yrmencyn: (Default)
I keep making these weird little grunts whenever I move.  The reason is that I am sore, because after a multi-month lapse (which itself followed only a very brief stint of non-lapse) I've started exercising again.  Minor, not well organized stuff: random situps and pushups, because they're easy to do in my room while I'm doing other things, some sun salutations as stretching, other body movements.  In addition, I walked around the lake today, about 1h30m of walking total.  It's not much, but I feel pretty good about it.  I'll probably step it up to running/walking reasonably soon (I know for a fact I can't run anywhere near that distance right now, not in my wildest imagination).

It's hard for me to exercise, because it really runs counter to the way I see myself.  I tend to think of myself as essentially a geek, which carries with it all sorts of implications that tend to mess up my life (along with ones that enhance it, of course), not the least of which is an expectation toward discoordination and weaklingness.  Well, I'm tired of that.  I've been tired of it for a long time, but I think that maybe, just maybe, I might really be honest-to-God tired of it this time.  I'm tired of getting winded walking up the four flights of stairs to the French Dept.  I'm tired of the layer of fat that overlays my [honestly, pretty decent] abs.  I'm tired of my weird aproportionality, where my massive legs (entirely genetic) make my already undeveloped arms and chest look positively spindly in comparison.  I'm tired, in general, of being a slave to an inward mental projection that is absolutely false and misleading.

I don't have to be athletically hopeless to be smart.  I don't have to neglect my body to improve my mind -- in fact, the opposite is probably true, i.e. a sound mind works best in a sound body.  None of this is supposed to sound self-pitying or anything, it's actually a form of me psyching myself up.  I don't plan on being a chronic gym rat or anything, nor becoming a muscle-bound bodybuilder (yech.), but I'd like for my body to work at least half as well as my brain does.

Happiness

Mar. 25th, 2006 10:22 pm
yrmencyn: (qc - drunk)
I complain too much.  This is a good life I have.  I had the good, blind fortune to be born in the First World.  I'm pursuing my interests and passions.  I'm making enough money that I can, and do, spend a good portion on non-essential, luxury items: TV, books, music, fancy food.  My financial outlook is stable and secure for at least three years in the future.  I'm educated, perhaps overly so.  I have friends in multiple cities all over this country each happy and excited to see me.  I live in a country that, for all its faults, allows me the freedom to be who I want to be, to live how I want to live.  I have a family that is both endlessly supportive and unfalteringly loving.  There are, certainly things I would like to change about my life, but I have the opportunity to effect those changes, so they're not really worth getting bent out of shape over, and no one's fault but my own.

*shrug* I'm in a very peaceful mood right now, and I wanted to write this down so that next time I'm in a bad mood I can go back and reread it and remind myself that I am, in fact, quite blessed.

Ma malaise

Mar. 18th, 2006 01:19 am
yrmencyn: (qc - drunk)
I've been in a pretty bad funk the past week or so.  I've had some up moments, like going and eating out with French folk on Wednesday night, but overall I've just felt... off.  There have been other emotions on top, of course -- it's not like I've been sitting in a padded room bemoaning my sorry fate -- but there's been this constant, underlying malaise that keeps poking its head up.  I finally identified it tonight while I was talking with Mandi: I'm nostalgic/homesick (two sides of the same coin, really).  I miss my friends in Ohio, terribly.  Luckily for me, I'm headed up soon, so until then I've just got to deal.  This has all sorts of potential ramifications running through my head... part of me wants to say "see, this is what your heart is telling you to do."  Another part of me notes that this is really symptomatic of "I wish I could go back to college" syndrome, and that I'll find that nothing is as I remember it.  I have to find some sort of balance between the halves of my schizo brain, because as it is now I'm just trading in raw emotion, and that's not only unsettling, it's profoundly irresponsible.  In retrospect, I probably should have gone up over winter break and damn the finances... I really could have used that little 'fix'.  Above all this hovers Indiana, Damocletian.  As I told Shane this evening, I almost don't even care anymore if I get in or not, I just want it to stop flapping around above my head like a manic bat, adding to my general dis-ease.  This whole situation needs to be resolved and quickly, because it's ruining my carefully crafted façade of self-deprecation and wise jocularity.

