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29 Things That Have Influenced or Inspired Me

I’ve made it a bit of a tradition to post a list on Catch-all for my birthday — which is odd since birthdays don’t matter to me much. But now that I’ve been doing it a few years, I’ve let sneaking feelings of superstition get the best of me and I’m almost worried that if I don’t post one year, something will go awry! So I felt compelled to do this.

I started this blog when I was 22 and today I’m turning 29! Time is wild, ain’t it? Let me start by getting the obvious out of the way and mentioning that my family and friends are truly my number one inspiration and influence — but here are the rest:

  1. Sunsets — anywhere and everywhere, though Arizona sunsets are the most beautiful I’ve seen
  2. The desert — especially the Sonoran Desert…this might as well be a travel blog for Southern Arizona, but it really is a stunning place and I don’t just say that because I’m from there
  3. Tucson — Visit Tucson should pay me! I love countless things about home, but especially the smell after it rains, sunsets, the quiet of the desert, and the comfort of the familiar
  4. Los Angeles — its exciting energy, perfect weather, vastness, and the city’s abundant opportunities and openness
  5. Documentaries as an entire genre — countless documentaries have shaped the person I am and I’m going to make one some day! Just putting that out there (and underlining it) so I have to follow through
  6. Patterns by Josef Frank
  7. Twin Peaks — what about it? Everything
  8. Design Sponge — I wish this blog wasn’t defunct, but I’m still inspired by it and was for many years
  9. Dogs — especially rescue dogs who exude so much gratitude and love. And of course MY rescue dogs, Joni and Murphy ❤
  10. Nature — “nature” is really what I’m saying for a few of these (long walks, fall, the desert) but it requires its own bullet point because I never feel quite as at peace, open, or happy indoors as I do when I’m outside
  11. Folk rock from the 60s & 70s
  12. Midcentury modern furniture and decor — I don’t quite know what it is but damn I love this time period in design
  13. Long walks in perfect weather
  14. Scorsese movies — Raging Bull will forever be my favorite
  15. Fall — not the archetypal fall where the leaves change colors, but the season in Arizona and California when you finally find the relief of cooler weather and a bit of a breeze after a scorching hot few months
  16. Difficult People — this show is smart, funny, and dumb all at once, and I’ll never get enough of it. Unfortunately, it was cancelled prematurely after only a few seasons, but it’s worth watching over and over again. It’s actually time for me to rewatch it soon!
  17. Elizabeth Warren — I’m bummed that she’s not going to be the next president of the United States, but I’m thankful for all she’s done and continues to do for this country
  18. Hot for Food — This blog/YouTube channel/cookbook got me into vegan cooking and I’m forever grateful for that. It’s useful even if you’re not vegan, so I recommend checking it out if you’re into comfort foods but want to make them just a bit healthier
  19. Old Kanye — Old Kanye was SO GOOD — seriously! New Kanye I’m not so into, but his first few albums did have a major impact on me so he’s made this list with a qualifier
  20. HGTV — this is pretty corny, but watching HGTV as a kid and teenager got me even more into design and decorating. I was already the kid who brought home Architectural Digest from the library…HGTV just made it a little more accessible
  21. Road trips — when you aren’t on a tight schedule and feel like you can go anywhere if you wanted to. Even if you don’t, just knowing you can is a reminder that unexpected turns in life are possible too
  22. This blog — It might not seem like Catch-all inspires me all that much, since I barely give it any attention anymore, but that’s just because I don’t have as much time as I used to. Throughout the years, it’s been my online space for creativity and reflection, and inspired me to go to graduate school, move to Los Angeles, and so many other things
  23. Wet Hot American Summer — forever the funniest movie I’ve ever seen and probably ever will see
  24. The Beatles — my first favorite band! I was a Beatles fangirl when most of my peers were obsessing over contemporary boybands like NSYNC and Backstreet Boys, though I did like them too 🙂
  25. Industrial districts — I feel weird that abandoned factories and old buildings are so cool to me (since they grimly represent economic and personal loss), but I can’t help but be intrigued by their history and the look of a bygone era
  26. 2nd hand stores — they’re pretty much the best place to buy anything for your home because it will have a cool story (even though you might not know that story), it’s better for the environment, and is more affordable than something new. Thrift and antique stores make me think about what’s possible to fill a home with, and that every object and piece of furniture likely has an eventful story to tell. The same goes for 2nd hand clothing, which, in my opinion, is much more interesting and fun to shop for than the new stuff
  27. Fleabag — what a brilliant, hilarious, heartbreaking, and one of a kind series. Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s writing opened my eyes to what’s possible in storytelling
  28. Changing something about my living space — maybe painting a wall or rearranging furniture. There’s something almost exhilarating about finding the perfect spot for a knick knack you found years ago, or knowing what picture would look so perfect right there. This is also very corny, but once I’ve moved something around I feel inspired to do more in other aspects of my life
  29. Empty notebooks — there’s so much possibility in a new notebook, and much to discover in old ones too. Yes, there are countless ideas I’ve written down that I was excited to pursue and then forgot about, but I consider the act of even putting them in there to be at least somewhat fruitful. Most big, wonderful, or exciting ideas likely started in a notebook

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