Home Bound

Mayo Clinic, Phoenix, Arizona #cancerresearch

Reporting live from PhoenixSky Harbor Airport (PHX). Finished my visit, made my way to the airport, and will be in San Diego in a matter of hours! This is the longest business trip of my life. I arrived to Arizona on Monday (06-Jan-2020) and I’m leaving today (Thursday, 09-Jan-2020). The grand majority of my business trips (especially in 2019) were less than 24 hours each. Can you imagine traveling what ended up being 120,000 miles, but in intervals of less than 24 hours (which means constant time zone tripping!)? 2019 looked like: city, city, city, city, city, home, city, city, city, city, city, city *on loop*. I certainly prefer this slower speed. Being able to acclimate to a place is a game-changer. Though I will be out of San Diego for most of the month, I will be traveling less because I’m staying at locations longer!

During this trip, I was trained in a new “therapeutic area” – oncology (using my clinical research lingo here!). I don’t know what I did in a past life, but whatever I did gave me lots of luck in this lifetime. The woman who trained me was absolutely brilliant – all of my teachers and mentors have been! I’ve heard stories of others having less than favorable experiences in the context of training/learning, I’ve just been lucky in this regard.

I still feel exhausted (soulfully), but at least I don’t feel entirely depleted. I think this is because this is my first full work week since the start of the near year and because travel only involved a 1-hour nonstop. The most exhausting thing I’ve done in my entire career was a same-day trip – ie. waking up, flying from Rochester to Newark, working all day in Jersey, and traveling back that same night to get home at 11PM, to sleep, to wake up the next morning to catch a flight to Chicago. Whew! I actually have a lot of travel experiences that are tiring – I’ve been roadie for 4 years! Excited to be back in San Diego tonight. It looks like this weekend is full of promising weather. San Diego’s weather consistency is emotionally healing.


  • Earthquake in Puerto Rico (well technically, multiple earthquakes, just one strong enough to cause damage). My family is okay. They felt it. They didn’t experience any major losses. They are feeling afraid. This incident, after Hurricane Maria, makes me think about the habitability of the island in the years to come. As for the power/piped water loss on the island: I’m glad this is finally being brought up to the light. I spent the years between 1990 – 1999 on the island. Power outages and piped water not being available for days on end were a regular occurrence – natural disaster or not. I grew up understanding the value of having a generator and water cistern on land. That along with a ton of candles (to conserve generator fuel), canned foods, and bottled water. Little me thought that was the norm. Puerto Rico’s poor infrastructure is a problem that is decades old. It’s one of the main reasons my dad moved back (he used to live in Boston prior to returning to PR in his early 20s) to the mainland (US).
  • Did y’all hear about the royals? I’m excited about H & M’s decision not because I care about the royal family, but because they’re steering away from tradition! I LOVE REBELS.
  • During my stay in Arizona, I was able to watch The Great Hack on Netflix. I’m not a tad bit surprised by the information revealed in the documentary and very much enjoyed it. Welcome to the era of big data – information is capital and privacy is….? I also discovered that while I can commit to watching a documentary over a two-day span, I can’t commit to shows – too much of a time suck. Also, anyone close to me knows that I have no issues with focus except when it comes to staring at moving pictures on a screen. Screen Shot 2020-01-09 at 6.24.21 PM.png
  • Astrologer Chani Nicholas, now has a function on her site where you can get your birth chart! I am shooketh. I tried generating my chart using “Whole Sign” house type and turns out I have an intense 7th house stellium (most of my chart, 8 planets, are in the 7th house). The 7th house is traditionally ruled by Libra. So I have 8 planets or constellations in Capricorn in the 7th house. I ran the chart and came across a tidbit that caught my attention and I very much identified with (screen shot above). Also, my moon in Pisces comes with a lot of “gifts” given the rest of my chart – I feel like I intuitively knew my moon sign was my saving grace. To run your chart, click here.
Innovation, Mayo Clinic, Phoenix, Arizona

Ancestral Direction

Home: Carlsbad, California

As the Taurean New Moon passes, the Muse violently demands my full attention, a deep commitment and dedication to a new direction. Adopting a true Taurean style, she’s stubborn and determined. As I deeply inhale, she makes her way in and travels through every crevice and corner of my being. For days at at time, all I can do is write, and write, and write some more. Though my hands ache, there’s no satiating her. As I sweat, she travels through my body at a faster pace.  She whispers, “You must write. You must tell. You must share these lines that have been carved into your bones. Give birth to the words that consume you.” Her whispers increasingly get louder as the time passes.

