Day 319: Eleven.Twenty.13

I had a lot of time with myself today. Some thoughts came to me:

I’ve less been active by choice, more by necessity, all these years. Literally not being able to sit still made dance my perfect outlet. I’ve had times in my life when I’m without this life-force and I always find myself in despair. I call it the thing that ‘saved’ me growing up.

I recently had my peace-love-and-art lifestyle chastised. I don’t like being made to feel less than. (Who does, of course?) But this time, I didn’t feel the need to fight back. I didn’t feel the need to prove myself – to MAKE them see the error of their ways.

If anything, it only made my resolve to LIVE this kind of life and REACH those kind of people more solidified. Because I’m telling you, everything, everything is easier, better, lovelier, when you can allow yourself to breathe and soak in any and all forms of creativity. I really, truly believe it to be so. It’s just a matter of being able to tap into that, particularly in a society where we are so often taught it’s not OK to be vulnerable and unique and ‘different.’

Today was the Presidential Medal of Freedom Reception. Sixteen individuals received the highest civilian honor for their “meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.” It was a wonderful reminder of what, of course, I know to be true – people receive lifetime achievement awards for making this a safer, better, more loving place to live – not for contributing to violence and hate and ugliness.

Sometimes, it’s not about forgiveness but rather about simply letting go. Making the conscious decision to live happy is a powerful thing.

I let go of some built up emotions I’ve been feeling. Just like that. I. Let. Them. Go. Not for show, not to prove anything, but because I really truly no longer want to be burdened by them. I live a fairly drama-filled life. Not anything crazy, mind you. But I tend to thrive in a dynamic and situation-filled world. A friend recently helped me see that perhaps, in the love arena, this isn’t the way to go.

I feel power-full in letting go. My chest feels a bit less tight. My lips are involuntarily curling into the slightest smile. I feel. Content. On my couch. On my own. And that is perhaps the first time in a long time I can say that with any conviction.

Here’s to another day of creativity…


Day 312: Eleven.Thirteen.13

This is crazy. I would do it in a heartbeat.

The craziest OKCupid date ever

In an online exchange after I posted the article and exclaimed I wanted to find a romantic fella like him to take me on this type of grand adventure, a friend told me it was a ‘special’ type of person that would do this (she meant it with love).

It was then I had a sort of epiphany about the kind of person I want to be (am?!), and the kind of ‘special’ a person who wants to be my significant other needs to be. Thank goodness it came when it did. Before that I was swimming in my own salty, wide open ocean of thoughts. Feeling discouraged and downtrodden about the prospect of me ever finding a special someone who lives up to my potential.

Here are a few things that I am now, gratefully, coming to know about myself:

  • I live for this type of spontaneity, while at the same time I live a life anchored by details and plans and organization. It’s not a contradiction. It’s what makes navigating open, adventure-filled waters manageable; knowing there is something to keep me grounded when needed.
  • I live for this type of creativity. I crave it – no, require it – in equal parts to the oxygen-rich particles my lungs depend on for my existence. This goes well beyond the “forge your own path” mentality. This is about continuously expanding and inventing our reality. Stagnant and status quo will never be good enough to enter my life’s vocabulary.
  • I’ve got a full life. This is not me bragging. This is me coming to terms with all I have worked to build. I simply don’t have time to pull someone along for the ride. They need to come equipped with their own full sail, ready to chart even greater distances with me.
  • I don’t have a list of required characteristics for my significant other. Except now, it seems I do. Whoever they are, whatever their background (and hopefully, it’s vastly different from mine) they have to, HAVE TO, understand, identify with, and encapsulate the above epiphanies.
  • I so want my heart to catch up with my head and let this person in. I don’t want to spend a lifetime of settling in my romantic field all the while planting a rich, abundant life in all other realms.

Here’s to another day of creativity…

Day 309: Eleven.Ten.13

Oh. So this is what it’s like to crave someone.

I had all but forgotten.

Not to crave someone in a general sense. That feeling, maybe, never goes away.

But to crave a certain someone.

A specific Touch. Kiss. Caress. Smell.

I just don’t know if I’m ready for it. All that comes along with this craving.

Here’s to another day of creativity…

Day 297: Ten.TwentyNine.13

My friends are fiercely talented. My women-folk; these bad-ass, I don’t take no bs from no one, I know my own worth and you better respect that, kind of friends. It’s so freaking awesome to witness. And be inspired by.

The incredible writer, poet, educator, performer Mahogany Browne, who fell into my life at this moment I knew not how much I needed her, took the stage at Busboys and Poets Hyattsville last night. She was the feature in a fabulous event series called Body of Work.

I have seen her perform pieces on many occasions, in all types of settings. This night was different, though. It was all her, and revealed an altogether different kind of performance quality. I was mesmerized, as was the rest of the audience.

She speaks truth and wisdom and love. But more than that, she IS those things. What I realized last night was how much of herself she is on that stage. During poems, in between poems, answering questions, interacting with the crowd – all of it. And that, that is the most powerful tool I think any of us artists can aspire to use. Authenticity.

She had a few surprise guests – an incredible singer and cellist from Philadelphia (middle photo) who had this voice that made you FEEL the moment in a way that is kind of too visceral of a thing to put into words. And me – I freestyled to a poem that I was hearing for the first time as I was dancing it. It’s humbling to be asked by this beauty of a woman to share in one of her pieces. Terrifying, really. But I do it. Whenever she asks. Because I trust in her so completely and have to believe that I, too, may find some truth in what I share when I am in her presence.

