unnerved

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Have you ever met someone that completely unnerves you in the best way possible? I don’t mean unnerves in the sense of demoralizing, but rather the definition that refers to being thrown off balance. And thrown off balance in such a way that you’re actually finding a new balance.

I feel like I’m finding a place of balance I’ve never known before, and it’s exciting and scary and unnerving and I love it. 

October is here, and I’ve always loved the Fall, and the changing season, and sweater weather, but this October feels different.

It feels more alive. And I think it feels more alive because of who I choose to spend my time with. I don’t think that people can change other people, but I do think that sometimes you will meet people who will bring out the best that is already in you.

Yesterday, I had a beautiful drive in the cool morning air, and spent a few hours in a pumpkin patch, choosing pumpkins, watching kids play. I spent the rest of the day carving pumpkins, baking, and eating food I had created and when I was still awake at 4:15 this morning, chatting about nothing at all, I didn’t feel exhausted and broken. I felt tired (of course) but like I had found the sweetness of Fall.

Finding this place in grad school is hard — in this place we must work to our limits sometimes to accomplish that which is asked of us, and because it is my thesis year (and I want to survive and still be whole) I love seeking during my favourite season.

I just feel happy.

love, b

 

warrior

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Dancers have a very different relationship with their body. I’ve always known this but I’m coming to understand it more these days.

Last Monday something popped in my knee during ballet class and despite the pain of it, I continued to dance on it. On Tuesday I told my cubicle-mate (who also is one of the conditioners/assistants in the conditioning studio) that something in my knee popped but I didn’t want to be a baby about it. She told me to not be that kind of person and make an appointment with the physical therapist that we have in the dance department every Wednesday.

I wasn’t sure I’d get in to see her (or even that I wanted to), but I’m really glad I did. I explained to her what happened and she said she’s not positive, but she suspects an injury that I need to see an orthopedist for. And that’s when I started thinking about how as a dancer, I have a very different relationship with my body than most people.

I started doing physical therapy on Thursday and by Friday morning, I was having trouble just walking up the stairs, much less actually taking dance class.

Friday morning I made an appointment with the orthopedist at school for Tuesday, and I felt stuck. I didn’t know what was wrong and couldn’t do anything about it. I couldn’t take class, and sitting and observing class when you’re injured is a little demoralizing because you can’t do the thing you love, and you have to sit there watching other people do it. I couldn’t explain to my professors exactly why I’m not dancing because I don’t know except that it hurts.

This is when the PT I was working with and I had a really interesting conversation. First, she read me a Pema Chodron quote about trusting your inner warrior. We then began talking about the way dancers view their bodies.

It’s not just that I might need to do physical therapy and observe dance classes for a little while, it’s that when a doctor says to you that you can’t do the thing that you love, your heart breaks a little bit. Your livelihood is taken away. In some cases, your bread and butter is taken away. Our bodies function as our instrument, and an instrument that we are constantly working to perfect in our craft.

We’re raised in dance culture to believe that we are expendable because there are a million other dancers out there, so when we’re injured we should keep dancing because if we don’t, someone else will. And right now I’m struggling with that mentality because I do feel inept for not taking class full out, or dancing in rehearsal full out, or for having to say to my professors/choreographers that I can’t do it right now.

So, after a few tears, a bonfire with smores, and an appointment scheduled for Tuesday, I’m trying to take it one step at a time because I need to remember this poignant question: do you want to dance today, or do you want to get healthy and dance forever?

your sweatshirt says it all

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Two assignments stand between me and the end of my first year of grad school. How scary is that? I’m not 50% of a master of anything!

These last two weeks have been a whirlwind.

An insane, amazing, heartwarming, nerve-wracking mess in the best way possible.

One of my best friends, and roomie for lyfe got ENGAGED! I got to celebrate my soulie’s TWENTY FIRST birthday with her! I’m taking chances I thought I couldn’t take! I’ve spent every night for two weeks surrounded by old friends, new friends, more than friends, best friends, puppy friends, and everything in between. I’ve celebrated birthdays, engagements, dancing, music, and just the enjoyment of the company of the people I adore in my life.

The end of the school year is always hard for me. Or it always has been because the time in my life has been dictated by the passage of time in a school year.

