Tag Archives: artist

UNADULTERATED FREEDOM

Honestly, I’m not sure “Unadulterated Freedom” is the right title for this post. It was just something that popped into my head while I was thinking what to write. It seems to go with the theme. No limitations right I am not following some kind of guideline when it comes to naming this post. So perfect, “Unadulterated Freedom” it is.

I am reinventing the way I write this thing. Yes, I have been out for a while. I was having one of those moments that last for months. You see, I was following all of the advice of keeping a website/blog. Be consistent with the theme, find an audience, etc. etc. etc. All good advice, but also a bunch of nonsense.

I was way into my head about it trying to find a specific topic to write about each week. It froze me. I lost my interest. It felt forced.

This wasn’t meant to be forced. It was meant to be a release for me, fun to write, and hopefully fun and relatable for you to read.

Guys, I am back where all of this started for me. I started this website a couple of years ago when I moved from Boston to NYC. Right out of college, when I didn’t know what to do with my life. I started to write, I started taking acting classes, and I ended up moving to LA for a Master of Fine Arts in Acting.

I definitely didn’t see that coming when I started writing this thing.

Which taught me that sometimes life has a more exciting journey than you expect. But I was definitely resisting my creative/artistic path up until a few months ago believe it or not.

I just called it a hobby.

Not anymore. I’ve accepted that I am an actress, and a writer and all that comes along with it. It is exceptionally freeing to accept it. More than it is scary; and I’m definitely excited for what’s to come.

I will be writing here about whatever it is I want to share. Whatever I want, Encouragement, self-empowerment, self-discovery stories, life in New York, and maybe even some short stories.

Hope you are also finding your freedom.

Cheers, and stay tuned!

I WANT TO SEE YOU AGAIN – WANDERLUST OF TRAVEL

I want to see you again. I want to wake up early in the dark and know my day will end in a different place. I want to fly.  I want to taste something new.

I want to sit with strangers for hours, close my eyes, and enjoy the ride. I want to know you will be there to show me around. I want to make a list of all the things I will bring. I want to drive myself crazy trying to fit everything into one place. I want to say “who cares,” because I know what matters is waiting for me in that different place.

I want to hear your voice. I want to hear a different language other than my own, other than the one I know. I want to hear your voice again, steady and calming. I want to hear your accent. I want to learn something new.

I want to dance in a different land once again. I want to make new friends that I might never see again. I want to spend hours sitting in an uncomfortable seat, and complain about my lack of sleep.

I want to travel. I want to see new places. I want to see new faces. I want to see those places I haven’t seen in quite a while. I want to see those faces I haven’t seen since I was a different person. I want to know you. I want to see you again.

Photo by Tobi

JUMP TO A DIFFERENT WORLD – THANK YOU AVICII

Not too long ago, there was a time in my life when I spent a significant amount of time in airports. Usually waiting for connecting flights. I always looked forward to the moment when I could just sit down, put my headphones on, close my eyes, and let music transport me to a different world – or a different reality.

I have gone through quite a few different music phases. When I lived in Venezuela, I would barely listen to any latin music. Now it consists of 70% of my music library. I would say there was a time 80% of what I listened to was EDM. In fact, all those times in airport, traveling back and forth from home to boarding school, then from home to university, I would let myself go with the likes of David Guetta, Swedish House Mafia, and of course, Avicii.

I would say music has introduced me to different cultures and it has the power to transform my emotional state. If I let it. Music is very ingrained in a culture, it comes from it. There is a reason Latin music is very different to that of Nordic European cultures. But once you can enjoy the beat, it’s almost like a bridge opens up to a different world. Different people. Different backgrounds. Different languages… different dance moves.

Photo by Jack Gittoes

A few years ago, I was lucky enough to see Avicii perform live in Boston’s TD Garden. I remember how Levels used to make me feel. Powerful. Free. Not to mention that I even got to enjoy country music (which is usually not my style), when he managed to combine EDM and country. It was incredibly innovative.

It was with incredible sadness that I received the news about his passing this weekend. Since then, I have gone on an Avicii music binge and reminded myself what I loved about his music. How it makes me feel, how it makes millions of people feel. Every person has a different experience with EDM. It’s hard for anyone not in the scene to understand it. I could watch a 30 minute Tomorrowland aftermovie and not get bored because of a lack of plot. It’s a vibe. It’s an experience that makes you believe and know life is and can be beautiful.

“He said one day you’ll leave this world behind, so live a life you will remember. My father told me when I was just a child. These are the nights that never die”The Nights, Avicii

Thanks Avicii for bringing us into your world and for all the wonderful goose bump inducing music.

