Boobs, Butts, Bug Bites & BodyRock

 Photographer:  Jon Simo

Photographer: Jon Simo

Hello Humans! 

Life has been happening at an alarming rate and as a result I've been negligent of this effort. But I've also been a lazy piece of shit that has been busy eating and procrastinating. 

Priorities.

Anyhow, here's some shit I did recently:

In March I flew to Winnipeg and got naked for Teri Hofford's Boudy Camp

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I shot a boy shooting himself while we considered shooting each other due to also having three dogs with short man syndrome in the room.

And went back to St. Maarten for round 3 of banana rum and bug bites.

And some yoga and a whole bunch of shit for BodyRock with these two that I can't show you yet.

 

Brief summary:

And yes I'm back on the hiit tit and doing stuff with these wonderful weirdos again.

Because lets be real, can you see me in an office?

Plus this:

And I get to shoot things like this

And now without warning or real reason whatsoever (in true anxiety disorder fashion), lets talk about mental illness again!

Because why not.

But mainly because it keeps coming up. And I hope it continues to. Because you can't beat what you can't face. 

As of late, I've found myself in circumstances being asked to describe the experience of having anxiety. It sounds like such a general catch-all term for being afraid.

It's so far from founded fear.

It's more akin to seeing a spider, your brain recognizing that you see a spider and responding with "It has too many legs to properly predict how it will move and it wants to throw its self at my face and live in my hair forever and then I'll have to shave it and be bald to keep from feeling like there are bugs on my head."

 

**TRIGGER WARNING**

Honestly, I’m not sure what for. I don’t know what, if anything, this could trigger. 

But I’m so desensitized to it now that I shouldn’t be the judge of that. 

A healthy mind starts at a 1 and escalates to a 10. Stress, happiness, sadness, whatever. 1-10

An anxious mind starts at a 10 and needs to be brought down to a 1. Mania, depression, paranoia. 10-1.

There’s no science in that sentence, just retrospective reflection. 

It can complicate simple tasks. And it can heighten simple stressors. 

Things like going to the grocery store, socializing in unfamiliar situations, losing things, airports, babies, money, health. You may start at a 1 getting on an airplane and end up at a 5 thanks to turbulence and losing the arm rest war. I’ll get on an airplane starting at a 10 because I’m about to relinquish all control of my belongings, well being and freedom to move my limbs. Plus babies, forced into being unproductive, physical proximity to a crowd of strangers, lines, every single system is entirely illogical and stupid…and then turbulence.

I’m a logical human and a reasonably smart one. I watch lots of videos of planes getting skull-fucked by wind and staying in the air. I know the statistics and the car crash analogy and all the reasons that I should not fear it. But when that sudden drop hits your stomach and your eyes widen, mine roll back in my head to the gruesome land of “shit that will never actually happen but your brain is going to continuously tell you it might.” And it is very vivid.

There isn’t a voice in there [I swear], but lets give it one to make this easier;

“So we’re going to die…”

“Statistically that’s super unlikely.”

“I know. But we’re going to.”

“You’re a fucking idiot.”

“Even if we make it, you’re gonna have to deal with the overhead bins. And everything is shaking around in there. What if your bag gets buried? It’s heavy and you’re tiny. You’re going to have to climb on the seat and ab wriggle it out of there. But you’re kind of drunk so what if your ankles get caught on the armrest and you fall backwards because of the weight of the bag? Or just holding up that line as the person behind you does that weird scooch into your personal space like that will somehow make you vacate the plane faster. And then your bags are going to hit every fucking row of seats from 25B to the front of the plane because you brought too much shit and it’s too heavy for your tiny bird body. What if all the pockets have opened up because somehow the force of the turbulence has fucked with the zippers? Now your important things like your wallet and passport and keys might be at risk of slipping out and being lost forever. Did you even bring your passport? You must have, you’re on this plane. But hopefully it’s still in that bag. What about your wallet? Is it zipped up? Do you have any cash in it? How much? Is it the same amount you left the house with this morning? Do you think you lost any along the way? What about the keys? Do you even have your keys? Do you have the keys?”

“Yes.”

“Are you sure? When was the last time you saw the keys? Touched the keys? Did you lock your door? Did you leave your keys in the door? You should check for the keys. Just go look for the keys.”

“They’re in the overhead and I’m in the middle.”

“Just go look for the keys. Check your bag for the keys.”

“No.”

“Go look for the keys. Just go look at the keys. You need to see your keys to know you have your keys. Are you sure you have the keys? You need to start making a plan for what you will do if you don’t have the keys.”

**I keep these bags under the seat in front of me. I always check for my keys. I have never lost my keys/a key/any key.**

“You’re an asshole.”

“I know. See ya in 6 minutes when you’re standing in the bathroom and another airpocket comes and you suddenly picture yourself flying into the ceiling because one of the wings has ripped off and that crazy vacuum hole opens up in the side of the plane and everyones faces are getting shredded on the jagged metal as they get sucked out”

Drink #2


I watched way too many horror movies in my formative years. Mischa Barton stole my innocence. The Sixth Sense reminded me so much of what my daydreams are like that it became a trigger. I innately feared I would turn corners and see dead people. I knew that would never happen, there was no delusion involved. And yet having to sleep in a bed that had space between the bottom and the floor became my biggest fear. All I could picture were her hands popping out and grabbing me. I could picture it so vividly I felt inside what I imagine it would have been like to live that moment. 

In case you were curious, it’s fucking terrifying.

I couldn’t help it or control it or reason it away no matter how hard I tried. It just was. To the point that I slept in a sleeping bag at the foot of my bed for several months. It was the only way I could fall asleep. Finally I just asked to put my mattress on the floor so I could try and sleep in a bed again. 

I didn’t have an “under the bed” until I went to university. The paranoia returned and I would have to check every night. Embarrassingly and knowing how stupid it was. Because it was the only way I could sleep.

Sometimes I still have to check.  

Reason doesn’t work on something innately unreasonable. 

Which brings you to this place of frustrated self-loathing. 

You know better. 

You know you know better. 

You are capable and intelligent and logical. 

And yet you can’t stop it. 

No matter how hard you try, as soon as it kicks you in the gut the fight is on. You usually win, but it’s always a fight. And it’s tiring. You may have been physically still all day, and mentally you’ve been duelling the devil. 

You just want to put your head down, but there’s still so much to do. Fuck there’s so much to do. Always. And you can’t forget anything because that sets off a chain reaction of bad shit. Have you checked your email? Is it even working? Did you pay off your credit card? Are you an idiot and have been doing your spreadsheets all wrong and this is the moment you find out you’re actually epically broke? Where are your keys?

- The Anxiety Spiral

And yes you do just stand there staring as all of this garbage flies through your brain. Or at best you try and force some incoherent cross between speech and sound out your face hole. Chances are you’ll fail at that second one. 

But you're probably a good listener.

Taylor Oakes