Good golly, I am SO guilty of this. When you're interested in and want to be a part of everything, feeling a door could open in any direction at any time, I understand it's enticing to keep tacking on another item on the "to-do" list. Really though, does it need to be done? When I was in high school, and most of all college, I had no less than forty things on my to-do list at a time - most of them time consuming, highly involved and stressful. It got to the point where I was doing so much that I drove myself into a depressive and manic state, resulting in an intense anxiety attack the night before a performance I was acting in and directing.
If what you are spending your time doing on a daily basis doesn't run in line with your ultimate dream and what you feel your purpose on this Earth is, the answer is - you probably should be spending what precious time you have on what's most important to you. Obviously you should spend time with your family and friends that build you up, and taking the time to do things to find out who you are in the beginning, but when it comes to things that you're the least bit "eh" about - the real answer should be, "Thank you, but nope, nope, and nope."
If You say Yes to Everyone Else, You'll never be able to say yes to yourself
This is where it gets tricky. Sometimes, when you're on the path to finding yourself, it's obviously good to keep your options open, because they could lead to who you're supposed to be! My freshman year in Los Angeles, one of my dear friend's was a dancer and they asked me if I'd shoot a concept dance video with her and her boyfriend. Before this point, had I ever shot a concept dance video before? Nope. But I tried it, because I didn't know exactly what kind of director/filmmaker I wanted to be then. Now, shooting dance is one of my favorite things to do and I try to incorporate it anything I can regarding visual art. Also, that dancer and her boyfriend - Katy and Dennis - are two of my dearest friends whom I've met in LA, who also happened to help me find myself! The same kind of story happened with me in photography and acting, and I'm grateful for those experiences.
It takes these experiences to help you realize what it is you truly want to do, but once you understand what that thing that gets you out of bed in the morning is, you need to allow yourself the time to hone that craft. You can't say yes to everything the world is asking of you and make your dreams happen at the same time. Learn to say "yes," to yourself first.
Tacking too much on wears and tears at your body like an angry and ferocious rabbit
It's true. Even though you might not realize it, each time you tack on another thing to do, the more your body breaks down and becomes exhausted. Slowly but surely, the amount of needless work will take little bites of energy and satisfaction out of you over time - like a ferocious and angry rabbit taking tiny but detrimental bites. Whether it's stress, anxiety, sleep deprivation, malnutrition, or an awful combination of all of these things - losing sense of your time management can take a major toll on your body. This causes you to not only do anything because of your state of health, but can really mess with how you perceive things and yourself in the future.
When putting too much of your energy into things that don't truly matter to you, support you, or satisfy you and where you want to be, it can do more harm than good.
With No fulfillment comes depressive states
If you are continually spending your life and time doing work that doesn't actually satisfy your soul, it results in just going through the motions of things and making decisions without a true passion - creating a less than satisfactory outcome. If you want to be a painter, but instead are filing paperwork - something that is most definitely not even close to what you'd rather be doing, your soul and purpose aren't being fulfilled. This allows your perception of life to dwindle into something that has no meaning, and it's because you're not spending it doing what you love - which is the point of it all anyway. We can't take our money with us when we die, but we can cherish the things we love, and leave it behind for others to admire as well.
You lose track of Why you Started Doing EVerything in The First Place
If you have forty things going on and once, and they're all there because you thought they would help you to get to where you wanted to go, but so much time has passed and you've forgotten the reason you decided to do all of these things in the first place. When your life is made up of, let's say, going to set for fourteen hours each day and being a Production Assistant, and having this job go on for ten years, you forgot that you started doing that job to help you become a director. Now you've spent ten years of your life doing a job you only needed to do for maybe a few years, making other people's movies, and not spending that time making your own. The same thing goes for if you work in a company where you believe you'll make connections to get where you want to be, not at all desiring to move up to a higher position - then having several years pass and you're an executive at the company - never having left to pursue your dream because everything became too comfortable and familiar.
If it feels like an "eh," It's really a "Nope."
