The Non-Definitive Guide To Life

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Posts for SNAIL MAIL Category

Tracking Towards That

SNAIL MAIL - December 16, 2020

📷: November 1, 2020 & December 1, 2020 – Self Portrait
My end goal of every year is to come out of it a little wiser than I entered.

Roses & Thorns:

  • Legit don’t remember and need to keep better track in 2021

Two big brown button eyes are staring up at me, and I keep being gently smacked in the face with a paw. Lou would like me to get out of bed and attend to her needs now. But like all good parents, I am teaching her a lesson in patience. She is awake too early, and as she doesn’t have a concept of time, it’s very difficult to communicate this point to her.

My portrait of this Snail Mail is a mix of November and December. The months have run together in a blur of end of year wrap up assignments, an attempt at a CDC guideline approved social life, and online shopping. Zoom brunches where I can. A backyard hangout distanced six feet apart. Relentless fourteen-hour workdays to prove my value and worth. Shopping to comfort the emotional burn out that is 2020. I did a little “one for you, one for me” action while taking advantage of Black Friday deals to populate presents under the Christmas tree.

I’ve had years where the Christmas spirit has felt absent. But I don’t feel that this year. Despite the fact we are in a global pandemic that has impacted the ability to safely gather for Christmas with all my loved ones ( a reasonable sacrifice given hospitals are being overrun with Covid-cases on top of the common physical ailments that impact our fragile human bodies in otherwise “normal times”) the other special nuances of the season seem to be turned up for me. Like when a person loses their sight, so their hearing becomes supersonic. Hot cocoa is extra cozy and decadent. Inflatable lawn décor is mini art installations embodying the feeling of joy during the holiday season, or for me – the joy of Christmas.

Mid-December, I optimistically barrel forward until I drag my tired bones over the threshold into “holiday” territory. A two-week respite where the collective understanding is that new day-job demands are reserved for FY21. I’m looking forward to half days, end of year organizing (although there isn’t much considering I’ve been doing it bit by bit every weekend this year), working on the painting that I only work on once a year, and a little healthy goal planning for the year ahead.

As for a quick November recap, well, after a year of struggling with my imposter syndrome, I had a few professional wins that serve as evidence for my brain to say, “Hey, you’re not a con-artist; you have earned your spot at this table.” First, I helped contribute strategic insight for a new business proposal, and I dusted off my stage training as I hosted my first official webinar. I love presenting, and it was a fun webinar to host. Afterward, I was given kudos and informed it was the best webinar that the audience had attended. Woot woot!

I’ve learned and grown a lot this year. My end goal of every year is to come out of it a little wiser than I entered. I think I’m tracking towards that

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Married a Warrior

SNAIL MAIL - November 2, 2020

📷: October 1, 2020 – Self Portrait

He advocates for my health and mental-wellbeing to the inner critic, and I’m beyond grateful for the warrior I married.

Roses & Thorns

Roses

  • Spending more time reading than watching TV
  • Road trip to Arizona and Nevada with my favorite human
  • Stumbling across an incredible view at Bellrock in Sedona

Thorns

  • Working on day-job projects till 11 pm and on weekends
  • My anxiety manifesting in new and intense ways
  • Not skateboarding enough.

Earlier today, I found reasons to procrastinate on this post like “my nails are far too long to type a blog post, I need a DIY manicure first” or “let’s enjoy another biscuit with a warmed up cup of coffee, before playing catch up.”

My nails are freshly painted. I’ve eaten two and a half biscuits today. And I watched two episodes of the Netflix show “UnWell.” Now, Brene Brown: The Call to Courage is paused behind the word doc in which I’m drafting this letter. I can’t procrastinate any longer.

Here is what’s been going on with me…

Pages: 1 2

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Force Quit for Now

SNAIL MAIL - September 13, 2020

📷 : September 1, 2020 – Self Portrait

Blanket Fort Adventures is like a software that is always open and running in the background.

Here I am again, writing my monthly Snail Mail, aka Editor’s Letter for Blanket Fort Adventures. I almost wasn’t going to write this letter reflecting on the past month. Not because the past month was exceptionally bad or boring. I just feel called to focus my energy-elsewhere, but I can’t shake this feeling that I’m not upholding my commitments. And I don’t want to be ok with accepting that feeling anymore. When it comes to committing to a personal goal or being consistent with something outside the realm of my career, I am terrible. I am the first one to let myself down. But I’ve been actively trying to break that this year, and even have a life coach developed mission statement that opens with, “my purpose is to honor myself through the commitments I keep.”

