Monday, August 25, 2014

Sister Fuhrer

I quickly came to call my first companion in the field (or "trainer", in mission-speak), 'The Fuhrer' in my letters home. I know, I know, that isn't really in the spirit of being a Mormon nun, so to speak, but I couldn't help myself after spending 24/7 with such a cold person and having just a few minutes each week to write (read: cry out!) home. So I guess I broke another rule by calling her that in my letters. One could argue that's probably why I didn't last, because I wasn't perfectly obedient. :/

Although she was as white-bread American as they come from eastern Washington state (I remember having to explain to her what hummus was), she had a German last name so I thought it only fitting.

I still haven't read back my emails home, and I've only made it a small part of the way through one of my journals because it turns me into a sobbing mess of sad emotions and anger. But I will eventually, because I know I wrote a lot about the way she treated me and I would get letters from friends and family expressing total shock and sympathy. But I digress.

So we gather at a chapel sort of in the west central NC, and we're lined up in front of a room, the newbies on display in a prison lineup. I, of course, feel completely out of place with these young kids from what seemed like predominantly Utah and Idaho. After all, I'm 24, turning 25 in just a couple months, am a college grad, and have lived in some pretty unique places. I'm not 19 and clueless. I'm thinking about Heidi Klum's perfume launch party I attended only a year previously, New York stuff, my carefree adventures in New Zealand, my Euro travels, my friends having presumably amazing summers at the beach filled with downtime, devoid of any sort of schedule.

The mission president says a few words and then assigns us. There are a few words exchanged with other people talking about where we're going, and they'd respond usually with "Oh whoa, yeah Boone. Boone is the best!" trying to conceal that they kind of pitied us.
 We load into a minivan of a really bubbly woman from the Branch, who became a real light to me over the next few months, and started the 3 hour drive north into the mountains. I came to call our area, because it was on the mission border, the "outer darkness" of the mission. Fuhrer didn't think this was funny.
We weren't allowed to fall asleep, and we were instructed by the mission president to not take any time unpacking when we got to our apartment. "We go to work in our mission," he exhorted. Fuhrer watched impatiently as I rolled my suitcase to one of the back rooms, and then I had to sign this sheet saying I was going to serve there (almost like a guest book?), and then we said a prayer before we left. She was a Fuhrer on a mission, literally. I didn't know what the game plan was, so I just kind of sat there in silence and trying to ask her questions about herself while she drove us to this neighborhood where we tracted in the rain. I didn't know what to bring with me so I brought everything in my backpack, and my scriptures got soaked. So now the crinkly pages will always remind me of her- yippee!

We went to Cookout, which is a barbecue fast food chain in NC, for dinner. We sat there in the car, eating, for approximately 35 minutes in mostly silence before she decided it was time for us to get back to it! That night we got back to our place at 9pm. But no, we weren't done yet! We spent half an hour "planning" for the next day. I'm probably sensitive to this, but planning out lessons for people involved a lot of what seemed like judging their life situations and evaluating a naive solution for what would "fix" it. Inside, I was thinking things to myself like, "Um, reading the scriptures daily or coming to church is not going to give her the tools to deal with her abusive husband." If that makes any sense at all. I will flesh out this notion of being judgey of people more in future posts….I am trying to get to the next more superficial part haha.

So after more companion prayers to open and close our planning meeting, I finally get a moment to myself (sort of) to unpack and get ready for bed. Soon enough, I hear yelling from the other room, "Sister, you have 25 minutes til lights out!" I thought to myself a combination of 'Oh my gosh, did she really just say that?' -slash 'ok, I can't judge her intensity- it's just how she rolls'. My dad would do a similar thing at home trying to get everyone out the door for things (my mom is a kind of perpetually late person), so I guess I wasn't too shocked, my mind was just spinning trying to get everything in order and showering off from the humid rain and processing my first day out, etc. "15 minutes!" she soon barked. Then the outbursts became even more incremental… "10 minutes!... 7 minutes!…. 5 minutes!... 2 minutes!" I was really jumpy and running around in circles trying to do everything. I know an hour sounds like a lot of time but it went by really fast. My stuff was sort of organized in the second bedroom. I remember thinking back to a rule at the MTC to keep your space clean or else 'the Spirit wouldn't dwell there'. I got conflicted with the two rules running through my head- do i worry about leaving my stuff there a little messy so I can be in bed at 10:30 or if I just had 10 more minutes I could have everything in order. I thought it better to obey the Fuhrer.

