Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Om Fusion - March 25, 2012

Photo by Joelle Friend
I didn't know Seattle's blues and fusion scene could be so..... satisfying.

Blues? Fusion?
Am I refering to colours or styles of food?

This is where I think, "Slivers, I don't know where to even begin describing them."

Blues dancing.

I know I've talked about it before.

But it's a kind of earthy-slowish (sometimes)-connective-sensual (not sexual by my means) partner dance. Noo! I didn't even describe it. That was a weak attempt.

Try again: It's about listening and responding and completely connecting with another human being and stilling your own busied heart and mind and shutting down your thoughts so you are in tune with what they are trying to communicate to you.

I found a video for you.

Fusion dancing (which cross-overs a lot and meshes in with alt-Blues) is a bit more hazy to describe, or perhaps easier. Take different dances. Smash them together. Fusion.

Like, I remember the other night where a partner and I pulled off (well, he pulled it off, I just gleefully followed) a solid polka-base with blues bites in the middle and hints of lindy hop (maybe, sure seemed like it) all to a tune which later I discovered was that Perry-girl.

You can throw together tango, blues, lindy, balboa, salsa, hip-hop, tecktonik, and whatnots (I like to throw in clogging). The Seattle fusion scene seems to be heavily, heavily blues-based, though, from my experience. Sort of an unrestricted blues, almost sliding from fusion to alt-blues. I know there holds a lot of potential when colliding the multiple forms, but I haven't experienced too much deliberate combinations. Or, perhaps I have and didn't know it. I love how open and creative the venue is, though. Oh how I love that.

The music varies widely (Seattle is a wee bit too dub step heavy for my tastes, that I can say, but the other night had some pretty adorable tunes. I could've vomited teddy-bears all over the dance floor and that would have been a-ok in my book).

So we've got that covered. And now the story begins.


I had already danced 9 hours that "weekend" (weekend, for me, starts on Thursday and goes through Monday). Contra. Contra. Contra. And all that sweaty spinning had done was left me craving more dance.

Sunday came and left me with three options: flash mob, contra, fusion.

The contra costs $10 and was out of budget (if only they had a student rate, they would have me).

I wasn't totally in a mob mood.

But fusion. Hmmm... I'd been to Om Fusion a few times with mixed results.

But I needed to dance that night, it cost only $5, and Maggie was hosting! And, after the previous weekend, I wanted to get back out on the partner-dance-floor.

The Trip Over

Om Culture, where we dance, is only 13 miles from my house via bike. It's a little over an hour bus ride and around an hour (including stops to fix bike-problems) bike ride. With this idyllic weather we had been having, I knew Silas was going to get me there.

But, he's been finicky lately.
A few grimy hands later and he was a lot better and set to go.

I packed him up and set off, leaving my rain gear behind.
Of course, within the first 3 minutes, it started to sprinkle.
I peddled onward.

Hello Burke!
I've been waiting for the Burke Gilman to be open since last Sunday. They closed off the trail near my house and the detour was inconvenient and left me frequently opting for the bus.

The air smelled incredible.
Birds were everywhere... and so were cats.
And I want to write in capitals BECAUSE LIFE FELT SO PERFECT.
It was warm enough that I could peddle on in just a thin summer-dress and feel fantastic.

But... Silas was a bit unhappy with me. He sounded like a seal giving birth (I verified this on YouTube).
I hopped off to see that I had, indeed, lost a screw. Oh bother. A hair-tie was used to get me to Metropolitan Market where I nabbed nine twisty ties from the produce department. I swirled three together, twisting them into a more solid wire that I used to the parts together. I then used a Velcro band to further hold the apparatus together.

A few times, I had to get off to retwist, but we made it to Om by 8ish (when I was aiming for) and I felt refreshed.

Om Fusion Arrival

I walked up the door and first person I saw was Brandon. What is that kid doing here? He's supposed to be in Boston. Surprises are fun. As I was running to get my favourite swung-to-the-back hug from him, I spotted another super-familiar face - Miss Joelle! Holy cow! She's mah best frehnd. And behind her was Maggie!

