Sunday, November 22, 2009

the destructive power of positive thinking

now hear me out.

You hear a lot when you're growing up, that makes perfect sense.. life is a series of lessons learned and as the years go by, those lessons more often come in the form of amendments, or even contradictions to ideas that seemed perfectly reasonable and effective at the time. Days go by and occasionally we're faced with challenging incongruencies... something just doesn't make sense, and you ask yourself, 'If all these things are what I thought to be true, then why are things this way? Why is this happening? Why? Why?'

The logical answer, I suppose, is the possibility that something you took to be true in your life's equation, was in fact, not true at all. Being faced with such a possibility can be understandably devastating. It's as if you spent all this time building a rocketship to fly yourself to the moon and realizing, as soon as you lift off, that you were reading the blueprints backwards.

I'm having a big moment. You know, one of those times in my life where it feels like the very fabric of your beliefs, the gravity which holds you to steadfast against the ground, the earth beneath my feet, is crumbling, all around and under me. This puts me in a pretty vulnerable position, I'm sure I'm quite impressionable right now. I'm definitely open to new ideas.

What do you do, when what you were doing 'stops working'? I want to take this moment, to be brave, and re-evaluate. I want to take a breath, and open my eyes. Here now I must step outside myself to see where I could go with this. I could be really disillusioned, I guess. I could give up. I could be in the present moment. Right now I just want to see.

What I see, is a girl who is barely aware of her self-worth. I feel guilty, and my shoulders are heavy with a burden that I am only beginning to identify. I think back, like I have a million times before to the lessons I've learned, and focus particularly the one that I have married my beliefs to for the past few years- the idea that, positivity in one's life is an act of magnetism... that if you set your intentions on something, whether it be a goal, happiness, love, money... and you open yourself up to receive it, it will come to you. I'm sure you've heard it before, from someone, from a book, or a DVD.

When I lived in Maui, things were pretty nice. I remember, jumping into the ocean for the first time and I'd said to my best friend Amanda, 'I feel like I don't deserve this.' and she'd said to me, 'Well, part of you must have felt like you did, because you're here.' There's something really amazing about feeling that you've set an intention- and that it has happened to you. You feel in control. It's as if you've taken up a dance with the cosmos, yes? You're just going with the flow and engaging the universe, and making things happen the way you want them to, all because you dreamt it.

This worked out for me really well for a while. It just seemed like, things were happening right, all the time. Some would have called it a streak of good luck. Others would say it was an 'up' moment in a life where events are a series of ups and downs. Me, I was thinking, 'Wow, things are actually happening for me, because I have accepted positivity in my life.'

I don't know how many people I've told, 'If you maintain a positive outlook, you attract positivity. If you maintain a negative outlook, you attract negativity.' I reallly believed that. I know a lot of people that do.

Then, some time went by. Things started to go wrong. And I began to suffer.

There were times I thought to myself, 'poor me', but I have already learned that self-pity does not solve problems.
There were times I thought to myself, 'This is all _________'s fault', but I have already learned, that blaming people does not solve problems.

There were times I thought, 'Things will get better soon. I just have to think positively.' But then they didn't.

Sometimes in our lives, when we're having a hard time, we encounter obstacles, one after the other. Relentlessly. Some would call it a streak of bad luck. Others would say it's a 'down' moment in a life where events are a series of ups and downs. Me, I was thinking,

'Wow, things are really not happening for me. I must have brought this upon myself. In fact, I am bringing even more upon myself right now just by having this thought.'

See, there is a dark side to a life lived as a matter of intention, as a matter of magnetism. In a world where the very power of your own thinking dictates the eventual outcomes in your life... when things go wrong, it is YOUR fault. YOU have brought it upon yourself, either by asking for it somehow, or by failing to think positively in the face of overwhelmingly challenging circumstances.

Imagine what a burden that is, especially to someone who is already suffering.

In the midst of one crisis or another, Amanda had once said to me something along the lines of, 'I just don't understand why you choose to have a life of difficulty. Why you choose to put yourself in difficult situations.'

I'd spent a few years thinking about that, and honestly, I couldn't figure it out. I kept thinking, Why do I do this to myself? Why put myself in all of these difficult situations? Why have I chosen this difficult path?

It is really hard to know what to do when you can't breath and it appears that the hands tightening around your throat appear to be your own. What do you do, then, when placed in such a position?

