There is nothing that matches NY during the Holidays. There may be foreign cities that are filled with a richer history, or domestic destinations who adorn their streets with more touches of elegance , but no, they will never be here. The effervescent crowds of bodies pour through the chilling air , spill into offices, cafés, book shops, boutiques, all with the oddest sense of holiday spirit seeping in.
Yes, we have the classic symbols of the holidays, like Macy’s, the tree, the rockettes…but it’s the more subtle things that bring the holiday to light:
Overhearing a tourist getting advice on where to to go shopping from a native , on the subway, for example. Or a police officer holding the hand of a lost child. The snow tickling the tip of your nose , as you catch the powdered sugar -like specs . The way you never noticed how stunning the sound of so many people speaking so many languages sounds against the city night. It is the prettiest holiday soundtrack of all.It is witnessing the exchange of holiday greetings between 2 strangers on the Long Island Railroad, as they defy the stereotypes that have built around our mannerisms.It is that brief moment in between sipping your fresh brewed coffee, and rushing to find a seat on the train , that you realize how peaceful it is to live in a such a chaotic place.
I turned 25 yesterday. I am now that fundamentally dynamic age in which my sense of adulthood has emerged , while I still hold my childlike state near and dear. Upon transition ,I have come to terms with some solid things that I have learned, observed, and even taught myself. These are the lessons , large and small, that 25 has so kindly gifted me with:
1. Trust your instincts. They are God given and , although they lack calculations and scientific sense , they are more precious than gold.
2. Be kind because it makes you feel good, not because it makes you LOOK good.
3. Heartbreak doesn’t always come in the form of cheating , physical/verbal abuse, or lies.
4.Music often makes love to your soul
5. Dancing is therapy
6. Your parents are your greatest resources. You know how you often told them as a teenager “ugh, you think you know everything”? Well… Jokes on us They do.
7. Take the initiative to educate yourself. It that means letting go of your pride and asking for help, then that’s what it means.
8. Try new things. New foods, new activities, new views. You never know where your taste palate , talents, and perspective lay.
9. Success may be sweet , but it’s not sugar. Don’t try to measure it in a measuring cup
10. Chance encounters are not by chance. They are intended encounters.
11. You will get burned . Do not try to start another fire because of that.
12. Take a night out and drive alone. Physical destination: unknown
Mental destination: at peace
13. Reflect on what you are thankful for every day, even if just for a few seconds.
14. Coffee is your friend. Use it.
15. It’s ok to be in love
16. It’s ok to not be in love
17. Purity has nothing to do with church attendance, and everything to do with the capacity your heart has to share your love with every walk of life.
18. It is indeed possible to be a sexual person without being a tasteless sexual person. Express yourself with class.
19. Alcohol doesn’t make you a lush. You make yourself a lush .
20. Bargain shopping doesn’t make you an old fart, it makes you damn smart.
21. Many situations can be turned into networking opportunities . Connect with others on a professional level when the opportunity presents itself.
22. You’re never too old to get excited about making s’mores.
23. When life doesn’t make sense, ice cream does.
24. You can’t abide by other people’s rules and advice , entirely. Apply what can be applied. Create and adjust , accordingly.
25. Conceptualizing a vision is a promising start; Giving birth to your dreams is the ultimate satisfaction.
We are humans. We are fragile creatures, comprised of bone , flesh ,and muscle. Despite what we may think, and all of our efforts, we are not indestructible. However disappointing this may be, we all crave to be as indestructible as a human can be. Part of “mission indestructible” is closing the hole.
You know which hole. The hole that makes you feel like if you just worked a bit harder , you will be where you want to be. This is where we differ; the gaps that are present in each of us are all unique. Some may want to invoke a spiritual presence in their lives, while others are seeking a more enriching academic journey. Other folks may dedicate themselves to a fitness track that they are strictly focused on. Some people just wish they would be noticed [and honored]in the romantic arena, once and for all. Another bit of emptiness that many individuals are afflicted with is career path confusion . This is the woozy feeling you get when you realize you either don’t know what career path you want to go down, feel that you’ve made the incorrect career choice, or can’t find a job that is fitting for you and your needs.
We all have a gap that we feel we need to fill. Undoubtedly, we naturally feel as though once we close these gaps , we will be perfect. Or at least live our own sense of perfection in our perception . A little bit more money, a little less fat. Do not ever think that you are alone within your battles, for everyone is fight in their own battle of self. It is the greatest war torn field with enemies by the name of Doubt, Fear, Obstacle, and Challenge. The tactic , you see, is to not aim to be indestructible. The tactic is to be aware of your fragility as a human. To be aware of this blessing of imperfection , and to turn it into your greatest asset. We will close our gaps, if we allow ourselves to open.
