Yoga, Dance Party, and Camping

It’s been a while since I last posted. My stress became too overwhelming and school had to take priority. I was struggling for a while with coping with the idea that I might not be able to do what I enjoy and get an education. It’s not that I don’t enjoy what I’m learning, because I do, so much as that it’s hard to learn from people who don’t seem to care about whether or not you learn it. My chemistry and statistics professors each had their issues that made it a constant uphill battle, and while I’m sure I had my own internal struggle to motivate myself manifesting in my work I think that this being one of the worst semesters of my life is not entirely to do with me and my work ethic. Now that it’s over I’m working on moving on, finding balance, and getting ready for the next, rather than letting myself doddle on what can’t be changed. I’m back to blogging, as you can see by reading this post, but I’ve also started vlogging! I’m really excited to explore the kind of content I can make when it’s the primary priority in my life.

I had a very busy weekend, starting out on Saturday with a morning yoga class that ended in a ‘dance party.’ It was a Memorial day celebration which the Nudge purchased tickets to and I snatched one up. The Nudge, is an app that connects young adults across Seattle through events and provides itineraries to get people up and adventuring in our gorgeous Pacific Northwest. Everything from hikes to cocktail mixers, dance parties to underground music concerts. This event was the first that I’ve gone to through the Nudge and it’s made me all the more interested in finding more events in the area to go to. I chose to attend by myself and I think that there’s no better way to do it if you really want to get outside of your comfort zone and find some confidence, some friends, and a truly inspirational community. Upon entry, the first thing I noticed was the crowd of yoga mats busying the floor, and people from all walks of life milling about the room, getting breakfast, saying hello, waking up for the morning. Our yoga instructor was a mixed man with a big afro wearing a feather and butterfly in his hair and psychedelic yoga pants and a velvet military-style jacket on his body. He called himself Pirate Pete, and while he was a fabulous self-confidence and wellness coach he was a subpar yoga instructor. The yoga routine was hardly a workout but was punctuated by Pirate Pete’s corny affirmations and gratitude practices. It was a fun way to find some inner happiness and inspiration but I certainly had a voice in the back of my head during his ‘five fingers of gratitude’ wondering if he learned this while teaching kindergarten. He was a self-proclaimed believer that there is no such thing as a ‘child at heart’ because time is a construct and adulthood a societal norm that suffocates creativity. I agree wholeheartedly.

The dance party was similar to what I imagine a rave might be like, given that I have never been to a rave. The music lacked lyrics but had a riveting beat throughout, all of it made you want to get up and dance and everyone was open and honest and wanted to be there and wanted to dance, something altogether different than the house parties I normally attended where most people stood near the periphery watching the people dancing clumsily with a subtle judgment. This was a come one, come all camaraderie and it was fulfilling and beyond fun. I only stopped to get water and breathe and didn’t want to leave despite the exhaustion coating me from head to toe by the end. There were a couple of performances during the overall ‘dance party’ that gave pause. The first was two breakdancers that were masters at their craft, leaving the whole crowd in awe and me thoroughly impressed. But the more fascinating and bizarre of the two was the later performance by a woman balancing on a balance board on a yoga mat. I was anticipating acrobatic tricks to amaze the eyes, but rather saw a riveting performance that left me shocked and baffled. She began to reach into her shorts, her face contorting in orgasmic pleasure, before pulling out handfuls of glitter and throwing it upon the crowd. Everyone screamed in shouts of joy and surprise, but no one was disgusted. I did not find myself coated in vagina glitter but cannot say how I myself might have felt to be. She then reached a hand into her bra and pulled it out covered in blood, her face contorted in pain and she reached back in pulling out an entire heart. She shoved it in her mouth and ate her own heart before passing it around to others to do the same. She slipped the heart back into her chest and ended her performance covered in blood and glitter, and with the crowd and myself struck with a mixture of feelings difficult to comprehend.

Several people lept off of the railing of the rented space and into Lake Union below, a final ending to the celebration.

I grabbed lunch from Starbucks before driving to Roslyn, Washington to meet up with my friend Kassondra, her brother, and her dad for a camping trip in Eastern Washington. We gathered in a cabin and socialized for several hours before driving into Ronald, Washington where the rest of a large group of people that were their friends were camping for the evening. We ate oysters off of the half shell and seafood from a broil and gathered around the campfire to listen and tell stories before heading back to the cabin for the night at around two the next morning.

I slept in late the next day and had a fruit salad and BLT with avocado for breakfast before we hopped in the jeeps and headed off-roading for the afternoon. The doors got muddy and the road got bumpy and at one point Troy, Kassondra’s dad, ran into a tree. “It didn’t move out of my way.” We got to Teanaway ridge and hiked half a mile to the top and took the scenic mile and a half back down. With the fog, the view wasn’t for miles but it cast an eerie feeling on the crest of the mountain. The fort with its panoramic view was closed and so we were left with what we could see, which was still enrapturing.

Soon after that, however, I began to have a raging migraine and as soon as we returned to the cabin I attempted to sleep, awakening only for tacos. They were probably delicious but I could hardly taste a thing through the pain in my head. If you’ve never experienced a migraine, and I hope you never do, it feels very much like how nails on a chalkboard sound. For me, it’s often like someone is scraping the back of my left eye socket with an ice cream scoop, and I can almost feel the metal scraping bone. It’s a drill through my temple and a nail hammered through my pupil straight into my brain and the intersection is like fireworks of pain, sharp and sudden and unpredictable. As soon as you think you might be able to ignore it and put it to the back of your thoughts it ricochets. When I get migraines I’ll often see ‘rainbow speckles’- younger me’s way of describing the green and pink glowing beams behind my eyes of light that isn’t there and that can’t be ignored. Or, I won’t see anything at all. I’ve gotten tunnel vision that leaves me blind for moments or minutes, that starts with a distinct and ever-louder ringing in my ears that’s nauseating and feels as if a train could be wailing its horn straight into my eardrum. I’ll faint or vomit, or just be crippled to the floor, but it’s all in my head and no one can tell me why.

I didn’t get up again until the next morning and the migraine had not diminished. I hastily made my goodbyes and got in my car because I knew if I didn’t get home now I wouldn’t be capable of driving within the next hours. All I wanted was a warm bath in the pitch black of my bathroom and to sleep in my bed with the curtains drawn and no noise. When I got home I took Excedrin migraine and did just that and by that afternoon my headache was almost insignificant.

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