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a kind of honest check in // www.jojotastic.com

I always struggle with the decision of how personal and honest to get in this space. I’m turning 30 next year, and I swear, the past 4 years have born some of the most tumultuous moments of my life. In that span of time, I moved across the country multiple times (Seattle to Philly, Philly to San Francisco), leaving a place that I considered to be home for the first time ever. I fell deeply, overwhelming in love. We’re talking a love that I never knew could be possible… and then that relationship ended. I was alone in a city I despised and totally overwhelmed by the thought of coping. I dealt with crippling depression, something I have alluded to, but not really written about in a detailed way here. For all these reasons, I am so very happy to say this next bit: It’s been a really, really tough few years and I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.

a kind of honest check in // www.jojotastic.comI’m deciding for myself and only myself. I’m making my own decisions. I’m thinking of the bigger picture and making sure that it includes my vision, not anyone else’s. I’ve successfully made the shift to full-time freelance and it’s been great for me both personally and professionally. I am now solely working on my vision, no one else’s and I truly believe my passion shows more than ever before.

Right now, I am in Seattle for the first time in 2 years. Why? Because I’m contemplating what a move back to this gorgeous city would be like. I adore San Francisco, but I’ve not been able to personally settle down while there. Sometimes it makes me wonder if I am even meant to settle down… then I answer that question with an entire debate on what ‘settling down’ even means these days. I’ve still got lots of time left on my lease in SF and I’m still dealing with a few painful memories while I’m here, so this decision remains to be determined. Mostly, I just wanted to be honest about where my head is these days. And for all of you out there coping with depression and uncertainty, please know that you are not alone.

photography by Greg Zulkie at Scribe 

bask in the wonder

Wow, guys, what a week it’s been. I got back from Amsterdam in the wee hours of Monday morning and I’ve been battling post-vacation blues and strange sleeping patterns ever since. I miss it, but what’s especially funny is that while I was gone I also missed the rhythm of my days here in SF. Walking Noodle, pausing work to make lunch, even my nightly bathtub soaks. Sometimes it’s fun to step outside of your life and, believe me, I definitely needed it. I guess what I’m really saying is that it took stepping away from my life to come back feeling overwhelmingly appreciative of the life I’ve built. Before I left I felt so… mired and stagnant. Now it’s like the inspiration well has been filled to the point of overflowing and the synapses are firing again. It’s all very, very good.

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

Happy weekend!

image from Jojotastic on Instagram

i am very busy.

So, about today’s blog post… yeah, I definitely forgot to write one today. Oops. I leave for vacation tomorrow and it’s becoming all too clear that my mind is… elsewhere already. There’s something about this trip that has me feeling flustered. Maybe it’s the impending 11 hour flight, maybe it’s the fact that I haven’t packed yet or that I’m absolutely exhausted from a relentless schedule and zero days off since I have no idea when. I don’t think I’ve ever been this disorganized before a trip. Usually I am a calm, cool, collected traveler. Does this happen to everyone?

While I’m away, some of my amazing friends will be guest posting here. They’ve delicious recipes, crafty DIYs, inspirational travel journals, and much, much more. Stay tuned and I’ll be back November 4!

pencil pouch from Ban.do

we need to put an end to sexual harassment.

Editor’s note: I try to keep it fairly lighthearted in this space, veering away from anything political or controversial, but today something so terrible happened to me that I felt no choice but to speak out. 

This morning, I was standing at my desk contemplating getting to work. My desk faces out of 3 large windows and directly across the street is a construction site. As I was glancing around, I realized that 2 men from the construction site were on their roof, watching me. When they realized that I saw them, they started yelling at me — horrible, ugly things. My initial instinct was to close my curtains… which cued even more yelling… more vocalization of their displeasure that I was not allowing them to continue watching me and yelling at me. Even as I write that, it boggles my mind. A lump rises in my throat and my arms tingle. I felt uncomfortable and unsafe in my own home. Not ok.

In terms of the bigger picture, it has never been a good time to harass people, in my opinion. Given news-worthy events of late though… it is an especially poor time. If anything, I desperately hope that as a country, we are becoming attuned to the plight of minorities… and actually learning to be good to each other. With Ray Rice in the headlines, I can’t help but wonder WHY these men felt like it was ok to act as they did. WHY? Have you not learned your lesson from this asshole that you have idolized? Do you think it is still ok to degrade women? Because I am here today to say it is not. It never will be. And the next time you decide to watch me, I will call the police again. And I will not stop until you are fired.

I waffled about whether to cite the name of the construction company, but I think they should be called to task for employing misogynistic, crude lowlifes. So listen up, Nibbi Brothers General Contractors, I will not stand by and let your employees treat women this way. The police have spoken to your crew, I have left a voicemail, I have tweeted you and sent you a message on Facebook, I even wrote a Yelp review. You need to know that this is not ok.

image source

coming clean // jojotastic.com

There are a few things I need to get off my chest. I’ve struggled with how personal to be in this space, but there are a few things that just need to be out there… almost so these things can stop having power over me. Do you ever feel like that?

First up… you know how I moved to San Francisco for a job? Well, I got laid off back in June. I’m not really allowed to talk about circumstances or any of that, but let’s say it was a big blow. Totally unexpected. But here’s the thing: I wasn’t that happy, at least not in the way that I am now. Now I am full-time freelance, picking my favorite projects and working with people who inspire me to create and be the absolute best version of myself. It is awesome and scary and awesome all over again. While I miss the comfort of that steady paycheck, I also can’t put a price on my happiness. And right now, I am so freaking happy with what I’m doing. You’ll see, there is some seriously awesome stuff coming this way.

Next up… dating sucks. Like, really really sucks. I’m struggling with this feeling of loneliness despite having incredible friends in an incredible city. I’ve gone on countless first dates and that connection just isn’t there. Sometimes I worry that it’s me, sometimes I worry that my break up last year somehow broke me as a person. There are days when I want to give up and just adopt 18 more cats (like that night I got stood up). I’m trying to stay positive though… we’ll see how it all plays out.

I’m also really, really happy to be in this city, but it doesn’t feel like home. It just doesn’t. I don’t know where I want to live, but for now I am in San Francisco and that’s enough.

I think that’s all I care to share for now. Maybe there will be more.

photography by Jojotastic