an uncovered journal entry from those first days I'd ever roamed free

BIG SUR, CALIFORNIA - MAY 2015

“I love all the beautiful thoughts that come from that beautiful mind of yours.”

A smile spread across my face as he touched my head and strolled away, leaving me posted upon jagged rock overlooking an endless coastline and infinite ocean. The waves stretched so far and the fog was so dense one could easily mistake the ocean and the sky.

We were in Big Sur, and I can hardly explain how I wound up there, but I knew it was exactly where I needed to be. I was a whole new kind of free.

Less than a month ago I was locked in a small space, in a class with closed doors and in the space within my head. I had too many things, too much anxiety, and too many emotions to continue to bottle up within my heart.

I signed up to volunteer at a festival, bought a one way ticket to California, worked my ass off to finish school strong, subleased my room, moved all my shit out into my parents house, and got on the road for the summer just 2 days after finishing the school year. I convinced two somewhat-friends to join me on the road at different points, but ventured out with little real plans, trusting the universe to fill in the gaps. I was acting on instinct, against the current. But decisions seem to make themselves when you follow the magnitude.

I knew I was in for a journey, and though I had no idea what shape it’d take, I knew I’d never be the same.

As I write this I see Austin in the distance making our bed, beside a tree with only a flashlight to light the way. The moon is missing tonight, hidden behind the fog that coats the mountains. It’s been so good to us for so many days. The darkness gives way to the headlights you can see for miles, far down the coast, lookin like fairies floating in the infinite stretch of air. I can smell the vastness, the opulence of fresh wilderness filling my lungs. Nothing compares to the great outdoors.

I knew I adored him from the second he stepped out of his car. He missed the festival, but he came just in time—my heart had been healed and opened again, and I sensed right away that he’d crawl in and curl up for a while. The universe has opened door after door to give us more time, and we’ve seized every opportunity for moments more together; we’ve made a routine of loving each other on the road.

We’ve slept outside for more days than you can count on two hands; I’m not so sure about sleeping indoors again. I’ve woken up to such beautiful landscapes behind radiant gold hair… I’m never sure if I’ve woken up or am dreaming within a dream.

We smell like patchouli and probably reek of love, our fingernails are dirty and we’ve got woodchips in our hair; but our hearts aren’t hungry as our bellies roar. ‘I need it vs I want it’ you’ve helped me to explore.

And as the dark sinks in and the stars come out, I’ll join you in our afterglow and wrap my limbs with yours. We’ll fall asleep with breeze in our hair as I kiss your neck goodnight. And we’ll wake up in the morning to a whole new sight. The sun will rise, and I’ll shake surprise that you’re still right here with me.

~ r e d i r e c t i o n ~
sometimes life has a way of takin you for a spin just to show you that you're already exactly where you need to be.
giving thanks for my life today; tuesday evening I embarked north outta LA with a gal I met at serenity, the drive through the mountains was car-rattling windy. 30 minutes into the drive we veered just a wee bit into the shoulder and upon correction got caught in a wind pocket that threw the steering wheel outta control. the car started flying back n forth until we spun a complete 360 degrees at 70mph and into the aluminum medium. an angel stopped her car behind us and ran up, helping me get the car back on and onto the shoulder in my rattled state and keeping anyone else from smashing into us in the fast lane.
two of us in the car went without much else than a slight ding on the head, but the other hit her head pretty hard on the windshield. soo thankfully she's now doing all right. as for the car, 3 tires popped and the bumper took a hit, but somehow we got off with a bill under $500. it was a hell of a morning, turning a trip in pursuit of funds into an excursion that only took those very funds away from my nearly-non-existent supply, but the universe is always keepin everything in delicate balance, and I'm trusting that it's simply showing me where I need to be. I came back to SoCal and the strain has already turned back into bliss, redirecting me back to LA with the friend who I left to go up north, and it became quickly apparent that we had more to show each other before parting ways.
it's becoming more & more evident that there is no bad or good, for there are lessons woven into every moment and it's your choice to internalize them how you will. un-victimize yoself.

