redefining wanderlust

a life blog by Bekka

Posts for LIFE UPDATE Category

Journey to The Moth Stage – CONTROL

If you listen to your local, national public radio station, you’re probably familiar with The Moth. Specifically, The Moth radio hour, an hour worth of curated stories from people’s lives that entertain and inform us all about life and the human condition. Each story is a true story from the storyteller’s life and what they share can be humorous, emotional, heartfelt, but basically always leaves you feeling a little more connected to humanity than you did before – or at least it does for me. I love listening to people’s stories. I love connection. So I really love The Moth.

I’ve fantasized about being on The Moth radio hour, but it’s a long road to get there, and it starts with StorySlams. The Moth hosts StorySlams in various cities across the country that are centered around a specific theme. Storytellers then coming to the event put their name in the proverbial hat and destiny decides whether they will share that story or not. Each story is judged by random people in the audience, and the winner of the night goes onto a GrandSlam where they compete against other StorySlam winners. The stories that get onto The Moth Radio Hour are curated from the Moth Mainstage, which is another level of The Moth that I assume one gets to by winning a GrandSlam.

It’s a journey, and one I am ready to embark on. I’ve been called an oversharer. I definitely identify as being a writer. So why not! Last night I attended my first Moth StorySlam. I crafted a story around the topic of control, and then decided it wasn’t good enough to perform – so I just went to observe. Since I was a newbie, I felt just getting a lay of the land would be good and I’m so glad I gave myself the grace to try and then know when I may be out of my realm. Well, after listening to fabulous stories, and not so great presenters of stories, and stories that weren’t even on topic – I have COMPLETE confidence that anything I write is worthy of my name in the hat. And really, I can only get better with each try. So I’m going to keep on trying.

When you attend a StorySlam, slips of paper with a question around the topic is on the chairs, and people can write a two sentence story around the topic to toss into a box. Last night the topic was “Control, ” and the question was, “When was there a time you felt you had lost control.” I wrote four sentences that outline the story I’m going to share below. The host read my slip of paper, the audience laughed, and she ended by saying, “That’s not a two sentence story, that’s an existential crisis.” I loved it. But her saying it was an existential crisis was sort of the reason my instincts said to not share my story because it didn’t feel like a story, it felt more like an essay.

Later in the evening, Dan and I ran into a few of the people who were also at the StorySlam, and I had confessed which slip of paper was mine. They burst into laughter and astonishment in being able to relate to my life existential crisis and encouraged me to share my stories – because it seemed like I could tell a good one.

So without further ado – here is my story around the theme of “CONTROL.”

(please note this is the first and only draft)

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Time to Bloom : Life & Balance

Hyperlinks marked with an asterisk are affiliate links. This means that if you buy something through the link, I get paid a little something for the recommendation. 

The second quarter of this year has been interesting. On the outside life was taken up a few notches with work, festivals, and school (yes I’m taking classes – more on that in a different post). But on the inside, creatively, I fell into a deep lull. I believe total wholeness is achieved when one can strike a balance between creative fulfillment and adult obligation. It’s more like a pendulum than a scale, but if the ball continues to swing back and forth, then there is a cosmic balance. Instead, my chain got tangled up on one end of the spectrum. I’ve taken some time to untangle that specific ball and chain and ready to kick the pendulum back into action.

Surprisingly, it was my dog Lou who helped me take this necessary break. A few weeks ago, on the 17th to be exact, we found out she was internally bleeding. Her platelet count was 11, and a healthy dog has between 100 – 170 platelets. The news of her health left me feeling completely helpless. I had no idea how she got so sick. The vet says it’s likely an auto-immune diseases and the GREAT news is that she does seem to be responding well to the steroid treatment the doctor prescribed. But, we won’t know for certain until her second blood test later this week. Once she got sick, I put my social life on hold. The steroid treatment is multiple times a day, at the same time. It’s causing her to urinate every hour. And since we weren’t sure what caused the internal bleeding, I started making her homemade dog food ( just in case it was her diet). The hyper-attention to her health helped give me the time to reflect on my own. I’m not happy she got sick, but I guess I see the silver-lining in the whole situation. The universe has a way of helping us when we are unaware of how to help ourselves.

While I’ve been taking extra care of Lou (and myself), I’ve been reading  *”You’re A Badass: How To Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life” by Jen Sincero. It’s AMAZING!! The book contains a lot of information I was previously aware of, but her words and the way she writes is helping to flip on lightbulbs left and right in my brain. My synapses are firing! I haven’t finished the book yet, but I  highly recommend it. I’ve started to apply a few of the principles, and already, I’m seeing big cosmic shifts. Even this book was a part of helping to untangle the mess I found myself in.  I made the following video, “Time To Bloom”  as my first step to reigniting my creative spark, and also to recognize I’m ready to do thinks a little differently.

Thank you for being my buds!

love & light

 

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MARCH LIFE UPDATE + NEW PLAYLIST : CACTUS BLOOM

March was an insanely busy month. The digital marketing company I work with took on 3 new clients. I went to a natural products expo and volunteered at the LA Marathon while sick. Dan and I took amazing engagement photos in Long Beach, and we also managed to go on an adventure out to see the super blooms in Anza Borrego State Park. Also, in the last few weeks, I’ve started something new in my life, that I’m just not ready to fully share about – but it’s time-consuming and fun.

My new mantra is I am an abundance of energy and good health. It’s the only way I can look at my to-do list and not spiral out. Yet, the underlying stress of the month definitely manifested itself yesterday as in the middle of a dental filling I started to have a panic attack. I do have a fair level of dental anxiety, but I’ve never had a panic attack. So while my mouth is wide open, the dentist is doing his thing, and I’m listening to Hindustani music to drown out the drilling; I felt my jaw tremble, body start to shake, and I just went into “mind over matter” mode. Fortunately, I was able to get through the attack but not without a few tears.

Why am I sharing my dental panic attack? Basically, as a reminder that as much as one might think they are a machine we’re actually human. Stress will manifest in the most inconvenient ways, so maybe I should have done a yoga flow that morning knowing the anxiety I already have about the dentist. I’ve become more and more aware of my stress levels. Every unicorn hair on my head is a reminder of how my body reacts to stress. With the awareness, I’ve also learned tricks to help manage it. Like even though it was a stress inducing month, I also managed to balance it out with enough fun that I feel I’m not feeling completely burned out. I think I’m finally getting a grasp on how to manage work and play (said in the voice of Sarah from the Labyrinth).

So, I had a surge of creativity this last week that helped me build out my new playlist ‘cactus bloom’. I also gave Blanket Fort Adventures a little makeover with a new aesthetic on the blog, youtube, and twitter. I have felt a shift within and I want what I’m doing now to reflect that too. April is going to be equally non-stop. Dan and I are headed back to the Coachella record store, my client “50 objects / stories of the Japanese American Incarceration” will finally launch, and the wedding will only be 7 months away ( so I need to send out save the dates, start a wedding website, look into this and that).

I am an abundance of energy and good health!!

                                                                 

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MY CHILDHOOD ACT OF FEMINIST REBELLION

I’ve always been an observant person, and when I was a kid I figured out that being one of the boys allotted girls some sort of power. I wouldn’t consider myself a tomboy as a child, but I wasn’t afraid to climb fences or get hurt. I never wanted to cry or show fear. I never wanted to be perceived as meek or girly. Yet, I was proud to be a girl. I knew girls could do anything just as well as boys. We were just as smart, brave, strong, clever; all the positive attributes given to great leaders or successful people.

So when I was eleven-years-old and was being taunted by a boy at summer camp about being a girl, I slapped him in the face to shut him up.

It probably wasn’t the best conflict resolution but his expression of shock is still imprinted in my mind.

All the pre-teen kids were hanging out on the playground waiting to be picked up by the camp van. Boys and girls from the ages of 11 to 14 waiting to head out on a fun excursion. This one boy relentlessly taunted me, saying “woman or girl” over and over again. I tried to express to him how rude and ridiculous he was being. I tried to fight back with words and tell him being a girl isn’t an insult. I was proud to grow up to be a woman and infuriated that he thought being a woman was something less than he.

I can’t even recall when exactly I slapped him or what I said afterward, but I imagine my pre-pubescent-self wanted to literally slap the stupid out of him. After I shocked him with my might, I said something to the equivalent of “just because I’m a girl doesn’t mean I am anything less than you, and me being a girl or woman is not an insult. So stop taunting me like it is.”

Later when the vans picked us up. The pre-teen councilors were informed of what went down on the playground. The councilors were both women, feminist, and lesbians. I know they were feminist because of the patches and buttons on their bags, and I didn’t find out about the lesbian part until 6 years later, but that is a different story. I remember watching their faces as they were informed I had slapped this boy. I could see this conflict within them, knowing they needed to reprimand me for my act of violence but also understanding the world this idealistic girl was going to grow up into, and this may be the only male she ever gets to slap for his stupidity.

I was told don’t do that again.

