Yesterday was a pretty strange day.
I was up late on Thursday, so I felt like shit when I had to wake up early to get to a training day at our club in Lents.
Our training days are always terrible and useless, so I took the opportunity to get out my notebook and work on some of the exercises from Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. The exercise that I was working on was to think of the events and incidents in my childhood where I felt shame as a result of sharing my creativity. By coincidence, I was just listening to an episode of the podcast Sex, Death, and Money featuring filmmaker Desiree Akhavan. She talked about the humiliating experience of discovering that she had been voted ugliest girl at her school in a poll of her classmates, and using that experience as the material for her first one-woman show in college. She talked about how shaping this raw and depersonalizing experience into a narrative that she was in control of in her art was an empowering experience. I got a little taste of that yesterday, as I discovered that living inside those painful memories of childhood—kids in my second grade class avoiding me after performing on the piano one day, having an uncle take me aside and try and explain to me the difference between a “hobby” and a “career”—was not as painful to me as a child, and the way that my adult sense of outrage and mistreatment and anger retroactively protects and shows compassion to my child self.
The only thing that happened during the training that is worth capturing is an exchange that I had with A, one of our arts staff. I responded to a question by saying that, “I have a tendency, as a person, to be jaded.” And her response was basically, no shit. She said that she really enjoyed my sense of humor, my sarcasm and irony and cynicism. It kind of threw me for a loop, because that is a part of myself and my personality that I have a very love/hate relationship with right now. I like having a sense of humor. I like having my sense of humor. But I’ve also been working on tempering my reflexive sarcasm, because I’m starting to move towards working on things where I need to have people believe and trust in my sincerity, and that’s hard to ask of people when they think that you’re bullshitting all the time.
After the training sessions, we walked over to the New Copper Penny to present an award of recognition to property owner and supporter Saki Tzantarmas. I used to live in Lents, and the NCP always looked like a sketchy piece of shit from the outside. It turned out to be exactly that on the inside. Saki has been in the news recently, and it was super weird to be there and a little uncomfortable because I wasn’t quite sure that we were on the right side of how to bring back life to that neighborhood (the truth is that I don’t think Lents will ever come back as long as Foster and Woodstock bring so much traffic through the district). The awards ceremony turned into a surprise new year’s banquet, but the patronizing and weirdly aggressive tone that the leadership team had taken to communicate to us that we wouldn’t be taking a lunch break was so frustrating and offputting, that it took away a lot of the fun that could have been had.
After work, I crashed at home for a little bit. I was bone tired after that day.
I headed out to bars on Williams/Mississippi with L and her boyfriend and his friends. I’m very picky sometimes, and the whole evening I was irrationally judgey about all of the yuppie motherfuckers and their money that I saw everywhere. I’m just stressed about cashflow.
I had a good time. Once we went back to one of the friend’s apartments to sober up a little bit, we got caught up in a philosophical argument about existence, and whether there may be something on a level of existence that we could never measure, or observe, or prove. I was arguing this to a roomful of science people, so I had fun.
Once I got back home I fell asleep almost instantly and slept as one who is dead.