My Piscean moon has been delving into parts of the ocean I swore to never explore. I’m diving deeper, deeper, deeper without oxygen. As I allow my body to sink deeply, the ecstasy of sensory deprivation takes over. And there, in the depths of the ocean, a story, a cosmic memory, comes pouring into my mind. The Seagoat in me travels to its Neptunian nest and enters a world of dreams crafted from materials illusory in nature. It is there that I am greeted by an Ancestor of mine – the one who was a prolific and respected writer while he lived. I sit in a chair which appears to be made of iridescent scales and he finally looks to my direction. In Spanish, he says, “I have been watching over your journey since that bus driver Sam told you, you had a purpose to carry out. It was the very first time you also wished you were dead. Remember him? You were 10. It’s been me all along. I have watched you burn in the depths of hell and climb mountains made of quicksand. A dedicated goat with the outer shell of an innocent nurturer, the inner world of a cosmic Siren, and the soul of a Phoenix. I have seen you drown and miraculously re-revive yourself a thousand times over. All these experiences were here to help you understand our lineage, our suffering, and what you’re here to change and dissolve. You are here to continue the work in which I started.” He paces around the kaleidoscopically colored room. Seemingly troubled by a plague of thoughts. “The Ancestors have been watching you. For the past 28 years, you’ve been given no choice, but to rely on yourself. We’ve always been here, but in the physical plane, it’s been you. We’ve marveled at how you’ve made due. In the coming months, that’s going to change. Your next lesson will be one learning how to receive, on learning how to be part of a greater whole – something foreign to you, you’ve always been the lone wolf. It won’t be easy, but necessary for your next initiation. You won’t make it without a pack. We’ve left some guidance around you. Your new living space? There’s a key there. Don’t try to look for it, be open to letting it find you.” Suddenly, he vanishes. My sinking body comes to the realization that oxygen is needed and a drowning sensation replaces the ecstasy of deprivation. With full force, I kick my legs, and re-emerge: “The time is now.”

Transient Reflections

No, it’s not just three characters,
it’s a whole group of people. It’s
like, I’m working on a chapter right
now about a young Greek man named
Well, he’s named after you. And
this guy is caught in a loop where
all he sees is the transient nature
of everything, right? Like he looks
out to sea and thinks of the day
it’s gonna be dry and littered with
(Before Midnight)
Glassy Reflections

Favorite song in 2017: Daylight by Beauvois

Favorite city visited: Honolulu, Hawaii

Favorite month: April

Favorite yoga pose: Standing Bow Pulling Pose (Balance, Focus, Concentration)

Favorite album: Jessie Ware’s Glasshouse

Deeply grateful for: Katie Pelkey – Meeting you was life-changing.

The death card. In tarot the death card is representative of transition (it is not often that it represents literal death). Rather it stands as a symbol of transformation – from one form of something into another. After all, death is the ultimate form of transformation. In a matter of days, I will be closing a chapter of my life which contains the past eleven years. From 2006 to the present. Prior to putting the finishing touches into this reflection, I coincidentally came across my first mentor – Dr. Sam, the cancer researcher from Cameroon. At times it seems as much as changed, at others it appears as if all has stayed the same. For the past few weeks, I’ve been deeply reflecting on my worth and value as a human being. What is my worth? What does it mean to be of value? Do I have either?

