Life is Mean but then It’s Sorta Nice: Scholarly Thoughts with Laina

Wassup wassup wassup this Love it or Leave it is back after… an entire year of not focusing on a single written thought for more than 30 seconds.  My attention span is like a new born puppy who loves sparkles and hates authority.  Nonetheless, here are my Thoughts on Unicorns.

Continue reading “Life is Mean but then It’s Sorta Nice: Scholarly Thoughts with Laina”

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Reintegrating to Normal: THE THINGS NO ONE TELLS YOU

They said to go out and explore the world, they said it will be great.  What they didn’t tell you is how hard you will be slapped in the face by reality upon return.  Thanks for the disclosure, “they”.

As great and beautiful and life changing as blindly packing up and moving to another country was, the reintegration back to “normalcy” is almost as difficult as leaving.  I’ve been out of the country before on a “study” abroad trip before, but it was different then.  When I returned from the Czech Republic, I had a job and the return to school to keep me on track and prevent any major spiral.  While I did still manage to spiral pretty hard, it was different. (One of my great abilities is to spiral when it’s considered impossible to spiral. Im so proud.) I had a plan. I had direction and a general idea of where my life would be in the near future.  This time, all plans and inhibitions flung themselves to the wind and I am now returning from a 2 month out-of-control-no-end-in-sight bout of spiraling reintegration.

While my days have been filled with yoga, family, good food, Noonie, great friends, highly questionable decisions, and entirely too much wine, the rebirth back into this American life is no easy feat.  Life here hasn’t changed.  Life still moves at a rapid pace.  People are still obsessed with superficiality.  No one cares that you are having the hardest internal battle each and everyday of this proposed normality.

While I accept hardship as a chellenge, I can’t help but feel like I’ve had more quarter-life crises than the average twenty-something.  It feels like I have one every single year, in fact.  Which is weird.  I can’t help but wonder if I am being thrown curveballs and difficult situations that uproot my life because I am doing it wrong? But then I remember that you can’t do it wrong.  Ever.  All things happen as they should and we treat situations in such a manner that either teaches us a good leasson and we get it and move on, OR life is like ” LOL.  Try again”.  And we do.  Because there is no other option besides moving forward.

Things no one tells you about reintegrating:

—>  IT IS FCKING HARD. It’s not easy and it’s not not hard.  It’s pretty damn challenging to come back to the life you left many months or years ago.  It’s depressing.  To see that actually nothing has changed and that everyone is still maintaining the same routine is harder than you’d think.  Coming back to a culture based on appearance and social standing after being in a free-flowing environment is a challenge in itself.  You suddenly become hyper-aware of how you look and and how poor you actually are, even if these things have not been in your mind for months.  It’s hard to accept that you are in fact back in “reality” and your days of endless travel have ended.  It’s hard to embrace the herds of white people and vanilla culture.  It’s hard not to hate it.  But you can’t hate it, because it’s your home and it’s part of you.  And as much as you travel and explore, you will eventually return.

backtoreality

—> You can’t do whatever you want when you want.  Wait, what?  What do you mean I can’t go on day long adventures to a far away beach and drink wine at noon?  What do you mean it’s not acceptable to work for 3 hours and then spend the rest of the week dancing in the streets to homeless musicians?  I don’t get it.  No, I do get it.  But only now, 2 months back into “reality” and out of the “dream”  I just experienced. The most magical thing about an adventure is that you are on your own time and you have little to no responsibility.  You don’t have to be anywhere at a certain time.  You don’t have to search for true employment.  You don’t have to be anyone.  You can simply exist and float in and out of events and situations with ease.  That ends instantly when you re-enter your “home”.  You have to be gainfully employed or else you are cast away and burned at the stake for being a gypsy.  You have to uphold plans with friends and relatives.  You have to exercise and eat right and not drink wine at 11 am.  You allegedly can’t lollygag your life away.  For the past 2 months, I’ve been riding on the notion that I can still live my adventure life in Colorado without consequence.  Yeeeeah that cute little dream has come to and end.  Sometimes you have to buckle down and be a server/slave and be places on time and not piss off entire weeks of your life.  It’s rough.

–> Heartbreak from afar with TEAR YOU APART.  Well, I guess my first piece of advice is to NEVER fall in love with a latin man.  Too much?  Ok fine.  But if you’re going to do it, do it with caution.  They will destroy every last fiber of hope in mankind.  They will rip your little heart to smithereens and then shake their rhythmic hips over the pieces with their cool hair and sexual accents.  They will carry on their normal life like nothing happned, while you cry and cry and cry and binge drink wine and consider online dating and set out to DESTROY all male souls you can get your hands on.  You will seek revenge by luring in others and then crushing them to emotional death because you’re convinced an eye for an eye will take away the pain.  It doesn’t.  It won’t.  So don’t.

