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I used to cringe whenever Facebook told me that someone tagged me in a photo. I could feel the color draining from my face as I clicked to find a candid photo of me staring back at me. A photo that I had no control over. A photo in an unplanned moment. All I see is the imperfections, even after telling the world about my body image epiphany.

God, my hair.

Why do I have that weird look on my face?

My necklace is uneven.

Oh my god, is that how I look now? I have got to lose weight. 

Is that…is that a zit?

Ew.

WHY IS MY FACE SO RED?

Should I ask them to untag me? Everyone looks so great and then there I am.

But I’ve been completely unfair to you. To myself. To the memories. To that girl in the photos who is surrounded by love and having the time of her life. [click to continue…]

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Current Status

by Berrak on March 18, 2015

(Warning: This is a stream of consciousness post, also known as word vomit.)

I’ve talked about how I am always aware of how I feel and if I can’t figure out the root cause of a feeling – I dig until I do. Self-awareness isn’t just a fad for me. It’s necessary. When you grow up with abuse and mental illness in your genes, you either take control or get lost in the depths of fear. I’m a huge advocate of saying yes. Of experiencing life, no matter what. I own my feelings and let them run their course – even the ugly ones. I know what it’s like to deny my feelings, to try to drown them with glass after glass. Being self-destructive was how I got through anger and sadness when I was younger.

People make mistakes. People let us down. People use us for their own ego. People put us down to give themselves the illusion of feeling good.

We can’t control how others act. We control our own reaction, even when we feel out of control.strength

When I was younger, my way of taking control was being incredibly guarded and if anyone got close to the walls, I’d go with the trusted self-deprecation. I could go on and on about all the ways I put myself down, and maybe one day, when I finally write my book, you’ll get to hear those stories.

As I grew up, though, my way of taking control changed. Being guarded and closed off to potentially good experiences for the sake of avoiding the pain wasn’t worth it. It’s not how I want to live my life. I take the good with the bad, the pain with the pleasure. At the end of the day, I can say that I gave it all a try. I let love win.

Besides, people come and go. Experiences, both the good and the bad, are how we define our own strength.

There’s one feeling I absolutely hate, though. It’s one I try to avoid. If it comes around, I do my best to let it go. I know how poisonous it is and I know how it could easily consume me. Unfortunately, like everything else, it must be felt. It must be experienced. I have to let it run its course to learn my lesson and to feel that relief.

Anger.

I get easily annoyed. I get frustrated. I get impatient.

But angry?

That’s a rare feeling for me. The one that starts at the pit of your gut, and like a slow-burning fire, takes over your entire self.

When I decided to write about this, the first quote that popped into my head was the one we all know:

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned. – Buddha”

But the thing is – sometimes, we have to get burned. If I am feeling angry, that’s what I’m supposed to feel to process the root cause of that anger. It’s unfortunate, but the principle is the same as any other emotion: Telling someone (or ourselves) to just get over it doesn’t work. The longer we deny a feeling, the longer it holds on. Use whatever metaphor you want to but the fact of the matter is, like all emotion, anger must be felt.

I know that I also need to forgive. Forgiveness isn’t always about the other person because they may not even seek forgiveness. Hell, they may not even deserve it. Forgiveness is my reaction to the actions causing me to feel anger. But honestly? It doesn’t happen in an instant. Knowing that I need to let go of the anger doesn’t mean it will run its course any faster. The only control I have over that is to not let it consume me. To continue with my life, stay aware of my emotions and when the time comes, to forgive.

It could be tomorrow.

It could be next year.

So right now – I’m angry.

But I’m also satisfied, happy, loved, and grateful.

That’s the beauty of being human. We can feel conflicting feelings all at once, defining who we are at a given moment by choosing to embrace the positive ones as the negative ones run their course.

