Fuck Plan B + A Celebratory Edition of Tuesday Tunes

You're passionate about something-- maybe it's writing, baking or making music. You happen to be really good at that something, too. You're determined to make a career out of it. But-- everyone around you says "That's nice. It'll never work. What's plan b?".

I know the feeling. Growing up, my creativity was praised, but I was pressured into taking classes I hated "just in case". I was made to stress over my math marks "in case you want to be a teacher, if writing doesn't work out for you". I never wanted to be a teacher. I was never good at math. I never even liked math. I was sent to summer camp instead of being allowed time to read novels and write poetry.

I know my parents and educators meant well, but sometimes meaning well doesn't cut it. Neither does following the advice that's perpetuated by well-meaning (albeit clueless) peers and 'mentors'.

If you're fortunate enough to be in love with something you're good at, embrace it. Don't fight it in the name of being 'sane' or 'practical'. Don't waste your time "building extravagantly safe back-up plans" when you could be honing your craft and growing more enamoured by the second, of whatever it is that makes your heart sing.

On that note: last night was life-changing. I felt so validated and empowered by the twittersphere, especially by my favourite DIY-er/artist/musician (quite possibly my favourite person, period), Amanda Palmer. Amanda announced on her twitter, "so i advised @tomdickins to "fuck plan b" and he actually quit his job & is now ready to starve & toil".

That's when twitter started to go insane. Countless tweets about "fucking plan b" poured in. I sent my own tweet to Amanda: "Would you advise a young writer, just out of school, to also "fuck plan b"? I am [fucking plan b]. Everyone I know thinks I'm crazy. Worth it?". She replied, "fucking plan b is often the only way forward".

That settles it.

Furthermore, "...even failing plan a spectacularly is better than half-assing it from behind plan b".

Amanda has no idea how many young artists, poets, dreamers and others she's inspired to just do it, to dive in, work on what makes them happy and "fuck plan b". I am one of many. And that's an incredible, exhilarating feeling.

While you're soaking up the euphoria that comes from being told yes, you can make a career out of what makes you happy and yes, it's been done before and you can do it too and yes, your happiness matters...

It's Tuesday Tunes here at etched in tin. In honour of "fuck plan b"... This week's edition features independent musician Tom Dickins. His EP just came out. It's fabulous. It's called Majesty and Misery + can be yours for just $5. Go buy it!

While you're at it, Amanda Palmer's Amanda Palmer Goes Down Under is just $0.69 + features Tom on the song "Bad Wine and Lemon Cake". Download it too!

Finally, the thought I most want to leave you with: You can do this. Fuck plan b. Your happiness is worth it.

I wanted to die

Warning: This post discusses suicide + therefore might be triggering.

Another note: Please understand that I am NOT suicidal anymore. I'm fine. It's something that hits me, out of the blue (because I have Borderline Personality Disorder). I am NOT talking about this to scare you, nor because I want attention, but because someone, anyone needs to step up and be open about their struggles with mental illness. One of these brave people is going to be me.

I wanted to die.

I spent all day secretly planning my suicide.

In the evening, I started panicking.

I was being torn apart from the inside.

Sobbing. Clawing at my skin, wanting to cut, desperately.

Finally, I called him. It was almost 2 am and I said, "I need you. I want to die. Except I really don't want to die!".

He talked to me. He said, "I believe in us. And Becca, I do love you".

I thought: a life without meaning isn't a life at all.

I can listen to music. I can write. If my Love believes in me, I can believe that I have a future (and a future with him).

That is meaning enough for me.


One step at a time, I come away from the water's edge. The pills and liquor remain in their bottles. The razor is far from my skin; there is barely a mark on my flesh, no crimson to be seen.

I'll be okay.

TiLT 26.5.2011

Little (and not-so-little) things I'm grateful for this week:

♥ Greek salad. How can tomatoes, cucumber, lots of feta and a drizzle of oil ever be a bad thing?!

♥ Mad Men. I know I'm late to the party on this one... But it's an incredible show.

