thought of the week: what a precious privilege it is to be alive

it still feels surreal to say that i am typing this blog post from my new apartment in the bay area. misu is settling wonderfully into our new space and while i miss la and many of the people in it, i am confident i made the right decision both personally and professionally.

today is august 15th. i have been pretty emotional for the last week. while that can be attributed to a variety of things, the closer we came to today’s date, the more heightened my emotions got. i realized that before last year, today’s date was not significant to me. now, it is a date that is forever imprinted in my head and heart. one year ago today, i was transported to the hospital and woke up over two weeks later. it ended up being a 35 day stay that felt like it would never end yet so much has transpired in the 11 months after that in some ways, it feels like five years have passed.

i don’t think most 31 year olds anticipate five week long hospital stays, ventilators, needing to learn how to walk again and just relinquishing independence and control. while i would not wish what happened to me on even my worst enemy, the lessons i learned (and still carry with me) are immeasurable. the most important lesson will sound cliche but has reshaped my worldview – put simply, it is remembering that nothing is owed to us and to not take a single thing for granted.

i came across this quote and it summed up how i have approached each day in the last year perfectly.

“when you arise in the morning, think what a precious privilege it is to be alive, to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.” -marcus aurelius

i am grateful to be alive each and every day. i am substantially more intentional with my breathing after having to relearn how to do so on my own. i am thrilled to be able to have free thought and to use my mind to do meaningful work with people in need. i have actively enjoyed things i hardly noticed before. the best part is the love – i have not hesitated in telling the people i love how important they are to me and i have allowed myself to be open to receiving love in a way i did not previously think i was even capable of. the last year has been the healthiest year of my adult life and i wouldn’t change a thing.

when you wake up each morning, what are you grateful for?

xoxo,

k.tap

thought of the week: say no without guilt and yes without fear

happy friday! i realize that most of my blog posts this year have included some kind of statement about how long it has been or how i am going to get back into a groove. after further reflection, i probably won’t be back into a good groove until june (when i have some time off). after that, my schedule will allow for more of doing things i love (like this) and i am thrilled about that. i hadn’t realized how many things i’ve been unable to do due to my current work schedule, commute and level of exhaustion.

that all changes in just a couple of months.

anyone that knows me can tell you that i am not someone who works somewhere for a short amount of time. i invest years. part of it is because of loyalty but i’d say the same amount is due to me wanting to figure out the ins and outs to be able to create meaningful change that makes a lasting impact. oftentimes, that requires more time than just a year. well, i started a new job back in august but was hospitalized after only being on campus for a week. needless to say, when i came back in mid october, i felt incredibly behind. i have been fortunate to work with the best team and they never once made me feel guilty about the extra responsibilities they took on in my absence. it is to the point where i feel like they can look at me and read my mind. we are able to be unfiltered around one another and when you spend as many hours per week working as we do, this is fucking crucial. i’ve told them frequently that they are people i would choose to be friends with even if we did not work together. that is part of why receiving a message from an old supervisor turned mentor turned friend back in march really rattled me.

i am a planner by nature. i think in one, five and 10 year increments. receiving a message about a position at my alma mater that she thought i would be a good fit for might have been flattering but more than anything, it was anxiety inducing. i questioned if it was even worth looking into. i feel like i’ve just gotten back into a routine of sorts and now, i might be flipping that upside down. millions of questions zoomed through my head:

what would i be walking into? what would moving back to the bay look like? who would i be letting down in the process? what message does this send to the institution that could have replaced me but instead, held my job for months while i recovered from covid? how would my family, especially my mom, receive this news? would i have more or less balance if i am stepping into a role that didn’t previously exist?

my interview took place a couple of weeks later (at the start of spring break). it was tough to figure out who to utilize as a sounding board because i didn’t want to be convinced of a particular decision because of someone who really wanted me to stay in la or someone who really wanted me to go to the bay. god bless my clinical supervisor because she was one of the only neutral parties i had. when i anxiously told her many of the questions that had been running through my mind, she listened, slowed me down and then asked me where the questions were rooted. it took some digging but i realized that i was not questioning myself because i was unsure if it would be a good fit, i was questioning myself because of guilt.

together, we outlined all of the ways both personally and professionally that this would benefit me. so frequently, i focus just on what a new job will do for me professionally. at this stage in my life, it is imperative that i also focus on what that means for me personally. coming face to face with that reality reminded me of this quote:

“be so deeply committed to your growth that you’re willing to say no without guilt and yes without fear”

i got the offer and i accepted it. i know that this will make me grow in a variety of ways, some that i don’t even know yet. now that it’s been about a month since i accepted, i finally am at a place where i no longer feel guilt. i move in july and couldn’t be more excited about it. it is truly a beautiful place to be.

are you in a place where you can say no without guilt and yes without fear?

xoxo,

k. tap

mondays made better with mohala eyewear

i might have gone back to work today, but mentally, i am still in the desert with my girls at coachella. this may have been my sixth coachella but it was my first time having a great pair of sunglasses that fit as if they were customized for my face. i can’t wait for you to meet mohala.

last year, i had the pleasure of being able to connect with the founder of mohala eyewear, ashley johnson, through my great friend, jude. we are all scu grads and women of color. i was thrilled at the opportunity to be able to support a female operated business. this was only amplified when i found out their mission was to create glasses to fit you perfectly – they are able to do this by having various nose bridges, widths and adjustable frames. it is the very first time i have had a pair of glasses feel totally comfortable, no matter the length of time, on my wider nose.

