Mood + Mantra

April (oh, April)

So I got my wish and things are less stuck and hot damn if we’re not moving and shaking over here. Maybe literally. Welcome to April!

On Friday, fresh out of my NyQuil induced slumber, we received notification that the owner of our condo intends to sell, and we have 30 days to find a new place. Cue a frantic 48 hours of looking at houses in the East Bay, looking at another unit for rent in our building, considering whether we’d actually want to buy the place in which we currently reside, or move to another neighborhood altogether. It’s been a whirlwind—alternately stressful, exciting, soul-searching, and kinda sad. We love where we live now—we both agree it is one of the few, if perhaps only, place we have lived together that really feels like a home. But it’s tough to make such a big decision under a time crunch, let alone when you feel emotional about it.

Amidst my initial freakout on Friday, Joe said something along the lines of, “Maybe this is a sign we need to get a move on; it’s a way to get unstuck and challenge ourselves.” He’s right, of course. No matter the outcome, something will change, with new perspectives brought about.

Man, the housing drama never ends on this blog! Remember the New York apartment debacle? Or the real throwback drama to the owner occupied eviction mess from 2012, when we were planning our wedding, and went through months of eviction then “just kidding” notices? The good news is, in all cases, everything worked out, just like it will this time. I know no matter the outcome, we’ll end up happy and it’ll be a funny story in the future. Keep your fingers crossed for us in the meantime!


So, my mood and mantra this month? Keep it moving. Stay focused, stay positive. Ask for help when you need it. Give yourself grace and space in this new season (the light’s starting to look a lot different, after all). Embrace the beauty—and the messiness—of life. Try not to freak TOO much over the fact that we’re already in APRIL. Hang on, and hang in!

April, you’re real crazy already, but I kinda dig it? I certainly can’t call this month boring.

Diving Deep

When I take a step back and think about it, the last year of my life has been completely insane. It blows my mind that in April 2018, I was five blissfully ignorant weeks away from learning I’d be meeting my birth family. To be honest, over the last twelve months, so much life has been happening that a lot of times, it feels easier to operate on emotional autopilot. Focused on work, focused on the next few days ahead, focused on getting from meeting to meeting, errand to errand, social thing to social thing. Thinking about what the future holds—with my two families, with potential motherhood, with my career—overwhelms.

Recently, I’ve been feeling stuck in a lot of ways, and as I thought about it more, I realized part of the culprit was that I haven’t taken the time to really sit with the events of the last year, and how impactful it’s all been. I’ve been processing piecemeal, but there’s been a bigger shift brewing and I’m not sure what to do with it. I guess you could say when the entire narrative of your life and existence suddenly comes into focus, it feels disconcerting and confusing—albeit empowering. I feel as if for the first time ever, I finally have all the pieces of my identity in front of me, but I’m not sure how those pieces all fit together yet. This experience forces you to examine the parts of you that are still true, and what has changed beyond recognition.

Anyway, I was sharing some of this with friends and my therapist over the last week. One friend wisely told me to stop looking for solutions and just sit with the discomfort—which she’s right, I should (my impetus, as always, is to problem solve and wipe my hands clean of a situation). I brought this topic up in a therapy appointment this week, and said something to the effect of, “I think what I’m realizing is I just need to let everything wash over me, and let the wave hit.”

My therapist smiled then shook her head slightly and said, “I dunno. I actually think you should dive deeper into whatever is happening. Go deeper and underneath the wave. Just because you’re exploring and allowing yourself to feel something doesn’t mean it has to pummel you and take you out.”

I’ve been thinking about that visual a lot since we talked about it. Swimming down deeper into darker, unknown waters, lungs about to burst, but trusting, trusting. If you’ve ever swum underneath a huge wave as it crashed, you’ll know from underneath you can observe its strength, its purpose, the places where it breaks, the beauty of something raw and powerful that you have no control over.

I don’t even know what swimming deep underneath my particular wave will look or feel like, at least not yet. But I do know I liked this visual—really, this challenge—enough that I wanted to share it with you. Just in case you have your own storms you have been swimming in. Maybe now’s the time to dive underneath the next tidal wave, and see the world anew.

“If you obsess over whether you are making the right decision, you are basically assuming that the universe will reward you for one thing and punish you for another.

The universe has no fixed agenda. Once you make any decision, it works around that decision. There is no right or wrong, only a series of possibilities that shift with each thought, feeling, and action that you experience.”

– Attributed to Deepak Chopra, found here

Ask V: The FAQs on running a small biz

I’m so excited to share this post, as it’s been on my to do list for a while! Today, I’m answering my most frequently asked questions about launching and running a small business. And, since I often receive questions focused on the design side of my business, I’m including all those too. Most of these have been taken from emails and DMs I’ve gotten over the years, while others stem from conversations I’ve had with fellow designers and entrepreneurs.

Fair warning: It’s another massive Ask V post (I just can’t seem to quit after the Beauty Bible!), so use the little jump menu below to hop to various sections. My hope is that since some of the questions are a lot more general—and could apply to anyone, no matter the industry they’re interested in—this post will be helpful for anyone who’s ever thought about launching their own thing. Have other questions? Feel free to leave them for me in the comments. Ok, let’s dive in!

Questions on:

Getting Started    Design Stuff    Background Stories


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