your eyes

it's these small random moments
when our eyes link and we don't let them unlock.

and while I sip my drink
I can feel the direction of your gaze...
on my lips
on my neck
on my hands.

and I look up to meet them and they are there just as I remember them:
hungry, seductive, appreciative, wise, kind.
quietly screaming at me.

Every time I get more attached to the way they look at me.

your eyes are not just the windows to your soul-
they are the doors to mine.


Attraction of two bodies is stronger when “substance” is more. Forces either oppose to each other or alternatively the two bodies often seem on the route to collision.

Sometimes, though, they start revolving around each other in such a powerful and beautiful equilibrium.


october spoke

"Time slips through our hands like grains of sand, never to return. Those who use time wisely from an early age are rewarded with rich, productive and satisfying lives. Those who have never been exposed to the principle that ‘time mastery is life mastery’ will never never realize their enormous human potential. Time is the great leveller. Whether we are privileged or disadvantaged, whether we live in Texas or Tokyo, we all have been allotted days with only twenty-four hours. What separates those who build exceptional lives from the ‘also rans’ is the way they use this time."

pt. 1 2013: here
pt. 2 2014 here
pt. 3 (present)

'i love october, because from beginning to end, it's beautiful.'

Today C and I rode our bikes around town looking for pieces of furniture to fill my new apartment. We were both in awe at the sheer peace of the streets, the breeze. The temperament of the city and its inhabitants. The families on their bikes, the exchanges of affection on street corners, the sound of the leaves brushing one another, the taste of coffee that is amplified so much as soon as the air gets a little crisper.

The playlist in my apartment just seems so perfect, with a good rotation of Angus and Julia Stone, James Blake, RHCP, ASAP, Bon Iver and Monsters and Men. The sounds so sharp and vivid, inspiring and resonating.

This is october.

I've been buying plants like they are going out of style. Who the fuck would have thought I would be so obsessed with finding the perfect Banana Leaf plant? (ps. i found it).

There are so many things that make October feel so good. This month, G8 started a monthly periodical where everyone submits their month in review and we publish it into an INTERNAL pdf doc. I am so excited for this initiative to continue rolling out so that in the future we can all sit down and read our favorite editions to one another over wine and cheese.

For the first time in months, I am settled in, unpacked and feeling extremely lucky for having a heart that feels so full, yet not heavy.

...but regardless of how good October feels, it is the most important month for me, not only as a birth month, but as a year in review. A time to briefly look back, but more importantly, a time to look forward. So, here goes nothing... a year in review, with a new year ahead.

I guess you can say 26 was a year of growing pains.
I mean, there were changes, some bad decisions, a lack of stability and a lack of roots.
Less travel then I hoped for, but at least I still saw a good chunk of Asia.
I also had a temporary dog.
I faced homesickness to an extreme level after being home for Christmas, a first for me. A feeling that almost took me back.
I faced the realities that came with being an expat; distance from family and friends is a tough pill to swallow every now and again.

26 was difficult.
I think it was one of those years that I will look at in hindsight and be grateful for, but with that said, I do wish it played out a little differently.

I keep thinking about this topic I briefly discussed this last summer; a lack of urgency, a lack of growth, a lack of new knowledge. If you just think about it, as kids we are constantly learning, constantly pushing for something new, something better. We don't lack urgency, rather the opposite. Not that we stop learning, not that we stop doing, but we almost lose a sense of momentum, urgency and desire to continue to evolve.

I feel like last year I lost a sense of desire to be better. To learn more. To do more.
I hate to use the term, but I was uninspired. After having hit a few roadblocks at work, and in relationships with people, I completely and utterly closed doors to knowledge, interaction and growth.

I lacked urgency and to lack urgency in your twenties is pretty fucking awful. If there's a time to be sprinting, while simultaneously smelling all the flowers that need to be smelled, it's right now. And though I evolved, I was merely jogging.

Amongst this shitty acknowledgement, amongst difficulty,  amongst rootlessness and a bit of heart ache, I think I needed this year and feel I have acquired many things that need holding on to moving forward.