On related notes: I'm trying to figure out where to stay.  Some of this depends on the madness that is COTA - do they still just do a quick visual check of your student ID, or have they set up some fancy swipy thing?  Because, in all laziness, talyr and squish's places are closer to a bus line (I think), but if I can't use the bus the rennie house is closer to the campus area (big plus even for my scary calves), plus I get the impression it functions as a common gathering point?  Give me some input here.  (And thank you, everyone, for your offers of housing; I appreciate it.)

Rosepurr, could you get me some sort of contact info for lit_girl?  I just found her comments, but she's less simple to web-stalk than most.

--------------

I went with Erin and Hans to see V for Vendetta today.  Hans had been describing it in very action movie terms, all Matrix etc, and I didn't care less.  Until, that is, I read Lev Grossman's write-up in TIME and saw Natalie Portman's Daily Show appearance a couple nights ago, and realized that Hans' impressions weren't really the most accurate.  Likely consequently, while Hans hated it, Erin and I loved it.  The film is profoundly disturbing.  It plays with our basic moral judgments about order, conformity, security, and freedom, all while referencing (sometimes a tad anviliciously, I'll admit) the visual and verbal propagandist touchstones of the past century (look at some production stills: the High Chancellor's addresses look palpably Hitleresque without really directly referencing Nazis at all).  What's most shocking is the true catalyst of the art.  The comic on which the movie is based (Shane owns the entire bound edition; I'll be reading it, although I strongly dislike the art style) is reacting not to the preset Bush administration, but to Britain's Thatcher administration, contemporaneous to our own Reagan presidency.  Yet, the film glosses quite well in the current political climate, both because of judicious alteration on the part of the Wachowski brothers, I'm sure, and because it's applicable already.  Different people, I'm sure, will take different lessons from the film.  I took it as a call to arms, and resolution never to be silent, never to be unheard, and for all its flaws (all movies have flaws) I found it quite moving.  All this not to mention a generally tight script (including some virtuosic alliteration) and some truly gorgeous visuals. 

Just go see the movie, really.  Even if you tend to shy away from comic-book movies (as I do), go.  It's not a superhero movie, occasional excessive set piece fights aside.
yrmencyn: (food)
Thank you all for your comments on my last entry.  I want you to bear in mind that I do appreciate them, despite whatever else I may say.  You should also know that I just went and re-read them, and I'm reacting much more positively toward them; but this is based off an earlier reading, which stewed and led to a big bout of introspection.

I really should have disabled comments before I posted that damn thing.  Here's the deal: I know you meant well, but I don't take criticism well.  Sure, I can pretend to take it well, but in actuality even slight criticism elicits a seething defensiveness inside my head.  I get ridiculously steamed.  It's a flaw I'm working on, with middling success - hard to take constructive criticism, even from yourself, when it pisses you off.

What's that you say?  You weren't critical?  We-e-e-ell.... yes.  It's true, you weren't.  I know this intellectually.  That being said, the comments, to my diseased mind, lightly imply a lack of perspective on my part.  And my diseased mind further extrapolates that to criticism.  And then my panties spontaneously bunch.  Like I said, middling success.

Anyway, clarifying: the problem I mentioned yesterday is not a question of making things work together harmoniously, or of a fictive exclusive choice between options.  Y'all seem to think I meant that, and I blame it on the verb mesh.  In fact, it's a question of timing and scheduling.  It's just shitty timing, really.  No, not everything has to happen right this second, but right now I'm in a little bit of limbo, not even knowing where I am next year and the years after, so it's a mite stressful.  I'm also feeling a little bit like I'm betraying myself, like I'm in danger of abandoning a writing dream, which really upsets me.

I'm flighty.  I know I am.  I rely more on emotion than on logic and reason in my decision-making progress, I always have.  There is an inherent danger in this: I run the risk of latching onto the new and interesting rather than the deep and enduring.  Luckily, I've got enough practicality/healthy sense of self-preservation to enforce a sort of waiting period in which to discern which category my newest idea belongs in.  And in the end, it's an acceptable risk, because I think I do better with this sort of thought.  Although I always think of practicalities, my emotional response to my environment is very important.  Also, without getting all spiritual-weird, I think I'm more open this way to an understanding of what my 'calling' is, and that's important to me.

