Wannabe who?

Growing up, I believe, we all have people we cross, both in real life and in fictional ways (e.g. book characters and movies characters), whom we want to be (or else more like whom we want to be).

We declare, at least to ourselves, “I want to be like that(!),” and then we take on new ways with determination.

We do our best in the moment o sick with these new ways of being or living, in order to be more like the desired individual – sometimes we stick with our new ways, and sometimes we drift back into whatever we were doing beforehand, and forget all about our determined declaration to be different than we had been.

I have found, though, that, in many cases, I have forgotten that I wanted to be like a particular individual, but still stuck with the new ways of being.

It is only years and years later that I rediscover my desire.

Sometimes I merely remember that I wanted to be like a certain someone.

Other times, I rediscover that want, thereby uncovering why I am doing a certain something.

The first I realized was Sailor Moon.

I am not sure I ever really watched the show, but I remember for sure seeing at least pieces of episodes, specifically the scenes where she transforms from her school uniform self into her battle-ready self.

I have always wanted a gold tattoo somewhere on me, because of the cats, but I have not pursued that one.

What I did pursue, however, was her hair.

In that scene where she transforms her outfit, her pigtails spiral around her body as her body turns, they are so long and blonde and perfect… and I wanted to have hair just like that, just like hers.

So, until junior year of high school, I had the longest hair I possibly could have.

I hated going to the hair dresser, because my sisters always lied to me, saying only an inch or two would come off – it was always a minimum of 4-6 inches, and not merely due to split ends… they just didn’t like the idea of my having such long hair.

And so, I left almost every appointment of my childhood haircuts balling.

Junior year of high school, I had been teased and taunted enough that, combined with my desire to try something different, I was ready to let the hair go.

I had a fun and silly summer with kids my age who joked about my hair in just the right way that I was delighted to allow them to go ahead and cut it for me (It was a whole huge fun and utterly silly ordeal, actually, and in an iconic spot in northern Spain.).

It was not until another few years later that, upon mentioning Sailor Moon to someone and talking about the show, that I suddenly remembered my childhood desire…, and that I suddenly understood why I always wanted my hair to be long.

People always were asking me, but I never had an answer that convinced myself… it was just some lame because I prefer long hair kind of answer… and now I knew.

And I never got those pigtails that swirled around me (because they’re actually probably impossible with natural hair)…, but I did have a lot of fun with my hair that summer, swinging it around like a helicopter to hit people nearby and all that jazz… it was great.

And it was all because I wanted swirling blonde pigtails like Sailor Moon had.

Fast forward into my adult life now.

In a conversation last night, my cousins says to me, “You’re essentially living the Dharma & Greg life right now.”

In so many ways, I am.

And it was super exciting that she said that to me, because I had always wanted to be like Dharma.

But I had never expected that it actually would happen.

However, here I am, living my own honest version of Dharma, and without even consciously doing it – it all kind of just fell into place in its own way in my life.

I am a yoga teacher; I live in an Ashram above a yoga studio; I have many odd and awesome jobs that come and go; I take spontaneous trips; I’ve done a boatload of what the average person would call absurd things; I’ve lived around the world with somewhat absurd circumstances; I speak honestly and openly, and it blows people’s minds regularly; I do the craziest of things; I surprise people with fabulous surprises; and I genuinely care about everyone in my life, and I make efforts for them to experience that love, no matter how loose the connection is between us; and there are a few others I’ll not mention just now… ;P

Nonetheless, I am very much like Dharma now, in my own way, and I hadn’t even remembered my desire to be like Dharma until just recently.

A third was Janie from the The Face on the Milk Carton young adult book series.

So many things she did, big and small – outfits, mannerisms, topics contemplated – have been around my life for years…, and I believe they were directly inspired by her in my elementary school self.

There’s actually a reminder on my phone right now to go get a certain outfit like what she had in one particular scene in the book – I loved it so much as a child, and, upon rereading it (and thereby rediscovering all of these things), I found I still loved it and wanted to make it happen, now that I really could(!).