But Joelle!

The thing is, dear world, is that I keep my worlds seperate. Completely seperate.

If you're in my dance world, I'm probably not going to drag you into my college world or exchange world and vice versa.

Joelle is Oly/Exchangie world and she's aware of the split divisions and luckily, pretty chill about it. But, BOOM, the world's collided.

This collision was smooth and wonderful and super tasty. Joelle, meet Seattle-dance-community (which you already knew but we hadn't collided there together before). Seattle-dance-community, I am proud to introduce to you my best friend, Joelle.

I know I need to grow up in the worlds-colliding-area. Give me time.

Reflection of Past Fusion Experiences and Why I Wasn't Keen on Them

In the past, my experiences in the fusion community were't positive. I loved alt-blues (similar to fusion but every dance-bite tastes has blues dripping from it), that's much of what I've done, but fusion was different.

It's only now that I realize what was up back when I first experienced fusion on April 10, 2011. I remember leaving felt as if someone had sat me down and asked me the hardest questions they could ask and we had had an emotionally draining conversation in which they were the ones that benefited.

I left feeling drained physically and emotionally.

I spent the night trying to follow leads who weren't leading. And, when I did find a lead that could lead, my brain was so off-kilter that I'm sure it was unsatisfying for them. In this thought I was preoccupied, worrying about them having a good time and thus, miser-izing myself. I was so focused on trying to do well that I couldn't just relax, enjoy myself, and respond intuitively.

I go to dance for that sweaty brain-shut-off goodness where I can let go of pre-occupations, and I felt that my fusion experience was not fulfilling that criteria.

However, Om Fusion on March 25th, was tippy-top-terrific for me. Someone said that it was an unusually fantastic night, perhaps because everyone was back for Spring break. I hand't been in a while, but after a positive blues experience the previous week, I slipped into a must-dance-nightly-habit that I might elaborate on later.

And We Danced

Before heading in, I corrected my thinking.

I went to dancing knowing that you sometimes have rockin' dance chemistry with someone and, well, other times it just doesn't come naturally. I also reminded myself that all leads lead differently and trying to conform to each one perfectly was not a burden I had to put on myself. Based on feed-back, I'm not the crappy dancer I thought I was. I have a lot to learn, yes, but I'm learning that it is not a miserable chore for folks to dance with me. In fact, sometimes they enjoy it.

And this is where I would gush about what a beautiful time I had.

I felt relaxed (brain) and energized (body) and ecstatic.

But, what pushed me over the top into joy-land was when I could tell that I was making my partners happy. When they said, "Amazing," or made sure we danced later in the night, then I felt good knowing I had helped them feel good.

Twirled and dipped and lifted into outer space.
No. Not really.
I have not yet gone to outer space.

For two hours after dance, I couldn't stop randomly laughing and smiling. I was riding that dance high out.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Seattle Weekend (Photo Heavy) : Raclette, Blues, Contra, Portage Bay Cafe, Beery House, Third Place Books

I stayed home this weekend! Oh yes! Yes I did.

And the verdict on a weekend in my home town? Absolutely fine.

Neighborhoods Covered:
Phinney Ridge, University District, Beacon Hill, International District (Chinatown), South Lake Union, Ballard, and Capital Hill.

The weekend started Friday night at contra dancing (does it ever not?) at the Phinney Neighbourhood Center. After a peculiarly long bus ride, I made it to the hall where we twirled and weaved and grinned our guts out. The night was capped off with a glass of dark chocolate porter at the Barking Dog in Ballard and someone found themselves headed my way and dropped me off at my doorstep (oh, the luxury!).

I woke Saturday and got all dappered up for the day - St. Patrick's day. My just made javelina shirt had the green needed to keep myself safe from any crazy pinches.

