Closing in on Winter 2022

Christmas Day 2022, Playa Del Rey Beach, CA.

I’m sitting at this health food spot two days before Christmas. I’m a few miles away from the ocean and I’m just sitting in the sun. Basking. Breathing. In stillness.

It’s moments of calm like these that seem to come so few and far between nowadays. I’m caught in the hustle and bustle of always wondering, “What’s next? What’s my next move?” or “Am I even working today”

It’s sad how a creative person like me, full of so much life, love and abundance for humanity and the human condition, has found herself where I am today: isolated, disengaged with her community, dreaming of another life and yearning for those years of excitement, concerts, journalism, interviews and countless days opening and closing up that coffee shop posting endlessly to social media, so blissfully ignorant of maybe how lucky I actually had it, when I felt so burnt out and stressed most of the time.

Where had that light gone? Where did my spark go?

Too often I find that my reluctance to the 9-5 keeps me where I’m at. Stuck. Jaded. Naturally averting.

In a lot of ways I feel like without that routine and consistency to show up to a job at 6am to just brave the day, even if I had spent the previous night rehearsing until 4am or out with friends at a show until 2am, there was something driving me. That even with the lack of sleep and sanity, the routine kept me going. I had energy. I had drive. I felt like I had purpose.

Naturally as the end of the year comes to a close, it’s easy for all of us to reflect on the ways we’ve been: how much progress have we made? How are our lifestyles matching up to our personal goals? Where have we fallen off track? Are we aligned in our purpose? How are the relationships in my life? Am I keeping joy a constant? Am I even happy?

As someone who has spent the past 15 years of her life building and creating some sort of online presence for herself, this year feels like the first I’ve ever felt like I’ve fallen off track. My years of blogging about random movies, articles, figures who inspired me, music that moved me, and featuring interviews and original photo and video content of the artists I loved, to even sharing my own creations in music, writing, modeling and food photography… These are all things that brought me little joy and felt “fun” for me. To document a little of my life and what moved me, every single day.

As I quit my job a year ago and began a path of spiritual awakening and soul searching at the start of this year, I dug in. I looked within and saw what was and wasn’t working for me. I asked myself what I really wanted and how could I really embrace this artist’s life that I so naturally craved yet didn’t know how to navigate. I leaned in. And my confidence and self-assured ness was off the charts. Everyone could see and feel that.

A few months in I began to open my heart for the first time in a very, very long time. A friend of five years turned into my best friend and lover, and so our worlds would collide and I would learn to navigate the highs and lows of a relationship, being present, honest, and totally in love. I was falling, and I knew I was in safe hands. My partner’s open love and care and respect for me never waded throughout the years. We always connected… and when I took that chance, we bloomed.

In the haze of a new love and learning to figure out what my next move was — apart from the “detox” of reevaluating where I was spending my time, energy and the jobs and relationships that took up most of my life — I lost focus. In many ways, my life and time was open to something new, and all the things I was never able to treat myself to or enjoy since I was a little girl — trips, food, road trips, time to not think about work and instead just be wholly invested in the present — was on full blast. We were two kids who just wanted to enjoy being together, doing things and going to theme parks and doing all the cute “dating” kind of stuff we’ve always wanted (and perhaps never let myself because I was always so focused on me, me, me).

I still feel so lucky. But soon enough, as my ambitious and independent soul naturally craves, reality kicked in. And I was still where I was at: not happy with the freelance job I picked up to get me by and still searching for jobs in the corporate world to see that “maybe I can be a grownup and get a real job and give myself some real financial security.”

It turns out, as much as a headache and tears and cries that search given me over the past five months, I’m too creative for this space (big shocker). I crave people and front-facing interactions. I thrive in fast-paced environments. The idea of changing places and sceneries and work environments inspires me like no other. And the inner journalist in me has always positioned me in a place to always be witness to all I interact with, yet also an active participant in those spaces.

I like to be in motion yet creatively bonded to my word, laptop and voice.

The creative space has always been where I’ve thrived, and trying to find a place where I can fit my skills seems to be hard in these post-pandemic times.

This year has been hard on me in a lot of ways, mostly because it’s felt like a huge pause. Yet, as an Incubus member once said to me, “That’s where you really learn.”

Taking a year into hiding to dig in and focus on what really matters with me — dealing with letting go of some things, how I navigate it, learning what life feels like without, and coming to terms with what I naturally crave — has been one of my biggest lessons. I crave people. I crave art. I’m inspired by food and culture and people and music. Music is and always will be an outlet. And the community it’s all given me is something I can still find my way back to.

When life gets too fast and I’m too caught up in the moment, my daily journaling and meditating helps me recoup. But a big blog session to really dig in and take everything into account is something that is so necessary to me (and what I’ve missed sharing here).

In finding myself, maybe you can find yourself, too — and that’s what I’ve loved the most about this space.

It feels like I’ve attended a million funerals this year — grieving for my old self, my old life, the old habits I held onto and old ways of living that are no longer mine. And too often we don’t let ourselves properly grieve in order to usher in this new era and state of being.

I’ve been grieving all year. And my god, does it hurt so much but feels so good to say all the same.

I’m ready to return and do the hard work. To become a student again. Learn. Implement new routines and practices that will help me align better with my purpose and the spaces I want to be in. To engage myself with community again and feel a part of something. To read more again, to be inspired, and to write more and more (because what a shame, people have always said how much my words have become my instrument and how powerful they can be).

I just want to be present and show up to myself and my life again.

It’s been a hell of a year in limbo. But from limbo we come back, better and more careful, more intentional, and more to bring than what we could have had without the proper time and rest and really sit with and meditate in your own essence and truth.

Maybe I’ve known these things of myself all along. But fear, uncertainty, and doubt got in the way. Maybe I fell so in love and just wanted to foolishly live my life without a care in the world — if just for a second and a moment, because that moment could be gone just as well in the blink of an eye whenever and wherever I do “sell my soul” and fixate on that “next thing.”

But we all reach a point where enough is enough and we’re ready for something new to step up and show up to our lives.

I’d much rather be doing so, than endlessly slaving away at a job that just numbs me from even having a mind of my own.

This, at least, I’ve always known to be true.

It’s been a hell of a fun and memorable year — one that I’ll always look back to for opening up some of my biggest fears, deepest truths and insecurities, while finding myself and my happiness and joys mirrored in another.

“Happy and sad at the same time,” as the great Kacey Musgraves once said.

“Happy and sad at the same time
You got me smiling with tears in my eyes
I never felt so high
No, I’ve never been this far off of the ground
And they say everything that goes up must come down
But I don’t wanna come down”

Kacey Musgraves

As Jenna Kutcher of The Goal Digger Podcast said:

“A changed mind is a beautiful thing in our lives because it shows growth and it shows that we’re being stretched. We have been stretched as a culture and as a world consistently for the past few years. And in being stretched, we’ve kind of stopped asking ourselves the question, how am I? Do I love my life? Am I faking that I’m enjoying it? Does my life online look great but my life offline feel awful? Do I need to change? This book is that invitation to come back to your truth. It’s a how to come home to yourself moment.”

You have to start by believing in your own vision.

Having the confidence to choose a path forward is the key.

Taking risks is the key.

All of the things that have gotten you to this point are going to guide you forward.

Trust in your ability to inch or leap forward.

With love and honesty,

Rachel

To view my full recaps, click below:
“Twentynine”
“Spring Awakening”
“Spring Healing”
“A Summer 2022 Slow-up”
“Falling into You in 2022”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s