Issue No. 15: Thirty-Four

If the ocean can calm itself so can you.

We are both salt water mixed with air

- Nayyirah Waheed

Hello there,

Just under three weeks ago I turned 34. Thirty-four. Earlier this year, I welcomed my sister into these thirties. And in June, my mom turned 60. One of the few constants in life is, if we’re lucky, we get older.

I’ve never been one to get hung up on age. Growing up, my dad would always say that age is nothing but a number. I’ve always believed it, and I believe it to be truer than ever. Gone are the days where growing older meant that you have to dress a certain way, stay in a career you hate, have kids, settle down, etc., etc., etc. You see where this is going.

That no longer is the case. More and more, people are defying these norms that have dictated the rhythm of life. I like to think that this gives us greater creative control over how we spend all aspects of our lives.

And it’s here that I return to the writings of someone much wiser and more eloquent than me: Seneca.

“It is not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it. Life is long enough, and a sufficiently generous amount has been given to us for the highest achievements if it were all well invested. But when it is wasted in heedless luxury and spent on no good activity, we are forced at last by death’s final constraint to realize that it has passed away before we knew it was passing. So it is: we are not given a short life but we make it short, and we are not ill-supplied but wasteful of it… Life is long if you know how to use it.”

Life is long if you know how to use it.


P. S. Going through past issues of The Art of the Edit, I came across a glaring typoDear Madame Present instead of Dear Madame President. Really? Really. Tough pill to swallow.

P. P. S. Remember those Heart Metrics from Issue No. 3? Well, IDEO released downloadable cards! (Note: They are now calling these Lifeline Cards.)


  • Surrounding myself with smart people as an antidote to all the not-so-smart things going on:

    • Engrossed in Ben Rhodes' memoir The World As It Is. Refresher: Rhodes was Obama’s Deputy National Security Advisor from 2009 to 2017.

    • Still thinking about Dax Shephard’s conversation with Jon Favreau on Armchair Expert. Not Jon Favreau the actor. Jon Favreau, Obama’s speechwriter from 2005 to 2013. (Shoutout to Jenna for getting me hooked on this podcast.)

    • Listening, very belatedly to Obama’s last interview as president on Pod Save America, which is possibly my new favorite podcast.

      I trust you’re seeing a theme here …

  • Author of Sapiens and Homo Deus (and a serious meditator), Yuval Noah Harari, reminds us that the spreading of propaganda and disinformation is nothing new.

  • Two words: Beyonce. Vogue. 

  • Turning to this caprese salad to: a) take advantage of tomatoes at their seasonal peak and b) wow guests with very little effort.

  • Wondering if a more structured “dress code” would make getting dressed, well, easier.

  • In our high-low approach to home decorating, going high when it comes to paint. Enter: Farrow & Ball. (Visit the co.’s Instagram feed and you’ll understand why.) My justification: 1. When you’re aesthetic is minimalistic, the walls really matter. 2. Farrow & Ball is based in London, a similarly gloomy climate to that of Seattle. It’s got all the bright-and-light-meets-moody feels.

  • Discovering Tony’s Chocolonely 70% dark chocolate, experiencing its addictive qualities, and telling myself that it’s for a good cause: slave-free chocolate.

  • Finally understanding the reason behind the Australian cafe trend here in the U.S. (a trend I fully support): A trade agreement and flexible work visa for Australians that was established in response to the country’s military support of the Iraq war. 

  • Feeling better about my first gray hair (yes, that happened) after coming across this Instagram account.

  • Very much in favor of open letters of protest