Mahogany Browne @ Busboys photo 2 photo 3

Here’s to another day of creativity…

Day 288: Ten.Twenty.13

I’m being challenged to examine the truths I know about myself in a deeper way than, perhaps, ever.

I don’t even think he knows.

I have more questions than answers.

I mostly can’t even find words to respond with.

I don’t even think he knows.

Everything I stand for.

In every way I think I have been giving and kind and helpful.

All of it is in need of scrutiny.

My optimism and ‘heal the world’ privileged mentality.

All of it, maybe, is in need of an overhaul. Closer understanding of its origins and true helpfulness, at the very least.

It frightens me. I am grateful for it.

I don’t even think he knows.

He’s changing, too.

I’m pretty sure he knows.

Here’s to another day of creativity…

Day 283: Ten.Fifteen.13

My dear friend who has been traveling for the past month and a half recently returned. Before he left, we were mostly inseparable. Since he’s been gone, we have hardly had contact.

He asked me (and several other women in his life) to attend the last session of a self-help series he’s been attending for the past five days. I shouldn’t make it sound like that. Self-help probably isn’t a fair assessment of the life-coaching he, and thousands of others across the world receive from this organization.

I’m sure they do good things.

I’m sure it’s exactly the thing people need to help them grow to the next level of themselves.

I spent the entire evening feeling completely pissed that I was there. I left early.

I can’t yet find the words to articulate exactly why I had such a negative visceral reaction to the whole thing, but to be sure, it was all about me, not about him.

Part of it, I suppose, is it felt so phony. Sitting in an overly florescent meeting room in rows of chairs with some man no doubt repeating a speech he’s made thousands of times to crowds just like this one in which he urges – invites as he put it – to ‘consider’ all of these new possibilities for ourselves.

Part of it, to be sure, was that it felt like my friend finally had this epiphany all on his own – or with the help of this stranger I should say – when I (and so many of his other friends) have been here, encouraging him to do just what he is now doing, for so long. I don’t need credit for helping him on his journey. Or at least, I didn’t while we were on it together. But now, maybe, dammit, I do want a bit of acknowledgement.

The night also was supposed to be about us discovering this life-changing experience. (An experience that costs ONLY $525.) And yet, it felt so self-centered. Come here to this place to watch me GROW. Yes, you get to be a part of this magic. You’re welcome.

I know I was being a bitch. (I couldn’t make it stop. Thus I figured the best thing for all involved was for me to leave.) I know I will need to share these things with him, in person. (I know this venting here is not going to solve anything between the two of us.)

But for now, I’m just going to continue to feel self-righteous while simultaneously trying to discover why this experience affected me so deeply.

Here’s to another day of creativity…

Day 276: Ten.Eight.13

I’m feeling all kinds of emotional in ways I haven’t in a long time.

Happy. Carefree. High School Girl Giddy, even.

Unsure. Overly Analytical. Debbie Downer Depressed, even.

This new phase of relationship is always such an all-consuming thing.

This one even more so because I’m being extremely cautious of my heart.

This one even more so because I’m being extremely protective of my privacy.

What if I say the wrong things?

What if he sees these posts and thinks I’m thinking about him too much?

What if someone else sees these posts and wonders who New Relationship Man is?

What if I could just let myself BE?

I think, then, I would feel… Happy. Excited.

A bit scared, yes.

But hopeful, mostly hopeful that I have let myself BE in this place.

Here’s to another day of creativity…

Day 264: Nine.TwentySix.13

I have been saying for years – years – that I needed to find someone else to help with my business idea. Not just another idealistic artist with a good heart but no real ability to keep money in their pockets. But someone with an actual business brain who could help make this thing actually run.

And then one day, he just showed up.

I don’t think I got, until tonight, just how utterly amazing that is. That this stranger showed up in my life at the exact right time I needed him to. Or he needed me to. Or something like that.

My new business partner and I attended a meeting tonight to discuss how we might be able to work with another group of artists on like-minded projects.

My business partner and I haven’t known each other long. We haven’t worked out all of the details of our business or partnership. We haven’t actually WORKED on anything together yet, save for the all-important work of creating our soon-to-be arts space.

It was fascinating to watch, though, how well we were able to articulate our ideas to this other group. They even asked us questions we hadn’t yet discussed and the answers magically fell into place between us.

I haven’t had any second thoughts since we first sat down together to discuss.

There will be bumps in the road and disagreements and hiccups to be sure. But there isn’t a doubt in my mind that this isn’t the right thing for both of us for right now. And man, that’s a totally incredible feeling.

Here’s to another day of creativity…

Day 260: Nine.TwentyTwo.13

I attend dance performances at a far smaller ratio as compared to all other arts eventings.

My reasoning is that I can’t afford the shows I would want to see on a regular basis. And the ones I can… well, I just frankly don’t want to attend. Completely hypocritical? Yes. I’m admitting my shortcomings here in hopes of redeeming myself I suppose.

It’s just, I guess, much easier for me to forgive less-than-stellar art in other genres. Appreciate it for its effort, even.

In the genre I have been trained in my entire life, the one I most associate myself with, it’s almost a physical reaction when I witness work that isn’t well articulated, thought out, heartfelt. This in no way makes me some kind of expert on the subject. Just too close to the art form to be objective.

Witnessing work that IS well articulated, thought out, heartfelt, however, is such a spectacular experience.

Let’s just say I witnessed some of both kinds tonight.

And thus the struggle to support dance and dancers in a legitimate way while maintaining my integrity and spirit continues…

Here’s to another day of creativity…