[Episode Duration: 11:05]
From the Ashes is back with new swagger and a deeper purpose. Help Becca and a crew of folks from around the globe help Casey!
Happy New Year Everyone!!
I hope that your celebrations of leaving 2017 behind were dope, and your aspirations for 2018 involve putting the greater good firmly into your actions.
I also hope you enjoy SmartHotFun's new look and new purpose.
Abrazos y Amor!
My name is Becca, and welcome to From the Ashes, Season 2: Actions in a Life After Rebirth
This is Episode 1: Help Us Help Casey
So first and foremost, Happy 2018! I hope that as you look out into the possibility for what this year holds, you’re excited and ready to create positive changes in your world and in our shared world.
I think that’s what we need this year.
2018, for me, is all about putting the good of others and the greater good into my everyday actions.
This podcast is the first of those actions. At the end of this podcast, I’m going to ask you to help me, Loco Longo, and various other people across the world to help a man named Casey overcome the medical debt he incurred as the result of treatment for Testicular Cancer.
And to get there, we have to start with an explanation about what the fuck happened in between my last podcast and right now.
Those of you who have been listening know that my final podcast in the first season of From the Ashes was a massive thank-you to all the people who had a positive impact on me my during my travels through South America.
Then. Silence. Fucking hella silence. For months!
In those months of silence, I kept writing stories. I even recorded some rough audio for a few episodes. But editing my own podcasts started to weigh on me. In the process of removing every disgusting noise my mouth makes as I talk, I started questioning my editorial choices, my storytelling arcs - I mean fucking everything. I questioned everything.
This questioning, however, wasn’t just about the technical aspects of this podcasting process. As I was blasting my stories out to the world, I started to feel incredibly self-indulgent. Despite the positive feedback I was getting from people who were listening, I really started to question the value of what I was doing.
Each podcast takes me about 20 hours to produce. From writing to recording to posting, there is a lot of work that goes into sharing these stories in this format. I really started to question why I was doing all this work.
In the beginning, I knew why I was doing this. I was podcasting just for the sake of podcasting. I needed to blast my stories out to the world after having lived a really dim life for such a long time. However, I am, for better or worse, a child of meaning. In order for me to do work for sustained periods of time, I need some sort of reason. I can’t just do it to do it.
So after the initial buzz of creating this podcast wore off, I started to have existential questions about why I was doing this. Was I sharing these stories for fame? For attention? To build some sort of travel blogger life?
Ultimately, podcasting just for me and my benefit wasn’t enough. So I stopped.
During this time, I was reminded of who I am in the context of my everyday life.
I was reminded of how I am a fiercely loving Tia, I am a devoted daughter and granddaughter, I am a whacky, unpredictable sister, and I’m a dope ass best-friend. I was given the gift of seeing that I count the members of my birth family as my friends, and my eyes were open to the fact that my friends have become my chosen family.
My time at home - my time in the place of my birth - has reminded me of the deep love that has made me who I am in this world.
Despite knowing this, despite knowing that my life would be full should I dedicate it to living in the beautiful everyday world created by my birth and chosen families - I had a sense that as beautiful as it would be to live my life as a Tia, Daughter, Granddaughter, Sister, and Friend … somewhere in there Becca would be lost.
Which is why, dear listener, in the months of my silence, I was so conflicted. I had worked so hard to find Becca again in South America, and I was terrified to lose her.
And this is where Casey, the man I’m going to ask you to help at the end of this podcast, comes in to my story in a way I don’t think I’ll ever be able to thank him enough for.
Casey and my history is simple and beautiful. I became friends with Casey at the farm in Chile where I was reborn, and he and I would become family in a yellow Kombi somewhere along Ruta 40 in Argentina.
Before Casey and I would reunite in the United States in October, the last time I saw Casey in person was in Chile in July of 2017. Circumstances would lead Casey to have to leave South America to seek treatment for his cancer, and he would end up at UCSF - a hospital that is less than 10 miles from my hometown.
Each time Casey and I spent time together in person, something inside of me would come to life. At first, I couldn’t articulate why I felt so fully alive around Casey. But, as I tend to do, I thought about it a lot so that I could eventually articulate it.
