Christina Vanvuren


I’ve been in my new house for just over a week now and it still feels so surreal. What feels even more out of this world is that I have pictures on the walls, plants situated just so, my mantle decorated, and a TV just waiting to be hung. This house is starting to feel like a home. For me, that’s a big deal. I spent my entire childhood moving from place to place because my dad was in the Coast Guard. Even once I was grown and living life on my own, I continued the trend of house/apartment hopping, in part because life just unfolded that way and in part because I knew no other way to be. 

When I was a little girl, I was so envious of the people who grew up in the same house from the day they were born until they went off to college, then bringing their own families back to their childhood home. Now, I see it a little differently. I’m grateful for all the moving I’ve done — 11 states, 37 different houses. It has given me a unique perspective that allows me to assimilate quickly into a multitude of environments, shapeshifting from one scenario to another without much thought. 

It hasn’t been all positive, of course. I’ve long felt a sense of impermanence that manifested not just in my living arrangements but in my attachment to people, too. Making new friends is easy and difficult at the same time — I can connect with just about anyone, whether they’re the CEO of a billion dollar company or a homeless man on the street. But I also struggle with going deep at times, because my whole life has been lived with bated breath, wondering when my dad would get orders to his next duty station. Why bother getting close to someone if you know you’ll never see them again? 

Even as an adult, that feeling of transition hasn’t subsided. I’m ending my second marriage and, while I’ll admit that there are layers of issues that led up to this, I’ll also share that I’ve realized that I give up really easily on relationships because not many in my life have stood the test of 3,000 miles and time. There are exceptions — Jenny, Ashley F., Ashley G., Mika — but they aren’t the norm. More often than not, I easily let people drift out of my life without much motivation to work on bridging whatever gaps lie between us. Why bother doing the work when you’ll probably never see them again? Everything and everyone is temporary. 

This isn’t the first home I’ve bought but it’s the first place that feels like it will truly be my forever home. As I hang photos and painstakingly scroll Pinterest for the perfect dining room table, I’m also healing the part of me that has been forever in liminal space. I didn’t choose this home because I love the dark cabinets (though I do) or because I wanted a garage (though I did); I chose this home because it’s on a cul-de-sac, in a friendly, safe neighborhood where I can see Journey and potential future children playing, building memories, making a life. I can see myself growing old here, planting a vegetable garden, grieving losses, and celebrating wins. 

It’s truly the first time in my 30 years on this planet that I’ve ever felt so rooted. A feeling I fought tooth and nail against and now am relieved to have found. As I hang my first ever art purchase on my living room wall, I finally feel at home. Home, sweet home, at last.  

Committing right now, right here, to you (whoever you are) and myself that I am not making any commitments in August 2019.

I'm traveling for work the last half of this month, driving 9 hours to VA to get J the day after I get back, turning around to come home the next day, closing on the new house on the third, and then spending all of July with J, including a trip to Universal the Sunday after I close on the house.

While everything I have going on is overwhelmingly positive and exactly what I asked the Universe for (manifesting generator, if you're into human design), it's a lot. All that on top of a divorce.

And a full-time job that requires all of my brain power, plus a few side clients that are more passion projects than profitable.

Since my whole life has been a series of oft-chaotic events I've had to react to and deal with, I didn't even realize exactly how much I have going on. Isn't life always like this for everyone?

Turns out, no.

To most people, all the happenings of my life look like Big Life Changes. To me, if all just feels like life.

I have to draw the line somewhere. August. No extra commitments. I'll still do my job and client work (duh), and if you wanna grab a glass of Malbec or meander through a farmer's market, I'm your girl.

But I'm not signing up for anything else. I need a full month to decompress, to process, to enjoy exactly where I am, exactly where life has brought me.

This means no starting businesses (lol), no new clients, no networking events that aren't necessary, no volunteer projects. Not a damn thing that doesn't fall into either one of these categories:

Mandatory Work or Fun

September? Game on. I'll stock up on school supplies and re-open my calendar for appointments.




I am not brand loyal unless you’re REI, Patagonia, or some other brand that double slays in their devotion to good marketing and a cause bigger than them. 

Everyone else…convince me. I can be swayed. Here’s some stuff I enjoyed in June:

  • Bruno – When T put this show on I was like k…wut? but it’s actually f’n brilliant and I was riveted. I can’t wait until next season – and there must be a next season. 
  • Parm Crips – They sell them at Publix and they are so delicious and basically just baked cheese crackers but also have 100 calories and 12 grams of protein per three. I travel with them, keep a pack in my car for I’m-so-hangry-let’s-get-taco-bell moments, and always try to have some in the house. Because my appetite can be a little finicky, I love having them to satiate me when I don’t feel like eating anything else. 
  • Smith’s Minted Rose Lip Balm – I’m on my third tub of this lip balm. Can that be enough for now?
  • Quinn XCII – though I’m never not into Quinn, I’ve been ultra-obsessed lately. I fell asleep to it last night, which was relaxing and wonderful. 
  • Not meditating – Well, it’s true. I have put zero pressure on myself to meditate and I don’t feel guilty about it at all. That’s my meditation, lack of guilt. 
  • Forever – Such a weird and cute show. 
  • Staying in this lovely San Francisco apartment – One of the many perks of my job is that my boss knows literally everyone. Whenever I come to San Francisco for work, I end up staying in one of her friend’s apartments. Always the cutest places, though the one I’m in now is absolutely adorable and way less bachelor-y than the last (no complaints, just facts). I’ve enjoyed sitting at the table and feeling the breeze blow in from the Bay. I could totally imagine myself living here (though I am very much looking forward to being a homeowner again!). 
  • Exploring Chinatown. Such fascination, much wow.
  • The simple joy of making myself a bowl of mushroom ravioli with a side salad. To cook for oneself is such lovely self-care. 
  • Being emotional as hell. It was Gemini season and it hit me hard. So do a new love interest. So did the fact that I’m thirty – already? finally? 

Today, I spent hours in Chinatown. It was everything I imagined and more. Chinese symbols scrawled in red on doors that are older than I am. Watching Chinese women in their thirties expertly mold a flat piece of dough into a familiar fortune cookie shape, effortlessly wrapping a fortune inside it in the process. 

I wandered, I took pictures, I bought the most beautiful silk kimono from Kim + Ono. Here’s the visual version:

What do men who do web design all day smell like? Cologne and deodorant mixed with…HTML? RGB? 

That’s either a really good joke or a really bad one, I’ll let you make that call. 

Man smells – the good kind – is there anything better? The only thing that comes close to the real thing is Boy Smells, a candle company that spins out coconut and beeswax scented with about a dozen different combinations. It’s a choose your own boy smell adventure. 

Me, I went with Cedar Stack, the one in the red jar that is apparently sold out (I got the last one The Human Condition had!), that smells of cedar sawdust mixed with juniper berries and white musk. Heaven.