All’s Well With Laura Rubin


Sometimes you come across people that seem to have more hours in the day than every one else. You know the ones (Beyoncé comes to mind). They have a successful career, the rad side hustle, and are active philanthropically, yet manage to always look pulled together and like they’re having a blast, all the while managing to find balance and make time for exercise and spirituality. You want to gulp down that “hatorade” and find the hidden (but inevitable, you tell yourself) flaws, but they’re just so damn nice you settle for befriending them instead (love you Bey!).

Laura Rubin is one of those people. She’s the founder of creative direction and strategic communications agency Left Left Right (LLR) Consulting (which is a proud member of 1% for the Planet, an alliance of businesses that donate at least 1% of their annual revenues to environmental organizations worldwide — obviously) AND she started AllSwell (a line of notebooks we LOVE) as a passion project.

Naturally, we had to kill her pick her brain with some questions related to journaling, Montauk, and more:

Pen or pencil?_MG_8373

Pen. I’m comfortable with commitment.

How do you typically begin a journal entry? Do you always include the date/location or any other identifiers? 

The best way to start is to start. Sometimes I add a location or a setting if I want to build a memory or capture context, particularly if I’m traveling. But more often I just roll.

How often (if ever) do you go back and reread old entries?

I’ve never thrown out a journal so I have a big stack stretching back to when I was a single digit. I might take a dip into them once a decade or so. It’s slightly remarkable (and often pretty amusing) to reread the cares and concerns of a much younger version of yourself written in your own hand.

Write a journal message to your future self… “It’s all going to be alright. Have fun.”

Now, write a journal message to your past self… “It’s all going to be alright. Have fun.”

Photo by River Jordan

If you could flip through the journal of anyone (living or deceased) who would it be and during which period of their life/career?

I have a dream project: to gather the journals of 500 people who passed away suddenly. What did they write on the last day of their life? What were their thoughts, hopes and concerns? Was there any hint of knowing what was to come, something below the surface they may not have even consciously registered but is subtly evident in retrospect? What patterns emerge and what can we, the living, learn from them?

You describe a certain therapeutic effect from journal writing…does surfing also provide a similar sense of catharsis? If so, how are the two similar?

When you watch a gifted surfer, like Katie Brady or Leif Erickson, it’s obviously a creative act. Well, that’s not me. But getting in the water to surf requires being entirely present. The baseline level of distraction falls away necessarily and that is most certainly a good thing. Your to-do list is waiting for you on land, though generally by the time I’m drying off none of it seems nearly as urgent.

With all of the changes happening in Montauk and the onslaught of visitors that are just following the “hype” – what would you suggest the community can do to keep some of the authenticity and true spirit alive?

Community is inherently authentic. It doesn’t need to try. It just is. But there’s a significant upside to the hype. All the attention Montauk is getting means there is an opportunity to highlight issues and inspire people to do some good. A beautiful charity, Long Island Communities of Practice is bringing AWOW to the East End this fall to provide water therapy for special needs kids from local families. Surfrider Foundation is holding their national event here this summer, engaging in a timely dialogue about the importance of water quality and coastal preservation on a global scale, while new charity L.I.M.P.I.A. (Long Island Marine Purification Initiative) is focused on regional water testing.

Anyone in particular you’d like to shout out that’s doing a great job with this?

Over the past few years a new generation of businesses and organizations has begun to emerge that celebrate the experience and ethos of this particular place. My short list includes: Montauk Brewery, Whalebone Magazine, Camp SoulGrow, Montauk Juice Factory, Happthe_kit_main-image_1024x1024y Bowls, Sweet’tauk and the soon-to-launch Surf Museum…all of these brands are giving back to the community while conveying the best of what Montauk has to offer.

Shameless plug:

Pleased to have launched “The Kit” with some talented entrepreneurial ladies – KASSIA, EiR and Summer Bummer –featuring AllSwell Notebook No. 2. It’s available at Poolside Collective at The Montauk Beach House, of course.