Going at this from a different angle, let me just respond a bit to various ideas that have been floated to me both in comments and in IM chats.  First off, I don't, at least at this point, wish to do anything with a writing camp.  Maybe I might get interested in it at some point, but it doesn't really strike me as something I want to do.  A writing component in a more generalist camp perhaps.  Really, though, if my pipe dreams were coming true I'd be getting my MFA, then working on site at a camp (as a ranger?  director?) and writing *not* as a part of my job.

Second, it's been suggested that there are camps that might be nearer to wherever I end up next year.  This is true, there are.  However, for the moment at least I am quite committed to Camp Bon Coeur.  No matter where I end up next year, I fully intend to come back to Louisiana to work camp.  People come from Ohio, New York, and New Jersey to do so, not to mention Scotland and Germany -- surely I can too.  The main difficulty is that I don't want to be just a counselor/instructor, I want to become more involved in planning and development (which is the course I'm currently on)-- that's hard enough from an hour away in Baton Rouge, yet more so out-of-state.

A final note here: we would desperately love to have our own facility, instead of renting.  This is way out of reach for us.  Luke, Andrea, and I sat around on Tuesday night plotting to marry old rich people Anna Nicole Smith-style, and we even sent a video to that show Ty Pennington does, although the project's WAY bigger than anything they've ever done.  Seriously, we're thinking so far outside the box we can't see it anymore.  In all honesty it was more joking that anything else, but the sentiment's real.  So, on the extreme off-chance that someone knows of an individual or company that's trying to find a worthy recipient for a generous donation, you can inform them of our camp.  We're very professional, we do a world of good for our campers, and we can guarantee that the money would be well-spent.  Just so you know.  It's either that or sell ourselves into indentured servitude, probably to an oil company.
yrmencyn: (qc - drunk)
The American Camp Association Heart of the South Conference at Camp Sumatanga, Gallant, AL... was wonderful.  It was really, truly amazing.  There were so many talented, dedicated camping professionals there, and I gathered HUGE amounts of ideas to bring back to my program.  I basically told Susannah that while I loved doing drama, and wouldn't mind doing some drama program this summer, I was going to do nature.  I came out of Heather Montgomery's session on nature programs this morning passionate, excited, and convinced of what I need to do.  We're a camp, and nature is an irremovable and more importantly an absolutely vital part of a camp experience.  So much of our program has to be indoors because of the heat of the Louisiana summer and the nature of our clientele... I think that we have done a real disservice to the kids.  This summer I will try with everything I have to show those kids why it is that I am never happier than in the out of doors, why the natural world is something to be cherished, protected, and most of all: lived.

*steps down off soapbox*

And herein lies the problem.  Do you see that above paragraph?  That is always, always, always present in the back of my head.  Ever since I first worked at Pirtle, all of 14 years old, teaching basic scoutcraft skills to over-sugared little hellions, I've loved working camp.  Sure, it started out as enjoying the fun time with the rest of the staff -- let's face it, Pirtle is an extremely loosely run camp with a spoiled staff that resists even reasonable restrictions on behavior, so it's a constant party -- but over the course of five summers I started to realize what a weighty responsibility is entrusted to camp counselors and instructors, and to truly enjoy the connection with the kids.  And then I got a real job and all that stuff wandered away to the back burner.

But it was still there, and then in a fit of scheduling desperation I got a job at Camp Bon Coeur... and it all came surging back, in one of the richest and most rewarding experiences of my life, both within the milieu of camping and without.  And now I find myself spending more and more of my mental energies on camp and camp-related things.  And as if that wasn't enough, talking with all these wonderful people ratcheted up my investment to a still higher level.

Sounds great doesn't it?  Yeah, well... it is.  It is.  That being said, I just don't need this shit!  Every single damn time I think I know what I'm doing, where I'm going with my life, something else comes along and throws me for a loop.  Do I still want to get my MFA, be a writer?  Hell yes.  But I also want to do this, and I feel like it's something I need to do.  Everybody's got a calling, everybody has a purpose in this world, a way that they can make it better; maybe this is mine.

The problem is that it doesn't really seem to mesh right now.  My studies are likely to take me away from South Louisiana, where my home camp is for the moment, and that makes it even harder to be involved -- being an hour away in Baton Rouge is hard enough.  I just don't know.  I know that this will turn out well, and I know I'll end up doing what I'm supposed to do, eventually, but damned if the crooked path isn't maddening.  I'd love to see a vista instead.

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yrmencyn

December 2009

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