- As much as I have been complaining about not seeing anyone for the past 9 months, I’m also secretly scared of what will happen when things return to ‘normal.’ I have developed several good habits in the past couple of months. This is also the most productive I’ve ever been in terms of personal projects and development. I’m scared I’ll lose my momentum, and my projects will take a backseat for who knows how long. I’m afraid of falling back into my same unhealthy habits, of waking up in a haze and wondering where all my time has gone. I know I’m not the same person as I was pre-quarantine, and I’d like to think that I know myself much better now. But it’s easy to say that out loud when the room is empty of any soul but your own.
- I’ve been feeling incredibly drained for the last three months. It has been a strange dichotomy; one of loneliness and wanting human interaction, and another of avoiding people because most interactions leave me more lonely than I’d initially been. It’s a strange situation; you would think just talking to someone would mitigate the feelings from uninvited solitude. But it does just the opposite. I’ve found myself listening to problems that I wish I had: a blip that came up during a recent trip. A minor squabble with a significant other. Annoyance at something a friend said at a small gathering the other day. Things that have been out of the question for me since last March. I’m trying my best to empathize; I really am. However, hearing others talk about the things they take for granted leaves me feeling hollow.
- Back when I bleached my hair seven years ago, I bought purple shampoo to help tone it. It didn’t do shit. This time around, I tried purple leave-in conditioner, and it worked so much better. I left it in for about 30 minutes while I worked on my blog, and now I have the almost ashy sort of blonde of my dreams.
- I’ve been spending a lot of time writing about how to make my dreams come to fruition. The journaling sessions I’ve had were valuable and helped me build up my confidence, especially as my ‘why’s’ grew more substantial and personal. But I realized I’ve hit a point where I was doing more journaling and planning than working. I’m a little scared to start sometimes, I will admit. But as Nike famously says it best: “Just do it.”
- I’m really excited to receive the books that I ordered last week. I’ve been buying from used book stores, and there’s something about a pre-loved book that makes it exceptionally charming to me. To know it’s lived another life before reaching my hands. I like wondering if the same sentence that captivated me also struck the same chord with the original owner. Used books also take away the anxiety I get with opening a brand new book and potentially creasing the pages or spine, haha. Is anyone else neurotic like this?
- I have so many ideas and so many projects, and so many skills I want to get better at. But when I try to do too much at once, my progress is minute, which makes me frustrated. I’ve often given up in the past, only to return to square 1.5 a few months later. I’m trying to learn to only do one or two things at a time, but it’s hard, haha. I want to get better at writing, better at all mediums of art, better at design, better at taking photos and editing them, etc. This blog has helped me channel my many interests, but I really need to learn to slow down and focus on one thing at a time.
- I’m feeling dejected about spending Christmas and New Year’s alone this year. The past two years, I spent it with my partner. This year, Christmas and New Year’s land on a Friday. It would’ve been possible for me to stay for two weekends instead of one and not leave on the 1st feeling like a deflated party balloon. It’s like adding extra salt on a nine-month-old wound that the holidays landed so perfectly for visiting this year, but I can’t use it to my avail, haha. I’m trying not to dwell on what could’ve been, but as it gets closer to that time of the year, I can’t help but let a year’s worth of sadness envelop me just a bit.
- I’ve had many days where I want to scream, “Who hurt you?! Why are you so judgmental about people you’ve never met?” I don’t want to waste time talking about people I don’t know and don’t care about. So what if they did x, y, z? As long as it isn’t hurting anyone, let them be cringy, embarrassing, obnoxious, self-centered, etc., on the internet. They clearly don’t feel that way if they’re posting it, haha. I just don’t want to join in on these toxic games, especially now that I’m older.
- I’ve found several interesting people online that I secretly really want to form online friendships with. But I’m scared to reach out, haha. Even on the internet, I feel like such a nobody. A wallflower with no personality and nothing to give, just like how I am in person. I know these are pernicious thoughts that will eventually become a belief the more I say them. But that aside, I also have no idea what to say without sounding like a semi-creepy fangirl. It’s so weird, trying to navigate all this.