Heartbreak and reintegration is a deadly combination.  You literally feel like you have nothing left to hold onto.  There is only a faint whisper of the adventure and love that once was.  The rest has turned into a harsh slap in the face by reality.  You feel like you don’t belong anywhere and that you are a citizen of the prison that is your mind.  It hurts.  More than anything I’ve experienced in my life thus far.  Which I guess makes me pretty lucky, but still.  It sucks.  You feel like you don’t know up from down and that the whole world is spinning so fast and you are standing still in the middle of the madness.  Without direction and without love.  I am still not over this latin heartbreak, and I won’t be for awhile.  But I am starting to realize that life will go on and love will show it’s complicated face again.  One day.  When you’re not a boiling hot mess of mental instability and day-long spurts of sobbing.  Things will get better.

heartbreak

—>  Everything feels different and the same. At the same time.  The whole world has not changed just because you have.  It feels like you just woke up from the craziest, wonderful yet horrifying dream.  You walk around wondering if people notice that you are different.  You walk around differently.  A different mindset.  A different gauge on normalcy.  A different perspective on how you want your life to look.  This shift is beautiful and prized, but when paired with the return to the routine you held before you left, shit gets real.  You become uncertain if you should retreat back to what you did before you left, or take steps to pursue the change.  It’s like being a caged animal for years and then escaping.  And then getting caught and returned back to the cage.  I guess the key in this situation is to find the balance between what once was and what will be.  It’s not an easy feat, kids.

samesame

—>  You will have to summarize months and months of adventure stories into “It was great”.  People will ask.  They will seem generally curious on how your adventure went.  But beware, if you expand your answer to more than a few short sentences, you will be met with ceiling glances and phone checks.  While some good friends will be genuinely interested, most people don’t give a fck.  Which is fine.  You didn’t explore the world to sound more cultured in conversation.  You did it for your own personal growth.  But just know, the first time you summarize a magical and life-changing experience into “Yeah, it was wonderful”, it will hurt.  It will hurt because you went through so much and did so many things that seem like they can’t physically boil down to one sentence.  But they can.  And they will.

—>  Binging on booze and other substances does not help.  Surprising, I know.  I thought it was a proven coping method, but allegedly it makes everything worse.  Waking up with a hangover practically every day for numerous weeks is not as fun as it sounds.  While it drowns out the whispers of “what the fuck are you doing with your life?!” and the yells of a heartbreak, the sweet numbness can only last so long.  you can only forget so much, until it all rushes back with vengeance.  Doing yoga, meditating, journaling, applying yourself to something with meaning, and things of the like have proven to be better in coping.  I’ve just now started to realize the great things that come with introspection after such an event.  While it’s idealist to say that I won’t continue to hit the south broadway bars with 1-7 vodka drinks and hops of destroying male souls, I’ve promised myself to cut down significantly.  I’m really growing up in the world, eh?

binge

—>  You will want to speak ________ (insert foreign language of choice) with anyone and everyone.  It’s like tourettes and you won’t be able to stop. You will seem mildly racist while asking non-white (an also white) humans if they want to engage you in conversation in broken and drunken spanish.  You won’t rest until you mumble a few foreign words to an unsuspecting victim.  And while my spanish skills are SEVERELY declining due to lack of practice, I feel a small victory each time I speak it.  My, my, my how cultured I am now.  Look at me go!  I can communicate with all of the kitchen staff at my work!  I can read the smaller instructions so generously displayed for the minority! I am really breaking boundaries here.  In all honesty, I’ve found my hidden love for learning and using language and have promised myself to never stop.  So, yea, I might seem racist by asking any and all hispanic-looking people to humor my spanish skills.  But I can’t stop, won’t stop.

—>  You will try to make irrational plans to escape your home/life.  Was I one click away from buying a ticket back to Peru?  Yes.  Was I searching for legitimate jobs in Chile?  Absolutely. Was I wondering how long I could survive in Antarctica with $50?  For a minute, yes.  Planning another escape into the unknown is somehow more comfortable than remaining in the comfort zone.  It’s sick, but it’s true.  I’ve boiled this down to my strong desire to runaway and never remain stagnant.  My happy place is when I am stuck in a foreign place without any idea of direction.  When I know exactly what my day will look like, where to go, and what to do, I freak out a little.  I can’t handle the mundane for a long period of time.  It hurt my little gypsy soul. Thus, this is something that I will continue to deal with and struggle against.  Because apparently no one can run away from grown-up decisions forever.  Except for like Forest Gump and real-life gypsies.  hashtag-jealous.

escape

—>  You are not heady than thou because you have seen a little bit of the world.  There is not a direct correlation with traveling and intelligence/spiritual growth/good human-ness.  While it’s a bit easier to grow and learn and experience new things while in another land, you are not in fact better than those that have not left their homeland.  You’re not.  So stop.  You can’t simply float on the notion that you automatically gained street credit and karma points because you lived out of a backpack for months.  Like, cool story bro, but get over it.  I’ve learned that being pretentious about your travels gets you nothing more than an asshole title and a boost to your detrimental ego.

NOT YOU.
NOT YOU.

MORAL OF THIS STORY:  I have no idea.  The pleasures and thrill of traveling are unmatched, even by the immense pain and mental instability of return.  No amount of tears and feelings of being lost can surpass the experiences you have while seeing the world.  Just because life is a little more challenging when you reintegrate back to your homeland doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t travel.  It’s like never falling in love because you don’t want the pain of a heartbreak.  We grow and flourish with each experience, whether it’s really shitty or really wonderful.  It’s the unavoidable ebb and flow of life.

My advice:  Travel.  Travel often.  Travel your little face off until you can’t travel anymore.  See it all.  Experience it all.  Surround yourself with good people and things. But be aware that coming home is not a frolic in a field of sound-of-music-esque wildflowers. It will test your very being and will to survive mentally, but it can never compare to the beauty of the outside world.  Fall in love, meet some weirdos, get into sketchy situations and then come home and find yourself again.  You will survive and be a more complete human.

Namaste bebes.

The Weird Adventure that is My Life

People who claim they will maintain a constant blog flow during a worldly adventure is probably a liar.  Life happens at a more rapid pace than a blog can publish (read: I blew off writing for +/- 5 months. You would too if you were me. Probably.) Whatever.  Here I am months and many life activities later….

sky

SURPRISE:  I’m returning to the good ol’ US of A in 7 short days. And NOT because I really want to, but out of necessity.  I am horrifyingly broke and simply cannot sustain myself on the embarrassingly low wages of an illegal immigrant in Chile.  While I do miss my family and noonie and friends and Kombucha, I am no exactly ready to end this chapter.  White girl problems aside, I will re-integrate back into American culture, whether I like it or not.

I am currently living in downtown Santiago with a Chilean boy (….), floating on the last delicious tastes of this journey before I make my return.  I am so happily content at this point, but I know the lifestyle filled with vices and lacking responsibility is not sustainable for any period of time.

I’ve experienced the entire spectrum of events since leaving Colorado in November, and there is no possible way to summarize this journey into words.  But since I take terrible pictures and do not collect post cards, these hast generalizations will have to suffice for now….. Enjoy my weird adventures I call my life.

I’ve sold art on the streets of Valparaiso for less money than slaves made in the late 1800’s.  I’ve been a journalist (for the first time ever. In another language).  I’ve worked on a farm in a secluded valley of Peru.  I’ve been a journalist in the presence of the Chilean president with questionable morals on many occasions, and found a new despise for politics in the world.  I’ve been in the middle of wild student protests.  I’ve been tear-gased and close to incarceration in the streets.  I’ve started street-wide Christmas caroling among Chileans on New Years Eve.

streets

I became friends with a worldwide street artists, homeless prophets, and street dogs.  I walked my poor mother through the sketchy streets of the city at night with all of her bags (sorry mom).  I’ve drunk more wine than I thought was physically possible.  I’ve gone 7 months without a yoga class.  I’ve attempted to teach yoga in Spanish, then retreated back to english.  I’ve been a drug spirit guide (questionably).  I’ve camped out naked on a private beach for an undisclosed amount of time.  I’ve dabbled in a magical cactuses and chemicals and natural highs and art projects.  I’ve had life revelations.  I’ve had a come to Jesus, but not to Jesus.

work

I’ve learned Spanish.  Then forgot it.  Then learned it again.  I’ve discussed politics and profound ideas in another language with elders and friends alike (and most likely did not make a single deep statement, but simply stayed afloat in the conversation). I know now how grateful people are when you at least try to speak their language and integrate into the culture.  I’ve learned the value in learning the street slang (street slang = street cred.  Always.  No matter your level of speaking). I’ve trekked along the most southern part of the world, surviving on trail mix and high-fives.  I’ve spent multiple days in bed because I wanted/could.

pata

I spent my first Thanksgiving, Christmas, Birthday, Easters, and Mothers Day without my family and away from my home.  I’ve learned that these specific days, while exceedingly hallmark-y and overdone, are important and almost vital to spend with those you love.  I’ve also learned that you can create a family wherever you are and that family is not exclusive to your blood line, and that sometimes you have to visit Starbucks for a little taste of over-roasted coffee-flavored home.

