Back from the dead

Surprise! It’s been about three months since my last post, y’all. I don’t have a legitimate excuse for why I haven’t been writing, other than plain and pure laziness. There’s no use in trying to put it any different: I’ve been lazy, not just for the past few months but for the past two decades of my life, probably. I recently identified laziness as the source for many dysfunctional patterns of thinking. It’s a constant battle, but I’ve begun to conquer this pesky demon.

I once held a bit of spring in my hand

Here’s what I’ve realized: it’s a lot easier to throw your hands up in helpless defeat than admit the fact you could have put in a better effort.

When we forfeit our ability to act, we can easily blame everything and everyone else for our current misfortunes. The responsibility is taken off ourselves, and any feelings of guilt, shame, and frustration are held at bay. However, those things still lurk in our subconscious, because the wiser part of ourself knows better. We know that only we are responsible for how we feel and what we do. It’s a painful thing to realize, but I think it can also be extremely empowering. I’d like to share a few ideas around this that are quickly becoming second nature to me:

We can control much of our daily lives.
While it’s tempting to always focus on “the future” or “the past” with longing, regret, and anxiety, I’ve realized that it’s more logical to focus on creating a more desirable daily life. For example, I’ve recently given my mornings a makeover, dedicating at least 15 minutes for self-care and spirituality. This is within my control! Designing a more ideal daily life is a far less daunting task than trying to improve your life as a monolithic whole.

Time and attention are precious commodities.
I’ve tried to be more mindful and aware of what I choose to give my time and attention to, because I’ve realized that, along with information and knowledge, these are some of the most valuable things in existence. There are too many useless and upsetting things that demand our most precious resources and it’s essential to take back the power and decide how and where you want to allocate them.

Gratitude is one of the best frequencies to emit.
I believe that when you choose to be grateful for something, magic happens. You can transmute bad experiences into lessons that make you a better person. You can acknowledge the goodness in your life and attract even better things. No matter what you believe about the universe and higher powers, there’s no harm in giving thanks. I have found that it feels really good to be grateful.

So, that’s about it for now. I may or may not be bursting with inspiration at the moment, thrilled at the idea of sharing everything with anyone who’ll listen, but I won’t make promises of consistency. Three months is a long time not to write – all I’ll say is I hope never to repeat such an absence. Stay tuned!!

xx
ree

Why do people crave Authenticity? A quick look at YouTuber Shane Dawson’s series

I’m a big fan of YouTube. Since 2006 I’ve watched the humble broadcasting platform for small filmmakers take off and become a giant corporate entity that pumps out millions of minutes of content daily. From vloggers to beauty gurus, many YouTubers are affluent entrepeneurs that have risen up to the status of “influencer” due to the power of their large and steadily growing audiences.

When I first tuned into YouTube, someone with one of the highest subscriber counts was Little Loca, a character played by the late Stevie Ryan. Today, Little Loca’s profile has just below 50,000 subs. That’s an astonishing number compared to Pewdiepie’s 97 million, and goes to show just how much YouTube has grown.

little loca

I love to watch people rise to the top and I can’t seem to look away when they have an inevitable scandal and fall off. I try to take note of the style of content that audiences gravitate towards, and over the years I’ve noticed one key thing: people crave authenticity.

A good example of this can be seen in the work of YouTuber Shane Dawson. Shane is someone I’ve seen transform and launch himself to the top of YouTube since 2008. His multi-part series on figures like Jeffree Star, Jake Paul, and most recently Eugenia Cooney have received tens of millions of views from an audience that highly anticipates this content. The central goal of these series is to capture and share an honest and often uncomfortable look at the subjects’ authentic lives.

They remind of me a bit of early 2000’s celebrity documentaries that offered a glimpse into the life of a star, showcasing a side of them never been seen before. While some viewers, particularly of the Jake Paul series, have criticized Shane for his overuse of dramatic editing and other questionable practices, the response to his work has been overwhelmingly positive. This is interesting because Shane often chooses controversial and polarizing figures to focus on; despite this, the audience eagerly consumes whatever he creates and praises it extensively. He undoubtedly possesses the power to change public opinions on the people in his series by showing them at their most vulnerable and authentic.

