Reflections

FAKOFF! It’s ALL GOOD!

Got a sticker? Keep it because it’s a gift and there are many more to come! The sticker is a nice way to make nervous people in public places feel better without interruption to the environment around us. It’s better than talking and is a great way to make others annoyingly aware of how happy you are!

Got told? Please don’t beat yourself up!

It’s ALL GOOD!

FAKOFF floods my mind with happy memories of a story that started at Day Zero in Tulum, MX at the best party in history.

For me, a fakoff used to be a label given by others in order to judge and/or demean someone’s character because they’re considered irresponsible (from their own perspective).  People demean using hundreds of terms like, playboy, slut, tease, party animal, loser, goof-off, naughty, class-clown, etc. which all boil down to one thing – punishment.  Coming from loved ones, it’s particularly destructive because children can become conditioned to it. Some parents expect kids to live according to certain life preferences or else they’re labeled and then controlled. Though my parents intended to steer us back to the correct assumed path of righteousness, it rarely succeeded because our way was wrong to begin with. What’s righteous? Meditate daily for 40 days and you’ll find out. How un-right I was!!

In grade school, people thought I goofed off too much because I was constantly talking and couldn’t comprehend well.  Teachers said “he’s always daydreaming” which I can only explain as a constant state of cognitive fuzz. What I recently learned is that I had been suffering from chronic anxiety due to PTSD. As a result of being misunderstood, I would beat myself up over how f’ed-up my world was. I eventually self-isolated and wanted people to leave me alone because no one seemed to understand. Whenever people connected, I would try to explain my story but the amount of trauma would lead to shock, disgust, disbelief or judgement. I also was guarded and closed off to a large degree due to past frustrations which made matters worse. Not even the therapists understood the depth because I couldn’t get the answers fast enough. The anxiety was totally in the driver’s seat.  Frustrated, I would get pissed off, f-off and disappear.

We all go through these kinds of trials and tribulations that test the fabric of our closest relationships.  Stuff happens, you know? Shared experiences really do help remember things like why I was constantly feeling like an f-off. Thankfully the same people we push away are often most welcoming when we find our way back (or not).  Problem is, frequently acting like a jackass does a lot of damage to relationships.  Don’t expect people to forget so quick.  Fixing broken trust takes hard work but it really is worth it. Remember Humpty Dumpty?

I learned later in life that functional families don’t do things like punish one another and call each other names.  I think we were all too concerned about the day we will inevitably separate and fade away. So much so, that self-isolation became the norm especially in times of crisis.  Naturally, if someone sees life in such a negative light, they’re going to create some distance between themselves and others because they think selfishly. At some point in time, our ancestors were taught faulty beliefs that compounded atop another to become a big pile of B.S.

Who said we HAVE to get married and must have kids by a certain age?
Who said that only a handful of careers are acceptable?
Who said I have to become old and boring?

Was it deception? Oh FAKOFF. That’s life. Does it really matter how much pain we’ve had or why it all went south? Not today because it made me who I am.  Many of my friends are over 40, have no kids, have more free time, and go to our favorite DJ shows, boat parties, community events, Burning Man and other international shows around the world. Yes, it costs money but if you add up all those bar tabs, and diaper bills, it’s probably cheaper. We may not have our kids at our bedsides when we leave this life but we can choose to be together as friends when the day comes. We’ll BUUUUURN as long as we can!

My label caused me pain and anger for a very long time because my life seemed to be mostly in service to others and not enough myself.  Being labeled can be a heavy weight to live with because it busies the mind by living inside a label rather than getting to know yourself over time.  As a result, labeled individuals live in a state of identity crisis and must take the time to rediscover who they really are.  Today,  I choose to own the label rather than allow others to control me.  I’m grateful for my life and work hard to FAKOFF responsibly because the wrong way is a big waste of time and energy.

In 2017, I took a trip to Tulum for a series of yearly events by a full-moonlit ocean.  The night of WooMoon enter Nicole and Ashleigh, the head leopardesses of the The Leopard Mafia. Nicole, a statuesque goddess of Italian descent, co-started a movement of spotted leopard burners who converge on Burning Man’s playa once a year to leap around the playa prairies in dances of joy. Ashleigh, Nicole’s close friend and co-founder, came all the way from Johannesburg to experience Tulum. Spots are all we see.  RAWR!

Leopard Mafia Head Leopardesses Nicole and Ashleigh @ Burning Man

It all started on January 15, 2017 in a forest far far away. Day Zero is a party that takes place annually in Tulum shortly after the BPM festival begins. Unfortunately, thanks to gang activity over conflicting turf, a fight broke out and some gunshots were fired.  Goodbye BPM! Thanks to you, Day 0 didn’t take place in 2018. I digress.

Yoga Shala Tulum is a village style hotel with yoga practice throughout the week.  We paid around $70 a night which is a good deal. After a few days going to events like Xocolate and WooMoon, I met up with my friend Yelena who introduced me to the most amazing goddesses in spots. I must admit that it was one of the hottest things I ever saw.