After a few nights of this time-calling, I approached her and asked her to please stop, that it's not necessary to give me these updates.  Since I could gauge that she really loved rules (and would come to find out she made up many of her own! it was awesome), I brought up the MTC rule to kind of broaden her horizons that it's not possible to be perfect. "Look," I said. "The first night my stuff was strewn all over that room and you could argue that the Spirit was not here, even though we were obeying the lights out rule." I reasoned I wasn't there to hang out by myself in the living room after lights-out because I want, like and need sleep, so I was always going to do my best to follow that rule. She just nodded, conceding that she agreed with me. Sort of.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The best two years were my four worst months

A huge piece of my mission conflict lay in the realization that I was raised to be somewhat unitarian, with a very liberal interpretation of heaven. Respecting and coexisting with others' beliefs was ingrained in me from a very young age. So when I got to the South, I had so much awe and respect for their God-fearing culture that I felt secretly horrible about bothering people with our "unique message". In more cases than not that I could see, teaching someone to change denominations had potentially harmful ramifications as they would likely suffer massive strain to family and community relationships. I got the feeling that the 19 year old boys I served alongside with didn't think that out.

The rhetoric that we were made to use felt divisive to me, and I never felt comfortable with highlighting so many differences as a proselytizing and teaching tactic. I've always thought that in order to have a civil discussion, common ground needs to be established, and it's not a waste of time to do so!

I obeyed every rule -ok, there were a couple times when we took a minute or two longer at mealtime. Or that one time when we were at the library and the moment before I hit send on my one weekly email, the computer shut down. Completely discouraged, I showed my companion and we stayed probably an extra 7 minutes longer than our given hour so I could compose messages to my family and the mission president. My companion was visibly seething with every second ticking by. It was killing her rule-loving spirit to break a rule! I apologized profusely but she just gave me a disapproving look and didn't really talk to me the rest of the day, per usual. Which reminds me of another thing about letters home- there is a rule that you should only talk of good things in your letters home so as not to worry your parents. Seriously. Needless to say, I look at mission letters now with a lot of suspicion and angst. In particular, I question the authenticity of any optimistic tone. For me, it was my only lifeline to tell people that cared about me how miserable I was. So I guess I broke that rule, too. However, it's hard to reconcile that I broke a rule when I shudder to think what would have happened had I kept everything inside.

I thought surely, that transcendent moment would come when it would all make sense. I would see the light of why we were made to obey (so many) rules, plan primary-level lessons for hours upon hours, or judge people constantly and carry forward with unabashed zeal and conviction.

Instead, my critical thinking went into overdrive, since I had no technological or personal distractions. I would realize later that thinking critically is an enemy to missionary service. You are allowed no additional material to study but the scriptures. Questioning anything is discouraged. My whole line of thinking was that if it's true, it can withstand questioning and investigation. But there was no time for it, and it "wasn't important". As much as Preach My Gospel tries to get away from the memorized discussion format, you still have to study them and be able to rehash them in such a way. Or maybe that was my companion who basically reformatted PMG into discussions. Either way, I did my absolute best to try and make her happy but she only grew more and more frustrated with me.

I feel very conflicted about the prospect of sending future kids on missions. My own current level of orthodoxy to the church is very imperfect and unresolved. I question whether I'm part of something where insularity is ideal. Whether Zion is a literal utopia, or resides in everyone, everywhere to an extent. I was so tired of putting on a happy, smiling face to proclaim a purported gospel of happiness when inside I was the most miserable I've ever been. Did I mention that I was praying approximately 50 times a day and wasn't feeling any kind of spirit?

That transcendent moment never came. I became a zombie, horribly depressed, and felt more alone than I ever thought was possible. I would stare at razors in the shower and contemplate slitting my wrists. It would be so easy, and I wouldn't have to live this hell anymore, I reasoned. I would hope I'd get in a fatal car accident or I'd fall off a cliff or suffer some freak accident so I didn't have to keep pressing on. The mission was a crucible. I honestly can't fathom how anyone has a good experience with it. It's an experience I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Well, this just got interesting

As I sit and listen to the traffic outside my window, I reflect on life in NYC where the bedroom sound was similar. However, there are a few marked differences, and not just in that the traffic is more fluid here than the block by block gridlock.

Today I was offered a reporting job… an opportunity that I had semi-heartedly explored a while ago but thought had long dried up.