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Remix_Facebook_714x64 (2)

One of the many, many…many things I love about Seattle is the abundance of events and culture. In addition to all of the great breweries, hiking spots, the amazing coffee, wineries and live music venues, Seattle has incredible museums. Seattle Art Museum (SAM) is one of them. It’s a shameful admission that in the two years I’ve lived in this area, I have not paid a visit to SAM, although I’ve driven and walked past it on several occasions. Hangs head in shame. 

On Friday, March 13 – which happens to be my lucky day – yet another awesome event is happening at SAM. SAM Remix is a choose-your-own-adventure kind of night. The night’s activities will include:

  • Dancing with equal parts deep thinker, rabble rouser, party starter, and iconoclast DJ Doc Adam.
  • Exploring cultural intersections and contemporary Native culture in portraiture with Wendy Red Star .
  • Creating Duchamp-inspired silhouettes with artist Alicia Betty.
  • Building some absurd Rube Goldberg machines with Weber Thompson architects and Romson Bustillo.
  • Experiencing the galleries in new and unexpected ways with My Favorite Things: Highly Opinionated Tours led by artists, community figures and special guests.

Although this will be my very first SAM Remix event, rumor has it that no two events are the same! So if you’ve been to a SAM Remix event before, come mix it up with me and rest of the talented people attending the event. I am also in search of a +1 – Seattle friends, if you want a chance to attend this awesome event with me, send out a tweet with how you’d begin your adventure. Be sure to tag it with #SAMRemix & include my Twitter handle: @BerrakDC.

If you aren’t going to be my plus one, I still have a treat for you. When buying your SAM Remix tickets, use code: twitterremix0313 for $5 off your ticket.

remixdance

 

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Hello loves! I was swamped yesterday so I didn’t get around to posting this but don’t fret! I still love a lot of stuff and here’s your dose of positivity.

I love…being excited about buying furniture and appliances. Because #adulthood.

I love…finally having a solid group of girlfriends that I found after moving to Seattle. I should write a blog about that soon.

I love…nights that randomly end at the karaoke bar. [click to continue…]

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maslow“I’m needy. You know this.”

This is something I tell my friends often. When I meet new people, I warn them about my neediness, because I know it’ll come up. My friends know this all too well about me, and they fully accept it.

“You are, but it’s OK,” they tell me.

Of course, there’s a level to my neediness. There have been days I feel an extra surge of insecure energy surrounding my psyche, and if it’s a day I have plans, I no longer hide from it. [click to continue…]

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I Love…Fridays: The One With AlltheFeels

January 9, 2015

If you’re friends with me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter, you may notice that I have obnoxiously become Little Miss Sunshine, full of love, gratitude and OMG ALL THE FEELS. And guys…it’s not going to stop. So I figured this was the best time to bring back I Love…Fridays – because I need […]

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Hey Neighbor, Can I Borrow a Cup o’ Sugar?

January 2, 2015

View from my little corner of heaven One of the biggest things that have been missing from my life since we moved to the U.S. is the sense of community that comes from greeting neighbors. It’s something that’s lacking in a lot of the places I’ve lived, especially as a single 20-something. I know that […]

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2014 – The Year of the Penguin

December 31, 2014

That’s what I named my album for 2014 on Facebook. I had no idea what my year or life would be like. I certainly didn’t expect my life to look like what it does now. I was trying to figure out what to write on here for my end of year post. I thought about […]

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My Body Image Epiphany

December 11, 2014

Whenever my mom and I talk on the phone, she always asks me the same question: “Have you lost weight?” The answer is always the same: “I’m working on it, Mom.” As a 29-year-old woman, I’ve approached my battle with my body image every way possible. I’ve started and stopped diets. I’ve started working out. […]

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Leap of Faith

December 8, 2014

With shaky hands, I unfolded the two pieces of paper that had been taped to my door. I already knew what they would say but I didn’t expect the timeline to be accelerated. I was on my way to an important meeting so I composed myself, took a deep breath and willed the tears that […]

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