Megan started my day off at 11 AM. Megan is, right now, pretty much one of the only Christian friends I hang out with. She's got a few more years on me in age - and with that comes wisdom and know-stuff that she shares with me. I'll tell her many things I won't tell anyone else (poor soul!) and the straight talk is refreshing for thought-sorting. Yeah. Megan rocks. We went over to Third Place Books, strolled a bit, and parked the car at a park and finished up the conversation there.

At 3:15 PM, Michael came over and we got to skitter down to the neighbourhood park and stomp down the tall grass over mud and reflect on lexicons and language acquisition.

4 PM brought Alex over and the three of us jammed a wee bit. At one point we had three accordions going at once. We had the ol' electric one (that was "Made in West Germany"), the standard one, and the melodeon.

6 PM meant it was time for raclette! Raclette is one of the finest of Swiss meals for me and it brings back so many memories that tickle me with delight. The basic gist of it is that you melt the cheese on a tabletop grill in individual mini-pans. When it's bubbly and gooey, you pour it over little baked potatoes you've chopped up and eat it with sides of pickled vegetables (we had artichoke hearts, peppers, corn, mushrooms, and pepperchinis). We also had legit-German bread (made in Germany, shipped over frozen, we baked it to bready-goodness), sausage the local butcher had made, truffle butter (ohhhh!), and  prosciutto!

We also played a round of Ticket to Ride, which I recommend (I won with 135 points), and watched some Schoolhouse Rock: Science.

With the raclette came gluhwein (hot spiced wine) and Guinness, and so Michael and I walked to the bus stop to head back to the city. 2.6 miles later we were on the docks of Log Boom and, eventually, our bus came at 10:28 PM. He gave me some of his challah and, together with the fish in my pack that Mrs. Kuehl had given with me, I felt prepared to feed the 5,000.

By 11 PM something, I was in the alley behind the University Bookstore in the U-District for the Burn Blue Thank You Celebration Dance! It was free and I was there until almost 3 AM.

This dance was so important to me. I hadn't been blues dancing since August, back in Portland.

Even though I know a bounty of blues dancers and love the community, what many don't realize is how little I've blues danced.

Five times in Seattle.
Once in Portland.
Once in Austin.
And then Urban Blues Recess, Aspen Blues Recess, and Northwest Blues Recess.

And that's it.

And no blues for the past 7 months.

The blues community had seemed a bit closed off and I had messed up in being too, well, aware of if I was giving my partner a good dance. I was so caught up in making sure they were ok that it was ruining my experience.

I went to this dance with a totally different mind set. I was going to be me, I was going to dance how I dance, follow without inhibitions, and see what happens. I was going in with the mindset, "I want to dance with everybody."

It was incredible! I felt amazing, as blues dancing does to you. There was nothing magically unusual about the dances or the night - the beauty lay in my changed perspective lived out. I felt so loved, through the night! There was one partner I did have a harder time following (and then I have to remind myself that these people are dancing 3-6 hours a week every week for the past more-than-a-year). But, I relaxed, told myself to do what I could and have a blast, and it worked ever so fine.

A bounty of folks asked me where I was from - they had seen me in Bellingham, Austin, Portland, and couldn't exactly pin-point my stomping grounds. "Seattle!" was my answer. "Why haven't I seen you here?"

As 3 AM approached, I went home with Larissa and Maggie to Beacon Hill to crash the plush-lovely couch. A few dreams later and I felt refreshed enough for the day ahead of me.

My best, best mate, Joelle, had her birthday on Monday, but I was honoured to be invited to celebrate with her family on Sunday at the Portage Bay Cafe.

I bussed an hour to the one in the U-District (where Joelle told me to go) and only then turned on my phone to get a call saying that, really, they were over at the South Lake Union location. Luckily, it was only a short bus ride away and I was there by 1:28 PM, before the food arrived.

