There is No Tragedy in Falling

Happy Wildcard Wednesday! For today I just wrote a few words to get you up the mountain and over the hump day. ๐Ÿ™‚

There is no tragedy in falling. There is only tragedy in letting them pull you down. There is only tragedy in letting them keep you from climbing. In letting the nearsighted on the ground tell you they could see the exact pebble you tripped on from a million miles below with complete disregard for the great stretch of scenery between where you left and where you ended up.

As long as there are mountains to climb, do no listen to those who tell you otherwise, for there is no tragedy in falling.

(Apparently, we’re just really going for the Mother Abbess theme this week. Another chorus of “Climb Every Mountain”, shall we?)

Truth Tuesdays #1: The Care Scare

I bullshitted my way through high school. Generally, I think that if you made it through high school at all, you did a fair amount of bullshitting.

Why? Because every day you’re bounced around from History to

And yes, I truly did have a lesson on his facial hair once. Welcome to Canadian history.

Math to English to French and all of these different teachers expect you to CARE SO MUCH about whatever thing they are presenting on that given day, and generally disregard the fact that you can’t care so deeply about logarithms, the conjugation of “aller”, how Hamlet is feeling in Act 2 scene 2, and Louis Riel’s facial hair all in the same day. But you have to.

And it carries over into life. World famine! Care! Mormons preaching at your door! Smack that hangover off your face! The Sarah McLachlan animal rescue commercial! Start crying! Free soap! Just fill out this survey about your stuggles with hygiene!

So why the bullshit? It’s not that nobody cares. They do. They just care on their own terms. Selfish caring, if you will, but it’s the only honest way to do it. You can’t present something and ask for people to care and have it instantly be so; it doesn’t work like that.

People donโ€™t care on command. They have to grow into caring; find what they care about themselves. When that happens, they’ll take action because they need to, not just because they want to. Because the cause or person is so much a part of them, of who they are, that they need to make a change, or take a stand, or lend a hand. They are truthfully and totally invested.

Not because you asked them to be, but because they know they are.

I can’t tell you what to care about or believe in. You gotta find it for yourself.

Y is for “You”, “Finding Yourself”, and The Forks in The Road

So today is ‘Y’ day in The Blogging A-Z April Challenge, which means it’s over tomorrow with ‘Z’! And, well, I’ve been thinking, no better time than the present to open up and tell you all my dirty little secrets, yes?

I’ve been dancing since the age of two, and when I graduated high school, dance took me to New York and Toronto, and then back to my hometown of Vancouver.

Here’s a silly video of footage from a couple years ago that makes me cringe, but is usually passable for the general public:

Anyways. So I come back to Vancouver summer of 2012 to a summer dance intensive aaaaand…

The first rule of shitty situations is to make sure you joke about them so others aren't uncomfortably sympathetic around you. Eg. "They're getting the Mars Curiosity to detour over to my knee."

The first rule of shitty situations is to make sure you joke about them so others aren’t uncomfortably sympathetic around you. Eg. “They’re getting the Mars Curiosity to detour over to my knee.”

This happens.

I swear it didn't hurt that much, but maybe that's the drugs talking.

I swear it didn’t hurt that much, but maybe that’s the drugs talking.

Long story short, the world’s most uncommon knee injury; in which the ligament actually is so strong it pulls off a piece of the kneecap and carries it over to nomads land where it must be recaptured and reattached to the rest of the patella with screws through surgical procedure.

Mmm.

Anyways, though I’ve healed a HUGE amount since not being able to walk etc, I’ve been in a dance program that I can’t do most of, and I’m starting to realize that everything happens for a reason, and maybe I’m just being ignorant to the huge slap in the face life gave me.

To be honest, the biggest slap in the face is the HALF banana you're given post-op. You'd think after all that you'd be deserving of a whole one...but 'tis not the case.

To be honest, the biggest slap in the face is the HALF banana you’re given post-op. You’d think after all that you’d be deserving of a whole one…but ’tis not the case.

And here’s where finding yourself comes in.

Now, I’m no hippy, and I don’t think you are necessarily going to find yourself on top of Mt. Kilimanjaro, in the Irish countryside, or buried in the sands of a Thai beach, but rather, that finding yourself might mean losing a piece of what you thought you were.

