5.28.2015

Today is my birthday.

Happy birthday to me.

12:21 am on Thursday May 28th, 2015.

As I sit here on my bed, typing this blog post, I cannot help but feel a little overwhelmed with tears rolling down my eyes. At this point in my life I would not have expected this is where I would be. 29 years old, living at home, still have no car, still unsure of life...

But that is a-ok with me.

I also never would have expected I would experience the things I have in my now 29 years of living. Social media has become such a big part of my life and it has brought me wonderful things. I would have never thought that the things I post would get me to have 53,000 followers. Sure they may not all be real people or what not, but that number of people who have access to my life and my page... still amazes me. The opportunities that instagram has brought me. Contest winnings. Restaurant reviewing and openings. Even the opportunity to be tattooed by one of my favorite artists of all time. All because of one little app. It still blows my mind every day.

29 has also started with my gifting myself the experience at Lightning in a Bottle. (What is LIB you may ask? Well I'll tell ya. I would say it is best described as a mix between Burning Man and a music festival such as Coachella.) It was quite a wonderful and eye opening experience. I'll definitely be posting my experience at LIB! (So stick around!)

I've realized I've been missing out on the world. While year after year since I was a child, I celebrate my birthday by having a BBQ at my house or going to dinners and meeting with friends (and don't get me wrong, I LOVE having dinners with my friends). I realize that I've been depriving myself of experiencing new and exciting things that the world has to offer. So I decided that this year was the year I would do something that scares me. Something so out of the ordinary, because no body should live an ordinary life. So I bought my ticket to LIB without knowing what I was getting to. Went with an open mind and an open heart. And I had the time of my life.

I found that this was the year I'm going to scare myself. Because doing something scary pushes you to face your fears and opens you up to worlds you never thought you would discover. You might even find that you come to love the things that used to scare you!

Yes. I still live at home with my parents. And yes, I haven't had a chance to buy a car since I've crashed it 3 years ago. But I don't let those things stop me from living my life. I shouldn't. I'm still determined as ever to find my own place to live and buy a little car so I can begin traveling around the country. But until then, I will still try to do something that scares me everyday. Even if it is something small. Because as long as you are facing your fears, are passionate about everything you do and working towards your goals in life, it doesn't matter what your status is or what crazy situations your life is in. Your life is what you make of it. Don't let the hiccups stop you from living your life the way you want it. Live everyday like its your birthday. Everyday can be new. Because that's what a new day is... a Birth of the Day.

So happy freaking birthday to me. I'm excited to see what 29 will bring me. Hopefully some exciting explorations. Hopefully a new car. But most of all, happiness in life. Because that is what everyone deserves.

xoxo, Me

5.27.2015

How the festival culture opened my eyes...

There's just something about the festival community that makes me feel alive.

A feeling very similar to coming home.

I've grown up considering myself a free spirit. Always going against the grain and never wanted to be normal. I thought being normal was boring or giving into what some people would call "the system." I have always felt like I never belonged.

Being at a festival to most other people, almost feels like entering a different world. An eye opening environment that can only be described as being on an alien planet. People let lose at festivals, becoming themselves in a way that feels most comfortable to them. Sure there may be some judgement going on at first. But if you immerse yourself into the world, you find that you will be welcomed with opened arms and open hearts and that everyone has an inner spirit waiting to be let out.

I have my parents to thank for bringing me up in a community where embracing your culture was always welcomed. At my Thai temple (Wat Buddhanusorn in Fremont), I learned the roots of my family and heritage. It was there I fell in love with the art of dancing. I have never been one who was much for speaking in public or liked being the center of attention. But dress me up in a costume, teach me some dance moves and put on some music and I felt like I was sharing my gift to the world. I have always loved performing on stage with the art of dance. It's probably helped me with my openness to dancing in public. What Thai dancing has taught me, is that people all over the world love to dance. It's a great way to let loose. To feel the rhythm of the music beating to the earth. And your body moving in both natural and un natural ways. Every culture in the world has its own form of dance.

Ballet from the era of the renaissance in Italy. The jig from Ireland. The twirling whirling dervishes from Turkey, where whirling was used for religious practices. Folk and tribal dancing from India which told stories of the gods and also influenced dancing in other south east Asian countries like Thailand. And where would hip hop culture be if it wasn't for traditional African dance? Every where in the world, there is dance and song and music. And that's what brings people together.