I’ve experienced how hard it is to travel while being a vegetarian and gluten-free.  I’ve also experienced how difficult it is to both explain this situation and gain empathy in a different language (impossible? Mainly this —-> Veg lyfe but in Spanish).

I’ve learned there are assholes everywhere in the world, and there are always a select few that cast a negative perception of a country and a culture.  I learned that no matter how much a person dislikes your culture, you can prove them wrong with kindness and decent dance moves (?).  I’ve experienced the embarrassment of being a Gringa in a country that generally does not like North Americans, and I’ve also learned how to not give a fck.

color

I’ve slipped off the face of the earth, forgotten what my home and old surroundings look like.  I’ve been so out of the loop on world events that my mother has to call me and tell me things three days after they happen.  I’ve pretended my way through interviews with important people in Chile, and succeeded.

UN

I made a comeback to my dubstep years, and am not complaining.  I’ve taken 40 hour bus rides to be with another human.  I’ve met the most amazing friends I could possibly ask for, all by chance.  I’ve come across humans who think their karma is forever in good graces because they are traveling.  I’ve met people with the biggest hearts, and people with no human qualities in their human bodies.

I’ve been so content with my life in South America that I started to make permanent plans. I’ve been so homesick that I almost bought a ticket home for the following day.  I went from despising Chilean culture and everything it stands for to loving it and wanting to be a part of it.  I went from hating Chilean and Latin men to (potentially) falling in love with one and changing all of my plans to be with him. I’ve come to realize that generalizations are both semi-true and definitely dangerous.  Everyone in every culture deserves a chance to start with a clean slate instead of being judged from their cultural background.

kickin

Life is like that, you know.  You can’t always have a plan, and you most certainly can’t predict what the future will hold.  You’ve got to just go with it.  Sometimes you have to make sacrifices to be more free and open to new things.

Is my quarter life crisis over?  Definitely not.  Actually, I hope not.  Crisis is just another word for adventure.  I am still intrigued by figuring my sh*t out.  One day at a time.  Are things more clear now?  Absolutely.  I know how to deal with the most bizarre and confusing situations with a calm head.  I know how to make myself feel happy and at home thousands of miles away from my “home”.  I know I can make friends (good friends) and find moderate employment anywhere in the world with a little work and good energy.  I know I can return home with a wildly different perspective on life and a newfound appreciation for my home.  Will I stay home for long?  Probably not.  But that’s the great thing about making your life a choose-your-own-adventure.  Nothing is certain.  Everything is weird, and lively, and beautiful, and unknown.

quote

Chauuuuu && Namaste bebes.

How to Leave.

Leaving is easier than it sounds. We all love to fantasize about getting out of our current situation and starting anew somewhere completely different.  But in reality, the action of actually leaving is complicated and hard and most often ends in just staying in the status quo.  I’ve made more plans to flee than I care to count.  I essentially come up with a new life plan on the daily, and those who are close to me have learned to take my exodus ideas with a grain of salt (or however that saying goes….)

Well. I AM LEAVING THIS TIME.  In 20 days from this moment, I will be on a plane en route to Valparaiso, Chile, where I will commence life for at least a year.  It’s real and it’s happening.  This is both horrifying and thrilling in equal parts.  I am going without a job prospect, little knowledge of the language, and really no plan at all.  Reckless? perhaps. Ballsy? absolutely.  This is happening (in real life), and there is no turning back now.  Thus, this post will serve as a guide to anyone a

nd everyone who wants to make a clean break from the mundane (relationship, job, location, sexual identity (?), etc.) and drift into an adventure of the unknown.

How to leave:

1.  Don’t run away

Here is the issue:  my life is absolutely GREAT right now.  I basically practice and teach yoga all day long, and make questionable decisions by night.  I have great friends and family, and no stalker ex-boyfriend (that I know of…).  Why would I want to leave now?  I thought about waiting until some sort of sh*t hit the fan, just to make myself feel better about fleeing.  This idea was slapped down quicker than soda in a Mormon church.  While discussing this matter with my heady friend Claire, she told me, “if you leave when things are bad, you’re only running away. LOLZZZ!!!” She didn’t actually lolzzz after stating this very true statement, BUT you get the point.  If you leave with a bad taste in your metaphorical mouth, you will never truly feel at peace with your decision.  You will always be emotionally tied to your past life and won’t be able to integrate into your new one. So, if your life is seemingly terrible and you want to run away, DON’T.  Stay.  Fix things.  Mend relationships. Tie up those loose little ends.  And if you still want to flee after things are smoothed over and going well, then absolutely go for it.  Stop running and start facing your sh*t.  And then get outta dodge. lolzzz.

