Tuesday, April 20, 2010

::back to basics::

I said to myself,
'Self, let's get simple. What do you want right now?'

1/ to create + contribute
2/ to rage against the dying of the light
3/ a new opportunity

'..and what do you not want?'

1/ to devalue any human
2/ to waste time
3/ to be a waste

I appreciated my honesty. I think it's good to ask simple questions when the mind is getting out of hand spinning on its axis of chaotic thought and uncertainty, and to see what your answers turn out to be..

What do you ask?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

To live only for some future goal is shallow.
It's the sides of the mountain
that sustain life, not the top.
-Robert M. Pirsig-
Saw this quote on the website of a photographer I met once whose work I really appreciate. Being that all current distress stems from my seemingly directionless future, and directionless present for that matter, it's good to keep reminding myself that the above is true; that it's on the sides of the mountain where the action happens. It's during the hike up with friends where people get closer, inside jokes are made, injuries occur, questions are asked, answers are stumbled upon..
and the top is simply where you enjoy the view together.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

New # 8: Spanish bravery

I've been craving Spanish like nobody's business lately. The kind of crave where I sigh and give a longing smile with my brows furrowed in nostalgia every time I hear someone reference Spain or travelling or learning a language. I seldom use my Spanish these days, which has inevitably resulted in loss of fluidity and comfort; I'm much more halted and insecure in my conversational ability. I have to confess though that it's not a lack of availability that is to blame for my English-only lifestyle. It's not like I live in the backwoods of Kentucky, I live literally 2 streets away from Spanish-speaking communities, but unless I step out intentionally to find the opportunity, it's incredibly easy to stay within the daily confines of English.

So, I decided it was time to do something about it. Instead of hanging on the occasional conversation at a supermarket or at work to practice this gorgeous language, I thought it was time to try something a little different. I found out there are groups that meet all over the place on the simple basis of loving and desiring the Spanish language and culture. Despite my many initial hesitations- "It's probably just a bunch of people who need friends," or "I'm too rusty to do this" or "what if it's a bunch of creeps?!" I thought I'd give it one chance. So after a lot of searching for a group that sounded authentic, I found one that appealed. The first event I attended was a Spanish tapas party, naturally. I second guessed myself a ton beforehand, because who in their right mind goes to a party where 1. they don't know a single soul, and 2. nobody is speaking their primary language?! But I resolved that it would be my new and scary thing for that day, so I went, homemade tapas in hand. I approached feeling like a little kid at a new school, trying to make new friends with enticing snacks.

Turned out to be exhilerating, truly! There's a rush I used to get in Spain when speaking with locals, trying so hard not to sound American; it's a mix of insecurity and excitement at knowing every sentence exchanged was adding to my verbal repertoire. With the margaritas and wine flowing, cheese tasting, dancing, and some of the most colorful people I've met in a while, the night brought me back to a passion I'd let fade over time.

Lessons learned:
1) If it's scary, then there's potential for something great to come of it. If you're nervous, you should probably do it. (Note: This does not apply if you're contemplating jumping off a building)
2) I know you know this, but please don't judge people before you give them a chance.
3) Don't forget, it's your responsibility to find opportunities to practice what you're passionate about; it's your job to seek out the things that make you come alive, because they won't always fall in your lap. We can't wait for thrills to be served up on a silver platter, they must be sought with wild persistence.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

-Norman Cousins-