dream bigger, to embrace complexities.

    this is my year.

  • jury duty

    i recently had the pleasure of being summoned for jury duty–and i say this without irony or any excess of civic pride. while jury duty is not something i dread in the same capacity as most might (i always thought it might be interested to see how a court case really works aside from the made-for-tv dramatics of it all), it’s certainly nothing i eagerly anticipate either. however, serving my time on a random tuesday in downtown san diego was an incredibly enjoyable and productive experience. it started with the courtesy of every single governmental employee i encountered–from the friendly guards manning the x-ray machine to the perhaps overly solicitous bureaucrat who reprinted my summons for me, the personnel side of things certainly overshot my expectations of a dmv type experience.

    once i checked in i took a seat at a small round table in the quiet business area–a room that divides you by a door and a glass window from the rest of the hoi polloi. i squeezed into a table, only to discover my laptop was quickly dying and for a room of 25 business professionals there were only four wall outlets. however, lucky for me, a resourceful older man who had obviously done this before pulled out a surge protector with a multitude of outlets for all of us to share–such a small and simple gesture, but it instantly made him the most popular person in the room (and rightly so). i plugged in and got to work, only to find several hours later that it was one of the most productive days i had in ages–i’m not sure if it was the sense of urgency that i might be called away from the task at hand at any given minute or the change of scenery, but something definitely clicked with me.

    a voice over the loud speaker announced that we were released for lunch. i enjoyed a leisurely hour of shopping followed by an alfresco lunch. full, caffeinated and pleased with my purchases, i spent the rest of the afternoon in a state of buzzing creativity, knocking items off my list that had been taunting me for weeks on end and met several lovely people in the process. who would have know jury duty could be such an enjoyable experience? definitely good motivation for me to mix up my locations and working style a bit more frequently–it’s amazing how much environment can positively or negatively effect the work you produce, sometimes in surprising ways.

  • never have i ever…

    i’m amazed by all the things in life that i’ve done that i swore, at one point, i would never do or never ever ever like.

    here’s a running list based on my recollections thus far:

    • i live in north park.
    • i got married.
    • i got divorced.
    • i drink wine enthusiastically.
    • i started my own business.
    • i drive a prius.
    • i own a velvet sofa.
    • i eat soup.
    • i consider yoga a legitimate way to work out.
    • i love la.
    • i wear denim shorts on occasion.

    fascinating list i know. but honestly, it’s amazing how little you can predict about what’s coming next in your own life and how tastes/preferences/circumstances that we like to fancy are immutable change quicker that we would ever prefer to admit. can’t wait to see what’s around the next corner.

  • deliberate distractions

    it’s without pleasure that i’ve noted my recent aversion to working with purpose on the things that matter most to me. i feel as if i’m hiding from what i know i should be doing–and what i ultimately want to do. i think it’s safe to say that i’m in a transitional phase, on the verge of something potentially great, but not quite there yet. it’s as if i can dimly sense that the destination is within reach, but i still can’t see the path clearly, can’t anticipate what’s around each bend and am feeling my way towards an outcome that still feels a bit blurred and distant.

    however, i know i won’t ever get there if i keep hiding from the work that i know i need to do, hiding from purpose and meaning, blanketed by an obscure fear of failing at the very thing you’ve been told your whole life that you’re good at, that you’re gifted, that you’re–wait for it–special. the phenomenon of feeling like a fraud, that the work controls you more than you control the work. that you’re a vessel for something greater rather than the composer of a magnificent symphony. that things, that words flow through you, like a stream in ways that don’t always make sense until many months and several revisions later and the story starts to unfold. it’s an act of faith and frankly one of optimism to write in such a manner, but it’s quite simply the only way i know how to do it. to give up complete control and succumb to the story that controls you.

    to banish all fear of judgment, all fear of failure, all fear of somehow being wrong–or worse, being bad. it’s almost like theater, a suspension of disbelief and skepticism, if only for a few hours at a time. it finally feels like it’s time to do the work that is inside of me, to claim the story as my own to tell.