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Existential Peace Treaty

SNAIL MAIL - August 9, 2020

📷: August 1, 2020 – Self Portrait

Joy isn’t a truth that should be censored.

Roses & Thorns

Roses

  • Skateboarding
  • A Pinterest-worthy pandemic birthday party for my sister and niece
  • Daily Harvest ( I will need to write a review, it’s been a game-changer)

Thorns

  • Two family members passed away (Not due to Covid-19)

I’ve just completed watching season two of The Umbrella Academy. It was a fun story to follow, and I enjoyed the stylized costumes and set design of the sixties. I appreciate the aesthetics of the era. I’m sitting down to write the Snail Mail letter of July, and I’m not really sure where to go. So here is a lightly edited stream of conciousness.

In July, I dived inward, but in a way that was different than June. I worked on finding and figuring out ways to grow and find a more sustainable way of navigating life. A very self-indulgent month of self-actualization, and honestly, it feels a little obnoxious to talk about my existential evolution. Still, it’s what happened. A major component of said evolution being my rediscovery of skateboarding.

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MARK THE START

SNAIL MAIL - July 8, 2020

📷: July 1, 2020 – Self Portrait

On July 1st, I was in bed when I remembered to take my self-portrait. Fuzzy front-facing camera phone self-portrait it is what it is…

Roses & Thorns

Roses:

  • Getting a necessary wakeup call & realizing I could be doing so much better
  • Learning and growing – working towards being a true ally
  • My sister’s birthday and getting her a TCO “No Bitch” mug to celebrate

Thorns:

  • Racism
  • Police Brutality
  • Violence Against Trans People

My last snail mail was written only two weeks ago. I don’t have a lot of new things to say or a fresh take on the monumental shift that occurred within our society and myself in June.

I talked about in May’s Snail Mail.

I explain my mental space in the intro leading up to an awesome interview with the band Draag. Thank you again to the band for being so gracious with the delay in posting their interview.

I’ve added banners to my blog that links out to Black Lives Matter and Transgender resources. I want to be a part of a solution, not perpetuate a problem. In June I received the harsh wake-up call, like many (but not enough), that my complacency was actively harming the people I love.

Yeah, not cool dude. Not cool.

Anywho, I write this snail mail to mark the start of this month on this here corner of the internet and go on to post much more interesting content. 🙂

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Different World

SNAIL MAIL - June 22, 2020

📷: June 1, 2020 – Self Portrait

A seam in the space-time continuum has burst, and we are in a new dimension.

My eyes are glazed and red from the tears. My face – puffy and pink from the crying. Our country is screaming out in pain, and this was my self-portrait for June 1, 2020.

Roses & Thorns

Roses:

  • Moved our mattress into the den for a Friday night sleepover
  • Went on a beautiful long drive
  • Watched Julio Torres Zoom Fundraiser “My Sun Aquarius”

Thorns:

  • Watching a woman use her whiteness as a weapon on Christian Cooper
  • Watching the life drain out of George Floyd

An hour before I took this self-portrait, I had done some breathwork. The exercise triggering an avalanche of pain and gratitude to pour out of me, my face soaked with tears. I cried over the victims of police violence. I cried over the hatred that people spew. I cried over the chosen ignorance of those who refuse to recognize the system of racism in our country. I was crying because I felt guilty and filled with shame for the times I participated in a system that has oppressed black people. My intentions were good, but I wasn’t practicing anti-racism in my life. I was failing the people I love because I had grown apathetic and convinced that I could never take down our countries system of abuse – I certainly couldn’t solve this problem.

The apathy translated into a complete ignorance of our local and state governments. A total unawareness of how city budgets get allocated to departments. Asleep at the wheel focused on the federal system, instead of paying closer attention to the dumpster fire in my own backyard. I would pay attention to the props in state elections, but not the weekly city council debates. Blind to my influence over the judges who decide how to sentence non-violent criminals; probation and rehabilitation or maximum sentencing because the person fit into the box of “societal nuisance.”

I wasn’t ready to write my May Snail Mail Letter until now. Twenty-days from when I snapped the self-portrait and twenty-seven days since the death of George Floyd.

