Our memories hold the perfect palette. 🎨

Morning, friends!

Over the weekend I got into a very sad funk, and cried—a lot. As I was reminded by several people, the full moon was in Scorpio (la la la I have no idea what that means) and something about emotional release. And it's fine, I hadn't had a good cry in a while and ain't no shame, but since I subscribe to the Brené Brown mantra that over-sharing does not equal vulnerability I'll just leave it there. Anyway, through the maze of Eeyore fluffs that were the contents of my mind, I got no writing done. Womp!

Fast-forward to tonight on my walk home in the hot sun, just before it started to rain down (isn't there something magical about a sun-shower?). That was when I remembered this VIA personality assessment that Catherine had sent, which highlights your top strengths from 1 to 24 based on categories like Wisdom, Temperance and Humanity. I thought something like, "I may be sad, but I still have my strengths. How can they help me here?" That wasn't an actual thought I had, because I'm not a robot, but you get the idea.

Curiosity is one of my tops, which didn't surprise me because it's popped up on every career/personality quiz I've ever taken. Creativity was up there, too. What I hadn't expected though was that my #1 strength would be "Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence." (Although it's so on-brand for a Taurus). That's when I realized what to do for today's newsletter: I would ask people about their strongest memory of a place—an activity that would delight both my curiosity as well as my appreciation for beauty. So I did, and the answers from some of my IG followers/friends are below.

It really made me so happy to read everyone's answers. I could physically feel the joy and abundance among all the words, which made it super connective because so many people reported scenes from nature, and scenes from homes of their childhood or moments with people they love, or moments of profound triumph or solitude. It turned out that this exercise didn't just help me generate content to place in a newsletter, it also was the first time I felt good in about a week. So, hurrah for emotional awareness, and a double 💪 for knowing your strengths.

Sending a big ol' thank you to all of you for helping me to tap into mine.


Question: Where's a place you'll always recall vividly, like a painting in your mind?

This is what I asked, and here are the answers shared:
  • "The Burlington, VT waterfront, watching a sunset. It's home and it's beautiful." - Marc, @MarcTomik
  • "The Baltic Sea, in Latvia with the forest behind it 😍" - Erin, @Erheramb 
  • "The house I grew up in!" - Julie, @JulieSarahbux
  • "The Whitsunday Islands in Australia" - Sarah, @onelahv
  • "My grandmother's kitchen, even though she couldn't cook." - Logan, @jegerlf
  • "What the view out the back of my parents' house looks like at sunset in the winter" - Sarah, @rabbitearz93
  • "My house in Buenos Aires when I studied abroad in 2006. I had a beautiful balcony." - Erin, @musicfairie
  • "More than even my own parent's house I grew up in, I will always remember my grandmother's house. It's tied to so many sensory memories that it is embedded. We would go on special occasions so there was always the anticipation and the travel and the smells and sounds of the adventure of being away from home. I think I could rebuild it nail by nail from memory even so many years later." - Brendan, @bkownacki
  • "The Pocono Mountains in July" - Lauren, @LaurentheAnimal
  • "Literally everywhere I've ever been?! Places stick to me like glue." - Anna, @Annaschapin
  • "Suchitoto, El Salvador" - Alexis, @AMccoy
  • "The creek by my house. I'll never shake the smell of it, water level high after a storm." - Elliot, @ElliotKort
  • "My first river trip in the Grand Canyon on the Colorado River" - Becca, @Becca_Rand
  • "A very specific part of the coastline in San Diego I ran during Ragnar in 2013" - Tara, @Tara_Lane
  • "Ogunquit, Maine. I visited its rocky beaches growing up and learned to find peace there." - Sarah, @WordsofSarah
  • "My grandparent's house in Florida. Grew up going a lot. Associate with relaxation." - Caitlin, @Curlyq_cait
  • "The Bay Islands in Honduras; Bath, England; Grandparents' houses." - Alberto, @12minds
  • "OBX sunset restaurant" - Caitlin, @Caitlinjunio  <3
  • "Cliffside Beach Club cabanas, drinking 🍾on a beautiful summer day in Nantucket" - Alla, @Allalalala
  • "My grandparents' house" - Jenny, @Jennyfrank1
  • As far as my answer, I have a few but I'll say Lake Atitlan, the first view I caught of it from above, peeking out the window while on retreat. It made me feel like a part of my heart fluttered away then and there and I can't not smile whenever I remember it.
  • If I missed ya, please hit reply and let me know your answer!

Try this at home.

Why not take the VIA survey? Surveys are fun. Maybe you walk away with some new information about how you move through the world—so the next time you feel some kinda way, you don't have to change that emotion per se, but you can tap into a constant within yourself that is impervious to it.

What's up.

"I love you, man." Why's it so hard for men to drop the L-bomb with their bros? // As someone who is constantly making a fool of myself in the most low-key ways, this speaks to me: "Oopsies, you did a weird thing, shove it way down deep down inside of yourself, and move onto the next inevitably weird thing you will do." 7 seconds, huh, what a concept. Will have to try it the next time a grown man acts uncomfortable as I give him a hug goodbye at the end of a first date. "Oh, honey! Give it seven seconds." // The headline of this piece is highly sensationalized and reductive but I like some of the points that he makes like getting out into nature, and giving yourself just 24 hours to celebrate a success or grieve a failure. // Today I learned a hilarious fan theory about Winnie the Pooh. // Also: I installed this app Daylio last week, and am really enjoying the mood-logging that it makes possible—will report back as I use it longer.


New playlist, featuring the oh-so-amazing Kishi Bashi who I will be seeing live so soooon. And some new additions here, too.
Not to be all Eeyore but real talk that this newsletter has less readers than it did two years ago (500-ish), which sort of feels hilarious to me in a way. We are getting more exclusive, you guys. Anyhow, if you enjoy this, forward to a mom or a friend-of-a-mom near you because I'm terrifically bad at marketing it myself. And if it's outgrown your enjoyment, by all means, unsubscribe, but please send to a friend of a mom first.
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