And as of the end of last week, I more or less have a job offer at an ad agency, too. I've never had such a banner month, professionally speaking. Today at pilates I even brought it up when asked, something I normally wouldn't delve into in such a relatively superficial setting. How rare to have two offers in this economy, one girl remarked. The instructor was excited for me, and advised to go with my gut.

I think about my life in New York, and how grinding it was. It. Was. Just. Hard. Things kept falling through. Blend that all together with a fledgling economy and a walloping case of self-doubt, and I became someone I knew in my heart I wasn't meant to be. Life just didn't need to be that rough, that antagonistic, that dismal. There had to be another way. Around this time of contemplating a move out of the city, I started to receive really out-of-body promptings that I needed to do a mission. They increased until they preoccupied my every other thought, and the madness of it all drove me to move home and apply.

In Myers-Briggs terms, I classify as an INTJ. The T denotes how I make decisions- in my case Thinking, instead of Feeling. When making decisions, I first look at the logic and consistency of the situation instead of people and special circumstances.

The mission decision was a complete deviation from my usual line of thinking, in that it was one made completely based on feeling. I, of course, applied my logic to the decision, which pointed to NO, but for the first time in my life, feelings were stronger than logic. Indeed it was a special circumstance.

As horrible as the experience turned out to be for me (like 50 times worse than NY), and how confounded I still am about why I needed to be there so badly, I will never deny those feelings I had. They were absolutely real, which makes it all the more infuriating. I think I sound like such a new age idiot.

For two years, I haven't been able to write about the experience, but it has mulled over in my mind every day since. I often worried that by prolonging the wait to write, I would lose details. But you know, I shouldn't have been so stressed out. The information is all in my brain. Everything I have gone through is recorded, it's the recalling of information that is tricky. Woe be our fallible minds and bodies! Luckily, I find that writing serves as catalyst to recall information. '

Anyway, I feel that moving to Los Angeles has been rather seamless, and that I find opportunities with a fraction as much effort, it seems, as I used to exert. I, of course brood over this, albeit much more positively than I used to. What does this mean? I ask myself. Is it reckless to bounce from opportunity to opportunity, or is it exactly where I need to be and what I'm supposed to be doing? To use a pertinent metaphor, however, I'm just going to ride this wave out. I've never let intuition take the reins like this, but surrendering and receiving feels nice. And if good things continue to come from under-analyzing, then so be it!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Child actor parodies

It's been almost surreal to be a part of "the biz" … an industry that I fantasized about on-and-off for my entire life, but never believed was in the cards, or well-suited, for me. Yet another lesson for me to not be too critical!


Today these SNL videos had my coworkers and me rolling:

Disney Channel Acting School


Aw Nuts! Mom's a Ghost


Spotlightz Acting Camp

Monday, August 11, 2014

Navelgazing

Got to admit, it's kind of weird to be writing about myself again. Is it because I think I'm less important to the world? Is it because I think it's egotistical and somewhat indulgent? Isn't it such a millennial cliche? Yes. Yes. Yes.

However, I missed writing, and never ceased to have words bubbling around in my head when I wasn't actively doing it. When these writerly symptoms got to the point of WebMD-ing 'schizophrenia' for confirmation bias, I'd make a point to take my mind off it. Instead of freeing the words coursing inside me, I'd simmer them down. I took the pot off the stove, away from the heat. Denied the impulse. Starved the attention. I dulled myself, to an extent. I'd go read, go talk to someone, go work out, or all too often get caught up in the social media milieu.

I wanted to take myself as far away from online vulnerability via blogging as possible. I was paranoid someone would use material as blackmail. I was still conflicted about the things on which I'd opine. I'd get word-choice and grammatical anxiety.


But now I'm ready to talk again.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Portlandia parodies

I have been binge watching and loving Portlandia the past few days. The humor is so fast paced, I just don't want to miss anything. And the short sketch format keeps my attention well. It it is so damn clever and picks up on these minute, universal details of life while parodying crunchy, granola, uber-progressive communities.

Some favorites:

How was Colin, the chicken, raised?

Getting stuck in the loop of checking email, texts, Facebook, other social media.

Should have brought a bag.

No, you go. No, you tow.





So I am trying to think of some minute details of life that are universally realized but not parodied. This is an ongoing list, and highly nonsensical.

The creamer/sugar station at coffee shops. How lukewarm the milk must be, but it is an accepted addition for most? An artisanal coffee shop that doesn't have the brown kind of cane sugar? Since when does brown connote "healthier"? Is it because dirt is usually brown?

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From October 2011. A month or so before I decided to leave on a mission.


