🎵 The song for this post is Take Five, by Dave Brubeck, arranged by BeanJammin for the Celeste mod Quickie Mountain 2. 🎵
While that last post had some upward lilt, it was frankly a bit of a downer. That was a retrospective of a year that just passed, now I'm happy to share some things I'm looking ahead to this year.
In Ace Ventura, Ace works through the lineup of the Miami Dolphins one at a time to eliminate suspects:
and I've got a mental one of these with the Queer Eye guys, where I'm gonna invest time + money + energy at the areas they focus on in the show:
I started with "Project Bobby," where I make a cool-ass living space. Also, shouldn't his contributions get a spin-off show? JVN is like "I bought you some conditioner and got you a haircut!" but Bobby is like "here's $50k of investment and renovations requiring a whole crew!"
It started as necessity: my 1BR was bare, having come to SF with so little, and having even less after the breakup. I spent the holidays alone (Omicron + dog care made travel to family less practical). It was a reminder of everything that had happened, but more painfully, how little I asserted myself as a whole person in my relationship. I was heartbroken in an empty, depressing apartment, it constantly reminding me that the reason I was so lonely there were my own damn fault, not hers. I let it get this way.
One of my favorite novels is A Gentleman in Moscow. The protagonist looked at a life of confinement and quoted his father, saying "If a man does not master his circumstances then he is bound to be mastered by them." I had to confront how much of my life was me getting washed around, not swimming anywhere. So the apartment was a good place to start defining (and investing in) what makes a Pablo Pablo.
So, my apartment rules now. I've got a draft post on some of the projects. There's still minor tweaks but we're solidly 1.0 now. I told myself April 1 is when I begin "Project Tan," since clothes have historically been a weak point for me. Here's to more!
There was an open mic at a recent community event, and I decided to stop wishing and start working toward making music. I've got some books, materials, and am carving out some time to learn a few instruments and work on singing. I'm starting with harmonica, but the real prize is accordion.
There's a lot to chew on here! A cover of one of my favorite folk songs, note that he still needs 3 of him to get a full sound, and he's using a custom harmonica tuning to play that fast.
Why harmonica? Silly reasons. It's portable. I don't have any friends who play it, so it can be a niche I fill. Also, I underestimated it! I remember a book calling it "for the Musically Hopeless", so I suspected I could get decent fast, at least jam out a few easy songs after, idk, a week of decent study time. It turns out it's a real instrument! A fun, complicated one; but also, playing single notes cleanly and well requires a ton of practice. I also underestimated how much I wanted to play instruments that could do decent polyphony, and that I could sing on top of. Unless you're part of a bigger band, you'll almost always want backing tracks to your harmonica, or you end up having a "kid playing the recorder for their parents" vibe.
Why accordion? To contrast with harmonica, I have extremely noble reasons for this. Because it fucking rocks!!
Why singing? I'm still an actor and performer, and there are songs I'd love to share with loved ones.
Trying to learn three things is not as effective as learning one, I'll probably do all of them in a mediocre fashion for the next 3-4 years. But hold tight! Soon I'll be making you cry with a sad song. On the accordion.
I've got a therapist again. I prefer psychoanalysis over CBT: it's a lot of noodling about fears and motivations, just like theatre, or Enneagram (1W2, baby). Psychoanalysis is a great fit for people caught up in their heads, and it feels less like you can "fail" at it since it's all so amorphous (one analyst I knew prefaced a statement with "I'm a psychoanalyst, so I don't believe in anything. Including psychoanalysis!!"). In some cases that kind of fluidity is a cop-out, but in something so unknowable as modeling human psyches, I'm happy to embrace it. If you're looking for a description of psychoanalysis in contrast to CBT (the way more popular modality), I really liked this article.
One new thing I got out of therapy already was to question my relationship to patience. I'm not patient! But talking through a few things with someone gave me a thread to pull on: when I'm being impatient, what fear do I have that makes waiting unbearable? Why is cooling my jets so… offensive to me? I find that I'm good at modeling my desire to GO as proactive, positive ("go there for these reasons") but I'm recently challenged to consider maybe it's me running away from something else.
You can see it all over this post, too! I just mentioned how my living space was empty because I avoided having to define what I'm about (alluded this in the Korea section of my Asia post, too). How I need to be learning all the music instead of being like "I wanna play a few songs every now and then." What's the rush, man?
When my sister was sick and we weren't sure if she'd survive (and if she did, if she'd even be the same person), I used to say:
If a doctor told me "to learn the ending of this — not even cure her, just know how it ends — I need you to eat this beehive full of bees," I would have done it. I'd chew through every one of the stinging bastards to know how it ends. But he asked me to do something so much harder: to wait.
Plane's about to board, may add more later.
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