RE: The Importance of Hobbies and Professional Fulfillment

Blah, blah, blah, yada, yada, yada, it’s been a long time, guilt, guilt, guilt.

2019 has been…odd. I feel, in some ways, that it’s been a cocoon year. Last year I was a caterpillar, next year I’ll be a butterfly - this year, I’m nesting and growing and figuring shit out so I can spread my wings later.

This post has been a long time coming, and it’s theme I’ve talked about multiple times regarding this blog, but I have to hammer it home again, for my own peace of mind.


I say this, as someone who willingly and purposefully gave up all of her side hustles in the last year. I’ve stopped chasing the hustle. For a number of reasons, but mostly - I can say - for the first time in my adult life - I think I’m 100% professionally fulfilled.

For a long time, my side hustles were what I was doing to feel fulfilled and that I hoped would eventually become my main hustle. Most of you who know me personally, have known that I’ve always wanted to be a writer. The truth is - I’ve always just loved telling stories and I’ve always loved pop culture. As a child, I thought I was going to blow my education and become a rock star. As a teen, I thought that a unlikely plan and I shifted my focus to film. Making movies would allow me to have a hand in all of the things I loved; writing, story telling, music, fashion, and of course, pop culture. So - that’s why I set off and pursued my degrees - because I thought they’d help me advance into a career in film and ultimately as a writer. Because I love to write and it comes easy to me. Even when I wasn’t taken seriously by my professors or my peers, because I cared more about Burton that I did Beckett - I wanted to have my hand in pop culture, I wanted to write.

Writing always felt like a lifeline to keep me alive and to get me to my CAREER. Whatever other job I had - I always thought that it was a placeholder until the writing took off and I could spend all day huddled over my computer with a cup of spiked tea, spilling my heart out. Here’s the thing though - I got a taste of that life during my funemployment, and I wasn’t really crazy about it. There’s a lot of time that passes in between the maybe two hours each day that I was able to squeeze out some good words. Also - I was hella broke and that sucked the most. While writing is still my lifeline - it’s not my career.

I finally feel like I've finally struck professional gold. Retail buying is…wild. And difficult. And I’m still learning it and a lot of the time I think I might not be that great at it. But I love it. I get to work with pop culture and use product to tell stories. I do something that feels important to me… Being an adult who lives in a big city, it’s easy to lose sight of what it was like to be a teenager in a suburb who couldn’t go to shows and couldn’t get merchandise, and how good it felt to go to a mall and buy a shirt with your favorite band’s logo on it or a hoodie of your favorite cartoon. But, I remember that. And it feels really good to be the person making that hoodie possible. I finally feel like, this is it. This is enough. I can do this for a really long time and feel good about myself; I feel like I’m using my talents and skills and challenging myself and doing something awesome for a select group of people.

Which isn’t to say that I’m done writing. Not at all. But it is to say - that writing is my non-monetized hobby. And I’m so good with that. First of all - it’s real goddamned hard to make money at writing. I’ve had multiple people ask to pick my brain about my blog recently and the only advice I’ve been able to give them (which I’m not sure they were happy with) was - blog for yourself, because no one is going to read it and you’re not going to make any money off of it. I lose money on this blog. Straight up. Even when my views are in the thousands (which only happens once in a blue moon); I’m still losing money on it. Thousands of views aren’t enough to get paid advertising and web hosting doesn’t pay for itself. It is what it is.

I’ve also had multiple people tell me recently that I need to write THIS THING or THAT THING. That if I want to see media with more black women in it then I need to write it - because I write anyway. Nah, I don’t NEED to do any of those things. Writing is my hobby. And it’s important to have hobbies. I’m stealing this sentence right from a psychology article, “Hobbies play an important role in mitigating some of this unavoidable stress, as they provide us with an outlet for creativity, distraction, and something to look forward to.”. Hobbies are fucking important.

I’m so tired of hustle culture. Hustle until we die? Nah dog, hustle until I’m ready to take a nap or when traffic dies down and then relax and enjoy a video game. Attaching a hustle to everything raises the stakes and makes the things that you should be doing for fun stressful. And that’s the wall that I used to hit with writing over and over and over the past few years. There are multiple posts about it, right here on this blog.

I get it, some people need a side hustle. “Half of millennials have a side gig because they can’t find a full-time job that will pay them a living wage, or because a side hustle is what’s required to break into their desired field. But once you’ve decided to monetize a leisure activity, it can be hard to go back.” But, the article that quote comes from by Ann Friedman lays out why not everything is, or should be, a hustle. Somethings you need to do for you.