It's a very very interesting time to be in New York City right now, with the protests in my neighborhood and coffee shops writing on their chalkboards "American Exceptionalism: Wanting every best thing but not willing to pay for it."
It's also a really interesting time to be mormon in the city. I will be the first to admit I had some kinks to iron out with how I wanted to approach my religious observance, but lately it's been really really great. I just love the people, they are awesome and there is so much diversity here.

Identity Crisis

From September 2011. I was living in NYC and had taken a trip to California for work.


I'm currently in the glorious Golden State and having a bit of an identity crisis because it is so glorious.
AND WHY THE HELL IS EVERYONE BEING SO NICE TO ME?! GEEZ!!! ;)
My love affair with NY (and other places) is a tumultuous one. He treats me terribly and also terribly well... so when I'm over being treated like a subway rat I will return to California's forgiving arms and we will have our happily ever after.
Too many people don't leave either territory, and breaking out of insularity is incredibly valuable.


However, California, you are a sneaky one. I negated that whole 'general outerwear' factor packing, only packing a cropped leather jacket for 'going out at night', because I forgot that it gets shivering at night. HA. I am such a rusty Californian!

Then I remembered over Christmas when I fled the Nor'eastern Blizzard territory and STILL wore two pairs of sweatpants in America's Finest City, San Diego.

Then up to visit my best cousin in San Fran for labor day! We had fun paddle boarding, beach-ing,and hanging out with our older cousins' families in palo alto, girl talking into the wee hours and hanging out with attractive peoples.

On Tina Fey and comedy

From September 2011. My blogging anxiety was almost at boiling point.


When I was in Rhode Island this summer visiting some family friends, the husband of the family brought up the idea that comedy nowadays seems to have a common thread of people making fun of their own mediocrity for laughs, how there seems to be a turn from witty comedic writing, timing and characters, to perpetuating the idea that the lame part of yourself is enough of a joke.

For example, half of 30 Rock is basically an on-screen manifesto of Tina Fey's personal insecurities and self-perceived shortcomings (the other half (percentages arguable) her political opinion). I love Liz Lemon but this is so different than say, Kristen Wiig's character sketches in the same vein as Molly Shannon, that feel familiar yet definitely original .... Fey's self-deprecation is endearing but all TOO familiar. Or maybe it's simply the longevity element of the Liz Lemon character that has allowed her to become familiar to us, the audience. Eh, yeah. Ok, I retract that last paragraph.

Anyway, the point of all this garble is that I thought it downright hilarious reading today that there is some girl at London School of Economics studying internet memes (Lolcats! Yes, Lolcats! and Failblog!) for her master's thesis. Fantastic. This is going to sound so urban-affected, but I can't wait to go to grad school one day and get obsessed about something really obscure.


Sorry for the scattered Kerouac-ian post that might not even comprise a coherent argument tomorrow. I'm trying to be better about my word choice anxiety. Starting with this sentence's immediate predecessor, which I won't change even though it's killing me ("I'm trying to be better..."?? -what the hell?!). OK.

Golden Granny

From September 2011.

The "golden generation" of people born in the 1920s-30s (ish) is unendingly inspiring.

My maternal grandmother being one of them, daughter of university president and wife, who obtained a Master's degree (before her husband would officially obtain his, even), was tall, played sports and was competitive, and played tennis her whole life, even after knee replacements in her 70s. Not to mention was the most feminine June Cleaver housewife to boot, even if she never let her grandchildren beat her in gin rummy until they could on their own merit.
When I was in San Fran earlier this month, I learned a story of how my uncle and his B-school friend were staying at my grandparents' house when they were on a trip, and my grandmother asked them if they'd like to play tennis one afternoon.
And they played Aussie style, it was the two boys versus the mom.
And my uncle was a 6'6" dual-sport collegiate athlete.
Aaaaand grandma schools them.
Probably would have been in her mid-50s.
Amazing.

Untitled #49508402

From October 2011. I had just gone to the Billy Reid fashion show at Milk Studios in NYC the month before (his niece was my roommate then). I was also really into calling everything bullshit.

The fashion industry is such bullshit to me. I respect it as an art form. However, fashion magazines should be looked at as Art that a Lady Named Anna Wintour Likes. And who the hell is she to tell us what to wear when all I've seen her wear is floral belted dresses with heeled open back sandals. Fundamentally, it is flawed because it doesn't design for the client...namely the real woman. Which is where commercial designers come in to reference couture for mass retailing.

Untitled #23094820

This is what I was up to December 2012. It's very scatterbrained.



