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

real beauty.

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The last two weeks of the semester are happening, and being the person that I am, I’m running out of things to complete. This means that I should blog about things. But what things? School is school, and I don’t have much else to say about that. I’m socially active these days, but if you know anything about me, you know that that isn’t unusual…and instead of talking about the acts of hate we saw in Boston this week (mostly because I can’t think about it without getting teary), let’s instead look at something else that’s made me cry today.

 

 

My darling sisterbear posted this on The Facebook this morning and I was amazed. I was sitting in my office eating lunch and before I even knew it I was tearing up.

How many of us see ourselves in a distorted light, and can’t get past that to see what other people see? How many of us know people who we see as so light, and beautiful, and glowing, who can’t see that in themselves?

I think the most telling moment of the video is when you see the comparison of the woman saying “My mother told me I had a big jaw” and the people who were describing others saying things such as “Her eyes lit up when she spoke.”

What are we missing when we look in the mirror? What beauty can you not see in yourself, and will you start to look for that now?

We should spend more time appreciating the things that we do like. 

You are beautiful.

Love, B

half-way

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Here is a brief list of everything that has happened since I last posted:

I assisted an MFA concert at school
I visited Atlanta and went to the Botanical Gardens for the first time
I went to Tampa for the American College Dance Festival
I received my Intermediate Labanotation Exam (It’s due Thursday — Wish me luck!)
I made a mix of reception music for my sisterbear’s wedding
I received a research scholarship that is going to let me restage a piece from Labanotation next semester
I ate the best freaking piece of cheesecake I’ve ever had in my life
I watched You’ve Got Mail seven times.
I choreographed a new piece in four rehearsals

More things have happened, but I figured I’d hit the highlights. In 32 days I will be half-way through my Master’s programme and that is pretty much the scariest thought in my brain right now. I don’t feel like the master of anything!

Since I have nothing else to talk about I’ll share the last month of my life in pictures.

So proud of these ladies for an amazing MFA concert

So proud of these ladies for an amazing MFA concert

Putting my swag on to meet this awesome lady

Putting my swag on to meet this awesome lady

Love is the umbrella room at the Botanical Gardens

Love is the umbrella room at the Botanical Gardens

 

Noles at ACDFA!

Noles at ACDFA!

 

Love, b

 

Long time

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It’s been almost three weeks since I last posted and I literally feel like three years have happened in that time. I don’t know what I’m here to write but I wanted to write something because it’s been so long.

INsanity, isn't it?!

INsanity, isn’t it?!

I guess what’s on my mind on the eve of my birthday is how much stress is actually involved in my celebrating my birthday. That sounds nuts. I sound like a completely irrational wackadoodle. I know. But let me explain.

Giving is really easy for me. I mean, really easy. I’ll be bored and have glitter glue and spend a whole day crafting things for people for no reason. I’ll see a book in the store that someone I know might like and buy it. I don’t know why, but I like to give.

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Unfortunately, on my own birthday, this sort of made up holiday, I must be on the receiving end. (Speaking of made up holidays, I very distinctly remember my favourite Nicore, on my birthday last year, saying something to the effect of, “We get gifts for being born. We live in a very self-indulgent culture, don’t we?”) Being on the receiving end is very difficult for me. I get worried about whether my reaction to things is underwhelming or overwhelming or if I don’t react the right way I’m going to upset people.

Ash said to me today, “You’re intellectualizing getting gifts, ya weirdo. Stop it.” And she’s completely right. I know that I need to let it go, and stop feeling pressured to respond a certain way, but it’s hard. So here, on the eve of this birthday, I’m still stressed enough to make 3 batches of s’mores.

(this is my life. these are my choices.)

Luckily, this year I have a very special partner-in-crime, J-dizzle. Jeff and I share a birthday, and though his stress/fear is related solely to age and not at all to intellectualizing gift-giving, at least I have a partner with whom to share attentions.

 

Ash also gave me the great suggestion to react the way that Buddy the Elf reacts to Santa coming to the North Pole for every single time that someone wishes me a happy birthday or gives me anything.

Look at 0:30 for the reference.

And on that note, I’m going to watch Elf before I go to bed.