Music festivals (now held all over the world) have brought people from near and far together. My first music festival I've attended was Outside Lands here in San Francisco. I had been to shows and concerts, but nothing like this. I've had friends who had been to Coachella, Lollapalooza, and smaller "fests" like BFD or the Vans Warped Tour. But no show had prepared me for an experience I would never forget.

Walking into OSL for the first time was like a long journey. From getting off the bus, to walking into the fest grounds seemed like it took forever. Hoards of people heading into the festival with one goal: to listen to great music! It the walk in that built up so much excitement and anxiety, because I didn't know what to expect! When I finally got to the gate, the security checked me and ushered me in. The people at the ticket booth welcomed me with warm "Hellos" and there I was, inside Golden Gate Park, with so much music flowing through my ears. I had entered right when Of Monsters of Men were play their hit song "Little Talks." It was then I saw crowds of people running towards the stage and all dancing in unison! What a magical feeling! I stood there in awe of thousands of people coming together to listen to this band play and sing! That was the moment I knew I felt like I was home.

The rest of the festival was quite amazing. Running from stage to stage to catch all of our favorite performers, and also discovering new ones. I have seen old performers like Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, and even Hall and Oates. I've seen great rock bands like the Foo Fighters, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Metallica. Even singer song writers like Norah Jones and Jack White. This was also where I've discovered new bands, like the Arctic Monkeys and Fun. Never have my musical playlists felt so fulfilled and enjoyed as much as OSL.

This is where music festival community has opened my eyes to new and exciting horizons. With each passing year I attended OSL, I wanted more and more. Not only to listen to wonderful music, but to experience the community that was brought together by such festivals as Outside Lands.

It's brought me to this transforming experience called Lightning In A Bottle.

Stick around tomorrow as I take you on a journey where festival community brings together humanity.

4.09.2015

How yoga saved my friendship.

Not that my any of my friendships were going bad, or downhill despite the negative connotation of the title of this post.

After a very tough year of falling and growing back up again, I was focusing so much on my work life and career that I really had no time for anything else. I was tired all the time. When people wanted to go out, I feared that I wouldn't have the energy to wake up the next day for work. On my days off, would just sleep in and rest and take as much time to myself as possible to recover for another work week.

This year, while working on myself. I decided it was time to work on my friendships as well.

They say that you become most like the 5 people you hang out with the most.

In order for me to build my friendships, I had to find a way to work these wonderful humans back in my life.

My best friend, and my rock, Emily was one of these people I had gone from seeing everyday, 7 days a week. Working with her and on our days off hanging out with each other. Peas in a pod I tell ya. After she quit her job and started working for another company, seeing her once a week became seeing her every other week... then to once every three weeks. By the time I had realized, I was getting lucky if I ever got to see her at all!

That needed to change. And fast.

We decided after New Years, we were going to start working out, become our better selves, and start seeing each other more. That meant planning dinners, hang outs and what not. Well, sometimes life just gets in the way and scheduling issues arise. Sometimes you just can't help but have to rain check people from time to time. This was not ok with me.

Finally, about a month ago, we vowed to take the @kayla_itsines "Bikini Body Challenge" and work on it together. We wanted to improve our bodies and be summer time ready once the warmer weather came about. On top of that, I decided I really needed to pick up yoga. (Refer to my last post "A yoga mat for christmas.") I began by taking my christmas mat, lugging it around on to the train, bringing it to work and then walking my little butt over to Yoga Mayu in the Mission where I found my home away from home. Tucked away in a quiet corner of an other wise not so quiet district in the city, Yoga Mayu both expanded my mind, my body and my friendship! I was able to see my best friend again!

Every Tuesday, I make my way over to class and meet up with her. Chaturanga my way though the lesson. Breathe in deeply the intention I have for the day. And finish a late night class feeling awesome and refreshed. Afterwards, I'm able to chat face to face with my best friend again! Not only are we improving our bodies, but we are creating a deeper connection in our friendship that we had not had before!

I'm super excited to see the progress that we both have come along. This week is the end of week 4 to the Bikini Body Guide. I'm excited to see what week 12 has to bring!

Yoga Mayu

Kayla Itsines - Bikini Body Guide