go with the ‘fro


07.23.2014 by Andrea


Warning – it only happens on rare occasions but this post is plated with heavier thoughts then normal w/ no mention of food.

I’m coming out of hibernation or to steal a line from LBJ [the basketball player, not the former President], I am coming home. Not that I think anyone was holding their breath and waiting for my return like I was for King James to head back to Cleveland or for Mrs. M to end her blogging hiatus to share all things good, giggly, frank and playful about life. Selfishly, I mean that I am delving back in the safe confines, of a familiar nest I call home, {this blog}, so that I can resume sharing [with a slightly different point of view] via a digital medium. Basically exchanging one rabbit hole for another.

This last year it’s as if I’ve had the equivalent to the ultimate never ending debutante/quinceañera as I crested into a new age demographic. That’s pretty major for a girl who despises birthdays for herself. Stepping into my thirties felt fabulous and the fun has not ceased, in many ways it has gotten a lot better. Those twelve months went by so quickly that I felt like my head was in a fog and I never had time to sketch out what it looked like to be thirty one. Then 31 arrived. I have to say that I had been giddily anticipating my 30’s for some time, and it seemed like a natural transition to be looking forward with jubilance to a fresh decade while simultaneously reflecting on lesson’s learned from my 20’s. However, nobody truly prepared me that the carousel of life doesn’t necessarily slow down when you arrive at the big three-oh, it’s just that your body starts to feel like it does. Recovery from late nights and early mornings aren’t quite as rapid as opposed to when I was a bit more of a youthful whippersnapper.

With my 20’s in the rearview mirror, I had initially labeled the start of twenty fourteen the Year of the Curl. I wanted to get back to my roots and rock my natural hairstyle as much as possible. It seems easy on paper but in the business world, wild and unruly isn’t always the most professional of bouffants. It commingled well with crossing one year deeper into my 30’s and also supported my feelings that this was going to be a period where I’d be breaking a lot of my “norms.” What I wasn’t expecting was that the Year of the Curl meant lots of hairpin [pun intended] turns alongside topsy turvy life lessons.

Bear with me, this is my {originally intended to be} brief “what I’m learning in my 30’s, monologue.”

First, black hair can get wet. My premise for going back to the untamed afro-puff was that I was saying no to a lot of activities that involved getting my hair damp. If you have ever witnessed the black hair straightening process and the almighty quest for straight hair you know what I am talking about. However, lessons don’t always have to be painful. This is one of the first I crossed paths with and I have mostly embraced it. It’s made falling in the snow a whole lot less stressful when a new winter activity, skiing, picked me as a willing victim. If you’re perfecting the art of the fall as much as I do, ain’t nobody got time for worrying about hairdo’s.

Secondly, a person, like myself, can love mapping [maybe a bit obsessively] out timelines/goals, making lists {I may be signing up for a half marathon based on how excited I am at the probability of receiving free Post It’s} and projecting how and when things should occur in life. But that can all flip at a moment’s notice, and if I have had one thing hammered home it’s that the only constant in life is change.

Rule breaking 101 didn’t tell me first I was going to have to learn to loosen my tight fisted reign on control. I’ve spent a lot of time [read: years] doing what I want to do, when I want to do it and that’s slowly but surely changing.


breaking rules, left and right. exhibit 1 {holding babies}.

I’m in a major transition of resettling back into Seattle. My pocketbook demanded it was time to leave NY but my heart is still in a heady love affair with the city. I believed there was going to be a natural expiration but also had wildly [deeply and {maybe not so} secretly, all while crossing my fingers,] hoped that I would just naturally turn into a New Yorker and never have to face the music on leaving. As my friend M [current Bushwick resident] says, NY will always be here. Sigh. New York, I love you.

Following that announcement, next up, after nine years in a high flying role of being on the road nonstop, I recently transitioned into an opportunity that moved me into a position where my feet are more firmly planted in the Northwest then they have been in a long time. Same company, new title. Big changes. It feels like my wanderlust gypsetter self just had her wings clipped a bit [a lot actually]. Less travel sounds great when you are soaking up NW summers. I will even admit, yesterday I enjoyed the summer rain shower and was already gleefully looking to break out my boots and cozy sweaters for Fall. It’s all wonderful now but, I am not avoiding looking at the next few months wondering what I will do when the weather is soupy and I yearn to hop on a plane to go somewhere warm. I don’t think I have spent an entire year without major travel in Seattle since 2005. There is no doubt that I am superbly happy to be back in Sea-town, I am also sure reality will slap me in the face at some point. I’m bracing myself for when the travel itch attempts to seize control.

