i was talking with my coworker friends back in austin about how everyone’s deepest, darkest secrets are kept in the “notes” app on their phone. i must be an excruciatingly boring person, because my last three notes are a random intersection in raleigh, three tomato varieties i wanted to research, and a cost comparison of planters.

BUT buried deep in there is something much juicier (at least compared to those three, jesus christ, i’m a geriatric gardener). last year, i spent some time thinking about what makes me happy, what my ideal life would look like. this is beyond baseline stuff like financial stability, a decent job, friends and family*, but not outrageous stuff like living on a beach in mexico where ice cream is considered a health food. within the basic facets of my life, what makes me the happiest?

here’s the note:

-spend time outside every day, fresh air, green space
-cook fresh food from local sources
-exercise in ways that make me happy
-technology only as needed

and i wasn’t even thinking about this note, i haven’t read it since it’s been buried in the minutiae of grocery lists and directions (green thumb grandma don’t fuck with google maps), but as i was making this photo collage of our long weekend, something reminded me of it.

i think part of this blog is trying to figure out why the fuck i love it here so much. so many people over the last five months have asked, “how’d you end up in raleigh?” expecting to hear of job transfers, family, or at the very least some sort of deep and abiding love for authoritarian legislatures, but they’re always met with a puzzled look and a tentative “we wanted to, i guess?”

but this list, and these photos, help answer that question. i walk to work, spend time outside every day, eat dinner on the patio most nights. we hike almost every weekend, i do yoga in a quiet room looking out into the trees. i cook dinner most nights, we get food from the farmers market and our garden. 18 months into no social media, my phone is utilitarian and for people i love and want to talk to. these are small things, and these are huge things, and i am grateful for every single one of them.




*this asterisk acknowledges the enormous multitude of ways in which those things are not a baseline for the vast majority of people and how i am beyond lucky, beyond privileged to have all three in my life, and that if you think i’m a piece of shit and don’t want to read another fuckin word i have to say about tomatoes and whatever other stupid crap white girls care about, you are correct and i salute you.


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