Monday, April 26, 2010

travel blues...

It's hard to leave... teary eyes and sad looks. "Will miss you" is exchanged. Quick good byes and not turning back when leaving. Knowledge that some will be more grey haired when I see them next, some will be sprouting and in their teens...

Hopefully there will be happy faces and hugs when getting off the plane to compensate.

Now, last ride on the bike in the sun for this time.

Saturday, April 24, 2010


in between time


halfway halftime

transition time

not real time

confidence blurting



I’m trying to find a word for what I have encountered most the last few days. Halfsie-time. I know it’s not a word, but in my mind it is something. The time in between things and the leaving of the other person. The time when you leave an apartment to walk to the bus stop. The time when you wait for the train to leave. The ten minutes before needing to put on the outer clothes to go outside to that appointment.

The time that you don’t decide since you are not in a car, you have to adapt to the train/bus/appointment and therefore the time is limited.

And during this time, the doors to the private time seem to open fast and the guard is down. It’s a window into the most private thoughts and fears.

I don’t think you know but just before Christmas something bad happened. My brother died.”

“We are trying for the second child. I thought we had one, but I lost the one I had a month ago. It is hard.”

“I think he is cheating on me. It’s been a bit rough all through fall time and now he is online a lot and closes the computer when I get in the room.”

“I’m getting married this summer and then we will start trying to have a baby. I’m getting old so we need to hurry.”

“I’m getting readmitted to the psych care, on a out patient basis. It’s been a rocky winter.”

"I don't know what to do, I am getting laid off before summer. And I haven't told anyone yet. I can't be a failure like that"

And so on.... it leaves a fascination, a strangeness, in me. It seems to be more like this now when I do not live here anymore. It’s like the time at the airport, before you leave for a long time and you don’t know when you will see eachother again. All of a sudden you can talk about those hopes and dreams since it’s almost like ‘it’s another life’ or ‘it’s not really real’ and who knows what we will see each other again?

It’s all said and done in the inbetween times. Half of them blurted out when the train is visible in the distance, and the words are out and then the train pulls in and you step on there and then it¨s “bye, take care”.

It’s almost like it doesn’t count so therefore you can say whatever you want.

No fears for the consequences.

Just blurting out things to ease the heart.

It’s a fairly quick way and a good tell to see if people have their game faces on or if you can read in the faces what they think when the subject is blurted out. Of course, these times it seems like I have been the one wih the game face. The silent mask or interest. The look of interest but no shock, no predjudice, no “wtf are you talking about, you moron” (to some of these statements, that has been in my head, and the need to stay another bus since what is time really? When a friend is hurting?).

I’ve crammed all my red wine nightly conversations into two weeks. It’s interesting. And terrifying.

I am the only one keeping my quiet. Not sharing my dreams and hopes. Not blurting out my fears as much. Maybe because for the first time in a long while, I am not sure of my dreams, nor what the future holds. It’s just today. Tonight. Tomorrow is a new day. New confidences. New knowledge. And hopes that the flight will be able to leave on time for me to leave this inbetweenplace and sleep in my own bed.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

growing up

It's more obvious this time, I'm a grown up. A real one*.

Why? Because I can hold my temper in check? Because I can do things I don't really want to do. Because I can remember that I do things for other people? Because I want to make some peope happy?

Or just because I have money now when I am not a gradute student.... nor a post doc (although, I was paid fairly OK according to me... and had retirement benefits... and vacation...and sick leave.. still though, not without flaws).

It's a lot of feelings this trip back. Interesting is one word to describe it. Revelations is another. And here I thought I had had bunch of them before and nomore needed to come round soon... busted!

By far the most common words? "When are you moving back home**?"
By far the most thoughts in my head? "How about you get a life" (not really true, the thoughts are more in the lines of.... "Maybe be happy about the wonderful benefits and stuff you guys get here and take for granted and whine about")

Let's see if I can get back to the place I now call home soon.... it's all about ash and flights ;) I miss my bed.

*some of the people here would argue since I still have no offspring, nor a wedding ring... but alas, for some people you can never make it all perfect.

** home = back to the roots... here would be another word to use.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Scorched earth or slash and burn?

Sometimes the intentions can be all that makes a different between intentional damaged and utter accidental devastation. And sometimes I just wish that I could pretend to be more careless and not so damn predictable and planning.

Then again, as things are going today – I don’t need to be more careless since it is starting to feel like the [unintentional] burning and slaying of all things; semi-good, excellent and bad. Let’s go with that I might be under a bit of stress, leaving for a so called vacation and seeing my family and friends for the first time in a long while. (Haven't packed yet and I don't even know how much the luggage can weigh since they changed the rules. Then again, let's just hope I can make it on the plane.)

Most of the people abroad know what that means; greyer hairs and lots of aging in the eyes of the family…. A bit of guilt for not being around more… and then the endless moving to please everyone and to make it to meet people. Fun of course, but sad that it is only for a short time. (And yes, I am aware that I chose* this by moving away. Trust me, I am aware of this fact. Very aware.)

