Block 53: April 11, 2013



I’ve achieved better lighting in this picture! AND the Crane is even centered in the frame!

Ah; sweet relief… I don’t know why that was making me so anxious…

I’m back to my A-game, folks. For now, of course.

Date: April 11, 2013

Crane: 53

Days Spent on Project: 53

Location: Apartment, Washington Heights, NYC

Person I would have sent it to: Back to my days in elementary school- Mike V.

Not really a friend really. From what I recall, his family moved into the community at some time when we were all in fourth or fifth grade. Obsessed with- and actually possessing what we children believed to be prowess at- basketball, he was easily swept into the popular crowd.

For some reason, I was intrigued with him.

I was in no way a member of the popular crowd, so my fascination was probably a common form of social jealousy. It’s amazing, isn’t it, to think back on those years (and the ones to follow in middle school and high school); being “popular” really did determine everything about your existence and drive much of your daily activities. There are books and studies and therapists that deal with that dirty little aspect of our childhoods. I won’t try to theorize on it. Someone has probably written something much more eloquent and profound than I could here.

However, regardless of my and Mike’s social standing in elementary school, something shocking did happen.

In fifth grade, my mom managed to throw a surprise birthday party for me at my house. When I came home from school that afternoon, I was pleasantly shocked to see a group of friends (most of them thanked on this blog already) cheering for me. Mike was also there.

My mother, picking up on whatever kind of jealousy or admiration or infatuation I was exhibiting, simply called his parents and asked if Mike would come over for the party. For some reason, he said yes.

I don’t remember the presents. I don’t remember the cake. I don’t remember any of what we did at this party.

But I do remember, that for an afternoon, there was a popular kid in my house. And he hung out with my friends. And he seemed to have a good time.

Best birthday present ever: a confidence boost.

He definitely gets a Crane.

Music I listened to while sewing: Amy Winehouse. I’ve been repeating Back to Black, Tears Dry On Their Own, You Know I’m No Good, and Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow? quite a bit today.

We all know the version of Will You Still… as sung by the Shirelles, of course; it wasn’t until hearing Miss Winehouse’s cover that I realized how much the yearning and joy within the song are just a thin layer over some deep doubts and insecurities.

Hearing Amy sing it breaks my heart. It’s too bad her demons and addictions took her away from us. Can you imagine what she would have been capable of later in her life?

Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: I would just like to take a moment and remind myself that it takes effort not to sabotage myself and my pursuits.

Yes, these one thousand Cranes are turning into an opportunity for myself to meditate on my past and present. Yes, I feel like it’s giving me an outlet, both emotional and mental and creative. And it is helping.

I don’t know what any of you else struggle with: I deal with self-confidence, despite giving off the impression that I’m aloof and overly confident; I deal with emotional crutches; I deal with a skewed self-image; I deal with feeling powerless in both my career and personal life; I sometimes deal with the financial repercussions of being a freelance artist in New York.

We all deal with issues. I am not unique in my day-to-day struggles.

But if I’m aware of these problems within me, why do I exacerbate them? If I know I have a tendency to skip meals and work myself into a frenzy when I feel pressure from projects, why don’t I take a lunch break and eat something? Why don’t I make a concerted effort to shoot the $hit (as it were) with friends or people I’m working with if we all have a sense of being overwhelmed? Why do I beat myself up if I just want to come home, have a glass of wine, eat take out, and watch a movie?

I think I need to remind myself that it’s okay to take it easy. It’s fine to need to relax. It’s certainly more than acceptable to give yourself a 15-30 minute break and have a sandwich in the middle of the day.

Everyone: we are treasures. Sometimes we need to be reminded to take it easy, take ourselves off a pedestal, and just take a breath.

Good night. And more tomorrow.

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