I never would have remembered how badly I wanted to be like Janie, if I hadn’t reread those books recently.

The same would have been the case with Dharma, if I hadn’t started rewatching the show as an adult living in Japan a few years ago.

The same is so with Sailor Moon (and watching it recently).

And the same would have been true with a fourth person, if not for some meditations this afternoon on this particular person and my childhood.

This fourth individual is my cousin S—–.

As a child, I wanted to spend as much time with her as possible, and I wanted to be as much like she was as possible.

I loved having hand-me-downs from her, but I rarely got them, because she was the top of the cousin chain, and I was the bottom – they had a long way to go to make it all the way down to me.

When she returned from having studied in Spain, she spoke easily with my stepfather in Spanish, and I envied her for it.

I wanted to do that, to be that way, studying abroad and speaking a new language comfortably and communicably, like it was no big deal, full of excitement.

Plus, just like all the others, she was beautiful.

And I wanted to be beautiful like that, too.

Here I am, years and years later, and I see how many things have spurred me on via my desires to be more like she was or is.

I not only studied abroad, but I did it many times; I speak more than just a few languages, and all of them rather comfortably; I have classy, chic outfits that I know something inside me calls “S——- outfits”; and my body is finally showing up to me like I have always wanted it to be…. which is surprisingly (or not surprisingly) similar to the body of the woman who stood before me tonight for the first time in a long time…, my cousin.

If we hadn’t been coming to see her tonight, I’m not sure I would have thought back to childhood with her in mind at all, and I doubt I would have remembered consciously that I had always been inspired by her and that I had wanted to be more like she was…

No, I haven’t become an awesome lawyer like she did, but that hasn’t changed the fact that something inside me keeps considering law school… I wouldn’t put it past being inspired entirely by my childhood love of her

Anyway…, this has been fun, reminiscing on my childhood dreams for myself, but I’m not sure I did a very good job sharing about it all, so I’ll just leave it and get to sleep.

Goodnight, World… hasta maΓ±ana. ❀

Post-a-day 2020

Weird Dreams

I had a dream last night in which I attended an odd sort of reunion for my elementary school.

There were really only about ten people in attendance, and it took place at my elementary school.

However, I haven’t actually been inside my elementary school since it was torn down and rebuilt years and years ago, so, I was a little lost in finding the right room at the reunion… I even came across a room for another reunion first and said hi to a kid I knew from middle school and who didn’t go to my elementary school, but that didn’t stop my brain’s having him be attending his own reunion in that particular classroom at my elementary school…

My mom had dropped me off, and given me a kiss and wished me a good time, and I was slightly nervous but also oddly comfortable – I haven’t seen these people in almost fifteen years, but that didn’t seem to matter (or, perhaps, it helped)…

In the actual hangout, we were all sitting at some tables at one point, talking as a group, when the guy next to me makes an executive decision, and full-on kisses the guy next to him on the mouth.

Immediately following, he declares that ‘well, now he knows’ what that’s like, at which point I notice distinctly who the two of them are: tall Kevin W. kissed little Ryan S.

(Mind you, this is how they were as kids, and so my brain decided to mature them while maintaining the relative heights.)

And no one had a problem with it.

One guy made a comment jokingly, kind of in remembrance of something stupid he would have said back in the day, but, now that none of us cares about homosexuality, he wouldn’t have even thought of being uncomfortable or if making a stupid comment… actually, that was why Kevin kissed Ryan – because we were talking about how we and thins had changed and that homosexuality wasn’t something anyone teased about or was uncomfortable about… if a guy kissed a guy, gay or not, we wouldn’t care…

And so then Kevin kissed Ryan, even though neither of them is it was gay, and our point was proven that none of us minded, and Kevin and Ryan got to see what kissing one another was like.

And then it all shifted and there was somehow a pool and people and we were participating in a swimming party for our reunion gathering… my mom dropped something off to me at some point – perhaps it was a swimsuit…. – and I’m not remembering much else in enough detail to describe now, so I’ll leave it at that.