So for now, writing is something I’m doing for myself. I’m not sure how often I’ll feel led to update the blog. I’ve been MIA around here for six months. I should hope that I don’t take another six months off, but we’ll see. Eventually, I’ll probably write for gain again. After I’ve retired out of the fashion game and moved to the mountains with my husband - I’ll dress in caftans and vintage nightgowns under too big cardigans and write my sordid memoirs and YA fiction. Maybe I’ll hit the lotto and that time will come in the next five years. Who the fuck knows. I don’t. For now, the words are for me - and you, if you choose to read them.

I have some other fun things coming down the pipeline to share with you - a new Youtube channel…possibly a podcast…even less than likely some music. I’ll let you know.

Until next time. XO.

New Year Check - In

It’s been quite a few weeks, and for that I apologize. There’s been a lot going on, on my end. There was a long hard January, a February that went by in a blink, and a March that was intense. I’m tired and I need a long nap. How was your beginning of the year? Like I said, mine was…hard. 

It always feel like there’s a lot of pressure at the beginning of the year. Pressure to figure your resolutions, pressure to stick to them, pressure to start over, be a better person, etc etc. It just feels - hard. Starting over is hard and don't let anyone tell you it isn't. It can be beautiful and it can be liberating, but it's really fucking difficult. That being said - how did everyone do with their resolutions? Are you still working on them, or have you forgotten about them now that it's almost April and Spring has sprung?

My resolutions felt simple enough ( - but I've already "failed" at them. I don’t really think you can fail at emotionally and spiritual growth, but I haven’t done what I set out to do. 

First of all - I underestimated how difficult it would be to start a new role at work. It was hard, really hard. I felt a lot of imposter syndrome and was overwhelmed for WEEKS. I came home tired every day, feeling like my brain had been fried by new information and new processes. I switched to an entirely different team and had to get to know new people and let new people get to know me. It was a lot. 

Secondly, one of the relationships I wanted to work on took a hiatus. It was absolutely for the best, but it was definitely hard to face and it was painful. 

With all of this going on my mental health started to suffer. I was tired and confused an emotionally overwhelmed. It rained for nearly a month straight. I had to spend over $1,000 in one weekend, because the DMV wrongfully impounded my car. That's enough to make anyone feel a little bananas. 

When I was almost feeling right side up from all of this, there was a death in my family. My estranged father died and that was far more difficult than I ever thought it would have been. 

Like I said, it was a hard few months and this year certainly didn't start the way that I wanted it to. However, I'm not letting it get me down. There are a lot of cultures that believe that the year really begins in the Spring, and this time I'm using that to my advantage and starting new now.

During all of the percieved doom and gloom of the end of winter, I experienced something interesting. My mom and I were taking a walk on our local pier; it was a Sunday and it was one of the few days where it wasn't raining. It was nearing sunset and there were a few fisherman out. We stopped to talk to one, he said that his day had been nice, but he hadn't caught any big fish, only a small one. The small fish he had caught was taking up all of the room in the cooler he had brought - it was a personal cooler, the kind you can pack a nice lunch in, but not much bigger than that. As we finished talking to him and walked away my mom and I mused, "Well, no wonder he only caught small fish - if he had caught a big one, he'd have no where to put it-" We stopped and looked at each other in the same moment. Is the size of your cooler limiting the size of your fish? Something to think about.

Until next time. xo.

Fashion Icon Batman's Vicki Vale (1989)

I’m overdue for a mushy ass feelings post, but I’m not really in the mood for that right now. What I want to talk about is one of my favorite fictional fashion icons.

First of all, we need to establish that the best Batman movie ever made is the animated Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, followed very closely by Tim Burton’s Batman and Batman Returns. And none of the other films count (except for maybe the Adam West one, but I’m mostly throwing much-deserved shade at Joel Schumacher and Christopher Nolan). Now, while discussing the Batman of the early ‘90’s, we all know that Michelle Pfeiffer as Selina Kyle was a whole ass mood. Just look at her. That scene when she transforms into Catwoman? ICONIC. YOUR FAVE COULD NEVER. It’s a goth girl’s dream.


HOWEVER - Kim Bassinger as Vicki Vale is a fucking unsung, underrated hero and a vibe I’ve definitely noticed myself riding recently (if not my whole life). The oversized glasses. The muted and limited color palette. The long sleek hair. The HAT. There’s a timeless simplicity and je ne sais quoi - even if her looks are firmly placed in the late ‘80’s. Honestly, you could update that blue dress to a body con structure, and tweak the white party dress and then EVERY LOOK would work today. Not only is her look fashionable, it’s functional. She looks great, but really she’s here to photograph large bats and you better not get in her way. Speaking of goth girl dreams - homegirl devoted her work to large bats, dead folks, and the macabre. Vicki Vale is a major ass vibe.

