Well that’s today, and I’m not letting​ it end! Some of the pleasures were simple, but very meaningful to me: 

  • a plethora of ergonomic work stations at my disposal; 
  • the fastest internet I’ve had in 7 months of travel; 
  • privacy (a luxury when you’re almost always in a dorm room); 
  • healthy, crazy delicious, affordable vegetarian food, including deliciously ripe pineapple; 
  • as much free drinking water I as I wanted (with the option for cucumber water!); 
  • and fresh air and sunlight! 

I started my day by tending to my responsibilities. It felt good to focus and be productive: 

  • took care of some lingering business which lightened/freed up my mind; 
  • filed my taxes and for the first time in years I’m getting a refund – and it’s a big one; 
  • organized my files and cleared out my inbox; 
  • tended to my finances, uncovering a forgotten $1800 dollars in the process; 
  • successfully got my insurance to cover my camera repair even though they could have denied it as they don’t typically cover items purchased outside of the US; 
  • and purchased a ticket to Thailand for 50% less than it’s been listed for the past several months. 

But even better than all that: 

  • I had a deep conversation with my dad about the purpose of life, and closer to him than ever before which I didn’t think was possible; 
  • researched books that will inspire me for the next decade, and bring me closer to the person I want to be; 
  • cried so many happy tears; 
  • and had stimulating conversation with a like-minded person. 

I ended the day with a glass of Chardonnay, which I sipped while cooking a brown rice and lentil curry dish, and watched a cheesy but old favourite good-feel movie, What Seems May Come (it’s got Robbin Williams, what else do you need to know). And soon, I get to Skype with my Maman!

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I have a complicated relationship with myself. I judge myself harshly, I question myself, scrutinize my actions, analyze my thoughts and feelings. But ultimately, it’s all good. My relationship with myself is stable despite all its complications. I’m committed to myself. I’m in it with me. I’m in it till the end. I’ll never give up on myself, on my dreams and goals, nor on my belief that I can reach them. I’ll never give up striving for my potential, to be the person I want to be. I’ll always forgive myself, for I and only I know that at my deepest core my intentions are pure and I work to learn from my mistakes. I’ll never stop trying to improve myself. I’ll never abandon myself. I’ll always love myself. I am my ride-or-die bitch*. 
*Today I learned (TIL) that “ride or die” comes from “ride it out or die trying”. 
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Comiendo poco,
Durmiendo mal.
Pero viviendo el mundo, y punto.

Eating little,
Sleeping poorly.
But living the world, period.

– El Mundito del Rap by Canserbero

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“Prayer for Protection” from Unity:

The light of the cosmos surrounds us.
The love of the cosmos enfolds us.
The power of the cosmos protects us.
The presence of the cosmos watches over us.
Wherever we are the cosmos is.

Metta Sutta:

May all beings be well and safe, may they be at ease.
Whatever living beings there may be,
Whether moving or standing still, without exception,
Whether large, great, middling, or small, whether tiny or substantial,
Whether seen or unseen,
Whether living near or far,
Born or unborn;
May all beings be happy.
Let none deceive or despise another anywhere. Let none wish harm to another, in anger or in hate.

Jonathan Lehmann Morning Meditation Affirmations:

  1. I make plans, but I remain flexible and open to the surprises that life has in store for me. I try to say “yes” as often as possible.
  2. I cultivate patience, and by doing so I also cultivate self-confidence.
  3. I welcome the opportunity to step outside of my comfort zone, and I do not let myself be guided by fear.
  4. I love myself unconditionally, because it’s essential to my happiness. I love the person that I am, and I do not need other people’s approval to love myself fully.
  5. I’m going to drink water, eat fruit and vegetables, walk, take the stairs, exercise. Today I’m giving love to my body.
  6. I give everywhere I go, even if only a smile, a compliment, or my full attention. Listening is the best gift I can give to those around me.
  7. I try to be impeccable with my word, and to speak only to spread positivity It’s counterproductive to my happiness to speak against myself or against others.
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I can be super emotional. I honestly didn’t even know this about myself until about a year ago, when my dad (who I call a “zen master”) said something like “Sometimes I feel like maybe I’m a bad person, because I’m not as deeply affected by things as you are.” That put it into perspective to me, for I find my dad to be incredibly empathetic. I am empathetic even with situations that don’t relate to me personally. The best example of this is here, but I also deeply connect with this character’s description here, and the long quote in large font here.

