Shifting Point.

In an eclectic store with a coffee shop in the front and barbershop in the back, in my city, in the west end yesterday morning..
Somewhere between crossfit challenges and catching up with the good ol’ crew for Canada Day..
While people in my city were sleeping off hangovers..
While people in my city were planning afternoon bbq menus..
While the city was my favourite type of quiet due to the midweek holiday..

I sipped my post workout coffee and had a conversation about the slight shifts of priorities and life stuff with a couple of other people who have also hit the shifting point. Some may call it a ‘get your sh*t together’ point. I know the approximate time it happened in my life but I think life experiences influence the shifting point more than age does. It didn’t come in a box with a bow on top after I blew out my birthday candles.

Change is inevitable. Progression is a choice.

Some of the discussion in that store bled into my current practices:
– For years my friends have been going out on Saturday nights while I stay home to write scripts or learn lines and meet deadlines. I’m used to it. Now that my weekends are a little bit lighter I join friends but choose to see my pillow at a decent hour too. Going to bed early and getting up early makes me feel good. It’s good to have those ‘when your latest nights are your greatest nights’ moments too. I secretly like doing the opposite of what the world is doing.
– Working out used to be for vanity purposes years back. Yes, I chose a career where looks influence opportunity so this is still amid the mix, but now it’s more for piece of mind and lengthening life. I would be even crazier than I am now without the outlet of hot yoga and long distance runs. And it becomes incredibly addicting when a physical challenge seems unreachable and then your body conquers fear. Yesterday I carried a human on my back while running a mile for crossfit. Since my mindset has shifted from vanity to quality of life, I have never been this strong, both physically and mentally.
– I have always had to eat fairly ‘clean’ due to the way my body has chosen to befriend food. But it has been pretty cool watching the people around me be influenced by it. I also commend my European upbringing. If you wanted cookies you didn’t buy them you made them. I believe in balance. I believe in eating a good piece of pizza and a beer. I’m far from perfect but I strive for real food to trump processed food because there are so many positives. My fella would nod to it after spending some time with me and shifting his outlook as a foodie. Do people give me a hard time when I pass on a burger and fries? Absolutely. At first it was difficult understanding why I was judged for choices out of my control and what seemed like smart ones. It was a health choice I had to live by that in the end has led me down a good path. There are some pretty crazy additives out there. I prefer to keep that stuff in the soles of my shoes and not my burger bun.
– Sleep more. This is coming from an insomniac that gets her creative peak at 2am. Naps save lives.
Surround yourself with people that provide fuel to being your ultimate self. There’s healthy competitive and destructive competitive amoung friends. I’ve experienced both and it’s mind-blowing that the latter exists. Say yes to social time with new people. They can you bring you things that you’ve been missing or unconsciously looking for.
–  Read books and take notes that help make you a better human. There is guidance everywhere.
– Do things for others without the need for thank yous. Pretend there has been an apology where there wasn’t one to help close chapters.
– Figure out where you want to put your energy. It’s precious. So is time. Fill it well.

The less you give a damn about what others think, the happier you will be. 

These are just a few shifts that have helped open doors and bring a little more happy around me that I talked about with good people yesterday morning. It’s like when friends start getting married and having kids and you have crossed that line or you haven’t. And you meet people who are on the same side of the line as you.

The other day while I was swearing under my breath about the humidity during my hills workout my motivation showed up. A  man asked me what I was doing out there on such a hot day. I told him I like challenges but it’s hard today. He told me he’s 68 years old and loves a nice, hot day for running. He runs regular 5K and 10K races. Then he asked me if I want to race up the hill for a few rounds. He kept pace the entire time. I want to be like him when I grow up. But the only way that it’s going to happen is if I keep bringing more good things over the line onto this new side of my shifting point. -k

That’s the best revenge of all; happiness. Nothing drives people crazier than seeing someone have a good f’ing life. – Chuck Palahniuk

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Gnarly in Pink.

