September 10th, 2009

under the bridge

au naturel

J and i went to the beach Monday - it's only 15 minutes from our house - and had a really nice walk, took some photos, ate gelato. It was Labor Day and there were lots of people sunbathing, enjoying the last days of summer. The lake is so big it plays tricks with your mind - you can't see the other side and the wind whips up a sizable swell. They even have lifeguards! It's a bizarre sensation, being on a beach like that and not tasting the ocean on your lips.

The older i get, the more i like visiting beaches. When i was a teenager i just saw them as another venue for raves, and when i went sober i found them boring because there isn't really anything to do besides surf. I could never relax because i couldn't let go of the emotional association with a miserable period in my childhood. I only really started to break that in the last four years - now i find a rocky point or some soft sand and sit and watch the water and the gulls and feel the sun and wind on my skin. It's a place to be at peace with my thoughts.

I always liked the mountains, rivers, lakes and plains... the desert too. Oceans and forests are my big fears in nature. I still feel awkward in forests or even heavily tree-lined streets and parks. I don't know where that anxiety comes from. I feel like i could be ambushed, i like to be able to see around me. Which is kinda irrational because tenements offer much less visibility and i have no problem in heavy urban environments, but whoever said anxiety was rational?

After M and i broke up but before she moved out we drove up to the local ski field to see the snow - i think it might have been her first time? On the way back we were in the middle of nowhere and the stars were shining clear and bright above the road. She asked me to pull over and jumped out of the car to admire them. It was dead quiet and i started having a panic attack, feeling like some redneck axe murderer was going to spring from the shadows. I told her i had to get the fuck out of there and floored it back to the city. That was the last time i was out amongst the trees.

It's funny when you live so long in the city you forget these little fears. Sitting on the beach Monday, even though it was really just a lake and not the ocean, all those memories came back. How many times did i treat my mom, my partner, my friends like crap because i didn't feel comfortable by the sea? I wonder what will happen next time i visit a forest - assuming i can even get there in the first place without having an anxiety attack from having someone else drive me on the freeway. Wow my brain is full of awesome neuroses.

In other news, i went boxing again tonight and i'm sold. It's my new thing. Dumbeks are also my new thing, since my first official lesson is tomorrow. Fortunately i only need to use my fingers, because the rest of my body will undoubtedly be in great pain. And i do mean "great". I love that i am using my body again.
under the bridge

well today sucked

Zoiks! I woke up nice and early this morning so i could get a lot done. I didn't have any muscle pain. I read the political blogs (Obama reax), went through a solid stretch routine, had breakfast, swept the floors... and then proceeded to do nothing all day. I was going to do the laundry, finish my work permit application, practice some dumbek, make a decent meal, maybe even meditate. Yup, you guessed it - didn't happen, none of it. Like pushing the Swiffer around sucked up all i had.

One thing i did manage to do is put on make-up for the first time in ages. My hair has been such a disaster lately i've let everything else slip too. Yesterday i couldn't take it any more and got a cut and color, hell with the cost. I had beautiful hair for about half an hour before getting it all sweaty boxing. But today, today i was going to my first dumbek class, and i was going to look fabulous, damnit. So i got myself pretty, though it appears i've lost my mascara mojo - guess that's what happens when you get lazy for a few months. Still, looking nice made me feel a bit less crap about the wasted day.

I stepped into class #1 - the "foundation" class - and said some hellos. Most of the people in the class had barely held a drum before so i was feeling pretty confident. Then our teacher kicked off and pointed out pretty much every single thing i do to make a noise out of the drum isn't considered good technique. That was massively humbling, because playing it correctly i ended up struggling to make any sound at all. He said starting off with the right technique means i can take it further later on, but it's so ridiculously frustrating going from being able to play some nice beats to not being able to play a damn thing. Also it hurt my wrists, a lot.

Needless to say, i didn't go to class #2 (the "beginner" class). I was really looking forward to two hours of classes so that didn't help my mood for the day. I was terribly hungry too, because of the whole didn't-cook-before-class thing... Once home i made a fantastically nutritious meal of hotdogs, cheese, Doritos and fruit. J went straight to bed after dinner because she's given notice at her current job and is starting a new one at the same time - double shifts are killing her. So i am sitting here alone trying to type with a sore wrist and sad face. I hate it when days don't... go. I guess sometimes i get so used to everything just working out, getting everything done that i wanted to do, when i hit these days when nothing goes right it's so deflating.

But what can you do? Just keep on keeping on. Listen to some cheesy tunes and dance around in my head. Tomorrow is the day i blocked off in my calendar for photography, so that's something to look forward to. I want to capture the mosque, the 7/11, the barbershops and dollar stores and shawarma places. Our neighborhood is nifty.
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