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.
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.
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*.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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 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.
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.
When I was a kid I LOVED ice cream sandwiches, and it taught me a valuable life lesson.
I basically smeared chocolate cookie and ice cream everywhere.
When I was a kid I LOVED ice cream sandwiches. I’m not a huge ice cream person, but I still have a soft spot for the ice cream sandwich. The other day, as I was snacking on this tasty treat at Thinkspace Gallery, it reminded me of this mischievous story from my childhood.
One hot summer day during the commercial break of my favorite Disney Channel show, I grabbed an ice cream sandwich from the freezer. Obviously, I had many tasks to complete during this break, so for some reason, I took the treat with me to the bathroom, but promptly left it on the counter when I heard the tv show come back from its commercial break earlier than I anticipated. Well, as I was enthralled with the storyline, my ice cream sandwich was melting on the counter. I never went back for it. I think I left it there for a good hour. Don’t ask where my parental supervision was, latchkey kid all the way – BUT after whatever I was watching was over, or something uninteresting came on the tv, I returned to the bathroom to find ice cream all over the counter. I freaked out! Being only 5 years old I cleaned it up the best I could, with toilet paper. I basically smeared chocolate cookie and ice cream everywhere. Clearly unable to hide the evidence of my irresponsibility. I just locked the bathroom door and walked away.
It was another few hours until anyone attempted to open the bathroom. I continued watching tv, playing, doing what you do when your five years old. When my parents attempted to open the door, I denied knowing why it was locked. When they finally were able to get it unlocked to discover the ice cream sandwich madness within, my tiny handprints all over the counter and mirrors, I continued to deny knowing why it was locked. Eventually, I confessed to being guilty for locking the door and leaving my ice cream sandwich on the counter to melt.
Now as I reflect on this, I have to say my 5-year-old self had some real gumption to try and figure out how to clean up the mess they created all by themselves. It was my ice cream, so I should clean it up. Great sense of responsibility. Also, I learned at a very young age closing the door on a problem doesn’t make it go away. You have to face it straight on, and maybe asking for help when it’s a little too big to manage is smart too.
Next time you eat ice cream while feeling like life’s problems are a little too much to deal with, make the choice to find your sister and have her help clean up your mess before Mom and Dad find out.
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.
Yesterday, as I scrolled through the train wreck… not even, the nuclear meltdown that was #FyreFestival, I was overcome with shame for every time I complained the vegetarian options outside of VIP sucked at Coachella. Dan and I survived working the Coachella record store another year and have officially decided not to do it again; we even bought hoodies as a commemorative souvenir. Coachella is an emotionally and physically exhausting event to work, and I’m still getting over my Coachella induced cold. But Coachella overall is an amazing festival that really takes care of its attendees. There is so much that goes on behind the scenes to create a great experience for those that attend the festival, that to complain about any of it just shows the amount of delusion us first world people live in (and I’m super guilty). Anyways, one of the little details you’ve probably never thought about when it comes to festival production is ‘pest’ control. I’ve been to Coachella five times and not once did it occur to me they have an onsite beekeeper to remove hives until I sat down to dinner with him. The Coachella Beekeeper.
Dan and I like to retreat to catering where there is an oasis of iced tea, fruit infused water, and a dessert bar. It also has buffet food for those working in production and have an artist pass, but we don’t get access to that. Anyways, as Dan and I went to catering to rest our weary legs and drink some free cold beverages, I sat down at a table with a friendly looking guy. Since I don’t have permission to use his name, he will be referred to as Mr. B.
Mr. B looked like an old rock dude with shoulder length hair. Out of curiosity and polite dinner conversation I asked what he did for the festival. Mr. B then proceeded to tell me he relocated beehives. I was shocked and excited. My face lit up! We then went on to talk about the dwindling bee population and how he got into bee removal. He grew up in Colorado and started beekeeping at the age of 12. Later, when he moved out to Palm Springs in his early twenties, he was working as a waiter when the opportunity to remove a beehive came up. With the experience he had from his days of beekeeping in Colorado, he attempted to remove the hive and was successful. He immediately saw a business opportunity and never went back to waiting tables again. For the last 30 years, he’s been relocating hives from businesses and buildings to his farm where the hives can thrive in safety.
I loved talking about bees with Mr. B, who had removed at least five different hives from the festival grounds. Coachella bee removal, a logistical element I would have never thought of, but this pro-festival has it on lock. Mr. B also worked Desert Trip, and his eyes lit up when talking about meeting Mick Jagger.
It was an awesome and unexpected interaction. I wasn’t even going to share this story until I read about the Titanic failure of Fyre Festival. Production is not an easy job, and Coachella really runs a tight ship. So this is 1) me sharing about the most interesting man I met at Coachella, 2) a giant apology for ever complaining about anything, 3) a massive thank you to the amazing people that coordinate an experience for 125,000 people.
** p.s. Before anyone makes a comment about Coachella funding hate groups because you saw a viral video. Please see the below comment I made on another friend’s Facebook post.
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).