🥇 Letter 145: 5-4-3-2-1 Favorites
Five Favorite affirmations, Four Favorite Songs, Three Things I am most Grateful for, Two Quotes to inspire, and 1 Question to Think about
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Aloha fellow learn-it-all 👋
Greetings from Diamond Head on Oahu, Hawaii 🌋
This here dog is Winny who I hang out with from time to time when her momma is busy. I aspire to be more like a dog. They are gifts to us humans that constantly serve as a reminder to take life less seriously and to be present.
I love mornings like this — walking Winny, smiling at neighbors, sipping on tea, chomping on banana bread, dipping in the ocean, swimming backstroke, and diving into the waves like a dolphin. It’s been hella windy over here, so much that I can’t go sailing, surfing, hiking or volleyball-ing — I even get scared I’ll blow away on my moped.
I’m presenting my final monologue tomorrow for the acting class I’ve been taking on Monday nights. Feeling unprepared is an understatement. Hopefully, by the time this hits your inbox, I’ll have one selected. Regardless, if you have any faves, send them my way :-)
Anywho, I’m experimenting with a different format this week inspired by James Clear’s 3-2-1. I’ve got another piece stewing in the crockpot that’s not ready to be published yet so here’s a microwaved piece that I just popped out in the nick of time.
I pulled most of this letter’s contents from my most personal essay that I recently published: my 2022 Annual Review. If you want to know what I’ve learned so far and the intentions for my life, reading it is best:
Now, let’s dive into letter 145 from a learn-it-all. Enjoy!
🗣️ Five Favorite Affirmations
Clarity through action, not thought.
If I make myself happy, I can pour that happiness into others.
Ask for forgiveness rather than permission.
I am a billy goat. I can climb this mountain. I am strong.
I am writing my own life story.
🎧 Four Songs to Listen to
Growing Sideways by Noah Kahan: “'Cause everyone's growing and everyone's healthy. I'm terrified that I might never have met me. Oh, if my engine works perfect on empty, I guess I'll drive.”
Aloha Ke Akua by Nahko and Medicine for the People: “Bodies of info performing such miracles. I am a miracle. Made up of particles And in this existence I'll stay persistent And I'll make a difference. And I will have lived it.”
Saturn by Sleeping at Last: “With shortness of breath I'll try to explain the infinite And how rare and beautiful it truly is that we exist.”
Truly Madly Deeply by Yoke Lore: “I will be strong, I will be faithful 'Cause I'm counting on a new beginning. A reason for living, a deeper meaning. I wanna stand with you on a mountain. I wanna bathe with you in the sea”
😇 Three things I am most grateful for
My able working body. I can compete in a triathlon. I can do a supported handstand. I can paddle out in big sets of waves. I can lift heavy suitcases into overhead bins on airplanes. I can backpack scary mountains with a 30lb pack on my back. This is something that is a privilege and I refuse to let it go unnoticed.
Becoming more like a hippie. I love the idea of living off the land. I love the ceremonious process of boiling water and making tea from the essence of plants. The more I listen to the world patiently, the more I get out of my head and less of a thinker to become more of an animal that feels and is present in this moment. Maybe that’s why dogs seem to be so much happier overall?
Being surrounded by nature. (This echoes much of the hippie vibe I just shared but I’m making this as a separate point the outdoors truly are healing.) The amount of time I used to spend indoors cooped up in the 851 sq. ft. apartment with my two roommates and as a part of three book clubs in Chicago was bonkers. I was up in my head all day. No wonder I wasn’t living, I was never in my body and using the gifts that I was given that can glide through water or walk barefoot across plush grassy fields or climb mountains. I feel more grounded when I hug trees.
🌟 Two Quotes to inspire
“You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” ― Maya Angelou
“The most valuable real estate in the world is the graveyard. There lie millions of half-written books, ideas never launched, and talents never developed. Most people die with everything still inside of them. The way to live is to create. Die empty. Get every idea out of your head and into reality. Calling yourself creative doesn’t make it true. All that matters is what you’ve launched. Make finishing your top priority.” – Derek Sivers
❓One Question to think about
What would this look like if it was easy?
📸 Photos of the Week
I’d be lying to you if I said that I don’t feel especially pretty in pink.
I’m going to share a secret with you: I used to be called ‘pinky’ by my family growing up. I was the first girl on the Vermet side of the lineage in two (maybe three?) generations. That made me special and I was forced to wear pink for most of my upbringing. I used to hate it but now I embrace it and I *love* it. Be expecting more pink from me in this year than you’ve ever seen.
‘Twas a fun-filled evening of crafting, playing Scattergories, and storytelling. I accidentally ate five Tootsie roll pops and could *not* wait to floss my teeth after that mistake. Scientists found out it takes 2,500 licks to get to the center of one of these delicious suckers (despite what the owl saying it takes three).
Tofor reaching out and his energy surrounding taking writing online more seriously. He’s so mindful and I loved reading his Digital Dope piece.
To podcaster Tim Ferriss for inspiring the question to think about
To Naseem Malik for his observational insights Getting To Resilient and the Non-Compete Nonsense in the future of work and how they “lower wages and stifle entrepreneurship by stifling innovation that would result from workers broadly sharing their ideas.”
Toon this most recent writing and book note reflections on The Inner Game of Life. It provoked a lot of thought for me around improvement, the different voices in my head, and of the outer game.
To my moped Qiao who reached a new birthday of 100,000 km this past week. It’s been such a neat treat bopping around town on him. My little boy is aging
I appreciate you reading this!
Never stop learning 😁
PS - in case you missed last week’s 🌱 Letter 144: My three words for 2023
If you’re reading this because someone shared this newsletter with you, welcome! I’d love it if you subscribed:
On inspiration from the moon:
On a favorite quote from the Stutz Documentary:
On my love for peanut butter:
On questioning whether proactively solving problems is making problems:
On what motivates me to do laundry: