1000+ – # of people I’ve met in the last year from everywhere
60+ – # of hours I’ve spent dancing since January w/ Swing Patrol
35+ – # shows I saw in London over 9 months
8 – # number of countries I visited (mostly in a 30 day period, oy vey)
5 – # of times I rehearsed my routine for LBF in Saul and Selene’s living room
3 – # of bank accounts I have on two continents
2 – # of international cabaret festivals I debuted in
1 – # of hearts I got filled with love for you, my friends, my chosen family
The late night time zone-ignored phone calls, supportive photos, FB posts, quiet emails, coffee dates, posted valentines and innumerable hugs.
Friday, I graduate from my masters program (with distinction bitches!) and I am infinitely grateful. For my visionary parents, the chance to align with you, my wildly talented friends, and newfound room in my heart place. I didn’t know I could feel love like this. Thank you.
I am riding home on a 242 bus listening to every girl jam I have and charging my phone on my laptop. That certainly feels like an accurate picture for life in London! It’s my 28th birthday! A year ago I quit my job (that I loved), produced a sold out opera that seemed impossible with some damn fine collaborators, gave notice at my beloved apartment, sold my stuff and hit the road.
I’ve been more risky! Shocked everyone (including myself) with my scholastic achievements! I’ve taught more lindy hop classes, tasters and quality of movement workshops then any other year. I have given some of my best performances to date and become an international cabaret performer. Drunk some great cocktails. Laughed with new and old friends. Shared my contagious love of the high five with several Brits. Went to numerous operas, movies and events. Ran mixers for awesome people in London. Made a piñata and danced on a bar top in Copenhagen.
My internal monologue often starts with “notes from the field” or “and today our heroine accomplishes the impossible, cinnamon rolls without measuring cups”. It has been beguiling, daring and a very tender year. The weird thing is that it feels like the beginning…
And no, I’m not drunk, or high, or in la la land. I’m just proud. I’m scared. I’m excited. I’m ready.
London (and this year) brings out the best in me. It demands me to be open to things I never even dreamed for myself. For the coming year my hopes include: warm hugs, joyful celebrations, challenging moments and great meals shared with great people. I aim to only say ‘sorry’ when I’m really sorry, support my friends as they reach for greatness and value all our good health.
27 was pretty f@#$ing epic. 28 is full of promise. Let’s create something beautiful guys! Happy birthday to me!
I had a great conversation with a friend about saying ‘yes’ a few weeks ago. I’m not talking about ‘yes’ to a specific person for something, I’m talking about ‘yes’ to an experience – be it a good time, or an experience that scares you.
If you were to take an improv class, they would teach you to say yes. If an actor says to you “here, hold my pineapple,” your response would be “sure, but this isn’t a pineapple it’s a bowl of sea urchins.” Or something like that. When you say no, you stop the action. You stop the flow. In my opinion, you stop the awesome.
Some of the best nights/experiences of my life came from moments of ‘yes’. Be at the back door of the Cameron House in 15 minutes to see Feist perform a light and puppet show – YES.
I bring this up because it’s another tactic to meet interested and like minded people in a new city. I am lucky to have lindy hop, cabaret and classic music as hobbies (sometimes they are more all consuming than a normal hobby, but you know what I mean). These activities give me instant community. You still need to work at it and work at your friendships, as I previously mentioned, but it definitely makes the quest for great people easier.
I know the lure of your couch is tempting. All I’m saying is, it’s better to regret the things you’ve done then the ones you didn’t. Or to put it differently, it’s better to sneak into that abandoned building to hear an amazing band play then to sit at home and watch CSI.
Looking for new hobbies in London? Timeout obviously helps you there and did you know that they keep those new year’s resolution guides up for most of the year?! You can find all sorts of fun stuff there. Here’s my obligatory shout out for swing dancing and lindy hop – I rarely have a bad night dancing and have met incredible people all over the world. I highly recommend it. I’ll go on about this another time, but there is my plug.
And a little Tegan and Sara for you on a Friday…