Coming out of my blogger hibernation to bring you a fresh mixtape in honor of 404 DAY! Today marks another favorite culture-made holiday of mine because it's all about celebrating the great city of Atlanta. There are so many things to love about the A, but my favorite by far is the music scene. Although I moved to North Carolina 6 months ago (dang time flies!) I will always be an ATLien at heart, and this playlist epitomizes why.
For every classic Atlanta hip-hop anthem, I included a new age track by a growing local artist. There is truly nothing like the Atlanta music scene. Built by hip-hop, fed by jam rock and now electronica and bass music, there's something for everyone here. Artists who keep hitting new levels like Space Kadet and Modern Measure, and bridge genres like Daily Bread - in my eyes they are the crown example of what Atlanta stands for.
Atlanta has that all-inclusive, no boundaries, hustle mentality. It's the place where no one minds where you came from, as long as you know how to smile. There's no doubt this energy has been infused into every project to come out of the city. And I feel as if I were strolling down Boulevard myself when I listen to this mix of tracks - it's just pure love, real emotion and tight beats.
Days like this make me miss ATL like crazy, but lucky for me Big Boi, Killer Mike, Scales, Ployd, and Mighty High Coup can easy the homesickness in playlist form. Excited that I'll be back this weekend for a much anticipated show at Aisle 5! And I have plenty of posts drafted about my new home in Charlotte that I need to catch you up on. Until then.. enjoy The 404!
This is a very bittersweet post to write. I’m actually tearing up as I write it, but its a mix of incredibly happy tears, tears full of some of the best memories of my life, and tears that are mourning the end of a very profound era that shaped who I am. For the last 20 years I’ve lived in the Atlanta, GA area. I learned almost everything I know here. I met all of my best friends here. I started my career and built a network here. I met the love of my life here. Although, he’s not an ATL native - he lives 4 hours away in Charlotte, NC. A city that I’ve grown a new love for as I explored bits and pieces of it during the short time we've been in this long(ish) distance relationship. And now, I am excited to share that it is my future home too! I’ve decided after a lot of deep thought, some letting go, and oodles of daydreaming that this is the move I need to make. My happiness in Georgia is dwindling and its because half of my light is two states away. I can feel as the season of Fall approaches that there are big changes ahead, and healthy ones that I am internally yearning for. I often crave a change of environment. And this change is not easy but it’s very exciting and I am also crying at the thought of waking up next to my best friend every day.
There is nothing that will ever replace Atlanta as home for me. My family is still here, my siblings and my little niece and my puppy nephews, my parents who have always been there for me whenever I needed them. It’s going to be a big change no longer being 30 minutes from them. I told my mom on the phone the other day that I didn’t want to leave Georgia until they did and all she said was… ‘Why? Don't stay on our behalf..' I said I want to be there for them if they need help, and I love being able to pop in and just visit on a whim. They’ve relied on me a lot this year and I am so grateful that I have been able to be there for them because they have done the same for me my whole life. But my mom’s argument did not waiver. She knows how happy Brandon makes me, and how badly we want to begin our life together. I know they support my decision, and will definitely come visit us too. And theres no way I won’t be coming back to Atlanta on a monthly basis - any time a friend has a birthday or there’s a really good show or when I'm craving some Taqueria Tsunami. I don’t need much of an excuse to come back. And, I’m officially extending the invite to anyone reading this to come visit us in Charlotte once we move in to our new house!
I’ve decided (this morning actually) to move October 1st. So until then I will be soaking up all of my favorite things about Atlanta, spending time with those who mean the most to me, but also looking forward to spending Fall in Charlotte with Brandon and probably getting a pair of kittens as soon as humanly possible. We have a lot of goals that we want to achieve together, and some that I want to achieve on my own. Including blogging my way through this new adventure, brushing off my freelance skills and finally getting RJ Manifests up and running. In addition to finalizing my book and launching it! We also will help each other build a healthier lifestyle - more exercising and yoga and healthy cooking at home (send me your recipes please)! This new environment is going to catalyze the next phase of our life. A phase that will only make us stronger, lead to more opportunities, and make something more of our lives. This move will set us up for success, so Queen City here I come!