It’s hard because we all have to move forward, and I’m going to miss those who are graduating this year very much as they move on to bigger and better things. I’m watching my sisters grow up and leave the Agnes nest for new adventures. I’m seeing these dancers and choreographers that I’ve gotten so close to move on to dance and research and cultivate themselves as artists away from the only place I’ve known them. I’m seeing one of my best friends having just gotten engaged to the love of her life. I’m giving myself to things that I actually want and even better I’m actually articulating what it is I want.

This post is just a hodge podge of my excitement, and considering the fact that this is my break from brain-stuff and finals, forgive me.

I’m constantly happy and nervous and overwhelmed by everything happening in my life that I want to step back and just look at it but I can’t.

I’m too busy participating.

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LOVE, B

Busy buzzy bizzing bees

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I don’t know what that title means, but what I’m getting at is my love of being occupied. This semester is totally kicking me in the pants, but in the best way possible. I am dancing, I’m reading about dance, I’m writing about dance, I’m sleeping, eating, breathing, metabolising dance. You know why?

BECAUSE IT’S MY TRUE LOVE

true story.

true story.

Glad we got that straightened out. What I mean is that I have between 12 and 14 hour days 6 days a week, and I spend almost no time in my apartment (awake), and I’m the tiredest of tired lions and yet I don’t feel worn out. I don’t feel exhausted. I don’t feel bad.

I feel amazing.

I remember once in modern in undergrad we had to go around and say all the reasons we danced, and when everyone had gone around I turned to whoever was sitting next to me and said “Huh, I guess we’re all junkies…of adrenaline.” and I think it’s true.

Dancers/performers/artists, we thrive off of this sense of accomplishing something, and I really do think that because the reward is so great (that sense of accomplishment) it doesn’t feel like work.

Maybe that’s how I know that I’m doing what I love.

Love, B

a year in review

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The semester is over, and as such I feel like I’m just a hop, skip, and a jump from 2013. I’m so excited to be spending my new year with some of my favourite people — vacation can’t come soon enough!

I’ve had a hell of a year. I realized this when I mentioned it to someone a couple of days ago: I have been waiting for the year 2012 since about elementary school. My idealistic 9-year old self mathematically figured out that I’d be done with college in 2012 and that that would be the greatest accomplishment of my life (no, my 9-year old self didn’t even have an inkling of the notion of grad school).

So I decided, why not take a look at the last year (mostly in pictures) and relish in what an amazing roller coaster of a year this has been?

Join me?

The year got off to a great start. In January I got back to school, auditioned for grad school, danced in a flash mob, baked like crazy, and had some rough times that the best friends I’ve ever known got me through. The year continued on this fantastic path with February and my birthday being perfect (dancing, Twyla, sangria). This month I rode in my first ambulance, which was terrifying and traumatic, but I can look back on the awkward medic who showed me and Emily his mouth tattoo fondly. Also, doing downward dog in the ER.

My foxy lady sisters received their rings in February. It doesn’t matter how many other red classes or blue classes there are, you guys will always be first in my heart

JanFeb

March rolled around and spring break was an adventure in Atlanta, with making pizza, exploring the city, and doing photo shoots in the park. The last weekend of March, Studio Dance Theatre travelled to the illustrious city of Albany, Georgia for some good ole dancing and horse metaphors. (Sugar cubes, anyone?)

In April I celebrated Bertha’s birthday with some furious scrap booking and I performed in my last ever concert at my undergrad. It was bittersweet. I was so privileged and blessed to have had four years of performing with such dedicated and artistically vital people. This month FLEW by.

MarchApril

May was probably one of the hardest months for me. Not only did I get myself into ridiculous situations that I should have had better sense than to have done, but I graduated from the place I’d known as home for four years.

Graduation always seemed like this elusive far-off dream until it actually happened. I couldn’t have been more joyed than to spend this day with my family, friends, and Agnes Community. The morning of graduation someone told me they’d light some fireworks in my honor, I couldn’t have been happier.

May

The whole summer was a whirlwind of travelling and exploring the world and figuring out who I am! I wrote about this last month I think so I don’t really need to indulge you anymore on that. I made some mistakes, I did some awesome things, I grew up. (Even though there’s still a lot of that to be done…) If you missed it, check it out in my thanksgiving post!

JuneJuly

The final leg of my summer was August — the month to challenge all months. I was in four different time zones, and six different airports over the course of the month. My sisterbear got engaged, I visited Seattle, I bought a car, and I started graduate school. Seriously, I don’t remember being still for more than a few hours over the course of this whole month, and I absolutely loved it.