It was a fun gathering and idea, and an even more fun dream – I kind of wish we could do a real one (and I wouldn’t mind if Kevin decided to kiss Ryan at this one, too!)… it would be nice to see everyone again and to see how our lives led us forward… I think I would like that very much. πŸ™‚

Post-a-day 2019

Brushin’ my teeth…

I think it’s a bit funny that we never much talk about brushing our teeth.

It is something that, supposedly, anyway, we all do every day, multiple times a day…, it has a huge role in our life, when you consider that it is 1)here throughout almost our entire life, and 2)extremely beneficial to our oral health and, therefore, ability to eat and smile and feel good on the daily… it’s kind of a necessity that provides amazing benefits.

One might think that we would want to do it the best we possibly can…, right?

And yet, when was the last time you conferred with your family or friends (or anybody) about best teeth-brushing practices?… How often do you ask opinions on flossing versus brushing first?… When do you share back and forth about preferred tooth brushes and toothpastes (or tooth powders) with others?

The answer to all of these questions, though they might be “Once or twice ever,” are most likely to be “Never, really.”

Sure, I’ve talked about it all with a dental hygienist or the dentist when I’m having a cleaning, and they compliment how well I take care of my teeth…, but that isn’t exactly the same thing – it happens to be their job to talk to me about my oral health habits and practices.

I think it would be valuable for us to discuss all of this… different perspectives are part of how we can develop things to perfection.

I mean, most of us established our teeth-brushing habits and patterns as little kids… were we really that smart that we as adults are doing best to follow what that six-year-old determined was the best way to brush teeth?

Yeah… let’s not.

So, I’ll share a few basics here, and consider how to strike up regular discussions about all of this with friends in the near future:

I have a preferred dental floss for its thinness and the fact that its container is paper that can be easily recycled… I have a preferred toothbrush that is made out of recycled yogurt cups (my razor is, too) and is bent in a way that almost no toothbrushes are, and which makes it loads easier to reach all of my teeth from all sides… I dislike minty or fruity toothpastes… frankly, I like the Indian ones that tend to taste like they must have dirt in them, if not just a handful of herbs and spices… I don’t even like the candy peppermints, and I don’t want my toothpaste to be like them… minty fresh is not my fav… I switch around my toothpastes, somewhat based on which one or ones are on sale, usually at Whole Foods – I like the natural, hippy-like ones… especially clove and neem ones, but sometimes certain tea tree or cinnamon (natural and pure, not some fake flavouring) ones…, but I also like the tooth powders… I first discovered them at a health foods shop in France, and I stocked up, because I didn’t know that we had any in the US… since then, I’ve found ones I love so much better(!) (the dirt-like ones)… I change my toothbrush at the end of every tube or container of toothpaste or tooth powder…, and I usually switch to a new color of toothbrush, which I sometimes select at random from the store… I have a long and practiced and well thought-out method of brushing my teeth, and I end up brushing parts multiple times, just to be safe, if I somehow go out of order… I wet my toothbrush before brushing, and I turn the water off while brushing… If I can hear my toothbrush with my ears (instead of from inside my head), I apply less pressure – a dental somebody once told me that someone else in the room should not be able to hear me brushing my teeth, because that would mean that I am brushing too hard… In the US, we supposedly have so much fluoride added to our water that we don’t exactly need fluoride toothpaste… I haven’t used fluoride toothpaste since I was, maybe, seven, and the dentist still isn’t concerned for me (so, yay!)…, though I wonder sometimes about looking into this, I haven’t done it yet – that Erin Brockovich interview by Jonathan Van Ness (yes, from Queer Eye!!) shows almost exactly why I haven’t looked into this yet… I don’t use mouthwash, and it doesn’t seem to be a problem…, does it?

