I’m tired of pop music. I’d rather hear my peers make original sounds. We all have hands to beat on things, we have voices, some of us can even play instruments. Most of us have mics on our phones to record with, and apps on our iPads. Luckily, some of my friends are talented DJs who are able to craft new landscapes and sonic collages out of a variety of sounds that express history, personality, and passion. But I’m still hungry for more, for something new.
I’ve been listening to the same recycled lyrics and heteronormative narratives all my life. Lyrics like “I need you, I can’t live without you, how could you do this to me, I am incomplete without your validation of my existence…” only serve to perpetuate these destructive themes in my life. I don’t want experiences with people to unfold like love songs (or for that matter, rom-coms, but I’ve stopped watching those years ago). And I want music to reflect the complexity of love and relationships, especially as a queer person.
Life is not simple, love is not simple. Where are the songs about platonic friends who like to make out? Where are songs about wanting to date several people because each interaction is a unique experience worthy to explore? Where are songs about exes you get along really well with, but are sometimes jealous or possessive of? Songs about cuddling? Or songs about kinks and fetishes as a normal expression of human sexuality instead of a depraved, scandalous, pearl-clutching stories? Songs about healthy open relationships? Or even songs about monogamous coupledom, written in ways that affirm each individual as whole beings unto themselves?
How do we embody these normative narratives? How do we break away from them? How do we create our own myths, legends, and songs? We have so much creative power than we know what to do with. When I lived in Spain, there was always music in the streets, whether blasting from speakers or performed in spontaneous jam sessions on a street corner or the town square. People’s physical presence and live rhythms are truly life-giving. I want this in my life again, and I know I’m capable, and so are a lot of my friends and peers.
We are all frequencies, vibrations, waveforms. Let’s express the presence of our bodies, and mark our voices upon the wind. Let’s make sounds.
Check it out! I’m on a cute list with amazing, inspiring people making moves and shaking things up in Chicago! Thanks to Joe Erbentraut for the feature!
This is considered the largest wooden structure in the world, last time I checked. It’s in Sevilla, about 30 mins from Rota, a small village where I was stationed with the US Navy in Spain for 3.5 years.
I went to my storage unit today and pulled out a bunch of Polaroids which I’m installing and selling for 2nd Friday at the Greenhouse. A lot of the photos are from my time in Europe, and I got nostalgic for that period in my life.
There was an innocence about that time. I was blessed with youth and a paycheck twice a month. I traveled anywhere in Europe as I pleased. If I wanted to go to London for the weekend, I could. I visited Paris and Barcelona at least 4 times each. The friends I kept around me were wonderful and supportive, for the most part, and also loved to travel.
Nevertheless, there was a prying dissatisfaction, knowing I wasn’t supposed to be there in the military, that every fiber of my being was telling me I needed to be making art and being around more like-minded people. It felt suffocating. The first quarter of 2011 was a long waiting game for my separation on May of that year.
During my last year in the military (and consequently, my last year in Spain), I took on a project in which I photographed my life with Polaroid cameras. I called it Placer Instantáneo (Instant Pleasure). Each day I designated a Polaroid photo for that day. Today, I went through some of those photos, looking at a life I lived so long ago. It feels like a lifetime has passed. I’m not that person anymore. I still have similar hopes, dreams, but I’m much more affirmed of my place in life. Though times are harder now (I rarely travel, as I’m just barely getting by with rent and food and art supplies), I’m much more confident in my skin, I feel much better supported and loved by family, friends and lovers, and so much happier in every sense.
Not bad. I enjoyed it for the most part. Got to travel all over and meet amazing people. I always told myself it was all temporary, which made it easier to deal and play along with bullshit. Much of it is bullshit. Some of it was genuine. It fosters a very simple, limited perspective and utopic existence. I kinda miss it sometimes, it was easier to just live. But I wouldn’t trade the freedom I have now.
About a year ago, I left my little town of Rota, Spain, where I lived for over 3 years.
I can’t believe a year has already passed. I am so thankful to have gotten the chance to live overseas, learn and live in a different culture, and meet such amazing people. Living in Spain was truly living each day to the fullest. The days were long and open to be enjoyed, with work only a distant necessity for living.
