Thursday, June 21, 2012

Diagnosing my Summer Fever.

Where has the time gone?!

Over the last few weeks, I kept meaning to write a blog post for various things - to talk about how it feels being in the completely post-production stage of Job Hunters, to explain my new fascination with slacklining, to brag about how I finally learned how to play chess from my friend Joe. But now I find myself four days out from my trip to LA, from VidCon, from immediately then heading to North Dakota for my family vacation, and I'm just so overwhelmed by the excitement and stress of summer that I honestly can't even tell you where the time went.

This has been an amazing month. I am absolutely up to my eyeballs in different projects I am trying to accomplish, but nothing really feels better than the sweet satisfaction of looking at your insane to-do list at the end of the day and knowing you completed everything, no matter how hard it was. Mix that in with some really awesome time with friends, great weather, and a lot of well-spent creative energy and I'm finding myself in what I can already tell will be my Greatest Summer Yet™.

Last weekend I went to the Fremont Solstice parade with Joe, Justin and Claire - this is an event I had only heard about from afar, but never managed to check out in person. Basically, it's this awesome, weird, artsy parade they do in Seattle's funkiest neighborhood to welcome in the summer, but it starts with a very different version of the parade. For the first hour or so, the spectacle is hundred of naked people covered in body paint riding bikes. Like, we're talking really awesome and creative body paint, and we're also talking really naked. I saw Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, reenactments of famous paintings, and my personal favorite - a Twilight Sparkle, Apple Jack and Rainbow Dash. But, you know, naked.

There's obviously a lot of symbolism here. The naked cycling is about artistic freedom, about self expression, about creating art with the only we come into this world with - our bodies. But examining the very lowest common denominator here, I couldn't help but grin from ear to ear as I watched these happy painted people zipping by on their bikes because SUMMER is here. What better way to celebrate that then to take all your clothes off and run through the streets in bright colors?

So even though I stayed very snug in my tshirt and jeans that day, I tried to embody the spirit of the cyclists as Joe and I ran from place to place at the fair - hula hooping in the park, eating lunch outside on the open deck, and riding the super slide during the only ten minute period it rained the whole day.

What is it exactly about summer that makes us so excited each time it happens? It comes at the same time year after year, and yet it still catches us off guard, making us do crazy things like jumping in lakes fully clothed, hopping in a car to take unplanned spontaneous road trips, or telling that cute boy/girl we like that we have feelings for them. People talk about 'Spring Fever' but I think Summer is the real fever - and I have it bad right now.

My bag is halfway packed, my flight information is sitting in my inbox with the little priority star checked next to it, and I am itching to get away. It's summer, and I am ready for it. It's time to get crazy.

Monday, June 4, 2012

In which I am apparently a squirrel.

Time is moving so quickly!

I can't believe that not only have I lived at Hypercube for over a month now, but that it's already JUNE - putting us halfway into 2012 and nearly right in the thick of the annual summer convention craziness. I'm not really ready to accept that half of 2012 is over yet, but this has been a year of so many changes and exciting developments in my life that I'm not in any state to slow down, either. I feel like I am flying through this year, arms outstretched, feeling the wind and the memories and the new friends and experiences soaring through my hair, making me glad every day for the decisions I made that set me on this path.

It is human nature to second guess our decisions. In reality, it is the very fact that we can second-guess our life choices that gives us our unique humanity. Do you think squirrels spend days or weeks deciding which nuts to scavenge and from where? No. They feel hungry, they see an acorn, they take it.

We, on the other hand, would budget out how many nuts we need and the work involved in obtaining them, comparing and contrasting the nutritional value of nuts still attached to trees or ones lying on the ground. We'd research where the other squirrels are getting THEIR nuts and figure out what these different places will say about us as squirrel-citizens in the larger societal setting. We'd window shop, looking at various nuts but not actually buying them; we'd try to find the places giving bargain nuts and at the end of the day, you know we'd rather spend our money on a nicer tree or a bigger den, so we'd probably just have our nuts ordered in from the local take-out acorn tree. And even then we'd wonder if we should have chosen the healthier option, or worried that the neighbors had seen us order in more than once that week, or panic if we were missing out on a popular new seeds-only diet.

I'm currently trying to live my life in a way that makes me happy I just took the nut, instead of constantly wondering what could have been.

There were a lot of decisions that went along with the choice not to move to LA last summer. Especially working in the field that I do, LA sort of has this "eyes on the prize" feeling about it. Regardless of how well I feel like I am doing in the career-realm, I can't help but notice that I find myself often surrounded by people who believe that LA is the sort of "final frontier" of this kind of work. And when I get those reminders, I have to wonder if deciding not to move to LA was a throwing-in-the-towel of sorts. Of sabotaging myself, when I could probably succeed there. Of severing (or at the very least loosening) ties that could be useful to me in the future.

But then I look at Job Hunters, and all I've learned, and the people I've met in this past year, and I'm really freaking happy I took the nut. I don't regret it. I do honestly feel like my decision to stay here was the right one, and even though other squirrels might be living in cushy two story dens at the tops of trees made of gold, I'm happy I took the nut.

There's this nagging feeling in the back of my mind that LA is still a hovering beacon in the future that I can't swat away, but I am trying not to think about it right now. I know plenty of people (John and Hank being the largest of that sect) who manage to do everything they want to do from their home cities very, very far from the flashy lights of Hollywood, so for now, I won't think about.

For now, I will just relish in the fact that I can be successful in whichever city I choose, if I put my mind to it. Which I have been. Because I took the nut.