With 26 came awareness; awareness of all the things I really need to work on personally.
1. awareness that I need to be more patient; with people, with my parents, with colleagues.
2. awareness that no matter how I feel about something, no matter how sure I am about something, no matter if I am willing to move on the subject or not, I CAN ALWAYS LISTEN. I can always hear someone out. I need to be a better listener.
3. sympathy; i need more of it.
4. that commitment will be hard and will grow to be harder the longer I create my own routine and get stuck in my own ways, but that commitment does not mean a lack of freedom, not with the right people.
5. that few people are for me, and I am for fewer of them. Make small meaningful circles. 
6. awareness of influence and responsibility I owe to those around me; my family, my friends, my colleagues. Responsibility in general, I carry weight around, and it's up to me to make it heavy and burdensome or light and rewarding.
7. you should not be doing things you don't want to do, but you do have to understand that compromise is KING sometimes. Doing things you don't want to is sometimes necessary, for you and not for them.
8. it's up to me to inspire me.
9. inspiration only exists in small doses, the rest is work.
10. that time is moving even faster than I thought, and urgency is absolutely pivotal. 'If not now then when' has never felt more real and true.

One of my favorite books, gifted to me when I was 23, The Social Animal by David Brooks, is one of those books I always refer back to. I'm rereading it this month for the sake of reminders. It takes me back to living in DC, and takes me back to a time in life where urgency was so strong in so many diverse facets of my life.

“I’ve come to think that flourishing consists of putting yourself in situations in which you lose self-consciousness and become fused with other people, experiences, or tasks. It happens sometimes when you are lost in a hard challenge, or when an artist or a craftsman becomes one with the brush or the tool. It happens sometimes while you’re playing sports, or listening to music or lost in a story, or to some people when they feel enveloped by God’s love. And it happens most when we connect with other people. I’ve come to think that happiness isn’t really produced by conscious accomplishments. Happiness is a measure of how thickly the unconscious parts of our minds are intertwined with other people and with activities. Happiness is determined by how much information and affection flows through us covertly every day and year."

...and thus came a conscious recognition that to be conscious all the time is absolutely not the goal.
This revelation came at a strange time, in a field, at the park, as the rays from the sun sensationalized the laughs, screams, couples and families sitting among us. Being consciously present how so many unconcsious things brought me to that sweet, sweet moment of bliss.

And with a week away, I'm excited for 27 as 26 lended necessary tools, lessons and moments of 'uh-huh.'

May 27 be this, and only this:

consciously and unconsciously rewarding 

October has a way of getting these thoughts, words and feelings out of me. Writing alone is the outlet that I neglect the most, yet the one that is the most important and fulfilling on so many levels. Mornings like this solidify how the simplest mornings can turn into the most significant with some urgency and passion.

more urgency. more passion. less clutter.


im not so much afraid of being with the wrong person as much as i am afraid of being with no person.


im just here...drawing.

stumbling blocks
building blocks
blocks- just blocks.

this writing sphere has been barren and missing attention for a few months
uninspired, busy, overwhelmed, lacking drive.

firstly, seek for people who ensure you become none of the above.
it's not their job to inspire you- but it is your job to make sure you are inspired by them.
it's still your responsibility.

but that's just it.
we have stumbling blocks.
we have building blocks
sometimes just blocks.
blocks that together make this.


The last few months have months have been mostly a blurr.
I regret to report that I was trying to fast forward through them to be where I am at right now.
In a new apartment, settling in, gathering pace, feeling settled.

If anything is true in this life, it's that the most consistent factor in life is change.
For better or for worse, it's life's agent, and going against it does us no good.

Soooo let's back up.
I took the summer off.
I packed my shit into 8 BIG boxes, I donated clothes that I rarely wore, I sent Wishbone off to Portland to live with his real mom, I left my job, I bought a flight home and I spent summer in Canada for the first time in a long time.

Summer at home was bliss.
family time, hot canadian summers, tennis courts, golf swings.
folk fest, farmers markets, coffee dates, river valley runs, cottage outings.
my friends. 
ugh, it was so nice to have my friends back.
you can meet people all around the world who you will build very close relationships with, but certain people from your past will always hold a big chunk of my heart.
my family. 
my mom and dad are becoming all the more important in my life, and goodbyes are the most difficult with them. And Alex & Ana are just growing weeds who are bigger and brighter every time I see them.