Granted, I was in a position of privilege, working for the US Navy, an occupying foreign force in the country, so my experience was a bit skewed. Spain (especially the province of Andalucia where I lived) is still plagued with unemployment, economic, and political unrest. But the friends I made, and the lifestyle I encountered and surrounded myself with always seemed to see the better, easier side of life. Even with all of life’s negativities, you’re still alive, there’s still the sun, and the beach. When you live that close to the water, I think the social attitude just changes.
I can honestly say that Spain has changed me, even now a year after leaving the country.
I really enjoy this article and I’m sure you’ll be able to relate as well.
If you’re not feeling happy, take a look at this list and see what you can remedy.
You need to make plans to see someone on a Tuesday because having a guaranteed fun activity in the middle of the week will keep you sane and give you something to look forward to. And let’s face it, we all need something to look forward to during the work week…
You need music you can fall in love with…
You need someone in your life who excites you, makes you nervous, and forces you to question what you think you already know… someone who’s challenging, who we can’t figure out, and can tell us that we’re full of crap.
And of course, as Donna and Tom from Parks & Rec have promoted… a day or two to TREAT YO’ SELF!
We need to treat ourselves to stupid stuff. We spend a great deal of our time saying “NO” to things just so one day we can be like “Screw it. I’m doing me today.” If you did “you” every day, you’d either be broke or ridden with STDS.
EVERYBODY’S FREE TO WEAR SUNSCREEN.
“enjoy your body, use it every way you can. don’t be afraid of it or what other people think of it. it’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own”
So much of what I’ve learned in life is in this video. I haven’t heard this song in years, and it resonates so deeply now more than ever. I’ve been trying to live my life with these principles, and it’s wonderful to see and hear them.
My good friend just sent it to me, and it reminded me of the beauty of life and the power of now.
Enjoy this and keep it in mind for the coming new year.
If you can afford it.
A simple, bittersweet, lovely little animated short film.
We all create the world around us by our thoughts and beliefs, and our perceptions of events (and of ourselves) determine how we experience life. If we believe that life is gloomy, then we will perceive gloom in events and by that perception we have drawn gloom into our lives and gloom is what we then experience.
“A hostile person lives in a hostile world,
A loving person lives in a loving world.”
We only need to look at a situation from a different angle, or from another’s point of view, (or see the ‘bigger’ picture), and that can totally change our experience of life and its myriad of events.
I’ve been believing in this for a while now, and it’s interesting to see someone say it like I say it in my head.
I’ve encountered many a people who think the whole world is out to screw them over. In turn, this is what they find: people with unkind hearts and ready to take advantage of you. Some think that God keeps putting up challenges in their paths and making them suffer, and I think “I’m sorry, but your god is an asshole. I will have nothing to do with him (and it’s always a ‘him’).” Some people see their neighbors as lazy and incompetent, their neighbors as closed in and unwelcoming. This is what they continue to find.
We only notice things that reinforce our own beliefs. And if this is the case, I would much rather notice good things. Things that make me happy, people that bring joy, people who want to learn about the world and be a functioning, productive (not reproductive, but that’s fine too), part of it.
When I turned 25 last year, I promised to cut out people in my life who only bring negative energy. I have no room for anyone else’s drama or baggage. I just want to live my life as well as I can. Whatever negativity seeps in, I’ll deal with as it comes.
Live the life you want to live. Because in reality, no one else cares as much as you should.
Google - Zeitgeist 2010
The most-searched topics on Google shows us a bit about the state of our world this year.
What have I done so far this year?
It began with a vacation in France, new tattoos from The Little Prince, followed immediately by getting shipped out to Haiti to help with the earthquake relief efforts. Found peace amidst the chaos. Had an epiphany. Experienced shipboard life. Sailed back to the US. Religion and Misery. Graveyard.
Came back home. Feria. Rebujitos. Uncovered some buried childhood trauma. Slowly learned to deal with it. Progressing. Yoga Retreat. Reinforced my dreams and goals. Moved apartments. Got a dog. Beach. Infatuation. Placer Instantaneo
Summer Vacation 1. On a Boat. Yak. Lost camera and phone. World Cup Championships in Madrid. Home. Beach. Drinks. Visit from best friend. Summer Vacation 2. Fell in love with Berlin. Photos. Couchsurfing. Meeting strangers. Snuck into SOHO house. Real People Project.
Yoga. Swim. Art projects. School of the Art Institute of Chicago phone interview. Merit scholarship nomination. portfolio. artist statement. Love of Food. Journalist. Thanksgiving. Barcelona. Centre of the World.