It’s just different enough


Snippets from the first month or so:

Walking along the highway-ish road the first day, a black man with bright purple hair (and shoes) speaking French to his young daughter who clutched a stuffed animal.

That was the second child that I’d seen walking along the street holding a stuffie. For some reason it struck me as different. That and the purple hair. I can still see them walking in front of me.

When I bothered to order a sandwich in my clumsy french, and the man at the restaurant spoke with me, slowly. A small and encouraging breakthrough.

There was this loud buzzing sound sometimes. I heard it when the patio doors were open. I asked my niece what it was, thinking of some power line type of issue.

Cicadas, she said.

Little moments of different.

The kids playing on the fenced-in, cement playground at the school on the (busy) corner, French-accent shouts bouncing off brick walls.

The brick seems to sharpen already bold soundscapes.

The way that the neighbors fighting sounds more like a play than a real thing. Maybe it’s the thicker walls, the fact that I don’t know them, the fact that it sounds more like drama than real problems…but I feel more removed, as if it is some sort of performance. My last neighbors were too close to home.

I couldn’t stand the fighting anymore.

The cab drivers are animated, chatty. Most people seem simultaneously more and less friendly…at least, less forced happiness. There’s flairs of charisma but it’s not vacant charm. It’s authentic and vibrant. No sugarcoats.

I feel like I’m in a movie—not acting in it, just watching characters.

The night I flew out was the night the man burned. I went to a party that I wasn’t invited to and watched that on a TV. Surreal, fitting…especially the way the screen separated us and the man, but also ourselves.

I had felt disconnect for a while and this was symbolic of a real distance that I’d been feeling for so long anyhow.

It was fitting of the shit that I’d shed, the new horizons that I couldn’t wait one more minute to miss. I didn’t idealize the other side at all; I knew it would come with it’s own set of imperfections and trials.

But first would come some semblance of clarity that I’d been craving for so long.


Failure does not exist (but unicorns do)

Today’s DP: Tell us about something you would attempt if you were guaranteed not to fail (and tell us why you haven’t tried it yet).

Failure?  What is this failure you speak of?  I don’t really believe in that word, and don’t use it.  I prefer to follow Yoda’s wisdom: “Do or do not, there is no try.”  I really do see everything as a journey, rather than classifying events and situations into categories such as ‘success’ or ‘failure’.

Two other words I’ve stopped using are ‘broke’ and ‘fat’.  As in, I’m not referring to myself as either anymore, ever, not even in my head.  I’d recommend this kind of exercise to anyone..but let’s move back over to the topic, which I’m going to reframe as:

“Talk about a batshit crazy/seemingly impossible idea that you have that if you pursued it would completely change your life.”

Recently I dressed up in this sassy unicorn costume for a party.  I loved it.  I channeled this – well, really social and outgoing and fun and kind of magical person (which I  guess I am, except that I identify as an introvert by nature so it is really super empowering when I feel that way).

Wow, I sound really full of myself right now…OK so, without ego, moving on.

So my completely awesome / batshit crazy idea is to be a unicorn for a year and blog about it.  I’m not joking: I’d get some press, get some followers, and basically travel around the world writing about my uinicorny adventures.  I wouldn’t necessarily be ‘in costume’ all of the time, although being in costume some of the time would be part of the deal.  unicorns

Part of what I’d be doing is getting my hands dirty in different projects, volunteering in community development projects and the like.  Other parts would be getting involved in intentional communities/community initiatives, creative projects, etc.  The hope would be that I could learn enough to take on more of a leadership role in this capacity later in life.

Plus, I would also be focused on spreading random (magical) acts of kindness.  You know…the usual.

Sounds ridiculous right?  But, the point really would be to be footloose and spreading awesomeness, exploring the world, helping people, having fun.  In other words, really living…which is probably the least crazy thing that one can do for oneself and the world.

The whole idea is a little (OK, a lot) grandiose, but I’m taking baby unicorn steps… (hell yeah!)