About Tea Dough

...where shall i begin...?

The 5 year itch.

I anticipate this to be a slightly lengthy.  I mean, it’s been 5 years since I’ve touched this thing.  So much has happened between then and now.  This, brain vomit, won’t serve as a complete time lapse / recap; I’m using this space to digitally vomit my thoughts that have been swirling around today to free up some space. 🙂

My nomadic best friend of 15 years (and counting) is here visiting.  I never really know where she is in the world.  So, when she’s here, I eat it up.  My home usually serves as her home base when she’s in town and I’m more than happy to have her quirks and energy here.

YouTube was passively playing on my TV this morning and an old vdo popped up of a Korean son and mother dancing to Gangnam Style (bear with me.)  The vdo, at face value, was/is entertaining.  As I was watching it, I started to think about how this (I assume) immigrant mother was popping with her son.  How she probably came here from her homeland for a better life for her family and all the sacrifices and things she did to have a successful and meaningful life for her family.  I also started to think about the culture differences between her break-dancing son and herself and how she lovingly participated with her son in one of his passions.  My thought process ended with how unconditional love is. (VDo embedded at the bottom.)

I guess the entire gist is this: I’m reminded of my way of thinking & perception.  I rarely see things at the surface.  If the opportunity presents itself, I always seem to go beyond and see all the underlined & undefined.  Like anything, it could be a blessing and curse and that’s likely dependent on the combination of how it’s managed and perception.

Lastly, today feels like I’m firing on all cylinders…in the good way.  But it also feels a bit overwhelming…which is why I need to digitally word vomit.  I’ve been skating and gliding through the past few years and kind of…just going.  At one point in time, “going with the flow” seemed great…and it can still be.  But I realized, because of that, I wasn’t being an intentional human being…which got me into various situations that didn’t serve me (honestly, harmed me more than anything.)

At this point in life, partly because I’m ready to turn the corner and also have felt pretty beat up, I’m trying to balance the carefree “go with the flow” and also be very intentional with my decisions and actions.  I think it’s important to have a balance of both.  The latter is what needs work.  I welcome the reintroduction of being particular and intentional.  It’s become foreign to me but I’m really ready to have my next phase in life be one of deep intention.  I feel like I’m finding my way back to myself.

holy shit.  kinda scary.  BRING IT.

Side note: I’ve been insanely hungry for creative release.  For me, that’s always a very very good sign.  Traditionally, when I feel inspired and starving to create – I know that the important pieces in my life are falling into place. #StayHungry



Chance Meeting…

i’ve been having a rough day yesterday; my mind was far too preoccupied for my own comfort. So, i went out to self-pacify (which i RARELY do.) the next morning, a friend of mine woke me up far too early…especially after having a glass of wine the night before (yes, I am a lightweight.)  Not to mention, when the alcohol wore off and I woke up from the wine coma at 2am, i continued to toss and turn.  the call came in a few hours after, “TEADOUGH!  can you do me a HUGE favor?!  I bought a chest from CL and he’s already here and I’m not home yet!!!  Can you go outside and let him in & help move the chest in the house?!’  


I still had sleep in my eyes and my voice hadn’t warmed up yet; i sounded like i was just hitting puberty.  i wiped the sleep from my eyes, rolled out of my bed (literally), put shoes on and headed out the door with my unbrushed teeth (also known as ‘dragon breath’) to let the man in.

As I opened the gate, I saw an elderly man sitting in his truck parked right in front of our building & I tapped on his window.  I asked if I could help him move the chest in.  but, he said he’d rather wait until my friend got back to give her the opportunity to check it out to ensure she’s comfortable with buying.  a man with integrity.

So, i ended up waiting outside with him and we struck up conversation.  

you see, he recently lost his wife late last year.  he started to tell me the story of how they met – and not in this ‘i’m so sad’ kind of way.  to the core, he loved this woman.  he was a “reformed” bachelor and just went about his life.  he went to a party one night when he saw his future wife standing across the room.  though she caught his attention, he wasn’t interested enough to pursue as he was keeping to his new “reformed bachelor” status.  Now, I’m not going to try to re-tell the details of his story as it would never do him justice.  Just know there was a tail of she chasing him, moving in next door to him and eventually courting & getting married.

the details of the story were amazing in itself.  but it was more about the way he told the story.  you could see love radiate from him when he spoke of his wife, their life together and what she brought out of him and to him.  the only other time i had ever seen love in one’s face, in that way, was when my mom would talk about my dad.

