What I Learned From 30 Days of Blogging

Day Thirty

Delete, type, delete, repeat.

That sums up the past month of daily blogging.

When I started this challenge, I assumed that I would find a cozy coffee shop and type away. How inspiration, genius, creativity, and insight would flow out of me. This has never been the case, so why I thought it would be now, I am not sure. I lie to myself occasionally. 

This month has taught me that sometimes you have to just do it. Sit down, open your computer and type. What follows is a lot of crap. Posts that you cringe at, days that you can only force out a quick poem, and many deleted pages. Occasionally, there are these perfectly profound nuggets of awesomeness. They stick out from the rest and you realize, the past five hundred words, have been leading you to this. 

When you write every day, it’s apparent that you and your mind don’t always work in collaboration. I usually spend fifteen minutes squirming in my chair, allowing distractions to take my mind away until I am able to get my fingers moving. 

Thirty days ago, I saw a different outcome. I would write about becoming a better blogger and how the month was full of fantastic articles, insight and growth. This is not that post. However, the habit of this daily routine has changed me. I look forward to the strange discomfort surrounding the task. How I have time to dive into my brain and see what comes out of it. The good, the bad, and the even worse. 

This is why I write.

To overcome that internal force that drives me away from doing what I need to. To face it every day and know I will again tomorrow. I don’t do it to become a better writer, although that is a plus. I do it to recognize my internal struggle and hit submit anyway. 

My Relationship With Myself

Day Twenty-Nine

I looked at the slip of paper. It was an obligatory glance. Perhaps the message wouldn’t be transferred to the tasteless orange cookie until I read it. Then again, I found these strange rituals a bit ridiculous. 

But this time was different. I paused, pulled the paper out of the fortune cookie, and flattened it against the table.  

The nine-word message made a crack in the sadness of heartbreak that hung around me. It shook me awake to the fact that it was time to start to get to know myself again. 

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Life is too Short to Waste

Day Twenty-Eight

Let the soles of your feet callous with each experience
These hardened patches will remind you how very far you have traveled 

Get drunk at least once with a stranger
Allow your life to spill from your mouth as you slow dance with him
Why not coat the music with honesty

Make exceptions to every rule you place for yourself 

Rigidity causes brittle bones
I hear they cause problems as you get older

Realize how very small your huge spirit really is
We are all just trying to figure out how to work these bodies we have been given 

That is all they are 

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Make Friends in a New City

Day Twenty-Seven

In the next several months, I will find myself in a new city.

I love the tingle this idea sends from my head to my toes. I am excited. I am terrified. The adventurous part of myself finds this concept seductive. The other part hates the idea of unrooting my stable and happy life.

Change is good. Change is good.

There is a man who comes into the bar I work at. He travels, and is not home often, so only comes in every couple of months. The first time I met him, he was so kind, interesting and memorable that he made an instant impression. It was strong enough that I remembered him several months later when he came back. I introduced him to some of my other customers and common ground was established between them. Next time he came in, it was with some of the regulars I had introduced him to. 

I will not take credit for these friendships. Chances are, he would have made these connections himself. This interaction made me wonder how I could apply this to myself in a new city. 

What if you don’t have that type of charm or find it difficult to introduce yourself to strangers? 

We all have our daily habits. Maybe it's a cup of coffee in the morning, a drink after work, or time at the library. For one of your routines, start to frequent your favorite location. If the employees have any sense of service, after a time, they will start to remember you. Remember them back. Know their names. Start to ask about their lives. Within a month or two, you will notice your conversations become longer. 

I have made friends, connections, and even found housing for other friends this way. It doesn’t take much time. You have to sacrifice diversity and go to the same place for a while which can be difficult for someone like me. But it's a small investment. It is a great way to meet people and you never know what opportunities will arise from it. 

Speed Date or Interview?

Day Twenty-Six

Do you ever feel like you are on a speed date during an interview?

You dress up nicely, avoid touchy subjects, project yourself with confidence, and ask and answer rapid fire questions. In these exchanges, you are a tightrope walker. You attempt to gracefully maneuver between truth and embellishment, potential disaster awaits on either side. 

