Friday, March 30, 2012

the flinch.

happy friday. get excited loves. because i've got something special for you.

remember my boy nate?

his last post on my blog pretty much dominated modern writing and human emotion as we know it (you can read it here if you missed out)

well, he's back. and prepare yourself. because what you're about to read is complete badass.

so enjoy.

and thanks nate.

Change is the only constant of life, and there are only two ways to deal with it...

Embrace it, or fight it.

In the last month, I’ve quit my job, started working on my own start-up, bought plane tickets to travel across the country (twice), given away half my wardrobe, and sold more than half of my possessions. I’ve rekindled old friendships, and ended others. I’ve experienced the death of someone I love, and learned the importance of loving myself more fully.

Change is going to happen whether you want it to or not. It’s your decision whether you ball your hands into fists, and try to push back against the hurricane winds of change or willingly let down your defences, open your arms, and use those winds of change to fly.

The way we react to change has a direct correlation with the amount of happiness we experience in life.

The hardest part about change - especially embracing change - is that it requires us to be vulnerable.

We are all born with a built-in mechanism called The Flinch. It’s a natural instinct to protect our most vulnerable parts (our face, our hearts, and our baby-makers) from something potentially harmful.

If you’ve ever had someone unexpectedly throw something at you, you’ve experienced the awkward, spastic, flailing motion that is The Flinch. It doesn’t matter if it’s a knife, or a marshmallow flying at your head. The flinch just happens.

As we go throughout life, we develop an emotional flinch. We put up walls to protect us from things that have the potential to cause us pain. We hide the parts of ourself that we don’t think people will like. We break up with a significant other to avoid being broken up with... or worse, being rejected and unloved as a result of the skeletons in our closets.

We run away from new opportunities because we are scared to learn, grow, and push ourselves. We fear moving to a new place because it requires us to start over, and the comfortable job/city/school we’re in now is just so... well, comfortable.

We avoid risk, fear, and pain. As a result, we rarely experience the feelings of success, joy, and ecstasy.

To get the things we want most in life, we have to stare the things we hate the most in the face, and learn to be comfortable with them. Avoiding the hard stuff simply numbs our ability to experience the good stuff.

Vulnerability is scary.

Ok, I take it back. It’s terrifying.

Being vulnerable requires us accept our true selves... even the parts we might hate. It takes serious backbone not only to love ourselves with all of our flaws and scars and secrets, but to willingly share them with others despite the chance of rejection.

Vulnerability is not weakness. Vulnerability is courage.

That said, I have a confession to make. Despite being a pro at forcing myself to dive head-first into change, I suck at being vulnerable.

I put on a mask. I wear a thick protective armor. I hide behind a facade.

I have recently learned that one of my greatest strengths (an ability to get people to open up to, and trust me) stems from my greatest weakness (my fear of vulnerability). I’ve become such a pro at building up emotional walls that I can bring someone else’s fortress crashing down around them in no time at all. I am the one who created the blueprints, after all.

My fear of vulnerability has me running scared. For years, my enemy has been the feeling of “comfortable,” because when you become comfortable, it means that you are letting down your guard. When defences are lowered, people start to catch glimpses of who you truly are. They see past the mask. Your imperfections and flaws start to become exposed.

Being exposed... *shudder*

I am terrified that I will never be loved for who I really am. Instead, I will only be loved as the person that others think I am.

So, rather than open up, I run.

This fear stems from the fact that I have never really allowed someone to decide whether or not to accept or reject me on their own. I make the judgement on their behalf.

My new goal (and I invite you to join me)? Relinquish the title of Judge. Let’s be honest. It was really never mine to claim.

I have spent too much of my life quietly judging others for their mistakes, struggles, and decisions. I’ve spent even more time and energy judging myself.

It’s time for the judging to stop.

Judgement is the enemy of vulnerability.

Instead, replace judgement with empathy, encouragement, and love. These qualities are the only gateway that allow ourselves and others to embrace change, and live happy and full lives.

