Rain, Plants, and Everything Else


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Foreword

First of all, thank you for subscribing to FORWARD.

In this social-first, auto-playing video, trending topic world, FORWARD is aimed to be the opposite of all of that noise. Not quite a blog, not quite a newsletter, my hope for FORWARD is to provide a monthly dose of inspirational features for you to check out when you have time instead of offering something that will fight for your time.

In this issue, you’ll find an update on the California drought, how to keep plants alive, why it’s important to speak up, and more! This is the first issue so please be patient as things may evolve over time as the newsletter forms its own identity. But in the mean time, please take a look at FORWARD, and join me in this brand new journey.

Oh! And if you like the newsletter, please share by forwarding (hehe) the newsletter to your friends and family.

Let the rain fall down

Before and After the Rain

After weeks of heavy rain, it seems to finally help California alleviate its record-setting drought. KQED did a nifty feature where you can compare the massive difference between 2014 and 2017 side-by-side. You can check out the feature here.

Not so Tender Greens

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Despite my best intention, I have yet to keep a single Rosemary plant alive around the apartment. My black thumb has become somewhat of a joke as Ian keeps buying me Rosemary plants to “replenish” my dead ones. You can check out the feature here.

Minus365: T-Shirts

I’ve always lived minimally, but even with a mindful intention my closet still tend to fill up over time. I was watching The Minimalists, a documentary currently available on Netflix, the other night and it totally sparked an idea for me to declutter my life.

Minus365 is where I will remove/donate one object from my life every day for all of 2017. Each month will be based on a different theme, and I’m starting with t-shirts for January to kick start this yearlong project. Just think, if I were to keep this up for the entire year, there will be 365 fewer things around my apartment, and my life!

Between all the t-shirts I was given (or earned?) in my five year of working at IGN along with other gifts and sentimental hand-me-downs, my closet is full of t-shirts. Are you curious enough to join Minus365? If so, reply to this email and send me pictures of your 30 t-shirts (or whatever you decide to remove!).

Say Something

Jamelia, A British R&B Singer

“The problem is that we don’t tell you, we speak about it amongst ourselves and you get to carry on about your day not realizing you’ve ruined ours.” Jamelia

Recently Jamelia, a British R&B singer, was on board a first-class flight with her daughter, only to be questioned by other passengers who asked to see their airplane tickets. She stood her ground and went on Twitter to explain why. You can read more about the incident here.

Now, I’m not a fan of hers because I have barely heard of her before this incident. But this happens all too often to me and to minorities everywhere. Like Jamelia said, I tend to be too polite or try to rationalize myself to be “the bigger person” instead of speaking up and calling out bullies who makes hurtful or ignorant comments.

But words do hurt, and their comments ruminate with me for the rest of day if not for weeks to come. Why do they get to carry on their day while we suffer silently? It’s not fair, it’s not acceptable, and it’s time we speak up.

Between Us: Classic Aransky

Maybe it’s my connection to RIT or maybe it’s me working at the crazy world that is IGN, but I have a lot of friends who are constantly working on various creative projects. Since FORWARD is a monthly showcase of all things interesting and inspirational, I want to use this space and share with you other interesting projects my friends are also working on.

Classic Aransky logo

Meet Michael Aransky and his new video blog, Classic Aransky. By day he’s a senior producer at IGN, and by night he’s on a yearlong journey to get comfortable in front of a camera as he works his way toward to making his first movie since 2012. You can check it out here.

If you have an interesting project and want to be featured on FORWARD, simply reply to this newsletter and tell me all about it!

Take a Minute

Photo by Michael Browning, courtesy of Unsplash

And..that’s it for January! Please (ahem…) FORWARD this to a friend if you enjoy this newsletter, or sign up below if someone had shared this newsletter with you in mind.

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As always, you can reply to this and let me know what you think.

Love wins

The Happiness of Pursuit

'Move toward to what you want instead of moving away from what you fear.' Let that sink in for a minute. I mean, wow. Talk about #LifeLessons, amiright?