I wanted to breath. I'd commanded my hands to let go, but they wouldn't. I concluded that either a) I wasn't 'willing' myself hard enough, or b) these were not my hands.

Figuring this out has been troubling me for a while now. When it comes to the times in your life when things are not going your way, it must be a matter of either a) personal failure (not being positive enough), or b) not being in control of your own life/destiny/whatever.

I'm not particularly enamoured with either conclusion. I doubt anyone would be, really. These options don't seem very positive.

Which brings me to another stunningly obvious realization that I've only recently remembered, which is this:

Shit just happens sometimes, that is completely out of our control.

Life gets hard. Believe it. And no amount of setting intentions is going to will away the pain of losing a loved one, nor should it. It won't heal cancers, or bring you that sweet convertible when you are making $7 an hour and are $20,000 in debt. Freak storms can wash away your home. A person you trusted might mislead you. You could lose your job. That person you love so much, might prefer to go it alone.

The thing I've realized, is that dealing with the ups and downs in your life is not EXCLUSIVELY a matter of intention, nor is it EXCLUSIVELY beyond our control. We have this nice, spongy thing in our craniums for a reason, and its not just to (debateably) bend the laws of physics so we can get whatever we want just by focusing on it. We have it so that when presented with a situation, we can use it to distinguish the difference between the things we can and can't change, and ACCEPT it.

We can use it to ACCEPT each other. We can use it to ACCEPT the challenges and obstacles and responsibilities that lie between ourselves and our ultimate purposes, whatever they may be. We can use it to ACCEPT circumstances we have no control over, pasts we cannot change, and the inevitability of grief, pain and loss. We can use it to ACCEPT the lessons we learn, whether we like them or not, and we can use them to ACCEPT the possibility that we may be misguided by them, and ACCEPT the new conditions of our lives, as they change, every single day.

What makes us the masters of our own destiny? We are not the engineers of our own lives. We are not in control. But we do, every day, check that box that says 'I agree to keep living, in spite of all this.'

We say yes to good fortune. And also, yes to pain and grief. We can, if we want to.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

mom love

Sometimes I forget that my mom is probably the wisest person in the world. This is because she's so wise, she doesn't mind telling me when I'm acting like a dumb ass, which I usually tend to take the wrong way.

Something really unwise in me tells me not to answer her phone calls, or open her e-mails when the subject line says 'What's the deal' or 'did you do __________ yet? It's been a month' and it's not because she's being a horrible mean mom and telling me I'm a horrible irresponsible person... (well... I suppose she's telling me I'm being irresponsible, but not in a horrible way)

.. I don't answer for the same reason it's been a month and a half and I still haven't filled out and mailed those blah-blah forms to her, with which she graciously included a self-addressed and stamped envelope to make it a little more likely that I'll get around to performing this small task that should have taken five minutes.

I don't answer because I figure, I'll talk to her once I've done it.. then she won't say 'oh my god Josette, are you serious (like OMGWTF) and I won't feel like a total retard because my procrastination levels are deep into the red zone labelled 'retarded'.

Enough about beating myself up already. My point is, my mom is the wisest person I know. She's like buddha only she's really hot and drives a red Honda Accord and carries a briefcase.

I've been avoiding her phone calls for almost two months now and since I was already sitting in my house moping like a child, I thought I would go ahead and make 'cool' use of my Friday night by calling my mom and whining about how my 'pretty-good-life' is 'slightly-inconvenient-slash-boring-sometimes'.

She's wise because she knows when to be frank, without being condescending. Our twenty-minute conversation was more enlightening than the Tao Te Ching I'm pretty sure because she was spot-on and effortless about everything she told me, like poetry or art and other things that are just right because they leave you feeling like, 'OHHHHHHHhhhh. ok. well shit.'

Now I am sitting here trying to remember specifically what she said that made me go 'Aw GAHHH Mum you're so fucking* (*censored) right!' ...but its a bit fuzzy... sometimes I wish I had a tape recorder. All I know is I feel I've been put in my place and it's the best possible place because I feel more confident and ready and a bit more lucid.

One thing I do remember her saying is, 'Nobody is stronger than anyone else.' Because I was being twenty-something and looking at someone else as being weaker than myself. And she's totally right, and I am totally humbled in this moment. I'll try to remember this next time I feel weak, or strong.