Or, as a man much smarter than myself put it:

"If we take man as he is, we make him worse, but if we take man as he should be, we make him capable of becoming what he can be." -Viktor Frankl

Saturday, March 24, 2012

who run this motha?!

for those of you that don't know my story--i guess it's time i told you (i don't do this often. i rarely give mega-personal info out. usually maintaining focus in the areas of descriptive detail and slightly over-dramatized expression of emotion. a technique i am well trained in)

ah, here it goes.

so, originally from san diego. spent my high school through college years in utah. recently moved back to california, but this time to the grand ol' kookie-ass city of san francisco.

i spend my days working for a sexy little tech start-up located right in the heart of it all. check out the magic here.

mixing up my nights up with a bit of live music, dirty dancing (you think i'm bluffing? ok, yes i'm bluffin. i can hardly twist my hips enough to swivel around in my ikea office chair. my dance moves could be taught on sesame street. not kidding), tech/media events (note* i'm a newb just looking to be accepted into the sf tech world. i've still got a lot to learn) and endless amounts of good food.

san francisco is truly making me a fat girl.

a pretty 'pg' rated life, right?

okay 'pg-13' maybe. i don't know. it's clean enough.

oh, and i'm a self-classified introvert.

but no, not in the way you're probably thinking. you know, that culturally generalized definition of a person that doesn't-like-talking-to-people-avoids-social-situations-and-gets-awkward-anytime-another-human-being-enters-the-room.

in fact, most of those classifications are actually myths.

i simply find my energy from a more inward source, whereas extroverts tend to give and feed off of the energy of others. i crave time by myself but at the same time thrive off of getting to know the quirks and special secrets of the individuals around me. i don't disclose a lot of info, and i don't do well with 'neediness' and am therefore myself, not needy. anyone that has dated me can attest to the fact that i usually throw out within the first couple dates that 'i highly value space'. ha.

romantic shiz, right?

i believe its technical term is 'fair warning'.

a lot of us writers share this introvert-ness.

and f.y.i. to the world: i am currently in a slightly complicated but very passionate relationship.

with this lil' sweetie of a city. san francisco.

it's dropping mad game all over the place. and i can hardly resist. made a shameless flirt out of me.

and don't get me wrong, we have our bad days. but mostly good--just like any relationship does. but trust me, when it's on it is ON baby.

people keep telling us we're a good fit. and though we don't like to gloat--we 100% agree.

isn't that right baby sf? yeah, things are going well.

real well.

okay done. phewwwww.

that was getting a little too personal for a sec there. my bad. apologies on me tonight folks. pass em' around.

because honestly, this isn't about me.

it's about this cutie-pie of a city.

because it deserves the recognition and respect.

let's be real, where else can you get the world's most sensational-fresh-made-(i'm talking just out of the oven)-doughnuts at 1 a.m.? bob's. open 24 hours. kill me. any-freakin-time-i-want.

and where else do you end up stuck on the corner of 5th and Market at 2:57 in the afternoon. with a cracked-out-joe screaming some of the most profane things you've ever heard--directly aiming his vulgarity at you. and yes, you feel confident in claiming it, being that his screaming involved "...that little blonde ***** **** girl ****** ****** with the ****** ***** and ******* sunglasses."

and as the only blonde girl around--you've got to own up, right?

and truthfully, you've never actually heard some of these words. and his slurred, cracked out language isn't really helping the situation. but you know that they're probably not terms of endearment.

safe to assume, he's not looking to be besties anytime soon. and judging by the color of his eyes and the smell of his breath--you're fairly certain talking this out won't change things.

there goes one friendship i'll never be able to patch up.

and please, answer me this...

where else can you get the most perfect mix of hipster-cracked-out-slutty-marina-girls at a seconds notice? or watch the whole world get flat-out-w-a-s-t-e-d on saint patricks day? or enjoy an evening in a rooftop hottub looking out over the tech-hub of the world with thousands of brilliant minds moving at ridiculous speeds? or see willy nelson live at the fox theater and proceed to eat a whole box of reduced-fat cheezits on a second-hand-weed-buzz? or live three doors up from one of the most happening gay bars in the entire city? yeah, loooooookout.