Local, organic, and sustainable - the Portage Bay Cafe had real food that sat well with me. Oh so delicious! We shared the Dungeness Crab Cake Benedict and Steel-Cut Oatmeal, all loaded up with toppings (fresh fruit to the max) from the topping bar. I was satisfied. And, as usual, I managed to run into John Anderson.

Post-brunch (more like lunch, by that time), we ran over to Uwajimaya, Seattle's favourite Asian food market. Good-byes were said as they headed back to Olympia and I made my way to Capital Hill.

James & 5th is where I caught the 4 to the Beery House! The Beery House is home to two of the most welcoming, beautiful people in Seattle. Max and Teresa open their home up, frequently, for quirky-good house concerts and events that never, never fail to inspire and make me re-appreciate this world. Performing were Stevhen Kojii Iancu (The Dolomites) Global Monster Gypsy Music and Natsumi Suzuki - Izayoi (Tribal Fusion Dance). Let me just post the description to this event before I attempt to convey it to you myself.
The DOLOMITES are an amalgamation of international-outernational sounds from all over the universe. At this current moment in History we call the sound JAPANESE ALiEN GYPSY MUZIK… but in 30 years it could be SPACESHIP Galactic THRASH…The DOLOMITES Library of sounds covers many genres including Balkan, Cumbia, Gypsy, Dub, Tribal, Roots musik, Future musik, 8 Bit sounds , animal sounds , natural and supernatural sounds etc. with multiple dimensions and depth charge. The leader and founder, Stevhen Koji Iancu, was a touring member of Gogol Bordello , as well as a guest member in Balkan Beat Box, Reverend Glasseye, Gypsyliana, Mad Juana, and Yerba Buena. The Dolomites entity has been an ongoing and roving project since it’s original inception in 1999 in a Art Punk House in Portland Oregon. The Dolomites have shifted bases from New York City to Tokyo, Japan to Earth 3.3 and back to California. The Dolomites family consists of over 100 different members in several different U.S. States and Countries including Mexico, Romania , Japan and Earth 3.3. creating a unique and always fresh show that is never the exact same from city to city, country to country, and planet to planet.

I was reminded that I can move my mouth how I want, make sounds how I want, and altogether deny what I've been taught of "normal."

Our attention was caught in the beginning as the duo performed a hysterical (I rarely use this term, so you know I mean it) rendition of the Muppet Show. With Izayoi on Stevhen's knee, both sharing an accordion... oh! I don't even think I can begin to do any justice. I'll share the pictures I have, though.

Walking into the doors of the Beery House was like coming home. I immediately felt bombarded by the warmth and community that my city has to offer. Familiar faces, shared memories, and that penetrating feeling of love.

We gathered on the floor, squirming in excitement (ok, maybe I was the main one squirming), knowing we were in for a treat.

Mid-concert, we even got the chance to celebrate Icel***'s birthday!

Oh! Here we have it! If you're impatient, start watching at 0:56. I love it when Noam walks in at 2:25.

Post-concert, we all continued to bask in the each other's company. Then - in walks Danny and Adam! A flying hug! Apparently I had invited them multiple times... which I don't remember doing. But I love seeing them.

After more community time, Danny, Adam, and I hit the road (Jack!) and they dropped me off in Mountlake Terrace. I hopped the bus to Third Place Books where I found myself lost in the classical section, turning pages until closing times.

I wandered down the Burke Gilman trail, just opened, in the dark. There's one point where the trail becomes something of a tube - both sides are fenced off or walled off and you can't escape except for forward and back. The second, the very second my phone died, the creepiest person I had ever encountered on the trail came yelling down the trail with crazy bug eyes. I'm still alive so you know nothing happened. But, can't say I liked it. Can't say I felt safe.

Back in in our village, me and my parents met up to try and get a DVD of Tin Tin (no success) and I was carted home.

I love my city.
I love Seattle.

The End

Wanderlust Hardcore

I've heard folks say, "Yeah, I've got wanderlust."

But I don't see them going places. I do see them looking at pretty pictures of Europe. I don't see it driving them to leave their homes and explore. I don't see it in them beyond a poetic word.