I've been doing lots and lots of hot yoga.

Before my summer away this year (ha), I got into a little hobby of running about 25 miles a week with Newton and Vibram barefoot shoes, because I was thinking ahead to the possibility of my comp being a runner and not wanting her to resent me for not having the stamina to keep up. hahahaaaa (read: that scenario never played out, but I did get sent to the mountains which was the "most physically demanding" sisters area... but don't cry for me, really, because we had a car, too). While I enjoyed the strength that comes with being able to run 6 miles with ease, I didn't like the 10-15 pounds I put on (I don't own a scale- that variable is computed based on very unreliable measurements from annual-ish doctor visits). 

Other highlights as of late!

Explaining to a sweet 16 year old, labeled by the state as a juvenile delinquent, what a chador is…and Middle Eastern culture's practice of veiling in general.

Trying to get a handle on my chronic pain. 

Lunches and dinners with old and new friends. 

#OccupyHalloween

This post is from Halloween 2011, when I was living in NYC. Again, the now-outdated cultural references are so amusing to me.




For Halloween, I went as an Occupier (last year the topical costume was a Chilean Miner, this year it was Occupiers and Black/White Swans)...but not just any Occupier...


I was pretty uninspired so I was talking with one of my friends how I just wanted to put on cat/mouse ears so I didn't feel dumb, and she is in finance so she teased me by saying that was 'a 1% costume'... in the EFFORT department.  And then she calls me from the costume store later saying she was seriously considering going as Anthony Weiner. I won't expound on details, but yeah, hilarious.

Coloring in the 1% took about 99% of the total effort.

Allie also whipped her costume together in 5 seconds, piling on layers and being a Babushka. Yeah, she had to go back to work after we checked out the Village Parade, sooo....

Other favorite halloween costumes I saw were my friend Liz who went as 'Knope 2012' (Parks and Rec reference), one of Alexander McQueen's designs for Lady Gaga (remember the madness that was the Met McQueen exhibit?! I was lucky to only wait 45 mins), and Mohammar Gaddhafi.
Halloween in the city is so much fun, I just wish it weren't so DAMN COLD ALREADY.

Routine

This post was from March-ish 2012, before I served an LDS mission for an abbreviated 4 months.

I suppose this would be a bigger deal if I were 21. There's really not a whole lot to do besides buy a few more items of more-modest-than-usual clothing and get my driving record from the DMV... I don't have to sort out housing or leases or transportation information. The whole talking to strangers or moving around to different places doesn't intimidate me, nor does living with people with whom I may have nothing in common.

The things I worry about can be boiled down to health things. I'm afraid my neck injury I worked through about four years ago will flare up. I'm going to miss yoga classes a lot, a lot a lot. This has become a huge part of staying injury-free and maintaining my sanity. Luckily I'm not going to Siberia like Elle so I will have access to fruits and veggies all the time, phew. I'm a bit of a health nut, kind of a flaming organic hippie with a "pious" Judeo-Christian Mormon shell. Yay!

This week I became REALLY, I mean REALLY worried about the energy required to pull this off. I am someone who has, since college when I found out, for better or worse, the joys of napping when you pull a late night... or in the working world, when you can catch up on sleep on weekends. This week I really forced myself to acclimate to "mission hours"- for those who don't know, it's a schedule that is planned down to the last half hour from 6:30am-10:30pm every day.
This week I had a really out-of-body meltdown of many tears, rooted in sheer exhaustion, over whether or not I'll be able to have enough energy to keep to this schedule. I honestly haven't tried to sleep this little since high school, the greatest grind of my life, a time where I remember little down time and immense stress. I still bear some scars from that schedule, but I guess if I could do it for four years I can do a mish. But seriously, uh, pray for me....

I haven't been doing too much "research" on my mission, because let's face it, it isn't too foreign in appearance from what I am used to in the East. BUT! This week I also found out that Charlotte is a sort-of Evangelical hub of the South, where apparently The 700 Club is broadcast, or something? I'm kind of amped about this "challenge" of coexisting with Evangelicals. I'm not trying to sound irreverent about the religious practices of others, it's just a fact that in American culture, the Evangelicals put out the worst press and harbor the most negativity and misconceptions than any other religious group toward us Mormons, and are very vocal about their opinion that we are generally misled and hell-bound. Of course, there are more tolerant and educated members of this religion on a personal level that do not believe this. Unfortunately I don't have too much experience with them personally, so I have to resort to stereotypes I've heard and read about. Going into this Southern experience, it's honestly hilarious to me as I am presently (and yes, maybe a facade for how sad I really think it is) that someone, anyone, would believe that any positively contributing member of society is in any danger of going to hell. I've grown up in a religiously tolerant home, I don't subscribe to thinking I am any way "better" than anyone else. At risk of sounding terribly religiously intolerant, I hope that I can have some great dialogue with them, my most earnest hope being that I learn more from them than I could ever impart. Isn't it how it always works- in roles of teaching, we end up learning the most from our students?