because this is my life. and this is now my city.

it couldn't be making me any happier if it delivered a bouquet of overly-long-stemmed sunflowers directly to my doorstep on a daily basis (and i've received a bouquet like this before--and it was one of my all-time faves)

my daily routine. i wake up in the morning smiling. laugh a slightly ridiculous amount during the day. and go to bed completely content.

and most importantly--it ends and begins completely true and unquestionably me.

just me. kris.

just falling. day by day. more in love with life. more in love with this city. more in love with the future.

and as far as tips go, for anyone wanting to take a step--a fun little jump into something that you've never known, never experienced, and have only dreamed of--do it.

please, just go for it.

bring your 'a-game' and a lot of sexy attitude. leave behind the make-up (seriously, this city has made a hippie out of me) and bring some extra shopping cash. if you want it, you're going to make it happen and it's gonna be good.

you may surprise yourself.

just try not to get yourself lost on a train in oakland. and if you do, call me and i'll hook you up with my boy valentino. however, if you do meet a guy named valentino at the bart station--don't let him trick you into getting your number. he may call you at all hours of the night and morning.


no regrets, right?

i think we're all stronger than we give ourselves credit for. (except for some of my provo-home-boys struttin' around golds gym tonight...)

juuuuuuust kidding.

it's fun to feel alive.

title comes from my girl beyonce. i was lovin' on this song this past week.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

mild love.

"...i have been waiting all my life to be with you.
my heart slams against my ribs when i think of the slaughtered nights
i spent all over the world waiting to feel your touch.
the time i annihilated while i waited like a man doing a life sentence.
now you’re here and everything we touch explodes, bursts into bloom or burns to ash.
history atomizes and negates itself with our every shared breath.
i need you like life needs life.
i want you bad like a natural disaster.
you are all i see. you are the only one i want to know."

-henry rollins

i love stumbling across passionate words like these.
so beautiful.

p.s. i am mildly in love with everything going on in this picture.
from here.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

so this is what living feels like.

so, this is what it's supposed to feel like. eh?


i guess i had forgotten.

and without even realizing, i think it was lost. i'm not sure when or where. or how really.

maybe with losing myself. or with losing that sustenance of who i am as an individual and and the sense of belonging i couldn't seem to grasp. maybe it was allowing myself to be trapped for too long.

or maybe not.

whatever the reason, it was a solid facade.

kinda made a liar out of me. and i blame no one but myself. and because of that, it required me and only me to find my way out.

because this is what life is supposed to feel like.

smiles should never lose their depth and reality should be clear and exuberant. not hazy and thoughtless.

i remember times when i'd forget how i even traveled to and from destinations. finding myself suddenly sitting on a sofa, with people i didn't understand, and experiences i struggled relating to. not even really sure of what was happening.

and laughter...? yeah, i don't even know what happened there.

however, i won't linger long on what was forgotten, lost or misplaced. i won't dwell on the years i spent knowing what to do but being too frightened and 'comfortable' to do it.

because the focus is on what is now.

and now is so sexy and real.

laughter that comes without force. that doesn't end for the sake of ending, but hovers and brings warmth to your entire being. silliness that flows with the ease of what was intended to be natural. without pride or regrets.

tears--that are of a complete, passionate existence.

looking in the mirror and for the first time--in a damn long time--knowing exactly who that 5'2" blonde girl with the freckled cheeks really truly is.

yeah. that's what this whole living thing is supposed to feel like.

like i had always read. book after book. author after author.

but words just weren't enough for me. i'm a creature of emotion. of understanding.

i had to live it.

correction, i have to live it.

because honey, it's just beginning.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

three rounds, babe.

you know it babe. and it's true.

he picked up his glass and looked towards his menu. his skin was tan. much darker than mine. winter had really done a number on whatever color i had managed to attain that past august.

