❤️ Moments of Laughter, Learning, and Love: My Adventures from February
Letter 148: My February reflections
If you are new here or missed last week's edition, you can catch up on the past letters here. If you are reading this for the first time, I’d love you to sign up below to join the other learn-it-alls:
Aloha fellow learn-it-all 👋
Greetings from the sunrise yesterday at the top of Kokohead Crater on Oahu ☀️
Yow. Do you ever struggle to get up the stairs to your home (hale in Hawaiian)?? Well that was me just limping like a tortoise up and down them to check my mailbox this morning. More on this in the photos of the week at the bottom.
Anywho, in three days on Wednesday, I’m launching a poetry class with my friend Ellen Fishbein called Rhythm, Rhyme, Repeat.
If you are at all curious about writing poetry, I encourage you to sign up :)
Now, let’s dive into letter 148 from a learn-it-all. Enjoy!
❓Question to think about
What the heck happened during this past month?
Below is a highlight reel from some snippets of life in the month of February. I will cover what I loved, learned, lacked, questioned, surprised, found silly, and some habits.
❤️ Ten things I loved
Making banana bread for the first time.
Launching Rhythm, Rhyme, Repeat poetry course with Ellen Fishbein. There’s still time to sign up :-)
I started seeing a therapist and moving my relationship forward by trusting myself and better understanding who I am.
Having my performance coach Kimmy bring clarity to my life and externalize many things.
Creating a flexible triathlon plan.
Having deep talks with friends sailing about career aspirations and the future.
Being courageous reaching out to Quinn XCII with a video and making the concert happen.
Channeling patience in the windy rainy weather and when I had strep throat to heal.
Birthday cards and texts and calls with loved ones.
Publishing a lot of writing :-)
My 2022 Annual Review: my three intentions for 2023 are courage, peace, and connection
Truth Time: Figuring Out Life at 27: I will never have life figured out so I am going to stop expecting myself to. I shared this as my final piece for Foster’s Writing group for Season 2
27 Bits of Wisdom from 27 Years: wisdom on my relationship with myself, friendship, health, and living
5-4-3-2-1 Favorites: some of my favorite content I consumed in 2022
🍲 Crockpot vs. ⏱️ Microwave Writing: how I view different forms of writing
Reflections from Acting 101: I’m not sure if I’m cut out for this after all
💔 Six things I lacked
An even tone pitch of my voice singing A Thousand Miles by Vanessa Carlton at karaoke night. (My first time behind a mic in a few years (!))
Self-control with my phone. I would intercept it each morning in the kitchen to check messages even though none of them were urgent.
Physically writing out my daily act of kindness into my elephant jar. Mental notes aren’t as great as physical notes.
A budget for my trip to Southeast Asia in April.
Too many paths of what I can consume for fun. I capture what piques my interest in Notion without a target date so it feels less like obligatory homework.
Consistency in training for my triathlon.
🤓 Seven lessons I learned
Lessons from my four-week acting 101 course: Acting forces me to put my imagination to the test. (More lessons are listed on this note)
Tourists get confused about what and when to use the phrase Aloha. I need to create a spiel to better answer these questions I commonly get asked.
It doesn’t matter if a story is silly. If you act like it’s life or death, people will care because they see how much you care about it.
I will never feel qualified to call myself a writer. There will always be self-doubt, so I might as well go for it and shoot my shot. If it doesn’t go according to plan, then goody goody gumdrops, more for me to learn.
The training platform I started using on the Heroic App this past month. I enjoy how the targets I create help me affirm who I know I am.
Watching sunrise may be my new favorite movie. The dialogue is so rich. More on that below in the 🥒 Content Diet section
While creating OKRs for a company (objectives and key results), planning out those key results isn’t my cup of tea. I need to get better at my relationship with constraints.
❓Twelve questions I’ve been pondering
Does it make you happy?
How can I have more of that courageous Quinn XCII outreach energy in my life?!
If there is always going to be a story I might as well make it less delusional and grounded in my experience to serve the person I believe I am. How can I do this?
Am I more of a Type 5 thinker or a Type 7 Enthusiast on my Enneagram? Does it even matter??
How can I make cutting sugar and chocolate out of my life easier?
Given self-help is an industry, how can I ever leave? There’s no ceiling to it all. Self-development is always butting heads with stillness.
How can I make it frictionless to constantly show up and practice my zazen meditation daily?
How can my external and internal motivations tango together in alignment and be sustainable? This can shape my definition of ambition.
Where do I want to be a year from now?
What decisions are worthy of creating a decision journal for?
How can I listen and follow what comes to my life with ease instead of always seeking a challenge?
When have I fucked up in my life?
😮 Five surprises
I actually enjoyed using Chat GPT as dialogue for the first time. I didn’t enjoy it when I was writing my reflective piece and it felt like they stole my thunder before I was able to come to my own realization on my own.
When someone asked me if I was Mormon because of my abstaining from caffeine and alcohol.
I walked barefoot to the community garden and I think I stepped in chicken shit but I’m not completely sure ¯\(ツ)/¯
Landed a dog and housesitting gig for the end of March. Who knew I’d be this excited about a new environment and being a mother to some doggos?
