Accepting the present is the foundation of being chic.

May 22, 2022

Dear Gale,

I'm writing you from a lively cafe in Hamilton, Ontario. I've kind of decided that I will only write this newsletter from a cafe/comfy place that isn't home. It's just more fun.

Last sunday I held a party to shoot a scene within, for a short film I'm working on. Next saturday, I'm hosting a Toronto based wind chime festival in collaboration with by my friends Laurel and Ellie in New York. And the next day, I'll be filming again. All of this Hosting and Organizing has had me thinking a lot. Lately I have been forced to think a lot about the future — I think this is true for a lot of 20 something year olds, or folks who are really itching to fulfill a goal. Being so focused on organizing an upcoming thing leaves little time to dwell on the past. Events have a strange impact on my thoughts especially, because so many other people can get involved, and as the host you often become the most concerned person in the room.

Filming last weekend, I lightly directed my friends to stand in certain places and talk at a certain decibel. I was and am so grateful for the kindness they gave me that day, simply by showing up. The hardest thing about directing them was that I didn't want to come off as high-strung — this concern didn't hold me back, but it made me mindful of how I directed. It was different to interact with them in my Director and Event Host mode, rather than just my usual Swell Pal Tiana mode. I don't wish to be the friend that needs an organized plan of action in order to hang out... my friend once said to me "I feel like you're our camp counsellor," which is lovely when I think about how comforting camp counsellors are, and how safe you can feel around them — at the same time, a camp councillor has more authority than you, and you don't really confide in them as a friend usually. Anyways, I just hope my friends feel that they can be themselves around me, and that they can be open and honest... sometimes you can see a feeling behind someone's eyes when they talk to you, like there's something they're not saying — and I really hope that most of the time.. when I notice that look.. that it's just in my head. Because I love my friends! And I try to be a person that they can feel comfy around. I also think friends need to say "I love you" more, but that's another rant.


I mentioned the Wind Chime Festival (TO)! How fitting for this letter.
If you're in Toronto or the surrounding areas... I hope I'll see you on May 28th at Christie Pits park between 12-6pm.
You might find some inspiration here.
What's special about the Toronto based event is that I have gathered some thrifty supplies that you can buy and make a wind chime on the spot with!
I have so many ideas for the things I've gathered so if you want to collaborate, I'll be around. Plus, you can bring it home :)
Here is our home page for more information. Please RSVP!



With all of my recent future-focused thought patterns, I've been noticing that my chicness is off kilter. It has been difficult to balance the book of life atop my head — which is partially the natural consequences of hosting so many things lately, as well as the fault of my own mental habits. At first I think, "oh gosh, all of these things are throwing off my chicness," but then I remember that it's an essence that I should practice holding no matter the surrounding happenings. At the party last weekend, one of my friends said "you seem zen right now," so I suppose I've been improving — this year has certainly had its Social Anxiety trials.

I was especially surprised in March, when I spoke in Laurel's class at Princeton, by how nervous I became! I had never really done anything like it before... in a room of strangers no less. During the first few minutes of my talk, my cup of chic had fallen and spilled everywhere, it felt like too much to clean up — I was resisting my present, but over the course of my talk I found that I had the power to persist, as I gradually came to accept and appreciate the moment. I cleaned up the mess and poured another glass of chic as my talk went on. Overcoming episodes of huge stress can be awful, yet it can be amazing when you find acceptance. I learned that when I revel in the moment, and appreciate that each opportunity only passes once, I can do anything~* and I can do it in a chic way. Part of me wishes I could do that talk over again... because it really was such an important moment of growth for me.. so if anyone wants me to visit their class I will be awaiting your email.

In order to understand how chic you can be, you need to witness who you are at your messiest... so you can come to understand how your own resistance gets in the way, and how you could stay on a path of acceptance the next time you're challenged. I believe that every chic person has overcome a generous amount of messy trials. "Been there, done that," are the words of a chic person. They have let go of their past and woken up anew. Being present requires unconditional acceptance. It is very intentional, and has a lot to do with how Thoughts become our Destiny. Wield your thoughts like a sword, and you will become a Chic Warrior.


I hope this has all made sense... because I don't plan to edit much :) I need to go skateboarding now. I hope you follow your heart and accept yourself. I'll leave you with a prayer...

you ask
why i perch
on a jade mountain?
i laugh
but say nothing
my heart
like a peach blossom
in the flowing stream
going by
in the depths
in another world
not among men

- li po