♥ My boyfriend. I'm always grateful for him and have mentioned him here before, so... Specifically something to do with him that happened this week: He stayed up and talked to me until I fell asleep last night. I slept really well... I haven't slept that well in ages!

♥ Listening to loud music on long bus rides.

♥ Wearing lots + lots of lace! It's fashionable right now, but that's besides the point. There's something so irresistibly feminine about lace skirts, tops, underthings... Delicious.

What made your TiLT list this week? If you don't have one, you can always make one + post it in the comments section below!

Mason Jar Meals

This brilliant idea  makes me hungry... So I can't help but share it!

Mason Jar Meals are jars containing food stacked in layers. You can take them with you when you're on the go and mix your salad, pasta or whatever else you choose when you're ready to eat it. Meaghan of the decorated cookie says, "I wanted a meal that tasted freshly made, even after sitting for hours in a jar".

I love that this idea makes eating delicious and healthy food so simple. This dish (or should I say, jar!) especially appeals to me:

For more yummy ideas, check out the original post at the decorated cookie

Darren Criss in a Tux, "men will fuck anything"?! + Toronto Events: Confetti 20.5.2011

Darren Criss in GQ.

Confetti time!! (:

Seth Godin asks: What's the point of popular?

The beautiful, brave and very talented burlesque dancer Kitty Liquor is on tumblr. Go follow her!

These photos are getting me really excited about my upcoming trip to Florida.

Simply because he's adorable... Darren Criss modeling men's wedding fashion.

Good For Her is having a spring cleaning sale, which you can take advantage of in-store (in Toronto) or online. Enough said ;)

Also in Toronto... two springtime events that sound awesome: Montgomery's Inn Farmers Market + Artisans At the Distillery.

Durham Region's Roller Derby Revival.

And the thought I'll leave you with tonight? A quote from comic Rob Delaney, via The Daily Femme:

"My guy friends and I have a much broader palate when it comes to women’s bodies than
Maxim or Cosmopolitan would lead you to believe. And I’m not putting this forth to sound noble; what I’m saying is absolutely a variation on ‘Guys’ll fuck anything.’ But I’d like to expand that and say, ‘Guys’ll fuck anything, and they’ll enjoy it. AND they’ll fuck it again. AND they’ll even be nice to it and tell it it’s beautiful and take it to dinner and listen to its dreams and fuck it exclusively and brag about how happy they are to be doing it to their other guy friends who reject the notion (as vehemently as any Women’s Studies major at Wesleyan) that women should fit into some unforgiving, unvarying Barbie mold."

TiLT 19.5.2011

Happy Thursday! Here's my weekly love list.

♥ Starting the 365 Photos Project with my boyfriend. I'm really excited about being motivated to do a little creative task every single day, especially with him.

♥ Thai food with my dad. He surprised me with a bag of my favourite candy and a big hug, too.

♥ Wandering aimlessly in beautiful Toronto (and enjoying every moment of it).

♥ Maman: "That skirt is so ugly. But you look beautiful. You pull it off". Me: "Oh. Um. Thanks".

♥ My dear friend Brigitte is just awesome. Always.

♥ Rocking horizontal stripes, even though fashion 'experts' say big girls can't. Fuck that, I look hot! ;)

♥ Reading and writing about The Person's Case for my Canadian History course.

What's on your TiLT list this week?

The Clothing Show

From 27-29 May,  Toronto's Queen Elizabeth Building @ Exhibition Place will be transformed into the ultimate boutique and vintage shopping destination. The Clothing Show is always a fabulous time... So I hope to see you there!

poetry etched in tin

If you enjoy etched in tin, poetry and romance, please check out poetry etched in tin!! You'll love it (:  The blog houses my poetry, prose and ramblings on all things love. It's going to be updated very shortly... go, go, go!!

And don't worry... etched in tin will never, ever be abandoned. This is my main site and I adore you for reading.

xox Becca

TiLT 12.5.2011

Today is Thursday... You know what it's time for!

