redefining wanderlust

a life blog by Bekka

Posts for life lessons

Thank You 2018! I’m so f*ing grateful…

Thank you 2018, you forced me to grow. You pulled the rug from underneath me, stripped me of my bearings, and then starred me down challenging me to get back up.

Thank you 2018…

Now, I have that Ariana Grande song stuck in my head.

Not, but really. Thank you 2018, you forced me to grow. You pulled the rug from underneath me, stripped me of my bearings, and then starred me down challenging me to get back up.

At the end of 2017, I was chewed out by a toxic client and blamed for ruining a project that was not my responsibility in the first place. I became the whipping boy, and I took the lashings on my already burned out nerves from having spent the year plannin my wedding. I went into 2018 a little broken and tired. But put one mangled foot in front of the other, and slowly by the end of February I was starting to feel a little stronger. I’d started school and was making progress towards getting my AA — the goal to get it finished by the end of the year. I had figured out how to navigate work better. My mental health was on an upswing.

Then at the end of March, my sister and I found out my Father was losing his living situation and we would have to find him a place to live. I have a strained and complicated relationship with my father filled with a pool of pain. I had created a very structured and simple box labeled Dad I could stuff all my feelings in and shoved it on a high shelf to collect dust. I would take it down twice a year for his birthday and Christmas, but most of the year – it was out of sight and out of mind. Then all of a sudden the box fell off the shelf, shattered, and the feelings started pouring out; anger, resentment, rage, frustration, sadness, regret, guilt. Like a poisonous gas, all these issues I thought I had figured out how to deal with was all of a sudden suffocating me.

We found a place for him to live. We figured out a way to make sure he had groceries. Now, I go to doctor appointments with him as he is addressing various health concerns he had neglected for over 10 years. We cleaned out storage units to free up his cash flow. My husband and I even drove to Pullyup, Washington to empty out a storage unit into a Uhaul truck and dump the items at a Goodwill.

The storage unit in Washington

The tears flowed like a broken faucet as I drove away from Washington with my father’s choice possessions packed in the back of the SUV we rented, feeling like my life was closing in on me. I wasn’t going to be able to finish school this year like planned.  I had to take care of a person who had abandoned me. I felt stagnant in my career. My life had become a cage, and I felt trapped by my own choices.

Then in August, something changed. I shifted my perspective and realized that the cage had an open door. Yes, there were some truths about my life that I wouldn’t be able to change. But I wasn’t locked in, and I still could exercise my freedom if I chose. I felt stronger. I felt more empowered. I continued to work towards my degree and will be working on it in 2019 too. I’m not a zen master when it comes to my Dad, still working on it – but at least I’m working on it instead of ignoring it. And I finally had a few challenging and rewarding work projects this autumn.

But 2018 wasn’t done with me yet. Oh no, at the beginning of December I got strep throat 4 days before seeing my idol John Waters, forcing me to change a few travel plans last minute. Then last week my mother-in-law, who I adore and is one of the most unique loving one of kind people I’ve ever met, had a health scare. Plus the water heater is broken, a mild inconvenience.

Me, John “Grandpa” Waters, Hubs

So with 10 days away from 2019, I can say THANK YOU 2018! I’m not racing towards the change in the calendar. No, cause, you taught me that it’s not about what is going on around me, it’s about what goes on inside me.

When my husband and I were on operation clean out Washington Storage Unit, we were listening to the book, High Performance Habits, and one of the tasks was to choose 3 words to describe the person you want to be. I chose VIBRANT, PURPOSEFUL (aka INTENTIONAL), and GROUNDED. I visualized an old oak with its roots deep in the earth, standing strong in the storm.

I don’t know what next year has in store for me, nor do I really care. All I can do is put my all into today, right now. I have goals and aspirations. I’m excited to work towards them and give my actions more intention. But 2019 will roll out as it will, and all I can do is take what it throws at me with grit and grace.