photo by kaylie 'violet' starkey

the jungle intensity of costa rica forced me to stare at some not-so-comfortable corners of my spirit, so arriving back in the states, I was ready to reset and replenish, find my groove again. my intention for serenity gathering was self-love, and I'm coming out of it feeling more confident than I can say I've been. the final stretch of the festival carried me through a sunset to sunrise of bliss and ecstatic heart opening interactions, dancing and joking my way into new archetypes that feel more me than ever before. I observed the profound way my energy shifts that of others around me, experimenting with the ripples I could produce by being a fiercely flavorful, unabridged and unapologetic version of me--a me that surprised the hell out of me and everyone around me. I caught glimpses of myself reflected in everyone, my ever-growing tribe, and came to know and love myself more through observation of others, realizing that I become the best me I can be simply through being held in sacred space by kindred spirits... realizing that we co-create that space, but I have the opportunity in every moment to set the tone for an interaction; and my freedom, love and acceptance can manifest in others if I'm emitting. the world will take the shape of your perspective. fill it with light and you'll bathe in light. fill it with glitter and you'll bathe in glitter. fill it with sand and you'll bathe in sand, and sometimes you'll bathe in all of the above and realize just how luxe and lip-biting being dirty and magical and bright can beeeeeee.

photo by Rachel Peterson

jungle kitty to kick the jungle blues

Been feelin like a jungle khat ever since my feet hit the Costa Rican sands, scamperin around in the sticky heat, meowin in the ears of jungle juggleeerz. Been feelin lonely as of late, surrounded by every creative archetype, packs on their backs and smiles in their eyes but currents rushing in different directions. It all feels foreign and fleeting, attachments swept away like the gem of a shell I spotted in the sand the other day—reached out to grab it and in rushed a big wave, sweeping it away quicker than I could say even say hey. In a fury the other day, I told a friend at Mono Congo Café, about my years-long desire for a feline companion. “Haven’t been able to find the right one, especially not at the humane societies. I have a feeling she’s just going to come to me outta the wild when I’m not expecting it or looking for her.”

What do ya know, two nights ago, driving to the beach and a lil family of kittens appears in our headlights on the side of the road. Momma made an appearance to summon the rest, but they quietly and quickly romped off into the jungle without turning a head to this lil one bonding to my chest. Some kind of humanimalistic trust.

Manifestation kitty, she is, a message from ze universe that it’s lookin out, it hears me, and I’ve got friends in even the most unexpected places ~ she’s helping me bite this lonely bug and bringin me back into my groove. She’s a wild one, with some genes from the Oselot (markings clear as day on her head.) She’s getting quickly attached, jumpin on my legs and burrowing her head into whatever nook of my body she can find first. I’m lookin into my future, feelin into how she may fit in, eager for the bit of consistency and grounding she’ll provide amidst this journey, but turning a conscious eye to the challenges she’ll present.

"Pura F***ing Vida"

Chillin on a hammock on the wooded balcony at Casa Surf Camp with dis beautiful blonde dreaded faeirie listening to our neighbors jam around on flute/guitar, free after 11 days from the energy-intense vortex of the Envision festival site. Overlookin the warmest ocean, surrounded by palms with coconuts to reach for whenever we're thirsty, the girls my path has crossed with book the cheapest flight back to the states they can find, and it just so happens to be the exact flight I'm taking back in 13 days. What are the chances these things happen by chance? "Pura fuckin vida" I hear around the corner as two dudes hug, realizing they met at a hostel back in Nicaragua a month ago and now they're here. "The bus leaves at 4 for the waterfall, you comin?" Everyone is down for spontaneous adventure, and the social boundaries dissolve like the sea salt in our skin. 

An hour ago we bid hasta luego to the envision fam, then grabbed a ride from Uvita to Dominical, stepping into a lil surf town with serious groove. 500feet down the path, there's David Block talking to a yogi at a surf school, I give thanks for the sunrise set he carried us through a few days ago, the last set of the festival, and get the schpeil on his intention to work with Lil Wayne and Snoop Dog, bringin his music into a new audience and market all together. My heart drops a little at the thought of him entering the mainstream, and I pose a few questions to him about his intentions. Still pure, so to speak. I recognize I'll be seein less of him once he finds a new agent, and share a moment of gratitude for the epic moments and footage I filmed at a set or two of his this year. 

Onward. Thus is evolution. There will be more where those sounds came from. 

Walking down the street with all my belongings on my back, I then collided with two of my most sacred connections from the festival...whom I met separately, whom had also apparently connected deeply individually as well. "Of course you two know each other," Dharma Kaia blurted baffled when we came together in a final embrace before he boarded a bus to Guatemala for the next chapter of his story. Each on our own paths, we weave in and out with deeper love and less attachment. I'm learning to cherish the momentary connection, with no expectation for longevity. 