WHY OFFICE WORK IS OUT AND TRAVEL WORK IS IN

A few days ago, out of sheer curiosity for my own past – prompted by my love/hate relationship for Facebook memories – I decided to scroll through my own profile. I went deep. Scrolled past photos of friends who I haven’t seen in a while, funny videos I had shared, political articles, and a post about remote living. I stopped short. Around two years ago I has shared an article from Fast Company about co-living spaces for digital nomads. I remember at that point the idea of living a location independent lifestyle by working on my computer and being able to move around freely was the stuff of dreams. I thought travel while working usually required a company sending you out on business trips. I hadn’t realized that in out internet age, traveling freely while working, was not only for a selected few, but millions were already on this path.

Here we are in 2018 and I feel reconnected with that idea. I have become increasingly aware of the digital nomad lifestyle; and with that, I have also become aware of the fact that I am most definitely not alone. Today, 82% of millennials have said that they are more loyal to their boss if they have flexible work options. We are just not all wired for the 9 to 5 work schedule!  For example, at the time I write these words, it is 3:05 am in Los Angeles (where I currently reside). Not to say I normally find myself writing at 3 in the morning; but many creatives types find themselves in the night owl category.

The 9 to 5 work day was created to maximize efficiency at the time of the industrial revolution. The idea was: 8 hours of work, 8 hours of recreation, and 8 hours of sleep. Makes sense. Thing is, the world in quite different today than it was at the peak of the industrial revolution, and we shouldn’t have to adhere to those norms. My internal clock most definitely does not want to adhere to those norms, and shouldn’t have to.

Fortunately for me, and for many entering the workforce today, the rules are changing, and they are changing fast. Companies are adopting the remote work philosophy, and there are many other companies that operate completely on a remote workforce. In fact, by around 2030, the Millennial majority will likely have done away with the 9-to-5 workday entirely.  Insert happy dance.

Photo by Nubia Navarro

This is exciting for many obvious reasons. To me, since travel and discovery are some of the things which most exhilarate me, I don’t want to just be able to control the hours I work, but to be free to choose my location. After all, many of us humans are still nomadic at heart, we have been nomads for 99% of our existence. Nomad lifestyle, count me in. It is not my desire however, to move locations every few weeks, but to be able to see the world without being limited to an office space; and by having to waste another hour on commute to the office where I would sit on my laptop and use the internet.

My generation wants to get to know the world outside of a two week allotted vacation time. We are making it happen. There are more and more companies each year that are born based off of that desire. Companies like Roam, WiFly, Remote Year, and Hacker Paradise cater to digital nomads. Some are designed to help people jump-start their digital nomad career, others are for more established remote workers.

As of now, the future seems promising, and I am excited for that seed that was planted in my head over two years ago. Even though it has taken me until now to start searching for real solutions and ways to accomplish it, I am certain it will happen for myself, or any of my fellow wannabe citizens of the world.

Cheers!

Would love to hear your thoughts! Anyone else a digital nomad?

Documentary Review: “A World Not Ours”

“The old will die and the young will forget”

These are the words attributed to Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion. He was referring to Palestinian refugees and assuring his fellow Zionists that Palestinians would never try to return to their homes.

In the documentary film “A World Not Ours,” filmmaker Mahdi Fleifel shows us that this statement is certainly untrue. The young Palestinians are now old refugees and they still hold on to the idea that Palestine will once again be their home. The young Palestinians however, are trapped in a sort of limbo. Being stateless is their lifestyle, and they only become nationals of a country when the FIFA World cup comes around every four years.

Fleifel’s film is sentimental and takes a very different approach to documenting the refugee crisis. A very personal approach given that some of his own family is still trapped within one kilometer of Ain el-Hilweh; the refugee camp home to over 70 thousand people in the south of Lebanon.

Ain el-Hilweh, Palestinian refugee camp housing over 70 thousand refugees

“To me, going to Ain el-Hilweh was better than going to Disneyland” remarks Fleifel in a voice-over. He says that it took him years to realize that the people in the camp were not there by choice. Through old home footage of children playing football in the streets, and celebrating the FIFA World Cup, he outlines his skewed childhood views and contrasts them with footage of the Palestine-Israeli conflict and the disillusionment of those who are trapped at the camp.

He interviews his friends, uncle, and grandfather, which in turn humanizes the faceless statistics about the plight of the refugees. His friend Abu-Eyad puts our everyday conflict into perspective, when he remarks that he would like to “go on a mission’ and blow himself up, because he sees no future for himself – trapped in a place where his everyday life has absolutely no meaning.

