<p>I’ve always said there are – to oversimplify it – two kinds of writers. There are architects and gardeners. The architects do blueprints before they drive the first nail, they design the entire house, where the pipes are running, and how many rooms there are going to be, how high the roof will be. But the gardeners just dig a hole and plant the seed and see what comes up. I think all writers are partly architects and partly gardeners, but they tend to one side or another, and I am definitely more of a gardener. In my Hollywood years when everything does work on outlines, I had to put on my architect’s clothes and pretend to be an architect. But my natural inclinations, the way I work, is to give my characters the head and to follow them.</p>
<p>That being said, I do know where I’m going. I do have the broad outlines of the story worked out in my head, but that’s not to say I know all the small details and every twist and turn in the road that will get me there.</p>
Are you here for all the things that I don’t have” was my relationship with my mother. Not that she withheld things from me; they just weren’t there to give. That was sort of a sad but interesting thing. A story. My mother had killed herself, and one year later her younger sister killed herself. Their mother, not surprisingly, went into a depression and had electroshock therapy, which helped, but which knocked out some of her memory. So my grandmother called me and asked me to help her remember the “good times” with my mother. In fact, I didn’t have any. So instead I called on things I liked about my friends’ mothers. I gave them to her as though they were memories of her daughter. At the moment she asked me to do this I was fully aware of what an amazing thing was being presented to me. So I was there for all the things she didn’t have. And my grandmother wanted all the things I didn’t have, the good memories. That’s where that came from.
<p>Some people make transitions very easily, and I apparently don’t. I have to work up to them. There’s a poem by Yevtushenko that reads:</p>
<p>Let my nerves be strained </p>
<p>between the city of No </p>
<p>and the city of Yes!</p>
<p>That’s a pretty good description of my life the past few years.</p>
Did you know in ancient Rome<br/>
priests called augurs studied<br/>
the future by carefully watching<br/>
whether birds were flying<br/>
together or alone, making what<br/>
honking or beeping noises<br/>
in what directions? It was called<br/>
the auspices. The air<br/>
was thus a huge announcement.<br/>
Today it’s completely<br/>
transparent, a vase.
…trying to describe how three years of sitting naked before strangers and feeling their empathy run like a current between you as they draw—this changes you. Gradually, it conditions you to feel that you need never prove yourself to anyone, or hide anything about yourself. (I have heard this from other art models, too.) And I took that feeling with me wherever I went, clothed, yet still unhiding. There was so much peace in that vulnerability!
If you have a negative tendency and you deny it, then you’ve doubled it. If you have a negative tendency and you look at it” — which is, in part, what the process of writing allows — “then the possibility exists that you can convert it.
Solution: Two things- first I journaled this morning. No, it’s not a sweaty activity, but it helps get things unstuck. Then I did my first “long run” in a while (the slow drone of a jog, the ability to chill out at any point, the no-need-for-speed). Was hard, even though it wasn’t all that “long.” Progress.
Result: Less stuck. Still going.
JAMZ: I usually save TNGHT for lifting, but this ridiculous and noodley new one was my savior for that last 1/4 mile or so.
Problem: Trying to find my yoga practice again but ughs, life. Ughs, travel. Ugs, job search. Ughs, money.
Solution: 90 minutes of vinyasa in a town I’ve never been in. Tough stuff. Weird things I’ve never done before. Classics I don’t get to do enough. (I live for a side crow. Anytime you want to offer it to me, I’ll do it.)
Result: Three days later, still feeling the bliss. The best part? Bringing a friend with me who hadn’t been to yoga in a while. Hearing the very familiar phrase from her: “Why don’t I do this every day?” I feel the same. Here’s to more practice, more often.
problem: PMS + only 5 hours sleep + dog shit all over the couch (WTF?!) = wrong tone taken with boyfriend = another fight = huge decision from 4 years ago which I was not ready for because we’d only been together a few months and I was hugely emotionally unstable because I was still grieving for my last boyfriend who died suddenly and so took necessary measures to prevent that event happening being thrown in my face
solution: running and crying in the rain
result: fuck if i know
(to be fair on BF he’s only had 3 hours sleep and had a big job interview today so my tone was not the most helpful but apparently PMS is not an excuse for being a shit)
Problem: 2013 is my problem. No more job. Closest friend dies. Move to a new city. Old city gets blown up during an event for RUNNERS. Don’t even ask me about my love life; it is laughable and trite and horrific. If I look at things too closely, things look bleak.