I’ve noticed that in the last few months I’ve barely cried. I was a little depressed in the winter/spring. (I should mention, that depression to me is not sadness, it’s absence of feeling, which makes me feel alive and connected.) It was mainly winter blues, but partly because I have no fucking idea what I’m doing with my life – something I now find to be a blessing.

You don’t think in depression that you’ve put on a gray veil and are seeing the world through the haze of a bad mood. You think that the veil has been taken away, the veil of happiness, and that now you’re seeing truly. It’s easier to help schizophrenics who perceive that there’s something foreign inside of them that needs to be exorcised, but it’s difficult with depressives, because we believe we are seeing the truth. (Soloman)

I cried on March 31st when I shared the dullness I was experiencing with my dad, finally admitting to myself that I need to take my emotional health into my own hands and get myself to a better place. I stopped distracting myself with TV and wine, I surrounded myself with great friends, and I started meditating and doing yoga. And miraculously, on April 17th I found myself literally dancing in the woods out of happiness! It’s the fastest and most dramatic recovery I’ve ever experienced!


I cried on my birthday. The good kind of cry. I used to get bummed out by my bday, because I think of it as a day where I should get to do what I want, yet that’s rarely the case. This year was one of my fave bdays ever! I threw myself a small party and had friends over for champagne cocktails, pizza, and cake. Exactly what I wanted. See how happy I am? My dear friend Ikram gave me a card and wrote this poem in it. All the feels took over me!

Original German:

Was passt, das muss sich ründen,
Was sich versteht, sich finden,
Was gut ist, sich verbinden,
Was liebt, zusammensein.
Was hindert, muss entweichen,
Was krumm ist, muss sich gleichen,
Was fern ist, sich erreichen,
Was keimt, das muss gedeihn.

by Adolph Selmnitz (see full poem here)

English Translation:

What suits has to round/form each other
What understands each other, to find each other
What good is for each other, to connect
What loves each other, to stay together
What hinders each other, to stay away
What is crooked, must be the same,
What far away from each other, to get close to each other
What blossoms, to be fruitful.

I’m so embarrassed to share this, but this video of Obama singing Amazing Grace at the funeral for those killed in the Charleston church massacre made me tear up at my desk. I tend to remain neutral to politicias. But Obama’s been pretty damn impressive. This video made me cry because it’s so rare that a person in a powerful leadership position shows such genuine empathy. All politicians kiss babies, but this dude mourned in public. Now that I think about it, he’s been the most authentic politician I’ve been exposed to. He adheres to his values despite the potential dissent from the masses. That’s admirable.


Works Cited:

Selmnitz, Adolph. Den Mond Wollt’ Ich Dir Schenken Poetische Präsente. Comp. Hans-Peter Kraus and Werner Schmitt. on Demand, 2015. Print.

Solomon, Andrew. “Depression, the Secret We Share.” TED. Oct. 2013. Web. 30 June 2015. <https://www.ted.com/talks/andrew_solomon_depression_the_secret_we_share?language=en>.

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The numbers of pictures I take is a surprisingly good measure. Frequency of instagram posts is indicative as well.


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I’ve been spending as much time outdoors as possible lately. Lunchbreak naps in the sun, and strolls through Oz Park.







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Memories in pictures.


Shopping for fresh herbs.

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I threw myself an impromptu birthday party!

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Mason: Dad? …There’s no, like, real magic in the world, right?
Dad: What do you mean?
Mason: You know, like elves and stuff. People just made that up.
Dad: Oh, I don’t know. I mean, what makes you think that elves are any more magical than something like… like a whale? You know what I mean? What if I told you a story about how underneath the ocean, there was this giant sea mammal that used sonar and sang songs and it was so big that its heart was the size of a car and you could crawl through the arteries? I mean, you’d think that was pretty magical, right?

Boyhood. Perf. Ellar Coltrane, Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke. IFC Films, 2014. Film.

People talk about the miracle of life, and it is a miracle! Cosmically speaking, it’s magical that life exists at all, and even more magical that you and I exist. Hereistoday.com does a great display of this in terms of time, but the same is true in terms of space. I also think some parts of modern day living are magical, like penicillin, and the internet! The way my cousin in New Jersey, and me in Illinois are listening to the same music RIGHT NOW*! Maybe life is magic, and science is the explanation of how magical things happen, like entire oak trees growing from a tiny seed.


*Thanks spotify :)

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