For me, it almost feels like another condition to go along with SPD, ADHD, and the others.
I've got it. Definitely have it. I've got it hardcore.
Is it a curse? If so, it has its blessings.

A simple definition is: "Wanderlust is a strong desire for or impulse to hike, wander or travel and explore the world."

Yeah. That's pretty much it. But the desire is a bit too strong.
Trying to resist leaving on a weekend is like trying to resist chocolate chip cookie dough. I'm just not capable of doing it.

Tuesdays through Fridays I've got to be in Seattle. That's a must because of school and work.

But as soon as the weekend hits - BANG - I'm gone.

I will note - I have spent two weekends in Seattle. One was for a dance camp. The other was this weekend and was deliberate and difficult but I proudly did it! I didn't quite sleep at home Saturday night, but I was within' city limits so it counts.

Under my tiny budget (I only make $363 a month) and 3 day weekends in 2012, I've managed:

  • 3,798 miles in 2012 (that's farther than Seattle, WA & Miami, FL)
  • Slept in around 12 beds, or so
  • Rides with around 9 folks
Since January it's been like this...
  • Bellingham, WA
  • Olympia, WA
  • Bellingham, WA
  • Vancouver, BC
  • Cle Elum, WA
  • Seattle, WA - Dance Camp
  • Bellingham, WA & Vancouver, BC
  • Lopez Island, WA
  • Portland, OR, Berkeley, San Francisco, Santa Clara, CA
  • Bowen Island, Vancouver, Langley, BC
  • Olympia, WA & Portland, OR
This up coming weekend I think I'll be in California again. Then I have one or two weekends left before I leave for Alaska until September (maybe).

I've got to keep moving. I like seeing how far I can get from home. I love sleeping in different beds and on different floors. I love having everything in my backpack. I love colliding with folks only for the temporary moment.

I don't know why I need to get away. There are so many fantastic events in Seattle! So many wonderful people to be with. But, life just sweeps me elsewhere.

All within' my means, though. That's why I stay pretty close to home. I fund my travels. I do what I can with the time and money I have.

I'll report back on my Seattle weekend, too. It was spectacular! I'm grateful to be able to call this place home base.

Anyways, wanderlust.
Anyone know a cure?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Let's Be Emotional

Something I like to do, sometimes, is not control (suppress) my joy in public.

I like outbursting my glee.
I love declaring how happy I am to have made it on the bus or how glad I am that a certain check-out clerk is there.
If something tickles my fancy, I want the world to know.

Not to rub it in, but so they can appreciate it to.
(I speak from experience when me and
lovely strangers have moments of shared
delight on the sidewalks and we both
leave feeling refreshed)

Or. Even better.
So they can know I appreciate them, when it’s a human.

If someone is rad, let them know.
If a stranger is impressive, there’s nothing wrong with telling them how they made their mark on you.

I am not talking about doing that thing where you're rude to people and in their face and making a huge scene and thinking, "I'm happy and that's not a crime so I'm going to do what I want." No. Not bother people. That's lame.

Why are we trying to numb-down and contain our emotions? Isn’t feeling a good thing?

We do! We take what we're feeling and we suppress it all down so we come across and get-thing-done-placid-human-robots.

Flip side is, I know it’s ok to not always be happy.
I know sorrow and anger have their place and should not be ignored or shoved aside.
But, much of the time, I am happy. I’m not a good enough actor to pretend I’m delighted when I’m not. That would be too emotionally exhausting.

I think a benefit of ADHD is that, in our impulses, we don't always even think to hide what we're feeling.


I think you’re all lovely.

Bus Lessons: Be Flexible

One thing years of public transportation have taught me is that, unless I want to feel like a ball of anxious goo, I have to be flexible; I have to learn to let it go.

Which is really hard.