Of course, in the above paragraph, I have used the label "Evangelical" for lack of a better way to describe their beliefs. However, it is, from my understanding, the label with which they are most comfortable. When we were in Jerusalem visiting with my mom's friend, it became more apparent to me that it's really detrimental for religious groups to "label" each other. She asked us about our "Mormon" label, and we told her it is nothing more than essentially the title that others have continued to perpetuate. I suppose it's fine to a certain extent- not offensive- but less telling of our beliefs than our official name The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In fact, we don't hold anything that Mormon, a prophet in the Book of Mormon, in higher esteem than anything of the other prophets in the Book of Mormon, the Old and New Testaments, and certainly not to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Essentially, we could just as easily be called Moronis or Ethers or Almas. It would be interesting to find out where this nicknaming originated. Part of me feels funny I don't know exactly how this label originated, but perhaps it's just not that big of a deal to me beyond what I've stated above.
Hopefully the above does not come across as offensive to anyone. It's just what I know presently from my very, very limited knowledge of what "The South" means religiously.

David B. and the Plant

It's August 10, 2014 and I found a lot of awaiting drafts in my blog queue. So I'm going to publish! Apologies if they're redundant. Actually, why am I apologizing?

From June-ish 2011 (I was living in NYC):

Besides the Carolina Herrera afternoon, one of my most poignant NY moments thusfar occurred not at night (and there have been some epic nights), but a breezy Saturday afternoon a month ago or so, sitting outside Doughnut Plant at the Chelsea Hotel briefly chatting with makeup artists on some random photo shoot for a Norwegian magazine, as I inhaled my Coconut Cream square donut semi-self-consciously (I have more body dysmorphia issues than I care to elaborate, as part of residual body image problems I have had since early youth ... I make fun of it as much as I am sensitive).

Across the street from the famous main David Barton Gym ('the most nightclubby one' ... where Marc Jacobs works out), which has the most provocative gym adverts.

Hang out for enough time at Doughnut Plant Chelsea (which, if you saw their employees, probably has a strict 'don't-eat-the-merchandise' policy) and you're bound to see a gaggle of gays coming out of it cursing the demise of their once-beach-ready body with each bite of a Valhrona Chocolate.


Which brings me to how funny I think STEFON is on SNL. And Bill Hader breaking character has really become part of the whole character, mark my words.

Here are his Mother's day suggestions.

Here are his Valentine's day picks (... wait for the 'suitcase' part. so bad. so real.)

Getting (it) down


I've decided to blog again. I know, I know. 


Many blogs are embarrassing--I used to make fun of (many of) them all the time, which I realized was a negative stimulus in my life that only coerced my own self-criticism. Duh, right?
I also noticed that I would enter into life situations with a blogger's lens, akin to a "reporter's lens" often cited in the journalism field for the way in which you approach a certain situation all for the purpose of reporting it. A blogger's/reporter's lens is something that I feel, quite ironically, inhibits your ability to enjoy, assess, or just be in a situation.
Somehow, I started reading Gawker and Jezebel all the time until I started to really notice that the same kind of victimized, snarky, accusatory tone started taking shape in my own head. Sort of like a liberal arts college student who is groomed to critically analyze any topic for its fallacies, even if it be a neutral, non-threatening topic like pizza or a pencil eraser. 

When I first started blogging, I would get that writer's high of knowing people were reading and responding positively to it. But then I started to get major anxiety over how much information I divulge to who knows who or a relevant person who you'd not like to read things for certain relevant reasons, or worrying about pleasing someone and offending another.


I'm really going to try and stop mulling, but doing. And doing, meaning writing. More than my twitter micro-blog.

And since moving to LA (which I've found to be an incredibly supportive community), I have been asked about my writing work. Rather than get into the myriad of reasons why blogging gives me anxiety, maybe I should be more vulnerable again and just write shit down.
These are all my first drafts leading up to what I hope will be a crescendo of an idea, so enjoy the ride.

Also, I'm closing comments until further notice (it's not you, it's me).