2.  Make a plan as far as possible, and allow the rest to fall into place

Planning is great, until it’s not.  It’s great to have an idea of where you will stay and what you will do once you get there.  But when your pursuing the unknown, plans can often complicate and weigh you down rather than help.  I am the planner-ist of all planners.  Like, I get pretty aroused when I have a solid plan for my day or week.  It’s a little sick actually.  I tried to make a plan for this upcoming adventure by applying for jobs online, etc.  It failed miserably. I cried for a sec and then discovered this situation does not need rhyme or reason.  I have a place to live for a bit (thanks Yenn!), until she kicks me out for my wine habit.  I know that I want to teach yoga.  And that’s it.  That is all I can plan remotely.  You have to trust that everything else will fall into place.  Having a blank page and open mind will most likely turn out better than an organized idea.  You will have more freedom to go with the flow and spontaneously agree to anything and everything.  So satisfy your type-A tendencies to sleep better at night, but leave the rest open ended.

3.  Embrace any and all emotions.

I’ve essentially felt like a schizophrenic psycho for the past month and a half.  One minute I am so fcking excited to go I could scream it to the world.  The next 60 seconds I am crying in the fetal position and attempting to call Delta airlines and plead my case to never leave.  You probably will not be emotionally or mentally stable for a good while before and after you leave.  It is quite alright.  Allow yourself to feel anything and everything that comes up.  You are completely allowed to be a psycho during this time.  And anytime really, as long as you don’t murder anyone or start listening to Ke$ha unironically.

4. Bring a piece of home with you.

It would be impossible to assume you will not miss home.  YOU WILL. You will miss your creature comforts.  You’ll miss your friends and family and dog.  You will maybe miss it all.  But instead of wishing you were back home, bring a little piece of home with you.  Appropriate items include:  pictures, blankies, snuggies, scarves to gully with, favorite snacks, hobbies that you love/travel well, journal, etc.  Inappropriate items include:  your dog, your mother, that man/boy you just fell in lust with, a lit candle, explicit/implicit drugs, and anything that has to do with Lana Del Rey.  Bring something with you that will make you feel comfortable and less homesick.

5. Sell most/all of your belongings of your current life.

We all have too much.  Entirely too much.  We justify buying all things because we live in America, and we can. Fck yea! No.  When you move to another part of the world, you will probably need around 3.67% of your sh*t (I’m no mathematician, but it’s serious). Thus, this is the perfect time to deal with your hoarding issue.  Sell of all your hip clothing and such to some hip vintage store, and donate the rest.  Take only what you need, and learn how to survive on less.It is a freeing feeling to have less items.  Things clutter our lives and keep us in the past.  Like, look at your closet right meow.  I bet you still have items from when you were in high school.  Eh?  You are definitely NOT the same person, and your belongings are basically stumping your growth. Get rid of some stuff and open yourself up to the new you.  Own less, take less, and live on less. It will be bizarre and weird, but you will get used to it.  And if you don’t, maybe your dadddeeeh will buy you a new iphoneeee!

6.  Stick with your decision.

There is nothing worse than torturing yourself with the wishy-washy bullsh*t of decisions.  If your heart is telling you to go, the buy your ticket/put something in place so you can’t retreat.  Once it’s a sure fire plan, you can focus your energy on the actual act of leaving and inevitable adventure.  I am the queen of all things indecisive and I love to bail out of plans.  So the second I bought my outrageously expensive ticket, I felt so relieved that it was happening and I couldn’t back out.  Sometimes you just have to DO IT.  So, make the decision and go with it.  Everything will fall into place if it’s the right choice for you.  Stop questioning and start focusing on the journey.

7.  Enjoy all remaining moments in your soon to be past-life.

I’ve made a small by efficient bucket list for my remaining time in Colorado. Since I’ve lived here for 392032 years, I’ve been around the block (not THAT block, you freak, I mean the socially acceptable Colorado block).  Basically, get somewhat reckless and don’t turn down opportunities to be with those you love (or lust, or loathe).  Say yes to going out on the town on a Sunday night. Say yes to climbing mountains.  Say yes to going home with strangers… (kidding(?))  Say yes to taking your little brother to the park (mine is 21, so this would be a weird option for me.  Unless it was to drink booze from a paper bag or check out “babes”.  You know what I’m sayin’ though….) Do exactly what you want to do. Enjoy every single moment.  You will probably miss the littlest things when you are away, so create the stories and memories now before you leave. Soak up as much as you can and enjoy every single minute of it.