Abu-Eyad in his home, in Ain el-Hilweh

“Palestinians really fucked us over, I wish Israel would just massacre us all…” says Abu-Eyad while contemplating his future.

This film was filled with contrasts. The music was upbeat, yet the feeling inside the camp was one of helplessness. Is this how human life should work? They belong to no state so they are not allowed to live a fruitful life? The immediate answer should be no. That is not however, how thousands upon thousands of refugees view their life. Just like Abu-Eyad, they see no future, and they see no meaning.

You can watch the trailer here. Also, don’t hesitate to comment, or contact me to let me know what you think!

Resolution: Aiming To Do Less

As we come into a New Year, many of us (yes, myself included), are mapping out our goals for 2018. Getting ready to make this year bigger and better. For a lot of people – especially in the country that has been my home for the last few years – this means to enter, or continue in the “culture of Hustling” as Morris Berman refers to it. These days, millions of people glorify sleeplessness and the constant state of being busy.

As a girl in my mid-twenties (scary times), I agree that “grinding” or “hustling’ to create a life and career you love is something valuable and sometimes necessary. 

But don’t just hustle for the sake of it. Don’t stay busy just to brag about having no free time. We are not here to work to work to work to die.

One piece of advice that I think Arianna Huffington would agree with: when you wake up in the morning, don’t immediately look at your phone or computer. Put yourself in a state of creation and not reaction.

I have lived in a couple of different countries outside of the US. Those countries being Switzerland, Italy and Venezuela. When living in Europe, I noticed there is a shift in my priorities. Only a shift. I was more focused on my happiness than my monetary success while living in Europe; especially in Italy. I am talking everyday happiness. Where I enjoy the present moment. The slice of pizza, the morning cappuccino. 

There is definitely value on the hustle; but I believe it should be used as a springboard to success, not a constant for success. Not success itself.

Because hustle, hustle, hustle, eventually gets you burn out. Good hustle is that which feels like an adventure to enjoy. I guess the takeaway is; if you are building something, in which “hustling” is required, work intelligently. Get help where you need it, delegate. Get some rest and reset your mind constantly.There is no real glory in a busy life with no real rewards outside of the work.

Olive Oil, and the Paradox of Choice

Picture yourself in a grand supermarket. Filled with options; in what seems like hundreds of aisles. Dozens of different options of olive oil imported from Southern Italy. Virgin, extra-virgin, with truffle, light, cold-pressed, stone milled, organic… It really is spectacular. And just like the options in olive oil there are dozens of different types of bread, crackers, chocolate bars, cereals. Sounds great right? You almost want to take a picture…and maybe you do.

Now what? You are in a supermarket, you probably didn’t come here with the purpose of a sightseeing trip. You are there to buy your groceries and leave. Buy what you need. Shouldn’t take too much thought. Suddenly you find yourself overwhelmed with possibilities. Which olive oil do you choose? Which loaf of bread? Do you just grab one without a second thought? Do you look at the price? Calories? Amount of sodium? Do you just stare in quiet desperation while your brain slowly explodes? These are all possibilities.

Even though this could be a totally realistic post about the experience of going to a hyper-supermarket; I am only illustrating the Paradox of Choice. Which exists in many aspects of our lives. From going grocery shopping, to picking a movie on Netflix, to the even scarier life decision of picking a career.

We think having a infinite amount of choices is great. And yes, it is, for a short while. Until we get to the point in our life where we can’t make a decision. Or we avoid making one with the expectation something better might come along. Keeping our options open. Forever…

The reality is that the more options we are given, the less satisfied we are going to feel with whatever we choose. And no, this isn’t just me saying this; there are several studies that back this claim. This could mean that after a choice is made, you could spend years second-guessing yourself. Did you make the right choice? As I mentioned before, many of us simply resort to not making any type of choice at all. We keep our options open by avoiding any type of commitment. This can be true in both our careers and our personal lives.

Should I go into marketing? Or should I be a writer? Or maybe an actress? Maybe I could be a speaker. The list goes on…

The truth is, as Mark Manson puts it: pursuing a breadth of experience denies us the opportunity to experience the rewards of depth of experience. The truth is, commitment to a choice can give you even more freedom than you imagine because you are no longer distracted by the unimportant and frivolous. Making a choice hones your attention and focus, as you are directed to be more efficient at what actually makes you healthy and happy. And achieve even more success.

The rejection of alternatives can feel quite liberating, you just have to understand the benefits and step away from the all the marketing hype and the shiny objects that will distract you for a short while. Go to a farmer’s market perhaps. Choose an olive oil out of the 6 options you are given, not out of the 50+. I guarantee your dinner will be more successful.