Wednesday, March 31, 2010

bold as love

"So, I'm going to experiment with this love thing. Giving love. Feeling love. I know it sounds really corny but it's the last thing I got to check out before I check out" -John Mayer

Tonight, as I was washing the stack of dishes that had accumulated over the week of laziness, I had the epiphany that as a 26-year old gal, I've never fully shared a life with someone I love.

I mean, I share parts of my life with the people I love dearly-friends, family- but when it comes to relationships, there's a part of myself that I keep hidden.

With Ty and our long distance relationship, I built this "other" life that he wasn't a part of. And I rather enjoyed it. However, when we were together on weekends, I kept that other Kim tucked in the back: Friends, activities I enjoyed, my deep thoughts and feelings. I had a life with Ty and a life to myself. I preferred the latter. Obviously...

Even with Jason, the college boyfriend and first love, I kept things from him. I enjoyed my time with friends and this false independence I fostered when I was without him. I realized it was false when we broke up and I crumbled effortlessly.

I think it boils down to this idea that I create physical and emotional spaces for myself and it's hard to let people in. I think it stems back from childhood (Hey, I'm a child of divorce. Give me a break!) when I moved around a lot. My mom, Keith, and I would crash at people houses for a short time: Friends, grandparents, rentals. I felt I never had my own space to fill because it belonged to someone else and I knew the living situation was only temporary.

To have my own physical and emotional space has become so paramount to my life that it's made letting people into that space difficult.

A lot of the time I prefer to be by myself, but where does that lead the part of my that yearns to share my life with someone?

Maybe, in order to be fully happy and fully loving, I need to let down the walls a bit. Give love and feel love.

And be bold as love in order to put myself out there truly, regardless of the inclination to keep my space. Even though space is a good thing, it also keeps you blocked in.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

If I Were...

Borrowed this from Moments of Perfect Clarity  ....
if i were a month i’d be june
if i were a day i’d be saturday
if i were a time of day i’d be 7:30 PM

if i were a font i’d be tempus sans

if i were a sea animal i’d be a clown fish

if i were a direction i’d be northeast

if i were a piece of furniture i’d be a bunkbed

if i were a liquid i’d be hot chocolate
if i were a gemstone i’d be turquoise

if i were a tree i’d be a palm tree

if i were a tool i’d be a screwdriver

if i were a flower i’d be a sunflower
if i were an element of weather i’d be a tornado

if i were a musical instument i’d be an acoustic guitar
if i were a color i’d be the color of the ocean

if i were an emotion i’d be indecisive

if i were a fruit i’d be a green apple

if i were a sound i’d be muffled

if i were an element i’d be mercury

if i were a car i’d be a blue Toyota Yaris

if i were a food i’d be a burrito

if i were a place i’d be the beach

if i were material i’d be cotton

if i were a taste i’d be sour

if i were a scent i’d be lavender
if i were a body part i’d be feet

if i were a song i’d be symphonies by dan black

if i were a bird i’d be a hawk
if i were a gift i’d be easy to unwrap

if i were a city i’d be sydney

if i were a door i’d be open
if i were a pair of shoes i’d be flip flops

if i were a poem i’d be a found poem

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

It's all about perspective...

Last summer, I took a digital photography class. One assignment was to take multiple pictures using various techniques we learned.

It was late afternoon and dusk was approaching. I began by walking around my neighborhood and, seized by some inspiration, jumped in my car on a mission for shots before the sky lost its warm, dusky glow.

One of my first stops was a hotel parking lot in East Greenbush, where there is a commanding view of Albany and the Helderbergs. It's one of my favorite views I've found since moving here. This was an exercise in "rule of thirds."

Next, I hopped on 787 and headed to Empire State Plaza, where the state capital and other government buildings are located. When I lived up the street from it I would go there often just to take in the geometric shapes and unique architecture.

I walked around, talking different shots of the buildings, the man-made pond located in the center of the plaza, and sculptures.

I took this picture laying down on the grass, under a metallic sculpture of two intertwning cubes. It was meant to show motion and composition.

I liked this picture so much I hung it up at work. I was looking at it today and it got me thinking about perspective. When I was photographing the sculpture, I took multiple pictures of the same object, but from the different angles and perspectives. Each shot looked entirely different.

This goes for life as well. Similar events and experiences shared by different people and the experiences take on multiple meanings and outcomes. People have their own way of seeing things.

I am always struck by how my brother and I have completely different perspectives of our parent's divorce. We both went through it, yet it shaped our lives differently.

Sometimes, when I struggle to understand him, as well as others, I wonder if my perspective is too limited.

Am I looking too close to see the big picture?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Anything Goes...

It's weird how life can get in the way of living.

For the past four months, I have been overtaken by the musical fever. I was the costume manager for my high school's production of "Anything Goes." Olivia, the old costume manager-now director made the job seem so easy and uncomplicated. "All you do is taken measurements and hang out backstage during in case there is a wardrobe malfunction." No such thing. The last few weeks were particularly hectic, hence the lack of blog posts and overall living. You should have seen my apartment's state of disarray. It invaded my life, yet I would do it again.