She also surprised me by supporting my passing thoughts about moving to NYC in the near future and totally egged me on to save up and get there in the next few months. She told me, 'You are adventurous, and you need stimulation, and you're so free, and so smart, and there are so many more opportunities there. And if you don't like it, you can go somewhere else, because you can do anything.'

She did not surprise me by discouraging my other passing thought about moving back to Maui.

Mom: 'You'll just be there and that's it.'

Me: 'But it's nice, and it heals me and I feel like it gives me strength.'

Mom: 'You need to invest your energy into your life, and put your energy into it. Any time you think life takes things from you, that you're less, or weak, or a worse person because of something that happens, it's


'Everything that happens to you in your life makes you a better person. You can only become a better person, stronger, more compassionate, wiser, more capable.'

'You can go back to Maui because its your life, and only you know what you need, but I will tell you that you will have more choices in NYC, and I will tell you that you are the kind of person who needs to have a choice, because you can't stay put.. not in a job, not in a way of thinking, or in a place. If you could have everything possible happen to you in one day, if you could time-warp to a million places in a week you would. And Maui is one place, on an island very far away and one way of life. And you will feel stagnant, you spent a year there, and you told me this yourself.'

And she was right again.

And also knew me better than I thought she did... knew me better than I knew myself even (at least in that moment).. and not only did she know me, but respected my way, which was not hers.

I thought she would tell me it was financially unwise, or that I should think about settling down and balancing my checkbook, or that I should stop moving every year or so for once but instead she told me to move forward, be free, to start thinking about my future, and grow..

I suppose she's never told me exactly what to do with my life, and I'd never listen anyway so maybe this is why I feel like it's unfolded perfectly according to (non)plan.

I got a bit teary-eyed... in the way like when you realize how lucky you are to know someone, only times a billion because that person is my mom, and she raised me sorta with that wisdom and compassion, and faith... which means, it's part of me.

I'm very lucky. I feel like a superhero but the kind that knows everyone else is a superhero too, so I don't feel like such a big-shot (because nobody's stronger than anybody else).

When my mom was my age, she had me, I was just born.

She knew why I hadn't done the tiny task she asked me to. I could tell she'd thought about it when she said 'Sometimes thinking about all the things you need to do is so exhausting you just want to lay down. But really, just organize the three page to-do list into five small ones, and check them off like a treasure hunt and I promise it's so little effort for such great relief and you will feel a million times better.'

I liked how she used the treasure hunt analogy. It was like she knew this would appeal to me. I am simple, and it did.

I used to worry I'd become like my mom when I was younger, but the older I get the more I realize, well,

She's just awesome. Even if I don't think so sometimes. So even though I can only be like me, I have noticed I am also a little like her, and it's not so bad.

Sometimes when I'm feeling cheeky, I get all proud of myself and think I'm very clever and can handle some things some one else can't. I suppose that's alright but will always be accessorized with a 'lingering feeling of self-doubt'. Because it's kind of not true (but this is really ok).

When you're not better off than someone, or worse off than someone, you're both just kind of there, right? Just two people, being people. The story doesn't end with a winner, or a loser, with inferiority or superiority... it doesn't end in front, or behind. In fact,

if you think of it another way, it's not you (here) and them (there)... it's us (together).

Mom also said,

'Of course you feel alone sometimes, like you have no friends, or you can't relate to anyone, it's the most human thing in the world!! We ALL feel this way, it's the most, 100% understandable human experience so just know, when you feel alone, you are not. Lots and lots of ppl are feeling alone at the exact same time as you. We could make a club.'

(we have, it's called the internet).

Anyway I could go on, but I won't because she says a lot of cool stuff that I can't remember exactly so I just end up making things up that sum the general gist of it. She also says a lot of mean stuff, but its because she's not stronger or smarter or less alone than anyone else.

But she's my mom, so to me she is a superhero anyway.

by the way, this is my grandmother (with my brother). She too is a superhero. I've used this photo three times in this blog I think, but I mean. C'mon.

Friday, June 6, 2008

logic and magic

logic and magic

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart,
and you shall see that in truth
you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

- Kahlil Gibran -


My friend Melei from Maui posted this. I’ve always loved Kahlil Gibran because just like everything else in this world, he reminds of things I already know but have forgotten, right at the moment when I need it.

Yesterday I was walking down the escalator in the subway just as my ride to Harvard Square was screeching to a stop, and in my iPod, Johnny Cash was singing in my ears: ’I hear the train a-comin’...’

