4:22 PM Michael 0 Comments

Every now and then, you wake up from one of those super restorative naps - where your legs are kinda wet from sweat, your nose is a lot less stuffed, your head is light, cheeks soft and taught, and your feeling: okay. Not rushed, not "looking forward to the future". But okay-in-this-moment. Restorative I tell you. Kinda like I was trudging through and didn't even know it.
A warm - scratch that - hot bath, with green tea, and pink salt is on the agenda. Again, restorative. *sips on seltzer*
*thinks about a manuka honey mask*
*slips into blogspot solace*
How are you Michael? I am okay! Sure in this moment I am okay. But, truly I am all around okay. Sure there's lots of times where I think I could be better, if I had this, this, and this. But you're okay without those things too. You're enough just the way your are sweetheart.
xo Little old me.


7:13 AM Michael 0 Comments

"And it's very simple... there is only one requirement for any of us, and that is to be courageous, because courage, as you might know, defines all other human behavior. And I believe, because I've done a little of this myself, pretending to be courageous is just as good as the real thing."

9:19 AM Michael 0 Comments

Not thinking really just makes way to mental gymnastics.


9:56 AM Michael 0 Comments

Cancer is described as emotional - which for a bit I've had struggles trying to come to terms with. But lately I think it's true. They are just all inside, and are kept inside and reasoned with. And sometimes when they are un-reasonable, they spiral, something comes out, and who knows what happens. Emotions are lovely but I can't help but think they are scary too.

What do you want most?

9:48 AM Michael 0 Comments

"What are the things you want to happen the most to you?"

As childish and cliche as it sounds...I would like to be happy. To be grounded, self aware, and happy. I think satisfied goes in there but are we ever satisfied. Is there a chance for gratitude that makes us feel as though we are with what we have and in turn in a state of happiness.

I would like to continue to travel and explore. Traveling and exploring broadens the way I think about the world and how I see myself.

And right now, I can't believe I'm saying this, usually I would think it's tacky... but I want love. I want to find someone who constantly wants to learn, grow, and become the best version of themselves. -And genuinely wants the same for me.

And lastly, I want all the people I care about in my life to also be self realized, happy, and pursuing/receiving all the things they want.

I remember having so many goals at all times when I was younger, and while it's nice and freeing and very important to go with the flow, it's nice to have a few lighthouses reminding you want you want, where you are going, and a little feeling when you are not going in the right direction.

wishing you all the best always. Endeavor well. Be well.



6:48 AM Michael 0 Comments

Do you ever have a dream - nightmare - that's not featuring a monster, destruction, nor physical pain and your nervous system? And then you look at what it was, and you're like..."Am I really afraid of that...happening?"

Next note, I think being afraid...fear, is really our biggest monster. Let's go forward, let's go into the stars, the fear cannot keep up. 

Freedom of Speech

10:51 AM Michael 0 Comments

Next thought: Isn't it so funny when you meet someone from another country, and you instantly start to think, I NEED to go there. WHAT a great voice you have.


10:48 AM Michael 0 Comments

"I think everyone must walk into your life for some reason, right Sandy?"
"That's right, Tolbert." 

Top Tags

1:40 PM Michael 0 Comments

A few things I'm really into this month, that I wasn't as into last month. #shrugemoji #wherehaveibeen

1. Lightroom
Oh my gosh, my eyes have been opened. But there is so much to learn about. I spend hours watching YouTube tutorials so I could at least get somewhat accustomed. I think it really is the secret to your Instagrams visual theme.

2. Soil
I couldn't believe when I was standing in home depot and paying $30 for 3 different types of soil so my babies could be nurtured. My alocasia plant started browning out of no where, so after some research (YouTube) I discovered that it really must sit in half potting mix, half cactus mix. And when I was finally transpotting it, the soil it was in was basically dust. No wonder she was dying! Poor thing. We are recuperating. Sometimes she stays in the bedroom with me.

3. Spic-n-Span antibacterial cleaner.
What's better than spraying the bac off all of your surfaces. And its mild enough that I don't have any breathing reactions.

4. Microsoft Office Trial.
I must remember to unsubscribe! But I had to give in and download.

5. So many youtubers but most especially Tyler Stalman and Peter McKinnon.


8:46 PM Michael 0 Comments

I'm studying. And while there's something good about #neverstoplearning, I can't help but feel so nervous! It of course must be a little unnerving when something so delicate could be in between you and your life changing again. - hopefully for the better!
But I have to remind myself to calm down - that I am being proactive - and hey, i do actually like my life as it is...but also I'm not the type to back down from a challenge. Let's do this!!