8.  Go with a purpose.

Don’t just go to go.  Or maybe do.  But, in my personal/highly professional opinion, travel is more fulfilling and beneficial when you have an intention.  While it’s super neat to sightsee and hot as many different worldly locations as possible, this type of traveling will become meaningless and bland regardless of the destination.  Think of something you want to achieve as you experience the world.  My plan/hope/dream is to teach yoga in every place I live.  I would love to experience the yoga scene everywhere in the world to take a little piece of that place with me always.  Find something that will teach you something and benefit others.  Volunteer at a farm, work in a hostel, help build something, do art, create things, teach English, work in a restaurant.  Be something and do something, but don’t put pressure on yourself.  Find a purpose and spread it around town/the world.

9. Remember that nothing is permanent.

Except for death and tattoos, everything is open to change.  We are ever evolving creatures and are empowered to change anything and everything.  Thus, if you are deciding to leave your life and start anew, remember it will not be forever (unless you want it to be…).  If you are not content, you can move.  If you want to stay, you can stay.  We tend to think in black and white when making decisions, but in reality there is a ton of grey area.  Stick with it for long enough to see the bigger picture, and if it’s not right for you then move on.  Drift from place to place until it feels right.  And always know that home is just a plane flight away.

10. ENJOY THE JOURNEY

You are about to embark on perhaps the most magical journey/flee of your young adult life.  You have to enjoy and embrace each moment, good or bad.  You will probably look back on this time when you are old and boring and responsible and wish you would’ve realized how great it is. The journey and process is much more important than the destination.  While the sight of getting to that other “place” motivates you to leave, it’s the journey that will hold the most life.  Acknowledge each step along the way like it is the destination.  Allow yourself to go with the flow.  I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason.  If you get violently thrown off your path, there is an underlying purpose and you probably aren’t supposed to go down that way.

If you are thinking of leaving, I hope this guide will serve you well in your journey.  If you are not leaving, I hope this motivates you to leave.  Or at least consider it.  Life is too short to not adventure.  Get reckless and do something spontaneous.  It could just be the best decision of yer life.  LOLZ.

P.S.  Listen to both of these motivational hit singles to start that metaphorical adventure fire under your mundane life:

—-> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggWyUEuGcWY (Please also keep in mind that she is only 13 in this video….)

—–> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3HemKGDavw (Classic for all things fleeing)

KLOVEYOUBAI

Namaste.

La Vie En Rose

I’ve recently become aware that Valentines Day is approaching us. Like calling “happy baby” pose “dead baby” in your yoga class , it’s inevitable. It’s going to happen. It did happen. We can’t run from it.  Nor can we pretend it’s not there. Because it is. And I did. So lets hit it head on and deal with these issues. K baibe?

Now, before you start to sob or wish death upon me/the world, lets work through this V-day struggle together.  Every other year I’ve labeled this day in February as “singles awareness day” and cursed all of the happy couples around me.  I would then proceed to get wine (hammered) drunk,eat my body weight in chocolate (from the bulk bins in Whole Foods, not the store bought kind. obv.), and watch The Notebook in a snuggie, cry, and wonder why I wasn’t in love. I’m kidding. Kinda….Ew.

We all know that Valentines Day is a Hallmark holiday that serves no purpose but to a) reconfirm that your love is only shown through materiel things for your significant other, b) confirm your single status, c) drain your bank account, d) provide a reason to get wine wasted and watch romantic comedies, or e) all of the above?  It’s quite a joke to be quite honest.  But this year I’ve decided to look at February 14th as a day of love with the entire world.  Almost like a little day of gratitude that you can tell every one and everything how much you love it/them, without a retraining order, etc.  We have such a complex against uttering “I love you” because it makes us vulnerable and super cheesy. But in reality, we don’t say it enough.  And who knows, it could be the last words you utter to a person.  Every one that has had someone die in their life regrets not being able to tell them how much they love them.

So this year, make it a day of love with the world.  If you’re in a relationship, don’t just buy each other stupid gifts and bang all night.  Like, do something meaningful. OR don’t do anything and just pretend it’s another day.  If you’re single: DO NOT THROW YOURSELF A PITY PARTY.  Don’t you dare. Pity parties are so 90’s.  Stop it. You’re not the only single person in the world.  Far from it actually.  There are 2320644660 single people on earth.  whaaaaaat?! Rage.  Look how many fish are in that sea!  So many.

Singleton is really not the worst place to be in your life right now.  In fact, it’s probably the best time to be single.  We are young, adventurous, and do not need to be tied down unnecessarily right now.  This is a time to figure your sh*t out so that you can love someone fully without the emotional baggage.  Being the crazy girl or boy in the relationship is so 2006.  This is a time to soul search and world search.  It’s a time to do all of the things you want to do without holding back.  It’s a time to get craay craaay and not care who knows it.