... I thought that was pretty cool, too.

When you’re grateful for the things in your life, it seems there is a fine line between such a thing being a blessing and a curse. I guess it has something to do with nostalgia. It’s hard to love the moments and experiences in your life in such a way that you do not mourn them when they are no longer there, but I guess that’s the whole point of it... compassionate detachment is where it’s at, if it is at all possible.

There is something eery and inhuman to me about one who does not ’miss’.. it’s not that I don’t think it’s a human characteristic... it just doesn’t seem to be a quality I can relate to. I am a very nostalgic person.

Can you be nostalgic, while at the same time appreciating the present moment?

Can you love the life you’ve lived, while at the same time loving the life you are living, and loving the thought of living the life you are about to live (and is that confusing enough for you?)

Can you love it all?

... I’m going to say ’Yes.’ I may be nostalgic, but I’m no pansy. I’m chock full of ambition.

I am, at the same time, currently full of joy and sorrow. It’s not supposed to make sense. It’s magic.

I got a call from my best friend Amanda the other day saying she had to talk to me right that second about Logic (the philosophical approach, not the audio software) and Magic. So I rolled a cigarette and left my desk for about an hour to talk to her... because I am responsible like that.

She said she’d been trying to put together a discussion about the logic/magic dichotomy... how the world of tangible, linear calculable and defineable elements is related to the world of serendipity, coincidence, intuition and fate.

’I’m having trouble,’ she said, ’describing magic in any sort of adequate way.’ It made me think about the Philosophy of Mind course I took in college many years ago, where we spent an entire semester trying to logically prove the statement ’Consciousness is a process of the brain.’

The short-comings of logic itself bear naked when we try to prove something that is self-evident, but epistemologically impossible to prove. This is why so many people turn to God... or one-ness.... or magic.... or democracy.

I told her it was impossible to explain with words because both ’explanation’ and ’words’ are inherently Logical parameters, and not Magical ones.

It’s like trying to measure your height in gallons. Trying to explain ’magic’ in words is like trying to figure out how fast the universe is growing with a thermometer.

She told me that she hasn’t since experienced the kind of magic that we felt almost two years ago when we were sitting on the rooftop of the tantra school the first day I’d arrived in Maui, and we sat in silent tears together because we were quite literally, overwhelmed with the perfection of that single moment in a way that words (coincidentally) could not explain.

We find it hard to say that magic does not exist after that moment. In a lot of ways, it might be one of the few completely real moments in our lives.

I am grateful for the realization that a truth exists beyond the parameters of logic. I can’t prove it, I just know it exists. Another word for this (if you want to be logical about it)... ... is faith.

We underestimate the power of believing in something we have no control over, or understanding of because it seems unreasonable to do so. While it is unreasonable, it should not be underestimated.

Amanda was wondering where the magic was, why she didn’t feel it anymore, wondering where to get it or whether she (we) were doing something wrong, and maybe that’s why we can’t feel it right now.

I told her, that I think it’s always there, just that we don’t always see it. That I truly believe that it is possible to find beauty in even the ugliest things, and to find magic in the most mundane, darkest, and dead-est moments of our lives. We just have to know it’s always there.... even though we can’t see it, even if there’s not a single sign of it. We just have to have faith, we have to believe, and that that belief has REAL power.

The mythology almost all humans have grown up with tries to tell us this in so many ways by drawing logical pictures around it, like throwing sand on invisible object so that we can see its shape.

In two seperate discussions with two seperate people, the movie ’Neverending Story’ came up- probably because it was one of the great contemporary tales of our own childhoods. In the movie, the very existence of an entire Universe relied on belief itself. No one believed in Fantasia anymore... and as a result the Nothing (they were quite literal with the naming of things) swept over everything, killing everything in its path. As her empire crumled, the child-like empress said to Sebastian, who (at the time) was just like you or me, and nothing special: ’All you have to do is believe’.

Flying dog dragons and wild 80s synth music aside, the Neverending Story was incredibly deep. In my childhood, it illustrated to me something true that couldn’t be proven...

... that without faith, we have Nothing.

So what are we doing when we mourn, and feel sorrow for the delights in our life that have come and gone... and where does this sorrow come from. I think part of me, as I feel nostalgic for past Magic that is no longer with me, is having a hard time seeing that it never left in the first place.