Things that made me smile this week:

<3 Giant maple sugar lollipops.

<3 Falling in love all over again.

<3 At long last, having the courage to discuss something that's been buried inside for a long time.

<3 Waking up to sweet little messages from my Love. "Btw, you're pretty". *squee*!

<3 Finding the perfect bra. Definitely going to post about this esperience soon... just you wait!!

<3 Delicious vegan lunch + delicious conversation with one of my dearest friends.

<3 Spending time with my not-so-little little brother. We took Maman out for (veggie) burgers and a movie on Sunday. She wanted a super-casual Mother's Day, and it worked out really pleasantly.

What fabulousness did you enjoy this week?

'Hold On To These Words', Or How Music Saved My Life

WARNING: This post may be triggering (contains discussion of suicidal thoughts).

Photo by Me

I sat at the lake, feeling melancholy and pensive, but mostly just tired... Tired of life. Tired of contemplating taking my life.

Mostly, this suicidality had been impulsive. The thoughts just came. I swatted them like flies. Occasionally, they gripped me with such force that I honestly considered giving in. It was twisted and terrifying, but I fantasized about death.

This was one of those days. I sat on a concrete ledge, feet dangling, looking out over Lake Ontario. I wanted to be one with the cold water. It would be poetic and tragic and sure, a little cliche (think Ophelia)... But a few gasps for air, a few moments in the frigid water, and it would all be over.

But something inside me whispered, "Hold on to these words/I'd like to think that they may offer/Some protection/Against the night..."

Watching myself, as if on a movie screen, I saw a girl who wanted to jump, but didn't. Who felt drowning was the only way, until she heard that song. These revelations didn't happen in real life... Did they?

"Against the night/Your life can feel transparent/A reflection/A trick of light..."

To be sure, Jason Webley's song didn't make my mental illness go away. It didn't "cure" me. There is no cure. These words didn't even make the thoughts go away. But it awakened something in me... Hope. I hadn't felt hope in a long time.

We, as humans, need something, anything, to keep us going. Simply existing is not enough. People who are so-called "normal", healthy, don't usually have to think about this. People who, like me, sometimes struggle to cope, have frequent "existential crises": What are we living for? How will get through the hard times? Why should we bother?

"So when sleep just won't come/And you've got no occupation/But nibbling at the fruit/Of the melancholy tree/Just hold on to these words/Hold on to me..."

Call it Logotherapy. Call it The Meaning Of Life. Call it "protection against the night". Just find it. Cling to it. Never let it go. Collect the little things that prove to you that life is worth living, that you are worth loving, that life is worth loving.

That day at the lake? I didn't jump. I wept and pressed replay.

| | |

A year later... here I am. Jason Webley is still a fixture on my mp3 playlist. I even saw him perform last night at Mitzi's Sister (a Toronto bar). It was incredible-- but that goes without saying.

This blog post started as an open letter of thanks (to Jason), but it evolved into so much more. I hope I've changed some circumstance, for some one out there. Maybe I've introduced you to new music? maybe I've inspired you to seek help? Maybe I've simply shown you that art has an incredible ability to heal.

Whatever you take away from this, hold on to it. Let it make you stronger.

"So when sleep just won't come/And you've got no occupation/But nibbling at the fruit/Of the melancholy tree/Just hold on to these words/Hold on to me..."

Happy Birthday, Tigger!!

Image from Tigger!'s facebook page.

Tigger!, the Original King of Boylesque, is celebrating his birthday today, so this blog post is in his tassel-twirling honour.

I was lucky enough to see Tigger! take the stage live at last year's Toronto Burlesque Festival and I've seen the video innumerable (but still too few) times. His performance as Lily LaTigresse was incredible!

This interview has some really great quotes, such as: "the best thing I ever did for my body was to start showing it off".

Check out Tigger!'s facebook page for more information and tour dates. Go see him live too, if you can-- it's well worth it.

Happy birthday, gorgeous, and here's to many more.
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