I’m really not one for looking back much, but this year has been absolutely knocked out of the ballpark. I went back to my journal at Jan 1, 2012, and I have literally done every single goal that I set out to do, plus some things I never even dreamed were possible! This list (quite extensive), includes:
Travel the World
2011, 2010, and pretty much every year before that I traveled this much: NEVER.
Right now, I am packed up, excited and smiling on a plane once a month, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
“Travel More” was a huge 2012 goal that I think I’ve met consistently.
Travel is important to me personally because it’s something I’ve always wanted to do. Things I used to day dream of, like driving my car down the PCH, or walking quietly down the canals in Paris late at night, or visiting Westminster Abbey, or tanning in South Beach, have all been realized! What a tremendous amount of self worth that brings!
London, Amsterdam and Paris. London, Amsterdam and Paris. That’s always my answer when people ask me where in Europe I’ve been, and I visited in that order not 3 months ago for the first time! This time last year, I didn’t even have my passport! Now, not only have I been to “London, Amsterdam and Paris”, I have been in a plane around 27 times this year! That’s 24 more times than I was EVER in a plane before that! When I came back home from Europe, I had to take a few weeks to adjust. Not from Jetlag (though that was also nuts!!), but because the architecture, the skyline, the culture, the smells, the grass, the flowers, the atmosphere, the accents, and the people back home were so entirely different than the whirlwind I had just experienced, that I would find myself getting slightly depressed that I couldn’t just go back to Paris and roam around the canals quietly. It literally changed my vision, my emotions and my self worth to visit such fantastic cultural meccas, and to inundate myself with the art, and I recommend travel to absolutely everyone this year! I have no plans of slowing down my once a month excursions. I’ve seen so many beautiful sunsets, skylines, sunrises, beaches, and had so many beautiful experiences this year, that are just unmatched to reading a book or watching a movie or interacting with another person!
Work on Art
Be it drawing, writing, music, modeling, collaboration, video, or brand ambassador work, this year has been FILLED with art! It’s been my privilege to work with such talent as Sam Spratt, Kris Rodammer, James Nord, Jose James, EMI, Friends We Love, as well as companies like Doritos, Clairol and Pepsi. I’ve been privledged to see every piece of art come to fruition and make all kinds of love to the Art world! What a dream come true! I know for a fact that I’ve made more personal and professional art this year than any year before combined, and been supported through it for the first time ever! I couldn’t find the words even if they existed to thank everyone for the immense inspiration and clarity about my life and my life’s work! It means more than I can say.
Sign to an Agency
Last February I was lucky enough to sign with one of the top 10 agencies in Los Angeles: Otto Models. It felt really incredible to check this off my list, and they’ve been super supportive and helpful in me reaching all my goals!
Hindu Doggie getting a residency at The House of Blues Foundation Room is probably one of the most driving and amazing things that’s happened this year! To be able to perform my own material in front of people was something I’ve NEVER been able to do, coming from a musical theater background. Singing something that I’d written was an entirely new, beautiful and moving experience! And to perform at one of the top venues in Hollywood (in the World!) weekly, was fantastic. I met so many amazing, talented, incredible people that have inspired me in music so much!
Move to Los Angeles (and stay there!)
When I arrived here, October 2011, I really had no solid action plan. I had a few weeks of jobs lined up, but the rest was up to me. I was sharing a studio, Raelie was still in New York, and getting a “real job”, if it was possible, was still kind of part of the plan. I wrote down a list of things I *wanted* out of Los Angeles, including:
Get a House
I knew that sharing a studio with another person and a dog was not a long-term living situation, and that any other option that I had (sharing a house with a lot of people, getting another apartment, living in a condo-situation or a guest house) was great, but not ideal. The only way that I could truly DO IT and feel like I was independent and happy and safe and that Raelie was well adjusted, was to get a house. Not just any house: a really nice, wonderful house, preferably on the beach or (as it says in my journal) ” by the MOUNTAINS!!” I knew one thing: Moving is going to be about compromise from start to finish – not a single situation within it will ever be ideal, so if that’s what you’re waiting for, you will be waiting a long time.
Finding this house: an all-white mecca with working laundry, dishwasher, stove, infinite cabinets, a huge bathroom, in the mountains, with a garage, a studio, a back porch, a front porch, and a big yard to do whatever I want with, was BEYOND ideal. It feels SO good to check that off my list. That this big thing that everyone is saving for or marrying for or working for is already mine is probably one of the most mature feelings I have ever had, and a great accomplishment at the age of 26. The chickens are just icing on the cake!
I have been so lucky to travel this year, but most often I get to roam and appreciate the glorious state that I now live in. Some amazing places in Cali that I’ve visited this year:
The experience that I had at Coachella started being blessed by the way that it happened: me and Josh, in tandem (he had the answer, I had the # to call), won KROQ tickets on the radio!!! Against literally ALL odds, we were going to Coachella FOR FREE, had friends to camp and drive with, were invited to the private KROQ pool party all 3 days, and got to watch ALL of our favorite musicians (including Radiohead, Dr. Dre, M83, Feist, GirlTalk, Justice, Florence and the Machine, The Shins, TUPAC’S HOLOGRAM, Snoop Dogg, Eminem) FOR FREE and I had what turned out to be one of the most amazing experiences of my life. It really shaped how me and Josh view music and has helped us tremendously on our journey to making beautiful sounds!