I was talking to a friend about ‘creating’ and being an artist and the wrongs and rights of the craft and that there is no such thing as either wrong or right when it comes to art. (Sidenote: my freestyle spit factory is working overtime today and my sentences are longer than usual. I blog because I’m not a good rapper.) A good piece of art makes you emotional. It could ripple out goosebumps down your skin or tighten your throat. Or make you smile. And every piece of art won’t do the same for everyone.

This mini doc got me. So much that I’ve watched it about six times. Scenes or sounds or songs that trigger childhood memories of when things were simple get me. And this piece is just seven minutes of simple moments. It took me back to when I was their age, running between the dance floor and baseball diamond and fighting my mother about wearing dresses to school. Tomboy tendencies in little girls are adorable. These three girls are adorable. -k

Monday Mumblesauce.

Yesterday…

So, this following puzzle of words was pieced together in my head while on the treadmill this morning. I’m still missing a few pieces because sometimes my mind runs in fifty-two different directions and I’m always chasing the point so this is where I figure life out.

I was recently at a host workshop and one of the points that was stressed about being successful in the entertainment business as a talent is the ability to create your brand. It’s all up to you on how you appear to the everyday Joe who while drinking his morning Joe clicks on your twitter/facebook/blog profile. It’s all in your powerful hands to twist and turn the tapestry that holds together the words and images associated with your name. With the way we live our days in the digital and social realms, I believe that this applies to every person whether lawyer, server, cashier, mailman, taxi driver or construction worker. I dabbled in this conversation over dinner with friends this past weekend and everyone seemed to nod in agreement. A friend even admitted to googling a girl before the first date and also the girl that his friend started dating. First impressions from a google search. A sign of the times. What would you want to pop up first by googling your name? And what wouldn’t you want there?

Eight months of the year I’m completely engulfed in the basketball world. Four months of the year I still get excited when I hear a ball hit the hardwood and read the latest NBA headlines with my morning routine (LBJ, eh?). But the collective within my days shifts a bit. I’m so passionate about the basketball culture. I’m also so passionate about well written words, creating stories through dance and fashion, capturing those split seconds of ‘wow’ through photography, socializing until the sun comes up, fabulous food, sports and fitness, music, peoples stories and where the blacktop ends. These are the things I think about when I create my brand and decide what I share with you. It’s an interesting ‘figuring it out’ kind of journey. And while creating your brand some peoples hearts get funny when they wake up and they have five less followers on instagram or twitter. Do you? I’ve heard it from friends and acquaintances many a time. And why do you feel that way?

Being famous on instagram is basically the same as being rich in monopoly.

Back to my treadmill run. As I looked out onto the cityscape from the top floor gym there were a couple of construction workers on the roof across from my building. They put down their tools for a moment and took out their phones, snapping pictures of each other with the skyline in the background. It’s an impressive view. And I thought about what their instagram accounts could be like, what they share for their ‘brands’ and how cool the places they see are; feeling crazy winds above cities or dropping underground where the average Joe doesn’t go. I believe that everyone has a story that someone else is waiting or needing to hear whether they know it or not. Think about that as you build your brand. Don’t hesitate to be all of you. Because ‘brand’ is just another name for ‘you’ that you expose. Someone can’t wait to read about it or see it. I use the word ‘expose’ because I believe in keeping many things to oneself but that is a personal choice because I am a private person. The question that I struggle with is, ‘What do others want to read and/or see?’ And does it even matter? There are a billion-trillion-zillion of us sitting at our computers right now crossing digital paths. Why would someone want to read this? And does it even matter? Who is it benefitting? The author or the observer… Or both…

From my observations people are attracted to rawness. They’re attracted to a persons ability to show their true colours and the bravery that it takes to do so. They’re attracted to the confidence it takes to lay it on the line and sometimes, maybe even envious, and sometimes, maybe it’s their inspiration to wander the same way. They’re attracted to you admitting that you’re perfectly imperfect. I’m attracted to all of this. I’m attracted to someone being able to admit that they’re still growing. When do we stop growing?

