If you happen to live in a first world, Westernized city/state/country, chances are you may feel overwhelmed much of the time. Especially in major metropolitan areas in the U.S., the culture is focused on a lot of –ing words: doing more, working harder, feeling better, looking hotter.
Having grown up in this culture, I appreciate its drive and thrust towards progress, but it’s also a culture of near-unattainable ambitions and intense pressure. It can cause us to feel never enough—never successful enough, never hot enough, never healthy enough. It can cause us to build schedules and lives that help us to feel like we’re striving towards those expectations, even as we remain out of touch with what really brings us joy and fulfillment.Continue reading “Stepping out of survival mode”→
Let me be clear here, I am not the first girl to jump on the pumpkin-everything bandwagon, once September 1st drops.
Normally I complain to everyone about how the pumpkin-butternut squash-fall-everything craze is one big marketing ploy to make all of America purchase PSL lattes in 85 degree weather and pretend Christmas is coming.
In the middle of the journey of our life, I came to myself, in a dark wood, where the direct way was lost. It is a hard thing to speak of, how wild, harsh and impenetrable that wood was, so that thinking of it recreates the fear. It is scarcely less bitter than death: but, in order to tell of the good that I found there, I must tell of the other things I saw there.
I first read this quote as a freshman in college, in Dante’s classic Inferno. Chronologically, I was not in the “middle of the journey” of my own life. However, this one phrase deeply resonated with me at that particular point in my life:
This bowl was born out of a desire to eat all of my favorite foods at one time, and masquerade it as a grains + greens bowl. That means I get to eat avocado, hummus, and tortilla chips, and feel good about it. It’s a salad. It’s a grain bowl packed with vegetables. It’s vegan and gluten-free. And it’s also salty, crunchy, creamy, and perfect for lunch. Continue reading “Black bean + quinoa bowl with avocado, hummus, & veggies”→
She remembered who she was, and it changed everything.
The first time I was given a personality test, I was 23, fresh out of college, and very, very sure I knew exactly who I was, how I function, and what I value. At the time, I was a student in a small ministry school, and the aim of the test was to help us communicate better as a team that would eventually go to India together on a mission trip. I agreed to take the test, but I felt condescended to and frustrated.
I was unique—how could I be categorically labeled and defined by a formula?
For a long time now, I’ve asked myself this question:
What is hope, really?
As I’ve grappled with different challenges or circumstances that seem insurmountable—as does every human being on the planet, to varying degrees—hope has sometimes felt elusive. Like just a word, and not something we can hold onto with certainty.
I recently came across a single phrase* that got me thinking about my attitude towards much of what I would like more of in my life: material resources (yes, I’m talking about money), relationships (yes, I’m talking about getting married and having children), and even spiritual fulfillment (yes, I’m talking about God).
Every summer, I splurge at least once on a pound of heirloom tomatoes. A little pricey, a little mysterious with their knobs and purple-y hues, but in my mind, far more appealing than shining mountains of pluots and plums.
This week, I turn 29 years old. While not officially 30, I feel it’s close enough to merit some reflection on the past almost-decade.
In fact, “29” feels a little odd to me—like the space between two stair steps. Like I’m reaching for something ahead, but not there quite yet. Those two digits that have evolved, at least in contemporary American culture, to suggest that now there are no more excuses to put off adulthood. Your career should be well on its way; if you’re not married yet, thinking about it should factor into your every decision (hate to say it, but especially for women). Your twenties are for exploring and experimenting. Your thirties are for adulting.