It’s also a known fact that you will meet your soul’s counterpart doing what you love to do.  You like to collect toasters? Do it.  That like minded toaster-collecting stud of your dreams will be there.  Do you enjoy going to petting zoo’s dressed as a panda?  Go there!  You’ll find the panda-loving person of your dreams.  Hold the phone though… This idea only works with innocent and non-creepy passions. If you are a serial killer, please don’t continue to do it until you find a lover with the same mind.  If you enjoy pedophile-ing on small children via selling drugs and offering candy, well, first of all stop it, and second don’t think that finding another person with similar pedophilic taste is going to satisfy you.  Quite simply, if you are looking for love, stop it. Stop looking and it will appear out of nowhere.  And then many lovers will appear, and then you will have too much love and will have to choose. It’s a rough life.  Trust me.  More importantly, enjoy singleton while it lasts.  You have your whole life ahead of you to nest and make babies or whatever it is that birds and people do.

Obviously, there are those people in our lives that found their “soulmate” and are happily married.  While I was skeptical to accept pre-30 marriage, there is really no set time that is too young or too old to tie the knot.  If you find “them”, keep ’em. I guess… BUT that doesn’t mean get married to the first person you fall in love with. I think you need a few practice runs before you make that leap.  You have to know the lack and abundance of love before you can decide if it’s the real thing.  But this blog is obviously not about relationship advice. Clearly, I would be the least respected scholar in that area.  I am cynical because I am not in the love boat and don’t plan to be for quite some time.  Wait. I mean I love too many people to pick just one. Wait. What? I love you. Those that know me, know I am not a monogamous person by any stretch of the imagination.  I am aiming to change that. One day….. Definitely not today though. Or tomorrow.

At this point, I am more an observer to love.  On a daily basis I witness people loving each other (No. I’m not peering into people’s windows to witness this. pull your mind outta that gutter.) I mean I witness all types of love from disastrous unhealthy bonds to head-over-heels lust to pure undiluted love.  I feel that I can point out a good relationship from a bad one. And trust me, there are some bad ones.  People feel the need to stay in detrimental relationships because they’re afraid to be alone. Being alone is not the same as being single, might I add.  (Alone is like isolated in Antarctica with no one to talk to but a wolf mother.  Single is like being the panda bear that escaped the zoo and is now roaming the world, flinging poo and making pandemonium.  Huge difference, obv.)

I’ve played the role of a meditator and counselor to many friends, and have seen the ugly side of love.  I’ve also seen the beautiful side of it in my own experiences, and know that actual true love is out there.  Now, obviously I am only a spectator in this game, but it has taught me more about love than I could’ve witnessed being in a relationship. I’ve kind of lived vicariously through other relationships and gained the knowledge without the emotional attachment.  It’s fun. Until it’s not. My point is that live your single life to the fullest.  Stop being jealous of other’s relationships (or lack there of).  The grass is always greener, so accept it and move on.

And before you throw yourself a single party in your room by yourself, stop it. Just stop it.  Go out and do something for yourself.  Don’t hate on the day.  If anything, hate on what our society has created the day to be. Don’t send death thoughts to the couples you will inevitably notice all day. It’s not nice, nor productive. Be in love with whatever’s around you and put on your positive panties. Fall in love with yourself and move on.

Oh, and when you get bored of being super positive, here is an list of alternative things to do (besides hating the world and watching The Notebook 789 times) on February 14th:

–  Buy a monkey and perch it on your shoulder

–  Go to a petting zoo dressed as a Panda (Consider this one done….)

–  Lose your virginity

–  Fly a kite with a dwarf (Thanks for this magical idea, Kersten)

–  Drink copious amounts of wine in public (while STILL being socially accepted)

–  Eat chocolate until your die of an overdose. Kidding.  Don’t die.

–  Flee the country to a faraway place where they don’t celebrate the holiday

– Plant a tiny sandwich in the middle of a side walk, then host a social experiment to witness people’s reaction (Spoiler alert:  they will think it came from a dwarf or tiny child)

–  Get childish Valentines cards like we got when we were adolescents, and give them to your friends (but instead of candy, attach pictures of cats or random babies

–  Volunteer. somewhere. anywhere.

–  Go salsa dancing with an international student

–  Walk around town in a poncho playing the ukelele

–  Plant a tree

–  Spread marijuana seeds around the town.

–  Make a baby. J/k. Don’t do that.