Can you remember who you were before the world told you who you should be?

And then the construction workers saw me. One threw his arms out like “you caught me” and waved. I waved back and then I came here to share it with you. And maybe I’ll gain a follower or lose five but I hope that someone needed to come across this today. Puzzle temporarily complete. -k

If you’re always trying to be ‘normal’, you’ll never know how amazing you can be.

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Hey Yo Miss Bright Side.

photo-2you mustn’t be afraid to sparkle a little brighter, darling.

I have been connecting with old and new friends a lot this past month and I am so addicted. Addicted to their peekaboo stories and beliefs and the way that they clash or mash with mine. Addicted to watching the emotional lines change direction on their face as comforting realizations pop up about the future. Addicted to the buzz of the brighter side of things and really good food and really good drinks and really good company. Everybody’s got a story and they’re all so dope.
I’m addicted to this gold ear cuff too right meow. Like a peekaboo story itself. -k

Hello Summer in the City.

Signs of summer: Now that the windows are open, at this time everyday while working from home, the smell of eggs and bacon comes through the window from the restaurant below my apartment and it’s kind of a comfort thing.

I absolutely love getting up north and escaping the concrete jungle on weekends in the summer. But I absolutely love taking advantage of weekends where there is no concrete jungle escape. So about the last one…

There are far too many choices on the Saturday/Sunday shuffle in the city. This is a trigger for my extreme case of FOMO. (That fear of missing out thing… and my continued case of trying something new. Crossfit started this past Sunday!) This past weekend some friends and I chose the west end, specifically the Dundas West Fest. Street festivals are kinda sorta maybe my favourite summer thing to do in the city. You really don’t feel like you’re in the city; visiting vendors, the smell of BBQ that takes you back to swimming in your Grandparents backyard as a kid and a few cocktails with friends at a fold up table curb side, people watching to end the day. I like it that way. While sipping on a dark and stormy, visuals of acceptance stood out in the little fenced off patio where we sat and it was so refreshing. People expressing themselves through laughter and clothing layers and love with no labels. Being able to be completely yourself and accepted is one of the biggest highs. Being loved for being perfectly imperfect. In a field where you’re ‘judged’ for your looks and presence and what comes out of your mouth daily (which I chose to be a part of), I crave what I absorbed on Dundas West some days. This morning I read this saying on instagram and it’s bang on –> Artists are people driven by the tension between the desire to communicate and the desire to hide. SO TRUE. It was nice to hide this past weekend. And when we all had to move inside the bar at sundown, everyone picked up their own table and chairs and helped carry them inside to put away and that was super cool to me. It’s just a little thing but they all add up. -k

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#UseYourLife

Sitting on my balcony, avoiding life for a wee bit.

One of the side effects of my work ways is that every week is a different story. And I am thankful for this. It makes the freebird in me happy. Making your own schedule is both a blessing and a curse. A blessing for the obvious reasons. A curse on those days when life is hard and you don’t want to get out of bed. Or those days when life is busy and you want to hide in bed. Or those days when life is slow and you need to find a reason to get out of bed.

And then I saw this hashtag on a lovely souls instagram this morning. –> #UseYourLife

And that was my motivation. Cause she’s damn right.

Back to rehearsal for me. It’s been a few months but stage life is calling this week. This week life is busy. And Porcelain Headquarters is busy, aka AmberKat’s apartment. A little clip from post midnight rehearsal last night.

Time to face the music. -k

Foot Race.

Always walk like you deserve to be right where you are.

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So what did you do today? I received a few thoughtful texts like that tonight. Which pulled this together:
– Early morning coffee run on Yonge Street.
– My goal is to try things that I’ve never done this summer. First up has been pole classes. I’m addicted. The strength you build physically and the strength you build in confidence is what has stood out this month. Crossfit starts Sunday with the fella. Time to flip some tires.
– Home office casual. Birkenstocks and books and business for a few hours.
– Baseball, sun and good friends.

Monday was nice. -k