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Give Yourself Six Months

Day Twenty-Five

Twenty-one years later, I understood I wasn’t born to be a line-chef.

The realization hit me on an unusually busy Monday night. Tickets printed, I began to sweat. The salad I just sent out looked sad, the arugula far from perky. I prayed for the night to just be over.

It was then, in the midst of fryer grease and shredded carrots, I discovered I hated something, I thought my whole life, I was bound to become. 

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It is 4:45a.m.

Day Twenty-Four

It is 4:45a.m. on a night when I should be sleeping. It isn’t insomnia, more like an incessant noise in my head that keeps me from sinking into anything that could be considered rest. Or maybe that is precisely what insomnia is, except mine is rare. It’s on these few nights that I barrette myself for my scattered meditation practice. Right now, I am an enemy to my mind.

When I was young, I loved being awake in the middle of the night. My mom was usually up, unable to find sleep herself. I would tiptoe down to her studio and, if I was lucky, sometimes we would do an art project. Mother and daughter alike, unable to make peace with their exhausted minds.

Tonight there are no art supplies. The paint brush beside the bed has dried with the acrylic I forgot it had on it. I don’t even think we have paper to do a sketch on. I work a twelve-hour shift tomorrow and so that guarantees my continued wakefulness. 

I never get triple shot lattes but tomorrow morning will be an exception. Shaky hands pair well with a job that relies on a sharp knife. It is one of those days, I will justify a continued coffee intake. 

Check Mate Diplomacy

Day Twenty-Two


It was the third time those words left my lips that night. He was mad. Annoyed that this unschooled, self-taught, younger cousin had beat him. He who had taken chess lesson, who took this game seriously, defeated again.

Buried beneath my sweet young exterior, lay a deeply competitive nature. It disguised itself behind other kindly attributes but as my black knight swept the board towards the solitary white king, my insides started to dance. The jig of someone who has been claimed, victor.

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Scared Shitless

Day Twenty

I am scared often. It is one of my best motivators.

Fear is my challenge to myself. Will I overcome it? Or will I let it overcome me? That is the decision. There is no third way. There is no truce in this game. Fear lurks in places I didn’t even know it would: at the corners of commitment, within a salmon ready to be broken down, and in the moment before I send an email. It’s an unexpected visitor and a persistent one at that. 

I started Praxis two months ago. Previously, I knew, by a lack of fear, that my life needed a change. I had fallen into patterns and wasn’t able to push myself anymore. Praxis was my kick in the butt. Since the start of the program, I have been afraid more than I like to admit. I have been made to face procrastination, to promote myself, to write and publish, to embrace my skills, to interview with companies that seem far bigger than myself, to take on challenges and stick to my word. 

I have had to learn to take everything and nothing personally. I fall asleep exhausted most nights but with the knowledge that I accomplished today. I was scared and moved through it. I didn’t want to post, record, or promote something and I did.

Procrastination, You Old Friend

Day Eighteen

Checking Facebook twenty times does not increase productivity. Nor in fact, does eating an entire box of wasabi rice crackers. Right now, I am on my third cup of herbal tea and fourth pandora station. I have watched every IMDB trailer for the past several weeks and filed my toenails.

Procrastination is making me it’s bitch today.

I am not about to admit defeat. Instead, I will humble myself before the knowledge that my resistance to completing my goals is fierce. Don’t get me wrong, the battle is a daily routine. I face down my keyboard mentally preparing myself for the inner conflict that is about to take place. I allow my fingers to rest on the keys and wait. And wait. And wait some more. Then, my mind is filled with absolutely everything I must do at this very moment. But I force myself to sit and wait. Until my fingers start to twitch and words finally form. 

Home Isn't the Same

Day Seventeen

My twin size bed would no longer fit me. The person I had become while traveling, didn’t know how to squeeze herself back into childhood. I can tell you the hardest part of an adventure, is returning home. It’s the odd nostalgia that greets you at the door. It welcomes you back to a place that isn’t exactly home anymore.

I heard people talk about that sense of listlessness. I didn’t think it would get to me. But I am human and it did. I forgot parts of myself I had spent hours to discover. I walked about in a daze. Depression set in. Everyone was still the same. Everyone had changed. The world had paused while I was away. I had sped up.