That was it. That was my only punishment. Don’t do that again. I wasn’t barred from that day’s activity. A letter was not sent home to my parents. I did tell my Mom and Dad what happened and all they said was, don’t do that again. That boy’s parents never called my parents. I was never severely reprimanded for standing up for being a girl, for being a woman and that stuck with me. Because what the adults’ actions told me was that my anger was well placed, but let’s not resort to physical violence. I’m thankful for the councilors and to my parents, they shaped the woman I am today. I grew up knowing my voice had value in the collective conversation that is society. I grew up knowing that I am equal to a man. Sometimes society doesn’t necessarily reflect that, obviously. But it doesn’t make the truth any less valid. As its International Women’s Day, this act of feminist rebellion surfaced to the top from my memory bank.

I remember that boys name and what he looks like, and his face of shock is burned into my memory. I slapped him hard. The sting on my hand from making contact with his cheek. The cut he got on his cheek from my nail. As an adult, I realize this way of insulting a female was likely something he heard on TV or maybe at home. And I don’t condone violence, but I can’t help but be a little proud of my younger self and I hope that boy treats women with more respect now. I know he never messed with me again.

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Micro February Recap + New Playlist : Decade Dance

A micro February recap + New Playlist:

I’ve been burdened with deep thoughts ranging from “why have I limited myself as a writer” to “how do I incorporate more glitter into my makeup routine and wear lipstick on a daily basis.” Last month, Dan and I celebrated another rotation around the sun. We allowed ourselves to indulge in various alcoholic beverages and delicious, expensive dinners to celebrate. Our birthday month ending with one final friendship fueled bash at Clifton’s in Downtown LA.

The following day, surprisingly with little to no hangovers,  we explored Downtown LA on foot. We love walking around a city and getting a feel for its character when we travel, so why not do it in our backyard. It was an adventurous month filled with art, music, and lots of freelance work. My management of the freelance work caused a hiccup in my personal content production, and I feel backlogged with stories I want to share, video footage that needs to be edited. A never ending wave of ideas and inspiration that I am just writing down and saving for later because I’ve yet to find the time for execution. Yet, I feel a little disheartened and resentful to my idea bubbles. They just keep coming, and I haven’t figured out the time to actually work on them. This past weekend I saw a very astute doodle/ illustration about having ideas that elicited a bit of shame within my bones.

I am the girl in pink. What is worse is that I have a tendency to share my ideas before actual execution, which then make me feel like it isn’t the ideas yelling at me to finish them it is the world asking where that idea went. I’ve decided I’m going to stop sharing ideas out loud. Although I had this one idea, no, I shouldn’t say it. But it was an idea around ideas. Anyways, the real point of this post is to share February’s playlist before I’m too far into March. So without further ado … Decade Dance Playlist

 

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Practice Everyday

I’m currently watching Abstract on Netflix and the first episode featuring illustrator Christoph Niemann just reminded to check in on the blog. He commented on how musicians practice their instruments daily, so artists should do the same thing and create their art every day. I don’t know what I am exactly, my label is malleable, but I like to consider myself an artist. It’s taken me a long time to become comfortable with that title, but I have the heart of an artist – so let’s run with it. Anyways, this week I’ve been writing a little post every day and it’s been really fun for me. When Niemann made the comment to practice something every day it reminded me of the beauty of daily practice. Like, in January I did a yoga flow every day for two weeks and really felt the wondrous effect of this daily ritual. I eventually fell out of practice, and am once again getting back on track. But like my yoga flow and now this daily blog writing, I can only try my best.

Tonight I had plans to see the Crocodiles, but then decided against it after I found out my friend wasn’t going to be playing in the band after all. My incentive to stay up late and go out on a “school” night was specifically to support an awesome creative human. After my incentive was taken away, the reality of my responsibilities seeped in. Yet, what makes me glowing with love and smiles this evening is that my fiance’ was completely supportive of my desire to stay in. He’s currently at the show and I’m in my pajamas. I’m exactly where I want to be and his supportiveness makes it all that more special.

Well, I guess I should get ready for bed as it’s almost midnight. But I have to say doing something daily or practicing every day really helps to create a resilience in one’s ability and work – so I’m going to try to stick with it.

Good night!

 

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Caught In a Wave of Inspiration

“We Plan, God Laughs” – Yiddish Proverb

Dan is currently making popcorn and we are going to spend the evening together, so I’ll make this short. I have all these inspired ideas this week for Valentine’s Day and tonight as I go to execute one of them in an attempt to upload it tomorrow morning, I realize I won’t be able to film until tomorrow morning. Unfortunately, my light set up just won’t illuminate my scene the way I imagined. So I have to shelf those plans until the sun rises and instead surrender to a romantic evening with Dan. Aww shucks! 

So what is this wave of inspiration? I have three ideas for videos this week… 

  1. A stop motion animation of a few of the cards Dan and I have given each other over the years. We are suckers for romantic stationary.
  2.  A few recipes using Moon Juices’s Sex Dust powder, “a lusty edible formula to ignite and excite sexy energy in and out of the bedroom.”
  3. A Q&A video with Dan and I – now I don’t even know if I have an audience interested enough in my relationship or love life to ask questions, but if you’re curious ask by Wednesday!

