Lessons on Living — from the Dying

Lessons on Living — from the Dying

“Life is so beautiful that death has fallen in love with it, a jealous, possessive love that grabs at what it can. But life leaps over oblivion lightly, losing only a thing or two of no importance, and gloom is just a passing shadow of a cloud.”

—Yann Martel, Life of Pi

A few times a year, I find myself in the shadow of a cloud — and I feel a little bit lost and a little bit broken. The cloud usually either passes on its own or with time and self-reflection, but every time the shadow appears, the cause is the same: loss.

We’ve all suffered the pain of loss, whether due to choice or circumstance. It is a part of life. But every time a once-involved character in my life makes an exit, I grieve that absence in one way or another. We all do. In fact, I think we are all in some stage of grieving for someone who is lost to us.

But the law of perspective states that the loss of kinship between friends or family members (who have caused hurt or otherwise parted ways) is minimal in comparison to the almost unbearable loss of friends and family members who have taken their last breaths.

A few years back, a friend posted a heartbreaking yet moving update to Facebook — three years to the day of losing his young son to cancer. As I read his words again, for what might be the hundredth time, I feel like I finally have the space in my heart to feel his pain — even though I didn’t know what to say to him at the time (and still don’t) other than, “I’m sorry. I’m so very sorry.” An excerpt from his post (with permission, though a long time past) is as follows:

It was three years ago to the day that my beautiful little man left my side in this life while lying in my arms at 6:38 a.m. So much has happened since. I’m forced to stop and take stock of my life… on this day every year.

I’m grateful every single day for the years he and I enjoyed and I treasure those moments literally every day as there are reminders all over of him in my home, my car, my town, and my friends. I’m so grateful for the people in my life and my family…

I think this year, though, I want to give some of YOU the benefit of what I’ve learned from my loss.

1. Live PURE, FAST, and HARD! You never know how long you have or the others that are with you.

2. Love everyone with everything you have to give. Not everyone will receive it and those people you can let go of, but don’t hate. Hate kills you, destroys the ‘light’ that makes us a beautiful human that others are attracted to. The ones who don’t receive your love are closed inside to feeling and hopefully someday they will open up and be able to enjoy the freedom and joy that comes from being so.

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot — about a friend whose father is in hospice care, a friend who said his final goodbye to his wonderful wife a year ago this weekend, and the brave mothers I know who continue to revere the names of their stillborn sons and daughters. And these dear ones are reminders of how delicate and how transitory life really is.

The truth is, the inconveniences and frustrations and heartbreaks I (we?) choose to obsess over every day are so very minuscule when placed at the foot of the hulking beast that is death. Our existences are so brief and yet we waste so many days in either a state of rushed anticipation or mournful regret. (If you’re me, usually it’s both.)

As if to address the melancholy any of us may currently be experiencing, a poignant letter went viral earlier this week. It was written by Holly Butcher, a woman who was, at the time she penned it, dying of Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. Her parents published the letter on Facebook last week when she succumbed to the disease at the tender age of 27, so I have included a few excerpts here. (I invite you to read it in its entirety if you haven’t already.)

She opens with the following:

“It’s a strange thing to realize and accept your mortality at 26 years young. It’s just one of those things you ignore. The days tick by and you just expect they will keep on coming; Until the unexpected happens. I always imagined myself growing old, wrinkled and grey- most likely caused by the beautiful family (lots of kiddies) I planned on building with the love of my life. I want that so bad it hurts.

That’s the thing about life; It is fragile, precious and unpredictable and each day is a gift, not a given right.”

She continues:

“I haven’t started this ‘note before I die’ so that death is feared – I like the fact that we are mostly ignorant to it’s inevitability… Except when I want to talk about it and it is treated like a ‘taboo’ topic that will never happen to any of us.. That’s been a bit tough. I just want people to stop worrying so much about the small, meaningless stresses in life and try to remember that we all have the same fate after it all so do what you can to make your time feel worthy and great, minus the bullshit.”

If you need some perspective (as I often do), continue reading:

“You might have got caught in bad traffic today, or had a bad sleep because your beautiful babies kept you awake, or your hairdresser cut your hair too short. Your new fake nails might have got a chip, your boobs are too small, or you have cellulite on your arse and your belly is wobbling.