Summer at home was a gift to myself.
a gift of peace, and a reminder of why I needed to do what I was about to do...

Before leaving Shanghai in early July, I interviewed with about 40 people, online and offline, in and out of Asia, not really knowing where the road was going to take me. I figured if nothing compelling presented itself, the best decision was to move back home, and then figure it out. BUT. But, everything in my gut was telling me otherwise.

My friends in Shanghai urged me to stay. To reconsider my recent struggles with work and the city. To realize the special nature of not only this amazing city, but the special opportunities that lie here. To those that did, thank you. thank you. thank you. thank you. thank you.

With four opportunities, came a decision to stay put...sorta (After two months off).


No one can build you the bridge on which you, and only you, must cross the river of life. There may be countless trails and bridges and demigods who would gladly carry you across; but only at the price of pawning and forgoing yourself. There is one path in the world that none can walk but you. Where does it lead? Don't ask, walk!
It is also an agonizing, hazardous undertaking thus to dig into oneself, to climb down toughly and directly into the tunnels of one's being. How easy it is thereby to give oneself such injuries as no doctor can heal. Moreover, why should it even be necessary given that everything bears witness to our being – our friendships and animosities, our glances and handshakes, our memories and all that we forget, our books as well as our pens. For the most important inquiry, however, there is a method. Let the young soul survey its own life with a view of the following question: "What have you truly loved thus far? What has ever uplifted your soul, what has dominated and delighted it at the same time?" Assemble these revered objects in a row before you and perhaps they will reveal a law by their nature and their order: the fundamental law of your very self. Compare these objects, see how they complement, enlarge, outdo, transfigure one another; how they form a ladder on whose steps you have been climbing up to yourself so far; for your true self does not lie buried deep within you, but rather rises immeasurably high above you, or at least above what you commonly take to be your I. 
Your true educators and cultivators will reveal to you the original sense and basic stuff of your being, something that is not ultimately amenable to education or cultivation by anyone else, but that is always difficult to access, something bound and immobilized; your educators cannot go beyond being your liberators. And that is the secret of all true culture: she does not present us with artificial limbs, wax-noses, bespectacled eyes – for such gifts leave us merely with a sham image of education. She is liberation instead, pulling weeds, removing rubble, chasing away the pests that would gnaw at the tender roots and shoots of the plant; she is an effusion of light and warmth, a tender trickle of nightly rain...

What have you truly loved thus far? What has uplifted your soul, what has dominated and delighted it at the same time?

There are stumbling block.
There are building blocks.
There are blocks.

The path has not been straight, nor will it ever be.
It was been murky.
It has its blind spots.
But importantly, the path these last few years has been uplifting; something I truly loved.
And that in itself, was my answer...
and here I am.

it's my first night in my new flat on fuxing lu.
the torturous task of finding this apartment was all worth it.
it was just mandatory to write tonight.

though Nietzsche gave way to thoughts, Picasso was the first to mark written territory on these walls with:

to know what you’re going to draw, you have to begin drawing.



Dry, raspy and resonating
Your voice undresses me.
Literally and figuratively.
You strip me bare and hold me together,
like i've never been held before.
And I breathe in breaths of fulfillment
ones I never knew existed.

And I take comfort in the realization that-
life is even more beautiful than I could have ever thought.


"The reality is we aren’t in each others lives in the least nor have we been in ages. Life goes on and it will continue to go on even if we aren’t in each others lives. You will continue to kill it, I will continue to kill it. But it will be undoubtedly less interesting."

everyday is sunday with you

morning light.
wrinkled sheets.
mascara stains.
a lack of words.
brewing coffee.
The Weeknd lightly playing in the background amidst a running bath-
smoke gliding off his tongue while his finger tips run down my spine

every morning feels like Sunday morning...
and it's only Tuesday.

you are far from perfect,
but to me,
to me you are perfect. 


just don't sink

i am an ocean,
this is but the surface

dive in and see the depths and colors

but know that,
you may be overwhelmed.

what may feel drowning,
will one day feel like floating with the tide.
it's a syncing process
and time is the most important ingredient.

sink or swim.