On a Saturday afternoon at Costco, I ordered two pizzas to bring to friends at the beach and I needed to wait an hour. Order online next time.
🤪 Three silly things that make me laugh
I enjoyed creating a new property in Notion (the tool I use to take notes) for meetings to reflect on how I feel.
Switching from my Lamy fountain pen to a Scrivener one has been making me want to write so much more because of the marginally better writing experience.
Swimming through a school of fish is EPIC! It’s so playful and fun. I felt like a master of disaster.
☑️ Habits from February
Daily acts of kindness
Tracking my targets on my Heroic App
☑️ Habits for March: LOTION, NOTION, OCEAN
Moisturizing my whole body after I brush my teeth.
Tracking my exercise and meditation habits in Notion. I’m also collabing with some family and friends on project plans for upcoming travels and weekly creative collages themes.
Swimming at least twice a week. I joined the Waikiki Swim Club so I can have additional accountability to swim my ~1 mile faster for my triathlon training.
🥒 Content Diet
The Power of Regret: How Looking Backward Moves Us Forward by Daniel H. Pink (2022). I usually don’t like reading new releases, but when I saw it at the library, it called out my name.
My biggest takeaway: having no regrets across my lifespan is impossible, so it is better to realize how they can help me make better decisions.
“In my own American Regret Project survey, inaction regrets outnumbered action regrets by nearly two to one.”
“When we don’t act, - when we don’t step off that metaphorical train – we can only speculate how events would have unfolded.”
(Book notes to come next week).
🎬 Movie Watching
Before Sunrise directed by Richard Linklater (1995). Ya ya ya, it’s a romantic movie, but it was sensational! I loved the philosophical nature of every conversation. There was such lively storytelling. It got me thinking more about my own boldness regrets and rethinking how I view the world and the relationships I have in it and what I connect with people on.
If there's any kind of magic in this world... it must be in the attempt of understanding someone, sharing something. I know it's almost impossible to succeed... but who cares, really?
🎧 Podcast Listening
Richard Schwartz — IFS, Psychedelic Experiences without Drugs, and Finding Inner Peace for Our Many Parts #492 on the Tim Ferriss Show. My biggest takeaway: I have different parts of myself that come out after being exiled and protected. Instead of rebelling against it, I want to unburden them to live a life with more inner peace and trust and acceptance.
🎧 Music Listening
I discovered this neat feature where I can pull Spotify data and see my Top artists, genres, and songs on Spotify here.
My February feels playlist. I created monthly playlists on my sabbatical in the fall of 2021 where I add new music that I stumble across and want to listen to again. It’s a total hodge-podge of different vibes, but I love it anyways.
🔍 Word to define
Reconcile: To cause to be friendly again; to conciliate anew; to restore to friendship; to bring back to harmony; to cause to be no longer at variance; as, to reconcile
persons who have quarreled.
To bring to acquiescence.
Etymology: mid-14c., reconcilen, transitive, in reference to persons, "to restore to union and friendship after estrangement or variance," also of God or Christ, "restore (mankind, sinners) to favor or grace," from Old French reconcilier (12c.) and directly from Latin reconcilare "to bring together again; regain; win over again, conciliate,
From Rainer Maria Rilke: “then everything will become easier for you, more coherent and somehow more reconciling, not in your conscious mind perhaps, which stays behind, astonished, but in your innermost awareness, awakeness, and knowledge.”
🌟 Quote to inspire
“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.” – Amelia Earhart
📸 Photos of the Week
I solo-hiked Kokohead Crater yesterday morning for sunrise for the first time.
The people watching was entertaining: some elderly with a cane, a toddler dressed in a pink onesie who just learned how to walk, a little pup with overflowing energy, and some marines with heart rate monitors who had lapped me twice.
It’s only 1,048 steps and 0.7 miles to the top, BUT man oh man, my quads and calves certainly feel it today. It took me 30 minutes to get up and 21 minutes to go down. Hoping to get a new personal record the next time I go.
To Alice Lemée for inspiring my content diet section in her Internetly Newsletter. I love her writing tips, freelancing lessons, and silly stories
To Alex Hugh Sam for recommending the IFS podcast to me
I appreciate you reading this!
If ideas resonated, I’d love you to leave a comment, reply to this email, or send me a message on Twitter @JenVermet. If you forgot who I am, I welcome you to my online home.
Never stop learning 😁
PS - If you missed last week’s 🎁 Letter 147: 27 Bits of Wisdom from 27 Years
PPS - If you wanna watch The Most Beautiful INTERSTELLAR ever Played In Public
If you’re reading this because someone shared this newsletter with you, welcome! I’d love it if you subscribed:
On being goofy recording myself eating lunch:
On my travel plans to SE Asia so far:
On the paradox of freedom:
On remembering how much I love hammocking for sunset:
“Am I more of a Type 5 thinker or a Type 7 Enthusiast on my Enneagram? Does it even matter??”
You’re way more of a Type 7 in my eyes.
PS: I’m so excited for your poetry class!
The first photo from “photos of the week” is very cool - captures a lot in one shot.
As for Bali, Nusa Lembongan was a highlight. For example, there’s several scuba diving spots that can take you to a spot at a neighboring location (Nusa Penida) to swim with Manta Rays. Enjoy the upcoming trip!