Category Archives: personal

Life Hacking For The Rest Of Us

 

Photo by Haley Phelps on Unsplash

Photo by Haley Phelps on Unsplash

It’s impossible to keep up.

Every day I see self-help articles about life hacking with tips, tricks, and never-ending lists of things to do in order to become a successful human being. According to these articles, If I do these things I’ll run like a machine. I’ll be living life at 500%, 100% of the time.

Is that a good thing?

The thing is, I’m not a machine. I’m tired of tracking every little thing. It gives me ptsd from my 20’s when I documented my weight twice a day along with every bit of food I ate. I spent so much time qualifying myself by scratching into a tiny notebook with a precision pen that I was missing out on life itself.

Don’t get me wrong, I track certain things for fun: exercise, meditation, reading and writing. And just when I think I’m doing a halfway decent job, I see more headlines for other things I need to stop or start doing, practice, digest (mentally or physically), or communicate.

Apparently in order to be successful in life, I need to do one-hundred burpies before the sun rises while listening to some podcast with tech bros congratulating each other on doing work, summarily packaged prosaically as “hustle.”

There are also voices to stop and start listening to, and for the life of me I don’t know if they mean other people or certain parts of myself. To all these authors, podcast hosts, and ‘grammers, I gotta say: Why tho? Does it have to be this way? Let’s hit pause for a sec and consider the following:

Rest is underrated.

Am I supposed to berate myself for getting a full eight hours of sleep? And if I binge-watch season six Friends while devouring a bag of Milanos am I not cut out for success?

Must I be ashamed as I wear a thick, juicy facemask, scrolling miles on social media – despite the fact that I’ll  most likely feel like a million bucks come tomorrow?

Besides, we all work differently.

I don’t want to finish one book every week. I enjoy taking notes and savoring the sentences. And after a couple of burnouts, it simply isn’t sustainable for me to work 70+ hours a week.

Can we please just slow things down a bit?

Besides, too many rules are hard to follow. To be our best selves, well – that should be enough.

The real metric for success is happiness, and that looks different for everybody.

The meaning of life is what it means to you. It may be a life stacked full of sidebars and variables, but at least we can find it on our own terms, in our own way.

That’s real growth worth chasing.

Read the original version of this post at The Collective Of Us.

The Art Of The Segue

Photo by Dan Stark on Unsplash

Photo by Dan Stark on Unsplash

There’s a popular term in the DJ community called “cauliflower ear.” It’s when you wear big headphones – a.k.a. cans – so frequently that the cartilage in the upper part of your ear begins to knot.

I have a very specific habit of twisting the cartilage between my fingers in private, the way someone might dig into their nose at a red light or scratch at their privates beneath the dinner table.

My gnarled right ear is a souvenir from a past life. It’s a scar, a tattoo, a piercing that never fully healed over. It’s a reminder of the way things were when I was fully immersed into a particular scene, dunked fully into the exquisite cultural tank of all-things music.

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Environmental Biohacking & Rumbling With The Unknown

Sunset at Big Sur taken during week 4 of my bio-hacking experiment

Big Sur, CA – Taken during Week 4 of my experiment.

The following is based on a talk I gave a few weeks back at Twitch HQ for Women’s Catalyst Lightening Talks.

At the end of September I deliberately kicked myself out of my studio apartment.

I sublet to a friend for two months and hit the road.

Now, I didn’t go very far. I drove around California in my trusty Prius C – living with friends, crashing on couches, spending time in nature.

I did this because I needed to get uncomfortable.

Because I believe that curiosity is greater than comfort.

[ Curiosity Zone > Comfort Zone ] *

I didn’t always believe this.

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35 Things I’ve Learned In 35 Years

Me, back when I was 34

me, back when I was 34

Wow, it feels incredibly strange to type the words! If you’re reading this, I’m huddled in a ball somewhere weeping. Just kidding! That’s what I did when I turned 30. But no, today I’m 35!

People always remark how great it is to be in their 30’s. I’d always blocked said commentary because let’s face it, personal anecdotes about getting older are never any fun.

Today I’m officially in my mid-thirties – feeling more confident, increasingly self-aware, and willing to hear someone out on a boring story. Above all, I’m more comfortable in my own skin than I was at 27 or even just a couple of years ago.