- Not everything has to last forever. The more you try to save something, the more bitter the ending will be. This year has had a lot of people, places, and memories come to an end. It was an endless heartache that came with a dull lull that will keep you up no matter how tired you are. However, new beginnings do come from endings. And so I look towards that for hope.
#Blogmas or #Vlogmas is a tradition that’s been around for nearly a decade now. A quick Google search told me that it started with Ingrid Nilsen all the way back on December 1st, 2011. For those not familiar, Blogmas or Vlogmas is where a user posts a blog post or vlog every day from the beginning of December to Christmas.
“Blogmas or Vlogmas can be described as an Advent Calendar of the blogging or vlogging world.” – A Brewed Awakening
As the name suggests, topics are likely to be inspired by the upcoming holidays. However, it is not a requirement to talk about such things. Personally, I have never been super into Christmas other than putting up the tree and occasionally spending a weekend in a snowy cabin. Fun fact: I had only tried eggnog for the first time last year, and honestly, it was only bearable spiked, haha.
Given the state of affairs, I’ve been stalling on putting up the Christmas tree this year. My part of California will be under stay-at-home orders starting from December 7th till January 4th. It won’t change too much of my daily life, but I am sad that I will no longer be able to go out on hikes, which has been a wonderful respite to the on-going monotony. On the plus side, given the slow pace of life, it’ll make it possible for me to even attempt at keeping up with blogmas.
I still believe in slow blogging — but my goal is to push out content that I’ve had saved up for months and also write every day, even if it doesn’t make it to the public right away.
So here goes~
Music has been the one place where I feel the most like myself in public.
A part of me thinks it’s because it’s an environment where it’s normal to go the whole night without having to talk to anyone. I don’t need to explain myself to anyone or give a damn about how I appear to the world. I don’t need to impress anyone or overthink any interactions. I’m literally lost in the moment. Or drum kicks, if you will. And everyone else who’s there is also in that same mindset. We’re all there to dance away all the fucks that had been weighing us down, to see the greatest musical heavyweights, and to discover the newest up-and-coming acts that we will spend the rest of the week listening to on Spotify.
Being on the dance floor is where I am at my most confident. I never think twice about what I’m wearing or worry about what others might say. Nobody has ever verbally passed judgment on my makeup or clothing. It’s the one time where I’m not hesitant to play up an edgier alter ego. And I honestly don’t give a shit if anyone’s staring, which is a complete 180 of how I feel most of the time.
It is the one place where I’m not too self-conscious to weave back and forth through the crowds, to smile at a stranger, or stop to make sure someone’s okay. This is where many small moments, forever fleeting or just beginning to bloom into a long-term friendship, have led people to connect with each other who would otherwise never meet.
Music is an escape, but it’s through it that I feel like my authentic self. The person I wish I could at all hours – someone who isn’t hesitant or looking for ways to blend into the crowd while ignoring the stabbing loneliness of being a wallflower. This is what I have missed the most as we reach the ninth month of solitude, an ache I’ve been trying to dull without avail. All I can do is be patient, along with the rest of the world, and hope we can return to a sense of norm in the upcoming new year.
I feel like I’ve been listening to your music for so much longer. The first song I ever heard was your remix of Virtual Self’s ‘a.i.ngel‘. I saved it on February, 19th, 2018. It was a perfect banger. To simply put, that song fucked. I searched high and low for more songs by you but little did I know, you had only switched from your Fawks project to i_o not long ago.
You were my first foray into techno. All of the sudden it wasn’t this monotonous kick drum with no build ups or drops. I know snobs will argue this isn’t real techno or whatever bullshit but it was my gateway that eventually brought me to Amelie Lens, Nur Jaber, Dax J, UMEK, etc.
Despite only hearing ‘a.i.ngel’ and not much else between February and August, when I saw you were doing a show at Halcyon, I made my friend James come out with me and literally two minutes into the club, we both looked at each other and were like, “HOLY SHIT THIS GUY IS REALLY FUCKING GOOD.”
