What heavy emotions, heavy mess, and heavy headaches I’ve had this past February.
Transitions are hard. Adulting is weird. Moving from place to place is stressful. This past month caused me to really learn just how important a healthy, solid and safe foundation really is, because as much fun a life on the run and move can be, the constant feeling of unsettled-ness and worry about where you’re going to live, stay, be put and have a “peace of mind” can really get to you — and that can affect the relationships in your life, your work, career, health, mind, body and soul.
When you’re stuck in that “plateau,” the dark and negative thoughts you worked and fought so hard against can creep back. Yes, I get that it’s totally human. It’s normal to feel stressed and uneasy at times. But rather than wallow in those emotions, it’s best to move forward. Recognize, acknowledge, and let go.
For just a shorter 28 days this month, this month also felt the longest. Two moves in one month, packing all my stuff I’ve had for a whole year to temporarily move out for a month, living out of bags and suitcases and figuring out my next “move” after some major shifts in what I want to do with my career and work shifts — oof, it was a lot!
I reached out to an old relationship, which was polite and nice at first, until my feelings of anxiety, stress and uncertainty came back and flooded our conversations. An old suitor came back into my life as well, giving me everything I could have ever asked for, yet my personal battles and confusion, stress and inability to be happy with where I’m at in my life just kept me pushing back and away. Friends became worried for me, as I didn’t get good sleep and woke up with lots of feelings of lingering anxiety and stress. I seriously feel like I fell into bouts of depression — something that was so new for my 25-year-old happy-go-lucky, blissful self, who felt like for the first time in her life, she didn’t have a secure place to live, to work, lacking a job or money.
I didn’t know how to handle the emotions I felt when they all became so heightened.
It’s so easy to remember the longer days and nights when your emotions and thoughts take over you, that the other moments can be forgotten. Despite the uneasiness, I pushed through and had some very happy, genuine moments.
- Returning to a night at the UCB Inner Sanctum seeing some friends do improv for Chinese New Year — and just enjoying a good laugh — are the little, happy moments I love being in this city (ily Tony G, Lilan Bowden, and hanging with my old friends since first moving to LA, Homer, Michael and Vince).
- Two nights of Warpaint and SWIMM for the Love You Down fest w/ complimentary admission and joint collab for my first press feature of the year with Derrick was quite the special time. Long nights for sure, but seeing an old college friend in the band, making a new friend and enjoying good company at the show just makes these experiences all the more worth it.
- A weekend recording with my new friends Hoax on a song for their upcoming record, as per my friend Andrew K, one of the best friends and music management homies I’ve made since moving out here to LA. Albeit, my energy and emotional levels were low that weekend considering the lingering uncertainties of my life and back-to-back days and nights being out, it’s always a good experience to be involved in and with talented people, where I can learn a thing or two and see where I’ve much room to grow, as well.
- HBD to Sthanlee and Mary Grant, as it was nice to see some old friends in the Fil-Am community I haven’t seen in a while (especially since I don’t feel I’ve gone out to just “go out” in a while as well).
- A midweek hang and “therapy” sesh with my good friends and best homies out here in Los Angeles, Angela and AJ, I always appreciate our little rendezvous in the Arts District/Little Tokyo, chalking it up, talking good work, putting yourself out there for your work and goals and having a good attitude about it all. Oh, and In Sheep’s Clothing and that private little music listening lounge will always be my favorite hideaway.
- Galentine’s with my favorite new alt-pop girl band The Aces. I’ve been obsessed with you all month and your album has been the soundtrack to my life lately. Oh, to the times “when my heart felt volcanic”… ❤
- Red wine, an “Arroz Caldo” brunch in the lovely home of AJ and Anna’s in the Westside, as per Chef John C, and seeing old(er) Fil-Am friends I made from the race a year ago. As a young one, it’s always nice to feel like I have a second family here, and these good people who have made careers of themselves in the industry with new families is a very comforting thing to see and to have.
- A day spent at the Americana on a production shoot as per my lovely Fil-Am Creative homie Charles, who always looks out, was a great time — and so was spending the rest of that day tagging along to a random arcade bar in Hollywood to a very Korean night out with Angela, Cyril and friends.
- Seeing my KEB family again, seeing Clans do their second gig, and have a night out in Fullerton. Love y’all.
- A full-on breakdown and emotional night (where I realized I was also PMS-ing lol), occupied by shifting days and plans and flipping my whole night around when a friend called and I cried, was going to come to me, until someone else came, and I felt like I went through a breakup when I wasn’t even involved in anything. What a mess.