Solution: My new leg routine. I switched out my real gym for a Planet Fitness membership, since unemployment makes $10/mo look really attractive. But there are no kettlebells. No squat racks. No stairmills. No AMTs. No foam rollers. It is barebones. So my leg day has been: 5 min incline HIIT on the treadmill, alternating 7 minute and 10 minute miles; 3 sets of alternating front squats and Bulgarian split squats; 5 minutes incline run beginning at incline 5 (whatever that means) and upping the incline to 7 by the end; alternating leg presses and leg press plies to failure; and 30 minute “cooldown cardio” on the elliptical. It’s new. It’ll do.
Result: Not bleak. Can only breathe, go forward, and make shit. I have a job to get. A novel to rewrite. An album to record. Friends to hang out with. A new city to explore. Food to eat. Wine to switch from red to white because it’s almost over 60 today. I have letters to send. Blogs to revamp.
I’m sorry I forgot that this space was important to you, too. I’ll be back. We’ll be better. Expect change.
problem: friend since 5yo is in hospital, fight with boyfriend, don’t think I’ve gotten into uni, spent the past week listening to boyfriend’s parents analyzing my weight and eating habits as if it’s any of their goddam business, feeling helpless, frustrated and generally ugh ‘world, please go away’
solution: 5k cycle to hospital and back, night running for as far and as long as I feel like
During my first marathon, my quads gave out at mile 16. Mile SIXTEEN?! You never forget that mile marker. You have 10.2 to go. How. Do I. Move. Body, we had a deal.
I managed to run-run through mile 20, at which point I “cheated” and put on my iPod. I needed something, anything, to get me through some of the toughest six miles of my life, run-walking, walking, jogging, not-dying. I’ll never forget that this was the song:
“You’re gonna suffer. You’re gonna make it.”
And I did, both. As then, now.
Problem: So many. I had an interview that went well for a job I’d really like in a field I’d really love to bust into. And now? Now we wait. Good lord this is painful.
Solution: Cardio intervals on the AMT. Trying to take it easy while my right leg figures out some stuff. The weights yesterday were intense (though they were very easy movements- rows and deadlifts and such), and I was actually a bit sore. I am NEVER sore! Finished with abs and an extended stretch, especially with my calves. They’ve been acting up recently. Weird.
Result: REALLY HOPEFUL, Y’ALL. Not hopeful and stupid, though. I made more connections today with more fantastic-looking jobs. Something big is about to happen. I can feel it.
JAMZ: Look. You want there to be more than the TNGHT album and I am like HAHAHAHA, no. You will only lift to TNGHT. Situp/plank/swiss ball pike circuit track of the millenium:
(Just when you think you are going to die, the highest payoff of the song comes in. THANK YOU.)
Problem: Found an apartment. Can we talk for a minute about how expensive being an adult is? Like, remember your 20s when you could seriously call a friend and they would be like: oh yeah, please take this room in our house. We have 9 people living in three bedrooms with one bathroom but we’ve pimped out the closets and you can have this futon half rolled up in the attic for $400/month. No security deposit, everything’s fine. And now you’re an adult, and you have standards. Those standards cost 8 million dollars. For a roof. For a roof over your head while you contemplate unemployment, loneliness, and your eventual demise for fucking two months- this makes no sense. Why do we even do this. Why isn’t the bank open today. Why can’t this just be done and over with.
Solution: If there ever was a day for cardio death insanity, it was today. HIIT and some steady state on the AMT and elliptical while I waited for a treadmill to sprint on. That last sprint was slower than my ush, but I practically blew a hole in my throat. From breathing. Amazing jolt into the present moment if there ever was one. There will be some runner reading this who will understand how awesome that is. Please say hi.