I gave myself time to adjust. I had very little social interaction and spent a lot of time hiking. I allowed myself sit in the discomfort I felt. I came to realize that no one would every understand the experience I had just had. No one would be able to grasp all the ways in which I had grown. I was the only would who could acknowledge this. So that part of myself became a secret. It became a part of me only I knew about.

You only have yourself. That has to be enough. Otherwise, the world can get the better of you. 

The Power of Good Service

Day Sixteen

I will never underestimate the power of good service. It is a rare thing to experience.

I’ve worked in the restaurant industry for over five years. I understand what good service takes. I also know that it isn’t easy to find that workflow but when you do, you get caught up in it. I find beauty in a smoothly run section or bar. Have you ever tried to keep the requests of twenty-five people in your head, while attempting to deliver flawless service? I can guarantee you it’s harder than you think.

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Devotion and Dislike

Day Fifteen

She loved me.

How did I know? Because for 19 years, she had let me dress her up.

Patterns do not change. They persist and carry on. They disguise themselves as new but the core of them remains the same.

This was our pattern. Love and hate. That seesaw of devotion and dislike that bounces back and forth. Only someone who has a sibling can possibly fathom what I mean. 

I dug into the depths of our old dress up box and tossed clothes for her to don. We were the same little girls just taller and wider. She excavated herself from the sparkle covered blue dress that no longer fit and grudgingly shrugged on our father's old bathrobe. On went the hat that appeared at our house several years earlier. We tromped into our parent's room and I stationed her in front of a large oil painting. I instruct her to “just look happy”. She glared at me but when I turn the camera on her there it was. That smile. No one had to know how much she disliked taking this picture, all they see was that smile. 

Get to the Point.

Day Fourteen

The overall theme that I would like to convey for this daily blog post is the way in which I indubitably tend to write very long intricate and overly descriptive sentences which sometimes could possibly confuse the reader to the point that they aren’t completely entirely sure what the essence of the piece was about in the first place and feel very lost within the maze of writing that I have carefully, thoughtfully, and precisely constructed over the course of several difficult hours. 

Brevity is not my strong suit. 

Communication's Impact on Travel

Day Thirteen

Phone dead. Communication cut off, I was left with one option: engage in the world around me. The airport was quiet and clean. A Kiwi couple across from me disrupting the otherwise calm nature of my surroundings. I glimpsed a familiar book cover peeking out of their oversized backpack, the type only a true adventurer lugs around. 

“Is that Shantaram?” I asked, pointing at the gold cover. “Yes!" the women said, "Such a great travel book, have you read it?” The conversation remained light as we exchanged the common questions travelers ask each other. 

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The Importance of Elections

Day Twelve

The two years leading up to this November have been one of great interest and excitement to me. As the election nears and anticipation rises, I want to speak about my political views. Not only will the victor face a huge challenge in leading the country but will strive to calm political tension. 

It is key to have a President who will be able to unify the parties and exemplify the positive qualities of America. We are experiencing a time of change. We teeter on the brink of what can either be an upward turn or downward spiral. This election is more important than we want to admit. 

This is why I will be voting for Pedro. His platform consists of making everyone's dreams come true and tending to his mustache. I have never had a candidate want so deeply to fulfill my dreams and I believe this, above all else, makes him exactly what the country is in need of. He cares about everyone's happiness and is willing to sacrifice all else to provide this. Pedro, you will always have my vote. 


****If this article doesn’t make any sense you either have no sense of humor or haven’t watch Napoleon Dynamite. 

Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast

Day Eleven

The “mother” wriggled, long gooey tendrils spinning aimlessly in the light brown liquid. All the while, the “baby” floated underneath, nestled close to her cool flesh. 

The colony of yeast and bacteria moved leisurely throughout the water converting sugar and tea into acetic and lactic acid. Bubbles rose to the top of the liquid, lazily settling under the white cheese cloth. This ghastly creation of Kombucha belonged in between the covers of a book, but there it sat, on our green kitchen counter, next to the bowl of oranges.  

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