I keep thinking of this saying, “When you make plans, God laughs.” As I look back on this year, I can find several pretty comedic moments; like the Uhaul not starting and acting like it had a dead battery after it was fully loaded and we had 45 minutes to drop everything off at Goodwill and a recycling center.

The power of laughter is right there with love. Laughter diffuses pain, fear, and anger. Laughter is everything. So the only thing I ask for this New Year is more laughs.

Wishing all those who check my corner of the internet an amazing holiday season and fun night ringing in 2019.

*affiliate link to the book we were listening to : https://amzn.to/2Sg9VBk *

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WHAT I LEARNED FROM DOING VLOGMAS

I’ve been consistently uploading to YouTube for a year now. I had dabbled in it before, but this was the year I really wanted to make it an active hobby in my life. But, I never committed to a regular upload schedule either. So, I’d periodically throw up a vlog or two and then get distracted by life. So, this month I decided to join in a festive YouTube activity called Vlogmas, where a person vlogs or records a video diary every day till Christmas. It’s a demanding, time-consuming project that I felt inspired to participate in. Surprisingly, I learned a lot about myself while doing it and I wanted to share my lessons with you.

AUDIO COMMA

My first vlogmas video was a double whammy of eye-opening revelations, the first being the audio comma. I can’t explain the sheer embarrassment one feels when editing themselves, but imagine it’s like salt to a wound when you’re editing “likes”, “you knows”, and “uhs”. I cringed hearing myself sound like a teenage girl. I noticed I’d use the above phrases as breaks between thoughts, instead of just being silent. Giving my voice a break, a pause. Those words are my audio commas, paragraphs, and triple periods.  While I continued to vlog throughout the month I allowed myself to pause between thoughts. Embrace the silence between one idea and the other. Not only was this easier for editing later, but I felt more eloquent and confident with my speech pattern.

CONFIDENCE

The second lesson I learned after vlogmas day one was, I’m pretty confident. The first day I vlogged, I didn’t do my hair or makeup and was in workout clothes all day. It was a go day, where I basically went from bed to my home office and never took a break in between. When I went to edit the video at night, I looked at my crazy hair and acne scarred face with tinge of disgust, but mostly a heart full of forgiveness. You have to understand, growing up I had a lot of negative self-talk and self-hatred for my looks. So, being able to not only see myself disheveled but then having the confidence to share it with the internet, shows how far I’ve come as a person. I know I’m more than my appearance. Although, doing Vlogmas gave me a reason to dress up and play with my makeup. I had fun getting ready for the day! Since I knew I’d be recording myself and my appearance would be shared, it forced me to not look like the work from home cliché. I want to continue dressing up and having fun with my style, so I have another idea in the works to hold myself accountable…more on that later. But whether I’m a mess or polished to a T, I’m awesome and I love me!

LISTENING

The beauty about vlogging, is you’re the editor of your own reality show. We aren’t all Miss Congeniality 100% of the time and where reality stars get painted as villains because of a producer’s desire to get ratings; I can remove the scene where my ‘bitch’ came out. In Vlogmas Day 3; Bowerbird and I went down to San Diego. We had an amazing time and the ‘scene’ I’m referencing was no more than a minute long and I had to remind Bowerbird of it the next day when I apologized. The scene: I had put my camera on record as we were in front of a hotel we had stayed at previously. Bowerbird had remarked how he would love to get breakfast at this restaurant we went to the last time we were in San Diego and I flippantly replied, “yeah, but we’re not spending the night here.” Even typing it I’m ashamed of myself. I wasn’t even listening to him because I was more focused on what I wanted to say, what I wanted to record. When I saw that clip my heart sank, it was a harsh mirror being held up to my character flaw. When Bowerbird came home from work that night I apologized and since then have made more of an effort to actually listen to him.