Let all that shit go… I swear you will not be thinking of those things when it is your turn to go. It is all SO insignificant when you look at life as a whole. I’m watching my body waste away right before my eyes with nothing I can do about it and all I wish for now is that I could have just one more Birthday or Christmas with my family, or just one more day with my partner and dog. Just one more.”

This part nearly brought me to my feet in applause:

“Remember there are more aspects to good health than the physical body… work just as hard on finding your mental, emotional and spiritual happiness too. That way you might realise just how insignificant and unimportant having this stupidly portrayed perfect social media body really is… While on this topic, delete any account that pops up on your news feeds that gives you any sense of feeling shit about yourself. Friend or not… Be ruthless for your own well-being.”

The part that made me decide to move heaven and earth to plan a trip:

“Use your money on experiences… Or at least don’t miss out on experiences because you spent all your money on material shit.

Put in the effort to do that day trip to the beach you keep putting off. Dip your feet in the water and dig your toes in the sand. Wet your face with salt water.”

And here are Holly’s words that make me think we would’ve been great friends:

“Try just enjoying and being in moments rather than capturing them through the screen of your phone. Life isn’t meant to be lived through a screen nor is it about getting the perfect photo… enjoy the bloody moment, people! Stop trying to capture it for everyone else.”

I often find the prospect of my non-existence perplexing, and I also still ache for my loved ones who are no more. It’s true, death is simply unavoidable. And sometimes it hangs dark and heavy over our lives.

But when a 26-year-old woman — with so much life that should’ve remained— tells you how to make the most of your days, you wave the cloud away, you “let all that shit go,” and you “enjoy the bloody moment.”

Here’s to living, friends.


Andy Goldsworthy, Incoming Tides, and Relinquishing Control

Andy Goldsworthy, Incoming Tides, and Relinquishing Control

“We often forget that WE ARE NATURE. Nature is not something separate from us. So when we say that we have lost our connection to nature, we’ve lost our connection to ourselves.”
—Andy Goldsworthy

Recently, I watched the documentary Rivers and Tides: Andy Goldsworthy Working in Time. I was struck by both the transitory quality of the British sculptor’s work and how he welcomes — even invites — nature’s interference with his carefully arranged installations.

In Goldsworthy’s works, you’ll see leaves, stones, branches — anything he deems sculpture-worthy — carefully juxtaposed in their natural settings, the arrangements a nod to the artist’s hand.

Painstakingly placed leaves adorn a haphazard outdoor landscape in a visually intriguing formation, at least until a windstorm disturbs the composition.

A serpentine pattern, dug into sand, remains there until the incoming tide washes it away.

Goldsworthy’s installations often make me think about the human need for control — over our own lives, especially, but sometimes over the lives of others, too. It’s only natural we’d want some measure of authority over our careers, our finances, and our relationships, but this often comes at the expense of our ability to accept the laws of the universe (and all other things outside our control).

In examining his numerous works over past decades, I also thought about the many aspects of our modern world that are in direct contrast to the natural world — and to the world of Goldsworthy.

Social media, in particular, is perhaps the antithesis of his ethos. Placing us at the center of our own universe, our highly curated Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. profiles allow us to control nearly every aspect of our identities — or rather, what we portray of our identities. And in the digital space (much unlike the natural world) there’s no incoming windstorm or tide to wash away our carefully contrived notions of ourselves.

In reality, there are a vast number of external forces that affect our lives. We are shaped by our surroundings, our universe. (Not the other way around, as much as The Secret would have us believe otherwise.) As soon as we’re able to accept that, I’d venture to say we’ll see the world less through a computer screen and more through the eyes of Andy Goldsworthy.

Monday Motivation — Gone Messy

Monday Motivation — Gone Messy

So, I know the intent of this blog is to provide inspiration and joy, even on the darkest of days (cue my inner “blah, blah, blah”), but can we put all that aside in favor of some real talk? Because sometimes real talk is inspiring. Here goes.

Mondays suck.

No matter how much you love your job (I do) or how fulfilling your life (mine is), sometimes you just have lousy days. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of Terrible Tuesdays and Wretched Wednesdays, but in my personal experience, 90 percent of most personal and professional disasters seem to happen on a Monday. (Or maybe that’s the day I notice them most acutely.)