The truth is that I've spent most parts of my life feeling stuck. I always felt stuck as the kid who couldn't wait to be an adult so I could 'do whatever I want', only to turn into an adult stuck with bills and responsibilities while unsure what I want to do in life. I've felt stuck in my childhood home, in school, on the college campus and in various jobs, always waiting for the day I am 'truly free.'

But the reality as I'm finding out is that life is not all or nothing. It's not stuck or not stuck; it's not free or not free. Instead it's about working in a series of steps toward the things I want and believe in that will ultimately take me there. Sure, there may be hurdles, compromises, and even failures along the way, but life is so much more productive and meaningful that way.

Rather than avoiding or not pursuing my goals in the name of my never-ending list of fears, i should instead find ways to move toward the things I truly want. Even if I fail, even if I'm afraid. We may be granted the pursuit of happiness, but in order to achieve that we must first find the happiness in pursuit.

Love wins
April 17, 2016

The Happiness of Pursuit

“Move toward what you want instead of moving away from what you fear.” Let that sink in for a minute. I mean, wow. Talk about #LifeLessons, amiright? ^_^

The truth is that I’ve spent most parts of my life feeling stuck. I always felt stuck as the kid who couldn’t wait to be an adult so I could “do whatever I want”, only to turn into an adult stuck with bills and responsibilities while unsure what I want to do in life. I’ve felt stuck in my childhood home, in school, on the college campus and in various jobs, always waiting for the day I am “truly free.”

But the reality as I’m finding out is that life is not all or nothing. It’s not stuck or not stuck; it’s not free or not free. Instead it’s about working in a series of steps toward the things I want and believe in that will ultimately take me there. Sure, there may be hurdles, compromises, and even failures along the way, but life is so much more productive and meaningful that way.

Rather than avoiding or not pursuing my goals in the name of my never-ending list of fears, I should instead find ways to move toward the things I truly want to achieve. Even if I fail, even if I’m afraid. We may be granted the pursuit of happiness, but in order to achieve that we must first find the happiness in pursuit.

Love wins
April 17, 2016

A Beautiful Mess

A Beautiful Mess

Life is messy sometimes, my handwriting definitely is. Nothing’s perfect, and we all have flaws now don’t we. We all have days that are up-and-down.

I’ve been thinking about this for a long time now, and with most things probably for too long. But I want an organic way of journaling and expressing my thoughts. My messy, imperfect, and sometimes distorted thoughts, in a way that can’t be hidden by yet another san-serif font. That’s not me.

I also miss physically writing something down. Not just note-taking, but the whole process of writing complete thoughts onto the page from beginning to end. With this you see it, the mess of it all, including my ever-declining handwriting skills. When was the last time I ever wrote something this long on paper? Probably back in ninth grade.

Pencil is also great because it leaves a mark, yet it’s easily erasable. It also just FEELS organic, you can see my flaws in my eraser marks, my insecurities through the shakiness of the alphabets, as well as my EXCITEMENT! through my handwriting in ways I simply can’t emulate by italicizing words.

This is undeniable me, mistakes and everything.

Love wins
March 9, 2016

A Beautiful Mess

Life is messy sometimes, my handwriting definitely is. Nothing’s perfect, and we all have flaws now don’t we. We all have days that are up-and-down.

I’ve been thinking about this for a long time now, and with most things probably for too long. But I want an organic way of journaling and expressing my thoughts. My messy, imperfect, and sometimes distorted thoughts, in a way that can’t be hidden by yet another san-serif font. That’s not me.

I also miss physically writing something down. Not just note-taking, but the whole process of writing complete thoughts onto the page from beginning to end. With this you see it, the mess of it all, including my ever-declining handwriting skills. When was the last time I ever wrote something this long on paper? Probably back in ninth grade.

Pencil is also great because it leaves a mark, yet it’s easily erasable. It also just FEELS organic, you can see my flaws in my eraser marks, my insecurities through the shakiness of the alphabets, as well as my EXCITEMENT! through my handwriting in ways I simply can’t emulate by italicizing words.

This is undeniable me, mistakes and everything.

Love wins
March 9, 2016