Saturday, August 24, 2013


The wandering has begun. I finished my time with the TED content team, and now I'm in Boston for a few days working on some research and finishing a project proposal to launch next week before I head to London and Turkey to connect with some interesting people and new projects.

I have never been very good at the "relaxed" vacation... I think part of it is that I remember days based on the cool things I was working on at the time. It's a celebration of time, as I see it.

This is my plan to actually sort of relax and make the most out of my vacation time until I start working at Locus. The goals go as follows:

1) Make time to write. Every single day.
Even if this means just for myself in the privacy of the notebooks that I sketch out ideas for articles and blog posts next to my grocery lists or my hardbound journal, I need to do more of it. It's centering and helps me think through things that might be floating in bits and pieces around other parts of my mind. I also need to spend a little more time blogging because... well I've missed it.

2) Reading Books. Not just articles and blogs and emails and everything else I read on a daily basis.
I love the fast information and touches into different things I can get through articles, but it will never replace the longer mental conversations that we have with characters in books when we really sit down and engage with the author. I honestly do think that my writing has improved because I read as much as I do for fun. (Not just because I have to!) Plus, it's really the sign of a vacation for me when I can close my laptop for a while and just read something unrelated to my research because I want to.

3) Go for long walks just to see things in New York => Boston => London => Istanbul => Bodrum.
I think this ties in a bit with the hypothetical love child of the "solo" trip I took in the woods for a few short hours my freshman year of high school and my desire to fill a notebook with ideas, vignettes of narratives I'm thinking about, and weird research thoughts. The solo trip was one where my high school planted us together in the woods for two weeks, and we had an option to be dropped off alone somewhere in the woods for series of hours and entertain ourselves. As someone who falls between the Introvert and the Extrovert on that scale (speaking of which, interesting thoughts), this was wonderful and terrible at the same time. I love the energy of being around people, but often crave alone time to draw out my thoughts into tangible language. I had a notebook and all the time in the world.

4) Take the train to every corner of Manhattan (then I will move on to Brooklyn)
(Fairly straightforward, but promises some interesting experiences)

5) Go back to my creative projects.
Though most people don't know this, I do some work in jewelry design on the side. I need to go back through my boxes and do some work with the beads and other materials that I have been saving for some time... good time for me to get back in touch with some people I've sold to before and make some extra cash!


6) Work on TEDx. All day every day. (Which always makes me happy!)

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Why We Write Letters.

I read an article recently that talked about the merits of writing letters as part of building your narrative on specific chapters of life. (It was especially pleasant to think about it that way after listening to talks like this about internet tattoos and all of the recent scandals about leaked emails etc.) Yes, my life and activities are being recorded to some extent through facebook and twitter, online purchases, credit cards, online bank transactions... All of these mediums.

But I also have the option to hand write letters that will fade with time, lose their meaning to anyone except the recipient... but they are beautiful because they make time seem more tangible. Instead of forever, we have the chance to make something that will fade with memories.

Society might be pushing towards immortality -- how will I be remembered? What can I leave behind to keep people thinking about me?

But I crave something tangible. Something with a real time line.

And for me, that is a letter. So intimate, you can imagine the brush that someone's hand has over the paper as they write.

For me, it means I have a box of letters sitting in the corner of my apartment that was waiting for an address until yesterday.

Letters suddenly mean a lot more when they become the only option. The life line to a friend so far away. And right now, they are. So my days are poured into words that clunk and don't fit as well as the experience itself, but we make the effort to recreate and remember these chapters, these moments, to share them when it matters most.

And as I send them all off tomorrow, I'm sending a piece of my memories as I lived them, to someone who matters most.

In defense, here is a TED talk!