A pretty sunflower to brighten up this gloomy day, one last vestige of summer still holding on… Chicago, what happened to a gradual transition into fall? Can you bring the sunshine back please? 

A pretty sunflower to brighten up this gloomy day, one last vestige of summer still holding on… Chicago, what happened to a gradual transition into fall? Can you bring the sunshine back please? 

Unsolicited advice.

Don’t have just wine for dinner. It always seems fine at the time, but
you will feel ROUGH the next day.

Once in a blue moon, I have days where I don’t hate my curly hair. These happen rarely, so it seemed worth documenting. P.S. Curly girls out there, have any secrets you swear by to keep your hair under control? Send them my way! I’m trying to get better about wearing my hair in its natural state… but it’s hard. 

Once in a blue moon, I have days where I don’t hate my curly hair. These happen rarely, so it seemed worth documenting.

P.S. Curly girls out there, have any secrets you swear by to keep your hair under control? Send them my way! I’m trying to get better about wearing my hair in its natural state… but it’s hard. 

Happiness List.

It’s pouring rain, I’ve worked ridiculously long hours this week, and I’m feeling randomly crabby at the world for no reason in particular.* But there are lots of things that don’t suck, so let’s focus on those:

1. I have a couch now! A comfy, white couch that I actually really like. Zac and co. helped me move it in on Sunday, and that process was a pain, but I feel like I’m actually making progress on cozy-ing up my apartment.

2. There aren’t really many lunch places by my new work, so I’ve been bringing lunch every single day. I forgot how much money this saves, so that’s been a nice surprise for my bank account. Plus, it helps me eat healthier too!

3. I have a giant office all to myself at my new job. With windows (natural light!) and a door and a huge desk and a conference table for meetings… It’s so different from the crammed cubicle I was in before! 

4. The first apple cider donuts of the season. One of my friend visited the apple orchard last weekend and brought these back. It’s rare that I like desserts that don’t include chocolate, but my goodness, those apple orchard donuts are one of the best things about fall. 

5. It’s Friday! Thank goodness. I’m looking forward to celebrating a friend’s birthday, going to a concert at Wrigley, and catching up on some sleep this weekend. 

The sweetest “congrats on the new job” gift. The boyfriend did good, huh? I’m really picky about jewelry, so I was extra excited!

The sweetest “congrats on the new job” gift. The boyfriend did good, huh? I’m really picky about jewelry, so I was extra excited!

Find a beautiful piece of art. If you fall in love with Van Gogh or Matisse or John Oliver Killens, or if you fall love with the music of Coltrane, the music of Aretha Franklin, or the music of Chopin - find some beautiful art and admire it, and realize that that was created by human beings just like you, no more human, no less.
Maya Angelou
While I certainly learned a lot at my old job, I can’t tell you what a relief it is to be out of there. There was more going on than I’ve mentioned here, and I was stressed and tense all the time, even when I wasn’t at work. It was actually kind of miserable. What’s interesting is that, while this was going on, it took a while for me to realize how unhappy I was. Hating my job became such a normal part of everyday life, and do you know how many people there are in the world that hate their jobs? SO MANY. If you listen to that crowd long enough, these people can make it sound like hating your job is just a part of adult life. 
But eventually, I realized that I don’t care what those people think. I don’t want to live that way. Maybe it sounds foolish or naive, but I was determined to find a career that would pay my bills without crushing my soul. My life got better once I decided to quit complaining about my job and began using that energy to seek something else. I still can’t believe how quickly things fell into place with my new job, and I feel so lucky. 
The other day, while road tripping home from Ohio, Zac said, “Em, you’ve been so much happier ever since you quit. You seem lighter, more relaxed, just more you. I love it.”And I didn’t realize it until he pointed it out, but he’s right. I’m already so much happier, and it’s only been a month since I started the process of even looking for jobs. I just wish I hadn’t taken so long to find the courage I needed to make a change. 
Photo: My relaxed self enjoying dinner and sangria with Zac on the lake. I kind of love this photo. I look happy, because I am. 

While I certainly learned a lot at my old job, I can’t tell you what a relief it is to be out of there. There was more going on than I’ve mentioned here, and I was stressed and tense all the time, even when I wasn’t at work. It was actually kind of miserable. 

What’s interesting is that, while this was going on, it took a while for me to realize how unhappy I was. Hating my job became such a normal part of everyday life, and do you know how many people there are in the world that hate their jobs? SO MANY. If you listen to that crowd long enough, these people can make it sound like hating your job is just a part of adult life. 