If you’re like me, seeing the hashtag #mondaymotivation — and the ensuing photos of bullet journals, cutesy coffee mugs, and inspirational memes (“Think happy, be happy!” UGH.) — only reinforces the sentiment, especially if you didn’t sleep well, are in a state of overwhelm, have a client/customer crisis to tend to, or are otherwise under duress (all me today).

That’s why I sometimes need a little humor to remind myself it’s perfectly OK to have a messy Monday (and that doesn’t mean I don’t love my job or my life). So I’m going rogue today (I promise not to do it too often) and posting some of the finer memes from the incredibly gratifying and the delightfully snarky Unspirational Instagram account (an account which makes me laugh on the daily).

My Monday Motto:

Image courtesy @Unspirational

New response if/when unfriended:

Image courtesy @Unspirational

Why I always give exactly 97.6 percent.

Image courtesy @Unspirational


Image courtesy @Unspirational


Image courtesy @Unspirational


Image courtesy @Unspirational

Looks like I’ve found the cause of my insomnia.

Image courtesy @Unspirational


Image courtesy @Unspirational


Image courtesy @Unspirational

THIS. ^^^

Happy Messy Monday, friends. Let’s make it a thing.

Less Over More (and a List for Abundance)

Less Over More (and a List for Abundance)

“Abundance is not something we acquire, it is something we tune into.” —Wayne Dyer

Have you ever noticed that, the greater your net worth, the greater your insurance premiums? And — the more fervently you embrace technology, the greater your losses when it inevitably fails you?

And yet, in our quest for abundance, we humans continue to desire, acquire, and put stock (in every sense of the word) in what we can conquer or own — we play the stock market; we stockpile possessions; we breed, buy and sell actual livestock. The Western world, especially, seems behind the curve in terms of what we value and prioritize.

That’s why I’ve begun taking stock (in a much different fashion than the above), starting with making a list of all the ways I’d like to better “tune in,” in the words of Wayne Dyer — and hopefully make significant changes in both my personal and professional life. As it’s been said, sometimes (er, often) less really is more. So here is my short list for true abundance:

Less iPhone, more iNteraction
Less reaction, more intention
Less mindless work, more mindful play
Less distraction, more focus
Less consumption, more creation
Less arbitrary thought, more awareness
Less taking for granted, more gratitude
Less digital, more tactile
Less talk to text, more pen to paper
Less Facebook, more face time
Less filter, more inner glow
Less surface, more depth
Less clamor, more quiet
Less criticism, more empathy
Less autopilot, more reflection
Less stagnancy, more innovation
Less fear, more flair
Less overwhelm, more bravery
Less anxiety, more excitement
Less judgment, more humanity
Less complacency, more learning
Less Nova, more nature
Less self-loathing, more self-love

Is there anything major I have missed here? (Less coffee, more wine? Less head trips, more road trips?) This list is just a start — I would love to hear your thoughts, so feel free to share your contributions in the comments below.

Goodreads Goals and the Necessity of Going Offline

Goodreads Goals and the Necessity of Going Offline

Confession: I started reading more books in 2017 than I finished.

Another confession: there are more books on my shelves than I will likely be able to finish in my lifetime. Although, recently I read that having a generous supply of unread books in one’s personal library is a good thing; it is a humbling reminder of what one still has to learn.

Based also on my infinite “To-Read” list on Goodreads, I still have a lot to learn. So, year after year, I set a reading goal for myself. Last January, it was to complete 52 books by the end of the year. That’s only one a week; doable, right? I finished eight. Eight! Of those, one was a Post-It sized, condensed miniature of the Four Agreements, and another, A Year in Japan, consisted mainly of illustrations (although, what this book lacks in copy it makes up for in some of the most breathtaking imagery I’ve seen).

While most people are hitting the gym each January, I hit the books. And every year, I set a lofty goal, believing so fervently I will achieve it that I sometimes cast other obligations aside. (I once turned down a date with a guy I really liked because I was rushing to meet a book club deadline. The plot contained a fair amount of romance, and no, the irony of the situation is not lost on me.)

Recently, I read that an easy way to read 100 books every year is to employ a simple shift in your thinking: every time you’re tempted to check your social media accounts or turn on the television, retrain your monkey brain to pick up a book and read instead. Easier said than done, as I am discovering that, after long workdays, all my fried monkey brain wants is wine and Call the Midwife reruns.