Even though I have mounting work demands and a rewrite of chapter one of my young adult novel on my plate, I feel I’m caught in a wave of inspiration I must ride. Until tomorrow, I hope you’re having a lovely Galentines or Palentines!

confidence

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Thank You For Reading Blanket Fort Adventures! I just sent out my first newsletter.

I sent out my first newsletter today thanking my awesome supportive readers. Now, based on analytics I have more people reading the blog than those actually subscribed to my newsletter, so to encourage more sign up’s here is a taste of what this first newsletter included. It took me 4 hours to write the newsletter because I had no idea what I was doing, but you have to start somewhere.

BLANKET FORT ADVENTURES VERY FIRST NEWSLETTER

Today, I want to share the video that finally motivated my butt to write this newsletter, Mel Robbins on “Why Motivation is Garbage” and the reason why I continue to work on and build Blanket Fort Adventures.

My creative mission statement is very personal, and I haven’t really shared it with anyone except my sister. One day when feeling burned out and discouraged about Blogging and YouTube, I grabbed a piece of pink construction paper and wrote out my truth. I’ve shared musings and ideas around it, but never just in its entirety. So here it is:

SEE WHAT I SEE… BE NOT ALONE

  1. Connect > For the outsider/insider to experience more of what life has to offer.
  2. Celebrate > All the cool things that make life worth living.
  3. Create > Exercise creative muscles in writing, photography, editing.
  4. Document > When I’m 80 this will be cool to have.
  5. Wanderlust > It’s all about how you travel through life…

INJECT MORE LOVE, LIGHT, & HUMOR INTO THE WORLD

I return to this mission statement when I get caught up in the comparison game. It brings me back to center when I’m vulnerable and filled with self-doubt. A pink reminder of my personal creative purpose independent of any validation.

My mission to inject the world with more light and fun comes from having been stuck in a colorless and gray existence. But let me be clear, I AM NOT A LIFE COACH! I’m just a self-improvement junkie and I imagine my addiction will make an appearance. Like, this video “Why Motivation is Garbage,” it’s surprisingly very motivating.

At the end of the day, I’m just a creative mixed chick from Southern California with a propensity for depression trying to figure out her place in the world one choice at a time. In the words of my favorite existential philosopher Albert Camus,

” Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.”

__________

The newsletter included a few more fun bits, that I’ve chosen not to share here because that’s the whole point of signing up for a newsletter – exclusivity.

I apologize for not posting at all last week, but I had to take a little break due to work and physical exhaustion. But I have a ton of creative ideas I will be executing this week in the spirit of Valentines Day. Hope you’re having a lovely Sunday & I will see you tomorrow!

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Vlogmas Burn Out

It’s day 15 of Vlogmas and I’m feeling some burnout. This has been a busy holiday season. One weekend, I was even uploading videos while driving to different holiday gatherings. But, I feel like I have no idea how to make my day to day interesting – am I too self-aware? Perhaps. I’m looking forward to 2017 when I’ll be posting regularly on my channel, but it’s not my day-to-day. This year, I really committed to YouTube in a new way, I attempted to create series and a regular upload schedule. I improved in my editing and hit 100 subscribers!

Last year, I learned a lot about myself while doing Vlogmas. This year, I’m not coming across very many revelations. I’m sort of bopping along making videos, trying to create better stories. Test out different editing techniques. No real direction. Well, not until next year. After Vlogmas will be my time to really stretch my wings and see what I can bring to the platform.

It’s a question I struggle with a lot, what’s YOUR take away? Yes, YOU! The reader, viewer, follower – what do you take away from seeing what I’m thinking, writing, posting, sharing. Let’s just say, I feel like I finally know who I am on the internet, now I just have to make sure you’re happy with the relationship. Although, like even in romantic relationships, please DO NOT make me responsible for your happiness.

Anyways, if you wanted to know how my December has been going – here you go!

Featured photo by Ariel Marte

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October Life Update

October was a crazy month and I didn’t post on my blog nearly as much as I’d want too. If you’re curious as to why it was so crazy, I made a whole life update video! In addition to sharing about the crazy schedule I was living in October, I also did my first YouTube tag. YAY! A YouTube tag is when other YouTubers tag people to create a specific kind of video centered about a challenge or maybe a survey. I’ve done tag videos in the past, but I was never specifically called out to do the tag. It felt special to actually thank a specific person for tagging me.  In November I will be creating a lot more content for Blanket Fort Adventures, so if you have any ideas please share in the comments!

love and light signature

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