Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Viv: Party of one

I bought a Regina Spektor ticket this morning and was just about to buy a Tegan and Sara ticket when the thought of going to yet another concert by myself filled me with complete boredom.

The vast majority of the shows I took in last year, the ones I've seen this year, or have tickets to for later this year, and every classical music performance I see, I see by myself.

How come? Lots of reasons. I tend to be spontaneous. By the time I figure out someone I like or want to hear is playing, it's time to buy the tickets. I don't want to lose a good seat to track down a friend who likes the band. Other times, people tend not to be available or don't want to go to a particular show. But, the majority of the time it's because I don't want to find someone to go with me to do something I'm interested in.

I'm an only child. I'm skilled in entertaining myself. Played with dolls by myself. Played card games by myself. Wrote and drew pictures by myself. Rode my bike by myself. If none of the neighborhood kids were out, I'd create my own adventures. I didn't sit around sulking about doing things by myself, I just never really thought about it because it was my reality. Other kids would ask me if I felt lonely without siblings and I didn't, because there's a difference between being alone and being lonely and how could I miss and long for something I never experienced?

At the same time, it was drilled into me by my childhood friends that you're supposed to have someone to do things with and that if you want to go do something like swim, go to the mall or the movies, whatever, you're supposed to call up all your friends and find out who wants to go with you and if you can't find someone, well, you just don't go.

I thought that was a load of crap. Why am I not going to do something I want to do because I can't find someone else to do it with me? Oh, rebellious, independent Viv! I will say this: doing everything by yourself gets kinda old. I've been at this for quite some time and while I love my own company and treasure, value and protect my alone time like a big shiny diamond, I do like spending time with friends! Going to dinner or the movies, the museum or concerts by myself can be awfully boring because at some point during it all I just want to turn to someone and talk about what I'm experiencing. I want to share the experience with someone else.

I love that I'm the kind of person who will do her own thing (#2 of 50!) and I'm not going to stop doing things by myself, ever. But I will concede, some things are more fun with a friend.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Takeoff

I'm flying to Raleigh, NC for work and we just took off from JFK. For
the first time in years, I have a window seat.

I grew up flying, thanks to my dad working for Varig airlines. I used
to love going to visit him at the airport and watching the airplanes
take off and land from an employees only rooftop. My dad, being an
aviation nut, knew all the call signs and could tell you the make and
model of a plane flying overhead without being able to make out the
ensignia. Often we'd go to the airport, park the car and watch planes
land, full with the rush and roar and energy of the whole thing. I
couldn't get enough of it.

Whenever we flew, which was often, I'd take a window seat and bounce
excitedly during takeoff, my favorite part of the whole ride. It was
an adventure.

Over the years I started to fly less and became wary of the whole
experience. Window seats were for kids and noobs; the aisle seat is
where the experienced and harried traveler sat. With ageing also came
the unsettling realization that I was mortal, the plane could crash
and turbulence and otherwise normal flight sounds started to freak me
out. After 9/11, it turned even scarier and I barely took flights and
for the most part white-knuckled it during takeoff (the most dangerous
part of the flight) when I did.

This past Christmas I realized that I was missing out on seeing my
family because of it and resolved to not let this fear stop me any
longer. I booked 4 flights, one for each season. And then my
grandmother got sick and I booked some more so that I ended up with a
flight every month. On that first flight I took back home when she was
in the hospital and diagnosed, I sat in my aisle seat and forgoed my
usual routine takeoff distraction (unlawfully listening to my ipod
during takeoff) and thought about what I really was afraid of and
forced myself to be really present and feel my fear.

It worked. I got through it. I started to enjoy the flight and
remember what I loved about planes and flying.

So here I am at a window seat and during takeoff, I turned up the
music (lawfully pumped through Jetblue's xm radio) and excitedly
watched our takeoff and restrained my desire to hoot and holler. As we
banked to the left and Rockaway beach was below us, I thought about
how yeah, this is a bit scary but also exciting and that's life.

Being the type of person willing to face her fears is one of the 50
things I love about myself.

Sent from my iPhone

Friday, June 13, 2008

My 4's - for Bearclau

I normally don't do these things but I'll do it for you! :-)

My 4's
A) Four places that I go to over and over: Joyce bakeshop, the gym (LOL), prospect park, food co-op
B) Four people who e-mail me (regularly): *crickets* Not much email anymore.
C) Four of my favorite places to eat: home, Brick Lane, Candle Cafe, Saravanaas, Meskel.
D) Four places I would rather be right now: on a beach, in the water, in a open grassy area, under a tree.
E) Four people I think will respond: four? Sheesh, see B.
F) Four TV shows I watch (regularly): Family Guy, The Office, Mad Men (when it's on), 30 Rock.

As revenge, list 50 things you like about yourself!

catching up

Why is it possible to hold contradictory emotions? Why can I feel happy, sad, miserable, and lonely and still say I love my life with a big smile on my face and mean it?

Things have been non-stop since I got back from Florida and exhausting mentally, emotionally and physically. Now I'm sitting on the couch watching a movie (High Fidelity. I watched it when it came out in 2000 but just finished reading the book so I'm re-watching it) and while the movie is good, I'm here blogging and I also have a strong desire to jump into a pool and sink to the bottom and stay there for as long as I can before I'm forced to come up for air.

There's a lot to do this weekend, I don't want to do any of it, but I have to because it's been so long since I've been home and/or awake while home.

I'm going to spend some time now catching up on the blogs I haven't read in two weeks. Meanwhile, the bloggess makes me laugh out loud. Read it! Love it!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Update

Gang, I got a call earlier this afternoon around 1pm that my
grandmother was in the hospital and might not make it through the
night. I haven't mentioned it here, but earlier this year she was
diagnosed with metastatic brain cancer. That's why I've been flying to
Florida once a month.

I went back home, changed my flight which I had scheduled leaving
Friday to this afternoon. I packed, got ready and was about to head
out the door when my father called to let me know that she passed at
2pm.

Now I'm sitting in JFK at jet blue's terminal. I really thought that
I'd have time to get there, that she'd hold on a little bit longer.
But she was surrounded by her sons and her husband and extended family
that loved her. And she most certainly knew just how much I loved her
and how thankful and grateful I am for the love and support she gave
me all of my life.

Sent from my iPhone