My mind gets swept by thoughts and my feet hit the pavement to the beat of the new A$AP release.

A million thoughts go though my head as I glance at my phone indicating the 3 mile mark. I know I still have at least another 3 miles to pump out. With that, I turn up the song, elongate my spine and ask myself: how much further can I go today? How much can I push myself today? How much better can I be today?

This post comes inspired by Murakami's "What I Talk About When I Talk About Running."

I'm clocking an average of 30 miles a week running; a new thing for me. I run to stay in shape, to get frustration out, and usually for about 30 minutes till I am out of breath and dead tired.

My running philosophy has changed quite significantly in the last couple of months.

Murakami has come to be one of my favorite novelists and he is one of the main reasons why I have picked up several fiction books this year, in an attempt to read 50 books in 52 weeks. Aggressive.

I commute to work everyday and have about 45 minutes of metro riding time which allows me to finish at least one book a week and put my damn mobile away for a short time, opening the window of opportunity to connect with words printed on paper. This is my third Murakami book, with the forth one to follow as soon as I wrap this one up.

Murakami is a runner. A real runner; unlike me. He runs and trains for marathons. Runs 6 days a week, rain or shine. Sometimes in Hawaii, sometimes in Boston, sometimes in Japan.
"to keep on going, you have to keep up the rhythm. This is the important thing for long term projects. One you set the pace, the rest will follow."
Running. Being a runner. Becoming a runner. Continuing to run, day in and day out, the act itself, has a much grander purpose to the human spirit. For Murakami, running, like writing, was a collection of willpower, passion, pain, gain and purpose.
Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. Man this hurts, I can't take it anymore. The hurt part is an unavoidable reality, but whether or not you can stand any more is up to the runner himself. This pretty much sums up the most important aspect of marathon running. 
The more the world modernizes, the more information that travels, the easier things become, the less likely we are to be put into a situation where we voluntarily agree to feel pain and suffering. The costs of progression because things are good...they are good enough. 

Picking up running, long distance running, regular running, not only opened a window of time where I was free to just think and listen to music, but it also offered an opportunity to train myself, to push myself, to feel pain and continue endlessly, until that momentary pain became gratification.

I run to pass myself, not to pass others. I run to turn foggy thoughts into clear ones. I run to relive moments and taste them twice. I run to think about who I am. I run to not live a healthier live, but a fuller life.

What I think about when I am running:

I've been thinking a lot about kids and family.
My good friend, Micki, was the first out of my best friends to have a baby.
Group chats are filled with little palms, cuddles, family love, precious little moments. A conversation that is very new to G8 group conversations, but it's actually a nice change.

I don't know why, but maybe this is the naturally maternal side of being a women kicking in, but this has been consuming much of my running time. Watching someone so happy and in love makes one fond, makes one realize how much our lives are changing. We're are no longer in college, celebrating high GPA's while consuming cups upon cups of beer at beer gardens.

And while time ticks on my nike app, I think about how fast time has elapsed.
How much we are changing, how much we're evolving, how things will never really be like they were.

But in addition to this, the act of running itself has me questioning my own habits, accomplishments, and ethic. I can quantitate running. I can see my times improving, my distance growing. I can take note of why I am better and how I am better. Why am I not taking the same notes when it comes to other important aspects of my life; work, leisure, love, friendship, family, my passions.

Running in itself is a motivation and affirmation that there is so much room to push yourself;
to feel pain, but not to necessarily suffer from that pain.

And thus it has become a sort of escape. Exercise and meditation, if you will.
Time to reflect, time to remember, time to plan.

...and as the last few seconds of my running time elapses, I think to myself, this time is so precious.


be proud

im so tired right now.
so so so so so tired.
but i have to take a minute to write all this down while it's flowing through my head.
it's been a crazy week of work and with half a team the work load is tough and I have a hard time verbalizing what I need at work because....well because I don't speak their language.

