growth + wellness

The Year of More

July 7, 2017

Today is my thirty-fourth birthday. And I am deeming this next turn around the sun my #34YearOfMore.

Someone recently asked me what I hoped to gain from this next year of living on this earth and I replied more. Of what? Everything. There has to be something specific. To do more, to be more, to have more. I just want more.

This past year was my Jesus Year – thirty-three. The (approximate) age Jesus was thought to have been when he began his ministry, performed his miracles, and sacrificed his human form to return to an eternal home. While I hadn’t planned to be quite as ephemeral, I declared that at age 33 I would live in my purpose, be fearless in my approach to determining the course of my life, and seek happiness at all costs.

As I look back over my Jesus Year, I’m so proud of myself. I started a prestigious fellowship I’d had my eye on for almost 10 years, moved to an area that I always said I wanted to live in, connected with old friends and made new ones, experienced love again, made self care a priority. I lived. With stress and bullshit at a minimum, no panic attacks or breakdowns. I just lived and was happy and fulfilled.

And this next year I want more. I want all of the good of this past year to be amplified and expanded. Now that I see what I’m capable of – how much my own health and happiness are dependent on my decisions to make it so – I want to do more, try more, be more, love me more, twerk more. There’s so much more within me, I have to tap into it.

The only thing keeping me from living a better life than the best life I have now is me So I’m ready to get to it.

Thank you for being part of the journey.


xoxo, Gem

race + gender + politics

On the Eve of 45

January 19, 2017

Tonight is the eve of the inauguration of the 45th president of the United States. Though I’m sad to see our illustrious 44th president leave the office he’s held with dignity and humility for the last 8 years, I feel mostly frightened at the uncertainty of what comes next. {Continue Reading}

dating + love

Fireworks, revisited

July 5, 2016


Why is it that whenever I think of fireworks, I think of you? Seeing fireworks with you on that 4th of July so many revolutions around the sun ago was the last time I was truly excited about seeing fireworks, the last time I made it a point to see fireworks. {Continue Reading}

growth + wellness

Today I Remember

June 29, 2016


Today I remembered that I am fulfilled. Today I remembered that I love and am loved. Today I remembered that I want for nothing. Today I remembered that I am whole. Today I celebrate this bliss, this win because the memory of how it felt to be broken was fresh on my mind just a week ago. {Continue Reading}


Religiosity: Finding God Anew

October 13, 2015


Since I moved to Portland, I’ve felt a disconnect with God. Perhaps because I don’t have a church home, despite my best efforts to find one. I had a great church home back in Pittsburgh. A church home – filled with a wonderful church family – that fed my soul regularly and allowed me to grow and flourish in my faith each and every day. I felt undeniably part of the “body of Christ” and undeniably connected to Christ and His teachings. But now, now I am apart from the body, from the life-sustaining vine. And as a result, I lack a sense of spiritual groundedness. Like I’m free floating, with no direction.  {Continue Reading}

beauty + fitness growth + wellness

I Am…

September 18, 2015


I am a runner.

If you know me or have been following my running adventures on Instagra/Facebook, you probably think this is a ridiculous announcement. Because obvious. But hear me out! {Continue Reading}

growth + wellness

To Not Be Good

September 14, 2015


The other day I was watching the Love and Hip Hop Hollywood season 2 premiere. Hollywood is the newest addition to the LHH franchise. And while I find the cast to be a tad washed and boring, I was interested to see how the show would fare with the addition of a Black gay male producer and his closeted, aspiring rapper Black male lover. (Spoiler alert: this gay story line is terribly predictable and over-hyped and will probably end up being the least entertaining thing about this season) {Continue Reading}

friendship + family

What About Your Friends

August 14, 2015


I think it’s safe to say anyone who knows me (be it IRL or via the innanets – I’m my authentic self in any setting) knows that my female friendships are extremely important to me. My mom often reminded me in my younger years, “Men will come and go but good girlfriends are forever.” While I’ve also seen some “friends” come and go, I by and large hold on to good friends. {Continue Reading}

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