I Send You My Best Vibes.

Today I tried sagging my pants. This was inspired by a 50-something, Caribbean gem that I work with who delivers slam-dunk styles each day at the makeshift trailer office we operate out of. It’s temporary. The trailer, not the sagging pants (those are here to stay).

Basically, what I am trying to express is that I love my new job. The women I work with are mind blowingly cool. They display multi-level hustle, kindness and patience and I feel that I have so much to learn from them. Also, I can take heaps of kindness and patience right now. I was thrown in as an interpreter on my 2nd day and am learning the subtleties of regional, linguistic differences and hyper-specific, non-profit vocab by actually speaking Spanish, A LOT of it.

Most of my life has been wrapped up in establishing a solid foundation at work and a place to live. Both frontiers look hopeful. I’m wishing on a haunted, victorian in Oakland but I’ve managed to slightly relax about how life falls in to place. Everything really does work out.

My in-between moments have been spent reading in the park for a newly founded book club, listening to political talk radio during my commute and spending loads of time with Stephanie in kitchen conquest.

I also had the opportunity to accompany Jocelyn in her recent foray into candle making. She sold these in a craft faire at Subrosa Coffee las Saturday and they smell SO GOOD. This is just on facet of her recent cohesive project Off the Beaten Path. Tune in for developments and an excellent selection of vintage, jewelry and artisan goods.

I’ll keep it brief and leave with a few photos of dreamy people and moments from the past week.

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Stephanie, horse whisperer

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This horse is not entertained

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Steph’s persimmon, lavender cookies WUT?!

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Does a name tage make it official?

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Candle babies.

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Book Club park times

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The endlessly beautiful Bay Bridge commute

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Pool, beers and a heart attack over how much I love these women

I Get Wild: Books, Country, Hobos & City Lights

If you know me, or even just read this blog, you’ve probably caught on to the fact that I really like to read. Novels, newspapers, traffic signs, cereal boxes…I just dig the act of using my eyeballs to soak in words. However, I occasionally experience a moment of magic when I pick up a book and realize, damn, this speaks to me. And then I can’t put the book down.

This literary possession occurred yesterday when a friend loaned me Cheryl Strayed’s Wild. I’m usually pretty skeptical of any contemporary novel associated with the Oprah conglomerate (James Frey disaster, anyone?), but I fell in love with Strayed’s writing/fighting style within the prologue’s first paragraph.

Much of this is due to Strayed’s reminder of how it feels to be Wild. I’ve recently transitioned to an urban setting and while immersed in the squeaking rail systems, traffic lights, fried food, and clogged city sidewalks the sensations I experienced 2 months ago on my solo, West Coast journey become slightly diluted.

But I spent a good amount of time alone in wide open spaces. While my endeavors were nowhere near Strayed’s 4 year trek along the Pacific Crest Trail, I’ve grown sentimental today for the strange moments I encountered as a young, female wandering alone through unfamiliar territory.

For example, on my way back to Portland from San Francisco, I pulled off in Redding for lunch. One of my beloved pastimes during this journey was eating lunch on my tailgate in the sun. So I was sitting in the grocery parking lot on my tailgate, eating some cheese and a clan of hobos descended on me. They sauntered over and one sat down next to me. He looked at my sleeping bag rolled out in the back and bags of various living necessities. “Man, you have a nice setup here!”

“Yeah,” I said. “It works for me”.

Then he asked if I had a smoke, which I didn’t. “Does your boyfriend?”

“Nah.” I said. “He doesn’t smoke. He’s grabbing some groceries and then we’re heading out.” I lied. On my trip, I sometimes found that being brave meant lying about being alone. These guys were harmless though. They drank from their jug for a minute. Then my tailgate companion got up, said goodbye and he and his friends walked toward the freeway.

At this moment, I realized that these guys didn’t wander over because I was female and alone but because they recognized me as one of their own. A wayfarer with a makeshift bed, sunburn, and infrequent access to showers.

I had a lot on my mind during that journey back to Portland and despite the big life shifts I faced, I felt pretty grounded. I got back and 2 days later decided that I was moving to the Bay. Now I am here. I’ve found a very promising job. I’m making it work. I’m back to showering and sleeping under a roof.

But I read this statement early on in my Wild addiction and think it’s equi-relevant to both my rural & urban explorations.

“Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story that we tell ourselves, and so I chose to tell myself a different story from the one women are told. I decided I was safe. I was strong. I was brave.”

I plan to head to Big Sur soon with friends to find some open space. For me, it’s important to strike a balance between natural and city landscapes and recognize how both offer a particular wildness that feeds me.

Here are some photos from my recent city ventures.

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Portland buds Jason & Tom take in views at the SF Art Institute. Current “Energy That is All Around” exhibit most definitely worth a visit.

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A tiny vial of Palo Santo essential oil, concocted in a science-project style, home distillery with Andrew and Jocelyn. Tip: Palo Santo oil smells great, marigold oil? Not so much.

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A collarbone ellipsis, very accurate for this chapter of my life, very painful placement.

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It’s very creepy that I took a photo of Stephanie sleeping and ALSO very creepy that she sleeps with pillows and blankets over her face. But I had to capture this tender moment to demonstrate how Lumps has become part of a trifecta. We love her.

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Blue sky view from the Deyoung Museum Tower

More job news coming up. If you’re in the Bay Area and want to join forces for a Big Sur trip or our new Book Club, holla.

Love,

E.D.

Let’s Be Honest…

…the only reason I’ve been able to make this transition to the Bay Area is due to the magnanimous generosity of my friend family here. I’ve recently been thinking about friendship a lot and how important it is to our human experience. Collin and I sat in Precita Park today and as I mumbled about income worries and which career path I want to pursue he turned to me and simply stated, ” well you have a place to stay and time to find a job you want and, you know, if you run out of savings we can buy your food.” MIND BLOWN by this kindness. So thanks for that Collin. And to Meg, Josh and Merwin as well for not merely being generous hosts but also for being beautiful humans in general. Please note, I don’t plan on having friends buy my groceries any time soon but the simple statement of their kindness moves me in funky awesome ways.

One of my best homegirls Stephanie arrived on Wednesday and we’ve mutually embarked on some deep, domestic pursuits. This includes a daunting search for Oakland property bearing yard space and the frequent preparation of elaborate meals for our current household. Both endeavors have been fueled by heavy consumption of red wine. Cork a bottle, drink, throw some in with onions sparkling on the stove, repeat. I want to keep doing this every night forever and once we secure the right digs Stephanie and I will be fulfilling our grandest, wine-onion dreams.

Everything is quietly falling in to place. Perhaps it isn’t on my exact timeline but as friends here keep reminding me, now is a good time to relax, practice gratitude and remain optimistic. It’s a simple formula and with the amount of sun and good times I’m having? It’s not a hard one to follow.

So this post is to primarily express my immense gratitude for friendship and to share a few pictures from hikes around Precita. More job news next week.

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Until then <3,

E.D.