When you couple that with a non-written paper (bad me, I really suck), a train ticket that clearly didn’t get bought due to a lovely train website breaking down all the time (more money now, but who’s counting?), a visa thing that might blow up in my face due to excellent bad timing (might not… it’s not that sure), some bureaucratic things in the home country that I can’t influence the timing on… but I hope they can be on time (since otherwise it will be hard for me to use that return ticket), planning things for when I return and need to pick up some slack, and then some unbloggable stuff that I just wait for to go to hell – well in the light of that, I am not surprised that my day so far has collapsed.

It’s one of those days I guess? It is Monday.

It would just be so nice to leave here with a warm fuzzy feeling in my tummy, feeling secure and happy in the world. Knowing that all is well and that this is where I should be. (After all, that is what I will be stating for the next couple of weeks since the premise for me staying here is that I am so happy and everything is so great – no pressure. Ha.)

Then again, there is always the option of not giving a damn and just put on the game face and hope that the world rotates into my world. After all, everyone seems to be thinking about themselves, and putting themselves first**. Me? I guess it’s silly to think that I would be the first priority for anyone***. I mean, we’re all in it for ourselves, right? It’s like it says on the header of this thing: “The hopes and dreams” and I guess that means I am left waiting and wishing…

for the dreams and hopes to fall into place?

* choose = having a job instead of being unemployed like my former graduate students who stayed at home.... sure, I wanted to move for awhile but it didn't make it harder that the job market was harsh and not too open...

**as the saying goes “Everyone thinks about them, it’s only I who think about me”.

***whine whine whine. and feeling just a tad bit sad for myself.

[disclaimer> I'm sure things will be OK after I am on the plane and in air. After the bags have been packed. After I know if I can get all the things done that I have planned to do. You know, this is mainly a nervous thing before flying and returning to the home country ^^]

Saturday, April 03, 2010

The Stanislavski Approach

Sometimes when I wonder what on earth I am doing and where I am going I ask myself "what would the mean if it was a play?". It's not as kooky as it may sound, if you were to know that I trained as an actress in my early years and one of the ways of approaching a role/play was the Stanislavski system, by Konstantin Stanislavski. (Not the same as Method Acting, which is sort of popular and American in origin, maybe mostly famous due to Marlon Brando* or Stella Adler or more present time Christian Bale and Daniel Day-Lewis, but similar... if that method is more known to you.)

The key to the system is to never be "totally" like the role you are playing. You try and find Why the character does what they do, How they will move on it... and what kind of feelings are in there (as named "the goal of the character") but you never "turn into the character" as many who do Method acting would rather prefer to do. I.e. maybe get high in order to play high.... whereas Stanislavski would point more towards asking "what's the goal of being high" and "how can you encompass that feeling ..." It's sometimes described as a "table conversation" where you try and suss out the answers to these questions and try and grasp what it going on inside of the character and how to visualise it the best for the audience. It's not as important that you feel it, as that you can relay it to the people watching.

I did play quite a few roles before moving here and before I was in deep with my post doc. I approached Lady MacBeth while writing letters and diary notes as her, both before after the fact that she had killed and started to loose it... Interesting to place yourself into the shoes of someone who loved as much as she did, and was as scared as she was to loose it all. At the time of the post doc, it was easy to forget - I had lots of research I wanted to do and not too much time outside of the lab to do it. Then there is that pesky thing of being in another country and it is harder, at least I think it is harder for me, to be as natural in the acting in another language. However, that wasn't the reason for this post. My reason now was that I sometimes find myself a bit lost in this we call the world. I don't feel like I know what I am doing, nor where I am going. My solution?

Sometimes I try and pretend to look at myself from outside, as if I were a character and see where this person might want to go... or what the goal might be... and how to get that from myself. Like before a job interview. I found it easier to practice the answers when I asked myself "WHY would I want this" and "HOW would I explain it so it is believable to someone else". Instead of simply saying "I want this job" I needed to explain Why I wanted and why they wanted to hire me. And in order not to feel pretentious or silly, I approached it from the outside, as if this was someone else and I was merely conveying the ideas and persona. I wanted to be me, but be me that the interviewer could understand and relate to, and wanting to work with.

Although, now when I write this I am starting to wonder if it sounds like I am an insane person? I don't really think so, but I miss acting - I miss pretending to be someone else, to lay my mundane everyday problems aside and try and grab hold of those other things.... and I miss dressing up in strange stuff that I wouldn't normally do. In many aspects though, like the much talked about Impostor Syndrome, the idea of pretending to be someone else (looking at yourself as "playing the researcher") is a feasible alternative to being silly nervous, thinking too much and shrugging away compliments. After all, when actors get their Academy Awards and give their thank you speeches they don't tell people that they are idiots for voting for them (maybe some do, but not many) so just go with it and smile and think that it is a great time. And people around them smile and are happy too (apart from the sad ones who didn't win of course).

As a person once told me "You might not feel it, but They don't need to know that. They only need to feel what you want them to feel. They only see your outside, not taking a ride for real inside." Make pretend and then maybe you'll find that everyone believes it, even you.

*it's Brando's birthday today ... and I thought of saying "I love the smell of napalm in the morning.... //.... smells like, victory" as a start of this post but alas, I thought Stanislavski might be more appropriate after all...