LOVE, B

 

Though if a birthday means Emily singing Happy Birthday Mister President to me, I'll take it <3

Though if a birthday means Emily singing Happy Birthday Mister President to me, I’ll take it ❤

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

rather than malice

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First, I want to apologize for how long it’s taken me to write something new. I went on vacation and then school went from zero to ninety in less than twelve seconds. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love it, I’ve just been extremely occupied with class, rehearsals, and work!

Apologies aside, I’ve been thinking a lot about forgiveness and what it really means to forgive someone. I have to decide if I’m ready to do that. I’ve been wondering a lot about the nature of forgiveness and what it takes in the forgiver to actually do it. Why do we hold on? What are the benefits of holding on (because all I see are the disadvantages)?

“Forgiveness requires a sense that bad behaviour is a sign of suffering rather than malice.” — Alain de Botton

In addition to a sense that poor behaviour is a means of expressing suffering, I think it also takes a realization that forgiveness have more to do with the forgiver than the forgive, or the recipient of the forgiveness.

Bad behaviour isn’t a sign of malice. Bad behaviour isn’t a sign of malice. Is there anyone you’ve been waiting to forgive? What do you think it’ll take?

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Love, B

glamorized, stigmatized

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On Friday, December 14th the citizens of Newtown, Connecticut faced a tragedy and many have been left to face grief that I would never wish upon another person. Since Friday, I have had a lot of thoughts about grief, mortality, guns and weapons, and the stigma in this country about obtaining the care needed for mental illness.

Before that, let me just say that my thoughts and prayers go out to those affected by this tragedy.

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This is absolutely a tragedy

Where can I begin? I have a therapist. Therapy doesn’t control my life, I don’t suffer from mental illness, and nothing fantastically traumatic has happened to me. I don’t begin every sentence I speak with “but my therapist said…,” and I am lucky enough to be in at a place in my life where I have access to these mental health services. Whenever I say this to people they get wide-eyed and look closely at me, “But what’s wrong?!” they ask, astonished.

Nothing is wrong. Nothing is wrong with me, or with anyone who seeks medical care for their mental illness. A person with cancer, or diabetes, or lupus wouldn’t be looked at that way for going to their doctor. So then, why, I must ask, do we stigmatize mental illness to the point that people that need medical attention are criminalized?

I am in no way pardoning what happened last Friday. I’m not. It was a terrible, monumental tragedy, and I hope that we can begin to move toward preventing this from happening.

Prevention comes from two things: 1) Moving away from the notion that mental healthcare is a privilage in this country and 2) regulating guns. I don’t know a lot about gun control because I don’t have a gun, I don’t want a gun, and for the love of all things good in this world can someone explain to me why any civilian in America needs a weapon that can fire 100 rounds of ammo at rapid speed?

I don’t know guns, but I do know the value in mental healthcare. And we must begin to stop glamorizing killing and violence and weapons and guns, and we must stop stigmatizing mental illness. We must. Or events like Newtown will continue to happen, and we will continue to be grief stricken by the loss of human life.

All of this hurts my heart, but the thing that causes me the greatest grief is seeing this posted on the internet.

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Who on earth would create something like this? Why? First of all, “pretends to cry”? Why would a father of two pretend to cry over the loss of children who never had the chance to grow up, get married, fall in love, buy a car, have a family, see the world, experience life? It was apparent to me that whoever made this isn’t a parent, because no parent could lash out in anger when their children were safe after last Friday?

Yes, there are wars happening in the world, there are terrible things happening in other places in the world. Yes, America has some influence on that. But to discredit that the president, who is, after all, a father, a husband, and a human being before he is the president, is truly moved and upset by the events in Newtown is just disappointing.

We, as a country, need to come together and grieve the loss of the human life, and open the discussion about gun control and mental illness, and we need to move toward changing things at home.

Pointing fingers, blaming, and being angry about international affairs isn’t a way to cope with this tragedy.

I sincerely hope that this begins a discussion about de-stigmatizing mental illness and mental healthcare and leads people to question the gun laws that are currently in place. If we don’t, this will continue to happen, and children and adults alike will continue to be killed in malicious acts of violence.

Tonight I will be lighting 27 candles for the lives of the children and adults who were lost to this tragedy

Tonight I will be lighting 27 candles for the lives of the children and adults who were lost to this tragedy

Hug your loved ones, and for those of you who are suffering from mental illness or know someone that is: please, please know that help is out there. Violence is not the answer.

Love, B