Thursday, September 11, 2008

Juice-Fasts, Girlfriends, and The Ever-Present Rumble

Haven't done this in a while. Eyes closed, let's go.

Every time I think about blogging I find myself overwhelmed. Too much has happened, would take too long to write. So I put it off. As that time passes, more happens, and it becomes seemingly insurmountable. This is how I often feel about cleaning my room. Anyone who has seen my room knows that.

First off, I've got a headache, and I feel like I'm kind of buzzing. Why? Because I'm just coming to the end of Day One of a juice-fast. I'm not even sure if it can really be called a "fast", considering how much juice one takes in during it. "A juice cleanse" may be more accurate. Anyway, I've been intrigued by the idea of a cleanse for a long time, but I've never actually done one. I've fasted for a day at a time here and there (drinking only water), but nothing like this. I'm going for a full seven days. I've heard the first few days are the worst. We'll see. I've already got a headache and feel reeeeally weird, but I was also able to go on a pretty intense bike ride and then do some crunches and pull-ups when I got home. Those were the first pull-ups I've done since February, when I injured my shoulder (yet again)... then re-injured it in June. Hooray for recovery.

I'm a bit scattered. What was I talking about?

Juice-fast. Right.

Why am I doing it? I guess there are a few reasons. One is to see if I really do feel "detoxified" afterwards. Lord knows I've put a significant amount of crap into my body, and if this gets it out, then great. I also just got back to NY after several weeks in CA (and Burning Man), and I want a kind of fresh start. Maybe this cleanse will contribute to that feeling.

New York is a struggle, much of the time. It's fun, and there is so much great stuff going on here, but it's an incredibly expensive place to live, and I have seen, first hand, that the economy is in the shitter, which makes it even harder. So that's survival stuff, but man, when you factor in a career in the arts, you've got a recipe for madness and heartbreak... OR just more hard work, and a constant need for creative life-living. Example: I've been temping here for two years. Been working out fine. Suddenly, the temp market is down 70%. This is not abstract. You will feel this because suddenly you're working 70% less than you were. Rent isn't any cheaper. Neither is food. SO... what are you gonna do? Get creative. What am I going to do, personally? I'm not sure yet. I'll let you know when I do, but I need to make some moves and FAST. Yow.

So, what else? Oh yeah, I HAVE A GIRLFRIEND!! What the hell!? Let me put this in perspective. I have had ONE official girlfriend in the last TEN YEARS... and that was SIX YEARS AGO! So, now, suddenly, I have a girlfriend... and like... I love her. A lot. Like, head-over-heels in love with, and it actually seems to be reciprocated, which is even crazier. So, that's a thing.

Getting into a relationship again was really difficult for me. Not because I didn't want to, and not because she isn't great, but because during such an extended period of bachelorhood, you build up certain, mental/emotional/psychological/physical habits, and those are really hard to break out of, even if it's for something you really want. The best I've heard it explained is this (and I'm paraphrasing, here): Our thought/emotional patterns are like a car driving on a dirt track. Say the track is just a loop, for simplicity's sake. Where we drive, our tires make an imprint in the dirt, and if we keep following the same exact path each time, little by little, we make wheel ruts in the ground. As those wheel ruts get deeper, they become the path of least resistence -- it would be harder to turn the steering wheel to get the car out of them -- so we keep going along that route. Eventually we can even take our hands off the steering wheel, close our eyes, put it on cruise control, and kick back, because those deep ruts will keep our wheels going in the same direction. But say, suddenly, you want to go somewhere else. You don't like that track anymore, and you want to get off it. The more time that passes, the harder that's going to be, even if you really, really want to get off that track and do something else. You're really going to have to wrestle with that steering wheel.

So, that was a challenge. I feel like I'm out of it, now, though. On open range. It's nice, and I'm riding with someone who blows me away, more and more, on a daily basis.

In other words, my love-life is going well, I'm happy to report, for the first time in pretty much forever.

Okay, that takes care of Juice-Fasts and Girlfriends, so what is "The Ever-Present Rumble"?

I guess I mean that rumble inside that's keeping me moving, in terms of my art and career (which are almost the same thing, I'm happy to say). There are a lot of ups and downs, and well, walls. You try something, and you hit a wall, and you say, "Okay. That didn't work. Now let's try this." Then you hit another one, "Alright. Now, how about this." Another wall. "Motherfucker!! I really thought that one was going to work. (sigh) Okay, let's try this now." Maybe the rumble is the sound of the engine inside you that won't let you quit.

I made some important discoveries about myself in the last month, and those discoveries helped lead me to give one of the best performances of my life... maybe. The best, technically? Not sure, but it felt damn fucking good, and sometimes that's what's important. I won't go into the details of my discoveries, because the details are for me, but I'll say that it had to do with my fears. Acknowledging them, understanding them, embracing them, even, then choosing to move on without them. Will they come back from time to time? Likely. I'd like to think that I'm better equipped to deal with them now. In this moment, I'd like to belive that I'll never be as scared again as I was before, at least not in the same way, or of the same things.

I'm excited about this juice-fast. I invested in a juicer today, which I hope I'll continue to use even after the juice-fast is over. Days two and three are supposed to be the hardest, but eventually this headache will go away. My girlfriend (Stef, she's called) decided to join me on this fast, on a whim, at the last minute. God love her.

I spent a couple hours yesterday working on my surfboard. It had a few dings in it, and some scrapes and scratches here and there, so I patched those up, and I put a traction pad on it, too. There are no waves in the Atlantic right now, though. Alas, alas. I hadn't surfed much since my Costa Rica trip (shoulder injuries, plural, to the same shoulder), but I've slowly been getting back in the water. So many paralels there, it hurts my head.

I surfed twice while in California. Once, by myself, and the other time with two of my best friends, Max and Bay (and a huge seal). It was a perfect day, with a beautiful view, and playful, forgiving little waves. We didn't surf better than everyone around us, but we laughed a lot more.

Riding waves, with good friends, on a beautiful day, near where you all grew up...

... sometimes the universe is good to us.

-BR 9.12.08