April Playlist



Life Day 3

Today is my third Life Day. And I feel…weird. I’ve been oddly depressed in the time leading up to today and I’m not really sure why. Today is meant to be a day to celebrate the life I’ve lived since I tried to prematurely end it. But I’ve been discouraged this past month. I thought “3 years later” would feel different. I thought my life would be a lot more stable, that I’d be happier, that I would've done more, I’d be more successful (whatever more means).

I thought I would have a college degree.

I thought I would have a job.

I thought more people would want to hire me.

I didn’t think I would still be having panic attacks

or that I’d have to take meds every morning.

I thought I would have “gotten over” my depression.

I thought I’d be able to effortlessly get out of bed every morning.

I thought I would know what I want to be when I grow up.

I thought I would be completely self-sufficient and independent.

I thought I would have more friends.

My therapist is good about reminding me that these expectations I have on myself are arbitrary and that the bar I set for myself is way higher than anyone else would expect from me or that I would expect from anyone else.

“Jonathan, do you know the golden rule?”
“Yeah…” *said with attitude and questioning where this is going
“What is it?”
“Treat others the way you want to be treated.”
“I think you need to do the opposite of that. For you, let’s say, ‘Treat yourself the way you treat others.’ Cut yourself some slack, give yourself a break, and be proud of what you've already accomplished."

Why. does. that. seem. so. damn. hard.

But he's right. I would never hold anyone—especially my closest friends—to the standards I've set for myself. It's time to take a breath, give myself some grace, and realize that if today went a little differently three years ago, I wouldn't be here at all. In these three extra years I've been given, I've learned so much and have gotten to do things and live in places I never dreamed of. Today, I may not be where I wanted myself to be by now, but I sure as hell have come pretty far. In these three extra years,

I started taking more pictures.

I learned that going for a drive to nowhere and listening to music can be the best therapy.

I learned that alone-time can be a good thing.

I jumped a few fences I probably shouldn't have.

I explored abandoned houses.

I watched the sun rise over the Shenandoah mountains

and the sun set over the Pacific.

I spent a week in San Francisco with a group of people I had never met...and wasn't murdered (in fact, they turned out to be some of the coolest people I've ever met).

I visited Facebook HQ.

I learned that sharing the ugly parts of yourself doesn't scare everyone away.

I learned that a lot of people don't know what to do when you share the ugly stuff.

I learned that everyone has ugly stuff they are too scared to share.

I found out that more people are cheering me on than I thought.

I got really into coffee.

I found out that community tables are the best.

I learned that it's okay to ask for help.

I learned that someone sitting with me in silence can be a comforting thing

and that it's more comforting if Keeping Up With The Kardashians is on TV too.

I got two tattoos (and a third in the works!!!)

I learned school isn't for everyone. For me.

I dropped out of college.

I learned to be okay with uncertainty.

I learned that self-care is different than selfishness.

I learned that the people and environment I am surrounded by is critical to my health.

I learned that change is okay and usually precedes growth.

I learned that not having time for something is just a priorities issue.

I learned to say yes more.

and that it's okay to say no.

I got Bosley, my family’s golden retriever.

I got two adorable nieces (and another on the way!)

I stopped cutting myself.

I got my first pair of Birkenstocks.

I was featured by a brand for the first time.

I lived in LA for a month.

I went to Belgium.

I started writing more.

I made my first internet friends through Instagram.

I moved across the country to Phoenix where I knew two people.

I got really into podcasts.

I learned about Spiral Dynamics and how it helps understand culture and human development.

I learned there is so much artistic beauty in rap.

I learned I’m a 7 on the Enneagram and a Meyers-Briggs ESTP

which taught me a lot about how I see the world and how to relate to others.

I learned a lot of my friends are introverted feelers.

I built a lot of stuff out of wood. And painted a lot of wood. And sweat a lot.

I survived working in 120ºF desert heat. And sweat a lot.

I sweat a lot.

I learned the importance of rest.

I got a free mattress.

I stood on the wings of airplanes.

I found out that the desert is one of the most beautiful places. and one of the most colorful places if you look close enough.

I began to let people see my scars.

I was named an Instagram photographer under 10k followers to follow by Moment.

I visited Vermont.

I learned that doubt is okay and leads to growth.

I saw the Grand Canyon.

I moved back across the country to New York City.

and ended up living above an escort service.

I became a graphic designer.

I got to see Kanye West preform live

then run off stage when Kim was robbed in Paris.

I was reminded that I have a lot of friends who are amazing and beautiful artists.

I moved across the country, again, to San Diego.

I got to live with my best friend.

I found out that my body doesn't like a lot of what I've been eating.

and my new diet means I don't feel nauseous all day every day.

I started to eat more and *slowly* gain weight.

I read a lot of books AND enjoyed reading them.

I stopped drinking Coke and replaced it with La Croix.

I learned that a lot of social media can be noise that doesn't need to be heard.

I learned silence can be a good thing.

I started being more thoughtful about the things I own.

I learned that there are a lot more people doing good things that I thought.

I got a bike.

I started to paint.

I learned the importance of stopping and taking a breath.

I started to meditate.

I learned about hygge.

