2021. What are you grateful for? What are you intentions?

My intention for my 30th year and 2020 in general was:

When someone tells you who you are, do not believe them.

I've expanded on this intention and added some more for 2021 and 31st year intentions, and I'm going to keep those to myself. But I'll share a few things that I'm grateful as we enter the new year:

I'm grateful for:

  • Health and wellness despite everything going on

  • Friends and blood/chosen family who are present in my life, who support me and who allow me to support them spiritually and materially

  • The space and tools I have access to to help me express myself and contribute to the world

  • The communities/relationships I continue to build and strengthen locally in Houston and digitally across the world

  • The continued support, engagement, and affirmation I receive from people for my music

  • So much more...

Some of my goals, which are ongoing:

I use Notion to help organize my headspace and my priorities (which often times are not about getting things done but about taking care of myself and investing in what brings me joy and peace). It really helps to feel grounded. But like anything, it can become an obsession and can contribute to "toxic productivity."

Some of my ongoing goals in no particular order/categorization (this also might help with accountability if I list them here [lol]):


Thank you, Amaan!!! 😍 [see video on right and check out his work]

Uliya with long black hair and an burnt orange shirt

I got to contribute to my reading goal during my time off and spent some blissful time on my patio catching up on Ocean Vuong's "On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous." A quote from the book that I love:

"In the nail salon, sorry is a tool one uses to pander until the word itself becomes currency. It no longer merely apologizes, but insists, reminds: I’m here, right here, beneath you. It is the lowering of oneself so that the client feels right, superior, and charitable. In the nail salon, one’s definition of sorry is deranged into a new word entirely, one that’s charged and reused as both power and defacement at once. Being sorry pays, being sorry even, or especially, when one has no fault, is worth every self-deprecating syllable the mouth allows. Because the mouth must eat. And yet it’s not only so in the nail salon, Ma.

In those tobacco fields, too, we said it. “Lo siento,” Manny would utter as he walked across Mr. Buford’s field of vision. “Lo siento,” Rigo whispered as he reached to place a machete back on the wall where Buford sat ticking off numbers on a clipboard. “Lo siento,” I said to the boss after missing a day when Lan had another schizophrenic attack and had shoved all her clothes into the oven, saying she had to get rid of the “evidence.” “Lo siento,” we said when, one day, night arrived only to find the field half harvested, the tractor, its blown-out engine, sitting in the stilled dark. “Lo siento, señor,” each of us said as we walked past the truck with Buford inside blasting Hank Williams and staring at his withered crop, a palm-sized photo of Ronald Reagan taped to the dash. How the day after, we began work not with “Good morning” but with “Lo siento.” The phrase with its sound of a bootstep sinking, then lifted, from mud. The slick muck of it wetting our tongues as we apologized ourselves back to making our living. Again and again, I write to you regretting my tongue."

- Vuong, Ocean. On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous (pp. 91-92). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.