Updated: Jan 2
Today is June 26, 2019. I moved back to my little cottage in Berkeley for the summer and it's been 5 days since I could call this home. The majority of my time has been relaxing around the house, but working feverishly on two projects: my job presentation/interview with Dolls Kill and prepping plans to start the Temple build this weekend.
This house holds a very special place in my heart. I lived here during my 200 hour yoga teacher training, a time where I learned A LOT about myself, my spirituality, and my path. So, it's definitely like a homecoming every time I am back. Relocating here almost exactly 2 years later, I am grateful to see myself achieving many goals I had set back then. I finished the first 4 years of college, I'm really into Burning Man, I stopped eating animals, I have a huge support system out here, and I am creatively thriving. I get to shower outdoors every morning and am way less scared of birds than I was before. I believe this summer will teach me even more things about myself and how I grow as an individual. Being across the country from my normal life is sometimes lonely, but also a great experience to open new doors. The Bay Area has been my greatest life teacher for sometime now; the people, places, and things I am lucky enough to connect to here.
Yesterday I met with the creative directors at Dolls Kill headquarters to present my idea for an in-store installation to debut their 2019 Burning Man line. It was sooo super excited to be in the creative environment and thrilling to talk about my work. As of right now, things are still in the works but I am hopeful that this collaboration will lead to big things. I really connect with the brand and believe I could thrive with the awesome visual team there. As an independent artist, it is interesting trying to pave paths in this world, so yesterday was kind of my first experience with a "big girl" interview and throwing myself as a little fish into a huge pond. Finally grabbing SF by the balls and starting professional endeavors. ((y'all know I've been approaching this for years!)) A mentor of mine shared some really wise advice about approaching job interviews, understanding the balance of being assertive without being too meek or too bossy and releasing the fear of asking for what you want in worry you seem too greedy or pushy.
I spent the day in the Mission (location of DK headquarters). Before the interview I had a super whole foods bowl from the cutest restaurant, Manny's (click the picture for what they're all about). The workers there were fucking delightful and the neon pink bathroom made me feel like I was at the hippest late night party at 11am. Too fun and definitely a new hangout. After, I spent some time photographing the murals of Clarion Alley and mindlessly roaming through the Community Thrift Shop. From all the talk of how much SF is struggling from the homeless epidemic, I was curious to hit the streets to see for myself. AND, to no surprise, it's just pointless to listen to the opinion of others that really have no first hand experience. Obviously the epidemic is vast, depressing, and unfortunate. But, the way people warn you, out of fear and danger, is not 100% valid. As one of my biggest inspirations, Elizabeth Gilbert, says in her book BIG MAGIC, "Fear is not original." This has been something to ring absolutely true for me, especially in the past couple of months. From solo backpacking India to jump starting a professional life, I look to her wisdom as she says, "Living a life lead by curiosity instead of fear." And to speak to the presumption that "homeless people are all over the streets there, yelling and pissing and causing the city to be a fucking mess" (Yes, someone used that exact description) is just letting fear do the work. When I am in the streets, surrounded by these humans, just like me, I understand their shared struggles. I try to not pass out of fear, but pass with empathy and curiosity, while wearing and sharing a (small) smile. It's about relating, not being overly inviting, but understanding that they're human, too. SF is a place of whacky, wild, and outcast individuals, as history would tell you. If you can't take the heat, then stay out of the kitchen and if you can bring some fresh food to the table, share it with those around you. STOP letting fear do the work.