Though this is said time and time again, if an opportunity comes up and you have that feeling in your stomach saying, "eh, this isn't actually something I want to do," then for heaven's sakes don't do it. Your time on this earth is valuable and irreplaceable. Don't spend something so precious on things that don't make you the slightest bit excited and happy. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule, like going to your least favorite cousin's birthday party. Also, if your best friend is asking you to do something and it's not entirely your jam, share that you will support them in any other way, but if their work isn't something that you feel like you can contribute to in an honest way because it doesn't excite you, you'll be doing them no harm than good. I know that's hard, but sometimes you need to do what's best for you - and your friend. Spend that time on you and honing your craft.
Spend Time doing and Becoming an Expert on What you Want Most
If you know what you want to do with your life, don't set up time for any distractions. Be specific in what makes you happy, and every moment you possibly can to hone that skill and become an expert on it. Read about it. Write about. Practice it every day no matter what it is. Dedicate your life to what you love most and never look back. After all this life is yours, no one else's. Make it the masterpiece you envision and dream about every day.
Mary Gabrielle Strause
I don't know about you, but as a movie lover and maker, I haven't been too particularly touched or impressed by what I've been seeing in theaters lately (besides Spike Lee's Blackkklansman- which I'll talk about later). As this directly revolves around what I do for a living, I can't help but think to myself of all of the things that contribute to this feeling of mine. I look back to all of the classic films that I absolutely cherish, that bring me to tears, make me wish I were friends with the characters, remind me of the magic that movies can create, and help me escape from reality for a little while. These are the movies that withstand the sands of time, and even still play in theaters today. The stories that don't try so hard to be mega-hits, that don't play to societal standards and are just really only concerned with being themselves (difficult to compare to other films because they are so unique). When I think of the classics, I think of movies like Singing in the Rain, Forrest Gump, Some Like it Hot, Braveheart, but most of all, I think of Breakfast at Tiffany's.
holly is living the (Stylish) story of our life
So, why do we love Breakfast at Tiffany's? It's about a girl, who wanted more out of the life she had and went out to find out exactly what her new life would consist of. Though it meant leaving loved ones and the responsibilities that life entailed, she loved herself enough to create a better life for herself, and wanted to find a way to support someone she loved most - her younger brother. Along the way though, she lost herself in the standards of society, who she was supposed to be according to them, and how to support her brother through only money, not love, and through this she shut off her vulnerability and ability to connect to others on a more personal level by being herself. Does this sound familiar?
For me it's a definite yes. In Breakfast at Tiffany's, Audrey Hepburn is playing nineteen-year-old Holly Golightly. She is living on her own in Manhattan, trying to make a way for herself - at NINETEEN to support herself and her brother - who is currently away at war - so those she was connected to before won't have to - and so she can be free from her old life for good. This is so relatable in the fact that so many of us, at eighteen, leave for college trying to create a life for ourselves that will support us for the rest of our days. With this though, our main focus is the ability to make enough money, all the while, often forgetting about what will make us happy. Holly does this by trying to find a wealthy man to marry, forgetting about her own happiness and chance at love, and therefore, disconnecting emotionally. I feel, especially in this day and age, this is extremely relevant.
It's so difficult not to love Her
Even with her scheming and less than moral ways, it is ever so very difficult not to love Holly. Audrey Hepburn does an exceptional job and portraying the character of Holly in the most charismatic and natural way. It doesn't once feel like she is acting, and because of that, you feel like Holly is a friend you would die to have. She is spunky, eloquent, knows how to stand her ground and get what she thinks she wants. Charismatic is her middle name, and style is her first, she has a lot of love to give and passion to share, and all the while, is going through the same problems as us (that can be interchangeable of course).
Because of this, you just want to shake some sense into her and tell her to forget the icky rich guys who will never love her like she deserves, and go be with Paul. That way she can be herself and they can find a life together in actual happiness compared to the pre-perceived notions of it.