Result: I have managed to relax into the evening. I did very little. Tomorrow the job hunt begins all over again, I know. But I’ve done the work. I’ve put in the time, and now I’ve had the sweat and a bit of rest. Love it.
Jamz: Another banger for my five minute run sprints. It’s one of the only times I still tolerate jungle MC’s.
Problem: Woke up late. I mean, usually not the worst thing in the world but when your dedicated “job hustle” time is between 5 and 7 and you wake up at 7:15 (and it’s 0 degrees F outside), it can be tempting to just crawl right back inside bed. But I had work to do. And my time with Gym Crush is limited. So we HAD to make it to the gym.
Solution: Arms circuit. The workout has been 4 full circuits with a stairmill sprint in between each, but I really only had time and energy for 3. But I did it. And I got my harmless flirt on, for the 5 minutes we were in the gym together.
GC: So what is the deal? Are you going to NYC or what?
Me: You still have me for 5 weeks.
GC: Ok good, I got an extension on checking out your bum.
Me: Yep, enjoy it while it lasts.
*proceeds to do bent over rows*
Result: Much better. Is is just me or does a good workout just warm you up for the rest of a cold day?
Problem: Dentist appointment. Seven cavities, and a pretty hefty bill. Also did not get the job I interviewed for on Friday. Quick turnaround on rejection we have here.
Solution: Leg day to begin. A lovely circuit care of Muscle and Fitness Hers. Finished the day with a sweaty 90 minute vinyasa class. It had been too long. I’d even lost my Foursquare mayorship of the yoga studio!
Result: A bit relaxed actually. My teeth are throbbing but I believe I’ll be sleeping soundly through the night. For once.
Problem: Well, I was merely overwhelmed until I was on the elliptical and I got an email that said the apartment I was SURE I was going to live in in March was unavailable. And then all my positive thinking kind of got eaten up.
Solution: Pumped up my cardio workout. Added a mini ab circuit between machines. The order went: AMT elliptical intervals, abs, stairmill intervals, abs, 30 minutes of moderately steady state elliptical, strettttttttch. It made things a heck of a lot better.
Result: Still overwhelmed, but satisfied knowing that it probably just wasn’t the perfect place right now. Two leads on places have fallen through in the past week, but I am confident there will be some clarity in this arena soon. No really. I believe things are going to open up. They have to.
Problem: Oh you know. I asked the universe for help making a choice: Do I stay the course at my current gig and stay in Boston, city that I would happily do without? City of brick walls and turtlenecks and endless date-free Friday nights? City without a home. City of spiraling-out-of-control rent and salaries that hurt to look at. Or do I move to the big cities that I’ve never lived in but I feel a spiritual home in? And the universe answered. Hard. Making the decision easy, but nervewracking. No job yet. No home yet. The one thing I know: I won’t be in this town on March 1 unless something dramatic happens. No more drama, please.
Solution: Well, all week I’ve been tackling this circuit routine from Muscle & Fitness Hers, which is barbell heavy and delicious. I’ve been lifting heavier than I usually would because it feels good to exert more energy right now. I like it a lot. By the fourth circuit of the upper body day I feel like Linda Hamilton in Terminator, and that’s the goal for life anyway.
Result: I have to say I’m not sure I would have gotten through the week without my fitness routine. It has made me feel powerful and determined and reminded me of my strength. Next week a grand return to yoga, which I certainly need. I am as surprised as you are to have a smile on my face.
JAMZ: My weight workouts are ruled by the TNGHT EP. Bench press/Deadlift anthem here.
(Giving you this as an audio post so you can enjoy the Jamz. I’ve been a bit de-jammed of late.) Problem: Frustrating day yesterday, which featured guest appearances from a mouse, a gluten free cookie, and missing yoga pants. Solution: Moderate weight workout. All the hits. And? And? And? Gym Crush was there again today. That was fun. Result: What cookie? What mouse? Let’s do this all again tomorrow! JAMZ: This mix made my workout much, much easier. Very fun.
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