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Saturday, March 13, 2010

It's Badass, Not Hardass

I'm devoting today to love songs. The theme of this blog is tricky, cause it's hiding behind this whole "badass" thing. Sure, I described it yesterday to a fellow writer as a city girl's adventures and mishaps while trying out extreme sports and the great outdoors. I felt succinct. That is a nice feeling. It only lasted a minute because this blog is obviously about the persuit of happiness. But some homeless dude, who was later portrayed by Will Smith, already took that title, so I'm becoming a badass instead. Today, I need music to fuel my happiness.

My #1 badass band rec: Rage Against the Machine

totally surefire ass pummiling music.

My choice today: Home by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
Baby, I Love You by Aretha Franklin
Living of Love by The Avett Brothers
Oh! Darling By the Beatles

That's it so far, but the day is young. Spring and love are in the air.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Honeymoon in Waning

To Eddie, I said, "Some people after we graduated seemed to lose their minds. Have these people lost all perspective?"

"Yeah, and that one crazy girl lost her mind and moved to Wyoming. Three years later she is still there. What the fuck is she doing?"

Ok, Eddie. I hear you loud and clear. It's hard to miss anything my friends from college say since we all went to school for theater and are trained in not only vocal projection and enunciation, but in being as specific as possible with expression, using words, facial expressions, and our bodies. Even over a cell phone, Eddie can pin me down with his words. Really, three years later, what the fuck am I still doing in Wyoming?

I moved to Jackson Hole, Wyoming on accident. This happens to a lot of people, only most of the people come out here because they love to ski or hike and then find that they never want to leave. I came out here, not knowing how to ski, having hiked in the past but had traded in my hiking boots for some retro inspired peep-toe sandals years ago. A juice fast and a little meditation were the only things on my agenda when I came out here spur of the moment for what I thought would be a two to three week trip. My parents split their time between Jackson and Illinois, so there was a empty house just waiting to host my mental clarity retreat. The fast lasted two and a half days, was broken by a beer at a bar, where I was asked out on a date by the bartender and the rest is history.

Actually, it isn't that simple. If I had fallen in love with the bartender, he had ended up being a millionaire who just enjoys bartending, but his real passion was financially supporting me and taking me around the world, the rest would be a clear cut history. I guess the rest is the beginning of the adventure. The rest involves me talking to people about their lives out here and learning about travel, outdoor adventure, and living a life that isn't based around a career goal. The rest is meeting people who intrigue me and were open to sharing their passion for skiing, hiking, travel, and heavy drinking with me. This is the beginning of a story about finding love. Not the love of a bartender, but a greater love of life and the me who is living this life.

Three years later though, the honeymoon is over. I'm still in love with my life, but things need a little kindling to keep the fire burning. I'm not learning how to ski, I'm a skier. Sure, I've got a lot to learn, but now it's about the nitty-gritty. About devotion. It's not just amazing that I'm skiing now. Now, I have to get good at it, and that's always been the point in my life when I falter. Trying new things is a specific skill that takes courage and a willingness to fail and be humiliated. That I have. Getting good at something means sticking with things even after your limitations have been fully realized, but still trying and accepting that you are not a natural and you're not going to end up in the Olympics, but you can get good, if you just stick with it. I think. Don't really know, cause I normally don't stick with something long enough to find out. The initial rush of a new challenge is too enticing usually.

The older I get, the more I wonder though, is there a deeper fulfillment that I'm missing by always ditching out when things get tricky and moving on to a new challenge?

Skiing is just an example and not the main focus of this question. What about love relationships? What about work? What about my devotion to eating well and not just meal substituting margaritas and pizza for a full day of nutrition? These questions have to be asked now because something terrible is happening. I'm getting bored. As a person prone to boredom easily, I know the symptoms. Feelings of hopelessness, the desire for cigarettes, extreme quietness, watching hours of Sex and the City on DVD, and just mentally looking for trouble and a good fight. This is not good. This is no way to live!

So, how can I fan my own flame? What changes need to be made to keep myself passionate about life and my love for it? I've got some ideas: finding more fulfilling work, and being open to the possibility that more schooling may be in the future, a nice new dress and some lip gloss, creating some concrete fitness challenges, and trying something new socially like a dance class.

What I really want to know is, what are you people doing out there to keep yourselves motivated, happy, and fulfilled? I'm not about stealing.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Snot Knock

This winter has knocked the snot out of me. Literally. I was skiing one day, which is a pretty snot filled experience at all times. Skiers have no problem wiping their drippy noses on anything available. These people are so comfortable with the fact that their noses will be eschewing liquids all day long, that the gloves produced for the sport actually have areas that are made for wiping snot on. The product info that comes with purchase says something like "snot strip" or "nose wipe". What I'm telling you is, the gloves say, "It's ok. Put your boogers on this clothing and then wave them around at people. You're skiing. This is acceptable." I'll wipe on gloves, and I like to carry a dainty travel tissue thing with me, but I'm still quietly horrified by the ever popular snot rocket. This is where you use the force of your nose breath to propel the mucus from your body. No hands or material required. I get that it is practical. I get that we are in nature and societal rules just don't apply, but my inner city girl, who still fantasizes about cashmere cardigans won't let me snot rocket. I'm sorry. I just can't.

Like most of the things I thought I would never do, for example spending days without make-up and really ugly practical shoes, this damn nature has some how tricked me into doing. The other day, I was feeling badass, going fast, knees bent, soaking up the bumps, till one got me, and I hit a bump that sent my knees into my chest, literally, knocking the snot out of me. All I can really say is, I was delighted. I finally understood a literary term I've been using since childhood and obviously, I'm on the road to full out badass. I felt like a kid in the movie Stand by Me or like Huck Finn. I felt sparky and adventurous. My mind may not agree with snot rocketing, but my actions just can't be stopped. I'm just too naturally sparky and adventurous. Yes, I was very impressed with myself, ok? Goes to show, you never really know what's gonna get the excitement flowing. Life hold may surprises.

Don't get me wrong. I'm still not going to snot rocket on purpose. I need to hold onto some individualism and the prayer that I can still blend in a city, but it's nice to know I snot rocket if I have too.