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one giant peony

Every once in a while, I need a mental health day… and today is that day. Mercury is in retrograde (more on that here thanks to my friend Elizabeth) and I am feeling it. Correction: I am feeling everything. So I’m taking the day to myself to be quiet and maybe even undo the crappy night of sleep I had last night. I’ll be back tomorrow.

photo via my Instagram.

straight up girl talk // dating pt. 1

[ Editor’s note: I was talking with a bestie about this and she told me it’s hilarious and charming and totally worth sharing on the blog… so here goes. I plan to be brutally honest, so if you’re not into that, maybe keep scrolling? ]

Here’s the thing… I finally feel like I’m ready to try my hand at dating and having a real relationship again. I’ve made strides in getting over my ex, I’m managing my work time wayyy better than ever before, and, honestly, I am just so freaking ready to share my life with someone, partner-in-crime style. What I’m about to say is not new, not at all: dating sucks. I know, not exactly groundbreaking news, but my experience over the past few weeks has kind of built up inside of me and I needed to write about it.

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what happens when you slow down?

Remember when I talked about how the move would help me to reduce my hustle, cut back on my hours, and maybe take a weekend off? Well, it’s happening. Slowly, but surely I’m spending less time working and more time living. I woke up on Saturday morning and didn’t feel the necessity of opening my laptop, checking and writing emails, planning more shoots. And I just finished up a few projects that have always been on my mind, but I just never had time to actually execute. I am totally overwhelmed by this amazing feeling of IT IS HAPPENING.

On the weekends though… I start to realize how little I’ve focused on myself the past few years. My body is exhausted, but my mind is totally restless. I constantly worry that I should doing something, even if it’s not work… laundry, dishes, cooking, anything. So on Saturday I forced myself to sit in a chair and read a book (this is what I’m reading at the moment, BTW). It was a struggle and I’m sort of embarrassed to admit that. Not many people have the luxury to actually take a day off like that to just read, but I did and it was truly difficult. I couldn’t quiet my mind and it felt impossible put down the phone. My mind was all WHOA WHOA WHOA, what is going on here?! The same thing happened at the gym this morning: they have a strict no-phone interaction policy and I kept catching myself falling into the old habit of reaching for it to check how many like my latest Instagram got or what’s new on Twitter. Aka shit that is not actually important at all.

I’m aware that this isn’t an overnight process, but I am pretty damn shocked by just how difficult it has been for me to slow down. These few examples have made me aware of just how bad the problem has gotten. But as I grow my awareness (like this morning at the gym), I start to really explore what happens if I don’t immediately respond to that text or check Facebook comments. This practice has also given me a bit of clarity as to WHY I am so attached to my phone: many of my friends don’t live in Seattle, so that glowing rectangle is the easiest way to keep in touch. The barrage of texts and constant photo and video sharing essentially happens in place of real, live human interaction. As someone who says she places high value on one-on-one in-person interaction, I’ve instead begun conducting all friendships via social media and texting. It’s this weird feeling of never being truly alone with myself.

I’m left with lots of questions now: How much connectivity is too much? And how do I stay in touch without being constantly accessible? It’s a strange balance, one that I’m working on more and more these days. If you’ve got any insight or tips or even just similar stories, I’d love to hear them.

photo from my Instagram — follow me here!

the view from the seattle ferry

This week… oof. I really don’t have words for the amount of stress I felt this week. I like to think that it started off well enough — on Saturday, I finally did something I’ve wanted to do for months: I got a tattoo in memory of my grandpa. This act made me feel really introspective, something that I journaled about a lot throughout the course of the week. But then, of course, stuff got in the way, namely business stuff. Not sure if you know (ha), but taxes are due, aka the most stressful time all year for yours truly. I’m still figuring out this whole ‘running my own business’ thing and this week really tested my strength in that vision. Like… to the point where I contemplated throwing in the towel and getting a ‘real’ job again. Yeah, I was that stressed out. I had to remind myself to take a  break though, something that doesn’t come easily. I made a nice meal for myself, drank a bit of wine, and zoned out to Broad City. I let myself sleep in and then try to tackle my inbox like a whole new person. Granted, I’m still feeling like a train hit me emotionally, but having a bit of distance helped.

I’m in a pinch here though — do you guys have any other tips for maintaining when you feel so freaking buried in all directions??

In case you missed it, here’s what happened on the blog this week:

Plus, a few other new & noteworthy things:

  • Grace from Design*Sponge got really honest this week with her Things That Scare Me post. You betcha I identify with a lot of what she wrote.
  • Gawker has a really interesting series called Mall Makeovers where women from all over the world go to their local mall and request a makeover that is indicative of the local beauty habits. It’s eye opening and extremely curious to me in that voyeuristic sort of way.
  • Over on Anthology, I shared some really inspiring posts: pressed flowers by Studio Maarten Kolk & Guus Kusters and rugs by Oyyo (the styling of these photos is pretty fantastic).
  • House of Brinson is at it again with their amazing guides. This week it’s iPhoneography. My favorite tip? Edit yourself.

photo from my Instagram — follow me here!

positive vibes

Last night I had dinner and drinks with a college friend I hadn’t seen in… 8ish years and it really got me thinking a LOT. We basically did the 5 minute version each of where we’ve been in that time and what’s happened in our lives. For example, in that time, I moved across the country 3 times. When you lay it all out like that… well, you’re bound to have this moment of overwhelming, abounding perspective. Or at least I did. It all kinda hit me like a ton of bricks. The last time I saw my friend, I was in a relationship that was on and off (and on and off and on… and off…) and totally unhappy with my work situation. I specifically remember at that time that I really, truly believed that that was it, that was my life from here on out. Now I know better. I’ve reinvented myself and my situation over and over since then… and I think I’m getting the hang of this thing called ‘life’ more than ever before. (more…)

i've got a confession to make: i haven't worked out in months. today's blog post is all about taking accountability and being responsibility for getting back on track. www.jojotastic.com

I have a confession to make: it’s been somewhere between 6-8 months since I’ve worked out, but over a year since I did it with any form of consistency. Even typing that makes me feel gross and so disappointed in myself. How did I let it go this far? Actually I know exactly how: prioritizing work over anything else, eating enough french fries for a small country, and way too much travel. I am softer than ever before and, frankly, don’t feel comfortable with how my body has changed. I read somewhere (no idea where) that the things you do in your 20s end up being habits for life. That frightens me.

I feel this change in my body and I don’t like it, in plain terms. I want to take accountability for my actions, so here goes: starting this week, I am going to the gym at least 4 times a week. I feel like that is a good number to start with so as not to overcommit, but to get myself committed and excited for the process. I scoped out this pilates studio in my neighborhood and plan to finally add the climbing gym back into the mix. My goal is to keep this up for a month as a way to jumpstart a new pattern, one that includes making time for myself to be physically healthy.

photo credit: Claire Hudson. see more of this shoot here

today on the the blog: thoughts on my 30th birthday www.jojotastic.com

Today is my 30th birthday and I’m feeling pretty damn introspective about it. I’ve been spending a lot of time journaling, actually. You’ve all followed my journey for the past few years and it’s meant so much to me that I wanted to share a bit of my thoughts with you.

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