My whole life I have been a “dancer.” I was always “the dancer” among my friends, and I was always introduced as being “the dancer.”

Then all of a sudden, I couldn’t dance.

By the logic that I am “a dancer”, I should have ceased to exist. But I didn’t. I’m still Kat. So it occurred to me that we are more than how the outside world labels us. We aren’t completely defined by what we do or what we say. Even our specific likes and dislikes are rather superficial. I think that mostly, who we are is in our outlook; in our beliefs.

For most of my existence, I’ve been so caught up in being a dancer that I’ve never even tried to figure out who I am beyond that. I’ve hidden behind the label and let it speak for me, instead of speaking for myself. Labeling yourself makes it easier for others to see you as another thing that already exists, instead of the unique person you are.

I need to take at least a year off of dance. Maybe I’ll go back to it, and maybe I won’t. If I do, I believe that exploring different ways of fulfillment will only make me a better artist. After all, dance isn’t all about having pretty feet and working knee joints.

So it’s a fork in the road, (a ‘Y’ in the road, if you will). There’s a million things I want to try, and a million places I want to explore. I want to do everything; meet everyone; taste all the ice cream flavours, you know? If the path I’d been going down hadn’t cracked at my feet, I would have just stayed on it because it’s the only one I’ve ever known. It’s only now that I see the network of possible trails that is in front of me.

I mean, consistency in life? No, no, that’s where we all get fooled. Because life itself is defined by change, growth, and diversity.

(Added bonus ((or perhaps the opposite)), here’s a voice cracky, key changey, acapella version of “What I Wouldn’t Do”, by A Fine Frenzy, dedicated to all the ‘you’s, and everything that comes and goes ๐Ÿ™‚ )

https://soundcloud.com/sohelpmekat/what-i-wouldnt-do/s-5J6KY

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Utopia

This post is part of the “Blogging from A-Z April Challenge”! The “U” themed inspiration for today is “utopia.” It’s a monster post…but it’s probably one of the most important ones I’ve written.

I do not remember the saddest day of my life.

That’s not to say I don’t remember exams, or deaths; broken bones, surgeries and scars. I certainly can’t forget about heartbreak, failure, disappointment, and all those unexpected lasts, and I know too well of the scariest stretches of days where nothing went wrong at all, but everything felt terribly off.

But when I think back on this small little history of my tiny life, the truth remains; I don’t remember my saddest day.

What I do remember, is my happiest day.

I must have been around 13, and my family was on summer holidays on a beach off the west coast of Canada. Our car had broken down and we were forced to stay longer than we had anticipated. One day before lunch we all went down to the beach. I’m not sure what we did, but the moment that materializes in my memory when I think of happiness is this:

I’m lying on a towel in my bathing suit on this huge, expansive, west coast beach. It’s warm, but not hot, and I have that relieved and sleepy feeling one gets after swimming. There’s a slight breeze and I can hear the soothing rush of the ocean; a background to my thoughts. I’m reading a book, but I’ve paused for a second to realize something: how content I am. There are no fireworks, there is no man of my dreams, I haven’t won the lottery, and yet, here on this beach quietly surrounded by my family, I am the happiest I have ever been. I just take a moment to notice it. ‘This is Utopia,’ I think.

Sometimes I wonder why we look back on the past with that warm nostalgia; why we call to mind the good quicker than the bad. And I think I’ve solved it. Sorrow is part of the deal we have with this strange thing called life. There are a lot of acceptable reasons to be sad.

Bad stuff happens to us, in sometimes overwhelming doses, but I don’t think in such states we are in a calm enough state of mind to really notice: “I am sad.”

But happiness? That’s ours whenever we want it. Contrary to sadness, unprecedented, overwhelming incidents of happiness are rare. Sadness is often an occasion. Happiness is a state of mind.

We are more present in our happiness than our sadness, because I think it is, more often than pain, something that we must will into being. It’s something we project, perhaps not often, but it’s something we tend to recognize because the feeling itself gives us the clarity to do so. Realizing your happiness, is the greatest level of fulfillment.

