twenty-five

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Trust your gut. Trust the voice inside your head. Only do what feels right and everything will unfold in the right way. It just will. As long as you listen to your instinct, you will be safe.

Always carry a notebook and a pen with you for when you are out of battery. Besides, writing by hand feels so much better.

Read, read, read, read. So you can write, write, write, write.

Hit send. Hit publish. Don’t be scared.

You are only as beautiful as you are content. Beauty comes from within.

Take care of yourself. You’re the only thing you’ve got. Eat well, drink plenty upon plenty of water, eat fruit; you can always eat more fruit. It takes twenty minutes to prepare a delicious minestrone soup, do it weekly. Take long showers when so inclined. Sleep in on the weekends you don’t have a flight to catch. Go for walks after work. Do weekly hair and face masks (mud masks are miraculous). And when in doubt, put coconut oil on it.

Madiba was right: Home is a place that remains unchanged so that you can find the ways in which you yourself have altered. Embrace the feeling. Learn from it.

Miss your plane. Book that flight. Get on the train. Take a bus. Go. Just go. And then walk. Walk, walk as much as you can. There’s nothing quite as freeing as being enough alone just by yourself.

Get rid of all your possessions. You don’t need any of the things anyway. The value of life is in memories, experiences, and words that are not left unsaid.

Don’t spend time with people who don’t bring any value to your life. You know the ones.

Say what you want to say. Write what you want to write. Tell them you love them. Just do it. If you don’t, the only thing you stand to gain is the heavy feeling of regret for years to follow. And that is no way to live.

Family is the most important thing in the world. Don’t allow yourself to forget that. Don’t forget who you are.

Life is too short for bad coffee. Which is to say, coffee is always a good idea.

Recognize when you are being given a second chance. And for fuck’s sake, don’t screw it up.

To my frightened twenty-one-year-old self, I offer you this: It gets better. You are okay. You are enough. As I grown older, this affirmation will become stronger together with me.

Don’t wait around. Don’t make it harder for yourself. Don’t torture yourself with the past. Let the grief in once in a while but then send it away. There’s no longer a reason for you to be grieving all the time. Feel the feelings. But don’t let them control you.

If it’s meant to be, it will be.

Believe in the energy. What you give into the world, it will come back to you in one form or another. Live with a purpose. Mindfulness is not easy, but it is rewarding. Work for it and work for it hard.

There are days when all you need and want is to sleep (even when the weather outside is perfect) and that’s okay.

Do a little bit of something that will bring you closer to your dream every day. Don’t wait for it to happen on its own because that’s not how it works. You have to keep moving. Keep hustling.

Practice gratefulness. Say thank you often. Mean it. Smile at strangers. Make others feel better to make them feel better, not yourself.

Don’t be hard on yourself. You’ve gone through a lot. You’re doing the best you can.

Less is more.

Call your grandparents more often.

In order to be content, you need to take the leap. Go on. Jump. Be free.

Happy birthday to me.

cities and coffee | london

My four days in London were about coffee.

I sampled a flat white at sixteen different coffee shops; so one could call that a devotion.
If I were living in London, these would be my go-to coffee spots.

Soho Grind. My favorite, probably.
Soho Grind. My favorite, probably.

Soho Radio
Soho Grind, yes!
Absolutely yes. Go there.

Department of Coffee and Social Affairs and nearby Prufrock
Monocle Cafe

Dept. of Coffee and Social Affairs
Dept. of Coffee and Social Affairs

Look Mum No Hands
Full Stop and Nude Espresso
Wild & Wood
Tom’s Kitchen

Monocle Cafe
Monocle Cafe

Coffeeworks Project
The Breakfast Club
Workshop Coffee
TOMS Coffee
Flat White

The Breakfast Club
The Breakfast Club

5 things | london, united kingdom

Monocle Cafe
Monocle Cafe

I spent four days in London and four days drinking coffee. Monocle Cafe was just one of the few I went to.

Sunny London. Yes, it's a real thing.
Sunny London. Yes, it’s a real thing.

Not a single drop of rain while I was there meant walking. Lots and lots of walking. Everything between Marylebone, Islington, Soho itself, Liverpool Street Station, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Chelsea, Hyde Park, Notting Hill, and Piccadilly Circus was my area. In other words, I covered an enormous piece of ground. There’s a restaurant, a coffee shop, or a fast food eatery on almost every corner. Also, pubs. Pubs everywhere. In London, I realized how much I love gin again and I enjoy it in a completely different way now. Because I mean, Hendrick’s with cucumber on ice? How much closer to heaven can I possibly get?

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Close to Piccadilly Circus.

After walking, the second best way to see London is to get on a bus and just ride around. Oyster card became my best friend only minutes after I landed. I also took a taxi, just for the sake of it. They’re cute and the driver was a nice guy full of stories and laughs.

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Blue. Big Ben.

Yeah, I know. See the Big Ben, right? Obviously. But seriously, once I got to the South Bank and looked at it from the other side (hello), I was impressed by its majestic beauty. Sitting there with a flat white, just watching people walk past; there was nothing else I wanted to do.

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The stuff dreams are made of.

London is classic. Vibrant, colorful, busy, and majestic. It’s a city I can get lost in and feel at home. It’s a city I will love returning to and perhaps, calling a home one day. Who knows.