Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Winding down/Winding up

The holidays seem to slow everything down. Places are closed. People are busy. We are asked to reflect on the past year, make pledges for the new and enjoy our time with friends and family. Once again, I could not go home this year but had my first holiday with my partner and some friends. New friends, new places reminding me of old friends and old places. I suppose it really is about the company you are with, rather than where you are.

A year ago, I wrote some resolutions or things I wanted to do in 2011. It is hard to read that list currently and see how abysmally I have failed. But failure is relative I suppose, and not only relative but very personal. I have dealt with some deep seeded feelings of failure this year. The good news is I did graduate, my thesis did not suck, I traveled a bit to Montreal and Toronto and the first half of the year I was practicing Spanish. In the summer, I went from not owning a bike, to riding to Coney Island, a trip that is 14 miles round trip. I know a few more words in French and Portuguese and I wrote more, performed more and was more active than any other year. So why the talk of failure?

I still didn't get what I wanted. I wanted it all. I wanted a full time job, New York City and my long distance love. It was impossible and the universe knew it. I tried so damn hard. For two months straight, I beat myself up and drove myself crazy. The cooling my temper and worrying about money portion of last years resolution is sadly still way off mark. Some days are better, some days I feel like giving up.

How can you accomplish everything you want when you don't have everything you need?

Before I get too woe is me, I must do some privilege checking. I am pretty damn lucky. On good days, I can step outside of myself and see the wonderful world around me in all its beauty and decay. Most of the time I am short sighted and wonder why my life isn't better. Why can't I help others more? Sometimes the desire for internal change or the desire to change the world is so big, it turns happy thoughts into depressing insurmountable tasks.

2011 had a lot of great things to it-- love, adventure, performance. It also had a lot of downs. Unemployment, massive debt, loneliness.

I am not setting any more resolutions (hell, didn't I say I was going to break them?). I am giving myself a break. However, I do have a goal. A goal to make these big insurmountable ideas into small, palpable, workable things. I can't learn a language in a day. Or train for a triathlon in a month. I need to slice all my big ideas into small things that I CAN DO.

My advice: give yourself a break. No one needs anymore mental torture anyways. Think about what you really want. What do you need to do to get there? What can you do every day or every week to get there eventually?

And also, keeping some perspective.

Sunday, December 18, 2011


Closeness beyond belief
a feeling of home
knowing someone so well
better than they know themselves.
Secrets that are kept between two mouths.
Trust that is always held up by hope,
but lives in the murky waters of
To know exactly what to say to make one melt.
To know exactly what to do to make one hurt.
Love can be a weapon, so many people use it for evil.
I ask myself to take my guard down. To love completely and without question.
To accept the flaws and idiosyncrasies my love has and for those I possess myself.
To look in one's eyes and see yourself. To accept fully and continue on.
Togetherness is lived love.
leveraging imaginations to create futures.
That which is sewn together by the ingredients of our past. Those crumbs never quite dissolve do they.
Moving on, moving to, moving with
An intimate body.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Cold, Wintry Portland

The world is asking so much.
Trying to stay afloat.
Clipped wings, trying to break free.
The spell of negativity must be broken.
I will not brainwash myself any longer.
The capitalist demons who want to buy my life, must wait in line.
I would say life is priceless, but we can see in our world that that is not true.
Swimming in a creative space, fueled by ambiguity.
Jumping on rocks, between creeks, hoping I don't fall.
Relishing in ambiguity.
Holding on for dear life to everything that is real.
But is it?
Mirages of the imagination.
Dreams and nightmares dancing together on the same stage.
Embraces remembered in the body far after they occur.
Imbalance, breaking bodies.
Breathing bodies.
That which is living
and full

Friday, December 2, 2011

Retracing 3000 miles back; Hello Portland

It's been a week since I left NY. I realize how much of NY is still in me, or perhaps how much of myself is still there. The car arrived to pick me up at 4am. I carried the two large suitcases, the same amount I arrived with and placed my worldly belongings in the car. I said goodbye to my lovely apartment that is no longer mine, but a replacement in someone else's future. The car ride to the airport was rough. It was cold, I was tired and weepy the whole way there. It seemed so surreal. Didn't I just arrive in NY? Did I really spend the past year and half in this crazy city, doing crazy things? The finality hit me. The driver asked me if I was staying in the states or going abroad. I suppose he assumed with such large bags, maybe I was going on vacation. I told him I was moving. He sensed the bittersweet tone in my voice; he said, "New York will always be here. Sometimes you need to go away to come back and be really successful'. If only the feeling of failure could be expunged through my tears.

I did not fail. I just didn't get what I set out for. I tried. I had fun.

I slept the majority of the 6 hour flight to San Francisco. I kept daydreaming of all the things that happened in NY, trying to happily close that chapter of my life. I arrived in SF at 10am, with my love picking me up to start our new adventure. Luckily for my sake, San Francisco is the one city besides NY that drives me crazy. I am in love and madly so. It has the wonders of NY but with the majestic beauty of California. It feels like home although I've never lived there. Home is not a place, but a feeling of belonging. 72 hours in SF and a 10 hour drive later laced with pitstops in the middle of nowhere, I arrived at my final destination.

Portland, Oregon

The good thing about Portland is that it has its own majesty. Nature abounds. The people are friendly, the rent is cheap and its great for artists. The bad thing is there is an amazing lack of diversity. Coming from NYC and previously Los Angeles, I feel strange being in a city with so many white young people. I can't help but notice it and feel it. It makes me uncomfortable and I suppose for now there is nothing I can do. I truly celebrate diversity and miss the different cultures ever present in LA and NYC. I know Portland is not permanent. It's an adventure, a pit stop. I enjoy it here for its quiet and stillness, but sometimes I feel spooked by it. The buzzing of NY contrasted by the silence here is eerie. Something to get used to. Also, friendly strangers talking to you! There is still so much to learn, discover and open myself up to. For now I am trying to get to know the city, find a place with my bf, and luckily I have found a part time gig for now. I yearn for creating again, but when you are wondering when your next paycheck will come, or where you will lay your head, it's hard to stay focused.

Another test. So many tests. A test of the will and character. A(nother) test of our relationship. Closeness circumvented by confusion. A lack of anything concrete, but a place full of dreams and desires. I will create a garden of our futures and plant our seeds. Mapping out past, present and future. Settling into time and place.

An adventure I must be open to. Opening myself up to possibilities and questions. It is frightening and exhilarating to not know one's immediate future-- to go with the tide, to hustle, to create flowers out of cement. My time will come and I realize I am blessed in so many ways.