Before the Break: 10 Things I Like About You

  1. How honestly and openly you love (and whether it’s requited or not, you never love less, stop loving altogether, or wish the person anything other than the best).
  2. How you create songs and write stories as a means of discovering yourself, exploring the world, healing old wounds and conveying a high level sense of “togetherness.”
  3. How you don’t eat animals because you love them and you get that loving them means leaving them the hell alone (unless you’re petting them or feeding them or otherwise strengthening and enhancing their existence).
  4. How you pause to study puddles and stare at trains (and seem to notice and enjoy the magic welling up everywhere, from the earthy scent of your home-cooked perfume to the sorta peculiar texture of a stone you found).
  5. How you believe in yourself enough to try things you’re scared of (like learning a new language and dating and performing on stage — over and over and over; it just never gets easier).
  6. How you lovingly maintain your “let’s-stay-sane-with-some-self-therapy” routine (coffee and grits coupled w/reading and writing) while mixing things up every now and then (by going on solo adventures or hanging out with a friend).
  7. How you view your job as a meaningful way of bettering lives (not just a paycheck).
  8. How – beyond dreaming of traveling – you actively make plans to travel; Ecuador and Canada in the same year?! You’re nuts. I love it.
  9. How you heart burritos so much that you had the word “burrito” tattooed onto you… the point is, you don’t take yourself too seriously — and that’s wonderful.
  10. How you intuitively know when to hang back; when to let go, process through shit, restock on social reserves, and let yourself grow. You’re good on your own, you know — learned how to be as a kid and now you’re strengthening that skill as an adult, becoming more independent and adventurous with every single year that passes. And it’s liberating, isn’t it? You don’t like being alone, but you’ve found strength in it. You’ve confronted your very own worst-case-scenario and can now live happily through it every damn day. Well done.

And if I can add an unofficial number eleven… I’m probably most proud of your compassion for others, commitment to continual self-improvement, and genuine authenticity. Your transparency is – sometimes – terrifying to witness, but for you, you know that a life without secrets and with a heart resting right on your sleeve is the one that brings you the most peace. I respect that you have the guts to live it.

Basically, you’re doing great. Keep pushing, keep trying and failing, keep writing and singing and loving forever, until it’s done. Hope you enjoy this morning’s latte.


I’m taking a spring break from the blog, friends… feeling some distinct vibes that it’s time to write another book. I’d love to tell you the name of it, but I know myself; if I spill any cool details, I’ll lose my momentum, so we’ll all just have to wait…

But before I go, two quick things:

  1. Why don’t you make a list, too? Scribble (or type) out ten or more things you really admire about yourself, because pep talks don’t have to come from other people, and when you remember your strengths, you feel better about managing your weaknesses
  2. (Please) maybe consider keeping some easy-to-hand-off fruits and crackers in your purse, backpack, or car — why? There’s a very good chance that, before they even have a chance to go bad, you’ll spot a person who needs them (and with stuff like oranges, apples, and bananas, you can literally just roll your window down and pass them over). Also, if you’ve got an old shoebox lying around, keep it in the car, too, along with an old pair of gloves (so that if you happen to come across an injured-but-still-alive animal, you can safely transport them to a nearby clinic). 

That’s all she wrote! I’ll catch you guys in the summer. Please stay healthy and happy annnnnnnnnd remember: Every word we say and action we take brings us into greater harmony with ourselves or sets us more at odds with our true selves. Trust your intuition.

featuring yours truly, here’s a nice little “drama pose” to punctuate our temporary farewell… 


Still here,

Aun Aqui

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