Breathe. Focus.

Keep your chin up.There is no "can't," no "won't." You are powerful. Let go of the drama and the bullshit; let the world fall away. Breathe and focus on the ride.


Tears of resignation rolled down my temples and onto my pillow as I fell asleep last night. Something's always wrong. This time, I made myself the victim of a heartbreak that was inevitable. But also inevitable: the going-on of life.

I will breathe; I will focus on the ride — and everything my senses absorb along the way:

The feel of the scroll wheel on my iPod, the cracks in the sidewalks, the smell of trees in bloom, the soft, pearlescent residue that leaves my fingers sparkling after I do my makeup, the vague yet vivid memories Ben Folds Fives' songs conjure.

The palpable nervousness in every movement of a Metra employee so new that he still wears his own Sean John linen shirt in place of the industrial-grade, company-supplied button-down. Knowing a reassuring smile could do wonders for his day.

The feeling of a single cord attached to two earbuds transforming an ordinary morning into a movie with a brilliant soundtrack: orchestrating the glints of light off tall buildings in the Loop, the turning pages of a man's newspaper, the wringing motions of a woman's hands as she massages lotion into them. Music punctuated by the halting staccato of my fingers on the keyboard when another thought strikes.


I’m grateful, always. Today, for the immediate, sunny smile that just seeing someone's name can elicit. The moment you realize that person has changed in your eyes forever. For better or worse, actually. There's a clarity in that moment that's always worthy of a nod.

I'm grateful for the strength in my legs, the strength of my heart, the strength of my resolve.



Right now, I’m trying to figure out the Most Important Thing to me.

Until then, I will breathe and focus on the ride. Try to let the rest fall away — even if it takes more than a shrug and a carefree smile; I'm not made of stone — and enjoy the feelings of the sunshine outside to soak in.

This morning, I put on a new dress, blue-and-white striped with a high waist and pleats that fall gently to the hem. I can finally apply my vibrant orange lipstick — a modern take on a shade I imagine on my persistently stylish grandmother — without a mirror, and I smile to think it matches the polish on my toes, too. That’s comforting. That silly, stubborn golden llama dangles from my neck, the silver at my wrist a constant reminder that you have to let go to move forward: a bit of free fall to feel solidity underfoot again.


I find myself constantly setting aside my internal list of topics to blog about…to take on what the moment demands. Rules were made to be broken, and lists were made to remind us what to come back to when inspiration falters.


Breathe. Focus on the ride.