Back to it being "really easy:" Olivia definitely didn't tell me about the late nights, the multiple finger pricks from the countless sewing and pining of costumes, the "underwear parties" held by the actors, or the totally inappropriateness of the kids backstage (I thought I had a bad mouth!). While it was stressful, it ended up being a great experience. The kids were so amazing and talented. It was refreshing to work with kids who loved what they were doing, who were motivated, and who didn't hate me. 

It felt good to be a part of something special. I also realized I am capable to doing something I thought I couldn't do. Having the right frame of mind goes a long way.

The 2-month mark has passed. Let's assess my clarity thus far:

Ex-boyfriend and love life: Outlook not good. Heaven help me, where are all the eligible bachelors!? I am not looking for a committed relationship, rather a nice boy who like to spend time with me. It's obvious that I can be on my own, but seriously.

Ty and I have been texting each other. At first it's been a random occurrence, but within the last week or so it's been more and more. Originally I thought it would be good to see each other and catch up. As I write this, though, I'm realizing it's not such a good thing. Bad idea. Apparently he didn't know there is an expiration date for break-up sex requests.

Job: Push.  While the musical was an overall good experience, I am wavering in other aspects of the job. I am gaining momentum and confidence in some areas, like the work I do one-on-one and my abilities to sound halfway intelligent to my colleagues, and giving up in other areas, like trying to get people to like me and some of the push-in teaching work.

School budget woes prevent any job changes and I know that I'm here for at least another year, in time to be tenured. I'll go from there.

Living: Looking up. I still feel like I am in better place than I was 2 months ago. While the ex is creeping back, I'm doing okay with making my way through this crazy place. The secret is staying busy, staying physically active, and being thankful for what I have and not mad for what I don't have. 

Thursday, March 4, 2010

My Perfect Child Complex Strikes Again

One Christmas, my mom gave a book, Anna Quindlen's Being Perfect. At the time I didn't really get why she gave it to me. I remember trying to figure out what subliminal message she was sending me. When I read it though, it made complete sense. It's all about the idea of how we fall into this "perfection trap," and as a result of chasing inauthentic success, we lose sight of who we really are. Ah, mother. So wise...

At school, I am the costume manager for our upcoming musical, "Anything Goes." No idea what I'm doing. I have my creative and organizational moments, but this job has pushed them to the brink. We had our first night rehearsal (opening night is a mere week away)  last night and  numerous wardrobe malfunctions left me thinking, "what did I get myself into?"  Just today, I had to pick up our rental costumes. I got ride from a coworker with a truck because apparently the boxes would not fit in little Erv the Yaris. Of course I went to the wrong location. My colleague couldn't bring me, so I returned to school empty handed and completed embarrassed. The rest of rehearsal was a complete wash because I was I seized with embarrassment and frustration. I was headed for a complete breakdown.

In my car, as I was sobbing, I came to an "Aha moment." I do this all the time. I expect to be able to do everything and to know everything. To be perfect. Inevitably that leads to disappointment and feelings of inadequacy. This happens in all aspects of my life. When I can't live up to these unreachable standards I have set, I beat myself up and make myself feel worthless. It's a ruthless cycle, but not totally surprising.

I have a perfect child complex. I am not entirely sure why, but I have always tried to do and say the right thing. Get good grades. Go to college. Get a job. Stay out of trouble. I don't know if it's because I have siblings who have not "stayed on the path" and I feel like I have to make up for them. Or because if I was perfect I would be liked. In any event, this complex has spilled over childhood and has invaded adulthood.I don't want the people I work with and the people I meet to know I'm not perfect. That I don't know everything and usually don't know what to say. But then again, is anyone like that?

Maybe I should give myself a break and accept my awkward, imperfect nature. Maybe life would be easier that way.

The Sweetness of the Past

Songs have bizarre ties to memory. There are songs with such strong nostalgic attachments it takes me by surprise.

For instance, the other night I was on the elliptical at the gym. Dashboard Confessional's "Screaming Infidelities" came on my iPod shuffle mix. I was thrown back, way back, to senior year of high school. Graduation and uncertain possibilities circled the horizon. But that night my friends and me.

We sneaked into Point au Roche State Park.We made a fire (somewhat miraculously, given our lack of scout skills) on the beach and roasted hot dogs and marshmallows. It must have June because the the air was warm and smelled like summer.

On the drive back, in Kara's van, the song came on. I remember the windows were down and the wind shooting through our hair. We all stopped talking and just sang along. Like really sang. I don't know why. It's like that song at that particular moment hit us.

So, when I hear "Screaming Infidelities," I think of that night. Friendship. The promise of the future and the sweetness of the past. And the feeling that things were changing. For good.

I think the memory is so poignant because we have all gone our separate ways. Some of us talk on a fairly regular basis. Some I haven't talked to in months and months. It's weird how you can have these intense bonds with people and then all the sudden you only remember them when a certain song plays while you're working out.