I feel on track and in tune with my inner momentum. You see, I’ve been stuck on carousels for a while. Up and down. Round and round. Stuck in a feeling.
Stuck has become one of my least favorite words. I never want to feel that way. It’s an absurd way to live life because as a human I have this incredible power of better choices, change and movement. Let’s always be moving forward, upward, sideways, and never backward or nowhere.
The beauty of analyzing the past comes with epiphanies. The “ah-ha!” moments. The “wow, why the heck did i do/say that??” moments. I’m trying more diligently to put lessons I’ve learned to proper use. I’d like to let go of a lot, while still nurturing an open enough heart and mind to let people, feelings and ideas in.
New creative projects are in the works. Confidence in my authentic self is at an all time high. I’ve reached a new comfortable level of ambivert, which has me feeling so lifted I wake up with less anxiety and more excitement. With people or with just me, I am happy.
This is not to say I magically waved away all sinking feelings. But right now I feel balanced. Although often perceived as weakness, I accept my softness, my sensitivity. They can be assets, just as much as my ability to be strong-willed and tough. Resilience is a major key.
After spending a week in Seattle for my team’s Create & Cultivate conference with speakers Mandy Moore, Issa Rae, Brooklyn Decker and more, I was in much need of r&r. I spent last week as a complete introvert, only seeing my coworkers and roommate Marie. Every evening after work, I made sure to do a whole lot of nothing (very rare for me), including binge watching all two seasons of Insecure and the same for Chewing Gum.
I expected a chill weekend at Jackie’s beautiful home in Atwater Village to take care of her pup Noah while she and her husband were out of town. Then the weekend became super social between catching up with friends, a show, back to back parties, etc. But luckily I still had plenty of time to stick with my duty of hanging with Noah and also relaxing and clearing my mind.
I write this while staying cozy in their living room, dreading having to leave soon. Jackie’s home was featured on Elle Decor, but I also wanted to share some snaps of my favorite spots!
I’m going to end my stay by cuddling with Noah and reading my latest book selection, “note to self” by connor franta.
I also curated a playlist for this staycation, and have enjoyed it so much I wanted to share with you. Hit that shuffle button.
2015 has been my year of “yes.” I wasn’t per se a “no” person before, but I have chosen to say “yes” to more invites and more opportunities in hopes of expanding my horizons, adding to my social circle, and being more present in people’s lives. My year of “yes” has developed oodles of new friendships, meaningful connections, and some unforgettable moments. It also spread me too thin. On October 10, 2015, I was officially running on empty.
My world is music. I work in the music industry. A large percentage of my friends work in music. My favorite pastime is attending shows. At shows, my attention and energy is focused on the music and performance in front of me, rather than the number of unread emails in my inbox or complex feelings that come with life’s woes. At shows, I regain my composure.
The last few months have been difficult, so I’ve tried to balance my stress with the benefits of live music and the company of friends. I was in luck as a lot of friends were producing and playing free or $5 gigs. The FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) set up camp in my brain and I was RSVP’ing “yes” to most of them with a determination to come through. The word “free” was an added bonus because that meant I wouldn’t be depleting my bank account. What I ended up depleting was my immune system.
During the end of September and beginning of October, I was making it to four or more shows a week, sometimes two shows in one night. Set times were typically around 10pm or later, keeping me out while the moon was high in the sky. I slept for (maybe) five hours a night. I couldn’t even sleep much during the weekends, because my internal clock had recently made me an early riser. I became the Energizer Bunny with no energy.
So it was October 10, and although I knew better, I decided to squeeze in eight hours of live music at two different shows. By the end of the day, my body waved its red flag. I spent the entire following week working from home, sick, and kicking myself for saying “yes” a few too many times. While I confined myself in my apartment for four days, apart from the occasional step outside to breathe some “fresh” Los Angeles air, I saw a silver lining in my predicament. Despite enduring cold symptoms, a hellish migraine, and a cough that has left me with sore abs, I now feel more rested and calm thanks to ample amounts of water, Chinese medicine and sleep. Being sick gave me the isolation I didn’t know I needed.
After laying in bed and sitting on my living room floor for four days, yesterday I finally flew the coop. First stop was Cafe Gratitude for brunch and a short walk around Larchmont Village. It was an incredible feeling to be out and about again with good company. I still want to make the most of my year of “yes,” which I plan to carry over into 2016, but my health and finding a balance between work, play and life’s other units will be a priority. Keep well.
I’m an over-thinker. I over analyze people’s words and actions. I get lost in my own thoughts trying to formulate the “perfect” thing to say. Tricks on me. I’m lucky if my brain allows me to form any kind of proper sentence to express the cycle of thoughts in my mind.
It makes me anxious. Sometimes shy. And then I victimize myself with criticism that’s not always constructive. I shake my head. Most of my nights in bed, when I stay up too late rather than sleep, consist of thinking…thinking…thinking…thinking, and feeling everything. All of the bad and all of the good. I’m a positive person, but with a melancholic flair and hint of Atelophobia (fear of not being good enough).
The photo above has a portion of a quote by James Dean. It says, “Live as if you’ll die today.” This is a theme that threads together many of my blog posts because personally I’m in the process of being more honest, speaking my mind, opening more doors, creating new opportunities, etc. I value sayings such as “seize the moment,” or like Nicole in the movie Boyhood said, “the moment seizes us.”
A lesson I’ve learned from my most recent late night thinking is that in order for me to live more freely and happily, I must loosen my grip on the idea that I’ll be able to manipulate things that are out of my control. Life doesn’t work that way. Yes, having a plan A, B and C may always be in my nature, but I’m going to practice the act of going with the flow. A few exciting experiences are taking off in my life right now and I want to enjoy them as much as I can. Trying to clean up before the party even starts is no way to live life.
Sometimes I’m diving into the deep end and I’m drowning. Pulse quickens. Mind races. Body tenses. Mood tanks. Throughout the month, or occasionally within the same day, this drowning feeling comes in waves. Putting aside the water analogies, it’s basically a mix of uncertainty, sadness and anxiety.
I’m fairly hard on myself, depending on the situation. Always have been. But the true test is how a person comes out of a situation. I am always determined to learn from my experiences. What’s the point of bad experiences if we can’t find a silver lining? We could end up being depressives with no purpose in life but to merely exist in a stagnant state of being. When something knocks me down, you better believe I’ll find a way to come out on top.
Besides being affected by my own actions, I’m affected by those in, and even out, of my life. The people that become ghosts are the worst culprits. They’re the ones that drift away without any warning. Sometimes I get lucky, and they don’t really mean much to me. Sometimes the timing is at the cusp of me becoming attached to having them around. I overwhelm myself with “what ifs” and “whys.” Applies for any type of relationship.
The worst instance is when something is unresolved. That limbo stage makes me uneasy, no matter how “breezy” I try to act. It’s a whirlpool that I burden myself with. I’m still learning how to let go of things that aren’t worth fussing over, and keeping my head above water is a daily goal. It’s a process.
This post has been sitting in my drafts since spring. Sharing today.
I’m vulnerable when my back is turned. Hell, I’m vulnerable staring someone straight in the eyes. Being vulnerable is scary, but it’s necessary and doesn’t have to mean I’m weak. Sometimes it encourages me to be brave.
Vulnerability uncloaks the possibility of being wounded, both physically and emotionally. Who enjoys that sense of uneasiness? Not me. Despite the uncomfortable chance of being hurt and disappointed, being vulnerable can actually strengthen my belief in hope, trust, love and opportunity. It allows me to be honest.
Without accepting my own vulnerability, I wouldn’t be able to share stories, interview for a job, go to shows alone, or take chances with people. I wouldn’t make mistakes. I wouldn’t discover my likes and dislikes. I wouldn’t reach my potential.
“Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit.” – e.e. cummings