As hard as it may be to trade most of my downtime-screentime for good old-fashioned paperbacks, I’ve decided to set another reading goal for 2018. Because as I stare at my bookshelves that are far too full for their intended capacity, I hear a tiny voice in my head — a voice that sounds a lot like seven-year-old me who checked out library books by the dozens and built a lamplit reading fort in my closet — a voice that says: Read more.

So over the past weekend, I tried a little experiment: I went off the digital grid, all with the intention of doing just that. I put my phone on airplane mode, didn’t respond to texts, phone calls, emails, or Facebook messages, and buried my face in book after book. And it… was… DIVINE.

Looks like this might be the year I finally read War and Peace.

Travel Tuesday: Courting Adventure

Travel Tuesday: Courting Adventure

As a child, I remember my parents’ frequent appointments at the Global Travel offices anytime a trip was on the horizon. In those days, the words vacation and agent were so synonymous — there was even a location in our local mall.

And, much like the malls of yesteryear, travel was different then. In the span of a few hours, you could schedule the littles for a Kiddie Kandids photo session, pick up a fresh pair of Keds at Mervyns, refresh your perm, and — what do you know? — book a cruise.

In those days, planning one’s own getaway was almost unthinkable for common folk (you know, the ones who wore Keds and scheduled Kiddie Kandids sessions and hair appointments at the mall). But in recent years, the bygone era of the travel agent has ushered in a new world — where any intrepid (and often young) jetsetter with an internet connection can choose their own adventure, simply by scouring discount travel websites, joining Airbnb, and subscribing to exclusive email lists to get the best deals.


However, there’s a learning curve that comes with DIY vacation planning — plus the process can be time-consuming (especially when you want to pinch pennies).

Enter Courtney Allen, one of my most enduring sources of inspiration. She is the trifecta of brilliance: a talented graphic designer, tenacious digital nomad, and the founder of Courting Adventure, a bespoke tour company designed to help everyday people (see: Keds, Kiddie Kandids, mall perms) step out of their comfort zone and have unforgettable experiences seeing the world.

According to her company’s website, its main focus is “intimate, unique trips to exotic destinations.” To maintain a sense of community among guests, groups are kept to an average of ten people, and an emphasis is placed on traveling fearlessly (and safely). Lodging and several planned cultural activities are included in the price of each trip, although guests are responsible for arranging their own airfare. (If you’re uneasy booking international flights without the help of a seasoned traveler, Courtney provides one-on-one guidance to her guests — often sending emails and Facebook messages when there are screaming deals on airfare.)

A rainy day view of Asakusa Sensoji Temple (image courtesy @courtingadventure)

The Courting Adventure Instagram feed might make you sick with envy (or seriously question your life choices), but it’s easy to see she’s a pro.

To date, Courtney has traveled to 23 countries and territories, lived in 4, and planned several group trips abroad — to places like Japan, South Korea, and Thailand. She’s gallivanted in the swamps of New Orleans, been chased by an emu in Australia, jumped across an Icelandic waterfall, worked for a private investigator in Bangkok, learned secret fighting techniques from a ninja master in Japan, and spent the night at a castle in England. And get this: she’s only 28.

A glimpse of Courtney’s most recent trip to Belize (photo courtesy @courtingadventure)

What I love so much about Courtney’s approach to travel is that she balances the pragmatic with the hedonic. Courting Adventure trips balance a country’s local appeal with tiny touches of luxury, so her guests can feel what it’s like to travel authentically — but receive a little bit of pampering, too. (On her itinerary for this April’s trip to Thailand: visits to an ethical elephant sanctuary and Doi Suteph temple and Thai massage, champagne on a secluded beach, and a water fight of epic proportions during Songkran, the country’s three-day New Year’s festival.)

As an incurable bon vivant, I’m also inspired by her gastronomic bent. I spoke with Courtney about what she sees for the future of her tours, and food and drink will play a more prominent role in the months and years ahead. She’s certainly set a precedent — While both traveling solo and with groups, Courtney has wined and dined at some of the world’s finest establishments. She embarked on a tour of Tokyo’s best bars (incidentally the same city in which she took tour guests to a Michelin three-star rated restaurant), visited two of Seoul’s most notable speakeasies, and enjoyed a private session with the third top sake sommelier in the world.

