July 4, 2009


A transition in progress... quick progress. My life changes every day so quickly I've gotten to the point where I just sit back and watch, un-biased, merely an innocent bystander in the progress [or lack of progress] that occurs here. Six months ago, generally-speaking, I was the same as I am now [minus the few 'wisdoms' that currently sit at my forefront], but the terrain was very different. My life revolved around RIS3Nchurch, KAA Design Group, Tamal Yoga School, and the Marina of Marina del Rey. RIS3N was my spiritual advisor, KAA kept me in a productive routine [though, I won't go into my opinion of the 40-hour work week and its detriments on human life today...], and Tamal Yoga School and the Marina [or my 5 mile run route of the marina] kept me focused on my health and feeling happy. I have moved on from this lifestyle, though, peculiarly, that lifestyle still filters through. Now it has a heightened sense of awareness and lightness that it did not have before.

I have been reading the book, Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. I think I am her. The first 20 pages of the book describe a woman, a lifestyle, and a state of mind that I can relate to in so many ways. She is free-spirited, loopy in an 'i'm living in my own little dream-like world' kinda way, a yogi, and an emotional mess that gets tied up in emotional messes all over the place and still allows herself to be an emotional mess. She doesn't want to take medicine to get herself out of that emotional mess. Instead, she moves away, by herself, to Italy. There, she eats. and writes. and stays away from MEN [or any sort of personal/sexual/beyond chatting over coffee-type relationship]. Her last relationship was a complete disaster and left her scattered in pieces all over the state of Pennsylvania. Her relationship before that was an even bigger disaster, but with an emphasis on disgusted sour-ness towards the man rather than emotional chaos. So, what does she do? She leaves. and leaves to go as far away as possible. She first goes to Italy, then to India, and then to Indonesia. Last night, I finished her time in Italy. Towards the end of her stay in Italy, she is speaking with her Italian friend, Luca Spaghetti, about the 'word' of a town. What do the people who live in that town consistently think about? What is the focus? Luca Spaghetti says that in Rome, the word is SEX. He then goes on to say that Los Angeles is SUCCEED and New York is ACHIEVE.

I completely and wholeheartedly agree. Los Angeles is a place where there are seemingly millions of people all over the place doing all different sorts of random things and are trying to succeed at it because it is a place where anything and everything goes. Anything can be successful there if you can come up with the best marketing slogan and get a cult of followers to go along with you. Though I've never lived there, New York has seemingly less of an independent career culture. From what I know, people are climbing up a corporate ladder trying to make more money by impressing their super. In Los Angeles, everyone wants to do it big on their own and be recognized for it [even the yoga classroom is this way... crazy to think yoga could be pretentious].

So this morning, I was thinking about this idea of 'word-ing' a town. Los Angeles: SUCCEED [oftentimes, in a vain sort of way]. New York: ACHIEVE. New Orleans: DRINK. Baton Rouge: EAT. Washington, DC: BROWNNOSE [no offense...]. Rocky Mountains: OUTSIDE. Dallas: COPY. Destin, FL: SUNBURN. Halifax, Nova Scotia: INDIFFERENT. These are all based on my personal, subjective interactions with these places, but to some degree, contain validity. Soooo.... Pittsburgh. What do I think about Pittsburgh? What do I think people here think that are living in Pittsburgh? I have only been here for 2 weeks [minus 1 day]. I don't know much, but I do have an opinion based on the limited experiences that I have had. Before I moved, I had a negative idea about what Pittsburgh is like. I just thought DIRTY, RUSTY, CLOUDY, YINZ-YANKEE... STAGNANT, ANTI-CULTURE, WASTEFUL. Boy am I a debbie-downer! I was wrong. Really, really wrong. I vow never to have a pre-disposition of a place until I have spent some decent amount of time there. This morning, I came up with a new set of words for Pitts'burgh'ians: LEARN, ECLECTIC, UN-BIASED, CONCERNED, ACADEMIA, PRUDENT, COMFORT. I know there will be more in the days to come and the list will, at first, grow larger, and then, hopefully, will narrow down. I will eventually place a 'word' on the 'Burgh.

Now, in reflecting on my state of mind I realize why I felt sooooo heavy in Los Angeles. My word is definitely NOT succeed. Not at all. Of course, I want to succeed at what I do, but not in the sense that the majority of the Angeleno population does. I could care less if I'm noticed by the general population. Of course I like to be regarded for my talents... as most people do. But, the idea of having a LOT of people following me in some sort of way kind of disgusts me. It is sad that I got used to meeting people that were trying to rise up above the general population [amongst a million other people trying to rise up above the general population]. And then, the emphasis on fashion, looks, thin-ness really got to me. To be in a city where there are so many beautiful people having jobs in... being beautiful. And then being me, sitting in a desk all day in front of a computer trying to avoid sinking below all of this being beautiful-ness, perfect-ness, and skinny-ness and still trying to maintain a sense of self-worth. And then, the dating scene. WOW. Lots of superficial men. Whose expectations are hollywood. Not intellectuality. [fyi- don't date models. or actors. or model/actors... they are learned in fooling women!!!] I know, I am being a bit harsh. I love Los Angeles. And my friends there are some of the most incredible people I have ever met in life. So, Los Angeles isn't bad per say; it is heavy... I loved every second [or almost every second] of being there. But, one must be mentally ready to keep up with a lot of emotional turmoil [atleast from my experience].

Why do I feel lighter in Pittsburgh? Because all of this perfectionism has disappeared. I don't feel pressured at all to be, do, think, say, act in any specific way. I am me. I am able to be me and live my own lifestyle how I want to without the pressure of any external influence whatsoever. And, what's funny, is that I am living exactly the same as I did in Los Angeles. I just feel refreshed.



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