It came down to the following:
My heart is home when Casey is around. And this sense of feeling at home is because Casey shares whatever it is that’s inside of me that says, ‘Becca, you have to see this whole fucking world with your own damn eyes. You have to do it”
Casey’s presence in my life during this time helped me to identify and articulate that I am of the tribe of the adventurer. Because of Casey’s influence when I returned to my hometown, I know that I am part of a tribe that has an endless thirst to see what the world has to offer. A people that thrive on curiosity that can only be sated through freedom of movement and connection with new, different people.
Although he had no idea, Casey’s very presence helped my internal conflict to calm, because I realized that there was no conflict.
I can spend time effort and energy being a Tia, a Granddaughter, a Daughter, a Sister, and a Friend.
I can spend time effort and energy becoming more and more Becca everyday.
I can see this whole world with my own damn eyes and still be a part of my family.
Casey also gave me the key to solidifying the insight that I want to live my life in service to others and to the greater good. It is simply not enough for me to live in service to myself.
So although there are no words to thank Casey for what he gave me, I’m going to start thanking him by living the lessons he helped me to learn and see.
I’m going to dedicate SmartHotFun to Casey for the forseeable future.
Instead of promoting myself and doing this for me, and blah blah blah, everything I do here is to help Casey until Casey doesn’t want my help anymore.
Casey’s out-of-pocket medical costs to stem the spread of an aggressive form of Testicular Cancer total about $27,000. And as his medical bills come back, this number is still rising. So it’s going to be way more than that by the time this is all done.
And while he’s had some help from his family to deal with these expenses, much of these expenses have been paid for through his savings. Because he’s used his savings, basically to save his own life, his capacity to live his best life has been put on hold until he can dig his way out of this deep financial pit that wasn’t even of his own making.
And the thing is … I have no idea how much of this I can help him to recoup. I have no idea if what I’m doing is even going to help at all.
But if I do know that I want to help him. Because he is the kind of man who, when his is free, will be an agent for the greater good.
I also find it really important to say that, Number 1, I was not the person to come up with the idea to help Casey. And, Number 2, I am so far from being alone in being influenced in such a postive way by Casey.
People all over the world are taking up this cause because Casey has positively influenced them and they care about him and they want him to live his best life as well.
So today, I’m going to focus on the way that I am going to be helping Casey, and how you can help Casey by engaging with SmartHotFun.
And! I’m also here to tell you that if this doesn’t really sound like it’s up your alley, keep listening, keep engaging, keep paying attention, because there are many, many, many ways, and many, many, many people who are raising funds to help our dear friend.
As per me, this is something that I’m actually really extraordinarily excited about.
I will be helping Casey by donating my life’s work in photography to his cause.
In the next part of this podcast, I’m going to explain exactly how that is going to work, and how you can help.
So to give you a zoomed out view, you can help Casey by buying any of the pictures you see on SmartHotFun.Com.
The way that I came to this strategy was really, really organic. My father was into photography when he was young, my mother followed us [my siblings and I] around with a camera when we were young, and so photography is really in my blood, it’s in my viens, it pumps through me, I love it!
And so ever since I can remember, I’ve had a camera in my hand and I’ve been shooting pictures.
I looked through all 70,000 digital photos I’ve ever taken, and amongst those 70,000 photos, I found about 350 that I think are good. I found photos that evoke emotion … photos that I think have interesting compositions … or you know photos that just tell a story. You know … good photos.
Now, I took those 350 photos and I organized them into collections.
My plan is to reveal the collections each week throughout the year. They will be available to look at for free throughout the year on Instagram, and they’ll be available for purchase on SmartHotFun.Com.
The company that I have used to sell the photos, you can buy the digital version without the watermark, you can buy prints, you can buy cards, there are all kinds of things that you can buy. All proceeds from anything you buy from SmartHotFun.Com will go to benefit Casey.
So, if I could ask you to do anything right now, it would be, follow SmartHotFun on Instagram.
Then, when you see a photo that you like, come to SmartHotFun.Com and buy some form of it.
And if you’re the type of person where money is tight and you can’t really afford to purchase anything, I still encourage you to just share the photos on Instagram to people that you think would like them.
Any little thing that you can do to put eyes on this campaign will really help!
- Follow SmartHotFun on Instagram
- Buy prints on SmartHotFun.Com
- Share the Photos that you think are beautiful and might inspire other people.
I want to thank you for everything.
For those of you who are my hardcore listeners, thanks for waiting and continuing to listen.
For all of you out there right now, thank you for helping me help a man who inspires me to be my authentic and best self.
I fucking love all of you.