All our sorrow, everything we lack, is our Nothing. It’s not there, because we believe it’s gone.

We fear that the magical moments in our life have past, that our chance at love, or bliss, or of living the Perfect Moment has come and gone.... but every breath we take, every gaze straightforward is the start of a new adventure.

Every time we look for it, not because we can’t find it, but because we KNOW it’s there... then we will see. It’s magic.

I think the trick is knowing you have everything you need, even when you have nothing...

That even though you may have wants, nobody can take away your ability to be aware of and appreciate any and every experience that comes your way, no matter how difficult that experience may be. Until you draw your last breath, it’s all you’ll ever need.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

7/11/07 - Compulsion

I never really know what any of this is supposed to mean.... what I'm doing, or why.

Sometimes I tell people it's important to be aware of the things that motivate us to act... but to be honest, most of the time I never know where it comes from. I feel a compulsion, and it's so hard to explain that tears come to my eyes if I even think of attempting to.

Chris was telling me about a compulsion he had at work the other day. His boss seemed so troubled that morning, when he handed her some coffee. All day he felt compelled to tell her what he thought of her... about the respect he had for her and what she does for the people around her, and her passion for the work she does. He couldn't stop thinking about it all day, so before leaving he sat down and wrote her a letter, and gave it to her. The next day she took him aside in an effort to explain how much it meant to her, that she was moved to tears. There are no words for these things.

I was listening to him tell me this and I myself felt very moved. It's something I think about all the time, and try to put words to when there are none. It's so beautiful when people are honest with each other. We hold back so much, for fear of standing there naked, vulnerable to the world.

We think we don't know who we are, or how to represent ourselves. We think we are so alone. We think we cannot describe ourselves to each other in a way that could be understood. We think when we 'say', we don't say what we mean, and when we paint, it's never as beautiful as the image in our heads. We struggle to birth reflections of ourselves into this world all the time, and we feel pain when our meticulous efforts fail to reflect the true beauty of this thing inside us.

And all this time, here we are standing, naked under it all. Beautiful. Always. To Everyone.

We are not hidden. We shine through, marvelous accidental.

Listen: these compulsions? Listen and see yourself shine through. I know that if I stay here, eyes open, ears open- I will hear and I will see the difference between Everything Else, and my soul singing to be heard.

But this isn't a task, or a quest, or a journey to overcome obstacles. Even if you don't hear it, even if you don't see it, even if you don't think you know it.... you shine through, anyway. Marvelous accidental.

Someone once said, "Existence does not exist for others. It is of itself, for itself, by itself."

Alan Watts once said, "Contradictory as it may sound, it seems to me that the deepest spiritual experience can arise only in moments of selfishness so complete that it transcends itself."

Damian once said, "Any autobiography is an act of vanity."

And I once thought that compulsion, selfishness, self- consciousness and vanity were things to be frowned upon. Negatives to which surely there existed positive alternatives.

But what is compulsion, if not an act driven by a force that seems larger and more overwhelming than your own notions of logic, reason and etiquette? I thought it was something that had to do with lack of self-control, or of acting without thinking or consideration. But this is only one element of a very multi-faceted relationship. If you look at Chris's story, you realize that someties acting without thought or consideration can manifest itself in ways so thoughtful and considerate that we did not know we were capable of it.

Along the same lines, selflessness is in itself an act of pure selfishness. This is how much language serves its purpose in manners such as these.

Self-consciousness could be described as a condition of ceaseless fascination with who "I am". It is self-consciousness which is often crippling and misleading, often a circus house of distorted mirrors and illusions. But how much would we know, how much would we laugh and understand if we just really tried to look at ourselves? We are constant reflections of each other.

And vanity. The other thing that causes us to think twice before showing ourselves to the world.The other thing that makes us ask 'Well, who am I to say?' or, 'Well, who would really care to look at me?'

For one reason or another I am thinking to myself, whether or not a diamond is hidden will not change its shape, form, beauty or flawlessness. But it can only be brilliant in the sun.

For one reason or another I keep thinking about these things, and about how I thought they meant one thing, and were to be avoided....

... but now I'm starting to realize that things like this: compulsion, selfishness, self-conciousness and vanity... are completely unavoidable, and I have been struggling to overcome them when they themselves are part of who I am.

And not only that, but that these things, while they can be negative, can also be very positive, too. That there is no opposite, and no alternative, because these conditions are balanced within their own true meanings (whatever they are) to help us play this game, bring joy into our lives and others, and to bring a little more brilliance into the world.