“she was amazing.  I don’t believe in ‘soul mates;’ everyone uses that term.  but she was a damn good team mate; we made a GREAT team together – a great team in life.”

he talked about how she loved antiquing, how they traveled together and how their relationship was nowhere near perfect (no relationship is.)  “she would make these little mistakes like forgetting to do the banking or spend a little too much. but all she had to do is look at me and…that smile.  she’d always own up to any mistake.  i loved that about her.”  it was the way they lived life together.

he told me of how she fell in love with a house in the Richmond that was far too expensive for him at the time ($24k) but she just loved it.  “It was more expensive, at that time, for me.  but her eyes lit up and she just fell in love with it.  so, we bought it.”  it is the same house he lives in to this day.

i told him that he was inspiring and how i hope to find and grow into that kind of love.  he told me he was lucky.  “I see all these 30 – somethings walking around the city with their faces in their phones on their way to work and so worried about their own world that’s all they see & they end up alone.  i never wanted to get married. but [getting married] was the best decision of my life. i wanted to court her because she didn’t want any children.  we, now, have 2.  I would have to go away for work for months at a time.  she stayed home and took care of our 2 children; she never complained.  I would always tell her, ‘i miss you’ and she’d always respond with, ‘i miss you more.'”

he then proceeded to tell me how his wife was diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer.  “she was so strong and never complained through the whole ordeal.  i’d take her to her chemo and she was tired and i knew she was in pain, but she never complained; not once.  towards the end, we moved her downstairs.  moving up and downstairs got too difficult for her.  we (family) took turns sleeping with her downstairs.  on her last day, i held her hand as she started to leave.  her last words to me were, ‘i miss you more’.”

i told him i was sorry for his loss and what he responded with is something that will stay with me for the rest of my life.  He told me, “you know, we all lose people.  it’s a part of life and it is always difficult.  what’s more difficult is losing someone you choose.”

i hugged him as he was leaving and i told him i wanted to spend more time with him. i intend to do just that.  

it’s so hard to explain the fact that i saw love on his face. i can’t even put words to serve justice on how it felt and what i saw and I know I’m leaving out tons of details… His impact on me was love and the reminder that life throws a lot at you – some expected, most unexpected and that it’s a privilege to have someone stand by you through it all.

and get this – he goes by the name “Tea.”  Crazy.

old love

Drive by evaluation…

i just sat here and asked myself a question i haven’t asked myself in a while. “What is holding you back?” I don’t have any particular or specific end point I want to reach at this point in time. but, rather, i just have a need to feel that I am stretching & expanding. The first response I gave myself, after asking the initial question, was another question; “what feels bad? what doesn’t make you feel good or happy?”

Maybe it’s just time for another self check, evaluation and purging.


i love, unapologetically.  so hard that i don’t have a choice but to let it course through my veins; it’s in my DNA.  it is, in fact, all or nothing.  I let it run through my system and infect every part of me, spreading with copious amounts of force.  I need to lose all control to feel i have any control at all.

i am that person, that proud person, that loves to take pictures of us and proudly display them on my sleeve and in all of my environments; my home, my heart, my thoughts, through the computer screen, across thousands of miles and across all of our lifetimes. i love the surge of electricity and the pounding of my chest when fingertips meet & fingers intertwine. i love & appreciate everything about loving another human being – especially in THIS way. tracing the dips of your hips & the curve of your thighs; arching your back with the force of my beating heart pulsing through the palm of my hand. i can only love in this way.

i want to love in the way where all the beauty, the hurt, the scared, the scarred, the broken & bleeding are encompassed in what we call “being human” brings me to tears as i stand and stare..because it’s all beautiful; i am swallowed, alive.

Insomnia Strikes!