I will not lie and say that I have not always associated pole dancing with stripping in the past. That would not be particulary true. Growing up, the media & entertainment outlets have always made it out to be this way. In December of last year, my perception slowly evolved and today ,I will proudly say that it is my a hobby that I’m passionate about. My boyfriend’s sister and her friends (who are now some of my closest friends) , let me into their world where I experienced first hand the beauty of the art. You may stiffle a laugh when I refer to it as an “art”, but I am almost certain that no one can jump on a pole and hang upside down with grace and agility easily. So yes, this is an art. We value it from an artisic angle and it has taught us so much more than meets the eye. We have fought for our strength, our talent, our self-respect. Although many may snicker at our interest, I think there is a great line of distinction that is not understood. If you have chosen the path of striptease as your occuption, I have no problem with that. However, that’s not what entices us to the pole. The pole speaks to us and lets us express ourselves creatively. It has huddled us closer, so that when one of us is up there , scared for her life..the others are waiting below ,telling her she can climb higher.
I am sure that there are people who look down upon what we do and see it as a waste of time and misjudge our intentions. That is none of my business, what others think. Their opinion is theirs to hold and to have. MOST of my family respects me doing pole fitness and my boyfriend does too. In addition, many of the people that I tell are always interested in knowing more about the artform. Guys & girls alike have credited it as being “difficult”, “challenging”, or “daring”. It’s truly all of those things and more. It’s liberating and what you can do with a little determination and a lot of tenacity can surprise the hell out of you. It’s not all about strip clubs & dolla bills anymore. Don’t let your 2002 mentaility get the best of you.
*If you want to further educate yoursef about the evolution of pole fitness that has taken place, feel free to contact me. If you’re REALLY interested, I will pass you on to an instructor.
I have been noticing something alarming with some of our youth. There is this acceptance of dysfunctional relationships. You would assume that with the knowledge and experience of our historical grounds , we would know just how important it is to value a healthy relationship. A really healthy relationship. Instead, there’s been a struggle to even understand what a healthy relationship even consists of. For example, I noticed a pattern of a girl that actually condones her boyfriend’s possessive behavior. She almost has glorified their dysfunctional behavior (“my bf told me I can’t go to the club tonight..oh em gee , I love him) whaaaaat? How is that remotely acceptable? Another friend was telling me about how his friend labeled his gf in the most degrading of ways imaginable (to her directly) and they’re still completely smitten. This is a corn maze that they can’t find their way out of, that thrills them for the time being, but will lead them nowhere. Moreover, the values that are held dearly ,are so far from their more grounded alternatives. Many young girls look to a suitor’s car, swag level (ugh) , and the like when making their choice. That in itself is a terrible decision. It’s great that potential mate “has their own place” , and “buys you nice things”, but do they value you? Do they try to understand what makes you light up , on a non-material basis? Do they contribute to the betterment of your being? Or are they just there, looking pretty and feeding you spaghetti so that the entire restaurant does a silent “awww”? These are all things to think about. I have faith that the rest of of us will keep the true values going.. For our kids and grand kids . Long live the healthy relationship.
It is said that the morning is the perfect time to gather your thoughts . Many people seem to think that the night is, right before you fall asleep. Mmmm -mmm. I say that’s not precise , because your thoughts have been clouded by the activities of the day. Try writing down everything you want , but don’t stop there. Draw arrows next to each item and write down methods of getting to what you want. Write down a few different ways, so that you have options. Often times, giving yourself one path to reach a goal, can make attaining it frustrating . If one way doesn’t go exactly as planned, it’s wise to have a backup. So , just like it’s a great idea to fuel your body with a workout in the a.m., it’s also a great idea to fuel your mind and inner being. Of course, you probably won’t get to reflect or do this every morning , because life just gets in the way of that, but once every so often will do you good. I am fortunate enough that I can do things like this on my train ride to work, but I know most of you have many other things to do that just don’t allow it. My suggestion? You don’t have to make it a long process, write down one item a day. OR, just do it on the weekend or your day off and take all the time you need :)
I am returning to the world of blogging because ,as all writers say..”this is my outlet”. In fact, this is one of my many outlets. I write because it libererates me, inspires me, helps me focus…but mostly..I write because I can. It is not my intention to make this my personal diary (no you weren’t that lucky), nor is it my intention to be uncomfortably formal either. I can’t promise you that you won’t be offended by something I write, or bored to tears from one of my posts. I’m not a believer of those charades. No, this will be raw, but it will be delivered with the sweetness of a fruit that you have never tasted, but know that you want to taste it again , once you have. I will not utter the phrase “I have a way with words”. I prefer to think that words have a way with me; I let them have their way. I embrace them, I adore them, I love them…and soon you will see why.