Nobody said it was easy, might be a Coldplay, lyric. But, that also applies in life and relationships. The investing starts here. It’s shocking to think you’re an easygoing flexible person and then have that theory usurped. I’ve packed a lot of living into the past few years, and it’s wild when it comes time to relearn that it’s not always about you. I know, right? I have been given a long leash and been blessed with incredible friends that I call family, and family that I can call friends. A few people have started to point out {some more gently than others} that maybe it’s time to be a bit more grounded, and present. Um, what? Learning to trim the fat, saying yes to less, and focusing more on quality time versus the quantity of events has been trying and healthy. Surprisingly as much as I love being social, I have really embraced solo down time.

That part where I said I had to learn to let go. It started with India, which was an amazing experience, one that I would never change. Honestly, I was scared. It was strange to not really have to plan or focus on forecasting and mapping out the trip. I felt like it was so out of my comfort zone that even when my lips were telling people about this new adventure my actions weren’t aligning. I filled my calendar with social activities, work re-certifications and kept saying I didn’t have time to get ready. What it really boiled down to was that I didn’t know how to set expectations. Weird. It ended up truly being a trip of a lifetime. Since I had no agenda I was never disappointed and embraced the experiences as they came my way. Namaste, for real. It only took nearly 31 years for that to occur.

I thought that my return from India would be easy and that life would hum along like normal. Again, not the case. People have gotten sick and been counseled and prepped for end of life dates, couples in partnerships that appeared rock solid have dissolved, friends have moved away, newborn babies are sprouting up everywhere, and I have had to learn that I can’t do it all. It’s a humbling moment when you realize that you think you can juggle everything and then open your eyes and see that you’re failing at a lot [or what feels like everything]. In the midst of all this I tried to seize control in little areas of my life, and shelve/compartmentalize others nooks and crannies. It all came to a screeching halt a weeks ago, the jig was up. I’ve taken some time regrouped, naturally done some reorganizing and refocusing and am coming out the other side. My friend R has been opening herself up on her blog, and finding freedom in showing the not so pretty parts of life. It can be rather cathartic to raise your hand [and/or use a snapshot on instagram] and share honest moments with yourself when you recognize things are not always going along merrily. A lot can look pretty from on the exterior and be incredibly fragile from the inside out. A few weeks ago, my friend J {a fellow travel soul sister} articulated it well when she was wrote about prepping for her return to the States and saying goodbye to Malawi. Simply put, coming home isn’t always easy. It can take a while to sink into a routine and find the new normal. Life transitions have occurred, there are things you have missed out on, and you embark on trying new things. For instance, on a much simpler scale, I’ve used a crockpot and grown a garden in the past quarter, things I never had ever thought to put on my bucket list. At the end of the day, as Pico Iyers artfully states in one of most impactful TED talks I’ve listened to {repeatedly}, home is not just a place where you sleep, it’s the place where you stand.

To end this lengthy penning [of lots and lots of words], I’ll loop it all back together. In one of my entries from India I shared my favorite Shantaram passage. Few words have punched me in the stomach like these have, for years, and now I’m putting them to the test as I put one foot forward and then the other … it’s time to go with the ‘fro and stand in one of the many places I call home. Seattle, this was your PSA, I am back.

I’m resuming my self deemed rightful place of caloric consumption and sharing. @eatsandtweet is in full throttle mode. Sadly, I hope it hasn’t become a case of the boy who cried wolf, as I know I’ve promised that before, but if you could see what’s in the pipeline then you would know it’s true. Sorry [not sorry, well … a little bit] if I inundate you in the next few weeks. Food train, here we come!

Join me for the next bite [thanks for staying the course with me]. Cheers!


back in the saddle again. eating & tweeting {captured by @brianharthoffman}





2 thoughts on “go with the ‘fro

  1. Renae says:

    Your eats are fascinating but your heart is compelling. I loved this and I’d have to agree that 30 or 31 was a game changer in the best way.

  2. […] way where you blink and realize that you started this little nugget of a blog in 2010, accidentally took a nearly two year hiatus with monthly intentions to get back to sharing and then life […]

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