I believe there is something magical and special about each and every day. It might sound cliché but the smallest thing can add a bit of wonder to a 24 hour period if you open your heart and mind to seeing it. When I get caught up in stress, negativity, the hustle and bustle of life it makes me turn inwards and towards self-pity; it makes me miss out on the little moments that add glitter to living. The inner turmoil is a cloud around my head that makes it hard to see the beauty and blessings around me.
When I was in high school it was brought to my attention that I look at the world differently. I’d point out cool things around me or share a random fact I found out and be received with laughter and an “oh Bekka.” I never let it harden me, but till this day I still receive resistance to my love of little things, small measures that sometimes make a big impact on my day.
I’ve decided to start sharing these Little Things in a weekly YouTube series, to be posted every Sunday evening. My sister names my desire and passion for magical moments a love for “life nuggets.” I’ve had a hard time over the years figuring out what I’m truly passionate about, but amidst sister conference calls, it always comes back to “life nuggets,” I’m really passionate about life. Ever since I walked away from acting I realized passion wasn’t how much you loved something, but how much bullshit you’re willing to put up with. Well, life is filled with a lot of bullshit and I still thinks it’s an incredible gift each and every day.
I hope you enjoy my little things and please subscribe to follow the series.
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.
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.
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!
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.
When Bowerbird and I headed out for our month long road trip across the country in October of 2014, I had purchased a new camera and was all excited to start vlogging. Vlogging is a form of blogging, but using video. Basically, home movies for the whole internet to view. Unfortunately, after our first week on the road, I thought the camera was broken, although it wasn’t, and only recorded clips on my cell phone. But that’s the thing, they are just clips – there isn’t enough material for me to create actual vlogs/ video diaries of the day. Sadly, I will have to keep the odds and ends of footage just to myself and family. Since I really don’t know how else to share it, if you have any idea’s feel free to comment below.
But like all failures, it opened the door to a great learning experience. Vlogging for the first time, while going on one of the biggest adventures of my life, helped me to build up the courage to vlog more. Over this last year, I’ve filmed and edited 25 vlogs. I’ve become comfortable walking around and talking into a little handheld camera, it might seem strange, but then this is my life and vlogging is fun for me!
I love to share my life, my story, and selfishly (as long as the internet doesn’t crash) in the future I get to look back at all this documentation of my life and just smile! Dementia isn’t an urban legend, especially in my family, so how wonderful would it be to have a collection of stories for my brain to return too. Reference points to jog a lost thought back into place.
Here is the playlist of videos I’ve made thus far covering the October 2014 road trip. Don’t worry though! Lots of blog posts are still coming, I have tons of photos. I’m a total dork, because I only thought the video recording portion of my camera was broken.
So this playlist was inspired by Hella Nervous by Gravy Train!!!!. I discovered this song on a playlist my fav YouTuber, Leighannsays, created on Spotify. Seriously that girl has some solid taste in music, through her playlists she always introduces me to a band or two I’ve never heard before. So, while I was ear binging on Gravy Train!!!!, it inspired me to start listening to my other favorite girl fronted bands. I had wanted to create a ‘She Rocks’ inspired playlist for a while, as an ode to an awesome KXLU radio show called ‘She Rocks‘ and well the timing was perfect. Hope you enjoy a few of my favorite female voices. Today, I added a bunch of songs from when I was just a babe exploring LA. I don’t know, I think I’ll just continuously add to this playlist as well, so follow it on Spotify. Parting words… Delta 5 has given me a false sense of musical ability and I sort of want to front a band for Bowerbird, he’s not totally on board with the idea.
The Good , The Bad, And The “This Ain’t No Slim Jim”
I decided to get a little more serious with my YouTube channel in 2014. Aiming to post weekly videos and becoming more a part of this community I watch on fairly regular basis. I’m not a beauty guru. Honestly I’m not sure what my channel is focused on except what interest me, just making videos I’d want to watch. Like a first impression video tasting of epic protein bars. I saw a deal for Epic Protein Bars on Fab.com, and I really loved the concept for the bars along with the packaging. But I wasn’t ready to whip out my Panda Debit Card to purchase the sample box quite yet. So I went to YouTube to see if there were any people recording a video tasting epic protein bars. And there were none, which discouraged my potential purchase.
By the time I found some bars at Whole Foods, it had been 4 months since I first saw them on Fab.com. I checked again, and there were some videos on Epic Protein Bars. But none I could relate to, or being tasted by someone that wasn’t a manly man/athlete that would automatically love the unleashed animal flavor. I needed a lady, a girl that wasn’t too frilly with a dash of sass and adventurous style to tell me this was the epic protein bar of her dreams.
Considering I didn’t find this girl, I decided to become her. Wrangling my friend Liz* in this tasty adventure, she agreed to not only try epic protein bars on camera with me, but she would film it with her amazing camera. And let me tell you, her set up produces videos WAY better than my Samsung Galaxy S4 videos. We had a lot of fun making this video, and I’ve been having a lot of fun doing YouTube videos.
I know my quality isn’t epic, but sometimes you just have to try until you can get the right equipment. If you wait till everything is perfect to even start a project, one might never start. Because there is always an excuse as to why it won’t be right this time. Sure my videos are too long, because I don’t have an editing system. The lighting is awful, because I’m shooting on my phone. But I have 5 more followers than I did on January 1, and I feel that’s 5 more people I get to make smile over my ridiculousness. My mom said I was born FUN, like I just have a sense of FUN about me. I love that, and there are times to do things exactly right and times just to have fun. YouTube is fun, and well so was making this video tasting of Epic Protein Bars.