Clickable Heading MYRIAD

it was the best of times…

Fall 23: Part two (part one is posted, start there)


And it all comes down to you
Well you know that it does
And lightning strikes, maybe once, maybe twice
Oh, and it lights up the night
And you see your gypsy
You see your gypsy

“Gypsy” by Fleetwood Mac


My life kinda fell apart this fall. Here’s how I put it back together, and what made it better than before. 

When every external part of life changes, internal changes are unavoidable, in the best way. This time left me with new views and ideas about my life, the world, love, the people around me, friendship, and pretty much everything else. 

Here are some earned lessons, loose ideas, and rambling advice.  


“And when nobody wakes you up in the morning, and when nobody waits for you at night, and when you can do whatever you want. What do you call it, freedom or loneliness?

Charles Bukowski

In November, I was on a signature coffee date with my best friend. Because we currently live states apart for most of the year and are both relentlessly busy, we usually get together for coffee (or call) at least once every couple of months and catch each other up on all the important life happenings. We talk for hours every time (or until the waitress tells us that the café is closing and we need to leave). After I updated them on everything that had happened with my friends, they told me that throughout my life, I’ve had a tendency to change myself to fit in with whoever I was around at that time. 

I thought about it for a while afterward and realized that it was true. And oh my god. 

I didn’t know who I was when I wasn’t gaining some parts of myself from my friend group. I realized how much I changed when becoming friends with this group in high school. From the way I dressed and the places I went and the substances I did, to the way I passed time and the music I listened to, to the way I thought and the opinions I held. Some good change, some bad. And before that, I was still a culmination of my friends. I’ve always been tied to another person or another group of people. I think I’m inclined to be influenced by others (absolutely my fault, not theirs). 

Now, suddenly, it was just me. I reckoned with the fact that my time was only my own. What I did, who I was with, where I went. I was only my own. No one to inform, no one to answer to, no one to impress. 

I think it wasn’t until then that I began to understand myself. When I got a good look at my life without considering the thoughts of someone else. And of course, when you’re in a relationship or friends with someone they absolutely should take up real estate in your mind and influence the way you view things a little. And you should consider the needs of those important to you. People change people. I think it’s equally important to recognize those changes in yourself and to know who you are at heart. 

I thought of it almost like getting to know the constant of myself, without added variables. I did a lot of thinking and “soul searching” or whatever. 

I started doing more things by myself too, at first feeling somewhat lonely. But slowly it became a source of joy, as I fell in love with making choices according to no one but myself. I felt free to do what I actually wanted to do. I was my own priority. 

At one point, I had to sit down and think about what I actually wanted to do. What practices and elements do I cherish as part of my life, what can I let go of, and what else do I want to start doing? I dug deeper into myself and what I wanted. And I learned a lot about myself I didn’t know before. 

All this might kinda sound like I never want to fall in love. But of course not, I do, and I will, and I still love the company of friends and others. But it wasn’t until I was (forcefully) separated from others that I realized what I want and who I am without their influence. And now that I know, I can carry that into future relationships and friendships

On getting better:

Wait so how did I get here? The last post was about how everything fell to shit.  Fair question. It was a process. 

If you take nothing else from this essay, please start a journal. Or a piece of paper. Or a note on your phone. Whatever. Writing things down helps immeasurably with understanding what you feel. And processing those feelings is much easier when you’re recording them somewhere. To be able to look back and see how far you have come. To get over nagging thoughts with a pen and paper rather than texts you will regret, or hateful conversations. Journaling has been one of the most helpful practices of my life, and I highly recommend at least giving it a decent try.  

From there, I realized I had a life (Which seems like a belated realization, but nevertheless). A life that completely belongs to me, that I can do literally whatever I want with that makes me happy. And nothing and no one was holding me back anymore.


I did things that made me fall in love with life and myself again. I threw myself into things that brought me joy. I began making the most of the days, regardless of what they consisted of. I started going for bike rides in the winter, bundled in my hat, coat, scarf, and mittens, looking at the ocean, listening to music, and feeling the sun on my skin. I started going to the gym consistently. It feels good to spend some time every day stretching and moving my body– one of my favorite forms of self-care. I started cooking more and prepping healthy meals. In the summer of 2023, I saw a nutritionist for the first time, and it changed the way I view and consume food. I won’t get into it here, but it’s true that the better you eat, the better you feel. So I eat healthy foods and I prioritize daily movement because I feel better when I do. Clearer. So it’s worth the energy I put in. 