Anyway, those are a small glimpse of things I want to discuss and share with people regarding teeth brushing and oral hygiene in my life… Also, I occasionally imagine (especially recently, with my current bedtime book being Jaws) how it might be to have to brush the teeth of a beloved pet shark who totally would not bite me or anything… I’d be brushing for hours, let alone figuring out flossing – could we use leather strips as floss, so it wouldn’t shred instantly???… Or some other material we could rinse and re-use?… (On that note, when are we getting reusable floss, hmmmm???) So many thoughts… πŸ˜›

Post-a-day 2019

Cultural Villainy

This afternoon/evening, I found myself discussing various voice and talking style stereotypes in American English and in Japanese (from Japan, of course*).

It all started with seeing the film “Aladdin” in the cinema this afternoon, and then, over ice cream afterward, we veered onto Disney music and its composers a lyricists (and how amazing some of the greats are[!!!]).

Then we branched into the Japanese versions of this music, as the friend with me is Japanese, and she grew up only hearing the Japanese language versions of the songs.

We discussed differences I had found in the music, and why I thought each one was so… now that she has been living in the US for about a year, she saw exactly what I meant and genuinely understood.

“Colors of the Wind” sounds somewhat stressed and so compounded and busy in Japanese, yet the English sounds so open and contemplative, filled with deep breaths and space through the notes and the words… there are just too many syllables in the Japanese, and too many consonants in between all the vowels…

An American likely would be appalled at hearing the Japanese version of Scar’s voice, because the voice doesn’t match the type of villain that he is… it is not entitled and brooding and, almost like serial killer style, the voice of someone who is biding his time until his plot can unfurl perfectly to his advantage – until, at last, he is granted his dues, as Scar says.

To American ears, the Japanese Scar in pathetic and angry and holds no weight behind his short-man angry yelling of a voice, desperately hoping someone will listen to him and do what he wants others to do.

And yet, to Japanese ears, the Japanese Scar is exactly right: He is the stereotypical ‘bad guy’ voice and has that same ‘bad guy’ and ‘villain’ manner of speaking… the English version would sound just ‘American’, and have nothing special tied to it for Japanese ears.

And my friend was able to see and hear just these things, and mainly because she has become accustomed to hearing so many different ways of speaking that people have here in English (unlike Japanese English in Japan, which is pretty much always the same).

And, somehow, I found the whole situation to be fascinating and utterly fulfilling… I had never really thought quite so much and quite so pointedly about the translations and the voices of actors until today, though it certainly was not my first or, even, tenth time considering it all.

It had me feel an almost silly passion for Disney and, in particular, “The Lion King”, and yet I couldn’t find a reason not to care so much about it all – I love languages and music and seeing things in new ways, and these Disney movies had huge impacts on my childhood and, therefore, my life as a whole… they are a part of me… and I care about and love myself.

So, I guess I get to love those Disney films, too, silly little perfect details and all. πŸ™‚

By the way, I went into “Aladdin” with an attitude of its being a different film and perspective of the same story as the animated version…, and I thoroughly enjoyed the film – it was wonderful(!).

And it was filmed in Jordan(!)… how cool is that?!

I don’t often go to cinemas these days (in the US, anyway), but I am glad I went today – it was a lovely experience. πŸ™‚

*Does Japanese have a culture of native speakers anywhere else in the world?

Post-a-day 2019

Karate

Whenever I do this teeth whitening thing, I have to keep his little blue-light mouthpiece in my mouth, gripped between my teeth, for five minutes.

Afterward, I spit out the excess gel in my mouth and I wash off the mouthpiece.

Whenever I’m in the cleanup stage, I’m always adjusting my jaw, stretching its muscles, and feeling around my teeth a bit with my tongue.

As I do this, I find myself remembering strongly my days of American karate in my youth.

For sparring, we had to have a rubber mouth guard to protect our teeth… I remember how, every time I got a new mouth guard, my mom and I would be in the kitchen, trimming edges, boiling the rubber, and mashing my teeth into it to make it mold perfectly to my bite and teeth.