FIND THE SPARKLE

NEWS FLASH, most days are boring. Even during the most festive and fun time of year, the day to day is still the day to day. I struggled from Vlogmas Day 13 to Day 18 to find anything interesting about my day; but I vlogged and I did my best. It made me appreciate the little things, like a coffee run on a beautiful day or getting to watch the Walking Dead with Bowerbird.  Although not every day is interesting, there is something interesting about your day; especially if paired with the right music. I also went through an emotional rollercoaster this month. I found out an acquaintance from my past had passed away, someone I was rooting for as I followed him on social media. And Bowerbird received some difficult news, that I knew couldn’t make better. With both incidents the world just turned gray, but I tried to find the sparkle in our day anyways. Because as long as there is air in my lungs and the opportunity to find joy, I’ll try to find the sparkle.

YOU CAN DO IT (IN A TIMELY MANNER)

I’m not a quitter, but it can take me FOREVER to finish something. I don’t walk away until I know something is done/over. The difficulty of a project or activity or career path never scares me, because I have this sense it will all happen in due time. As long as I keep at it. This is wonderfully optimistic, but completely inefficient. I have been doing the same 8-week fitness app for 12 months. It’s improved my stamina, I can now jog for 20 minutes, but I haven’t completed it yet. I don’t have enough appendages on me to count the amount of ‘pending’ projects I have to post/edit/create. So, when I did Vlogmas and completed it in a timely manner – that’s a huge win for me. Admittedly, I did get behind there for a while, because I still have a job and I got sick; but I did it and it’s all done. My dedication to Vlogmas and making it a priority helped me to realize how I could use my time. It showed me I’m capable of sticking to a more regimented schedule and I won’t always let myself down when it comes to my own projects. I’m an awesome employee because I have someone to answer to, when I answer to myself I let myself down. Here’s to 2016 being different and treating myself more like a boss!

I can’t promise I’ll do Vlogmas next year, but I’d really like too. Plus, since I was posting consistently I was actually receiving comments and had fun replying back. My goal was to get 100 subscribers by the new year. I don’t know how that will happen, but hopefully I’ll have 100 by the end of January.

Who is your favorite YouTuber that did Vlogmas?

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Tom is Stupid & Summer is a Bitch

FUN

Last night I watched 500 Days of Summer, one of my favorite movies that I had not watched in a while. Cinematic-ally it is still one of my favs, stylistically one of my favs, but I looked at the story in a whole new light and I have to say; Tom you are absolutely retarded and Summer you’re a fucking bitch!
When I first saw this movie (500 Days of Summer) I thought the world of Tom, and empathized with Summer. Now in lieu of being strung along by a guy, letting someone else mean more to me than my own self-worth and wellbeing, and having my own heart completely disregarded with no care in the world. I would like to say I deserved every painful, long drawn out crying fit or torturous painful *anorexia induced stress and stomach retching ache because I “loved” him or thought “he was the one”. And I decided yes we will be friends and someday he will love me, etc. Until one day I woke up like Tom drawing on his wall and decided enough of this, I’m moving on.

But just as N.D, knew I was in love with him, and should have let this poor struggling fish off the damn line and not say “let’s be friends”. Summer should have said, “Hi Tom, sorry I’m just not in love with you and don’t think I ever will be let’s go our separate ways”. Don’t dance with him; don’t give him morsels of hope to be choked on later by an engagement ring!!

I’m not that great at dating, as I have “value” issues to deal with. You know saying “I’m better than this” or “I deserve to be pursued” lots of lingo like that. I can get clingy or want to move to fast out of a deep knowing that “hell he doesn’t want a relationship with me anyways so what the hell”. But I’m changing and growing. A part of that is to NOT BE A FRIEND, with someone you really like or was in a relationship with because it only leads to you being emotionally abused and mind fucked.

In conclusion, Tom I hoped you learned your lesson and Summer I’m glad you got married cause you should no longer talk to your ex’s, that is just bad form!

*I was not anorexic. But my calorie count was around 500 at some point cause I just couldn’t eat and I drank a lot of high-calorie sodas/juices to keep blood sugar up– I was a mess.

 

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