That feelings ass post is coming soon. Promise. Until next time.

Bienvenue, 2019.

For what it’s worth... it’s never too late, or in my case too early, to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit. Start whenever you want. You can change or stay the same. There are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you’ve never felt before. I hope you meet people who have a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of, and if you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start over again. - F. Scott Fitzgerald

The kisses have been kissed, the champagne has been drunk, the hangovers have been nursed, the black eyed peas have been eaten, and now we’re all setting into the new year. Bienvenue, 2019.

2018 was an odd year for me, and I’m not sure how I feel about it - even though I’ve attempted to reflect on it multiple times over the past six weeks. 2018 was full of deep spiritual lessons, massive upheaval and uncertainty… But, because the unbearable pain of previous years full of change and uncertainty wasn’t present I still have this feeling that 2018 was good…even if it was bad. I took my first expensive international vacation, I spent countless hours with friends, I took two road trips, I met new people, did new things, did a lot of freelance writing, hosted my first live streams, sprained my wrist, returned to the stage… But, I also feel like I was stagnant and didn’t do anything. I think not setting goals at the beginning of 2018 bit me in the end - I had nothing to look back on and measure against. 2018 allowed me to lay a strong foundation for the things that are to come, and in 2019 I am going to begin building.

Going into 2019 I’ve seen a lot of people lambasting a “New Year, New Me” mindset. While it’s true that you can choose to change and start over at any time, and that the calendar doesn’t wait for anyone - there’s also something lovely and refreshing to me to look at the beginning of the calendar year as a reset. I love a little self-reflection. I love seeing where I was, where I am, and where I want to go. I regularly reflect and set goals and assess. Why wouldn’t I want to start my year with that energy? It’s unfortunate to me that so many people see it as a cliche now and discount the efforts of others, or their own potential for change. Something about taking a deep breath in the midst of winter, when the world is quiet, and deciding who you want to be in the Spring when the world is new is - beautiful. I’ve decided that this year for me is about creation, manifestation and self-expression… And I will be setting goals for 2019.

I decided mid-way through December that in 2019 I wanted to be specific about what I want, be present, have complete confidence, finish what I start, and take action immediately in the upcoming year. But, it still didn’t feel like enough - it was a foundation that needed to be built on…the theme of 2018. I wanted to establish new habits (or renew old ones that have fallen by the wayside), and I wanted to passionately focus on health and self-compassion (not just love or care). By January 2nd, two different goal achieving plans fell into my lap. My friends Diana, Yvette, and I (along with others I’m sure), will be embarking on the Whole Life Challenge starting January 19th. Focusing on 8 daily habits; nutrition, exercise, mobility, sleep, hydration, well-being, reflection, and reading - we are challenging ourselves to build and sustain new habits for six weeks. I’m very excited.

While I was looking into Whole Life Challenge, my friend Zakk turned me onto Level 10 Life. I know nothing about the blog I pulled this info from, and I didn't read the book that this stems from - but, after a quick scan of this webpage (one of the first Google results for 'Level 10 Life'), I fell in with the idea of it.

“If we’re measuring our levels of success/satisfaction in any area of our lives, we all want to be living our best lives at a ‘Level 10’ in each area; Family & Friends, Personal Development, Spirituality, Finances, Career & Business, Significant Other/Romance, Fun & Recreation, Giving & Contribution, Physical Environment, Health & Fitness.

I want to live my Level 10 Life. Who doesn’t? How often do we joke about living our best lives? I was in. Creating your ‘Level 10 Life’ begins with creating an honest assessment of where you are. Utilizing the 'Wheel of Life Assessment’, a circle graph that is divided into 10 sections — one for each major area of focus in your life, you take a ‘gut feeling’ assessment of how satisfied you are in each of your 10 areas of focus. This gives you a glimpse at your life satisfaction overall. It is also a great starting point to figure out what areas you need to improve first to start living your Level 10 Life.


With a combo of my laptop and my planner, I started my journey. While I’m genuinely happy, I ‘m not where I’d like to be. Not in any area. The darker lines are to mark where I started and see my progress as I work towards my Level 10 Life. I wrote out ten goals for all ten areas; 100 goals total. I condensed the essence of each goal into one sentence and wrote that in my planner. I want to be clear - these aren't 100 resolutions/goals for 2019. While I believe I could complete 100 goals in one year - I am focused on building and renewing good habits for my whole life. Progress, not perfection.