Lucky for me, September was a month of recuperating and readjusting to the workload of grad school. I spent most of my free time in the library.

AugustSeptember

October and November blend together in my brain. I was in Atlanta, I was in Orlando, I was at school, and I was at J’s apartment.

I got to see both of my sisterbears this month and  Sandy ruined the family reunion that was meant to happen. I voted for the second time in November and had severe anxiety the entire week before the election, and I was moved and proud of all of the people that got out there and rocked the vote. It was a beautiful display of nationalism for the democracy in which we live.

In Atlanta I was graced with beautiful dancing, in Orlando I was checking out wedding venues for my sisterbear! In any other time I had free I was writing papers and doing all the research in the world. (and hanging out with my BFF Evie)

UseNovemberOctober

And now we’re here. December. We’re twelve days in and every day is a new adventure. I’m growing to love the bhum-thai that I am becoming, and I am learning more and more about dance, about the world, about politics, and about the connectedness of human beings.

This blog is a means to connect to human beings. Of course it doesn’t make up for getting out there and talking to people (which, let’s be real, if I get started, I never stop) but it’s a means to share and communicate with those around us (geographically, or on the internet).

DECEMBER

Thank you, all: the ones who are here, the ones who have gone, the ones I’ve just met, and the ones that have stuck by my side through everything.

You all have made this year beautiful, and amazing, and sometimes heartbreaking, and most of the time absolutely joyous.

I’m looking forward to the next year of adventuring and seeing the world!

Love, B

after

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After the party is the after party. Thank any and all higher beings that that logic doesn’t follow with finals. After the finals there is a PARTY, not the after finals.

Finals will end today with the click of a little button in my email labeled “Send.” Just one completed paper to turn in and then I’m done! I can’t wait until I press that tiny button and begin the singing and dancing and flash mobbing anywhere and everywhere.

(Side note: I’m listening to pop-song mashups right now and I can’t even focus on what this blog is supposed to be about)

thinking-web-pic

hmmmmm….what was I thinking

 It may or may not be lost for good, but for anyone taking finals — good luck!

Hopefully I’ll give ya a real post later this week!

Love, B

bhum-tie

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or, Adventures in Grad School.

Other than talking about research topics, of which there are many, I haven’t said much about what an amazing experience grad school  has been so far. It’s easy to focus on the work, or sometimes the negative (sore, tired, too much work) and so I want to take this time to share, mostly in photos, how awesome my experience has been so far.

there are goldfish swimming across my desk. what isn’t awesome about that?

This is in no way, shape, or form a reason for me to not finish annotating sources tonight. It’s not. I swear.

First things first, however. In my life I’ve had a few nicknames. No more or less than anyone else, I’d say, but typically they’re pretty easy to deduce or to come up with. Some of those include: bhums, kabhums, k-a-bhumi, boomshakalaka, b, and ethel (but really only one person in the world is privy to that one).

Since beginning school I’ve acquired some new nicknames, and I’ve got to say that they might be the most creative I’ve had yet.

bhum-tie

blume sauce

Do either of these make any sense? No, not really. But I absolutely love them. The first came from k-dawg, and basically was just something that came out of his mouth and stuck. The second actually has a story.

On the second week of classes there was a meeting for all the first year students with one of the faculty members. She was really, really having trouble with my name, even after I repeated it thrice and gave the example of a cannon goes boom.

For the duration of the meeting she referred to me as “blum-ey.” After the meeting one of the girls in my class said that just to confuse this person for the rest of the semester she’d be referring to me as “blumes.” I don’t know when sauce got added on, but now it’s just funny. And weirdly catching on in the department.

So now we’re going to move on to the photo portion of this post.

some activities include getting things stuck in trees and then climbing on each other to get them down.

the most delicious pumpkin nutella muffins. I, apparently, have time to bake these days?

I also study! this is probably a third of the books I’ve checked out from the library

but girlfrannnn do grad students know how to have fun. yes, it’s a light up glass. yes, rupaul’s is on behind it. perfect evenings are perfect.

That concludes this edition of what’s been going on on my side of the world. I am so, so excited to see my family so soon. ESPECIALLY my sisterbears.

love, B

birds

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It’s Wednesday and YOU KNOW what that means, don’t you? Nothing in particular, really. I just thought I’d ask if you knew about something that I didn’t.

thinking face.

