Happy Birthday to Me, Indeed!

D’awwww… I feel like I’ve been adopted into this awesome loving family of brilliant creative jedis of compassion and light and change. Hearing their gratitude totally made me cry at our Lucidity​ marketing debrief meeting last night. My team is just so wonderful! And I’m a total sap.

As the marketing team discussed what worked and what didn’t about our work and Lucidity this year, it became apparent that I have really stumbled into something special here. It has been such an honor to work with you all and I have learned so much in so many ways from this experience.

Working at Lucidity: This is my job. Amazing!
Working at Lucidity: This is my job. Amazing!

I left my first Lucidity Festival feeling very proud of my involvement and my hard work the past few months, but also just simply awestruck and inspired and blissed out by the people, the stories, and the energy that create the event and the community surrounding it. Just WOW. I left saying “yeah, this is something I can feel good about promoting/selling/blabbing all over social media and to all my friends about/dedicating my time to/staying up late working on/etc.” and so very aligned with everything Lucidity is creating.

This is big for me, as this whole marketing / promotion thing is pretty new to me and I refuse to work with organizations I can’t align with and believe in. I invest myself very heavily into my work and everything I am involved in, my inner artist and workaholic just can’t help but pour every ounce of creative energy, heart, and soul into my projects and my work – especially when the project is particularly inspiring or meaningful to me. This one must have struck an artery…

Scenes of Lucidity 2015: Kindred Quest
Scenes of Lucidity 2015: Kindred Quest

I feel like I just went to jedi superhuman badass training camp or something. You are all AMAZING humans. Thank you for trusting me, pushing me, inspiring me, collaborating and sharing and welcoming me into your family. Thank you for your patience, your understanding, for reading all my unnecessarily wordy e-mails and for adapting along with me to new processes. Thank you for spoiling me rotten the moment I arrived on site, a warm place to work, cold pressed coffee on tap, sweet Lucidiswag, and OMG the FOOD!!! Thank you for making it possible for my sweetie to join me for the weekend at Lucidity – I felt like my life was utterly complete getting to spend time with him, some of my good friends, my amazing team, and so many new friends all at once in such a beautiful place. Wait, and I got paid for this?! I must be dreaming… oh wait, we all are… co-creating a stunningly beautiful future that I have only begun to glimpse and am SO excited to help reveal…

I must give a few shout outs in gratitude… Reuben Smith – THANK YOU for contacting me about openings in the marketing department at Lucidity the end of last year and recommending me for a position. I owe you a beer, a bottle of kombucha, and/or a really huge hug! Hope to see you at Once Upon a Festival!

To James ‘Jaymo’ Barnard, who I worked very closely with the past few months – you are a rock star and I’m not sure how you do it all! You were an absolute joy to work with, always easy to talk to, kind, supportive, and brilliant. To Jonah Haas, Noah Crowe, Wolfbear, Sabrina Calderon, Matt (Rodriguez and Rideout), Victory, Meow, and WAY too many other people to finish this list… Thank you for welcoming me into the fold, showing me the ropes, and being your amazingly badass, hard working, inspiring and superhuman selves! I am so impressed and awed by everyone I encountered at Lucidity. I have found a home in the transformational festival community and especially a few small, like-minded and inspiring events that I am lucky enough to work with on a regular basis now. Lucky me!!!

To my partner James, thank you for being so supportive, flexible, and for putting up with my utter failure to cook a proper meal for weeks on end and all my late nights of work and going to bed before me. And I am SO grateful that you got to join me for the weekend at Lucidity last minute and make my week even  more complete! And to all my friends who I have not seen much of these past few months, I miss you! My campmates at Lucidity also helped make it an amazing weekend I’ll never forget… so much gratitude!

Beautiful Lucidity Memories - So Much Love!
Beautiful Lucidity Memories – So Much Love!

I’m here as long as you’ll have me, Lucidity family, and that goes for the larger transformational festival community as well. I thought going to these events for a decade plus would change my life, but WOW does being part of the team producing them do so even more…

On the horizon for work (and play) is Once Upon a Festival in June, which is the same crew as Foreverland last year, with a few new additions and a new name. I will be assisting with the marketing team and doing some street team and media team management this year; I just got up to speed and activated for my new role! And then Northern Nights in July, a local festival in the redwoods on the Mendo/Humboldt county line that I am street teaming for. And my home sweet Mendo favorite, Enchanted Forest, will be returning to Mendocino county this year and I am thrilled to have been offered a position as a Production Assistant for this year. It’s gonna be a busy summer! Hope to see you at one of these stellar events!

As I close in on my 32nd birthday, I feel like this entire year, maybe this entire life, has been one great big beautiful birthday gift. I always was a late bloomer, and I feel like I’m finally starting to create a balance amidst the chaos and variety that is all of my jobs, my projects, my relationships and connections and my dreams. I have been blessed in countless ways over the years, but damn! Life is REALLY starting to get juicy as of late and I feel like I’m hitting my stride!

We are going out dancing Saturday night and meeting friends for brunch with a view on Sunday at Little River Inn to celebrate my birthday this year. I’m looking forward to keeping it simple and having fun with my Mendo friends and celebrating life this weekend. There is certainly much to celebrate this spring!

Boy is this getting good or what?! I can’t wait to see what’s around the next bend…

April Fools in Love

Kissy kissy with our Sprinkletons

I have never been able to pull of a believable April Fools prank (I’m a terrible liar) but I think our little joke actually got some people today! Hehehehe! APRIL FOOLS!

