Boy, do I have some Tales to Tell...
Like everyone else, there are certain things that I loathe. Some of them understandable. Some of them irrational. One of my more irrational detestations (is that even a word?) is the word "passion". Passion in the sense of conviction for something that borders on insanity.
My skin crawls when someone uses that word when referring to me. The funny thing is that it's always people who really don't know me. For example, when referring to my cooking skills, I cringe when anyone says "Oh Tim. Cooking is definitely your passion." Or when they ask, "Is cooking your passion?" I can barely utter words. And when I do, they tend to be "I hate that word 'passion'."
Whenever I have to interview someone for a position, I always immediately lose interest in a candidate the moment "passion" comes from their mouth. Like, when they are asked why they want to work for the store, some of the candidates I deal with use the phrase "Food is my passion." That's the moment I tick them off my list. Especially since, earlier, you could not tell me the various types of vegetarian diets. Or name 5 grains that are gluten-free.
I know that I am being silly but when I meet someone who says that food is their passion BUT they have never ever even tried to work in the food industry, I roll my eyes and shut them out. I wonder, if you feel so strongly about something, why aren't you working in it? Especially something that is a legitimate source of income? Anyway, your passion is about eating, not food.
I do know where this idiosyncracy comes from. When I worked for the health club industry, I worked for a woman who used to constantly say that fitness was her passion. That working out was what she was born to be doing. It was all so fake because half the time we worked, she wasn't working. She knew some things about fitness; mostly the stuff you read in those glossy magazines. She never varied from her 5-year-old workout routine. And, if you are so passionate about fitness, what's up with the tit job and botox? She used to throw the word around all the time. During her talks with the group. During meetings with the higher-ups. During lunch. It was downright silly. One could say she was passionate about passion. But her actions never matched her words. Since that time, I have detested the use of that word.
I guess one day, I'll get over my disdain for the word "passion". But, I don't foresee that happening in the near future. Or even the far future. Maybe, one could say that I passionately hate passion. Later.
Tonight, while making dinner, I walked past Mike and, for some reason, said "V-step right, turn-step right." He smiled and asked me if I miss teaching step aerobics.
I said that I didn't miss the drama of teaching step class. I don't miss having to come up with choreography, buying expensive custom-made music, getting myself to class, dealing with the needy or over-dramatic students, etc. But I do miss something. I miss the euphoria I used to feel when teaching to an amazing class of students.
I used to teach a Sunday evening 6:00pm step class in the West Village. I had it for years. I would drag my lazy ass downtown after a night of partying and a day of recovering. Actually, the class was only seven blocks from my apartment but it was a long seven blocks on a late Sunday afternoon when all my friends were out doing much more interesting things. You get the picture. I would teach a 5:00pm conditioning class (which was always full) and follow it with the step class. I always dreaded going to teach the class but once I got there, it was fine. Especially when the step class started.
There would be Mike, Jon, and Emily in the front row. Jeffrey and Liz in the middle. John (who had dropped about 150 lbs. by taking step classes) and Richard in the back row. Plus, there would be about another 30 people who would populate the class. It was busy. I often asked what the hell they were all doing there.
I would start the 55-minute class with a ten-minute warm-up. Then, all hell would break loose. Almost always, about 25 minutes into class, I would abandon my step in front of the class and jump onto the weight box in the back of the room. I would continue teaching the class from atop the weight box BUT, instead of doing the moves myself, I would do what some observers would call a bump-and-grind act. Yes, folks, I would basically hump the windows... much to the horror of the crowds on the cardio floor.
I would like to say that I am not sure why I did that. I do know why though. The energy in the room was just amazing. The fact that all I had to do was call out the routine and they class would just get it was... was... almost terrifying. The energy that they all brought on a Sunday evening was almost too much to handle. I always needed a way of releasing it all. And for some strange reason, acting like a crazed go-go boy was how it all came out.
