RECIPE: 5 ingredients for my 27 year old self
Today is my 27th birthday.
And I'm excited to keep on growing into the woman I'm turning out to be. And though author Neil Gaiman's new year's resolutions continue to be words of inspiration that take me from one year to the next -- this year is one I feel more empowered than ever to take responsibility for my decisions + being held accountable for my actions. It is about damn time to nourish relationships with myself and with my loved ones. Where 26 was about exploration, this next year will be about enrichment.
5 quarts civic action + social justice
4 pints culinary curiosity
3 cups world travel
2 fluid ounces music
1 tbsp business
Stir + simmer by:
Dedicating more energy into Filipino + women's empowerment organizations (like Gabriela New York)
Developing a new creative skill: video editing (and making meaningful content)
Planning an international trip with a purposeful learning intention (Philippines)
Committing to music + artistic collaborative gigs + opportunities (be more proactive than reactive)
Improving business tactics (work smarter, not harder at my job and with my clients)
For the first time in my life, I know what I want out of it: building passionately + purposefully with meaningful people. I don't really care about networking and connecting en masse anymore. And it's all thanks to the soul-searching theme that seasoned my 26th year of living. Choosing to let go of negative energy and toxic people polluting our experiences and opportunities for happiness is one thing, but choosing to accept their presence as challenges to learn from is a more strengthening form of interacting with them. Because let's face it: we cannot evade those kinds of people or those kinds of energies because they exist and take up space on this earth just as much as we do. Rather, I encourage us to be weary of the ways of the world, and then make lemonade out of lemons. Moving forward, strengthening reciprocal relationships are what I choose to matter the most to me *[friendships + family]* and especially, my relationship with my own self. Too often I am harmful and hurtful to me: I over-criticize and deprecate my failures and setbacks. In everything I do and in all that I touch, I must balance my approach with authentic intent, mindful impact, and humble accountability.
Fuck 2016. But, HELL YES to all the celebratory moments that shaped this past year. May the milestones below launch a strong 27th year, and beyond.
Explored and unpacked my relationship with food and its role in our communities
Traveled to Belize with my best friends in the whole world
Celebrated the marriage of two incredible friends and human beings, Marianne & Colin, in North Carolina
Went an entire month eating no meat
Reunited with old family friends (The Johnston Family! in Florida),
Visited Rochester for the first time ever and met my love's Scarciotta + Russell extended families
Reflected and realized what I want out of life while sipping wine in the mountains with Jeremy Knight in LA
Spent time with my love and introduced him to some of family while sailing around Lake Mead in Vegas
Got a 102 degree fever while in Washington DC
Threw my mom a 50th birthday celebration
Moved in with my loving partner into Opera House Lofts #SalaKubo
Had many a various moment actin' a fool with one of oldest friends, Greg Joseph
Voted for a non-white male president for the third time in my life
Reunited with the fabulous DeOren Robinson and saw one of his pieces at an art opening! Blast from my high school past :)
Started practicing yoga more regularly
Had my heart stop and devastate during the final minutes of the UNC v. Villanova game. Never forget.
Saw my love perform the lead role in a Brooklyn play, Salome on the Rocks
Learned of the "bruised apple" metaphor during a one-on-one meeting with founder + visionary Robert Egger of LA Kitchen, a community organization that reclaims healthy, local food that would otherwise go to waste, and uses it to empower, nourish, and engage the community.
Recorded my vocals on a few tracks with Russ Soper for an upcoming rock album project he's working on
Rehearsed and performed with Ernest Ernie & The Sincerities
Built, launched, and maintained my own personal website
Started writing a book
Began the planning stages for my Filipino Soul Food culinary concept/project
Started writing monthly "LIT Lit(erature)" articles for TheGIRLMOB, a digital sisterhood highlighting + celebrating women of color
Joined the Brooklyn team of The Black Pearl Project, proactively volunteering for #HashtagLunchbag to feed our community, and coordinating communications for #PreciousGoods packaging feminine hygiene products for local women's shelters
Actively engaged in Toklas Society of Women in Food & Hospitality opportunities
Connected with GABRIELA NEW YORK to start regularly participating in 2017 events, a global organization with local activations advancing women's rights in the Philippines and around the world
Got fed a celery stick by Mario Batali when I was staffing a segment for work
Met Martha Stewart at a restaurant supply store
Cut my hair into a rather short bob
Made Becky with the Split Ends a thing?
Shared an Uber Pool with Charly of Chargaux
Ran into the talented dudes of Happy Abandon one night at Rockwood Music Hall (blast from college days past!)
Had an aching, challenging year in my career and made it through on the other side.
Secured and supervised an on-site filming with Morgan Freeman for Season 2 of National Geographic's The Story of God. Fact: when Morgan Freeman says your name, you'll never be able to hear it said in any other way ever again.
Secured and supervised a feature BuzzFeed interview with Tove Lo at Minus5 Ice Bar
Pitched, coordinated + executed a two-day radio interview tour for John Fogerty
Supervised on-site filming + feature interview of Chef Morimoto for CBS This Morning
Landed a live cooking demo with Chef John DeLucie at Bedford & Co. for Harper's Bazaar
Secured and staffed the Harper's Bazaar Facebook Live crew at Minus5 Ice Bar, and a live cocktail demo for House Beautiful.
Opened the 80th Anniversary season of the iconic Rink at Rockefeller Center with over 2 billion media impressions
Secured and supervised Max Berlinger's "Life as a Runway" photoshoot + interviews at The Rink at Rockefeller Center for The New York Times
Supervised on-site filming + feature of The Wirecutter's Top 5 Winter Boots picks at Minus5 Ice Bar on Good Morning America and a full segment of "Pop Quizine" on ABC's The Chew
Worked interviews at Rock Center Cafe for Democracy Plaza during Election Night at The Rink at Rockefeller Center
And I'm just getting started. Thank you for reading!