Okay then. That is all.

7/7/07 - Touch and Spill

i feel a little overwhelmed... this is good... it's quite good, actually (amanda, you know)

why does it floor me so to listen to music someone has made that comes from their hearts, and souls, and that perfect, radiant, gorgeous part of them that seems to shine when we just let it go?

oh lord. it floors me so. it moves me like nothing else in this world. every modular swell is like the crest of the wave that my heart is riding on. I feel like spilling all over the place, perfect, melting, water into water. Like salty tears melt into the ocean.

it touches me.

this is what it is with music.... i was ready to go to bed and nick asked me to wait five minutes and sent me the beginnings of a dubstep track he'd started working on tonight.

it's hard to explain, so i'll just say it in the first words that came to me... i told him, 'now you've got me, making such a pretty thing....

... it's like you touched your fingers to the keyboard and to your computer and it went through something intangible to get to my ears... and then from there you reached right into me and touched my soul.

what does it sound like... it sounds like flattery. people hesitate to speak when they are touched like this. me, i can never keep my mouth shut about much, especially when it's overwhelming.

it wasn't just that it was beautiful, though. i felt like the universe-sized complexity of the nature of the relationship between he and i was explained to me in less than five minutes, and without words.

does that make sense?

i heard it and i knew without any words exchanged that he knew me. open ears connect. not just me, Josephine, age 23, lost in her life.... but me... who i am.

i'm having a hard time with words, here. But what I'm trying to say is, every sound, every movement, every rhythm, it moved with me like when two dancers know each other so well they dance effortlessly, beautifully together , pushing pulling. Like my ears were meant to hear it that way. Like i've been waiting all my life to feel that elevated.

I love to see it spill like that.

That's what making things is, to me, I think. Cup Overflow. Honest Gorgeousness into the world, because we can't even help it.

7/1/07 - A DJ Progress Report

oh boy...

... so I've been playing records almost four months now, and I'm definitely much more comfortable with it and still loving it (more than ever, actually)

... I mean, who can resist diving into a setup this beautiful?

Chris came over Friday night to play some dubstep and it was really the first time I've played with anybody...'s not hard for me to throw together something decent when Rachel and Winnie are around, in fact, I think I do my best when Winnie's around. It really gets me going when someone comes into the room and starts dancing.

When Courtney and I got together last weekend to make T-shirts for Bassic, I got to try my hand at explaining exactly what turntables and mixing are about- she said even though I may not be the most experienced, she preferred to hear it from me because it's not as intimidating as hearing it from the guys. I even got to play some and explain at the same time, no problem.

I really enjoyed playing when CJB was around- it's that whole 'Teaching is the best way to learn' thing, not to mention I just like hanging out with her. I hope we get to do it more often.

Oddly enough, even though Nick is teaching me a lot I still don't play too often around him. When I first started, I actually even got angry because I would feel like I was making progress and totally fuck it up while he was around!

Now it's not so bad. Often times he listens from another room just to track my progress sans-nervousness. At this point I can play pretty comfortably even when he's in the room, although sometimes if I'm on a roll and he comes in a-nodding his head it's like two trains come out of nowhere all of a sudden. Silly me.

Why so hard when Nick's around, you ask?

Well- because he is a DJ. The same goes for Chris, Dan, Damian, and pretty much almost everyone I know here in Boston...

... they're the most intimidating audience, because even if a person that's dancing can't tell, a DJ can automatically hear if I'm off beat even by a fraction of a second. That's pretty intimidating to me for some reason. I know how I feel when I hear a bad mix, and I don't want anybody to feel that way about my mixes.

But that's a silly way to go about it, because of course I won't be 100% accurate right away. In fact, I don't think I ever will be... because no DJ is. So basically I need to get over it.

It really helped to have Chris come over and play with me. Before we started he asked, 'Do you want to go two and two?' (he plays two records, then we switch off and I play two records) and I just shrugged because I'd never even tag-teamed with anyone before. I'd never tried to mix with another person's records and I hoped I could pull it together.

I almost chickened out. I kept shaking my head as I was throwing the first record on and Chris says, 'You nervous?'

'Quite.', I say.

'Well get over it. If you can't play in front of another person you're never gonna play out.'

I'm thinking, Very Good Point. I told myself I wasn't going to cut off my dreads until I played out for the first time. And I really want to cut off my dreads.