  • Family & Friends

    • Spend more time with Cloak friends outside of Cloak

    • Hang out with Phoenix, Blake, and Sami at least once a month

    • Make and keep dinner plans with friends I've drifted apart from or haven't seen in a while

    • Keep in touch when physical presence is an issue (Email, Phone, Text - social media isn’t enough)

    • Travel to visit friends and family more often

    • Go on a trip with my Mom

    • Spend more time with Heaven

    • Host a family dinner

    • Take more photos with friends and family

    • Be open to making new friends

  • Personal Development

    • Get more tattoos

    • Read 100 books

    • Journal every week

    • Set monthly goals

    • Improve my body language

    • Spend less time online

    • Go to three cities in America that I've never been to (Austin, TX; Portland, OR; Maui, HI)

    • Go to a country I've never been to (Morocco)

    • Practice my French

    • Start playing guitar again

  • Spirituality

    • Maintain a daily meditation practice

    • Write in my prayer/manifestation journal daily

    • Clearly define what my spirituality means to me

    • Clearly define and stick to a spiritual practice

    • Assess my state of mind nightly and re-align with my goals

    • Read 3 books about spirituality

    • Meditate outdoors once a month

    • Practice gratitude daily

    • Practice moderation

    • Practice with like-minded people

  • Finances

    • Save money

    • Pay off my credit card debt

    • Buy a new car

    • Figure out a better plan for my student debt

    • Stop getting paper bills in the mail

    • Spend less money monthly

    • Eat out fewer times a month

    • Raise my 401K contribution

    • Stop getting parking tickets

    • Start another side hustle

  • Career & Business

    • Transition into my new role at work

    • Embrace and thrive in my new role at work

    • Take a walk every working day (as long as weather permits)

    • Nurture a work/life balance

    • Make blogging a priority without falling into the 'blogging business' trap

    • Start podcasting again

    • Write more fiction

    • Collaborate with friends on their art

    • Network with more independent artists

    • Be a panelist at a Comic/Fandom Convention

  • Significant Other/Romance

    • Continue to embrace being single

    • Continue to work on myself

    • Let a friend set me up on a date

    • Refuse to settle

    • Waste no more time on abusive men

    • Be firm in my boundaries when dating

    • Go out more often

    • Stop using Bumble for 3-6 months

    • Visualize my ideal relationship

    • Research egg freezing

  • Fun & Recreation

    • Spend more time outdoors

    • Take a solo international trip

    • Take myself on a solo date once per month

    • Go to a big festival (Coachella, Burning Man, Wasteland Weekend)

    • Take a random weekend road trip

    • Start playing video games again/more often

    • Go to Disneyland once a month

    • Go to Universal Studios once a month

    • Go to a concert every other month

    • Go to a city I've already been to again (Seattle, WA; New York, NY)

  • Giving & Contribution

    • Support more small businesses

    • Do more thrifting

    • Research charities and pick THE one that I want to donate to

    • Volunteer in my local community

    • Do a charitable walk or fun-run

    • Give more money to Sigma Kappa

    • Find someone to mentor

    • Donate for my birthday

    • Do more giving directly to people and not organizations

    • Lower my carbon footprint

  • Physical Environment

    • Move to a new city that meets my commuting/social needs

    • Decorate my place in a way that aesthetically pleasing and healing

    • Get rid of things that I no longer need/want

    • Frame and hang art

    • Buy plants and flowers

    • Develop and stick to a cleaning schedule

    • Organize my make-up

    • Hold a clothing swap/donation event for my girlfriends

    • Make sure my home is energy efficient

    • Read Marie Kondo & Justina Blakeney's books

  • Health & Fitness

    • Complete the Whole Life Challenge

    • Take Moxi Skate classes

    • Start Circus/Aerial training again

    • Do more yoga & stretching

    • Continue to nurture my mental health

    • Go to an ENT

    • Attend a yoga/health retreat.

    • Eat less meat

    • Do a yoga inversion

    • Land a back-tuck

While I'm sure some of these may not make sense to you, this is a list of 100 and adding commentary to all of them would become completely unruly. If you’re really curious, you're more than welcome to ask me a few questions in the comments section (wink, wink). However, I am mostly posting this for personal, public accountability.

There’s more than enough time to set goals for 2019. I hope that you all know that in your heart. At any moment, you can choose to leave your past behind you and walk into a bright and bold future - even right now.

Until next time. xo

Should Old Acquaintance be forgot,
and never thought upon;
The flames of Love extinguished,
and fully past and gone:
Is thy sweet Heart now grown so cold,
that loving Breast of thine;
That thou canst never once reflect
On old long syne.