But beyond the mayhem, beyond the mess, beyond my greasy hair, beyond the lack of sleep, today I feel really good about, not necessarily my appearance, but me, about being here, about what I've come to accomplish. 

I'm proud of myself.

Really, I know there's this idea that living in a foreign place is bliss and glamour, but it isn't. It's fun, maybe sometimes too much fun, but it's a difficult to choose to be so far away from those you love, from those who know you to the core, from those that care about you the most. 

I miss home.
I really really really miss home.
I miss my mom & dad.
My Alex & Ana.
My sister.
My girlfriends.
my G8. my B&B (britt and becca).
My apple, Elma.
nights in bed watching movies with Yuli.

I fucking miss safeway and the way it smells and the endless options of food.
I miss buying cereal for 5 dollars.
I miss the river valley and fresh air.
I miss whyte ave and poboys and high level diner and black dog. 
I miss cinnamon buns. 
I miss driving to the Legislature in the morning, drinking mcdonalds coffee and listening to morning radio.
I miss edmonton.

Today is a day where I am reminded why I have made the sacrifices I have made the last couple of years. Without getting into it, pulling off AW15 is a fucking miracle without my Art Director and Creative Director. 

But we did it. 

You go through this 5 day period where you don't really sleep and where multiple days turn into one rolling day. You pull it off, celebrate and then sort of crumble. But today after I looked at our photos, at the clothes, watched the show, slept for 7 hours and then thought about everything that went into making this all happened, it left me really thinking...how did this happened? how did I get here?

Today, I'm proud of myself. 

I think that we live in a society where being proud is looked down upon. Where having an opinion is a negative thing; it's not in my humble opinion, it's my opinion because this is what I believe in. We are shamed for being proud of our accomplishments, for speaking and thinking highly of ourselves in fear that we may come off as cocky. 

We're almost shamed for believing in ourselves. 
But if anyone should believe in you, it better be you. 

I often have these moments where I think about what I can't do, what I'm not good at, what makes me inferior, and what makes other better. I know that I'm not the only one who battles with this. 

But today, today I thought, holy fuck, look at what I can do. 

When I moved to D.C. in 2012, I was lucky enough to have a kick ass mentor who showed me the things that a woman should and could be. She was featured in this piece recently where she was quoted: 
What advice do you have for other women leaders?I was recently at a women leadership panel where a comment made by another participant really stuck with me. The comment was about how we, as women, all too often use phrases to sabotage the strength of our statements. For example: “I'm sorry, but…”OR“Could you do me a favor and…”OR“I was wondering if there was any way we could…” At that moment, I realized that I was guilty of doing this myself! My takeaway, which I would like to pass on to other women, is don't apologize; just say what you mean and what you need. And as a result, you'll be heard, understood and respected.

She's right, don't apologize.

If you can take anything away from this, then let it be this: 

1) don't be afraid 
2) be proud 
3) have an opinion, it shows that you believe in something. 


but...i have dreams to attend to.

For some reason, my most intense thoughts and brainstorm sessions happened while I'm on the subway. I think there is something about observing people that gets me thinking. 

I have had this reoccurring thought...
is this it? 
it this what my life is?

Now, don't take this the wrong way. I am happy. I am very happy and I am very blessed to have the opportunities to get to do what I do every day. 
Do we go through life, clocking in and out, leaving limited time for the moments that are truly fulfilling and satisfying. 

One thing I have realized about myself is that I need routine in my life. 
I need to have to something on the agenda, I like to workout in the evening. I like to go to bed with a book and a cup of tea. I like having a daily routine. 

I also like being settled. 
As much as I like being rootless, I like to build roots and have my stuff and my space and my comfort with me. 

All in all, I know can't backpack for a year and live out of a backpack. 
I admire people who do it, but it's not me.