So I play. And fuck up, a lot. My hands are shaking like crazy, and half the time I can't mix the record in time before the one playing runs out. That's a problem I have when people are around, I'd rather just cut it in last minute and risk a second of silence than train-wreck (have two tracks playing terribly off-beat from each other).

But eventually my hands stop shaking and I calm down some. It still doesn't sound as good as when I'm alone, but I manage to pull together a few times that didn't sound too terribly bad. I get to watch Chris do his thing and realize that no matter how good of a DJ you are (and Chris is a great DJ), sometimes it's just hard with the time constraint, or one record is just confusing, or the two are off-key and it's too late to switch out.

That was a good thing to learn, that I shouldn't have impossible standards and shouldn't forget that it's fun. You could say that about a lot of the things I do, and expect of myself.

So I'm not going to wait until I'm a perfect DJ before recording a mix, or playing out because that time will never come. Therefore, my DJ progress report is this:

I've made some progress. And I think I'm comfortable enough to record a mix, so that's what I've been practicing for, and will be doing on Tuesday afternoon.

Pandai'a's First Mix :)

I feel ready, and I hope it goes well.

I'll post a link when it's done, for better or worse.

7/1/07 - Restless


Everything is beautiful. I am in love, and someday I'll be a Real DJ. But I still can't sleep.

I feel restless as hell, and I'm not sure what to do.... restless isn't even the word, really.

I quit my job in February. It's almost July now, and I'm still unemployed. Am I looking for a job? Sort of. Why am I not trying as hard as I should be? I don't know.

It's mostly because I don't really want one, to be honest. Chris asked me what I do with all of the time on my hands, when we got together on Friday to tag team some dubstep.

"Honestly?" I said, "I have no fucking clue."

I play records. Lately, I've been playing a lot of Guitar Hero at Nick's. I spend a lot of my energy constantly battling a lingering feeling of worthlessness/ usefulness. I feel left behind in the wake of the adventure that was my life for a while.

I don't know why I feel this way. You could say I'm not looking at it the right way, and you're probably right. It's confusing, because I'm learning how to DJ and I am spending a lot of my time with someone I love and respect, and feel truly happy with... but at the same time I can honestly say I don't know if I feel that way about myself, most of the time.

And I always said, how can you love someone else if you don't love yourself. So what does it mean. It means I'm confused.

I feel like I have to do something drastic. I think about cutting all my hair off sometimes, but to be honest, I want to do something more drastic. I think about Maui more than I think about cutting my hair off. I miss it so much but you can only go forward, you can't go back. I know going to Maui won't change how I feel about myself, or fix anything.

I need to be shaken, is all. At least, that's what I think I need.

I don't know what it is in my head that makes me think the world is like quicksand, and if I stay still long enough, I start to sink. But that's how I feel anyway. Gosh, I have so much to learn.

I thought I was ready to learn about staying still but now I'm not so sure. I'm not even sure if running off is the answer, either. So what do you call the space in between staying still and running off?

It's excruciating and tense. It's full of anxiety and indecisiveness, and ultimately insecurity and it makes me so frustrated with myself. But something's gotta give. I've either got to get past this phase and shape up, get a job and get comfortable with staying still here in Boston...

... or I need to get the hell out... and I just don't know what to do. I've spent the past nine months trying to be comfortable staying still. But it just doesn't seem to be working. I feel so much that I'm not interacting with the world out there. I know it doesn't have to be that way, and that my level of interaction is in my hands to wield... I know I could do it...

... but it's like I'm paralyzed. At the end of the night I have very few answers... but a few things I'm sure of....

... on the mornings when I wake up and see this person sleeping next to me, it really makes me smile inside and out. I love him so much.

... and... although I still don't know whether or not to stay still or go, I need to go temporarily. I need to get out of myself and this place and I need a break. I need more than just cutting all my hair off, although that might help too. This I know.

Maybe you can understand why I can't sleep, who ever's reading this. I know it has to do with a very special love, an uncertainty in direction, and a reluctance to let go of my tendency to wander.

I don't want to break his heart. I love him so much. I want him to know that if I go, I want to come back to him, but I couldn't expect him to understand that. I guess it boils down to fear, as usual.

This one doesn't have a point, or a moral. I just thought I would try and be honest about things to myself, and see what comes up. No answers. Just truth.