Without going too deep into my personal opinion on Shane and his work, I want to highlight once again the general hunger for authenticity among consumers of media. I think there will always be a push-and-pull between the need for polished and prettily packaged content and, on the other end of the spectrum, a more raw, unpacked, and authentic style. In my observation, there’s a high demand right now for truthful and authentic voices telling highly personal stories. These stories may be uncomfortable to hear but ultimately resonate with many people.

In closing, you’ll definitely be hearing more from me about this topic in the future. When it comes to representation and expression, authenticity is an essential principle that I and many others crave – not only in the media but in our real lives! It’s a goal of mine to understand how we can embody our authentic selves every day and express ourselves fully and honestly. So far, all I know is that it takes bravery.

xx
ree

What I learned from Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

I was in a 100-year-old house in the mountains between Germany and Czech Republic. It was the dead of winter, a nasty storm raged outside, and the electricty was out. I had nothing but my phone, which was thankfully on full battery. I used it to read a digital copy of Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear.

This book is about the process of creation and inspiration and the stunning power of ideas. I was surprised when I realized that Gilbert had also written the world-famous memoir Eat Pray Love, which went to the big screen in 2010. Instantly, I trusted the wisdom shared in Big Magic and considered it genuine stuff that worked. To be honest, I’m still testing it out (and having a great time). Here are a few gems I plucked out of the pages that I continue to meditate on and think about as I work on my own writing:

  • Create for the sake of creation
    Life is an endless creative process and we are creative beings by nature. Rather than overthink about creation and take it too seriously, it’s better to create for its own sake. For example, I keep journals, not because anyone else will read them – in fact, I don’t even read them once I finish – but because writing simply for the sake of writing is in my creative nature.
  • Reframe mundane activities as creative
    Things like gardening, cooking, cleaning, exercising, and other everyday actions are ultimately creative and should be seen as such. They feed our creative needs and are therefore good for the soul! No matter what we do, we’re always creating.
  • Bring life to ideas
    Ideas are weird, mystical things that we don’t quite understand yet, although Gilbert makes the case that they are sort of entities that seek us out in order to bring them to life. Think about this the next time one comes knocking at your brain. Make the commitment to work with it: give it your energy and play with it. See what happens! It’s such an interesting way to view the creative process and I love how Gilbert describes it.

Big Magic was a great read that made those dark and stormy days I had this winter fly by. It’s one of those books I’ll keep referring back to throughout my writing career because it pushed me to look at my creativity in a different way. Even though I wasn’t a big fan of Eat, Pray, Love, I admire Gilbert’s brave approach to the writing process and I definitely aspire to be as raw and authentic as she is in her writing. It’s work in progress! Stay tuned.


xx
ree

pleased to meet you.

one time

My name is Ree and I like to write. I decided to start a blog to share my ideas about life and document my pursuit of its deeper meaning. Here are a few topics I’m passionate about:

Self-Love
Creativity
Authenticity

I’ve been playing with these ideas for a long time and at this point, I’m pretty sure they’re key principles to live by. My blog will dive deep into these topics and I sincerely hope can I help and connect with other people on their own self-discovery journeys.

As a side note, I’m an obsessive hoarder of useless knowledge which I like to share with whoever will listen, so stay tuned for essays on stuff nobody asked for or is interested in.

I also write prose & poetry. I’m currently working on about 163 fictional universes to weave stray plots and characters into. I swear, my first novel will be done within the next year.

Last and most importantly, I’m constantly inspired by people. There are some amazing folks walking this planet: folks who ooze creative energy and demand to be written about and made into art. I’m always on the lookout for inspiration from other people and I do the best I can to paint them with my words.

I believe we are all made of stories. I’m here to tell as many as I possibly can.

xx
ree