It was always so exciting to me, for some reason I cannot yet understand… perhaps it was the specialness of the whole process, like we were doing a whole (and real) science lab experiment, tongs and boiling water and all… and it was for me… so it was something unique and special and process-filled, specifically being done for me…

Perhaps that was a large part of it…

Whatever the case, I always enjoyed it, forming my mouth guards.

Especially the bit of biting down on my mouth guard, squeezing my teeth tightly, and wedging them each into the rubber, claiming specific territory to be forever theirs in that particular mouth guard…

Whenever we did spar, and I got to wear my mouth guard, I rather enjoyed sucking and chewing slightly on my mouth guard, tasting the rubber, feeling the tiny rebound it provided when I clenched my jaw and released, hearing the squishy sounds of saliva being pushed around and in and out of the mouth guard’s coverage area as I clicked my teeth (with the rubber between them, of course) together several times in quick succession… and then tasting again, as I held my jaw snug and sucked everything out of the mouth guard.

It all seems odd to me now, considering it and sharing it, but also still quite familiar… I don’t see myself doing half these same things nowadays, yet I remember them fondly nonetheless.

And, every time I whiten my teeth, I am filled with a few drops of that excitement and delight brought it me for years by karate…, making it a unique and somewhat special experience so far as teeth whitening goes. πŸ˜›

P.S. I love finding words that I’ve known for years, but whose language of origin I didn’t initially speak, but now speak, and, therefore, as I cross the word anew, I suddenly see it from the eyes of this language I now speak, instead of as a foreign word with meaning I must struggle to remember… karate is one of those words… from my American eyes and ears and mind, it is pronounced the American way and means merely a form of martial arts… from my Japanese eyes et cetera, it is pronounced with a Japanese pronunciation, it means 空手 (からて), which literally means “empty hand”, and it is a form of martial arts… and, somehow, the two are simultaneously the same thing and two totally different ones… so it goes… πŸ˜›

Post-a-day 2019

Beer run?

‘Okay, I’m stopping at the grocer on my way out there.’

‘Oh, since you’re stopping at the grocer, will you pick up some (hard) cider for me?’

He then gives me the details of his preferences on cidre, and we settle a plan…

“Haha…,” he continues, a bit nerdily and excited, “I’ve never had my little sister buy me alcohol before.”

We both had a dorky chuckle at this idea, mostly because we knew how the rest of our family had been growing up, as well as how unlike them I had been, simply uninterested in alcohol, let alone getting someone to buy any for me.

…..

Separately, when actually at the store, two girls who work there were telling me about the cidres sold, and kept suggesting I get a ‘sneaky’ one, so that I could ‘get him drunk’, and they kept chuckling at how their boyfriends are always surprised with sweet drinks that have high alcoholic content and leave them drunk, when they had thought they were totally fine… I didn’t entirely disapprove, since it’s people who matter to the girls, but I wasn’t exactly a proponent of the behavior in the first place…

When they remembered that I had said “for my brother”, their tunes changed and they gave me genuine flavor information on the different cidres, instead of just talking about getting something sweet. πŸ˜›

The irony of it all was how I couldn’t even remember the last time I’d purchased alcohol, let alone purchased any for my own consumption (not that these were for me, of course), and it felt extra-silly carrying out the cidres… I felt so totally out of place, not unlike an underaged kid sister trying to sneak alcohol for her brother’s party…

My extra consolation was in the fact that he really doesn’t drink much in the first place either, but wanted some drinks because he is on vacation (and even then only a few, because there’s an intense CrossFit class awaiting him in the morning). πŸ˜›

Post-a-day 2019

Envy

She taught me to envy,

– or, rather, I learned to envy because of her –

and I still remember how to do it.

Seeing her tonight,

talking with her, missing being around her and being close friends with her

from more than a decade ago,

was both wonderfully amazing and delightful

and an intense reminder of how envy feels.

Her life is not for me, I know

– otherwise I would have been born into her life in the first place.

But it certainly has me question what I could be doing differently in my life, better,

if I so longingly envy her hers.

In other words, what is missing in my life, that I still desire, wish for, hers?

Post-a-day 2019