Today I looked at the faces of my fellow grads and saw the following emotions: stress, panic, fml, delirium. So I came home and made brownies to take into the office tomorrow. (y’know cause that’s what I do.)

Anyway, that has nothing to do with birds, or flying, or anything even remotely related to birds. I’ll eventually get to that.

This week has been crazy busy, crazy stressful, and crazy crazy. Why? Because we’re at MID semester, can you believe I’m half way through one semester of grad school? That’s 1/8 of my graduate schooling for a Masters degree. And I haven’t broken anything, set anything on fire, OR failed any classes. Not too shabby!

Just today I was working on a research project about women’s bodies in dance, and so I was reading about the political female body. I learned that in the early ninties there was a “contraceptive implant” introduced to the market, and it was used as a sentencing tool to women found guilty of child abuse cases. So…um, a type of forced sterilization. Cool, America. Cool.

Anyway, so amidst this panicky state of crazy I’m still trying to have fun and explore this ridiculous city. Another grad suggested we go to “Birds,” which is apparently an oyster bar that has karaoke. Now, that’s right up my alley! But thinking about the name Birds makes me think of this song about birds shitting on your head and that just makes me laugh.

So imagine this. Me. Sitting in my grad cubicle laughing, alone. Cubicle-mate here definitely must think I’m nuts, cause he often walks in to the cubicle with me sitting on the desk/laughing hysterically/generally being weird. Anyway, back to birds. I was thinking about this song, and I listened to it a couple of times since I hadn’t heard it in a while, and it’s actually really weird. The guy arrives in town and the girl meets him at the train station and they get on the bus and he wants to express his feelings for her. This is what he says:

Birds can fly so high
and they can shit on your head,
yeah they can almost fly into your eye
and make you feel so scared,
but when you look at them,
and you see that they’re beautiful:
that’s how I feel about you.

Um, I’m beautiful at a distance but I could potentially shit on you. I’m going to go ahead and take that as a metaphorical thing, because then it can be  true. I know lots of people who have metaphorically shit on me and other people, and at a distance they seem great, and then that’s just not how the cookie crumbles.

crumbling cookie, get it? get it?

Needless to say, if I can get everything that needs to be done, done, I will definitely be up there singing tomorrow.

Maybe Birds.

Or, let’s be real, Celine, if they have it.

love, B

PS. I hope the grad school chat isn’t boring — I’m excited about everything going on here, so I want to sing about it!

Here’s a (albeit creepy) picture to make it all better.

HAPPY MONTH BEFORE THE ELECTION

(This is for my bebe who’s birthday is today,
you know who you are lady)

I’ve forgotten how to spell. (and other adventures)

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I’ve forgotten how to spell because my computer/cell phone/mini me robot does it for me. I actually spent a solid three minutes contemplating the spelling of the world “aerial” while working on a presentation today.

It makes people really uncomfortable when they joke about me selling them my first born and I respond me, “I’m never having kids.” Awkward, B, awkward. When your boss asks you to sign a confidentiality waiver and jokes that it’s about selling your first born, don’t ever respond “I’m not having kids.” again. Thanks.

When I order textbooks on Amazon, I usually throw in an inexpensive book from my wish list so that there’s actual joy in my heart when I open that box from Amazon…instead of the sheer terror I feel. (This is the same terror that comes with being handed a semesters syllabus.)

There are a total of 3 human beings who have so far told me that they think my next tat idea is cool. (I haven’t told many people) Other responses have been, “I don’t get it.” and “Why?” followed by “No offense.” A classmate (in grad school, are we colleagues?) spent the better part of ten minutes before class convincing me to get a tat with him this weekend. I’ll keep you posted.

My bed is unmade and this blog entry is no where near complete. I definitely can’t start my homework yet.

While I was sitting at a traffic light with my windows rolled down today, I noticed that I was not sweating profoundly. Fall is coming.

I think that if you haven’t heard the Of Monsters and Men album, you should definitely listen to it. This is a personal opinion, because I’ve been listening to them non-stop and I’m really enjoying it. “Dirty Paws” is especially enjoyable.

I walked into the lab in the dance building today because the Macs have giant screens and it’s easier to open all the things if I use a huge monitor, and I was humming to myself. I didn’t realize that there was another person in there. She finally said hello after about two minutes of my humming.

According to this article, you should (not) date a writer. hmm. I don’t know what he’s getting at, but it’s probably true.

If I were an iPod cord, where would I be?

love, B