Last night James and I joked about pulling something silly on Facebook for April 1st. We decided it would be hilarious to see everyone’s reactions if we “broke up” and changed our statuses on Facebook to “single.” Then this morning as we both logged in and were about to do it, James saw all the relationship status options and decided it would be even funnier to pretend to be engaged. Plus it’s a little more positive, don’t wanna jinx ourselves! So we counted down and both changed the status at the same time (which was very reminiscent of the day we decided to make our new relationship “Facebook official” almost two years ago…). The likes and comments started flowing in immediately, but James had to go to work and I had a full day ahead of me, so we went on with our days. (The photos Facebook chose to display are a little odd, right? I proposed with a hat pin – see!)

Engagement April Fools Joke

Thankfully a few of our friends know us well enough to know that this was a prank and started calling our bluff. I got a text from my best friend in Idaho saying “You can’t play with my emotions like that! ;)” and the sweet congratulatory comments kept rolling in, while it seemed that more people caught on to the joke on his post than mine… It has been really hard not to totally give it away!

And now I am going to feel a bit bad when I have to break this news to all of our family and friends… because it’s incredibly sweet seeing all these comments and all this support. Apparently we’re not the only ones who think we make an epic match! And I’m also very glad we decided to get fake engaged instead of fake break up, because then everyone would be panicked and sad instead of excited and happy for us – though maybe that one wouldn’t have been as believable? 🙂

This has been fun! Best April Fools joke I’ve attempted yet! I really wasn’t expecting to fool so many people! But this little prank has also made me realize many things about this very special and amazing relationship that I am so lucky to be in.

For the first time in my life, I am with someone that I completely trust with my heart and my life. I am with someone that I am overjoyed to share life with and proud to call my partner in crime, and someone who feels the same way about me. But most importantly, I am finally with someone that truly sees and values my worth and is not afraid to let me shine (or loudly speak my mind, or express myself however I see fit) as I walk by their side, and someone who treats me as a complete equal. Realizing this fact simply FLOORS me with gratitude.

I have not always been so lucky, as many who have known me for a while know, and I have never felt so well matched.  It’s nice that other people can see that too.

The thing is, I don’t have any fears of James walking out of my life, but I actually like the fact that he is completely free to do so if he chooses. We are both very independent creatures by nature, but our bond and the unspoken commitment we have is the strongest force I have ever felt. I know he’s a hottie and that others are quite likely going to notice that, but for some reason I don’t feel the heat of jealousy rise up in my chest when I think about him with other women or see him talk to someone attractive. I know I have nothing to worry about. And I hope he knows the same. I don’t even need to bother filling my head with such nonsense. Knowing this feels amazing, because it was not always the case for me in the past.

The notion of legitimizing love with a legally binding contract completely kills the romance for me. Which is odd, because I am a total sap who cries her eyes out at romantic comedies (or even overly sappy commercials) and has to remember to wear waterproof mascara and bring tissues to weddings. I have no problem with long-term commitment or the idea of marriage. I love weddings and children, but I don’t really have a desire for either in my own life, and I’m not sure if I ever genuinely have. I’ve found that my relationships are happiest without the pressure that comes along with expectations of having to take things to the next step. And I never ever again want my partner to have to be asked when he’s going to “make an honest woman out of me” – blech! Thankfully, I found someone who feels very similarly and allowing our relationship to unfold naturally has created the most beautiful love story I could have ever imagined.

I much prefer to think of a romantic relationship, of true love, as a choice we make every single day. Every day I wake up next to the sexiest man alive and I say “YES” to him and to us. I CHOOSE HIM every single day, and day in and day out, HE CHOOSES ME. We don’t make this choice because of some commitment or promise we have spoken, we don’t choose it because society expects us to, or because of a legal contract, a financial obligation, or even a sense of duty, we are free to choose anything or anyone in this world, and yet we choose each other in every moment and every chance we get. And that, to me, is fucking BEAUTIFUL. Why mess with a good thing?

I’m pretty unconventional and I loathe being told what to do (especially by societal norms – ha! patriarchy, you can suck it!) – so I know this attitude is not for everyone and I have no judgement towards anyone who feels differently… To me, having the freedom to choose anything you want, but choosing to love and be with a particular person over and over again, is WAY more meaningful than spending a small fortune on ring and a wedding and then signing a legal document saying you’ll only love that person for the rest of your days or else deal with stressful legal bullshit on top of an already stressful breakup. (And don’t even get me started on the moral qualms I have about the diamond industry…). Not to say that I am totally against marriage or we’ll never do it, but if we had the kind of money for an engagement ring and a party, we would be buying property and traveling around the world. I don’t even like wearing rings!

A few of our friends picked up on the joke in our posts today, and we thank them for knowing us so well. And for those who we tricked and who are slightly disappointed, we’re sorry, we know it would be one hell of a party… er… more like a festival…

So, sorry if you totally fell for our little April Fools’ joke on Facebook today… hehehe! We’ve been laughing our asses off about it all day while we’ve kept you in suspense! But seriously, even this perpetually online, social media obsessed nerd would have more class than to announce an engagement with a relationship status update on Facebook—our families and close friends would all be bombarded with at least ten sappy kissy-faces-with-ring-bling photos via text message before anything ever reached social media. And yes, mom, you would definitely be getting a phone call right off the bat! (Not sure if my mom saw the shenanigans today on Facebook today, to be honest… she might know me too well to be fooled, though).

We may not have any plans to make this thing “official” any time soon, but we are touched by all your comments and words of support. It’s good to know I picked a good one this time! I think I’ll keep him! For as long as he’ll have me, at least…

We make an epic team and we’re glad everyone in our lives agrees, but we don’t need a legal contract or a ring to know that. Power couple status is plenty good for us for now. Here’s to many more adventures together!

Zip Line Canopy Tour on Ometepe, Nicaragua 2014