What I’m doing now

“Think of what you’d tell a friend you hadn’t seen in a year.”

This is the idea behind a “now page” which is what this one is. Let’s get into it.

Ironically (serendipitously?), this Tuesday, I met up with an old friend whom I hadn’t seen in 10 years.

We were best friends in our early teenage years. Then, one day, we weren’t. You know how that goes.

A year ago, I also met up with another childhood best friend whom I hadn’t talked to since we were kids. This was different from the friend I met on Tuesday in 2 ways: 

  • Tuesday friend and I grew apart. With this other friend, I fucked it up. Massively. I’ll be honest with you; I have a minuscule number of regrets in life. I basically don’t “believe in” regrets, yet this used to be one of them. 
  • We had interacted a few times since childhood (and we found each other on Instagram), so we knew to some extent what the other was up to. It was more like an update and less like an actual discovery process like it was with the person I met on Tuesday. 

You have to rediscover who the person is, find out if they’re now anti-vaxxers or homephobes or actually went on to cure cancer. It’s a whole thing.

The other thing that is A Thing™️ is having to do an elevator pitch of the past decade of your life.

It’s a humbling experience mentioning all your revelations, traumas, and successes to someone like you’re listing vegan ice cream options. You’re made aware of how fleeting everything really is. It is the most liberating shit in the whole world. Everything passes. And while you’ve heard this your entire life from a substantial number of people, it’s one of those things you have to learn the hard way. But when you do figure it out and internalize it? Oh, it’s a sweet, sweet world. 

two guys in a buys meme format and each of them have a text bubble saying "nothing matters" over their heads. The image is captioned "Therapy taught me"

I started going to therapy, finally! 10/10 would recommend.

In December 2020, I quit my full-time writing job. I worked for one of Albania’s main communication solutions providers and was in charge of content strategy and the actual writing part for the 7+ companies that were part of the group.

I quit to freelance full-time. It went fantastic. I loved the work, the pay, the flexibility, the clients. 

In December 2021, I received a full time offer from a company I’d been contracting with since August. I said yes. The rest is history.

It’s basically the same thing; I still love the work, the pay, the flexibility (10up’s always been and always will be remote), and the clients, but with the added benefit of consistency. Stable income? Chef’s kiss.

I also told the friend I hadn’t met in 10 years about my degree (psychology) and being a mental health aide in Sri Lanka and the year I interned in a psychiatric clinic. I’ll tell you all about it one day as well.

I stopped writing every week. 

I’m lowkey giggling because I’m comparing to what I wrote last year. 

  • 2021: I quit my full time job to freelance!
  • 2022: I went back to full time. 
  • 2021: I’m writing a new article every single week!
  • 2022: I’m no longer doing that. 

Long story short: The thought of stopping just came to me one day. My intuition’s usually right and this was no exception. It was a great decision for my mental and physical health. 

I now write something new the first Sunday of every month. 

Long story long: If you’d like the longer version of why I stopped, you can check this out

I had deep vein thrombosis (DVT). I’ll tell you all about it one day.

Mom’s good! Dad too. Sid as well. I’m now an aunt twice over! Even though far away, Toddler A & Baby A bring such joy to my life. Even just thinking about them makes me happy.

What am I reading? Well, The Vagina Bible by Dr. Jen Gunter. 

Fun fact: I started posting daily TIL Instagram stories. TIL stands for Today I Learned. I try to post a new thing I learned every day. This book singlehandedly made up like 50% of my TIL posts. 

I’m learning so much about vaginas. The Vagina Bible is also radicalizing me in the sense that it makes you painfully aware of all the things women have to go through to give birth, breastfeed, or even have sex sometimes even though studies show that half of women who sleep with men can’t reach climax.

Plus, all the other gender disparities. It’s a lot and it’s enraging and this book reminds you of a lot of it.

Maybe I won’t stand by this a year from now, but now I think every expecting father should read this book, especially the first few chapters. 

What are you reading? *

*(I’d like to believe) I’ve gotten better at considering the fact that not only everyone enjoys reading. So I’ll first ask the person I’m talking to if they like books and then ask about other formats they enjoy if reading isn’t their thing.