To all of my ATLiens, Atlanta friends and family.. everyone who has been a part of my experience here. Especially the ones who have stuck around for years, Thank You, from the bottom of my heart. I would not have fallen in love with this city if it wasn’t for the amazing people it attracts. Keep and eye out for details on a farewell party! You know I’m not leaving without one last celebration. Two promises: I will be back to visit and I’m only a FaceTime away. I love all of you so much, but Charlotte is pretty cool so come check it out and crash with us!
More to come…
All my love,
The shifting of seasons is one of my favorite experiences. Springtime is when everything becomes green and new life is all around, the world around us is shaking off the feelings of hibernation and stretching up to the endless sky. It's when all of the elements blend into synchronicity, infusing us with wild new energy and purpose. All the seeds planted long ago begin to sprout, even the ones you may have forgotten about.
At the end of March, I traveled up to Chicago for a 2-day family affair, the Bassnectar Spring Gathering. Traveling always brings me new perspective and rich experiences. But, there was a message during the show that resonated with me very deeply. It was an excerpt from the Duncan Trussell Family Hour podcast. Check it out below - it's worth every second.
This speech nails it. It's such a brilliant perspective, and the metaphor of spring perfectly reflected my soul and countless other bass heads. I get chills every time I relive that moment. But the part that left me dead in my tracks was the line that goes "you'll meet someone new, and realize that it's possible to fall in love again." It was as if everything I've been experiencing at the end of my winter was coming full circle. I recently fell for someone who's soul mirrors my own, and we traveled to work the show in Chicago together. We've both been in such disbelief at how real everything feels, and how undeniable our feelings are - even if we were both scared to explore them. But that 'glimmer of hope' was staring at us, and we knew. This is real. The birth of something incredible. And, the cherry on top of this speech was the backtracking of Bassnectar's remix of a Glitch Mob track called "Beauty of the Unhidden Heart." It was no coincidence that Brandon and I's relationship blossomed the morning their new album was announced, when we discovered we were both mega Glitch Mob fans. That level of serendipity is becoming more and more frequent ever since our souls met. I recapped more about Chicago in the Instagram below:
Back to the sprouting of seeds, I fully believe that in order for new cycles to emerge there must be some sort of maintenance beforehand. We need to declutter and let go of past habits. Resurface your neglected interests, give your hobbies a rebirth. For instance; yesterday I noticed a trail of ants in my room. At first I was annoyed and looked at it as a nuisance. And while I pretty much had to tear apart my room to get to the source, they led right to my arts and crafts box under my bed. Once I cleaned up the stickiness they had found, I realized I hadn't opened my craft box in a veryyyyy long time. So, I spent the next hour cleaning it out, inventorying my supplies, and becoming inspired by all of the things I had the tools to create. All of the seeds I needed to create new and beautiful things had been planted under my nose for months - yet the timing hadn't worked out for me to make anything of them. Well, that little seed I forgot I had planted has now sprouted out of the ground, invigorating me with the drive to create, and I'm now grateful for those ants leading me to a passion I once enjoyed but had forgotten.
I noticed this pattern about myself and I wonder if any of you also find yourself in this situation. I tend to gather, gather, gather... research more information, collect more supplies and resources, keeping notes of random thoughts and ideas for reference, storing things for later use like a squirrel collecting food for the winter. I got a laugh out of it actually, realizing my odd behavior (it also reminded me of this great blog about Underpants Gnomes).
But to get back to the point, now is the time to uncover your acorns. Now is when you decide which ones are worth acting on and which ones just became clutter. It's okay to let go of past ideas + projects, don't see it as a failure. Instead look at it as maximizing your energy. If you're anything like me, you have to prioritize your wild ideas and hone in on the ones that will be the most beneficial. What have you been pondering? What have you put off or felt uninspired about? Have there been signs leading you somewhere - such as the ants leading me to my passion for crafting? Remind yourself of the breadcrumbs you left in the past, of the thoughts and ideas you wanted to revisit, of the hobbies you put on the back burner. Take advantage of the longer days, and the sun's extended energy. Just MAKE something or DO something or PUBLISH something - ironically the situation also motivated me to create a blog post for the first time in 3 months. Oh how I have so many unpublished thoughts. I plan to comb through them and do a little spring cleaning of my own mind. After all, I need to make room for the new and exciting things I have ahead of me. Including a book that I have already begun writing - to be published later this year! That's the goal at least. The more people I tell, the more accountable I'll be to make it happen.
