Block 57: April 15, 2013



In case you forgot: Happy Tax Day, everyone.

Date: April 15, 2013

Crane: 57

Days Spent on Project: 57

Location: Apartment, Washington Heights, NYC

Person I would have sent it to: Am I at a bridge now? Have I moved beyond elementary school and graduated to middle school?

How many of us out there despised and feared our middle school experiences? Is it one of those universal truths that the 7th and 8th grades will be emotionally painful experiences? Did anyone get out of those years without some kind of baggage?

I did not (emphasize NOT) have a pleasant time in Brownsburg Junior High. I would have gladly traded anything for the chance to have a boring time during those two years. No, it was the extreme opposite; I dreaded leaving my house every morning, walked through those 7 hour days as in a minefield, and just wanted to be left alone.

I suppose it was better that I didn’t understand why seemingly everyone made fun of me. Was I smaller than most? Was my voice really that high-pitched? Was I that effeminate? (Remember from yesterday how I had no concept of what “gay” was then; how did everyone else know or did they know and why is that kind of homophobia allowed to exist?)

Was it because my parents managed to make enough money that we had a bigger house than most people in the community? Was it that I didn’t play sports?

Was I ugly?

Did I pi$$ someone, the wrong someone, off?

To this day, I have no idea what those years of my life were about. I was incredibly unhappy and afraid; I’m positively confident that much of my hesitance in social situations and around large groups of men developed then.

It’s not a great realization to make when you understand that the world is painful and that many people will actively try to destroy your esteem for whatever reason. It sucks to think you’re alone.

But, in the words of The Trevor Project, “it does get better.” You have to work for it, but it does get better.

We’ll start by thanking the positive touchstones I had then.

Mrs. Tikijian, my seventh grade English teacher. For creating a safe atmosphere in that classroom. For enthusiastically teaching us about grammar and reading and diagramming sentences. For believing in me. For giving off the impression that I was special. For the after-school club, Spell Bowl, which was also a social outlet I joined as I tried to find something to belong to.

Teachers do make a difference!

Music I listened to while sewing: Robyn. I needed some pop-py pep in my step this morning. (It’s Monday)

Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: I stayed up late last night, going through my collection of books, looking for pictures of appropriate outfits for a production of Miss Julie that might happen later this year. Around 1am, I realized that I wasn’t being productive, so I went to bed.

I’m tired. I’m a bit behind (I should have done this research last week, but that opera job got in the way). I need to have sketches to show in… like… a few hours… Oops. I’m nervous, like usual, as I start drawing.

But, you know what? It’s fun. Despite the stress of not feeling like I have the right dress in mind yet or that I don’t have all the right research or that I don’t have the time or that I can’t draw, this is still work that fires my mind up. It’s a glorious feeling to sit down with a sheet of paper and a pile of photographs and see an outfit start to take shape in front of you.

The possibilities are thrilling.

How can I doubt that I want to do this work (theater design) when I sit in bed at night and thinking about all the questions that need answering and details that can be worked out?

If this is a misguided passion, I’d rather be a bit mistaken than not feel the endorphin rush when ideas start to come together.

Do something with passion this week; let’s see how we can tackle the opportunities we’re given.

Happy Monday.

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