This journey began with an intention to peel back layers of a sisterhood, but sometimes life just gets ya on unique flows, and honoring your energy may send ya in separate directions, and that's okay, it's the way. Blessings hidden along the path of alignment. I've been on a solo flow, but accompanied by kindred spirits and familiar faces around every corner. The jungle heat and infiltration of intense energy has had my attitude fluctuating up and down...and my world has been taking shape around my perspective. Imma fill it with light like the luminescent algae sparkle creatures we played with last night in the sea, a dance break from the Pumpkin staff party we worked hard to receive. A moment of "this is why we do this. this is why I'm here.." matched with affirmations like, "There's a soft spot in my heart and it looks like you." Feeling a rejuvenated sense of exhilaration by the perspective others have been taking on my path, eyes wide about my age relative to integration... feeling the energy building around my intention, recognizing it's not an easy path but one filled with the kind of love i'd never before imagined. Breathing easy tonight with my toes in the sand, Pura Vida.

dippin my toes into costa rica

Checked into Hostel Pangea that first afternoon and straight away, a rad gal from Switzerland appears at the front desk commenting excitedly about how we both carry travel hoops. We share a mango on the roof overlooking the city skyline of San Jose, the backdrop of the mountains providing a striking window into the beauty this country will present once we embark outta the city. I took a 3 hour nap in a 4 bunks room that only cost $12 after teaching a goofy guy named Eric how to do isolations on the hoop. When I woke back up Eric greeted me with my first Costa Rican beer, and he was playing a game of pool with a friend of a friend I was told to look out for at the hostel. His eyes grew wide as I said his name and we bonded over our mutual friend Tyler who we'd planned to go climbing with the next morning.

Woke up at 6am to the front desk man from the hostel Pangea tellin me Tyler was here, landed in costaaa for his mutual first trip outta the country. I sunk my head into the curly hair on his shoulder as we shared a reunion hug, stoked to make acquaintance again in such a beautiful place. We grabbed some breakfast and struggled through the Spanish, I quickly discovered the coffee's too strong and spent the whole morning shakin and feelin strange. But bright souls came trekkin in, envision-bound, and smilin through the red-eye flight after-toll. "Hola" and "How are you" left and right, everyone in embrace. We shared some words and a hit or two, while two dude best friends giggled their way through acro yoga. Easy to settle into this space, the moment came all too soon when we had to go our separate ways. Ty and I tried to plan a climb, but the time constraints left a fork in the road, and we took to each our own individual path. I hopped on a bus south with Texas native I met in the bathroom mirror with toothpaste in our mouths... And we drove for hours past sights still too raw for my eyes to comprehend. When we got to Quepos we greeted a friend of his he'd had since the 4th grade, a super sweet gal moving to Costa Rica with her husband to flip their overexposed San Francisco city lives upside down and wake up to the monkeys and birds singin at sunrise...madly in love with each other and the world they've found around them. We explored land they're considering buying-a tiny fraction of the price of land in the states and exponentially more beautiful. Jumped in my first waterfall, let the fish nibble my feet, and met some more locals who'd made the move from California. We checked into their friends hotel, shared stories about their experience at a rare Buddhist temple in Myanmar. We grabbed some mahi-mahi and rum on the rocks at a REAL tiki bar right off the endless beach, running again into some folks from the hostel 3 hours away we'd seen just that morning. A walk on the beach right before bed and the jellies got to the ankles of one of our friends. "They're just jelly," he laughed, sayin it just tingled a bit. I'd gotten so sleepy at this point I could hardly converse. I elected to sleep outside rather than in a bed, so we hung our hammocks near the ocean. I found out real quick that you need more than a sheet, shivered for 4 hours straight, both frustrated and enchanted by the sight of the moonlit waves.

The next morning, an ocean swim - then my blood sugar plunging and the heat hitting us haaaard. Had a mango smoothie overflowing all over the table, then caught a cab to the envision site and landed my volunteer spot against the odds!! Checked into a hostel down the street, jaw dropping at the epic'ness of this place. Cabanas, tree houses and tents for sleep, organic restaurant and bar with kombucha and craft beer. Community kitchen, ping pong tables, gardens and bouldering wall, and the beach a 3 minute walk through the purest green. Everyone here so gorgeous, close knit and in flow, felt a bit intimidated by the immense glow. A sunset swim and hoop jam got me feelin a little bit more immersed and alive... And a taco salad for dinner listening to some guys talk about the surf. Resonance with a sister who gave me the boost of confidence I need. Now I lay in my temporary bed in a treehouse to decompress as fireworks pound from somewhere unknown. The crickets and jungle critters fill my ears, intermittent monkey sounds. My eyes close half way through my sentences, half asleep I twitch a bit, teetering between two states of consciousness. i wake up to my foot kicking the air, and the jolt of power ignited the exhilarating feeling of kickin the booty of my fears. Carryin that feel into tomorrow when I start work on building the festival site--mmmm it's all beginning and I'm feelin more here by the moment.