Sometimes (next-to-nearly-almost-always), things in life are completely out of our hands. Unforeseeable circumstances control our future and, even though we can do things to try and take the reigns, it always seems like someone puts my life in a jar and shakes things up - like, you know how those ants build tunnels in the ant farms and then a kid comes along and shakes it. All that hard work, the paths laid, gone.

On a bigger side scale that deserves it's own post:
Every time I try and make a plan, God comes along and says, "Nah - I have something better for you You might not get why or what, but it's going to put you where I need you." When I try and take control of my own life and do it on my own strength, things crumble on down. Humble time. Humble time.

With the bus, it’s just learning to let go of day to day things. I am learning to relax when circumstances that I can’t control don’t go how I’d like them to.

Want my current example?

My bus was supposed to come at 6:21 PM. It came at 6:57 PM.
That’s a 36 minute difference!

In that time that I spent waiting at the bus stop, I could have nearly driven all the way to my destination and back home.

Currently, I am spending over two hours in transit to get to a dance that is three hours long.

Do the math.

2 hours there + 2 hours home = 4 hours in transit
3 hours of dancing (which will now be more like 2-2.5 hours if it isn’t sold out yet).

And, in all those numbers, I could get pretty frustrating because, you know what?, it is frustrating.

However, I’m the one who chose to take the bus and not be an automobile driver.
I could be driving if I thought that getting places in my own time was a priority over money.
And since I chose this, I need to be ok with what comes with it.

I think that’s how it is in a lot of circumstances.

We make choices. With those choices come negative effects. I don’t think we always have the right to complain about those. We made our choice. We could have chosen otherwise.

Deal with it.

Such as complaining about homework in high school. Cut it out, yo!

Once you are out of high school you never, never have to do homework again. No one is making you. You don’t have to. You’re in school, though, because you chose to. You’re in a class because you want to acquire a certain degree which you also chose. But you don’t have to do any of it. You don’t have to pass the class for anyone. That was a pretty lame connection I made there...

And that’s life. Sometimes things get out of hand, out of our control. Sometimes the bus comes really late. And, sometimes, all that means is a bit of extra time at the bus stop to get some writing and reading done.


See, and sometimes it totally works in your favour! My connecting bus was 7 minutes late. With a bit of downtown city running, I caught the 5 just in time yelling at the cross walk, “I wanna catch that bus so badly!” with a grin, of course.

And I got it. And it felt so. So. So good. And I grinned at everyone because it was a good day.

"Mr. Bus Driver! I'm so happy I'm on your bus!"

And the thrill of catching that second bus kept me smiling for the next hour.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Full Open Communication - Letting Folks Know What's On Your Heart and Mind

Him: Why people don't just like talk from the get-go is beyond me; maybe its just a little to brilliant of an idea (I think I will from now on).
Me: Communication - out loud... // I don't get why you'd want to try and mind read
Him: When i think back to it, it's pretty lame // Well at least i learn (hopefully) //and no one got hurt (hopefully)
Him: the problem isn't just me though
Me: problem?
Him: not verbally communicating before hand
Me: Ahhh - gotcha
Him: I'm not the only person that does it (tries to mind read that is)
Me: oh, dude, I used to do it all the time // it really, really doesn't work // although, now I do it [mind read] in weird ways and say I don't //  like, for you, I've pretty much mind read you into another corner in  avoidance of mind reading
Him: Well it's good to recognize and work on it
Me: then I just have to ask you for clarification or let it allllllll go // that's the only two options, I'd say

And then we had a rawther very open point blank question conversation.

None of the crazy hinting stuff. And, when he did say things that I wasn't sure if I had fully understood, instead of thinking I knew what he meant, I asked for clarification or told him how I was perceiving everything.

I’m a huge fan of what I call “open communication.”

Open communication involves speaking to people directly about things going on instead of trying to read their minds or waiting for them to read yours. You know when things are up between you and someone? Tensions of all sorts? And you’re waiting, waiting for the next stage to occur because you’re currently a bit stuck in an uncomfortable place.