I'll leave you with this; don't hesitate. Let all of your hesitations, procrastination reflexes, and paralyzing anxiety or thoughts wash out of you. That was winter talking; spring is the time to emerge and make moves. And, if you need a soundtrack for your season, check out my RENEWAL playlist on Spotify!
Much love and endless gratitude,
HOW COULD THIS BE WRONG - THE GLITCH MOB
The long awaited return of the Glitch Mob has come to reality. This was the first single released off their upcoming album See Without Eyes (out May 4th!). The first drop is everything you could ever want from a GM song, deep penetrating bass with the overlayers of ethereal synthy magic. This track takes you on a journey. This song found me at a turning point in my life, a time that I allowed myself to surrender to a new love that I was scared to fall into. But hearing this song for the first time, the morning after we shared our first kiss, all of the hesitation went out the window as we asked ourselves "How could this be wrong?"
FALLS - ODESZA
The lyrics in this song are so empowering. "Gotta hold on, gonna make it through this time." It's got to be one of the best songs for anyone going through a difficult time. It inspires so much hope and it's just one of those songs that makes you believe that better days are ahead, that it's okay to admit you're a bit broken. But you have to keep moving in order to get to a better place in the future. Aside from that, it has all of the classic Odesza-esque loops and synths which makes it such a beautiful track.
DESERT DIAMOND - MINNESOTA
I am absolutely digging everything about Minnesota's new EP Curio. This song is one of the thicker tracks on this mix but it offers a nice contrast from all the bubbly tracks. It just layers on so heavy, and keeps building throughout. Not to mention the funky blips and beeps make you feel like you're exploring the catacombs of the pyramid level in Mario Bros 3. I'm super stoked to catch Minnesota throwing down next week at Digital Gardens! His shows always throw down, and I'm dying to hear this new new live.
OPEN UP - BASSNECTAR
I've known this song since it came out in 2014, but I never truly listened to it until this year. It was dropped at the Spring Gathering, making for one of the heaviest beauty banger moments of the weekend. The lyrics (sung by Simon Morel) are highly uplifting, and the message I take from it is not to be afraid to open up to the people around you. I've spent the better part of my young adulthood insistent on handling things on my own. But by being open to help others and be helped by them in return, you allow space for collaboration and new inspiration to spark; ammunition to be loaded so to speak. And, while I haven't been one for love songs until recently, I now find a whole new meaning to the lyric "you're my ammunition" - because finding someone that feeds your passion and supports you is rare and I for one feel unstoppable because of it.
There are almost 50 tracks on this playlist, and I could talk about all of them but instead I'll let you explore the mix for yourself. I hope it brings you breaths of fresh musical air and inspires you to keep moving no matter what. Enjoy!
There is something more to what we are. On the surface, we just look like people carrying out our busy lives. But, there are deeper layers to everything - messages floating all around us. And I want to show you how to listen to them. Your next opportunity is here today during the Super Moon, but I will explain that shortly.
Let me give you some background on me; I am eternally curious, I believe in magic, and I have a serious fascination with astrology, numerology, esoteric philosophies, and ancient cultures. I think this combination has opened my perspective to receive messages more fluidly than someone who doesn’t notice the wind in the air, or the phase of the moon.
Why is this important? Well. That’s up for you to decide. If you think it’s at least important enough to keep reading then you must continue. What intertwines us as humans is our pursuit of purpose as it pertains to ourself and the outside world. At some point we will all be faced with the opportunity to believe in more than ourselves. The question is wether you will let it pass you, or let it fill you with inspiration and wonder.
Last night my dad and I watched one of the most magnificent skies I’ve seen in a while. The sky is my ultimate source of inspiration; it always changes yet remains constant. Stars, clouds, planets… I could stare into it forever. And the more often I do the more often these other worldly messages find their way to me. I cherish the moments I spend with my dad looking into infinity, and we talked a lot about how it makes so many other problems in life seem insignificant. We both trust in the universe, and no matter how challenging it can be to live in modern society, he reminds me that our roots are intertwined with the divine and ancient ancestors; that our spirits are more special than we are taught to believe.
MESSAGES + MESSENGERS
There have been multiple instances where I was deeply reflecting, working through life in my mind, when a message will come. Such as a feather found on the ground, or a seemingly random (but noticeably stronger) gust of wind, or I’ll hear a far-off chiming sound. To me, these are signs of good luck. Your signs may be different to you, but if you are primarily an Air sign like myself (Gemini, Aquarius or Libra), then you should take more notice in the timing of air elements entering your life.