I was hooked after that. Once you started releasing music, I forced it on everyone and tried (without much success) to drag people to your shows. My partner was skeptical about techno when I first met him until I sent him your songs and was eventually able to get him to listen to other techno sets with me. One of our favorite moments was at the Gorge when Above & Beyond dropped your ‘Alchemy’ remix that you had JUST released a day ago.
In the span of a little over a year, I’ve been lucky enough to catch your shows in Austin twice and Dallas once and your b2b with No Mana at EDC, and all the ones in the bay minus the one this February because I told myself it was time to slow down. I will forever regret it now but I’m grateful to have caught you as many times as I did and was able to see you one last time this year.
Till then, I’ll keep moving my feet cause I know I can’t be the only one.
I’ve been waiting, for you.
In secret, counting,
The hours, until the morning sun
Jezper Soderlund (Airbase) has been in the scene since 1994 and also went by a myriad of other aliases (he had over ten!) However, he has since merged everything under ‘Airbase’ around 2005.
‘Denial’ was released back in 2008. This song has so many dreamy layers to it, echoing in a blissful mix. I never get tired of listening to it.
The lyrics were sung by Floria Ambra, who also happened to be Airbase’s girlfriend at the time (they later got engaged). I found this tidbit to be really sweet 🙂
My creative goal for this month is to do one ink drawing a day. I was super tired the other day so I decided to do a simple line drawing of some dried passion fruit skins that were lying around in a tray. (Not sure what my mom is going to do with them).
It was fun playing around with the line weight and textures. I might incorporate it into a more detailed drawing in the future.
Black is the colour, of my true love’s hair Her lips are like, a rose so fair
She’s got the sweetest face and the gentlest hands
I love the ground, whereon she stands
I cannot get enough of this song. The vocals are absolutely haunting and even with over 7 minutes, I always find myself thinking that the song was ending too soon. There’s quite a few remixes of this song as well, each which were beautifully done.
The Devine Intervention remix came out in 2007 and is still played to this day. From my quick search, it seems like MarLo is still quite a fan of the song, playing it several times a year in his sets, sometimes mashed up with another song.
I can’t remember where I had heard this song live but it’s standalone enough that my memory was instantly triggered when I found it again on Reddit. A bit of a chance encounter but maybe the same will happen again when I’m at the next ABGT.
I’ve been in a rut for quite a while. Maybe I’m being a tad dramatic, but I can’t remember the last time I felt any joy. Not the ‘new norm sort of happy,’ where you’re smiling but gritting your teeth at the same time. Actually happy.
This morning was the first in weeks where I woke up in a good mood for no reason. Maybe it’s because of the colder weather, finally transitioning into autumnal bliss. Maybe it’s the refresh on my appearance, as trivial as it is. Maybe it’s because everyone I care about is in good health (always so grateful for that, especially these days!). Maybe it’s the random burst of inspiration finding its way back to me, after scraping against an empty well for months.
It’s hard to pinpoint why I’m feeling good today, but it’s reminding me to pick up my pace and keep moving forward. The end may not be in sight, but until then, I have to keep going.
I’ve been in a bit of a rut when it comes to writing, so I decided to write about ten random thoughts I’ve had recently. Easy stuff, right?
- My periwinkle hair dye came in last night. Expect some hair thangz coming up in the near future.
- I can’t sleep for more than 6 hours when it’s over 90 degrees during the day. Debated on buying an AC unit, but it’s now the beginning of fall, and plus, I’ll be moving in a couple of months (hopefully!). But man, it’s been a terrible two months when it comes to sleep.
- I’ve disconnected myself from social media as much as I could. I’ve cut down my usage and am now trying to retrain my brain into picking up a book instead. It’s crazy how checking our phone whenever we have downtime has become second nature for us. It’s such a bad habit, and I’m not proud of it.
- My creative goal for this month is to try and do an ink drawing every day. Just to note, I am not following the Inktober themes, nor will I be using that hashtag, due to the founder’s scandal of plagiarizing Alphonso Dunn’s book.