Well, I like to just speak up and address the elephant in the room.

“Why, hello Mr. Elephant!”

It’s a peculiar experience.

See, it requires you to be a bit vulnerable. You can't expect to get the response you want. Mentally, I usually prepare to deal with the worst. But, by being open, at least I'm not battling with trying to figure the unknown out.

By getting everything out in the open, I can concentrate my thoughts on, if the occasion calls for it, the issue. I can deal with concrete things I know. Then I can be more productive and get on with life.

Me: And that, _________, is hopefully your last dose of having to experience full-open communication with me // but, I tell it straight as it is from my perspective
Him: Well I selfishly don't want it to be my last.
Me: ?
Him: you have really interesting prospectives // and you're really easy to talk to // but it can [be] my last
Me: that's a double compliment, so, to that, I say, "thanks" // I like to hope that my view on the world isn't too boring.... I know I, at least, haven't gotten bored with it // but I don't foresee there being any more circumstances where I'll need to write a book [book is another name for a long letter, sometimes in the form of a blog post to someone with my brains in it]
Him: maybe ill have to steal your eyeball
Me: NOOOOO! // I like them!
Him: But you aren't obligated share. No one is obliged -- its your right.
Me: obligated to share what?
Him: full open-communication (using your words) // Ill take half of one
Me: I don't share out of obligation // I share because it's a system that works for me // it is weird telling people what's going on in your head most folks keep all that stuff locked up and private and only let it out late at night but, for me, I find it amusing // open communication makes it so I don't have to wonder too much // because I seriously don't get human beings, sometimes
Him: ya well its the no-brainer that often gets neglected

But open communication is most effective if you're emotionally stable enough for whatever the other person's perspective is. Steady enough that you can listen with open ears and process the information and not respond too irrationally. If you're one to get emotional and think the truth hurts, yeah, it's best continuing to live in your bubble until you've grown up a bit. Not saying that there's anything wrong with that. I think wisdom is more-so knowing what you can handle, deal with, and grow through - not how much you throw yourself out there. Although, it can be really refreshing to, for once, hear things straight instead of based on inaccurate estimations and mind readings.

It can be healthy, in many cases, for people to hear the truth. I think it's better for them to get shocked with reality, even when it hurts, and struggle and deal with that instead of messing around with trying to figure out the mind of the other person.

Here are some cases when I've gone kamikaze-open:

- When someone has crossed a boundary or line and I'm not comfortable with it, I need to tell them straight up what's up.
- When I have strong feelings for someone to the point where I can't deny it at all (I tend to only have one of these a year - 2010, 2011, and hopefully none for 2012).
- When I'm trying to figure out why someone is acting a certain way around me. What are their intentions?
- When I think someone's holding something against me.
- When I want to know how I can be a better friend to someone.
- When hanging out with folks, explaining my tendencies so they understand why I push them away.
- When I'm worried about a friend and want to check up on them. It helps to be open instead of side stepping the actual issue.

In being open with someone, you get closer to them. You are enabled to build up your friendship on truths and figure things out.

Not communicating would be like if you were building a house and there was this one fuzzy section of the blueprints. No one really understands what was meant and everyone reads into it what they want and build based on what they THINK they see. In the end, you have a house, yes, but it's pretty shaky because not everyone understood what the others were going for.

I like to understand the intentions of people. I like to know the driving force behind their actions.

This blog was quite rambly, but you get the point. If thoughts are about to take over your brain and you need to know the brain of someone else to sort them out, plunge in and talk to them.

It has yet to dissatisfy.


Photos by Scotty Leach



Sometimes I do.

I tell myself, "Do this! Do this! Do this!" and then I spent 1.5 hours on a random very pointless task... but I can't move on until the pointless task is done because, well, I don't know why.

I feel weak.
I feel like I'm not in control.
And I've got much too much to do.