At the event, I put on some mosquito repellant arm bands called FACK OFF.  I showed everyone and they all chuckled.  They doubted it would work and it didn’t but it was worth a laugh. I guess I should have known just by reading the label! LOL.

It was worth a try!

We gathered on the Beach of Papaya Playa Project around 10pm which for us is pretty early.  It started sprinkling so we took cover for a bit and enjoyed the rain beating on the roofs of the tropical bar huts. The rain ended and we headed back to the beach and saw a gorgeous full moon. While I was enjoying a nice sigh, Ashleigh says in her South African accent, “What’s it called when the moon looks half full but isn’t?” In midstream of replying “eclip…” she dropped, “Fack off!” I fell down on the sand laughing my ass off.  I laughed for a little while longer and then went to watch Rampue play.

Fast forward a couple of days to a sold out Day Zero.  It was sold out for months.  Everyone wanted to go but no one could find any way to get in.  Never fear! Leave it to Yelena’s resourcefulness because a few phone calls later, we score VIP passes! She spent a month in Tulum and returned home a local.

Yelena flapping her wings by a cenote
Yelena fanning her wings by a cenote at Day 0 in Tulum

We gathered together to take it all in.  All kinds of local kiosks were setup selling exotic treats, jewelry and clothing.  We snapped a few pics and discussed our plan of action.  We agreed to stay in the VIP area because it was roped off much less crowded.  After an hour, we realized that we were too isolated from all the energy and wanted to move.  The area was round in shape and graded similar to a coliseum but seemed naturally created.  It was the perfect place to do a party because we were surrounded by speakers and lights in the middle of a Mayan jungle.  At most DJ shows, we start at the back to avoid the crowd and gradually work our way inwards as the crowd dies off.  Eventually we get to center stage left so that we can see the DJ and get the full sensory experience.

Getting Ready for the Headliners

In case you didn’t know, I’m Persian and anything middle-eastern sounding sends me right into a frenzy.  I really didn’t hear much of it growing up in Texas and didn’t like the traditional stuff my parents played.  When modern producers started incorporating world vocals and analog instruments with deep house beats, I just about lost my mind.  It’s the very thing that got me back into DJing after a long hiatus.

It’s now 2am and Bedouin is playing Liberation by Simon Vuarambon & Sidartha Siliceo. I was dancing like a madman and got so hot that I took my shirt off and carried on. The sitar sample hit and all I could say is “FAKOFF!”  I hear another riff and again screamed FAKOFF! I look to my right and because I’m screaming FAKOFF so loud, Ashleigh is wriggling her earhole in pain.  Then Yelena walks over and gently says, “honey I know you’re having a good time but you’re freaking the girls out.” I’m annoyed at this point because I really don’t want to worry about anyone but I piped down as a courtesy to the others who were also trying to be present.  Sometimes you got to pick your battles. The party ended around 9am and we walked back to the street to grab a cab and crash. I had a long flight to catch the next day.

After I returned home I found myself saying it often because it briefly took me back to that magic moment in time.  It’s not something I try to do but something that comes naturally at the right moment.  I screamed it so much, it caught on among friends. There are so many amazing shows by so many amazing producers in SF that it’s easy to scream FAKOFF several times a week.  It’s the peak moment of flow that feels oh so-right. FAKOFF!

So instead of f-ing off every weekend, plan something big, work hard, organize and then FAKOFF the right way. Doing all this requires a balanced practice of physical health, mental health, financial security, planning and community in order to party well. In other words, be mindful, do the right things for yourself and then enjoy the reward.  The shrinks call it delayed gratification and it really works. There’s a reason we eat dessert last.

Remember that if you’re sad a lot, you probably have sad friends and those types of people are not as much fun as you think.  There are constant mood swings or it’s always a pity party bringing everyone else down.  Partying with depressed and anxious people is a lot of work because they are looking to feel better RIGHT NOW.  Their low baseline requires constant uplifting (attention) or else they feel anxious and draw your attention to themselves. This can be very annoying because their neediness makes them unmindful preventing others from enjoying a shared experience we all worked hard to FAKOFF to. As a result, the party you planned all year long ends up horribly disappointing for whatever reasons.

If you’re loving the moment, then FAKOFF! If you’re scared, acknowledge the feelings so they can FAKOFF! If your friends just argue, rise above and FAKOFF!

Let’s cherish our moments because we shouldn’t assume how much time we’ve got. Gratitude’s a good attitude because judgment makes it all about u. This story is the result of one appreciated moment. Imagine if we appreciated them all. Please continue to enjoy life and FAKOFF to the fullest responsibly or else you’re just chasing unicorns.

THANK YOU AND I LOVE AND  ALL! <3

Peace & Love,

Rev.

FAKOFF Merch
I appreciate your support.  Check out some FAKOFF merchandise available here!

I was so inspired by this story that I dedicated an entire Podcast to it accompanied by some designer schwag you can check out!

The Rev.

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