–  Hand out free hugs on the street (careful, only to people without shanks/knives and that are clean-ish)

–  Start a revolution

–  Listen to all of the sad songs you know, throw up, then listen to really happy songs

–  Hang out with a child (Not if you have a past of pedophiling though. Stay away from children in that case.)

– Hang out with an elderly person and learn life lessons

–  Buy a harmonium and then play it (BTW, I am starting a fund to buy a harmonium.  You are more than welcome to contribute. K thanksss)

I would obv. look like this, too.

–  Dress like a pirate and blast Skrillex outside of a church. Not near me though, please.

–  Hand out slutty homemade coupons to strangers and pretend you will follow through (but obviously don’t. I’m not advocating slutty behavior)

–  Citizen arrest someone that is committing hate crimes

–  Go out and RAGE

–  Crochet/knit your own snuggie for next year

–  Give away your worldly possessions and go on an adventure

–  Do yoga (errrrday)

–  Call your someone you haven’t talked to in a long time

–  Start a conversation with a stranger

– Delete your facebook

–  Become a better person

–  Make a painting

–  Get a tattoo

–  Buy a meal then give it to someone who needs it more

–  Bueno Vista

–  Muff cabbage your neighbor (No one knows what this means. Not even me. But if you find out, do it, and lemme know how it goes)

SEE?!?! Valentines Day can be sooooo fun!  But in seriousity (made that word up), it can be a wonderful day. This Tuesday, tell everyone in your life that you love them, and do something nice.  Be kind to the entire world.  Live through a love lens. It’s la vie en rose.  Life in pink. Life in love.  Not with a person, but the entire world.

I literally, figuartively, and physically love you.

Namaste.

Get Weird.

While making an argument that Gypsy’s should have political standing in my Political Theory class, a girl blatantly called me out. “You are so weird”, she says.  Normally I would giggle, taunt back at her for having a fake tan and wearing heels to campus, brush it off, and then secretly cry and proceed to stick needles in her Voodoo doll (I’m kidding. I don’t do that. Voodoo dolls are so 90’s).  But today was different.  I was literally PUMPED that she called me weird.  In fact, I gloated off to find someone else to call me weird.

It made me realize the importance of those bizarre qualities we posses.  Weird is good. Weird is colorful and interesting. Weird makes us stand out from others.  It is your authenticity, your quirkiness, your you-ness.
They make us who we are.  I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t have the strong urge to discuss Unicorns with strangers, tell bartenders it’s my 18th birthday, or wear neon leggings and a leotard to the library on a Wednesday.  If I didn’t have those “weird-istics”, I wouldn’t be who I am. I would be someone else. Ew.

This even also made me realize how “being weird” is frowned upon. The dictionary defines it as odd, unusual, strange, bizarre .  All pretty negative connotations.  It’s true though, anytime you use weird to describe a situation, it’s usually to portray the awkward negativity of that event (i.e. an evening at Red Rocks last Friday night, someone’s basement after the bars at 4 am, a first date encounter, etc.)

We try to fit into this category of normalcy to avoid confrontation, when we are inherently individual.  News flash: normal is boring. It seriously is soul-less and bland.   There is truly no right way.  It is made up and not-real.  Urban Dictionary says it best: “Normal- A word made up by this corrupt society so they could single out and attack those who are different.”  Ouch.  Point for the weirdos!  Thus, I motion to start a weird revolution. Change up the negativity. Embrace your inner-weird and show it to the world.  Everyone’s about to get reeeeall weiird up in here.

Now Im not saying go out and find a weird characteristic just because.  Let it be authentic and you.  Im also not supporting seriously creepy weirdnesses that are most definitely teetoring on the fence of offensiveness.  Examples:

1. Being a weird serial killer

2.  Mouth breathing

3.  Stalking (FB is ok, Im talking restraining order style)

4.  Hoarding weird animals

Don't be THAT guy.

These are no-go’s in my book.  When I say tap into your inner-weird, Im talking like break out that yarn and knitting kit in public, host your own social experiments because your interested, ask a random stranger their thoughts on anything, wear a halloween costume on a Tuesday, join a weird group.  Whatever habits you’ve been hiding, STOP HIDING THEM. Let them out.

Being weird is like being the first horse to morph a little horn out of your forehead.  All of the other horses laugh and mock your weird characteristic. But guess who’s the most majestical creature of all times now?!?! You, you ethreal Unicorn. You are the most majestical.


So here it is. True Life: Let your Freak Flag FLY!  Do a little soul searching, and find your weird niches.  And when you find them, feed into them like there is no tomorrow.  You will be shocked at how entertaining and colorful life becomes.


The light in me acknowleges in inner weird in you.

Namaste.

P.s. For your enjoyment: