Self-Compassion, Not Love


In the end, I think it’s less about self-love than it is about self-compassion. “Love”‘s tricky. Sometime we confuse love for admiration, infatuation for love, acceptance for love, love for friendship, love for a whole host of things. But self-compassion is being kind, or compassionate, to yourself when you’ve messed up or you’re suffering. It’s not about how you think you’re the shit all the time, which ‘self-love’ might imply. I think of it from a third party perspective. This third party’s a compassionate figure, like–like Buddha or Jesus or, if that’s not your cup of tea, your kind forgiving grandmother. When you make a mistake, these figures don’t shit on you for it. They don’t say that you’re stupid so that’s why you failed the test or you’re actually fundamentally terrible so that’s why things ended. They say things like oh, it’s okay, it was just this one test, or you’re still altogether a lovable person despite what you’re going through. Except, instead of a separate third party telling you this, it’s you telling yourself this.




Of all the relationships in my life, the “wya”–where you at?–relationships are my absolute favorites. wya. Out of work, let’s get dinner? wya. Just got lunch, headed back home. wya. About to run errands, come with? wya. Near Starbucks, join.

Simple blue whale-tailed bubble, three lower-cased words, demarcation of easy closeness, comfort candidness. It conveys the message that: being with you is as it is being by myself.  And: I like you enough; I don’t have to try around you.

With most people, you have to make plans. Peer at your calendar, set a date, time, and place. Do this all days in advance. It’s a delicate social dance. Some people are, well, more of a headache to make plans with; it feels obligatory or it’s a back-and-forth game of swerve! or, whatever it is, just feels like work. A lot of people are at the in-between, where they’re still plugged into the schedule, it’s not too difficult to spend time with them, but it’s not as easy as, you know, the wya relationships.

For just a few people in the world, and there don’t have to be many, I can shoot out a quick wya test–no plans, no pretense. There’s a quote that goes, I’ll only have you if you’re sweeter than my solitude. Hints at romance, but it doesn’t have to be. I’d say that these wya relationships are just as sweet as, if not more than, solitude.

when we were younger

disposable film 35mm photography
“you know what i thought of the other day?
our childhoods are for our parents
they remember our first steps
they remember what we liked and what we didn’t like
they remember what we ate, what we didn’t eat
our childhoods
they’re their memories to have,
not oursas you grow older
your life becomes yours
but when we were younger
it was once theirs.”


– april 23rd, 2015 | 4:08 pm

Something my best friend said to me a few years ago.


love statue

Lately I’ve been having these little moments where I’m just suddenly really happy for the relationships in my life. For the friends, family, best friends, s/o (Oh, s/o sounds so formal. Boyfriend.) Whether it was last night as we were reuniting over Mediterranean American and sweet rosé, thin fries and gin & tonic, or today, while we were curled up on the couch, eyes glued to the screen, feeling ambivalent for Eleven in Stranger Things, (leave! Hawkins needs you) munching on take-out Indian.

Sometimes over half-eaten shrimp you’ll take about God. Or over savory soup dumplings you’ll talk about your family. Or, late at night, you’ll toss and turn over strange ballooning hypotheticals that seem, in the mental fatigue and subconscious lair, daunting, terrifying, unbearable. Amid the this’s and that’s, I believe in the buffer hypothesis, that the people in our lives keep us sane and happy and from going sad-stressed-loony. I feel warm, content, okay.



we drive home
bound with the windows
down carrying bags of tea that smell like

Christmas, flecked with
ginger, decked in lights
pass by billboards for

fidget spinners &
a bridge that reminds me of beyond two
souls & a school with the sign that reads “meet the Teachers night”

lo que sera, sera means what will be
will be, fate that’s putty in the
hands of what we can’t see

mises à jour


….or ‘life updates’ in French.

Well, WordPress, it is Halloween, which falls awkwardly on a Tuesday this year. But never fear! Virtually everybody has decided the entire month is a cause of celebration. In fact, every day of the week has been allocated to celebrating Halloween and flooding everybody’s Instagram feeds with non-stop costumes! I, for one, am glad that Halloween’s nearly over, except that there won’t be as much free candy. I’ve been scouring office entrances for free chocolates and gummies. Also, I like November, even if it is a month that tends to fade in my memory.

Spent the weekend seeing friends, grabbing dinner, watching plays, catching up. Binged Stranger Things 2 on Sunday night–two episodes spiraled into five. We ordered pizza from the place across the street. Didn’t cook this time, but maybe next time–maybe next week. One of my favorite things to do during down-time is, ironically, watch TV with friends. It’s not the most active, we’re not talking much, but there’s just something about being mutually entertained with people you really like and feeling contented with their company, the show, the food, etc. Plus it’s just… low-key. I’m searching for a better word, but that encapsulates it.

I’ve also been feeling nostalgic and posting on my scrapbook Instagram account. Even though it’s public, it’s a way of talking to myself, of reminding myself to be grateful and to actively reflect on happy moments. Even though memory’s retrospective, we don’t always realize how much of the now seeps into how we regard the past. When we’re unhappy, we’re more likely to recall unhappier moments and vice versa. Recognizing that it’s not just about the ratio of good to bad in life, but the way you frame it, gives you a sense of… control, almost? over how you experience happiness.  I think Nobel prize winner Kahnenman, author of Thinking Fast and Slow, wrote something about this– the two types of happiness. There’s present happiness, and overall life happiness (More on that here), of being happy this very moment and being happy about your life. Actively recalling the positive, even if these happy moments have passed, makes me feel happier now.

Falling Slowly


Weather’s been doing its usual tango-merengue between hot and cold.

I tell myself that time goes by faster around this time of year, end of October. November zips by, solid block of cold, fades around the middle. December’s usually quick, submerged in work, two weeks of wrapping things up in cold tired bows of maybe-nostalgia.

Then the feeling of surprised triumph that things are done, that it’s been yet another half of a half (of a half of half) that’s passed.