The Non-Definitive Guide To Life

a blog for people who still read

Posts for SNAIL MAIL Category

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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Happy New Decade!

SNAIL MAIL - January 6, 2020

📷: January 1, 2020 – Self Portrait

2020 here we are.

Last night I was on the phone with GoDaddy for two hours trying to get the domain for my art and music blog back. My credit card had expired, and in a series of unfortunate unseen emails, I lapsed on the renewal. The website has been dormant since 2014, but it’s important to me because it was my first real blog. It was my gateway into utilizing social media for self-promotion. The concept of social media as a marketing tool was in its fledgling state back in 2009 when I started that blog. It was a great training ground, helping me to secure internships and identify how one could market their material.  Now, social media marketing is my career.

In 2010 and the few years that followed, I was fully committed to that blog; interviewing bands, artists, and sharing what inspired me. Eventually, I wanted to write about even more interests, so I started Blanket Fort Adventures. Sadly, this blog has never seen the same level of dedication the art and music blog received – and it bothers me.

Several areas of my life continue to lack the level of dedication and attention I know they deserve. It is a frustrating aspect of my character. I have an aspiration or desire that burns really hot and fast, I’m caught in a whirlwind of inspiration or ideas, but the fire sputters out, and I allow the day to day to snuff out my motivation. Time goes by, and I wake up a year later, realizing I still haven’t leveled up and fully stepped into my potential. I’m good. I meet certain goals and obligations. But I’m not pushing myself to become and embody the image I have of myself in my mind’s eye. It’s a reoccurring self-realization.

For example, in 2012, I wrote about finally committing to going on a cross country road trip by May 2013, you can read the proclamation here. I didn’t meet that deadline. During the first few months of 2014, my heart was heavy knowing I had let myself down – again. I burn bright and then sputter out. But I changed that year, and I made it happen, I went on that trip.

Now, I find myself with that feeling again. Knowing that I’m letting myself down. I have within me all the lessons and experiences that have shaped who I am up to this point and can use those tools to really form the woman I want to grow into. We all do. I don’t want to say I’ll do something anymore, I want to do it – all of it. Step into my creative ambitions fully. Step into being a better partner and friend. Step into being a better human and being more mindful of how I move through this world, and treat this planet. Step into playful wonder and spontaneous adventures. I’m not trying to be my idea of perfection, but I am trying to step into, embrace, embody and reflect the truest sense of myself…

A thirty-two-year-old half Japanese woman without a bachelor’s degree who lives (and pays rent) with their mother. A writer, artist, storyteller, and performer with an endless desire to be heard and express themselves. A Kinsey scale 2.5.  A mother to my inner child who is still overcoming parental trauma (specifically from my Father). A kind, open, and understanding human. A fun, silly, and loving human. A determined, hardworking, and passionate human. Me.

Excited to meet who I am next decade.

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

SNAIL MAIL - December 21, 2018

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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