For Granted

December 31, 2008

As I have walked through my parent’s house this week, I have realized how much I have taken this house and my upbringing for granted.

Growing up (and to some extent still now) I resented having everything given to me and provided for me. I’ve always been self reliant and needed to do things for myself, but I also wrestled with the notion of feeling like I “never caught up” to living at the means I was raised in. The bar was set high and it’s hard not to feel like a failure in my tiny NYC apartment with no closet space. The gratification of  being self-made only takes me so far.

I acknowledge that I’m lucky. I acknowledge that my worries are luxuries, but I refuse to let that lessen my belief that my minuscule role in this world is incomplete. There is a fulfillment I am seeking that I have not yet known.

Maybe I’ll get a taste of it in 2009. At the very least I hope I at least get a dishwasher.


The Inexplicable

December 20, 2008

I have never understood the chemistry of humanity. I am constantly perplexed by the ever changing character I seem to play in this world. In some people’s stories I’m the heroine, in others, I’m the villain.  My core self is the same, so what is it that accounts for the difference?

Chemistry. That inexplicable broad term for the complexity of other people.

Personalities are like Legos. The pieces either snap together to make a relationship that is tight and stable, or they hang on by just an end and the littlest movement can ruin the whole thing.

The edges of our personalities are all so unique, it’s amazes me when I find someone I connect with. When it happens, I try to remember it’s a rarity and embrace it. I have seen all too often what happens when you take your “fit” for granted. I have also seen what happens when you try to hang on to something that doesn’t fit.

I think I have spent too much time in my life taking chemistry mismatch personally. When someone dislikes me I internalize it and think something must be wrong with me. In some cases, yes, I’ve strayed from my core self and have done or said things worthy of the villainess title, but in most cases, the Legos just were not in accord and it’s no fault of anyone.

Who knew an artist like me could learn to embrace science?

The Road to 30 – Update

December 17, 2008

I am now less than 6 months away from my 30th birthday. The question “what have you been doing all your life??” gets louder each day. As the cliché goes, it’s not that I have regrets about what I have done, I have regrets I haven’t done more.

I think back to my thoughts about 30 in younger years. At 15 it was double my age and being “grown up” seemed so far away. I had visions of careers and relationships, pets and kids. Now that I’m here, my significant accomplishments thus far have been seeking and subconsciously mapping power outlet locations in a variety of U.S. and International airports for and managing to feed myself without burning down my kitchen. Daily survival wasn’t exactly the utopia I dreamt of.

Before my birthday, I plan on knocking a few more things off my life to do list. I’m going snowboarding for the first time. I will explore another (to be determined) country. I imagine I will knock a few other things off before then without plans or goals, just by living life. If I’ve learned anything in my 3 decades, it’s the most important thing is to have experiences. The good, the bad and the in between.

Doubling my age now would bring me to 60. Dreaming of careers and relationships, pets and kids for then seems exhausting. Daily survival just may be the way to go at that age.

Until then you can find me on the slopes, in an airport or in my kitchen wielding a fire extinguisher wondering how I set yet another toaster oven on fire.

Maybe daily survival is utopia after all.

Shameless Self Promotion

December 15, 2008

As per my usual modus operandi, I spend much of my time in the “thinking/analyzing” phase of a project.  The revision of my photography website has been executed for some time in my head, but I finally put pen to paper (or rather HTML to ftp) and now have my own narcissistic contribution to the world wide web.

Feedback is welcome.  Just send tequila first.

I am not a huge fan of Thanksgiving. I am uncomfortable with the concept of annually celebrating the “discovery” of land already inhabited by others, the sharing of smallpox, and the overlying sense of imperiousness. I do, however, believe strongly in tradition and look forward to having a meal with my extended family. Though everyone in my family (sans me) lives in Illinois, family dinners and get-togethers are rare. Without the label of “Thanksgiving” we wouldn’t normally all convene on the fourth Thursday of November. We need the label to sustain the tradition, and I suspect many other families are the same.

There are aspects of Christmas I like, certainly the childish greed I still harbor and the gift receiving is a list topper, as is the candlelight Christmas Eve service at my parent’s church, and again the family meals. From watching my dog romp in the snow to sitting in the living room with only the tree lights on in the room, I thoroughly enjoy (most) aspects of Christmas. Many people say the “true” meaning of the holiday is gone, but I don’t think it disappeared so much as evolved. Yes, the religious meaning has lessened, but I think it morphed into something more personal. It became a day that families gather, some, like me for one of the two times a year I even see my family. Without the holiday excuse we’d all be working on the 25th, ensconced in our daily lives and treating one less day a year as special.

A lot of people consider holidays to be “greeting card” fabricated, and I don’t deny that consumerism (at least in better economies) runs rampant. For me, especially as a single woman with no attachments, holidays give me something to look forward to. Maybe I’m looking toward a big family meal, or just a random Monday off work, but it’s a diversion from the repetition of daily life, and I welcome those, no matter what the reason.

I found myself in the Chicago airport last week delayed along with approximately 200 of my fellow passengers. As is prone to happen when people find themselves as part of a group collectively annoyed by their circumstances, people in the terminal began to chat. An attractive older (40s) man standing near me would occasionally try to make conversation, but I never really engaged him in return. Hours later when I was finally seated on the plane, it occurred to me that he may have been attempting to flirt with me, and I missed all the signs.
I don’t have much, any really, experience with romantic relationships. I spent nearly a decade pouring my energy and emotions into a deep friendship I had hoped would turn into more, and haven’t had more than a few dates in my life total. I am a fiercely independent person and have never actively pursued relationships, but I also feel as though I haven’t taken or recognized some opportunities that came my way because my mind was so closed to the idea. I need to work on exercising my flirt muscle more. I will likely never be a social butterfly, but I can at least learn to recognize flirt when it comes my way and engage it.
Let’s hope I learn fast. I fly again in a week.

Defeated by Steam Heat

December 3, 2008

I am a college graduate. I have read a myriad of books, traveled to a variety of countries and I read the news daily. I consider myself educated and well-informed. In a prior version of myself I built theatre scenery and I consider myself fairly handy.
So how is it that after four NY winters of complaining that the heat in my bedroom is just too bloody hot that I just now realized there is a knob on my radiator that controls the heat amount?
My discovery has opened up a whole new world to me, flannel sheets and PJs! Sleeping without a fan when it’s 20 degrees outside! Down comforters! I look forward to a lovely slumber tonight huddled under my covers in a nice cool room for the first time in years.
Flight #1:
Security guy: Ma’am we need to search your bag.
Me: Ok sure.
Security guy: What the hell do you have in here??
Me: Uh….OH a stainless steel coffee mug!
Woman in line behind me: damn…that’s one hell of a coffee addiction
Security guy: Next time warn a guy! That thing looks BAD on the xray.
Me: oh uh sorry.

Flight #2:
*I had gotten rid of coffee mug and was HOPING not to be stopped….sigh

Security guy: Ma’am we need to search your bag.
Me: Ok sure. (waiting….waiting…waiting….while they search)
Security guy: (bringing bag back to me) Everything looks good, but I have one important question.
Me: Uh ok.
Security guy: (holding up my Fiber One Poptart box) Are these as good as regular poptarts?
Me: hahahaa no…but they ARE good and healthier.
Security guy: I’ll stick to the real ones.
Me: Good choice.