  • thoughts on valentine’s day

    it’s a week after the fact, but i felt compelled to write this anyway–it’s no longer timely, but it is still true: i’ve always had a strong aversion to valentine’s day, even though i’ve spent most of my life as a part of a couple. to me it simply feels like a great deal of pressure, this idea of being forcefully romantic on a set day along with everyone else in the western world. not to mention that i’m a bit phobic regarding traditional romance–it’s all but guaranteed that i will turn into a complete basket case even thinking about the prospect of a dozen rose, red dresses and fancy dinners out with the masses. add in a white tablecloth, chocolates (ok, i take this back–i lovingly and happily accept chocolates any day of the year) and any sort of jazzy slow jam and it’s the recipe for me having a complete and utter meltdown/freak out/unpleasant and decidedly unromantic reaction.

    i usually warn people of this tendency to reject anything that veers towards this traditional version of romance, which is fairly true of me on almost any day of the year, but looms monstrously on days with forced romance–i.e. valentine’s day and anniversaries of any sort. i love love but i despise this set notion of what it should look like. quite simply, i would much prefer to be surprised with tulips on a random tuesday.

    this strong predilection seems to catch people off guard. i’m fairly girly in a few ways, love pink, glitter, select flowers–the typical things that make people believe i might want this type of overblown outpouring. i think what i dread most in this holiday is feeling generic, not truly known. it becomes so quickly clear that someone knows nothing of you when they give you the very things you hate but that girls as a whole are supposed to fawn over. it’s not necessarily that the thought isn’t there, but perhaps it really isn’t if one opts for the easiest, most stereotypical ways to show affection. there’s certainly not much effort in it, at least from my perspective, although it will probably not come as a shock that i’ve been accused of being difficult more than a few times.

    so dear reader, i’m delighted to report that this valentine’s day was a bit different than my norm, which consisted of ignoring all elements of the day, save for perhaps a few sweet treats for my colleagues and love letters to my closest girlfriends. while i expounded upon my long-held aversion to this hallmark holiday ad naseum, my efforts to avoid this so-called holiday were usurped and replaced with an evening that turned out to be ideal for people watching, one of my favorite activities, especially when there’s a bottle of wine and a cushy seat involved. i laughed a lot, made mental notes of all the surprisingly strange people i saw and managed to avoid almost all the cliches of the day i despise while still participating. the best of both worlds, involvement and observation rolled into one. and there were absolutely no roses.

  • things i like

    February 10, 2014 No tags Permalink 0
    1. nutella (tops the list each time)
    2. wine
    3. running (thankfully. see numbers 1 & 2).
    4. a mini-dachshund named peter page
    5. iced vietnamese coffee
    6. anything joan didion
    7. patterns
    8. feeling the sun on my skin
    9. farmer’s markets
    10. eating/drinking alfresco
    11. art museums
    12. road trips
    13. smart people
    14. department stores (for about five minutes). closely followed by…
    15. online shopping
    16. people watching
    17. smartwater
    18. eavesdropping
    19. almond croissants
    20. making lists
  • meeting mr. markowitz

    February 5, 2014 No tags Permalink 0

    it started out as a harried, scrambling kind of morning–the kind that i don’t have all that often. i’m usually all about getting up uber early, running, drinking coffee, writing, sliding into the day with a sense of ease and enjoyment. this was not one of those mornings.

    i threw on a sweater covered in hearts, ran my hands through my hair, dumped everything i might possibly need in a gigantic tote bag that’s roughly the size of my upper body and dashed out the door. i arrived at the office in the nick of time for my morning meeting that i had ambitiously scheduled as a way to squeeze more in to my day. after ordering the largest soy cappuccino on the menu i started reviewing my appointments for the day–luckily there was only one other one–but it stopped me in my tracks. today was the day i was meeting with mr. markowitz, who just so happens to be the mastermind behind portfolio theory, a nobel laureate in economics who, by all standards, is clearly something of a genius.