All that energy actually didn't disappear. With this group, it all just keep getting fed back. I would act out more, they would eat it up more, and send it back a lot more. It was downright mad. It didn't help that the DJ who sold me my exclusive custom-made music was a pure genius. A tourist who once took class told me that he had never ever felt the type of energy from the crowd and music except from a circuit party. I can only describe the feeling as euphoric. I can't say that this was all because I was a good teacher or that my choreography was mind-blowing or that the crowd was so giving. I do think it was a combination of it all.
Somehow, on Sunday nights on 10th Street, all the good energy converged to create a moment where anyone in class forgot about all their problems. Where only joy existed. Where nothing mattered but us being together. Feeling good about each other. About ourselves. About the moment. We were on top of the world. And anything was possible. And though it lasted for only 55 minutes, it was all we needed.
I miss that. A lot. Later.
When people say "Oh no, you went there!", exactly where is "there"? Because as far as I can remember I have always been "there". You can't go "there" if the only place you know is "there". And, darling, I AM "there"!
It's no secret to people who know me that I tend to speak my mind. It's one of the main reasons my husband loves me. He said so. Although sometimes, he gets tired of me doing so. But, he knows, if he needs to go "there", then all he has to do is find me.
"There" can be a fun place because it has no walls or boundaries. When you are "there", you can fell free to bring reality back to all involved. And, as we all can attest, reality seems to be missing a lot lately. To paraphrase Goddess Margaret Cho, "I bought a house 'there'." Honestly, I was born "there". My parents tried to get me to move out of "there". But, I was too rooted in "there".
I like it "there". It keeps people on their toes around me. While "there", I know who I can count on to be honest. To be real. To be truthful. We should all go "there". Life is so much easier "there". I know it is. And if you need help, I'll be "there". Later.
When asked who my heroes are, I always honestly respond that I don't have any. There isn't someone who I am in such awe of that I can say that their actions or accomplishments are something I find heroic. Of course, there are people that I admire but mostly for how, despite a lot of difficulties, they have been able to push forward to achieve what some consider success. It is noteworthy that they are mostly female.
But, now, I can honestly say that I have a hero. And, to top it all off, it's a sports hero. And, if that is not enough, it's a male athlete. If you have never watched tennis. If you have no clue as to how the game is played. And, even if you are so ignorant as to think that tennis is not a sport. You must watch Roger Federer at work. If heroes are supposed to inspire you to greater places in your life, then Roger Federer has inspired me to work on my tennis game.
I just got done watching the US Open Men's Final. Before that, I was browsing through YouTube.com checking out some of the footage they have of Mr. Federer. To say that this man is a magician is not giving him any credit. Not only does he wield the racket like a magic wand, sending out shots that defy angles and gravitational pull, but he also uses it like a weapon, placing the tennis balls in areas that take his opponents down.
Warrior is another way to describe Mr. Federer. But that would create an air of brutality accompanied with a lack of finese. Which Mr. Federer does not embody. Roger Federer is akin to a ninja. He does battle on the tennis court with power, grace, and agility that nobody else can mimic. And, with the the quiet reverance that one finds at their local library. When I watch him play, I often find myself turning off any other distractions in the room whether they be lights or sound sources. I do this so I can absorb all his movements and actions so that I can maybe, one day, even move toward his way of play.
So, now, when asked who my hero is, I can honestly say "Roger Federer". Later.
I woke up this morning, made coffee, fed the cat, cooked a batch of bolognese sauce, had some turkey chili for breakfast, went for a 3-mile power walk around the reservoir, and did some stretching exercises. All before noon.
Toward the end of my walk, as I traversed the bridle paths, I got to thinking about a friend of mine, U., who I hung out with Friday night. I had not seen him since after the summer began. He had just gotten fired from his job. He was going to be allowed to collect unemployment. And he decided to take the summer off before pursuing any type of job.