I went for drives with windows down blasting music. I made cinnamon peanut butter protein milkshakes. I sat in saunas and listened to affirmations. I took vitamin B, iron, and magnesium supplements daily. I went on walks outside. I made lattes at home in the morning and watched the sunrise in my pajamas. I channeled my creativity into this blog. I went to book tours and thrift stores. I did my college coursework and got a 4.0 semester GPA. I took pictures of the sky when I thought it looked pretty. I strictly stuck to less than one hour of social media daily. I found new places with pretty views. I took a lot of yoga classes and learned how to meditate. I made time for self, hair, and skincare. I spent many days wandering NYC for inspiration. I wore fun, eclectic outfits that made me feel good. I tried new makeup looks and did fun hairstyles and danced in my room and committed to my decision to romanticize life. I wore heels for fun and didn’t mind the attention to the sound they made as I walked down halls. I spent lots of time at Princeton University and browsed record stores. I went on dates, let other people pay for dinner, split joints, and ate tacos at midnight on living room floors. I read books and more books and even more books. 

I left a university I didn’t belong at. I applied to new ones in warm places because sunshine makes me happy. I got a job I loved. I got over an ex. I bought a backpack on Facebook Marketplace. I booked a one-way ticket to Paris. I made new friends and talked to old ones. I got coffee with my best friend. I started writing in Spanish and French every day and studying their grammar. I spent time researching financial literacy and began investing money. I forgave myself for past choices I thought were wrong, accepting that this is the exact journey I am meant to be on. I did things alone. I got rid of everything I owned that didn’t bring me joy. I began making choices that brought me closer to the person I want to become. And little by little I’m becoming her.

Okay, back to the revelations and realizations. 

Do whatever you love:

Life is too short to not spend it doing things that make you feel good. Do what makes you happy. Stop getting hung up on whether or not what you’re doing is cool or not. It doesn’t matter what you want to do: if it makes you happy, there’s no reason not to do it. Know what brings you joy and fulfillment, and do that as much as possible

holding yourself back:

I’ve also spent too much of my life holding myself back because oh what will x from high school think, or what if y sees me posting about it and tells z and they talk shit about me?

There are a few schools of thought here:

  • You will never know what someone else is thinking. It’s easy to assume that every passing person is intently judging you based on what you’re wearing, or that everyone who viewed your Instagram story laughed at it with their friends, or that the person you asked for help thinks you’re dumb. But the truth is that there is no way to know, so assuming that they’re thinking negatively is just choosing to believe the worst. Which, while understandable and sometimes mindless, is dumb. 
  • Most people are too preoccupied with themselves to care about you. Apart from the possibility of being a momentary thought in their internal dialogue, in the best way, you don’t matter to them. So just do what you want and know that realistically no one is wasting their energy on judging you. 
  • All of that being said, if someone has negative opinions about you, or is judging you, who the fuck cares. The key is remembering that other people’s thoughts about you don’t affect you. They can think whatever they want and it won’t change anything about you or your life unless you let it. The goal should be a life that you love. Don’t hinder yourself just to improve the opinions of people you don’t even care about, who are irrelevant long-term. Let them do what they want, and focus on yourself. 

If you spend your entire life living for the opinions of others, you will never realize your potential, and you will never figure out who you are. 


I mentioned in part one that my sense of gratitude to the person who kinda caused this all was helpful. I was grateful to them because they sort of launched this time of life change. But most of all, I was grateful to the people that love me. The ones who were there, and will always be there. And of course, the incredible life I’m already living. The privileges I have, the opportunities. Acknowledging them and being grateful implores you to make the most of what you have. It changes your perspective in so many ways. 

And it doesn’t have to be 20 minutes a day in a $29.99 gratitude journal from Amazon or whatever else the influencers are influencing. Gratitude is a mindset, and while taking a second to jot down whatever you’re thankful for can be super effective and helpful, the most important thing is just feeling it. 

Quality over quantity:

It is so much better to have fewer people in your life who care about you than many who don’t. It’s easy to feel weird when you don’t have a big group of friends to attach to. But to have a few people in your life who know you better than you know yourself? Who you never need to second guess, who you never need to wonder what they say about you to others? Who you know will be there for you if you need them? Who are a constant? It’s invaluable. Not everyone has people like that–  I do. And it is only in the past few years of my life that I’ve realized what an amazing gift that is. Some friends come and go with time and place, which is fine and natural. But to have people who will be there forever brings such peace and joy that no amount of great friends who don’t really care will ever bring.

That being said, I think it’s important to note that when your life is thrown into change suddenly, it takes time to catch up. Breakups are hard partly because they’re usually cold turkey. Suddenly no contact with someone who felt like a part of yourself, with memories still swirling in your mind. You’re left with a hole in life they once filled and the familiar instinct to fold into them. That feeling persists whether it be a friend or a partner. 

Knowing someone is ultimately bad for you, or separation is ideal doesn’t eliminate the urge to pick up the phone and text them all the things you only realize after gaining the perspective that comes with distance. To thank them for being so gracious when you were too sick to realize how hard that sickness was on them. And get to show them how much better you’ve gotten. To tell them that feeling that you didn’t understand then? You feel that way now and oh my god I get it. To tell them that your dad’s cancer came back much, much worse and you need to hear it will be okay. To thank them for providing some faith before you found it in yourself.

