The year could not have started out any worse than it did. Surprisingly, I am doing pretty well all things considered. Looking back, there were still some good things to come out of an understandably somber month for me and my family. And I’m glad I get to chronicle them in my tiny corner of the web.
Spotify now has playlists according to your star sign. Now, I don’t necessarily love all the songs in this, but I’m pleasantly surprised that “Destiny” by Zero 7 is on the list.
For some strange reason, I’ve been getting the sudden urge to just bake on a completely random day. It started with brownies. And then one day, it was Oreo cheesecake. On yet another, it was a batch of cookies. I’ve been giving some away, but also I’ve been thinking a lot about selling my cookies to strangers. I haven’t really sat down and brainstormed on how I’m going about it, but I’ve been bugging family and friends, asking them if I can count on their support when I do decide to go full-throttle on Macy’s Fields. (They said yes, duh.)
After a quick ritual with my sage and palo santo, I drew cards during the Full Moon. The Death card in tarot doesn’t usually mean literal death (more like ending and beginning of cycles), and this is not the first time it has appeared in my spreads.
But this is the only time I felt its literal meaning. The question for this card was “Where is my power during the full moon?” There couldn’t have been a more appropriate card.
When we were going through the motions at the hospital, then the morgue, then the funeral parlor, then the wake, and the burial, I couldn’t help but think, we were ready for it. Nobody told us what to do or where to go or what to say. Somehow, even if we weren’t prepared to say goodbye to our dad, in some ways, maybe we were.
My brothers and I have been “our father’s keeper,” as my brother Manu said in his beautiful eulogy on the last day of our father’s wake, for twenty years now. I look at us and I’m proud to stand by them and how we’ve taken care of each other all these years.
Maybe that’s why I’m not so worried about the future that lies ahead of us.
I finished two books this January (well, almost). The first one was The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer. I started this last year and had such a difficult time finishing it because I was so annoyed with how stubborn Jules Jacobson was in the book. But my friend Marla, who lists this as one of her favorite books by the author, told me to see it through. And hard is it was to finish, it was a great story about growing up and finding out that maybe you’re not as remarkable as you thought you were as a kid—but that doesn’t make you any less interesting than everyone else. I loved how it teetered between their past and the present and how it showed that people can change through time and yet, somehow, stay the same.
As for Tara Westover’s memoir, which I technically finished today, I encourage you to read her amazing, awe-inspiring story. I had to remind myself several times over the course of reading this book that it was not fiction. Educated will make you think about how important education is—both in and out of school—and how sometimes, family can be the people you choose and not the ones you were born into. I cannot wait to read more from this author.
I’ve unearthed a lot of my mom’s hair accessories because of my recent de-cluttering. Who knew barrettes from the ’80s would be in fashion again? I guess sometimes, it pays to be a packrat? I’ve been trying to be smarter about my purchases, too, thinking if something I buy will last me the next ten years or so. I’ve been investing in a lot of linen clothes (I just bought some really nice ones from my friends’ line GoBasic, which I didn’t know had linen tops and dresses for sale until quite recently) and real leather shoes. Someday, I hope that when I have a kid of my own, she can also wear my clothes and shoes just like what I do with my mom’s old stuff.