And as much as I love making a home and having a routine, I hate that that means I have limited time off to travel, to work on my side projects, to see my family, to work on my writing, to work on my photography, to work on my own shit. 

and so I am trying to figure out, how do I get it all? 
How do i have the roots & the routine, but how do I also ensure that I don't go on autopilot. 

and then, People of New York published this. 
it's not easy to challenge the everyday rules of society. 
this is life. 
wake up. 
get coffee. 
commute home. 
go to the gym.
eat dinner (if you have time). 
listen to some music or the news (I encourage you not to watch the news). 
pass out. 

Challenging this routine is difficult.
Leaving this routine is more difficult. 
Why? Because this is the responsible lifestyle. 
and responsibility is praised. 

How you spend your days, is how you spend your life. 

I'm having a hard time accepting that this is how I will spend my life. Wanting to escape more often, but being tied down by the burdens of roots and routine. 

good fucking question.

if today was the last day of my life, I wouldn't want to spend it in China...and maybe that says something?

I really enjoy what I do at work, really. 
I don't even mind overtiming. I sort of enjoy coming home late after a solid days work, having accomplished lots and being proud of the output. 
I don't even mind working on weekends. 
What I don't enjoy is the autopilot mode that I am encountering.

and that's a scary place to be, because I have dreams. 


sometimes irrelevant is everything but

Sometimes my favorite moments are like this moment; early in the morning at metro station, but late enough to be late to work avoiding all madness. Reading with James Vincent Mcmorrow playing in the back, feeling myself take the deepest of breaths preparing for a days work. 
My lips hitting the first of the many coffees I would inhale, but the first taste is always the best...in all cases. 

I look at my reflection in the glass and feel my hair catch flight as the subways shuffles in. I think to myself: these are the moments. 

A swell of satisfaction goes over me in these moments and I take the time to think about them. To feel them. To be thankful for them.

Life is a combination of these irrelevant moments, that for some reason, hold so much relevance.


‘life is a series of surprises which we mostly resist’

it’s a difficult thing to embrace everything that comes our way.
So is the case when speaking of uncertainty and change, especially un-welcome change. But isn’t this after all what builds our character to the very fullest; to not resist, and succumb, and be vulnerable and be there, fully immersed.

I think so.
But this doesn’t make it easy.

Unwelcome change is the worst.
Just as you get into your groove, just as you feel things are headed down the right path and your ship is finally sailing the course it’s suppose to…BOOM, you’re hit by a fucking tidal wave.

Maybe these unwelcome changes are character building surprises that feed all the hungry parts of our minds and souls that have been starving for some time now. 

The tidal wave is your awakening.
Either that, or it will drown you.

I can think of things in my life that I resisted, and looking back at them, I wish I had done the opposite.

And I know why I resisted. I resisted because it would just be too uncomfortable and too unnatural to not resist. We just do the best we can to keep going down the road we’re on because it must be the right road and we’re fixated on a bigger picture.

If you think about it, we fixate on a picture that in essence controls our behaviors to all of the exciting/scary things that may come our way. We fixate because that image that we constructed years ago when choosing our college majors, must be the picture that is the right one, because you know, you know exactly what and who you want to be straight out of high school.

Thinking back, I’m more uncomfortable that I resisted.

Anne Lamott: ‘we live stitch by stitch, when we’re lucky. If you fixate on the big picture, the whole shebang, the overview,  you miss the stitching.’

Day by day.
Stitch by stitch.

You know those people you think have it all figured out have nothing more figured out than you because tomorrow is just as unpredictable for them as it is for you.
What separates all of us is how we choose to ride the waves of surprise that come along.

Some of us, the majority of us, will choose to miss a whole stitch, more often than not.

I think we rob ourselves all of our lives.
I think that’s why a big select of us have such a phobia of commitment; that commitment will ultimately be the reason to resist surprise and fun and thus, will ultimately, make life mundane.

Commitment is not a lack of freedom.
Commitment should not be a lack of freedom.

We’re all stumbling through this thing we call life.

“Cheat on the chaotic stumbling-about, and you’ve robbed yourself of the raw stuff that feeds the imagination.”
Denis Shekerjian

And maybe that’s why everything gets boring and mundane and routine like and life loses the luster it once had. 

Life is a series of surprises.
And ultimately, spontaneity, uncertainty, and the unknown is what we live for.
So live.