I learned people aren't thinking about me nearly as much as I think they are and they really don't care what I do—which is really freeing.

And I'm constantly learning that I am more resilient than I think.

I may not have the job I wanted. I may have some of the same battles to fight every day. But I've gotten to live one crazy, wild, lovely, brutiful life. And for that, I am grateful. That's what I get to celebrate today.


March Wrap-Up


A playlist of the music I've been listening to this month. Click to listen.
A playlist of the music I've been listening to this month. Click to listen.

An episode of 99% Invisible on logo design and why we get so angry every time we see a new and revamped logo.


Futuracha Pro is an Open Type Font that magically adjusts and readjusts as you write, based on the preceding and following letter.

It's a truly magical thing when a person sees their profession as an art form.



Books I read this month: The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking, Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein

Here are some interesting things I read on the internet this month:


The Pudding—a weekly journal of visual essays

This is one of my new favorite websites to visit. Each essay tells a different story based on a bunch of research and proudly shows the data in the most beautiful and engaging ways.



March Playlist



February Wrap-Up

Laundry Day is back but it's going to look a little different. These new monthly wrap-ups will be in the same spirit as Laundry Day but without the pressure of having publishing every week. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the things that have been inspiring me this month and feel free to share what has been inspiring you!


Books I read this month: Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson, 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker, and Finding God In The Waves by Mike McHargue

Here are some interesting things I read on the internet this month:



An episode of Song Exploder where Jóhann Jóhannsson talks about the thought and intent behind the movie Arrival's score.

A two-part podcast by 99% Invisible on Frank Lloyd Wright's affordable house for the masses and how it inspired ranch-style houses today.

A playlist of the music I've been listening to this month. Click to listen.
A playlist of the music I've been listening to this month. Click to listen.


Color film was originally designed for white skin. It wasn't until furniture makers and chocolatiers complained that people of color had a film for them.

A FANTASTIC docuseries on Netflix about some of the most creative thinkers and imaginative minds working in the world of art and design.

The meaning and virality of Hygge — a Danish term defined as "a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being."

A walkthrough of how the winners of the Oscars are chosen and why it's not always the film you were most excited about.


Practicing Self-Care in a Scary Time

I don’t have to be the one to say how hard it’s been to stay positive recently. There’s no way to express the heaviness in the air since Jan 20. With every headline, every tweet, and every link shared, it’s hard to find hope to hold onto.

But I don’t need to talk about how messed up everything is right now. There’s enough of that online right now and that’s not the purpose of this post.

I’ve been spending the past few weeks trying to build a new and healthy routine. I’m unemployed and in a new city so I’ve had to make an extra effort to stick to a schedule that get’s me up and moving every day. It’s been tough but I think I’m starting to get into the groove of it and I’ve already noticed a healthier frame of mind.

So here are some things I’ve been doing to take care of myself these days (and maybe they might help you, too!):

  1. I try to head to bed around 10. Nights are always the hardest for me, mentally. As I wind down for bed, my defenses drop and my brain starts slipping towards the Dark Places; so it’s best for me to head to bed earlier, still high on the day, to shorten my wind-down time so I can get some primo rest.

  2. I keep my blinds open so I can wake up naturally to the morning light (I know, I’m spoiled by living in one of the sunniest cities in the country and not having a job to wake up for). I’m usually up and awake by 7:45.

  3. I shower, brush my teeth, get dressed, and have breakfast while listening to my favorite music or a new podcast. This gets me in the headspace that I’m a normal and functioning human and I start the day with discovery and immersing in something new which almost always gets me pumped about life.

  4. I like to spend my mornings doing something thoughtful or creative. It usually involves reading a few chapters of a book (I just finished the Steve Jobs bio and I’m inspired, let me tell ya), writing with no rules, doodling with a soundtrack, or working on my new little side project. (I’m super stoked about my morning routine, but I’ll save that spiel until another time.)

  5. After my morning warm-up, I walk to a local coffee shop. I love being outside and I’m lucky enough to live in a neighborhood with three third-wave (hipster) coffee shops within an easy mile walk. I’m intentional about not putting in headphones on my “commute.” I usually use this time to chat with Mom or just take in the environment I’m in.

  6. I leave my phone on Do Not Disturb from the time I go to bed until my morning coffee so that I’m not distracted from my morning ritual.

  7. I’ve also deleted the Facebook and Twitter apps from my phone. This has been a biggie. My bored auto-response has been to do a grand tour of my social media apps, doing laps until refreshing my feed leaves me nothing new. That means filling every spare moment reading negatively-charged posts and comments. And that just isn’t healthy for me. I haven’t deleted my accounts—but I’ve made it just hard enough to stop me from that unconscious routine making each visit to the sites more intentional.

  8. Weekends are a time to rest and recharge. For me, that means physically going somewhere out of the house and staying offline. (I spent last weekend on a beach with no cell service and it was amazing—at school, I would go for a drive in the mountains or a hike with friends.) There is something about being in a place of new sounds and textures that never fails to refresh my spirit.

These are just some of the things I’ve been practicing and I’m constantly trying new things.

Y’all, it’s so important for us to be alive and healthy—especially now. Now more than ever we need to love and fight for one another, but we need to make sure we are healthy enough to do so.