an ode to journals.

extremely late to post per usual, from october 2021.

on october twelfth, i finished another journal. i do not have my rubbermaid bin of past finished journals on hand (since it still lives in our portland storage unit), but if i had to guess, this is probably number twenty-something. 

each one has drastically varied in completion time. in the early angsty middle school days, i could plow through the pages of a fresh journal in months. filling the lines with dark poems, hopeless romantic musings, and skewed illusions of the future. 

but this one took over two years. 

sure, some journals are bigger than others. some have lines, some have blank pages, some have dots. some are hardback, some of spiral, some are softcover. but overall, the length of time it takes me to complete a handwritten journal has steadily increased since fifth grade. 

the days of sitting in a dirty college cafe and whimsically crafting stories about the couple arguing in the corner are few and far between. now most journal entries are written thousands of miles up in the air. when i am alone (and without internet). 

like right now. on a flight from oakland back to maui.

and yet, nowadays i must choose. do i scribble in my new cardboard cover moleskine with crisp, fresh white pages? or do i type up something on this blog to keep fueling my father’s super fan status? 

the answer is always both.

buying a new journal is always a fairly ritualistic and meaningful experience for me. as i see pages starting to dwindle in my existing one, the excitement builds. every stroll through the local letterpress shop or bookstore becomes a potentially life-altering moment. sometimes i regret my decision. sometimes i wish there were more pages to fill. over the last twenty-five years, i have acquired some preferences regarding style, paper, and size, but in general, my collection is quite diverse.

the small orange geometric-shape-covered journal that i’ve carried around with me since june 2019 says “you got this” in gold on the front. when i purchased it, i had no idea how much i would need that simple reminder. no idea that its pages would include my mind meanderings over the course of my two weddings, covid-19 lockdown, moving back to hawaii, and starting a new job after eight years with the festival. 

i do not re-read my entries right away. i let them simmer and stew. and then, on those nostalgic likely wine-induced evenings, i revisit past memories, past stories, past emotions. 

what will stand out from this past twenty-eight months? what will be hard to read? what will make me laugh out loud? what will i learn? how did i grow?

what a blessing to have been called to write routinely at such a young age. a chronicle of my life lies at my fingertips ready to remind me of my past, present, and future (minus the one journal that mysteriously went missing in an airplane seat back pocket). 

more than once, my journals have saved me. they have fallen open to the exact right page in the hands of another and revealed what needed to be seen. they have given me a way to make sense of the insensible. they have listened when i didn’t feel like talking. 

today as i filled the first page of my new journal, i felt such gratitude. for the writers before me. for the writers after me. 

and as i went to close my journal and open my laptop, i thought i was going to tell you the story of my twenty mile hike through the haleakala crater. 

but instead, you get an ode to my journals.

12 reasons you should never date a rock climber

Another Matador Network article of mine to enjoy…

IF YOU HAVE AN OUNCE OF ADVENTURER in you, you’ve probably felt the pull of the muscled rock climber parking their van next to you at the campsite. But, if you truly have any ounce of sense in you, you’ve learned why to stay away:

1. A “10 Year Plan” is not a thing.

Neither is a Five Year Plan, or even a One Year Plan for that matter. Unless you’re talking about which routes or problems they plan to send this season, most climbers have no clue what the future holds. All they know is that they are oh-so-close to finally finishing Twinkie, so you’ll most likely find them in the Red River Gorge this spring.

2. There is only one thing they’ll splurge on: new gear.

If you’ve got your eye on a partner who will treat you to fancy dinners and expensive gifts, you might want to rule out climbers. To them, a nice meal involves concocting a unique mix of whatever treasures were scored during the last dumpster diving excursion to Kroger. But don’t confuse this thriftiness with necessity — they are probably just saving up for a new pair of La Sportiva Solutions and a set of C3s.

3. Words and numbers have never felt so foreign (and vulgar) to you.

“Did you stick the crux on the roof of Hillbilly Gang Bang*? You really gotta shove a hand in the crack. There’s no way it’s a 5.12d.” Climbers have their own lingo and unless you plan on double backing your harness and learning to tie in properly, good luck understanding them. One of these YouTube videos might help.

*We know this is not the real name of a climb, but just for the record, Hilbilly Sex Farm is.

4. Showering becomes a luxury.

Two weeks without a shower? Pretty standard. Don’t think for one minute that the state you met them in will ever change. Greasy hair, dirty clothes, and that unmistakable climber musk are all points of pride. Learn to love it.