Date: July 4, 2013
Time: 2.11 am
Status: Sleepless
Soundtrack: “Hero” – Family of the Year / “Belong” – Washed Out

i’m normally a professional at falling asleep. (staying asleep is a separate subject.) I don’t know what it is with tonight, but insomnia decided to come visit. whatever the case may be, she wanted to hang out so i spent the past 4 hours playing my guitar and belting out sour notes with her. she was good company, but it’s coming really close to the time where she needs to leave.

while playing & writing, i started to have a bunch of random realizations. the list in my head went something like this:

  1. i have an incredible affinity for gentle souls in all forms
    • (but especially in women. that gentle / nurturing energy is like kryptonite. this easily explains the draw to my partner.)
  2. i’m 30 something and, sometimes, it still feels like i’m trying to figure out my life.
  3. i’m a walking hypocrite.
    • (i.e: i LOVE neat & clean but my apt’s present state looks like i had a raging party [apparently for one.] i also LOVE being outside but work my face off indoors).

then i started listing more things i have appreciation for:

  1. animals (especially the ones of the k9 species).
  2. music
  3. backpacks
  4. insulated water bottles
  5. very fine-tip retractable gel pens (black only)

by having all of these thoughts (in list form) i’ve come to the conclusion that i’m probably distracting myself from something that needs to be attended to. what that is, i have no idea. hopefully i’ll figure it out.

i guess i should try to get some sleep since i need to be up early to get my day started and go hiking.


Lost Cause

…only because I’m currently listening to Beck…

Anyhow, sometimes I get bombarded with these “personal epiphanies.”  What I normally do with them is store them in the back of my mind’s filing cabinet like an overdue bill.  for whatever reason, that habit is changing in this particular instance and for this particular circumstance.  I kind of realized today that I’ve been “coasting.”  I’ve been doing ok with the “status quo” and my daily…weekly routine.  

Now, my life isn’t bad; not at all, actually.  I have a good career, I live in one of America’s best cities, I’m surrounded by pretty amazing people, I have a roof over my head and food to eat.  but, sometimes, you don’t realize what more you can do for yourself & for others because you’re used to these routines that aren’t necessarily bad.

this weekend, i spent the long weekend with my partner.  we did not-so-crazy-extravagant-but-ever-so-priceless things like…well, we went to an outlet mall.  partner-love treated herself to some new (and hot) threads while i grabbed us some gadgets that allotted us the luxury of listening to good music at home through these wonderful devices.  Matter of fact, I was listening to Beck and now enjoying the Vaccines as I type.  Music is a big part of our lives.  It’s also a HUGE reason why we met & connected.  Anyhow, we’ve both been deprived of music in the house.  This feels damn good to have it accessible and in great quality and quantities; the way music & love should always be consumed.

I forgot how much music has an effect on me.  Since moving to SF, i haven’t had the opportunity to set up much of a sound system (other than my TV or laptop) due to lack of outlets.  (there are only so many surge protectors one can utilize without making one’s place look like a mad scientist’s lab).  Listening to music via laptop speakers leaves much to be desired.  so, this portable little gadget was certainly the right choice and good investment.

I also got my long-overdue-sasquatch-looking eyebrows threaded today.  this is something I used to do religiously every other week.  it’s nice to look like a normal human being with expressions again.

Lovely partner and I also made our way to Teavana. be forewarned: you will spend a lot of money on things that taste really good, are really pretty and are good for you.  

So, here I am listening to wonderful ear candy while having a cup of citrus lavender sage tea as I try to jot down this cluster fuck of thoughts.

The whole point of this post?  I realized more and more that I’ve been selling myself short.  I had stopped taking these extra little self-care steps and just trekked along and “getting by.”  I don’t mean fiscally, (although, San Francisco, you are VERY expensive and challenge my bank account constantly.) but rather, somewhere along the way, i seemed to have gotten a bit lost.  I had forgotten that taking care of oneself projects a lot more light & brightness into the world – your own and other’s.

it doesn’t take material things for self-care (though my aforementioned statements may make it seem as such.) but these are just staples in my life that ground me…these simple pleasures.

The next step is to de-clutter my surroundings; get rid of clothes I don’t wear, put away / sell / donate gadgets I no longer use, and stop settling for what isn’t advantageous just because it’s comfortable.

I’m kind of disappointed that I’ve “settled” a bit.  but, it’s never too late to do something new & different for the sake of inner peace.  (how hippy did THAT sound?)

PS: listening to Nick Drake’s “one of these things first.” you’ll thank me later.