No doubt I could wake up in a few days completely freaking out (will someone check on me?), but if I do, I hope I have the good sense to revisit the list below and take a nap, or have a snack, then go outside and dance around in the sunshine.

In celebration of my birthday, here are 35 things I’ve learned in my 35 years.

 

                1. Don’t sweat the small stuff. And it’s all small stuff.

                2. Artificial anything just ain’t worth it.

                3. Except it’s okay to sometimes not know your real hair color.

                4. Don’t forget to get out of your comfort zone.

                5. And sometimes wherever you go, there you are.

                6. It’s okay to stay in on Friday night. Or on Saturday night. Or both.

                7. Always know your limits. Respect your boundaries.

                8. You can re-invent yourself at any time.

                9. And never ever stop evolving.

                10. Just don’t evolve into an asshole.

                11. And never accept a job offer where you’ll be working with assholes.

                12. After all, the geek shall inherit the earth.

                13. So make an effort to constantly fill your key cups – family, friends, community, work, and self.

                14. Don’t forget that age doesn’t matter…

                15. …But make sure to always respect your elders.

                16. Reading and writing is good for the soul.

                17. Sending someone a hand-written note yields little investment and high return.

                18. But seriously, one cookie won’t hurt.

                19. Or two.

                20. Always be yourself, no matter what.

                21. And try to live outside of…you know.

                22. Good sneakers and sunglasses are key.

                23. Warm socks and gloves in winter time always.

                24. Fashion and style are distinctly different things.

                25. Fill your home with all your favorite sights, sounds, and smells.

                26. A few tasteful items will always trump lots of random shit.

                27. But it’s okay to splurge on the good stuff.

                28. Be around kind people who make you laugh. Or think. Ideally, both.

                29. Always remember that regular exercise is totally worth it.

                30. And meditation can literally rewire the brain.

                31. Be kind to the world and the world will be kind to you in return.

                32. Everyone should also have a sports team they believe in.

                33. A lot of music from the past 5 years is pretty much derivative.

                34. Still it’s important to have a go-to album for any mood.

                35. Never mind the bollocks.

Tiny Words

Photo

Photo Credit: Modestas Urbonas via Unsplash

Changing the title for this blog, typically, is an instinctual move. Sometimes it’s driven by an SEO experiment, other times by so-called “artistic inclination.” This time around I wanted something more diminutive – a name that wouldn’t be as one-sided, as flippant or obtuse. I also wanted to acknowledge more of what this site actually is – a random place for all sorts of tiny little projects.

You see, some posts contain playlists. Some consist of random musings without images, others are nothing but images. Other posts are tiny bits of poetry, scattered and tagged about – shards of random digits strewn across an unknown server, never finding a home with the exception of perhaps a temporary bookmark stored at some place in time. 

It’s almost fitting that copywriting for apps is similar. Each bit of copy is completely autonomous yet somehow weaves itself into a larger story. Letters are whittled down to the smallest possible phrase while remaining (hopefully) catchy and as action-oriented as possible.

These tiny words must keep all of our tiny screens in mind, mindful of what we want to encourage the user to do. 

Writing for an app is like writing a series of haikus.

Over the years, this site has become an elongated version of that concept.

I renamed this blog to identify the tiny bits of content available through various intonations – a sandbox, if you will – for testing them out. For weaving some sort of larger, non-linear based narrative. 

Usually there’s a steady stream of content but when things get weird in life, as they sometimes do, I run out of things to say. In the last six months things in my personal life have evolved, as life tends to happen in that way, and as evidenced by the emergence of another series that has somehow grown into a place of nourishment, openness, and community. 

For a few years there was a place of sadness and uncertainty that has, in time, been replaced by something stronger and potentially more powerful than ever before. I like to think that my voice has grown and continues to grow every day. I am committed to delivering on this voice as this site itself continues to evolve. 

Thank you for hanging in there with me, dear reader or passer-by, as I posted various interviews, musings, reviews, and write-ups over the years. Thank you for hanging in there when things did get weird and I went away for a little bit. I’m happy to be back. Building again, in my unique way, in this tiny space.