These 3 days living on a boat were absolutely eye opening, life changing, and beautiful. I still conjure up this place during my most intimate meditation experiences. I really couldn’t get enough of boat life. 🙂
Palm Springs / Joshua Tree
Me and Kris decided to explore Palm Springs and Joshua tree around this time last year. We got some gorgeous shots! It’s really an AMAZING natural wonder and I can’t wait to go back!
A charming little city about 90 minutes from LA that I was considering moving to. They have “pink hour” every day around 4 o’clock, where the sky gets pink for a few minutes. Absolutely gorgeous!
One of my favorite drives, Los Angeles to Santa Barbara really takes the cake for beauty!
My favorite city on Earth, the city of Angels has stolen my heart (and my zip code!)
I spent last NYE here, and it was absolutely charming!
Get Raelie to California
The day that Raelie was at the other end of a leash to greet me at LAX was the happiest, most relieving moment of my life. I had to put her on another airline than what I was flying because of Pitbull breed restrictions (which I find to be absolutely ridiculous, especially since she is half Labrador). I was going back to New York, to my old apartment, to visit Raels about once every 3 weeks for SEVEN MONTHS after I moved here. Getting her safely to California to start our life together here after all the struggle that we faced in NY was, and has been, so amazing.
Grow an Outdoor Organic Garden
While this has been a relatively new exploration for me, I’ve been -trying- to grow a garden since Raelie was a pup. I had a nice little “windowsill” garden at my last apartment, but there’s really nothing like being able to plant outdoors to the point of self sustenance. I now have over 2 dozen different kinds of plants, flowers and herbs growing in my front yard, and rows of corn on the side of my house. 🙂
Revolutionize my Nutrition
I won’t ever say “change my diet”, I won’t say ” go raw” and I won’t say “go vegan”. Why? Because that’s just not the goal. The goal was to specifically Revolutionize my Nutrition Plan: to abundantly take in super foods, to eat clean, to know what I was eating, to cook often, to cook what I grew, to exercise daily, to read about wellness, to move often, run when possible and to see how that affected me. And boy: did it! I couldn’t be happier with my weight ( I recently added 5 pounds to my bum and chest and am pretty smiley about it!), with my fitness, with my energy level, with my sleep schedule, with my skin & hair or with where I am in my detox process. The only kind of weight problems I’ve ever struggled with was trying not to look skeletal. Now, not only does my Nutritionist say that I am at a metabolic age of 18, I feel better than I ever did in my whole life *(including at 18!) This has also had wonderful affects on other parts of my life, such as memory, cognitive behavior, and overall positive mental attitude!
Do Somethings You Always Talked About Doing But Never Did
My list here is pretty endless, but some highlights are:
Started this year, I am super excited about it, though I am extremely novice! However, one of my best friends Cassandra is an incredible and amazing belly dancer, and she has passed on her hip scarf to me for practice! I can’t wait to get into it! The classes out here in LA seem affordable, and the community is amazing!
Something I truly thought I “couldn’t do”, due to asthma and chronic pain and nausea, it turns out running HELPS all of those things! My asthma since running is almost gone. I say almost because I tried running in New York this month, and it was far more difficult than it is in California, so I’m assuming there is a huge barometric and wind difference I am not factoring. But my chronic pain and nausea completely disappear once I’ve had a run! There’s a lot to be said for adrenaline!
Not only did I get to parasail, I got to parasail with my best friend on my birthday. 🙂 One of the best presents I’ve ever received, this meditative and exhilarating experience was absolutely unmatched! I recommend it to everyone!! The worst that can happen is that you sail slowly down to the ocean on the wind! Not bad, eh? 🙂
Write a Book
I am still working on this, but the fact that the transcript is done and it just needs to be typed is really encouraging! Josh is also writing a book, and our early morning sunrise book brain storms keep me going!
When it comes to meditation, I could go on for days and days, but it really is something everyone needs to figure out individually. It’s changed my life, and the lives of everyone I know who does it earnestly. As a meditator, you can tell absolutely when someone is just talking about wanting to meditate, and when they are practicing. It becomes a wonderful little energy club. Some great benefits to this include: elevated energy, needing less sleep, intense visualizations about a positive future, a PMA (Positive Mental Attitude), the feeling of “needing less” to feel fulfilled, and an overall gentle nature.
My only “complaint” about how much I meditate is that I get a lot of my rest and re-charging in, so I don’t need to sleep as much as night. This often results in me waking up around 3:30 or 4:30 a.m. and being ready to start my day after falling asleep at midnight. While it’s truly a blessing, it’s still kind of annoying. Haha.
Write a Song a Week
Hindu Doggie has put out 16 songs in the past 12 months. That means I’ve written at least 1.3 songs a month. Combine that with the projects I’ve done with American Plugs, MK-Ultra, Lunar Mantis, Penmanship, JMSN & myself, I’ve written at least once song a week.
See Live Music & Visit Museums
Aside from Coachella, I have seen a bunch of artists locally in LA at The House of Blues, where I’d venture on days I wasn’t working or performing just for the inspiration of seeing independent artists. I also have made it a point to visit Museums & Monuments in LA, New York, London, Amsterdam, Paris & DC.
Read Every Day
I think this is one of the most important things I’ve done this year, which is to read a tremendous amount again. It helps me intellectually, it opens my mind, it gives me infinite inspiration, and every problem I’ve ever had has already been solved in the pages of a book!!
Thank you terribly to all of the people who have supported me, challenged me, nurtured and nestled me during this time in my life! What a WONDERFUL, beautiful, remarkable, well-done year!
I am so excited for the next one!
My list of continuing goals is extensive, lovely, and do-able!
Love & health!
Love & Light
*All Photographs (C) Tara Mackey 2012