(Disclaimer: This piece will only make sense to some. To others, it may sound like gibberish now. If that’s you, put it down. You’ll return to it later when it’s time. Also, I recommend reading this while listening to the tracks “Lady Labyrinth” and “Nightbook” by Ludovico Einaudi.)

Hi, my name is Tatiana and today I’m your hype girl.

If you found your way here, you’re likely someone with a penchant for self development. You’re a learner. Someone who craves improvement in themself. You’re an answer seeker looking for the treasure map of life. …

Life and the Lessons of 2020

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photo by tim foster

I know. Nothing miraculously changed at 11:59pm on December 31st. The truth was, the change happened all year long. New Year’s Eve just closed the chapter on that journey.

I’ll admit, I made a vision board for 2021. I tend to do one every year and find the process cathartic. This year, as I clipped photos of beautiful locations and clean houses, I felt a twinge of sadness along with the usual aspiration. Clipping images of beautiful foreign places, I grieved for all the traveling I didn’t do in 2020. I grieved for a…

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He was in a kind of gothy band. I got their demo at the magazine I worked at and was instantly in love. I played track 4 fifteen times in a row. As was the case in my twenties, I dropped everything to go see them play an hour away… by myself. Always the lone wolf.

I begged my editor to let me interview them. He did. I excitedly drove two hours down PCH to sit in a dirty living room and chat with them. He let me play his piano and remarked, “Oh wow, you’re better than I am.”…

Are you settling in areas where you deserve more?

I was thirteen years old. I gripped the barre with disdain. Over summer, my teeny ballet body had grown hips. Being half Brazilian, this is genetically what one would expect. However, as an aspiring ballerina, I was shocked and devastated. I had been reading horrible books that lauded being pin thin as a requirement for being a success as a ballerina. I had seen no one who looked like me: small, brown and muscular. So, I was ashamed.

We were working through Tchaikovsky’s Waltz of the Flowers. One of my favorite pieces of ballet music for the very dark and…

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A dashing acquaintance

once invited me

to a double feature of Jean-Luc Godard.

Breathless and Contempt, bien sur.

playing at Tarantino’s sweetly-dilapidated

New Beverly Theatre.

This would be the

most chic date of all time

…had he not had a girlfriend

(You see, I was simply standing in as

the cultured proxy.)

“She doesn’t mind…” he implored. “She told me to find someone who won’t mind reading the subtitles. She can’t stand them.”

I bristled.

How gauche.

He went on to tell me that

he never thought he’d date a girl like her,

but here they were.

Not that she…

A lyric essay.

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photo by Oscar Reyes

There were times I sat around

longing for an earthquake

to shake things up

not realizing

that the fault lines were inside of me

It had been eons since I had seen him. Dinner with an old friend. The kind of friend you put in quotations marks and speak of in hushed tones. I secretly hoped he would look horrible.

Narrator’s voice: But he did not look horrible…

He aged well.

He nursed a single glass of wine the entire evening. “These are the things sober people get triggered by…” I mused silently.

In your twenties, you…

This piece is important. Not because I’m important, however. In fact, I think one of the key selling features of this piece and it’s power to change your life is that I’m virtually nobody. I’m not Gary Vee or Tim Ferris or Tony Robbins or Ryan Holiday or any of the other wealthy, woke white guys telling you how to super charge your life. I am a petite, random Latina from Southern California who wants you to know that you can choose happiness right now.

Pain Cred

When we read pieces like this, we often look for the author’s cred…

There is a wide swath of grace and empathy that we can offer those who behave in an unorthodox way during times of crisis. But when does it go too far? When does our own self-preservation need to come into play and boundaries need to be set?

“People are realizing who they do… and don’t… want to be in the foxhole with right now.” A friend said to me yesterday.

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We had been discussing the rise of bad behavior we had seen among those we know. While there have been copious articles written recently with the theme, “it’s OK to…

Overwhelm.

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I used to have tsunami dreams.

(Supposedly water signifies emotions in dreams.)

I always got away in time

But it felt like this…

The ominous feeling

The ocean too quiet in retreat

The need to run

and

Running out of breath.

Our preciousness is waning

Life, reduced to crude necessities

Remember the luxury of want?

The petty obsessions,

Excessive daydreams,

Fantasies.

The grandeur of first world problems

Replaced by a need for kitchen staples

and sanity…

And then there’s the avoidants

The conference-call-taking robots

Moving about the world as if nothing changed

I assume they drink copiously at night

As someone who has written extensively about anxiety and the Internet, it seems the subject is hitting a fever pitch due to current global events. As millions now work from home and others have no work at all, how can we prepare ourselves for this new (temporary) world? How can we care for ourselves while making space to think of others? Below are some ideas (and opinions only) to help us all practice self care and lovingkindness as COVID-19 disrupts the planet.

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  1. Put Your Oxygen Mask On First

The first rule of the self-care fight club is to put your…

tatiana

@Tatiana pretty much everywhere. I see you. Early adopter. Later regretter. // music @theblondenames

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