Frustrated --> Maximum

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Coming to Terms with the Fact That Dudes Might (Maybe) Actually "Like" Me Sometimes

Photos by Kaitlin Harrison

Lately, I’ve had to come to terms with something.
Dudes, yeah, those guys of the opposite gender? You know them?

Well.... apparently, sometimes they like me.
Sometimes, they're, well, attracted to me.
My first reaction to that is, "Weird..."

It took me a long time to come to that conclusion.
Maybe a bit too long.

I’m not saying it hasn’t happened before without me being aware. Sure, there are been guys out there who have found themselves infatuated with the infamous Mägi. Although, I never assumed it was so unless they, or someone else who knew it as a fact, told me so.

One time, the conversation went something like this,

G: I really like J a lot.
Me: Dude! That’s rad, he’s a really sweet guy.
G: Yeah, but he likes this other girl.
Me: Bummer.
G: Yeah. *pause* He likes you.
Me: What?! Wait. Seriously?
G: Yeah, he told me.
Me: Oh.

Didn’t see that one coming. Sure, we’d been spending a bounty of one-on-one time together. But we were just really good friends as we had always been for the past 7 or so years. And she was one of the prettiest girls I know. And...

Then there was the lad that spelled his affection out for me near-completely. I still twisted all of his words, deeming he true intentions to be impossible.

Yeah. Kinda clueless.
I always give the male gender the benefit of the doubt. Always.

And why? Because it is so, so easy to turn anything that they do into an act of affection.

What have us ladies been taught? If they tease you, the like you. If they do stuff for you, they like you. If they hang out with you, they like you. If they’re nice to you, they like you. On and on and on!

Poor guys - how can they manage to just be good mates with us if everything they do is turned into a declaration of love.

I used to try and interpret them and failed miserably.

Trust me, I had some guys where, if I told you everything they did in relation to me, well, you’d immediately declare them to be infatuated. Let’s go crazy out of our way for her, buy her stuff, take her places, make her things, and create memories with her. Whether it be 21-hours together a week or going great distances to hang out or... yeah.

And, the moral is, it means nothing. Or it may mean something and no one knows it. Or it means something and we choose to ignore it. But I go with the first one. Well, it means something, it means they’re a lovely, lovely friend. However, I am not one to turn all things friendship into something romantic.

Through this, I have been conditioned to be blind, though.
Naïve up to my ears.
Ignorant to the blatant.
I am rendered near oblivious to the affections of the opposite gender.

Even when everything lines up, I still find myself in denial, trying to give them the benefit of the doubt. I assume they're intentions are for the sake of pure platonic friendship

I feel like I’m in junior high even trying to figure things out.

And do I need to figure this out ever? Yeah. In some ways, I think I do. Nothing obsessive or worth over-thinking. I think I need to make sure I don’t encourage them or lead them on. I need to be aware of my own feelings and attitudes towards said people. And I need to be clear, to them, what's going on in my head.

But, the sad part is, in all of this, many of these years I have also been putting myself down. In all of this, I have been labeling myself “unloveable,” “unattractive,” and "uninteresting" to the opposite gender. I’m not saying I’m getting all self-loathing or being miserable, I just sort of figured I was the kind of girl that guys don’t like.

That was earlier on. I think it's important, though, that I learned to value myself without needing the affection of the male gender. I didn't base my esteem on them. It took time, growth, and thought. It didn't involve me pushing my own self up in a self-absorbed way. It involved simply learning not to value or depend on other human beings for feeling good about myself. As much as their opinions are lovely and can make me feel good, they're not what I run on. In Christ, I am complete.

I believe it has been to my benefit that either they haven’t liked me or I haven’t noticed (I’m learning that, apparently, it’s more of this one than I realized). Because, when you do know, it can sometimes make life just a wee bit more complicated.

And, in the end, if I'm supposed to get married, all I need in the long run, is just one man to think I'm pretty rad while I think the same about him. Just one. And I don't see trying to find him now to make much sense. It's like picking out clothes that you'll grow into in three years. I've got time. Lots of time. No worries and no rush.

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