- Shooting the pilot episode and being a guest of “My Fil-Am World” with FilAmera, unexpectedly sharing my story, breaking down on camera, and connecting with other talented folk in the community who have been at their music game for years, was both incredibly inspiring and cathartic. Then, making it to my friend’s gig at the Bootleg that night, catching up with Austin, one of the first friends I made out here in LA, was very very comforting, and something I needed — his music taste and involvement in the music community for the past decade is inspiring.
- To Cyril, for being there with me to help me with my second move, which went a lot smoother as I had prepared for this one a lot better (more container boxes, storage, etc.), and Alex for hooking it up with an Enterprise rental truck (you see me #rollin, #ridingdirty), and just easing my anxiety and being my friend through these tough times (and a bad trip lol)… I appreciate the help with it all (and happy to treat you). New space, new digs, and a much happier Rachel. Wow.
- To my home in Monterey Park for a month, Joey, Josh and Elaine w/ Sheera the cutest dog in the world, and Hebby the fluffiest cat in the world, I absolutely loved your presence. You are all such nice people and glad to have roomed with y’all for a month, and the pet therapy was real. Miss Sheera already lol. ❤
Since moving into my new place, I feel as if a huge weight has been lifted. After bumming it out in extra rooms in other people’s homes, I’ve realized how much more ideal my current situation is — having my own apartment, a place to make my home, and the space to properly have my things (and set up my guitar space!). It’s also nice to live with girls again (ha), and I feel as if I finally made my “real” move into LA (because yes, as I was in Orange County to the suburbs outside of LA, I am now in the middle of it all, right in the thick of the action with more opportunities and a safe place I can hideaway and call home).
I put a lot of things to rest in the past few weeks. An entire month of revisiting all those emotions and negative self-talk was, yes, not fun, but maybe necessary and eye-opening.
When I’m focused on myself, my work, and have things to look forward to, I feel like myself again. I know how hungry and happy and positive and focused I am when I love myself, love what I’m doing, and am focused on my own pursuits — something I’ve had all my life, through high school, college and onward to postgrad and before I moved to LA.
I know I may have lost myself in the past month (and yes, I’m positive it showed through my social media activity and, double yes, isn’t an attractive look for me), but that’s all part of the process. “Breaking down to break through,” I find. As I’ve had countless breakdowns, reminders and feelings of unhappiness when I’m not following my bliss, I feel after a year since being in LA, I’ve stretched myself too far and am ready to throw my hands up and just do the damn thing.
And, to these moments and reminders that although I may feel different from a lot of people, I’ve always known who I am, what I am, what I love, and been sure of myself and pursuits (I just distract myself too oft and help and champion others more than myself, maybe):
Whoa. Apparently at the show I did the other night, a longtime “fan”/follower was there and sent me a DM. “I saw you last night and was fanboying lowest of keys. I think this is the year I finally reach out and say I’m a huge fan of your journalism, articles, affiliations with up and coming talent and your work ethic collaborating with so many great people of AA talent. Would you be mad if I wanted to ask if we can be friends?! I feel you have a cool brain to pick, if I were to be so lucky. AND also, you’re gonna hate me for sure, but you’re so pretty.”
Ha! Wow! Sometimes I forget the work I have done over the years, and maybe the impression I have left on people… And ofc, I’m surprised people don’t say hi when they see me?! Just goes to show. I feel some major changes and transitions happening…
Excited for the things to come and to move forward. I finally feel a bit more at peace. And it feels so damn good. ❤
I’m stuck babe, stuck with nowhere to go
It cuts babe, cause we’re just taking it slow
It’s overdue, make your move
Stuck babe, stuck with nowhere to go
With love and honesty,
View my past video blogs below:
Back To The Velvet Underground 1/2019
Coming Up Roses 12/2018
In My Feels 11/2018
Through Thick And Thin 10/2018
The Last Hurrah 9/2018
Breaking Down to Break Through 9/2018
You Get What You Give 8/2018
Summer Daze 8/2018
Back To You and Hometown Takeaways 7/2018
Young, Reckless and Loving It 6/2018
In A New Light 5/2018
You Give Me That Wicked Love 4/2018
Forever On The Road 2/2018
One Sky, Six Months 12/2017
Looking For You, Five Months In 11/2017
Quarter Month Crisis 10/2017
Third Month’s the Charm 9/2017
I Adjusted Month Two 8/2017
I Survived One Month 7/2017
One Week Out 6/2017