We had the usual exchange of "Grrrrl, how you doin'?", "Wazzup wit u?", etc. Which is funny to me because I'm Filipino and he is Mexican. Anyway, I asked how things were. He replied, "Oh, I'm fine, just recovering from surgery." I laughed it off because we have this running joke that, as ex-supermodels, we are struggling to hang on to our stick figures. Then, I asked how this summer had treated him. He replied, "I told you: I'm recovering from surgery."
My friend, U., had decided to get liposuction around his midsection. Now, yes, he was a heavy child... like many of us. And yes, he had a bit of a thick midsection. But, he also did nothing in terms of exercise. He has very poor eating habits. He smoked and drinks like a sailor. In short, he does nothing to change his body.
I was silent for a bit after his divulging of this information. I was especially silent when he lifted his two shirts to show me the girdle underneath. But, when he offered to show me the scars, I was not silent about my desire to not see them. He said that from my silence he knows that I felt it was wrong for him to do it. I told him,"No, I just wonder why you would spend $4000 for an unnecessary procedure, when you are unemployed and may need that money for more vital things." U. said that he was going to do it anyway and that he decided that since he was not working, this was the time to go through the recovery period. I just shook my head and smiled. We let the subject go and headed out for a drink and dancing.
While waiting for another friend outside of the bank ATM's, U. took his hand and ran it across my chest and abdominal region. He gave me this look and said, "You've lost weight! AND your abs are flat and hard." I gave a wry smile and said that I had been exercising differently. He proceeded to go on and on about how I was getting a bit chunky since I was in a relationship and had a full-time job. He could not stop talking about how he was concerned that I was gaining weight and how others would think I was fat. I just shook my head and smiled, again.
I love U. because he and I went through a lot with another friend, K. We ended up being each other's support system during our bachelor years in NYC. But sometimes, I get bothered by his constant need to talk about how much weight I currently have on. Or the need to ask if the K. has gained weight since he last saw him. Or how our others look fierce because of their drug-induced weightloss. Or how nobody likes a fat boy. Or how K.'s and my chubby-ness is creeping back. It's always about how much we weigh or how we look or how we are perceived.
I have told him that my friends are my friends regardless of what or where they are. And it's true, I don't care if you are unemployed or super-successful. You are still my friend. I don't care if you are thin or overweight. You are still my friend. As a matter of fact, what you do in your life is irrelevant to me. I wouldn't have kept you friendship if I didn't think you were ultimately a good person.
I just wonder when U. will stop all the superficiality. It's always about what we are wearing or how thin we are. Or where we hang out. At 36, I am not interested. I will hang out with U. again. I will endure the questions about my weight. I will endure the obvious need for him to talk about his now thin midsection which will obviously get him the man of his dreams. I will shake my head and smile, in amazement. I just wonder when it will stop being about outside and more about inside.
Oh, and for those of you who read my blog with some regularity, I have blogged about U. and his drinking issues. Later.
This past weekend, I watched two movies in which the main character proclaimed their love for someone they seemed to have only recently met or reconnected with. In both cases, my first thought was "Uhhh, how can you say you are in love when you haven't even officially dated?" Then, I remembered "Oh, right, this only happens in the movies."
Truth is that our view on falling or being in love is quite distorted by the movies. I blame Hollywood for making us think that love happens quickly. It rarely does. The movies would like to make us think that there is always a clear cut moment of when you fall in love. It is rarely so definitive. And often, movies define love as so obvious and tangible that it will signal itself to you in the most obvious fashion. Uhhhh, yeah... right.
What I want to know is when you know you are in love? When was the first time you realized that your affection for that someone goes beyond just like & sexual attraction? When did you realize you were in love with that person? Was it some event? Was it something they said? Was it something they did? Was it something you did? Was it something you felt?
From my experience, it is when you feel safe and secure enough to share, create, and enjoy moments together without expectation or judgement. When you want to go for a walk in a park... wherever, together. When you want to laugh with each other... constantly. When even after a long day of work, you cannot wait to go home... to him. When all the words can be said... or not. When the only picture of you and him, twenty years from now... is you and him, wherever. That's when I knew I was in love. For good. Later.