What do you want to be?

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Amy Sherald, Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama (2018). Courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution.

“Now I think it’s one of the most useless questions an adult can ask a child — What do you want to be when you grow up?  As if growing up is finite.  As if at some point you become something and that’s the end.”

–Michelle Obama, Becoming

 

Thank you, Michelle, for this beautiful observation, and for reminding us of our infinite potential.  This Friday I am thinking about growing up, growing older, and what it means to “be” something when you grow up.  We are not our professions.  We are not only defined by the work we do.  And we are always evolving, changing, growing, becoming something new.  We are more than the sum of our parts.

Myself, I am striving to find a happy middle ground between becoming and being, moving forward vs. holding myself in the present moment.  But it is a real comfort to know that no matter where I am now or who I feel like I “am” at present, I always have the opportunity to become something else — to become something more.

 

Rest, wander, live…

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“The most valuable thing we can do for the psyche, occasionally, is to let it rest, wander, live in the changing light of room, not try to be or do anything whatever.”

May Sarton

My cold still hasn’t quite let up, so I’m especially grateful for a long weekend on this fine Friday.  Wishing you all a restful Labor Day weekend!

 

Feeling beautiful

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Apologies for my absence this week, but I have had a terrible cold.  I’m hoping to be back in action fully next week, but in the meantime, I wanted to share a resonant piece about beauty that I stumbled across this morning:

“… Here are some activities where I feel intuitively beautiful and feminine – Walking through the Minneapolis Institute of Art alone. Writing and creating in an afternoon coffee shop. Talking with my girlfriends late at night, long after the persuasion of sleep has crept in. I feel most beautiful when interacting with this life that surrounds us. So I’m trying to do more of that. Because the image I keep hoping to see in the mirror? She’s never going to show up. But still, without fail, I greet her within me every single day – she is the way I respond to art and humanity. She is the rare and precious awareness that comes only when studying something that is distinctly outside of myself. I want to learn more of her. And it’s not going to happen while looking into the empty reflection of my bathroom mirror. So why would I bother to look there at all?”

–Anna Jeter via Wit & Delight

It made me think about how I feel vs. how I look, and how important it is to feel good in my body.  Here’s to a weekend full of feeling beautiful in and of ourselves.

 

Like a rocket

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El diamante sonríe por la tarde (1947), Joan Miró

 

“The last thing I wanted was infinite security and to be the place an arrow shoots off from. I wanted change and excitement and to shoot off in all directions myself, like the colored arrows from a Fourth of July rocket.”

–Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

Happy Friday, friends.

This and that

It’s been a little while since I shared some inspiration images, so here are a few lovely things that have caught my eye on this fine Friday.  A blend of fresh and moody colors and sunshine are on my mind — and judging from the variety of locales, I seem to also be feeling a tinge of wanderlust.  Enjoy, and have a good weekend!

That carved wood cabinet on that wood wall at Casa Warrandyte in Australia is perfection.  Warm woods and leather with all that greenery?  Yes and please.

Dying over this moody teal hex tile, especially paired with a grey concrete shelf.

This sunshiny corner at Sonoma’s Scribe Winery encapsulates their “falling down but still soulful” aesthetic delightfully.

Sisters Hollister and Porter Hovey’s Brooklyn apartment is a maximally chic adventure in design.  (And seriously, how great are their names?)

This serene and light-filled seating area in Sint-Niklaas is exactly where I wish I could spend the weekend.

Made it to Friday

“All the women in me are tired.”

-Nayyirah Waheed

 

For some reason it has been a tiring week.  Not only did I have a lot on my plate, but it feels like family, work, relationships, politics, friends, and social obligations have all somehow been involved.  I contain multitudes, and all of us are tired this week!  I am looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow, and to an afternoon nap with my pups.  Wishing you a restorative weekend as well!

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Travel-minded

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Pont Saint-Michel, Paris

Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.”

–Maya Angelou

 

I’ve got an intense case of wanderlust.  Photos of faraway places have me itching to plan a trip somewhere — Portugal, Cambodia, Seattle, Uruguay, Kenya, Vancouver!  Somewhere new I can discover!  I also got to see a few people that are very dear to me this week, leaving me with a deep appreciation for some of my closest friends.  Somehow my general concern for the state of the world combined with my feelings this week are encompassed in this wise quote by Maya Angelou.  Happy Friday, friends!

Fridays are for cake

One week ago, I tried a new cake recipe for a Friday night dinner with friends.  Spoiler alert: it is amazing and I will be making this one again and again.  Behold: Maialino’s Olive Oil Cake.  I served it topped with dollops of the strawberry black pepper jam I made several weeks ago, and it was perfection.  Not too sweet, perfectly moist, easily mixed, and the most delightful hint of citrus.  Make it for yourself or someone you love this weekend — you won’t be sorry!  Sharing is entirely optional.

 

Balance point

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“This is the first time the girl becomes aware that the world requires something other than what she is.”

–Lesley Nneka Arimah, What It Means When a Man Falls From the Sky: Stories

 

This Friday I am thinking about expectations, and about balance.  The world might expect something different than what we are or what we want, but that doesn’t mean we are obligated to give in to that expectation.  Find your bliss, find your fulcrum, and don’t let the world upset the balance you find.