It’s hard to think about how to write a recap of May when it feels like a completely different world. A seam in the space-time continuum has burst, and we are in a new dimension. One where people are brave enough to protest amidst a deadly pandemic. All walks of life coming together to risk their health and breath to make sure no black man gasps “I CAN’T BREATHE” on camera again. The chance at a new kind of society. A new approach to equality. An end to the allowances made for the generations before us.

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F*ck I’m Lucky

SNAIL MAIL - May 9, 2020

📷: May 1, 2020 – Self Portrait

The construct of time disintegrating into a Salvador Dali painting made of sand.

At the beginning of this year, I decided I would take a self-portrait on the first day of each month. Well, on the first day of May, I had forgotten entirely about my self-portrait until I was comfy in bed, ready to take off to dreamland. So, I grabbed my phone and started snapping away – and I really like the resulting shot. It captures the peace and surrender that I have found within to navigate this pandemic storm.

Roses & Thorns:

Roses:

  • Celebrating Easter with a charcuterie board and Trolls World Tour
  • Hosted a happy hour with my sister and two of my besties
  • Discovering Mindy’s 5 mg THC edibles ( I like the Clementine and Key Lime flavor)

Thorns:

  • Emergency root canal
  • Car being broken into
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So This Is A Pandemic

SNAIL MAIL - April 4, 2020

Yeah, this is the state of the world. Italy is shut down. Disneyland is closed. Coachella has been moved to October. The hottest fashion accessory is a face mask.

📷: April 1, 2020 – Self Portrait

The hottest fashion accessory is a face mask.

Wow.

Ok –

Didn’t think I’d be writing a blog post recapping my month in the midst of a global pandemic. Yeah, – me and the rest of the world. Not the first outbreak that’s run its course in the newsroom, but the first to cause a global economic shutdown and mass death in my lifetime. Swine flu, Bird flu, MERS or SARS, all viral scares that never amounted to statewide “stay-at-home” mandates. Wow, life is really weird right now.

Scrolling through Instagram stories and seeing a co-worker’s birthday being celebrated by her friends’ in masks dropping off gifts that include a pack of Charmin on her front porch. This is 2020.

Yeah, this is the state of the world. Italy is shut down. Disneyland is closed. Coachella has been moved to October. The hottest fashion accessory is a face mask.

Roses and Thorns for March…

Rose: Going to Joshua Tree with my best friend

Thorn: Coronavirus

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Game Show Contestant Enthusiasm

SNAIL MAIL - March 3, 2020

📷: March 1, 2020 – Self Portrait

I want 2020 to be the year of play. Be a little less serious. Approach the world with game show contestant enthusiasm.

February had some super highs and a lot of really deep dark lows. I’ll explain the latter more after the jump. But first, I want to call out the roses and thorns of this month*.

Roses:

  • Celebrating my birthday with a day filled with skeeball and mini golf with my number one!
  • Blindfolding Dan and surprising him with a dinner at Crab Pot for his birthday, where playing with your food is encouraged.
  • An Instagram friend reached out and shared with me the impact of my Coachella style story had on her. The meaning of the message? It’s 100% ok to shine like a diamond and be seen, you are deserving, you are beautiful.

Thorns:

  • Depression
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Mindset Reset

SNAIL MAIL - February 2, 2020

📷: February 1, 2020 – Self Portrait

My exercise for this new month is to not measure my performance or success on how perfect I execute something, but instead my level of effort

Starting off this month in bed with Loulou curled up next to me and the first episode of the Goop Lab playing in the background. The episode is the wonderful white world of wellness and its current exploration of psychedelics. I’m not as cynical as my previous sentence would suggest, I believe there is power in exposing different healing modalities through mass-media. But if you watch the show without some sort of eye-roll, then there is a clear disconnect from 99% of the rest of the world.

However, maybe I could benefit from psilocybin to further deconstruct the maze of mental obstacles I constructed this past month. Simply put – January was not my jam. On the last day of the month, my Lou accidentally ingested 5-HTP and had to be rushed to the emergency room. She was experiencing Serotonin Syndrome, and her BP had dropped to 65 by the time I brought her to the vet. For reference, a healthy dog of her size should have a BP of 110.  It was an extremely scary way to end the month, but Loulou is healthy and we are together again.

This morning I woke up with incredibly painful menstrual cramps. CBD, ibuprofen, a hot bath – nothing took away the severe discomfort. I feel like not only am I shedding my uterine wall, but also shedding the pain and discomfort of this past month.

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