The story Doesn't Try to Be Something It's not
Breakfast at Tiffany's is something that is incomparable in every way. It's just as unique as you or me. It has its own personality, is going as it's own pace, the story doesn't feel made up to appease our needs, and as far as Holly's concerned, you're just along for the ride. That's what makes it so magical. This film is about a girl, going through life, and all the while, finally understanding who she is allowed to be in the world, and who she'll be happy being. It's not a quest for love, it's not an action piece trying to woo you with every forced shot, it's not a character trying to get you to like her, it's just a movie about Holly Golightly being her wonderful self, meeting someone who reminds her that being herself is always enough to be loved, and is taught how to genuinely love again and have an emotional connection. That's it. Just a movie as simple and as unique as "Breakfast at Tiffany's," would be.
It's Honest, relatable, and completely unique
...and because of that reason above, is why we love it so much. It's why it's a classic. It's why it's still showing in theaters on select days throughout the year so people can experience this special story on the big screen. Originally a book by Truman Capote in 1958, he told a story about a girl just going through life on her own way, and finding the true meaning of it at the end - on her own terms. You are just a fly on the wall, you are of no concern to the characters living their lives - and because of that, they're your friends. The story is simple, and you're allowed to just sit back and take in each magical, heart sparking moment. It's not about entertainment, it's about being vulnerable - and in today's case, that's something that lets you escape from every day life - and that's what stories like this and theater are all about.
XOXO - Mary Gabrielle Strause
Are you planning your next adventure and looking for a way to truly experience where you're going without running into all of the tourist-y shenanigans? If so, boy do I have a surprise for you! Chances are you may already be using Airbnb to book a place to stay for a lower cost and more of a personal vibe for a "home away from home." That beings said, HAVE YOU LOOKED AT THE EXPERIENCES OPTION when the different home options emerge on your screen?! Holy Toast. Guys. Once you do, your life will be changed forever.
"Airbnb Experiences," are truly an amazing way to integrate yourself with the culture of the place you are exploring, meet new friends that are possibly locals or from a completely different place in the world, and allow you to immerse yourself in something unique that you could never forget. Yes, some tourist attractions are necessary to see, but so many of options provided on Airbnb will make you feel like you're living a whole different life and are able to truly take in your new surroundings.
Whether you are interested in trying new foods, doing yoga in a brewery, learning how to sketch live models while eating dumplings in an underground art gallery/bar (I did this), taking surfing lessons, going on a haunted walking tour of the city, learn how to make coffee or chocolate in a castle, a sunset dip for two in a private hot spring, maybe even attending a private concert, or biking through the mountains, Airbnb experiences truly has everything you can ever imagine looking for. Each experience is created and ran by locals within the area that you are visiting, and they will be sure to give you the ultimate cultural experience and tips on where you can snag the best bite or where you should check out while you're in town.
The prices vary just as much as the experiences do depending on where you are going, but I assure you that they are 100% worth it! Each trip I've gone on, I've tried to at least squeeze one of these experiences in and I've never been disappointed. The time of the experience is included so you know how to plan the rest of your day. Also, more often than not, meals, drinks, and supplies (if it applies to what you are doing) are included in the price of attending. Really all you have to do is show up, ready to rock with a smile on your face.
Booking these experiences is just as, if not even easier, than booking a space to stay on Airbnb. You book for how many people are going, what dates are available for the experience, confirm your booking, and pay! That's all there is to it! If you're at all skeptical of the experience, or are wondering if it's worth it, please read the reviews written on the experience's page for a better idea if the event is right for you or not!
Just to give you an idea of what could be in store for you, here are a few snapshots of experiences from Los Angeles, New Orleans, London, Paris, Berlin, and Rio de Janeriro!
Among these, there are literally THOUSANDS of these experiences to choose from all around the world! From areas that range from Food & Drink, Concerts, Classes and Workshops, Entertainment, Arts, History, Nightlife, Nature, Music, Sports, Health & Wellness, Social Impact, Cooking Classes, and comedy shows, there's no doubt something will catch your eye and make your trip unforgettable!
If you'd like to give Airbnb Experiences a go for your next trip, follow the button below to see what could be in store for you!