I feel as if sadness is a build up inside of us, like a clogged drain. Happiness, however, isn’t something else completely, it’s just a working drain. An unclogged drain.

So, yes, I remember the happiest day of my life, and I realize it was no Utopia. I realize Utopia can’t exist, because it can’t be some external, physical place or thing. Happiness comes from yourself, and that, whether I realized it as a 13 year old or not, is to what I was referring.

Still, there is something kind of perfect in realizing that the positive prevails, while the sad days come surely, but then fade away.

Just like debris floating away from the drain.

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(V, W, X, Y, and Z…the end is in sight! Though I have nothing planned…stay tuned for the wildly entertaining spectacle that is, “Kat flying by the seat of her pants”!)

Inside-Out

This post is part of the “Blogging from A-Z April Challenge”! The “I themed inspiration for today is “inside-out.” Enjoy!

When you look at the world from the outside-in, it’s a mess.

It’s an understatement to say that there’s a lot going on, because truthfully, everything is going on. It’s hard to see past the sheer magnitude of LIFE and figure out who you are in that context. After all, every description accurately pertains to you in someone’s eyes. To someone you are beautiful. To someone else you are hideous. People determine their thoughts about you within moments of meeting you, so you exist in every possible different form to each individual person you come in contact with.

No wonder it’s so hard to figure out who you are. When you are unsure of something, you can ask someone else for help. But when you are unsure of yourself there is no way you can find an answer from an outside source. The truth remains that you can change who you are, but you cannot change who others think you are.

You have to look at the world from the inside first, taking yourself and your values into account in every situation presented before you.

For the extent of this life, you will always be you. But the exterior world and everyone in it shifts and changes so drastically that it’s impossible to get a grip on what to think or do from all these different standpoints.

When you’re confused, stop trying to make a decision based on all the opposing opinions of the outside world. The force and noise of their voices will crush you if you take an “outside-in” perspective. View everything, first, from your own eyes; through the lens of who you are. Inside-out.

Go forth as your own person in every situation, and don’t let the outside forces be stronger than the strength of simply being yourself.

(Coming up tomorrow on The A-Z Challenge: ‘J’ is for “Jurassic”)

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Stop Hating on Love!

Okay. Religion and politics are two of an admittedly endless list of things that I know I don’t really understand. But this isn’t about religion, and it isn’t about politics. It’s about the greatness that is the small, simple, life of a human being on this planet.

And what I don’t understand, more than any religion, more than any type of political complication, is why we try so very hard to make it difficult for each other.

Because isn’t life hard enough?

There is so much hate and negativity in the world. Collectively, we’ve got enough of it to upset all our stomachs, with leftovers to feed generations and generations to come.

As for love? It’s scarce. Itโ€™s rare. Or at least it’s hiding itself inside of us very well. Because when I turn on the news, or listen to the radio, or open up the internet, the only examples of love that are commonly talked about are the ones that aren’t accepted.

That’s the problem.

What little love there is, we squander unless it’s something we approve of. But at the end of the day, we are not judges of the feelings of others; we cannot change them, and we have no right to tell someone that the most beautiful feeling in the world is not okay.

Gay marriage. Everyone gets all up in arms over the issue and people start whipping around bibles and tearing through texts, and working, much to hard, to justify why it is wrong. There’s name calling, and anger, and a whole lot of negativity. You’ve heard the stories. You’re read the news. Maybe you even believe that it’s a sin.

But from a simple point of view I can’t see how we fail to see the truth that love, no matter what kind, no matter between whom, no matter how it is measured, or conceived, or verified; is love. And hate, no matter to whom it is directed, no matter why we think it is justified, no matter how it is spurned, or grown, or desensitized; is hate.

Hopefully you’ve felt love. Certainly you’ve felt hate. Forget the reasons and the circumstances. Which felt better?

Is there any God or law so worth defending that it not only asks to be verified or upheld through the tool of human hatred, but strives to dismantle and eradicate the positivity, support, and strength of love?

Live and let live, whatever your beliefs. If two people love each other, the world is a better place for it. Marriage is not the issue. Whether they want to, or don’t want to get married, doesn’t matter. What matters is that we need every ounce of positivity we can get in this world, and I can’t imagine anything more justified to exist in that weight, than love.