    i did a quick inventory of the contents of my bag–there was no change of clothes or extra shoes. i would be hanging with a nobel laureate while attired in hearts and a hot pink scarf. super cool–definitely gives off that intellectual vibe. moving on.

    markowitzandme2

    sean and i arrived at his office a little before lunch–i knew i would like him immediately when i glimpsed three rooms, all lined with books in various disciplines ranging from ancient philosophy texts to modern art and neuroscience. for a man of almost 90, he was entirely charming and captivating from the first moment i met him, offering coffee and tea, ushering me into his office and proudly showing me his various prizes hidden away in little boxes and telling me stories of what it was like to win them. when i inquired as to how he came up with so many breakthrough he responded in a way that was both simple and meaningful to me: “good habits.” he went on to say how he had learned from an early age to train his mind to distinguish between connections, to see interrelated items, but also, and most importantly, to not expect that because something has happened 100 times that it will happen the same way on the 101st time.

    one of the most interesting reactions during my time with mr. markowitz was his reaction to me when i asked what he did in his downtime, to relax. he grunted a bit and noted that he did not particularly care for the term “down time” and that all of his time was up time, doing things he loved or things that were essential to his work, which for him were predominantly one and the same, although he did concede a fondness for cooking, poetry and art, as well as a penchant for brugger’s bagels and long walks.

    we talked of ulysses, the importance of reading outside of your field, of exposing yourself to a variety of ideas and disciplines, of cultivating the mind of a philosopher.  we flipped through escher books together, he explained (and made) a mobius strip for me and ended by reciting a most lovely poem that he knew by heart.

    a most memorable way to spend lunch on a tuesday indeed.

  • manifesto

    January 21, 2014 No tags Permalink 0

     

    magic is something you make.
    what you seek is seeking you.
    try new things habitually.
    every day counts.
    there is nothing but love.
    make space for creative adventures.
    experience the abundance of the universe.
    be here now.
    embrace change.
    forget limits & free your mind.
    being open allows good things to flow your way.
    work your love.
    let go of expectations.
    peace is in the present.
    open heart, clear head, can’t lose.
    choose the bigger life.
    never stop exploring.
    focus, wander, repeat.
    everything else is secondary.

    download: manifesto_kp

  • bravery

    November 27, 2013 No tags Permalink 0

    as of late i’ve been challenged with facing down fear. not in a traditional sense necessarily, but making small (and sometimes big), brave choices that reflect who i am and who i want to become. it’s hard to reject the safe response to questions, the words and actions designed solely with the intent to keep others comfortable and unchallenged, to fit into a space that makes others feel better but makes you feel small. it’s harder still to offer up honesty, to show vulnerability, to tell your truth, regardless of the response returned. it’s a delightful form of independence, but also an acquired skill that takes (at least for me) a degree of discipline. but i’m feeling braver by the day, sometimes by the minute.

  • harvey milk on love

    November 26, 2013 No tags Permalink 0

    “Go after her. Fuck, don’t sit there and wait for her to call, go after her because that’s what you should do if you love someone, don’t wait for them to give you a sign cause it might never come, don’t let people happen to you, don’t let me happen to you, or her, she’s not a fucking television show or tornado. There are people I might have loved had they gotten on the airplane or run down the street after me or called me up drunk at four in the morning because they need to tell me right now and because they cannot regret this and I always thought I’d be the only one doing crazy things for people who would never give enough of a fuck to do it back or to act like idiots or be entirely vulnerable and honest and making someone fall in love with you is easy and flying 3000 miles on four days notice because you can’t just sit there and do nothing and breathe into telephones is not everyone’s idea of love but it is the way I can recognize it because that is what I do. Go scream it and be with her in meaningful ways because that is beautiful and that is generous and that is what loving someone is, that is raw and that is unguarded, and that is all that is worth anything, really.”