9:24 PM Michael 0 Comments

The weirdest thing, how sometimes all it takes is a little (well.. a lot) of rain to put the brakes on you. To slow down and classily eat your meal on the floor and maybe just maybe opening up your blogspot, releasing a moment to talk to my future self.
Just when you think you're done with big life changes for a bit, everything is like, "sike naw dude, here's a curve ball". So now I rest. Even if there were and are a million little things waiting for me - we will make them wait. and I will eyes. In a little.
Everything has become so familiar. Saying hello to the laundry mat ladies, admiring the cute family houses on seabury, quickly walking across the intersection because you know the second light changes quickly...these things have become so familiar, but new things will be familiar too. I don't know how to say this accurately, but i'm kind of sad. I noticed it a few weeks ago, that the moment I got the news, I felt like I was taking it so it is what it is. But this little building in Elmhurst has really been my oasis in this daring city. It really has become a home with fantastic and fun memories. Really just that... A Home. I really, truly am grateful. Do I look forward to the future? Yes! But I will sorely miss the floor I am laying on now, the glance of the buildings I get from looking through the wardrobe mirror, the feeling I get when I'm just here. Literally, since my very first night. I didn't think I would write about how much I would miss this apartment, but I guess sometimes.. your real feelings have to find a way, to pop themselves out. 
So here I am, in the dark of my room. Watching the lightening, eating lean turkey, and feeling my emotions circle in my chest, down to my stomach, and up to my eyes. Such beautiful memories.

Mon Ami

11:16 PM Michael 0 Comments

One fascinating thing about growing up is learning there is no cookie cutter approach to friends. They really do come in all shapes and sizes. Your interaction with them is different. What you expect from them is different. And what you can contribute to them is different. At first having friends always seemed so simple and similar. Sure you have your best friends which are super special. And then everyone else you hang out with, sharing things, make each other feel good. But lately...I'm noticing certain nuances I never noticed before. Some are trying to figure out things they never figured out before, and so you are on the ride with them. Some just want the absolute best for you, even when your relationship didn't turn out to be exactly what they expected. People are fascinating. And once again I'm not making sense. All it is to say..I'm so lucky for this part of my life. Kinda like when you travel some place new and feel your brain expanding - these new interactions ...are showing me a whole new side of life, and a new side of myself.

Per Diem

9:18 AM Michael 0 Comments

Don't get me wrong - I love my job. But a few times there's a little conversation that stings. When you realize how much some other flight attendants make. And I like to remind myself that money is not everything, that I have worked for money as a primary motive before, and it really just dried me up. But then again, how nice could it be to have a job that you love and get paid an unreal amount to do it. I really hope this part of my life and the amount of money that I make now, doesn't make me angry or envious, but makes me feel grounded, and still grateful for all the things I can manage now, and the sense of purpose it gifts me.


6:06 AM Michael 0 Comments

Ever since being a little boy, I can remember having the most distinct dreams. Some of them, I can hazily remember little details. My maternal family have always had a huge importance on dreams. Like - they are messages. So much so to me, it's strange when I watch them come true. Happy ones and not so happy ones. Last night's could probably be considered happy, but no - to me it was so sad.

Mothers Day - Paper Mag

2:57 PM Michael 0 Comments

Her highness Alexis Jae and Queen Avant Garde Life featured in Paper Magazine wearing Bond Hardware for mothers day! Living, Thriving, Pinch me!!!

click images for links

May 6

10:00 PM Michael 0 Comments

There's certainly lots of benefits to being a solo traveler. You can enjoy (haha, or not enjoy) activities at your own pace, walk for miles and stop when you are ready, make the most spontaneous decisions, and find out more about who you are traveling with, you. I know that is super cliche. But when you are left to your own devices you really learn strange and exciting things about yourself and how you interact with your world. I enjoy the world so much. But every now and then maybe it would be nice to enjoy it with someone else. The last year has been me trying to figure out who am I - sans anyone else. At first it was the strangest feeling, like trying to walk without a limb. and not to say I don't miss that limb, I'm pretty proud that we have made steps from where we initially were. I think, one of the core pillars I've been working on are trust and honesty. Secrets are so hard. Maybe we keep secrets to protect the other person, but let's be real secrets never stay secret forever, and once they're out, trust is broken. I don't really know who I trust actually. I know that's really hard and kind of awful for me to say. But maybe I'm just smiling at people in daily life, but at the end of the day I know I don't have to invest a large amount of trust in them, so everythings pretty much fine. This is really just turning into a ramble. Nonsense. I just don't know.

