If 2015 was my loneliest and bravest year, 2016 was the year I hustled into the void.
But first it was just a void. I went from feeling my deepest, to nothing at all. So I chipped away at the days moving from bed to bath, bed to bath.
I only started to feel real again when I began volunteering at In Other Words, a local feminist bookshop, community center, and safe space.
In February I went to Manila to visit my father's grave. I don't know that I'll ever write anything greater than my last and only love letter to him. I went believing I had no family left there, but leaving knowing that wasn't true.
Spring felt like a season lost to small moments but in the kindest way. I went on walks, foraged greens, happened upon fields of wildflowers.
And before I knew it, I dove into my busiest summer. I drove up and down the coast, then up again, and further up, still. The ocean will always be my home.
"You're burning the candle at both ends," my doctor said when I came back from flying around the world. From San Francisco to Jakarta, Bangkok, Berlin, Hamburg, Copenhagen, and back to San Francisco. There wasn't a moment I didn't feel tired and wild.
And summer ended, but the rush never left. I was still swamped, frantic, and trying to balance seeing and being everyone, making and doing everything. And I don't think I've stopped just yet, either.
And I'm stilled tired, but 2016 helped me find my voice. I'll never not be angry about the state of our world and what we've let it become. I won't accept this as our status quo. And I won't apologize for the discomfort.
But I also felt the most whole and the most heard when I started speaking without apology.
I never felt lost, but I was never quite sure where I'd gone. Creating with purpose, surrounding myself with women, and taking up space with people of color brought me back.
I'm here and I'm ready.
If you follow along on any social media, you'll recognize this calendar I can't stop blabbing about.
It's a postcard calendar, which means that at the end of each month you can cut along the dotted line at the back and send a note to a friend. The bottom half also includes a quote by a woman, which was half to celebrate women and half not to waste that space. This you can hang on your wall or alongside your mirror or tattoo on your heart-- the quotes mean that much to me.
The calendar features 12 photos of the California coast, my forever muse, alongside lettering by the talented Alyce at A Luxe Contraband. I've been dreaming of putting together a calendar for years, and am so excited to hold this in my hands.
All this being said, the thing I'm the most proud of is that I'm able to donate 50% of all proceeds to support the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe as they protect their land, water, and lives against the Dakota Access Pipeline.
This year has been weighing on me so much, and it felt like all I could do was slip into helplessness. When I remembered that Standing Rock's motto is "mni wiconi" and means "water is life," this felt like a natural way to support a cause that means so much, with a project that means a lot to me.
Anyway! I'm really proud. It's ocean-inspired, WOC created, and benefits people who really need us.
get your calendar here
I wasn't home much this summer. 36 hours in July, a week in August, and a bit more in September. I was heartbroken, because summer in Portland is something special, but I was also happy to have the work to take me away.
This is film from a quick trip back home, picnicking at the bluffs. We managed last minute snacks and fawned over Noodles. I don't remember a single thing we talked about, but I remember feeling so content to be there, just then.
Photos taken with my Minolta SRT 101, Kodak Portra 160, and a little prayer with every snap of the shutter.
Big Sur at golden hour always speaks for itself.