Matcha hotcakes at the Old Milk Bar in Melbourne, Australia (photo courtesy @courtingadventure)

Even if long-term travel is out of the question (and it is for many people), she’s made it so a trip abroad is attainable (read: affordable) for everyday people (again: Keds, perms, et al.), and not just some unreachable opportunity reserved for the globetrotting elite.

Learn more about my amazing friend Courtney and her trips here.

2017 Outrage, 2018 Inspiration

2017 Outrage, 2018 Inspiration

For many of us — especially the activists, artists, writers, and women among us — 2017 was the year of outrage. It was the year of #metoo, and perhaps most importantly, it was the year many of us found our voices, voices that (at least in my case) have been too long buried by outdated patriarchal norms and fear of rejection (or worse — retribution).


But for me, the act of voice-finding was the first step toward using it, toward speaking up on behalf of marginalized communities that continue to bear the brunt of colonialism, racism, and greed. While I still fail (every day) at knowing how to best use my voice or when to keep quiet, I do know I’m trying my best to pull my head out of the proverbial sand and fight our culture’s instinctual bent toward apathy.

That discovery hasn’t come without its losses.


In the wake of last year’s election results, I lost a few friends due to my own outrage, self-reflection, and my sometimes clumsy use of my voice.

And again, after one of this country’s deadliest mass shootings, I lost someone’s kinship after sharing an Instagram post that said we shouldn’t just pray for Vegas, we should do something about it already. (That’s the beauty of the Followers app; you see which people get offended when you forfeit pretty selfies in favor of pleading for social justice, reform, and accountability.)

I also realized that I have little tolerance for the brand of bourgeois feminism — both in myself and others — that claims to help the weak but simultaneously oppresses others by flaunting its beauty, wealth, and privilege. (I’ve been reading the writings of Kelly Diels, which have made me rethink my own problematic role in perpetuating “The Female Lifestyle Empowerment Brand.”)


As hard as this process has been, it’s made me ask myself hard questions like:

  • Who am I known as? 
  • Who do I want to be known as?
  • Are the people in my life supporting my attempt at inner growth — or recoiling from it?

In contrast, I have been overjoyed to deeply connect with individuals who know where my heart is — and who love me enough to let me speak (and actually listen) when I just can’t keep quiet.

To better channel my voice, I became involved with an organization that advocates for better gun safety laws and helped plan a five-year memorial event for the 26 children and administrators killed at Sandy Hook. And this year alone, I attended more marches and protests, signed more petitions, and made more calls to my legislators than I have in my lifetime. For the first time ever, I’m actually having the hard conversations (which is hard, but they’re life-or-death conversations, y’know?).

Professionally, I began working with some pretty wonderful organizations and continued my work with other long-time clients (all of which, ironically, pay me to use my voice, soooo…).

I wrote case studies, blog posts, articles, and website copy, edited a dear friend’s book, and composed thousands of social media posts. It was a busy year, one in which I dove headlong into my business — sometimes at the expense of personal relationships. But what can I say? I’m working on that (too).

The ever-demanding Kiki, showing me who’s really the boss.

I had my heart broken (yes, again; I think I will always show up to my relationships as the idealist and the believer) but while on a hiatus, I took the cliched (yet totally fabulous) trip to Las Vegas with some girlfriends and had a pretty spectacular time, considering. I bought a HAWT bathing suit I never would’ve worn ten years ago (although I actually had the body for it then), danced to my personal 2017 anthem (Can’t Stop the Feeling!) at a pool party despite bulging out of said bathing suit, danced all night to Calvin Harris at the Omnia — and realized I really should dance more.

Calvin Harris + Omnia + champagne + girlfriends + dancing shoes = one unforgettable night.

Speaking of trips (2017 was also a year of travel for me, for which I am profoundly grateful), I saw some incredible places that have been on my bucket list since I was a child — Europe; Breckenridge, Vail, and Garden of the Gods in Colorado; Vancouver; and Grand Targhee/the Tetons. I even discovered a newfound love for California after spending a weekend in the sleepy, quaint, and absolutely lovely Nevada City for a wedding.


While on a women’s getaway to Europe, I enjoyed flirting with some of the most exceptionally hot bartenders in London, Amsterdam, and Paris.