his words were perfect. choice, really.

well played, i thought to myself. responding back with that signature smile of carelessness and flirtation.

acknowledging the win with a tip of my glass in his direction.

round one. goes to the boy.

i watched his jawline tighten into a grin.

yeah, he knew.

it didn't have to be said out loud. because it was well played. he knew it. i knew it. hell, the whole room knew it.

and that was that.

i watched him closely. closer than he probably realized (no i'm not creepy. okay, kinda creepy)

i knew his type. well, in fact.

too well? mmhmm.

this whole put-together, picture perfect thing in front of me. the one that was so good at giving me just short of 'enough'. leaving me intrigued for more.

an old familiar tune that rang so so clear. even amongst the sound of dishes being dumped and the chatter of a booked friday night at one of the city's most popular restaurants.

too clear.

like a willie nelson song on a rainy city morning.

his eyes shifted. and the intimacy of the 'babe' lingered from his last sentence.

i despise that he just called me that.

but in a self-loathing way--kind of love it.

the competitive and mysterious game being played right now. with no monopoly pieces or face cards. (spades, i'm good at spades) just those 511 slim fit levis and navy blue t-shirt. and the self-proclaimed rules that defined his every move.

the easy and simple way his smile could tease with my emotions.

right there, that damn queen of hearts.

just listening to his words. that in reality, were just words but because they were coming from his mouth--became magical. magnified to some level of propheticalness. holding depth and sustenance compared to that of mother teresa or gandhi.

his get out of jail free card.

sidenote: i will never understand how/why females do that. i guess it's the curse of wanting something to be more than it is. or desiring something so wrong to be so spot on.

dangerous stuff right there. and i'm not a fool.

not my first rodeo, right?

i'm not one for games of high risk. vegas and i are on more of a 'watch and enjoy' basis. i'm not one to place high stakes on something i can't control. and here we are. game face. evaluating what risks are worth taking. how much i will really lay out on the table? and what will remain safe, undisclosed?

do i tell him the stories of how i'm in so many ways a clone of my father. and confide in him about the things i am truly scared of. or do i keep it all within the sexy and shameless banter category... going home with nothing more than a knee-deep infatuation?

my move. my turn. so i stick to what i know. my words make him laugh.

genuine. flattering. impressive.

there we go.

round two: goes to the girl.

and yet here i am, playing it as if i don't care. secretly eating up the whole leave-it-to-beaver-picture that he paints with a trained hand. devilish with his casual jokes about the beautiful children we would make.

ah, you little player.

but there is a part of me that still loves it. of course.

he knows his stuff. like the way he'd callously let me take the upper hand, giving in for just a moment. knowing that he could take it back with ease.

leaving me wondering if i ever really had it. questioning things i strongly discourage myself from questioning.

ah, there it is. the trump card.

that horrid and wonderful ace of spades.

but play in carefully b-a-b-e.

if used too early, it could do more harm then good. if used too late--could be futile.

and really, neither of us want to lose.

and i don't want to fall. no, i really don't. i don't care what the feel-good love songs say. falling is not part of the game for me.

because i know that--in the end--after the initial force of impact, after the adrenaline rush and the massive collision of a steady and heavy drop--that i will be the one picking myself up again.

and whether or not this beautiful creature across the table from me realized that--and maybe never would. those are the facts.

sure, i can wince at the pain of the bruises. now showing almost immediately after impact. and i will walk on, picking myself up like a champ. but why? not when i don't have to.

it's all a matter of how you play the game.

of what cards you hold. and when you choose to play them.

he signed the receipt and thanked the waitress.

you ready babe?

he nodded toward the door and held out his hand.

i took it. ready.

round three: we'll see.

p.s. sorry i left you hanging for so long. i promise to not neglect this blog like that ever again. pinky promise. just adjusting to my new 100% fabulous life in the city.

xoxo. more to come.

Friday, March 2, 2012

morning reminder.