April 11

12:02 AM Michael 0 Comments


- To learn something new everyday - As cliche as it sounds, learning is one of my largest motivations. To look at something differently, or to look at something I had never looked at before with a bright light.

- To see my friends as much as I can - this one can be kind of tricky, especially hanging out with friends in an affordable way, but totally honest, sometimes meeting up in the middle of the day is the best thing.

- To become debt free - for a while, I was totally swiping with my eyes closed. Not so great. But, the other day I sat down, and made a pretty solid plan. I think becoming debt free has become the new american dream for my generation.

- To see the entire world - I know this sounds ridiculous - but I have become more and more familiar with the globe, to the point it seems so familiar and so doable when looking at a map. Only problem is the world is full of wonder in every country. To each place you go, you receive hundreds of recommendations in that same country. All of which I want to make possible!

- To be fully genuine in my actions and in what I say. This one comes from observing people who I feel like they are living and speaking in truth. Not just "the truth", but "in truth". Like as a way of life. I admire this.

- I want to do an insane deadlift by the end of the year. I already have the number in my head. haha. We can do it!

- Identify my fears. I know this sounds kinda weird. Why should you acknowledge / give life to your fears? To more smartly tackle them. "This is what I can do, this is how I can handle them"

- To develop my core, my pillar of #selflove. As cheezy and trendy and bubble bath filled as self love is.... the kind I have become charmed to pursue is building a strong marble pillar inside yourself that loves yourself so deeply no matter what awful thing someone does to you, you have yourself and your love to pick you up.

- Take more pictures. I totally value the opinion taking pictures take you out of the moment. But the more I look at it, all the pictures that i take become treasure. Surfing through old photos to me is golden and a gift and I'd like to devote a few trips to photos.

- My biggest current goal in my life is creating projects that promote understanding - between different cultures, between friends, between lovers, city dwellers and midwest farmers. It has become something I have become extremely passionate about, because we really don't understand one another. Everywhere I go in the world we really all want the same things. We really all have dreams and wishes. And what I dream and wish most of all is for each other to realize this. Creating human connections. How can I do this.......

'Positive' Thinking

11:42 PM Michael 0 Comments

They say, 'You should be happy' because of g, h, i, k. And sometimes, lots of times I am. But the truth is, self to self, there's a lot of times I'm back to square one. Is it good to have experiences like this, well, i'm sure it really proves the point that it "makes you feel alive". But honestly, most of the time, that is the problem. It's not so morbid really. Just torment - looking back - looking at yourself - looking at ...

How delusional my wishes are


9:34 AM Michael 0 Comments

"Our traumas do not go to sleep long after the breaking happens. They stay with us.
They haunt our hours. And they steal from us. They steal our joy, our energy, our foresight, our spirits and sometimes our sanity.

It's time we speak about this. About how we silently carry shadows in our bones. How we have stone-like heaviness in our hearts and how the day is sometimes a warzone between waking up or staying in bed, of forgetting or failing to forgetting, of memory playing back and forth in our minds, taking us as prisoners, throwing us in the sea of our despair"

-Gaamangwe Joy Mogami


1:02 AM Michael 0 Comments

Is such a pretty name isn't it. It's kind of like a happy name. Not the beer of course. More like a star. Un Estrella - Estella - Stella.

Haha idk, so warm.


12:13 AM Michael 0 Comments

Isn't it funny when little details filter out of your memory, but much, much later, they suddenly reappear again, vividly. That and, what a small, small world this really is. Could you imagine totally knowing the person in front of you in line, but thinking to yourself, no, that's impossible, dismissing it, and then a month later realizing, it was very much them. And all this, because the details are starting to sharpen. Strange wonderful details. How weird, how small, how...why?

Three Jewels Yoga

12:56 AM Michael 0 Comments

The first thing she said was how much lighter I looked. And reminded me of her and I sitting in Union Square, distressed and confiding in her my thoughts of moving back home. Because...I was tired. That's what I always said. To her, to Elaina in her car on the freeway. It was the truth. Even now, if I stop and think about it - I was so beaten up and I wanted to go home.