(Ladies, if you’re single and looking for love, I recommend you book yourself a one-way ticket to Europe. Start with the Duck and Waffle in London, the swanky 40th-floor bar and restaurant where I will forever regret not exchanging phone numbers with the Czech bartender who bears a striking resemblance to Ewan MacGregor. I apparently have a subconscious yet shameless attraction to celebrity lookalikes.)

I rode my bike A LOT (both in my home state and abroad), continued running (it’s no streak, but hey — it’s better than nothing), attended a cat show, and kept on adoring my own cat (while also actively dreading the not-so-far-off day when she eventually crosses rainbow bridge).

I fed my brain — attended lectures, supported the arts (more on that in an upcoming blog post), and read books (not a lot of books, but enough to challenge my perception of the world and to reassess where I find my place in it). Essentially, I filled my year with physically and mentally stimulating experiences and tried to soak up everything I could.

The only way to explore the expansive grounds at the Palace of Versailles — by bicycle!

2017 might also have been my year of literal food and drink. I tried a lot of what some might refer to as “weird fruit” (rambutan, I’m looking at you), spent far too much money on cheese, tried my first Ladurée macaron, cooked Indian food from scratch for the first time (it turned out far better than I imagined), and baked my first pumpkin pie (also from scratch — except for the crust; ain’t nobody got time for that).

Homage to fromage, post-Paris.

After tasting some of the best grapes Walla Walla had to offer, I joined a wine club (shout out to Foundry Vineyards for their approachability and taste for both fine wine and fine art). While in Europe, I developed an affinity for Pimm’s Cup, and sampled some of the world’s best liquors at Wynand Fockink, an Amsterdam distillery and tavern that’s been around since 1679. Lastly, because I would be remiss if I didn’t mention them, I maintained my longstanding love affair with two of my local favorites: The Modern Hotel & Bar and State & Lemp.

I attended several weddings and celebrated the love shared between friends — which led to a lot of reflection on my own romantic encounters.

For starters, I finally came to terms with this funny thing called culpability — because as much as the monkey brain wants to establish rightness and wrongness, a relationship is built and maintained by two people, individuals with a shared responsibility for its success or its failure. (Ohhhh if only I’d learned THAT one a decade or so earlier.)


Partly as a result of that discovery, I fell in love over and over again last year (yes, with the same person). But probably most importantly, I learned again and again how to love myself, too. (At 33, it’s about time.)

Yesterday, while toasting to a new year with longtime friends at my other favorite local watering hole (Bier:Thirty, you get me), I asked those seated at the table, “What will 2018 be your year of?”

Their responses — from “vindication” to “promise,” and “self-discovery” to “grounding” — were are varied as their life stories, and I couldn’t help but marvel at each one of them. (I really do have brilliant friends, and I’m confident they all have an incredible year in front of them.) In short, I was inspired. So when it was my turn to share, “What will 2018 be your year of?” I realized it had to be this: inspiration.

While one might wonder what inspiration has to do with the topic mentioned at the outset (finding/using one’s voice), for me, the two are inextricably linked.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about the powerful ways in which a voice can effect change. It can gain its energy from outrage, boldly confronting problematic thinking and injustice — and it can be fueled by love, gently challenging ourselves and others to rethink ingrained habits and belief systems.


Both approaches (boldness energized by outrage and love-fueled gentleness) are needed depending on the circumstances — and I’m still trying to figure out which approach to use when. But I have learned one thing this past year: outrage, no matter how justified, isn’t sustainable over a lifetime. It’s not only exhausting but let’s be real — it will slowly kill us.

In recent months, the same refrain has repeated itself in my head: “What would Maya Angelou do?” I have no idea where this question came from or why I can’t stop asking it of myself, but nonetheless, it is there, in my mind, almost every day. And I can’t help but think of how many people she inspired — and her words were always tempered with love and gentleness. As much of a reason she may have had for outrage, I can’t see her ever using it as a word to describe an entire year of her life.

While I still want to use my voice boldly when necessary, I also want to shift my perspective a bit — away from the onslaught of news about corrupt politicians, scumbag celebrities exposed as sexual predators (sometimes the two are one in the same, FYI), mass shootings, racism, classism, sexism, ableism, homophobia; and toward the inspiring stories of people and organizations who are making a difference to fight these forces despite a sometimes painful and turbulent world.

I want to spend more time talking about the good things.

2017 may have been a year of outrage — and rightly so — but there is still inspiration to be found in this world, and I’m going to do my best to find it (and share it).