dreams & destiny.


Sometimes, the fortunes in fortune cookies are just silly pieces of paper with some writing on them.  Writing that says something like “Your smile makes heads turn” or “Good friends are like warm honey.” Nice things to hear, sure, but not anything significant or meaningful.

Every now and then, though, it happens. You know.  That magic moment right as you reach for your cookie—because somehow you know it’s yours—and the paper crinkles just right, and there’s a hush that only you hear, and the cookie cracks right down the middle, and there’s a slight, suspenseful resistance from the slip of paper as you slide it from it’s shell.  Every now and then, you get a fortune that makes you smile softly to yourself, a fortune that you want to put into your wallet so you can carry it with you always and save as a reminder that there is magic in the world.

As I’m about to embark on this new phase of my academic journey—an MFA in Creative Writing and Writing for the Performing Arts at UCR Palm Desert—I am filled with wonder and brimming over with dreams.  This fortune that I got the other night was synchronistic to say the least.  The truth is, I’m a dreamer.  I’ve had a lot of different dreams in the short amount of time I’ve been on this earth.  I’ve had dreams that have come, dreams that have gone, dreams that have taken me on wild tangents and back again.  My dreams have taken all sorts of sizes, shapes, and colors—they’ve ranged from wanting to own a dude ranch (don’t ask,) to joining the FBI, to being a horse whisperer, to being a photographer, to being a yoga teacher.  Some of these things I’ve pursued with success—right now I teach several yoga classes a week!—and others have simply faded as I’ve grown and changed.

But there is a dream that “keeps coming back.”

The dream that has always been there, as long as I can remember.

The dream that has never left.

And that is to be a writer.

I realize that I could write without an MFA program (and I have & do.)  But honestly, I crave guidance.  I want to take my raw understanding of writing and mold it into something more polished.  I want to be in a community with others who feel this same undeniable, indescribable urge to make sense of this madness by placing one word after another.  In the past several weeks, I’ve had the pleasure of being in my program’s Facebook group, and what I have witnessed in this short amount of time has made my heart warm.  I see people who understand what it’s like to have notebooks filled with all kinds of writing piled up in their closet, like ghosts of themselves from the past.  These ghosts are friendly—and sometimes haunting!—reminders that this is who we are.

I like to think that there are dreams that we choose along the way.

Some dreams, though, choose us.

School starts officially in a week!  I’m nervous, excited, giddy, and scared all at the same time.  The program itself feels like a dream come true.  I’m most grateful for its non-pretentious attitude/vibe and the fact that we’re encouraged to read and write what we want, not what we feel we’re supposed to want.  There’s a huge difference, and the significance of this difference is not lost on me.

I step into this new chapter of my life with an open heart and an eager mind.  Whatever challenges lie ahead, I know this one thing for sure:

I’m ready. So ready.

2013 summer bucket list


I kind of alluded to this in my New Year’s post, but my official “word” for 2013 is: adventure. It’s the first thing that popped into my head when I thought about what kind of year I’d like to have. It’s what my soul is craving; it’s what I need. I really do think that this year will provide a lot of opportunities for adventuring.

This is not to say that I have to actually go on some grand, epic adventure. I just want to weave an adventurous spirit into all that I do, and to actively seek out ways to find mini-adventures all around me.

Because it’s the beginning of March and today was a blazing 85 degrees, I have summer on the brain. In this spirit, I’ve put together a summer bucket list. Last year, there were all these fun, summery things that I talked about doing but never did end up getting around to. This year, they’re going on a list with the hope that being able to cross things off (the nerd in me) will be even more motivation to get out there and do.

My 2013 Summer Bucket List:

  • Go to a baseball game
  • Go camping at least once (Anza Borrego, Idyllwild, Big Sur, any of these will do!)
  • Go to the drive-in movies as often as possible (is there anything more nostalgic or romantic than this? Plus at $7 per person for two movies & you can bring your own snacks and *ahem* drinks, how can you say no?)
  • Speaking of movies, try to see all of this year’s good ones on the big screen!
  • See a Shakespeare play at the Old Globe Theater in Balboa Park. Drink some wine, eat some food, maybe even go with friends?
  • Hike whenever possible
  • Go to graduate school residency in Palm Desert (this one is mandatory, but I have a feeling it will be a grand adventure of it’s own!)
  • Be a beach bunny (I say this every year so we’ll see…)
  • Speaking of beaches, have at least one beach bonfire. A good one at that.