- Since the beginning of quarantine back in early March, I made it a mission to use up my extensive collection of new and half-used beauty products. I’m at the point where my collection has finally dwindled down significantly, and I’m quite proud of myself. I am now a lot less impulsive when it comes to buying products and only make purchases when I need a replacement. It’s crazy how much marketing goes into the newest products being ‘must-haves.’ At the end of the day, the variance between these products isn’t considerable enough to have them all. Especially since there’s an expiration date on beauty products, it’s just impossible to use everything up before then.
- Last month, I started drinking during the weeknights. It was mostly out of stress, even though I told myself it was to ‘wind down’ after a long day at work. It was never more than two drinks a night. But man, it’s crazy how bad alcohol is in general for my lifestyle. Even one drink messed with my sleeping habits. Not to mention when I’m buzzed, I just wasn’t motivated to do anything. It soon became a domino effect: the lack of sleep would make me skip my workouts, putting me in a bad mood. And being drunk caused me to have the attention span of a goldfish. All I could do was scroll and tap and click. It’s okay to have those days once a while, where you just unwind and do nothing – that can be a form of self-care. But to have so many nights like that in a row reminded me of my past. The one where I went on auto-pilot with no concrete plan, and soon enough, months and years flew by. Once I caught myself, I decided to stick with only drinking during the weekends. It’s been so much better since.
- Comparison really is the thief of joy. It’s a mindset I’m still trying to change. It’s hard because sometimes you’ll be looking for inspo for art, and when you come across something beautiful, you can’t help but compare your work to it. It can be motivating, but oftentimes, I find myself in a rabbit hole where I’m berating myself for letting myself go. “I could’ve been like them if I didn’t stop,” I would tell myself. It’s pointless and toxic telling myself that though since I can’t go back in time. The only comparison I should be making is between my previous work and the newest work. As long as I put in the work, I can be happy and move forward.
- I’d been feeling stagnant about my career for over a year. I’m now happy to say that it’s subsided for the time being. I realized I’ve been learning a lot the past few months, more so than I had in a while, and have been feeling pretty good about it.
- I miss the diary-like posts. From myself, from others. When we didn’t need to really think about what we were putting out into the world. I’m going to try to do more of them because I feel like it’s at least been helpful for me to decompress.
- I’ve been wearing more lip color since quarantine, and it’s been lovely as well. My favorite as of late is the Buxom lip liner called ‘Covert Affair.’
I have been following Audrey Leighton Rogers for several years now, after my very stylish friend introduced me to her. Strangely enough, what drew me to Audrey right off the bat wasn’t even her style — it was her way with words. She had written a blog post detailing her thoughts on the fear of turning 30 a few years back. It felt like I was reading a diary entry that belonged to an old friend. Her words were genuine and vulnerable and it struck a chord with me: thoughts and feelings I too had felt but had trouble putting into comprehensible phrases.
Once I was done reading her post, I took a look at her instagram and was then blown away by her sartorial choices, showcased by her signature cinematic photography. This woman really does it all! But she’s also very real about it too — she’s very open about all the times she’s wanted to cry and give up. She’s mentioned many times that running her own business is far from glamorous — though oh so rewarding, despite whatever outside complications may come her way. I’ve rarely seen this sort of candor from influencers, whose jobs are to sell us their highlight reel as a lifestyle. While I have unfollowed many influencers over the years, it is because of this vulnerability that I have stayed with Audrey.
The dress I am wearing is one that Audrey designed — she has several versions of it for different seasons. I had been eyeing them for quite a while but it was when she released this summer version, that I finally took the plunge.
I waited two months for this dress to arrive all the from Spain, anxiously checking my tracking link a few times a week. When it finally arrived in my arms, it was just about everything I had hoped for.
I loved how elegant and put together I felt while wearing it. It was comfortable too, hugging the right places without being too constricting. You can tie the wrap part of the dress however loose or tight you wanted, a detail I will never fail to appreciate.
I’m wearing the size S-M. Personally, I feel that it fits closer to a S though because of the stretchiness of the fabric and the adjustable wrap, I can see it being able to accommodate more body types than the average dress can.
I’m honestly even more keen on purchasing the winter version of this dress now too but I’m also excited to see what other new designs Audrey will release in the future. She has often talked about knowing the story behind the brand you’re wearing — it truly feels like I have a piece of her story in my closet now.