Friday, September 17, 2010

nine. seventeen. ten.

Hello there.

I've been meaning to write this...check-in for weeks. Hell I've been meaning to update on the past three months, actually, but have successfully put it off. I'll make a long, gay story quite short.


(1) I'm quite single. Things didn't pan out with the Puerto Rican. Eh. I spent some time beating myself up, eating my emotions, and so on. I conclude that most of my frustration was internal, as much as I wanted to project blame. Ultimately, I was upset with myself for knowing a "situation" wasn't meant to be and would end in heartbreak...and staying in that situation. I'm a romantic. I haven't had true companionship that lasted more than a few hours since last summer. And you see where that got me (six months in, I had FALLEN HARD, my "I love you"  wasn't returned until I was sliding into a cab to fly across the country for good. Great.). So, yeah. I wanted to be able to put an end to this whole dating song and dance. It's dreadfully disappointing. And so on. He wanted a good time. So...it ended exactly the way I'd projected weeks earlier. And that's fine. You live and you learn.

Lessons learned: It's not always necessary to give people the benefit of the doubt. It's not always good to be overly sensitive with the feelings of those who aren't sensitive to your emotions. Over-extending myself too much, too soon: nope. I initially regretted the cooking for him, his friends, my eagerness to fold his world into mine, but I can't take it back. I need not make myself infinitely available. I don't have to answer texts RIGHT away. I need not place myself at another's disposal...if they don't offer some reciprocity.

Additionally, it just brings to light my frustration with people/dating. Why did/do I have to play the "I'm not going to contact them, and see if they contact me at all" game. Clearly I lost the game. While those things are telling as hell, we as adults shouldn't have to sing those songs if communication was open, honest, and direct (as advertised). No hard feelings. In fact, I thank him for the lesson.

(2) I'm three weeks into my return to school. Can I tell you that I haven't been this mentally stimulated in years? What began as one philosophy class has resulted in Conversational Spanish, Cultural Anthropology, and a Memoir Writing course. I am hoping to visit Panama/Costa Rica next summer, so I'm brushing up on my Spanish to enhance my experience there. In general, it's a life goal of mine to be fluent. Hell, I've got the Panamanian flag on my shoulder; I should at least know the language.

(3) I don't love Los Angeles. Yet. I've been here over a year. I hear everyone say that it takes awhile. And that's fine. This is the polar opposite of New York. I comment often that I don't see people walking with books here. While that's insignificant to most, it's very telling. I've only been asked, "Oh, what are you reading?" a handful of times here. Again, insignificant to some, but very telling to an avid reader. Back East, I could spark a conversation on the train with a stranger who sees me carrying The Autobiography of Malcolm X, or overhears me in discussion about a book I read. Here: not the case.

Socially, this town leaves much to be desired. I've become more of an introvert here, becoming more appreciative and demanding of alone time. I've read more here than I anticipated. People are more likely to disappoint me than a book is. I'll probably have some variation of that statement on my grave. People (here) suck balls. Nicely tanned balls with an agent or some shit. Being in the dance world for much of my time here, I've just been grossly unchallenged by people I have met so far. Now, you could say, "Well what does that say about you?"  And I could give you the finger, but it most likely means I need a new circle of acquaintances.

I don't know if I see myself here for years upon years. I've mixed feelings about going back to New York. Yes, it kicks most other cities in the nuts, I would have to be sure to be ahead of where I was when I left. I couldn't go back and do the same things. I've probably grown more independent by not having all of my best friends in the same city.

A very pivotal moment was having a dancer in my old apartment (for some epic sinning, but that's besides the point) who, after seeing my bookshelf, said, "Oh you read? That's cute!"

That put my dick into a coma, by the by.

Anywho...

My initial excitement for school was because of the chance to be stimulated, challenged, and surrounded by people eager to LEARN. Shit. I'm so, so elated right now. School is the best thing going on these days. Just the discussions in the halls between classes, the questions I'm being asked, the ways my mind now has to work, it's so thrilling. I feel like such a nerd. And I love it.

I know it's not unique, but it bothers me that my Cultural Anthropology class is SO quiet and unresponsive to the teacher. I am so so so INTO it, and made the effort to actually interact w the Professor. I got tired of being the only hand raised.

The memoir writing class is the light of my week. It's my second writing course. I volunteered to share my work tonight, so I submitted a piece of a chapter from what I expect to become my memoir. It largely covers my diagnosis and dealing with Lupus, and my reflections on that time in my life. I was thrilled when I raised my hand last week. As today approached: it consumed my thoughts EVERYDAY. The way this class works, is the week's readers send their work out to the class via email by Monday at midnight, and we read aloud and critique that Thursday. While I was anxious about being critiqued, secretly, I was quite confident in my work.


I meant to share what I figured would be the first chapter of the book. However, considering the feedback I got, I decided it read like an overly formal essay (sort of like the way this damn blog is turning out), and I had to put it down and walk away from it. A new chapter POURED out, almost effortlessly. It took a few days, but I liked what i produced.

I read tonight. Reading the chapter felt like like stripping naked in front of strangers, having them poke and tell me what needs to change about my body. Getting started was tough, but once I got in, I lightened up. There's a good blend of humor and tragedy, that makes for an interesting read, so much of the feedback I got was mixed.

"This is so tragic, but you helped me not feel so bad for you."

"I wanted to cry, then laugh, then laugh while crying."

"Your asides and tangents can be a bit much, but I suppose it works."

and so on...

I mean, I basically tell the story of appearing to be dying, then...not..dying.

Diagnosis-->coma-->recovery-->insight

Getting 25 or so different points of view was invaluable. I have so much to think about, consider, expand upon, etc. I felt stripped bare before my class, discussing my sexuality and reaction to my own writing during question and answer. For the first time, I almost cried reading my own writing. Not because the writing is so so so good, but...hell, the subject matter is pretty fucking shitty. I was reading a bit about something that was most humbling, and broke me the fuck down, and I thought, "DUDE. Your life fucking sucked!" I've never felt so...okay with it. It was easy talking about it. It was like discussing someone else's life.

As weird as it sounds, I feel like a writer now. I've loved writing forever. Lately, I've been deluded into thinking that because I wasn't writing FOR someone, I wasn't actually a writer. Fuck that. Bullshit pieces get published everyday. Despite what people who know me in a dance setting ask, I am not walking away from dancing, but returning to my first love. I was a writer first. And I know I have a long, long, long, long way to go, but I am loving the process thus far. 

Whew. Anyway, I miss this space. I will absolutely attempt to visit more often. Thanks for stopping by.


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