That’s what I’ve got for now, I may add to the list as I think of more. Let me know if you want in on some of these mini-adventures with me. We’ll make it a summer to remember!

bravery and joy. ♥

When I look back on it, 2012 was a year of accomplishing big things.  I graduated from college.  I graduated yoga teacher training and started teaching yoga.  I got the ball rolling for applying to grad school.  I got back into writing.  It was a year of learning and a year of doing, a year of making so much progress and getting so much done.

However, at this very moment I feel exhausted.

I got so caught up last year in Getting Things Done that I feel like I may have forgotten the point of it all: to live a life I love.  To have fun.  To experience life fully, as it happens.

When taking a yoga class on New Years Eve, the teacher asked us to think of a word that symbolized what we wanted to bring into 2013.  Immediately the word popped into my head: adventure.  I want 2013 my most adventurous year yet.  I want to reclaim my sense of wonder and intrigue with the world around me.  I want to get out there, try new things, and actively pursue new experiences.


In addition to being open to adventure, the following is a list of things I want to keep in mind for 2013.  Resolutions, goals, intentions, whatever you want to call them, here they are.

  • Get back on track with putting only good food into my body.  Every now and then treats are good & deserved, but I’ve been going a little to heavy on the sugary & salty snacks late at night. Would like to curb this habit!
  • In a similar vein, actually do a three day juice cleanse this year!  Either do it myself OR use SUJA Juice, an absolutely amazing local San Diego juice company.
  • Start running again! This is something I know I can do.  I’d like to get to the point where I’m running three times per week again.  There’s a really awesome four mile trail in the park nearby and I want to utilize it.
  • Yoga at least 5-6 times per week.  Begin to explore my home practice more on days I can’t make it to a studio.  Also, I’d like to find space for a teaching workshop (Maybe Seane Corn in September?!)  I’d like to infuse my teaching with some fresh inspiration this year!
  • Make space in my life for meditation again.  I feel that it’s nice to set aside some time each day to sit quietly, with no obligations, nothing to do, no where to go, no input, no output.  Just a few minutes each day to be with what is.
  • Create a regular writing habit.  Daily would be ideal, but maybe not completely realistic.  I would like to get to a point where I am writing several times per week—maybe building up to daily?  And I’m talking fiction here. :)  I have a novel in progress but I’d also like to get working on some short stories I have brewing.
  • Start submitting my work to literary journals!  This goes hand in hand with the post above. In order to submit, I need to be creating new material.  We can do this 2013.
  • Get into graduate school—UCR Palm Desert’s Creative Writing MFA program!  My package is almost complete.  I’m just putting the finishing touches on my writing sample and then it’s fingers crossed. I’m feeling really positive about it though.
  • Travel somewhere new.  It doesn’t have to be anything crazy. It doesn’t even have to be out of the country (this year, anyway.) But I want to go somewhere I haven’t gone yet.  Washington or Oregon or New York.  I didn’t do any traveling last year—LA and Palm Desert don’t count!—so I’d really like to make a point to visit at least one fresh destination this year.
  • Take more photos.  Last year I really dropped the ball on this.  Most of the photos I took were on my phone!  And I hardly have any pictures of Bijan and I together. I’d like to rekindle my relationship with photography and find a way to bring it back into my life without any pressure.
  • Get together with my friends more. :)
  • Read!  Last year I had an excuse—I did manage to read something like thirteen new books!—because I was in school and so much of my free time was taken up with that.  On my GoodReads account I set a goal of reading thirty new books this year.  It’s a lofty goal, but I figure, why not?  The next few months especially I’ll have no school to hold me back.  So I want to get as much reading in as possible!  My parents got me a Kindle for Christmas, so this will give me further incentive to read more. Book recommendations, anyone?  I’d love to hear them!
  • Most of all, remember to be kind to myself and remember that the purpose of these “goals” is to grow, to live a life I love, to create a life full of intention and purpose, and to be fully immersed in the present moment.  Remember that life is no where else but right here, in this moment, and all I need to be happy is to breathe and let go.  Everything always works out.

Every year, Neil Gaiman writes a New Year’s wish, and they are always beautiful.  This year was no different, and I’ll leave you with his words as they also capture what’s on my own heart:

“It’s a New Year and with it comes a fresh opportunity to shape our world.

So this is my wish, a wish for me as much as it is a wish for you: in the world to come, let us be brave – let us walk into the dark without fear, and step into the unknown with smiles on our faces, even if we’re faking them.

And whatever happens to us, whatever we make, whatever we learn, let us take joy in it. We can find joy in the world if it’s joy we’re looking for, we can take joy in the act of creation.

So that is my wish for you, and for me. Bravery and joy.”