Tuesday, April 07, 2009


A friend recently told me that when you make your humiliation part of your creative process, you liberate yourself to, well, create. Hence, here goes my second blog post in all of 2009! Go me.

I've always had a difficult time with "putting myself out there." My wise teeny son likes to accuse me of perfectionism, but that's too simplistic. For decades I felt like I couldn't do anything artistically because (1) I was always surrounded by artistic people, (2) I felt the need to be completely original, and (3) I didn't want judgment, mostly from my own self. All this despite feeling like I was a creative type innately and that when I choose to lose myself in a project, be it drawing or writing, I was pretty damn good, at times even great.

Anyway, I'm now building myself a tenuous bridge and gingerly getting over it. Because you know what, being afraid of not being great is just no fucking way to live. I am simply too tired of it. I am simply too old for it. I don't have the same energy I once had to stifle whatever it is that bubbles out.

So from this point forward, I will use this blog to write and write and write. Most of it will be dribbly shitstain (like that's any different from what's come before), but I will do my damnest to resist the Delete button. And allow maybe only a handful of Edit. The self-censor mode is a bitter pill. It's a cliche to say that you're your worst enemy, but that doesn't make it any less true. The thing is, when you're pretty good at a lot of different things, finding the one true outlet to focus on can be a bit like [insert metaphor].

So there you have it. I've given myself permission to suck so that I can begin the process of sucking less.

I am now hitting the Publish Post button.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

And the Winner Is...Me?

Forgive me my long hiatus, dear readers, and for hosting my own writer's strike (though I am from LA, after all). Life has a habit of sneaking up on me, those to-do lists color-bleeding into one another springing me into inaction--until that damning moment when I'm snapped wide awake wearing nothing but runny pinks. It's not a pretty sight.

Laundry metaphor aside (can you tell literal laundry is also on my list?), I feel the need to document the big upcoming change for the one loyal reader that's left. So, lonely reader, come August, I'll be moving to China, Mainland China--Beijing, to be exact. I feel overwhelmed, mixed, mixed up, a whir of hazy emotions set in spin cycle (damn, here I go again).

On the one hand, I'm thrilled I landed a respected, sought-after school considering the (by all accounts) shit-awful recruitment season and global crisis. And the package is killer compared to South America.

On the other hand, what the fuck--China? Really, self? I am, after all, so classically lazy that I dropped my Spanish lessons here once I figured out how to order a cup of coffee. China--with its gobbledygook alphabet and tonal everything will be devastating in its shock of culture (although to be fair, while I am challenged in the pretty-voice department, I am thankfully not tone-deaf, at least according to my karaoke scores). China--where my allergies-prone self is gonna have to break up in a huge way with Mr. Contact Lenses, my eyes already itchy and wet at the thought of the smog and the rebound affair with Mr. Eyeglasses. [I know that was cheesy, but they can't all be winners. -ed.] China--where the arms of the Benevolent Dictator will have long-reaching effects (YouTube was banned out of the blue for a few days last week, fer christ's sake). China--where, dear God, my physiological need for personal space will be utterly, terrifyingly eviscerated. And did I mention the smog?

But, on the other hand (careful readers will now note my deformed anatomy), China--where spawn will learn Mandarin, and take more theatre courses, and camp at the Great Wall, and be intimate with 5,000 years of culture. China--where I'll finally get my fill of Asia travel (one weekend to Angkor Wat to rekindle some childhood memories, another to Bangkok simply for the food-court curries). China--where my swanky expat compound will have a caf
e that delivers, and a free gym clubhouse, and tennis courts (because you know how much I rock the tennis skort), and, and...

It's never easy, or more accurately, I seem to have a penchant for choosing the difficult over the easy. And as if I'm not free falling enough these days, last week an Argentine coworker stopped by my classroom to pronounce in her typical charming way:
I would hate to be you. I don't know how you to it. Your life is so hectic. Do you even know any Mandarin? Heckling aside, she had a point or two. What *am* I doing starting over? Wasn't it enough to move from the northern hemisphere to the southern, without having to cross into the eastern? Didn't I bust my (professional) balls black & blue trying to prove myself here, and now would have to start all over? Haven't I wept enough tears bidding adieu to family in the States, without having to endure (at least) two more years of this melodrama? Do I ever learn?

And then, fortuitously, I ran into this feel-good quote by Mark Twain:

Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

And soon after, I got no less than 21 photos of my new home in Beijing--3 floors of personal space, with windows wide flung to beckon potential clear skies and an outside world of possibilities.

I guess the jury's still out.