It’s okay if it takes your heart some extra time to catch up to what your brain already knows. But if you know yourself well enough and make your decisions accordingly, then it all comes down to trusting yourself. Knowing that you made the best choice you could with the information available at that time. 

friendship shouldn’t be hard:

Let me be clear here, friendships aren’t always easy. No relationship between people is perfect. But there is a difference between healthy and unhealthy relationships, platonic or otherwise. And there is also a difference between a bad friendship and an unhealthy friendship, sometimes two people just don’t mesh well together, and that in itself doesn’t make it toxic or unhealthy. 

It took me a long time to realize that friendships are supposed to be a source of joy (Or maybe I did know but never applied that knowledge). Not transactional, not something that causes anxiety, or stresses you out. Friendship should feel easy, something that makes your life better. Friendship dynamics can be so complicated sometimes, and I’m also not saying that every friend you make has to be your best friend forever and ever, but there are times when it feels right and times when it doesn’t. Know the difference and don’t force what isn’t real because you’re scared of going without it. 

Honestly, it’s slightly comical how long it took me to realize that if you constantly live in fear that your friends hate you, you should get new friends. 

We are the choices we make:

It takes a while to begin to understand what you want from life. Think about what the ideal version of yourself looks like. When does she wake up? What kind of media does she consume? How does she make money? How does she spend money? What does she do with her free time? What does she want to learn? What habits does she have? How does she treat people? 

There’s this separation between the person we are and the person that we want to be. We fall into routine too easily sometimes. It’s easy to say I’d love to do x or y someday, slightly knowing you’ll never actually take the steps to make it a reality. We all have those moments where we realize what we’re doing isn’t working and it’s time for something (or everything) to change. 

But as they say, nothing changes if nothing changes. You have to start making the choices that led you to the person you want to become. Ask yourself what the ideal version of yourself would do. And do that. And slowly you’ll become her. 

Everything we do is a choice, and we are a cumulation of the choices we make. 


Last night, sitting at my friend’s kitchen table at her apartment in San Diego, we both agreed that this is something everyone knows, but doesn’t believe–  until they do.

Realistically, life will change. Breakups happen when you don’t want them to. Friends dump you in a text. People will betray each other, and what seems perfect isn’t. The fluidity of life keeps it interesting. 

When you don’t know yourself, it’s too fucking confusing to attempt to fully understand someone else, let alone communicate and exist in a healthy relationship. If you don’t know who you are without the influence of another person, you can’t expect to stay that person in a relationship. Then, you’re suddenly attaching yourself to them. All your fulfillment and sense of self will be drawn from your partner. That’s scary, and worse is the acknowledgment that if they leave, what are you left with? Which can make staying (when you shouldn’t) appealing, in the face of the alternative. 

If you don’t know the person you are alone, you’re just going to melt into whatever relationship you’re in, or keep chasing one. You can’t tell someone else what you need until you know what that is. It’s worth it to do the work to understand who you are, what you want, what you will and will not tolerate, and the way you want to exist. 

The best byproduct of a strong sense of self is that the coming and going of other people doesn’t feel like the end of the world. There is security in knowing that no matter what happens, you will be okay. Because you’ll never be able to control the choices of others, only your own. Not to say that the swift disappearance of friends or partners from your world won’t hurt. It always will. But no matter who comes and goes, you are the one person you will always have. (Also don’t confuse knowing yourself with loving yourself. Those are two completely different battles, both worth any effort you can muster to pour into yourself). 


Does this all mean that I have life figured out and will never be sad or lonely or upset? Fuck no. I’m not perfect. And take comfort in knowing I never will be.

Life is terrifying. All the lists and organization and books and meditation and revelations and perspective and tough lessons will never provide enough factitious comfort to counteract the fact that existing can be scary. In a world where nothing is certain, where bad things happen for no reason, and 99% of circumstances are out of your control. The need for control can be insatiable enough to lead to unhealthy habits in some desperate attempt for stability. That doesn’t end well, trust me. When life falls into pieces it’s hard. But after the worst of times, make the changes that take you into the best of times. I think it often happens that way. The lowest lows somehow bring the highest highs in tow. And you are the only person who can make those changes. It’s your choice, your mindset, and your life. For the most part, you can literally do whatever you want. How inspiring is that?


I started writing this two-part piece in November and now it’s February. I’m still figuring things out, but this season has undoubtedly been the most transformative period of my life thus far. I feel like a completely different person than who I was last summer. And yet, I know that version of myself is still inside of me too. Who am I except a collection of all the versions of myself I’ve ever been? I wish I could’ve reminded her that growth is a worthwhile plight, and life is beautiful in different ways now.

And I have so much more life I have ahead of me! I’m about to enter my twenties, and I’m positive that more wildly transformative times are ahead.