5. And so does a bed.

Dating a climber means getting used to the fact that most of your nights together will be spent without freshly-washed sheets stretched across an expensive Sealy posturepedic. Instead, you’ll find yourself snuggled uncomfortably upon a couple of Therm-a-Rests, or if you’re lucky, an old futon mattress thrown across some plywood in the back of their van.



making hope a habit.

a friend from middle school recently got married in chicago. the event (along with a need for some random odds and ends) sent me to my 5×5 storage unit in illinois and deep into my two rubbermaid bins full of photographs. 4×6 images meticulously sorted into small manilla envelopes labeled and dated. endless prints from school dances, vacations, sleepovers, and unforgettable memories temporarily forgotten.

as i was searching for a couple photos of the bride and i together in our youth, i stumbled upon my old modeling portfolio. i don’t know if it was my idea or my mother’s, but at age six, i spent a day with photographer george papadakis sporting curls and polkadots and a pout that was surely put to good use in those early childhood years. a star was being born.


along with the excitement of getting professional composite cards made, my mom also enrolled me in barbizon modeling academy where they attempted to teach me some manners (and some modeling/acting pointers of course). as i walked across that stage on graduation day in my black floral one piece pants suit (complete with white dress shirt collar) and black chauffeur hat covering my twin french braids, i was bound and determined to become famous. i was sure that there was someone sitting in the audience who would hear my jif peanut butter commercial read through and hire me on the spot.

apparently, that’s not how it works.

instead, i spent endless days getting out of school early and driving the hour to chicago to audition for some random role. an easter fashion show for sears. a hand model for a children’s craft book. an extra for a company employee training video. sometimes i would get the part and sometimes i wouldn’t.

as i sat sprawled out on the pavement near the door of my storage unit, i flipped through all these images of my younger self and stumbled upon my big claim to fame.

it was a national ad campaign for gateway foundation. my photograph was used in their brochures, newspaper ads, billboards, and more.

now what is gateway foundation you ask? maybe, i’ll just let the pieces i found speak for themselves:



mom, seriously? you let me be the poster child for a drug rehab center at ten years old?! i hope you got some good money out of that one. i don’t recall ever seeing a cent of my earnings, but after the expense of my dance and college education, i will not hold a grudge. you’re welcome.

and on a more important note, mom, seriously? you let me rock a perm on a short bob with bangs?! i don’t think the 90s did anyone any favors when it comes to fashion.

despite all this, i am pretty sure that i had that pout mastered. totally look like a sad, drug-abusing adolescent. i wonder if all the people driving by the billboard in chicago bought into my anguish. if they could feel the hurt i felt deep within my ten year old heart.

and now, look where i am 18 years later… not on the cover of vogue, that’s for sure. wonder what it feels like to peak at 10 years old? let me tell you, it rocks. when you know your best work is behind you, you are free to revel in the downward progression of your glory years.

don’t worry though, i’ve helped “make hope a habit.”

(sorry for this seriously sarcastic post. i just had to share these priceless images.)


to all those who follow my blog by email, i am very very very very sorry that your inbox just got attacked! i swear this will never happen again. i migrated an old blog into this new blog and BOOM you all got updated about every post.

on the bright side, now you can read all about my adventures in argentina as a 21-year-old if you’d like to avoid doing work on this lovely september tuesday.

again, i apologize. please don’t unsubscribe.

living out of boxes and bags.

it’s official. all my things are packed up in a basement in portland. all my other things are awaiting me in chicago. probably will end up in a storage unit for now. or maybe a friend’s basement. but after four years of moving around (ann arbor > grand rapids > portland), it is finally time to pull up my roots entirely and hit the road…at least for a little while.

most people with my kind of wanderlust-ing soul graduate college (if they even went to college) and head out on the road bound to “figure it out.” i could never bring myself to do that. with a heavy load of student loans and an unshakeable attachment to responsibility, the vagabond lifestyle was too risky. so i found ways to do what i loved and travel as much as i could, and live vicariously through brian zimmerman. but now four years later, saradipity media is alive. i can go wherever i want as long as i have my three favorite/least favorite things: my computer, external hard drive, and internet.

after being asked to spend a month in india with my russayog yoga teacher (for trade), i let the idea of floating take me over. now is the time right? no kids. no major bills. no house. no serious relationship. it just feels right. time to become okay with the uneasy feeling i get in my stomach when my plans are not set in stone. when i lose control.

my mom called me today as i was being driven to the san jose airport in california. she wanted to know about tomorrow. and sunday. but those days seem far away. i have no clue what i will be doing on sunday. do i want to go to grandma’s? sure. sounds good. all i know for sure is that today i am flying back to portland (and that our flight just got delayed due to mechanical issues). tonight i will celebrate the holidays with notogroup (one of my clients). and then i will unpack and repack and get ready to fly home to chicago tomorrow. when i arrive at midway airport around 11pm, that is when i will start figuring out my midwestern plans for the holidays.

i hate writing on the computer. i normally send you all an update email every few months packed full of information regarding my travels, love affairs, work, etc. but, who knows if you even read those. so now, you can choose if you want to follow the ramblings and photos or if you would rather not. i usually like to write letters, cards, notes…but i cannot fight the ease of the internet. a simple way to share my thoughts with those who want to know them.

the last time i had a blog was when i was in argentina. traveling around south america and falling in love with everything i saw, everyone i met. and i have a feeling the next few months will be filled with the same sense of awe and gratitude.