But eventually, I realized that I don’t care what those people think. I don’t want to live that way. Maybe it sounds foolish or naive, but I was determined to find a career that would pay my bills without crushing my soul. My life got better once I decided to quit complaining about my job and began using that energy to seek something else. I still can’t believe how quickly things fell into place with my new job, and I feel so lucky. 

The other day, while road tripping home from Ohio, Zac said, “Em, you’ve been so much happier ever since you quit. You seem lighter, more relaxed, just more you. I love it.”

And I didn’t realize it until he pointed it out, but he’s right. I’m already so much happier, and it’s only been a month since I started the process of even looking for jobs. I just wish I hadn’t taken so long to find the courage I needed to make a change. 

Photo: My relaxed self enjoying dinner and sangria with Zac on the lake. I kind of love this photo. I look happy, because I am. 

How intensely do I want to exist?
Sera Beak

Oh, hello there!

Oh my goodness, it’s been quite a while since I checked into this lovely online space. Hi everyone! How y’all doing? 

This has been a busy but wonderful summer, and I spent every single weekend (not exaggerating) in July and August out of town. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. They were all fun trips!

I went to Milwaukee for brewery tours and to visit one of my best friends, to Philadelphia for my cousin’s wedding, to Minnesota for the good ol’ State Fair and some family time, to Florida for a reunion with my college girlfriends, to Ohio to visit my boyfriend’s wonderful family… The list goes on and on, but I loved every minute of those chaotic mini-trips. (Except for all the packing and unpacking. I don’t think I’ll ever love that part.)

But it was all a little exhausting. I have no plans to leave Chicago in September, and I’m pretty pumped about that fact. 

In the midst of all this traveling, just to add to this busy season of life, I also decided it was time to make a career shift. My job at the Sun-Times taught me a lot, but I was ready to take on a new challenge. 

I’ve always been interested in education, and am actually contemplating going to grad school for something in that realm, so I decided working at a school would be a good next step for me. After a very brief whirlwind of an interview process, I’ve accepted a position as the Director of Marketing & Development of a Catholic school here in Chicago. I actually just started yesterday! 

I have no doubt the position will be immensely challenging, and my brain is already spinning with the information overload that tends to come with the first week of a new job, but I’m excited to see where this new opportunity takes me. 

Now that I’ve spilled my news, how’ve you all been?! Hope everyone’s having a wonderful last few days of summer!

Florida for the weekend with my college girls. I didn’t think about work or check my phone once today. We just laid in the sun, swam in the pool, and ate lunch on the beach. This is the good life.

Florida for the weekend with my college girls. I didn’t think about work or check my phone once today. We just laid in the sun, swam in the pool, and ate lunch on the beach. This is the good life.

It’s hard to go back to work after an awesome long weekend in Minnesota visiting family and friends, so here’s a latergram from the epic 612 Brewery. I swear, Minneapolis gets cooler every time I visit.

It’s hard to go back to work after an awesome long weekend in Minnesota visiting family and friends, so here’s a latergram from the epic 612 Brewery. I swear, Minneapolis gets cooler every time I visit.

I mean, I guess he’s alright. Or whatever.

I mean, I guess he’s alright. Or whatever.

Stay where you are. Find your own Calcutta. Find the sick, the suffering and the lonely right there where you are — in your own homes and in your own families, in your workplaces and in your schools. … You can find Calcutta all over the world, if you have the eyes to see. Everywhere, wherever you go, you find people who are unwanted, unloved, uncared for, just rejected by society — completely forgotten, completely left alone.

Mother Theresa

A Monday reminder from this epic lady, because it feels like I have to go somewhere far away or do something dramatic to make a difference. It’s all too easy to forget how much work there is to be done right where I am. 

Copacabana is a real place. And it is wonderful. And coco gelado is my new favorite thing. I don’t ever want to leave this wonderful place!

Copacabana is a real place. And it is wonderful. And coco gelado is my new favorite thing. I don’t ever want to leave this wonderful place!

Still bummed Team USA lost yesterday, but happy that this face painting ordeal happened first. We got interviewed by 3 different TV stations on our way to the game!

Still bummed Team USA lost yesterday, but happy that this face painting ordeal happened first. We got interviewed by 3 different TV stations on our way to the game!