During these past few weeks, I’ve been able to catch a daily sunrise and sunset due to an inability to sleep. Food is interesting only sometimes. Running is the companion that keeps me grounded. I guess my yoga practice does too. Meditation allows me to function from day to day.  I’ve cried on a daily basis. It’s almost as if I’m purging everything I’ve been unwilling to let go of for the past decade in time to begin writing this new chapter. My heart and soul ache. The destroyer in me wants to seal this chapter shut, weave the pages together, and then burn whatever “garbage” I created.  Yet the artist in me thinks and wants differently.  The artist in me wants me to go find the most expensive of inks, the most beautiful pages, and a magical garden space. It wants me to work on making the last few sentences of this chapter the most beautiful yet. It wants me to take whatever residual pain is resurfacing and turn it into magnificent art. Ernest Hemingway once said, “Write hard and clear about what hurts.”

Worth and value.

worth: the value equivalent to that of someone or something under consideration; the level at which someone or something deserves to be valued or rated.

value: the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something.

I’ve spent the past decade plus trying to obtain some external ideal – in almost every aspect of my life.  And I suppose hard work does pay off because I landed my dream job, which I’m deeply grateful for and excited about! However, as I move into this new space and I reflect on how I truly feel inside versus how my life looks like on the outside, I am met with cognitive dissonance and sadness. I could write about everything that has occurred in these past eleven years, but the events don’t seem to be fruitful to share as much as my response to these events. I suppose what I’m trying to say is that my life looks good, but it doesn’t necessarily feel that way. I’ve been reading about astrology lately, for nothing more than curiosity (and to inform a writing piece I’m working on), and I found it rather interesting that the top recommended career for someone like me, with an ascendant in Cancer and a moon in Pisces is an actor/actress – the ultimate empath, a master of mystery, compassion, depth, and disguise. The fluidity in this combination quite literally allow me to take on whatever character I desire. Shape shifter. Rather than trying to run away from the discomfort of the sensations that run through me, I stand before my soul  with eyes of fire wanting to see nothing, but the truth. Whenever, I feel worthless or like I have nothing to offer this world, I allow myself to feel as such. Typically I enter a self-dialogue where I allow all of my fears to be manifested in front of me (it’s a really cool exercise).

What if you are worthless? Perhaps you are, but you’re still alive and breathing unable to escape the grips of time.

What if you have no value? Perhaps this is true as well, but why do you need to be of value?

What if you’re ugly? You are. What if you’re not intelligent? You’re not. What if you’re not good enough? You’re not. What if you’re not soft enough? You’re not. What if you’re too cold and harsh? You are. What if you are too intense? You are grossly intense. What if you’re a slut? You are. What if you’re incapable of building anything worthwhile in this world? You’re utterly incapable.

These iterations continue until I inevitably arrive at this question: What if you simply allow yourself to be?

I’ve struggled with this question for as long as I can remember. I’ve excelled at becoming a human doing, but how do I allow myself to become a human being?

As I stay present with this dialogue, time and time again I come to the same realization: I still have the greatest gift of them all – life force flows through my body. Which then leads me to an entirely different realm of thought: transience and the fragility of life. My favorite film series is a trilogy directed by Richard Linklater known as the Before series (Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, Before Midnight). The series was inspired by a real-life encounter where the director spent a day with a woman in Philadelphia only to later  find out she had died in a motorcycle accident. Often, when I am with family or friends this story crosses my mind. The last time I kissed mami goodbye may very well be my last. The last movie I saw with my sister might have been it. The last time I got a text from him, a call from her, or a FaceTime session with them may be all I ever get on this earthly plane. Now is all we have and while it’s intelligent to dream and plan for tomorrow, it’s wise to stay grounded in today.  I don’t know what the future holds. I don’t know how much longer I’ll have to roam and wander around this globe, but I sure know one thing: I’m going to make it count. With a Midheaven in Aries, the inner warrior princess in me is determined to thrive or else! Here’s to 2018. One day at a time. One breath at a time.

Hair cut: Letting go
Reminds me of Kintsugi

P.S.  I didn’t sleep during my last night in Honolulu. Though I had to catch a million flights to get to Puerto Rico, I decided to roam around the island in my rental car instead. At around 5AM, I made my way to Waikiki to catch the sunrise. As I parked my car, this song came on Sunset Lover. I remember that tears strolled down my cheek as I witnessed a ravishing Pacific sunrise. The sun must have been setting somewhere…

I’ve decided this new chapter I’m writing will be called Symphony.