I’m in love. In the lovest love that ever loved. I’m in awe of what we’ve built and I wake up extremely thankful every day and excited to be here, in this space in time, with this person. As I figured when I was a kid, when you find the right person, you know. You feel it in every inch of your body. 

In All About Love, bell hooks writes:

“Understanding knowledge as an essential element of love is vital because we are daily bombarded with messages that tell us love is about mystery, about that which cannot be known. We see movies in which people are represented as being in love who never talk with one another, who fall into bed without ever discussing their bodies, their sexual needs, their likes and dislikes.”

Love isn’t about that which cannot be known. It’s about the opposite, being each other’s most intimate listeners. Love is… all about love. Love loves to love love. I found him.

^ That’s the only thing I’m keeping verbatim from the previous version of my now page. It’s just so spot on.

I’d like to add one little update, though. We moved in together!

It has been as magical as I expected. Actually, I lied. It’s been better than I could’ve ever imagined.

Here’s a glimpse of our space.

Oh, I started a podcast (podcast= The Inner Dolphin articles, read out loud by me). 

The first few episodes of The Inner Dolphin Podcast are live on all streaming platforms and on my YouTube channel

I started with the most-read article of 2021. People loved that one so I figured I’d make it more accessible for those who prefer listening to reading.

I planned to publish a new episode every week. That didn’t happen because #life, but I’m still hoping to get back to a semi-regular schedule. 

I got some negative/funny comments (long story). Not a bad thing really, I’ll gladly admit when I’m wrong. I even wrote about how being wrong is underrated. This has slowly become a core belief of mine actually. 

  • We watched The Sopranos. Yes, it’s as good as everyone says it is. 
  • For holidays, we went to South Albania. Summers anywhere else really don’t make any sense to me. I love every second spent there. 

I actually started regularly meditating in the water this year which was fantastic. You’d think it’s harder to focus on your breath when you’re flailing your arms around to stay afloat, but it’s not. It actually comes very naturally? I’d recommend it. 

  • Speaking of, we got a pool float! I’ve always wanted a pool float. 10/10 beauty as far as inanimate objects go. I named her Lola. 
  • I learned French. Depuis, je l’ai obluié. Well, I knew how to say that, so maybe I haven’t really forgotten it. Plan to relearn it eventually. 
  • Gin’s still my favorite alcohol. I still dislike beer. Tea’s still not my thing. For legal reasons, there’s no way my friend who I hadn’t seen since we were teens would know how I felt about beer or gin. Eastern European teens do not start drinking before 18.
  • I wear SPF every single day now! #proud
  • I’m still working out with Fitness Blender. It’s been like 12 years now, so I doubt I’ll ever switch them up. (FYI: Fitness Blender is my favorite workout channel in the whole world. FB does 0 fat-shaming and their community is extremely supportive. They’ve shared 600+ free, highly researched exercise videos, for all fitness levels.)
  • I still love animals, still don’t eat them.

Cookie, my cat, passed away. 14 years full of love and scratches. I took the day off from work when it happened to sit with my feelings. Often for writers, sit with my feelings equals write down what I’m feeling. So I wrote about him passing away.

Cookie lives on through a few ways: that eulogy, our memories of him, and my tattoo

Some places I’ve been to: 

  • Spain 
  • Hungary
  • Turkey
  • Austria
  • Italy
  • Sri Lanka
  • Florida. Virginia. New York.

Traveling’s still an incredibly solid source of joy and personal growth for me. 

I recently wrote about my solo travel adventures. This article made a lot of people worried, haha, but I also heard from people that it inspired them to explore and get stuck in an abandoned train in the Netherlands too, which is all a girl can hope for. 

Well, there you have it. It’s like we talked for 2 hours over copious amounts of caffeine which is exactly the point of this now page. See you a year from now? 

Wanna stay in touch?

The best way to keep in touch with me is by subscribing to my Sunday newsletter or following me on Instagram.

Also, I like getting email. Feel free to send me one.