Committing to this big rant
Head: It's currently 12am and my thoughts aren't as coherent as they are rampant
re: My recent departure of the social medias. I've been meaning to do it for years now, but my line of work has always been my biggest excuse not to quit. You can fight me on this but representation matters. Performing, community organizing, event planning - all of this requires some level of outreach. So I am extremely fortunate that my work in the arts doesn't currently require me to represent myself, and that I am in a position that I don't have too much social influence at the moment. Don't get me wrong, I am sure I offer plenty to the community, but I am also only one person and there is no particular need for me personally to continue my work in the public sphere. I can do the work offline. If you need me - whether that be a show you think I should audition for or an event I should attend - absolutely send it my way. I just can't be on the look out right now. This could potentially be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me to fully unplug, so I'm going to take it.
If you're wondering what my personal reasons are for stepping away, thank you for caring. I appreciate you. Here's a summary of what's been going on:
I recently graduating from university
I moved to Mohkinstsis (Calgary) on Treaty 7 Territory in order to pursue a career in an industry that has been very heavily affected by the pandemic. Furthermore, there is a lot of racism and homophobia/transphobia to unpack in this city (and in the world but here's a friendly reminder to myself that I am only one person)
QUARTER LIFE CRISIS
I'm practicing sobriety
And perhaps the most impactful - I've had two romantic relationships end.
I say the most impactful because in both cases my inability to hear my partner was a concern. Everyone will say that communication is key in any relationship, but the reason why this hit me the hardest was because it made me realize that I had built my entire adult identity around my ability to listen. I have no idea who I am outside of another person - who am I if not a care giver, a friend, a lover, a collaborator or a community member.
I'm not saying that any of those above relationships are bad. Humans are social creatures. We need each other to survive, that is why we exist in a society. I fiercely believe in community care.
What I am saying is - my self worth is based almost completely on my ability to love and listen. And being told that I wasn't listening was a big-slap-in-the-face-reality-check. Because I wasn't listening. I took a step back from these relationships and saw the type of listening I was doing, and the type of listening that was lacking. I couldn't continue the way I have been and still expect the next time to be different. Everything happens for a reason.
I was once told that not only do I offer my spoons to others, I basically throw all my spoons at them. NO ONE WANTS THAT. It's overwhelming for the other person and leaves me with nothing, which then requires me to take spoons from my support systems in order to recover the spoons I unnecessarily threw. And a part of this is growing up as a mediator in my family, trying to keep things cool. Another part is that I have been hurt by the world, and I feel this selfish need to compensate for the cruelty the world has put us through. It's the knowledge that I have gone through some wildly rough times, and so if I can share that burden with someone who's going through it right now, I know I will survive and potentially make someone else's situation a little bit more bearable. But what this doesn't address is the fact that I don't know how to exist by myself as myself outside of crisis situations. And there is a difference between seeking happiness, and finding contentment. I need that balance.
Truth is, I just don't know what I want or need. I don't have boundaries, and the few that I have are basically transparent. I've spent plenty of time in trash artistic processes to know what I don't want but not nearly enough time doing what I love or focusing on joy and curiosity. I'm looking for things to avoid, not things I deeply desire and care to do. It's about time I actually get to know myself. Which sounds cliché but there is a reason why you hear it over and over again in the arts. Artists are getting to know themselves because that is who they bring to every room.
I just can't keep thinking or acting for the sake of others. I've already sort of reached a point in my self-discovery where I trust myself to be enough. If I show up and bring my full self (capacity permitting), I will already be adding so much to a space. I've worked hard, I have lived experience, I'm so damn charming. And that's all still growing and changing! Of course I have plenty of personal work I need to do (i.e. listening to others) but I know that I don't need to do more to be deserving of love and respect.
Right now is about figuring out what I want or need to get out of the spaces and relationships I am entering. What kind of art do I want to make? What brings me joy? What brings me discomfort? Who and what are my priorities? Who and what do I want to focus my energy on? How do I take care of myself? What are my needs? What offers me space to breath and recharge on my own? When am I relying on others to process my own feelings vs. when I genuinely need love and support? There is a difference between being an extrovert vs. needing external validation vs. genuinely needing help. WHAT IS BALANCE?!
So I'm taking a step away from the social sphere to focus on myself. I'm still around, if you need me you know where to find me. And I'll be regularly maintaining this website so you'll find professional updates in "coming up" and any personal updates over here, on this blog. This will only be temporary considering my work and I am currently in the process of looking for representation. So hopefully, when I return to the medias, I will have an agent and be a little bit more put together. Know you will always have my love. It is just my turn to know what a little bit of that love looks like for myself.
In the meantime, here are some of my artistic recommendations:
MOVIE - Disney + Pixar SOUL:
100/10 would recommend. Changed my life, no joke. Honestly, as a person who has only had one purpose in life, watching this film offered me so much of what life could potentially be. I cried so hard. Unfortunately only available via Disney + but if this is an accessibility issue, PLEASE EMAIL ME AND WE WILL FIGURE IT OUT. For real, that is how much I stand by this film. Everyone needs to watch it.
PODCAST - This American Life (Ep 692 The Show of Delights)
It's a show focusing on finding delight during incredible dark and combative times. It is so important to continue looking for delight despite the fires. Acknowledge the privilege it is to take a moment to escape the conflict, and then commit to taking a break and enjoy some delight. https://www.thisamericanlife.org/692/the-show-of-delights
MUSIC - April + VISTA (album You Are Here)
Honestly this entire album has been on repeat for me since late December. This is one of my favorite songs from the album https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICud-Sy2x0M
BOOK - Home Is In The Body edited by jaqueline gallos aquines
For the longest time I felt so alone being a non-binary Filipinx with little to no connection to my own heritage. I feel so seen and welcomed and loved by this book, and celebrated through the stories of a community I didn't know I had. There's a lot of power held there.
ART - Gudetama (cover photo)
I relate to this character SO MUCH and yet, in this media hiatus I hope to take on more of their "whatever" attitude about life. "Gudetama's origin story is about coming in second, and thriving anyway." Perpetually weary, always tired, vulnerable and sensitive to a fault, no gender and cute in a strange kind of way. Just read this article if you want to know more. https://www.vox.com/2017/4/3/14685348/gudetama-sanrio-hello-kitty-explained