The other day, I was heading back into the hostel and it felt strange at first. But as I was digging out my charger, plugging it into the socket, and flinging myself onto the bed, I felt it without a doubt. "I feel inspired." It was the strangest thing really. Colors. I was "feeling colors". I always wanted to see and do so many things and now I was seeing and doing things I never dreamed of before. Castles, languages, volcanos. My brain...was expanding. And, I kind of like that feeling.

A friend from Germany that I met in Rio was visiting New York this weekend, and it struck me, how awesome it is the world is seemingly converging. This is the world I want to live in! Where it doesn't necessarily feel so big,  but connected, because you have friends all around it, and it is not impossible to see them.

Catalina notes how amazing it was that seeing each other felt like not a day had gone by. And there couldn't have been a truer statement. 5 years later and really, it felt like we had just seen each other. Except...we were in deed more mature, the dreams we talked about now were more tranquil and well respectable (haha), and I, I was very impressed with her. It is my favorite thing to be impressed by my friends.

And Emily, yes, I feel lighter. There are plenty of days where I do not. But thinking back to that day on the bench, thinking back to that day in late summer where I was heading to do the laundry, and thought to myself for the first time ever, how this all didn't really have to go on - Thinking back to everyone texting me to make sure I went outside - I really am so far away from that. Thank you for listening to me and pulling me out from all of those awful places. And reminding me it's really not necessarily so burdensome to rely on your friends. Sometimes you really just have to...

So this is really just a run on. But it ties in to really what most of my late night musings end up being about. My friends - and how very lucky I am to have them. Such high quality people. Thank you for making me smile. And I'm so happy to introduce this side of me.

See you in a few.


10:59 PM Michael 0 Comments

is your dream?


8:08 AM Michael 0 Comments

Have I ever told you before I used to wish I had a laptop so I could be somewhat closer to appearing like Kitty Pride from X-Men. The camera would pan on her as she would wrap up the narration of certain episodes, lounging on a ledge or a tree branch, laptop firmly pressed against her hips, and tap tap taping away against the key board. It would inspire me to spend hours customizing the perfect dell laptop online. And there I would wish away.
And then...all these years later I find myself smiling at the notion of how many times I am sitting in a hotel room all over the country, white sheets strewed out around me, and I am tap tap taping away little non-sense notions that may or may not get posted.

How cool is it to write to you though, because every now and then, I surf to the past and there you are, old self. Life will be hard, but the sun will always come up. And there is so much champagne to be offered to you in your premium seats. Who would have ever thought...

How is life treating you? Well..I hope. I will always be right here dude, telling you, you've got this.

Right now, I am in Eagan, MN. Kinda a little bit of a birth place for me. A birth place of a new michael. I swear when I look at old pictures of myself, I feel like there is a disconnect. But you know what, that is a good thing. Because you are growing. You are stronger. And I totally love you, even if I did not before.


12:08 PM Michael 0 Comments

Israel was... a lot. Honestly, a lot more than I expected it to be. I am not sure, how to begin telling its story.

Eat Your Heart Out

1:16 PM Michael 0 Comments

New York Holiday!

8:17 PM Michael 0 Comments

Christmas is always relevant, right? xo


8:31 AM Michael 0 Comments

I remember this morning so clearly. Waking up to find the hyacinth so brightly bloomed. Literally like she was finally staying hello after being curled up for so long. And I remember holding her so gently away from the window ledge, snapping her picture, and thinking, "how beautiful". How beautiful really, that morning was.


7:09 AM Michael 0 Comments

What is the difference between letting go and giving up...?


9:46 PM Michael 0 Comments

rupi kaur

4:37 PM Michael 0 Comments

"It has been one of the greatest and most difficult years of my life. i learned everything is temporary. moments. feelings. people. flowers. i learned love is about giving. everything. and letting it hurt. i learned vulnerability is always the right choice because it is very easy to be cold in a world that makes it so very difficult to remain soft. i learned all things come in twos. life and death. pain and joy. salt and sugar. me and you. it is the balance of the universe. it has been the year of hurting so bad but living so good. making friends out of strangers. making strangers out of friends. learning mint chocolate chip ice cream will fix just about everything. and for the pains it can't there will always be my mother's arms. we must learn to focus on warm energy. always. soak our limbs in it and become better lovers to the world. for if we can't learn to be kind to each other how will we ever learn to be kind to the most desperate parts of ourselves."