do you know what’s even better? every pair of sunglasses sold sends a young girl to school for a week. as someone who values education and giving back in a meaningful way, i can’t say enough wonderful things about mohala eyewear.

there is a great quiz to help you find the perfect fit for you. i am wearing the keana cherry blossom tortoise sunglasses. with how great they fit, i am trying to decide what color to order next!

to snag a pair, visit mohala eyewear and get 10% off with code: ktapthat10.

xoxo,

k. tap

thought of the week: allow yourself to let go

there has been something in the air. in the last year, i have gone through countless transitions and seen many of my friends do the same. whether it be leaving a relationship that no longer suits them, getting married (after saying marriage was not for them), changing career paths (even if the new one isn’t as lucrative) and/or setting boundaries with family that didn’t previously exist. if there has been one silver lining in this pandemic, it has provided a significant amount of time to reflect.

one of the many things i thought about were relationships i was holding onto even if they didn’t feel like they suit who i had evolved into. for some, it was because the length of time i had known the person. for others, it was because i felt a sense of guilt for outgrowing them. for a couple, it was because we shared a bloodline or a last name. i came across this quote from billy chapata at just the right time.

“let the connections that have reached their sell by date fade away naturally, allow yourself to let go of what no longer serves you. milk doesn’t change back to its natural state just by putting it back in the fridge once it’s expired.”

simple yet profound.

i no longer have shame around letting connections fade naturally. i can want the best for you even if you are not best suited for me.

do you allow yourself to let go of what no longer serves you?

xoxo,

k. tap

32 (part three).

to round out our time in the south bay, my mom and i did lunch at one of my favorite italian spots. afterwards, we picked up some of my favorite women on earth and made our way to napa.

we checked into my favorite hotel there (the archer) before freshening up before dinner at a restaurant i have to go whenever i am in town (celadon). while i had never been there for dinner before (my friends and i often end up there for boozy brunches), it didn’t disappoint. i was so glad that my godmother happened to be in sacramento that week for work so she joined us for dinner and drinks at the hotel afterwards. we shared so many laughs over dinner – nearly three hours felt like 30 minutes.

celadon has the absolute BEST calamari (i used caps so you know it’s real)

wednesdays are meant for wine and we definitely did just that. first, we started with breakfast at charlie palmer steak. it came highly recommended and a couple of weeks before our trip when i mapped it, i realized it was in our hotel. somehow (even though i had stayed at the archer before), i had no idea it existed. i had definitely been missing out because we all enjoyed our meal so much.

avocado toast (with smoked salmon, cucumber, watercress, pickled red onion and a poached egg)
belgian waffle (served with butter, strawberry compote, blueberry compote and maple syrup)
huevos rancheros
blood orange 75 (gin, blood orange liquor, lemon and sparkling wine)

i would absolutely go back again and i would recommend ordering a savory dish for yourself and splitting the waffles with another person or two in your party. and even with me being a vodka girl, i had to have a couple of blood orange 75s. they were absolutely delicious. if you want to go to charlie palmer, make a reservation via opentable.

next, our wine tasting tour began. my mom had never been to napa so i was excited for her to get to experience it, especially with women who we both love so much. our first stop was artesa!

the view of napa from entrance of artesa
me + melissa 🤍
interior of artesa
complimentary glass while we waited for our table.
this yellow jacket is my new favorite item in my wardrobe. it’s by lezé the label and is part of hayet rida’s honey glow collection she released. it is so soft yet heavy enough to keep you warm while being so breathable. my dress is from asos.
sofia 🤍
mom + sofia 🤍🤍

artesa is a winery i had always wanted to visit but it seemed impossible to land a reservation on any of my weekend trips. i figured i would try my luck since we were going on a wednesday and booked it immediately. since i am a member at the two wineries we went to next, i knew i would be able to secure a reservation at each of those easily. we all loved the service at artesa and i thought their rosé and their reds were perfect. i think on my next trip this june, it is likely i will become a member. afterwards, we made our way to madonna estate.

the fields at madonna – we had perfect weather
me + mama bear 🤍
the garcia sisters + me 🤍🤍🤍
alexz hates pictures but we take such good ones together that she ends up forgiving me
melissa – quite literally my lifesaver

we all did tastings at madonna but ended up purchasing multiple bottles afterwards that we loved to enjoy there while we soaked up the sun, took photos and talked about anything and everything. melissa was such a fan that she became a member. i know she won’t regret it – i certainly haven’t. after leaving madonna, we drove just up the road to a winery that has my favorite views in all of napa – domaine carneros.

the squad.

we went all in. tastings. charcuterie plates. bottles. smoked salmon plates. we laughed. we cried. it was the most like myself i had felt since before being hospitalized last summer. it was just the most magical day.

sparkling chateau tasting
charcuterie
bottles on bottles on bottles.
smoked salmon
lil’ spoon + melissa 🤍🤍🤍
loves of my life

after leaving domaine carneros, felecia and i dropped the girls off, went to the airport and flew home. each part of my birthday was exactly what i needed it to be – from la to the bay to napa, i was surrounded by love and laughter. no matter what part you showed up for, just now how grateful i am.

xoxo,

k. tap