One thing to note is that there is always two parts; the messenger (or vehicle) and the message (or meaning). The most recent sign I have received is the fact that tonight is the Gemini Super Moon, meaning the full moon will coincide with the gemini constellation. In addition, Mercury (Gemini’s ruling planet, and the planet of communication) will go into retrograde. Despite the stigmas you may have heard about planetary retrograde, it really isn’t some hoax to roll your eyes at (nor is it an omen for which to place blame). Think of retrograde as a shift in the universal energy - to some it affects like a magnifying glass, to others like radio static. In this scenario, the messenger is the celestial beings themselves, and the message is subjective, but each person will have their own interpretations (and that's what's so great - don't just take my word for what it means to me, infer your own meaning and purpose).
No matter what way you look at it, the convergence of these intertwined celestial beings should grab your attention. It’s a curious pattern, and the intellectual energy that Gemini are so prone to can be truly magnified during this time (another note on astrology - just because you weren't born during Gemini season does not mean it isn't present somewhere in your birth chart!). The energies I'm sensitive to right now are making me feel overly compelled to publish this blog post (even though I hardly feel well-studied enough to write about pseudoscientific topics). It’s my purpose in life to connect to people; I am a social scientist through and through, and I'm curious to see the effect this post will have on some people. I don’t always fully understand how, but I can’t ignore the fact that I’ve given people advice and led them to interests that created a massively impactful chain of events. Sometimes when I give advice it’s as if I lose my sense of ‘self’ and become a messenger for the universe. If you’ve ever had a revelation during a conversation with me, you know I am a natural communicator - almost too natural at times.
LANGUAGE OF NUMBERS
Let’s switch gears to numerology. This is the belief and study of mystical relationships between numbers and ideas. And, the deeper you study it the more you can understand that numbers have their own language (and actually are the foundation for every language, every structure we know). Do you regularly notice the clock at 11:11? Or maybe triple digits like 333 follow you places. For me, I notice various combinations of 612 very often. The more I noticed, the more I wanted to understand what this could mean. Truly you should dive deep into numerologist.com and let it lead you to the information you need. In short, each number holds certain characteristics, and each letter decodes to a number using the Pythagorean alphabet. So, this brings me back to the number 11, which is known as a ‘master number’.
How this pertains to today's Super Moon is quite astounding. On this day (12/3 - another number pattern to pick up on), five celestial beings sat at 11° this morning; the gemini constellation, the moon, Jupiter, Neptune and the Sun. According to numerologist.com this created an 11:11:11:11:11 portal - a allusion to 2018 which is an 11 universal year. Below is today’s natal chart, a map of the position of each celestial being in our solar system (at a given time). Studying how these positions relate to each other will help you further understand what I can ‘universal energy’ or ‘universal flow’. You will notice the 11’s I mentioned before, and if this looks entirely foreign don’t let it overwhelm you. Cafe Astrology is a great place to start learning how to read natal charts.
The point is, it is all connected. Every word, every combination of date, location and time, can all be decoded into something purposeful. Today, in particular, is important because it is a great opportunity to think about closure for 2017 and your purpose for 2018. What do you want to achieve? What areas do you want to grow? What gives your life true meaning? To me, life is all about connecting the dots. That’s why I work in the field of communication. It’s why I’ve learned to notice signs of luck, and take them as affirmations that I’m on the right path. It’s not always good, I don’t want to give the illusion that my life is perfect whatsoever. But, I am happy every single day because I choose to be. And I choose to see the good signs and piggyback off of them into even better signs. This is something you can do too, every person is capable of tapping into that universal flow.
MAKE SOMETHING OF IT
Turn this newfound information from something mental into something physical. There is no better time than now! Here are a list of ideas you should focus on around the Gemini Full Moon that I adapted from numerologist.com :
Use the resources out there, let yourself be curious about the convergence of events that makes you special. Look up and learn to read your birth chart, read about your life path number, read about the traits that were engrained with you since your soul met your body. I promise it will offer insight, it will help you understand your faults and weaknesses, and it will help you heal and learn to love who you are and feel confident about where you are going. 2018 is about to be a very powerful year, and now is the perfect time to set some future intentions. Connect more dots within yourself. Communicate with yourself more often, and you will in turn communicate with the universe.
Writer, stargazer, believer in human beings. Die-hard rock and roller with an insatiable urge to dance my way through life.