Sunday, July 14, 2013

On "Speak About It"

My life has changed since I've done this show, "Speak About It".

There was a train (wrecak) of events that led me to this. Sometimes, I almost attribute my involvement with this show to my break-up a couple years ago, as I partied way too hard one night and this guy, a "friend" took it too far, or at least tried to. And luckily, gratefully, nothing happened. But that specific situation sprung a leak in something that I thought was sealed and done with. But obviously it wasn't. That visceral feeling of having no sense of control was all too familiar. It reminded me of when I was a child and I actually was saexually assaulted. 

When it happened, I told a grown-up. This person told me to, not to tell anyone. That it will be taken cared of and I should never speak of it again. Then, it happened again. This time, I told someone else. Same ordeal, don't talk about it. And although that person was no longer a threat. Another person came into my life and repeated the same thing. Now, at that point, I blamed myself entirely. Had I not put myself in that situation, what could I have done to stop that, what was I wearing. Even at 7 years old, I tried to negotiate this. Because what I learned, actually from reading the script from the show, it doesn't matter a damn thing what I was doing or what I'm wearing or what planet I'm on, what happened to me - and unfortunately too many women and men - is never the fault of the person assaulted

Now, then, who's to blame? And is that question productive enough? What is there to do now to reclaim some control back into the survivor's lives and more importantly, how do we prevent this from happening? 

Speak about it. The difference when I was a child and now, is that I have a voice and that I know that I do. I can say something. And the beauty to all of this, is that I did. Numerous times over, on a stage. In many cities. In front of many, many people. #beatthat #ftw #speakaboutitrules 

Now, you don't have to talk about it on a stage or even post online blog entries (as I am doing now. Smh). But there is a lot you can do now. Like when/if a friend's tells their story to you. Listen. But that's rare, right, or at least you would hope. What is most frequent is being on the look out for friends, family, strangers, whomever may be in a potentially unsafe situation, where something might go down that consent can't or won't be made. That's where we can step in and do our part - whether your 18 years old at a party or 32 at a bar - we just need to be there for each other and for ourselves. 
Be receptive, be aware, be empathic. 

And, of course, if you are a person that has been assaulted, what you can do. First things first, don't even try blaming yourself honey. Whether you said no or you implied it non-verbally, the moment you did not want that to happen, it shouldn't of happen. So much easier said than done but dig deep. Because it will never be your fault. Second, talk about it. With someone. Anyone. There is something so empowering and beautiful when that kind of 'stuff' gets air. It's surprisingly liberating. It'll never take the experience away, and I know it hurts to even mention it at times, but freedom lies in words and truth. 

When asked why I do this show, I'm always fumbling around saying how 'important the message is to me' and how 'it on a personal level' - never really giving justice to what I really can/want to say. But hopefully, this can make a little dent to the reasons why I do th is show and how much this show means to me. Speak About It gave me a platfrom to become free from my own personal, unfortunate experiences and turned it into a beautiful, inspiring message that I hope I can continue to share with others. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

On Senselessness.

This is not news. We know what's been happening these past few days in Boston. The Marathon, bombings, casualties. I never even knew the word "maimed" existed until now: Boston Marathon Bombings.

Now, don't worry I will not attempt to rant on my opinion on terrorist attacks nor will this be a space I can successfully console the anxieties that my local Bostonians may feel. I'm just as uncertain, confused, in the dark as the rest of us. I think what makes it all seem surreal is that, these images in photos are familiar. I heard the sirens all day Monday near the hospital. I knew a a couple of people running the marathon, one volunteering at the finish line, another close by watching the race. It's a 20-25 minute walk from work? I was supposed to go to the Boylston area that afternoon; I walked by Copley the day before. I would get candy at the store almost every day, when studying for the MCAT last summer. That side walk will look so different now. These blood-stained, cement blocks. 

Now I'm not comparing what happened Marathon Monday to what happened to NYC. Not comparable. But there's a common theme to all these senseless acts of terror. Stupidity. Ignorance. Pure, disgusting, hate. No rhyme nor reason. Sigh, why would anyone want to endanger completely harmless people? An 8 year-old who just had his first communion, a 23 year-old grad student from China at BU and another woman, just 29 years old that a friend of mine knew from work. Let alone other people who were injured there that will look at their bodies and be reminded daily of such a horrid afternoon. Ugh I know this these injuries aren't an anomaly. People lose limbs, people die. People do hurtful things to other people. But why? Why. The way that these men did it, in such a public arena. At the finish line. At a time where most people on average finish the marathon. Where media can capture their "glory" moment? What kind of ego-filled, sadistic people would find a sense of gratification in all of this? These are people hurting people. Absolute nonsense. 

The other day I remember saying to a friend, how I love people. How we (as mankind) are so great, so capable of great things, to love, to create, to exist. .... Then, this. How is it that the very same people, capable of such love and compassion can also be of the same species that will kill and harm their own kind as bad as we do? I realize I may not be as eloquent as I want to be at the moment but what is this. Where are we - that in this world we can be capable of such terrible things. Shooting in theaters, schools, malls. Bombings at city races. Crashing of planes in buildings. The fuck, what kind of world do we live in?! Let's not forget the recent suicides of young women that were sexually abused, beatings at orphanages. When tragic stories like these come up, the question or thought that comes to mind is then  how is it that people like - that bring upon harm to others - have this sort of social amnesia. Do they forget that the lives that they harm are people, just like them, that are loved by parents, brothers, friends. How do they forget that the breath they take is the same breath as another. What enables them or justifies their actions to hurt others in such a permanent and painful way. 

As one of the bombers attempt to protect how own life by running and hiding away, did he forget that just a few days ago he put into jeopardy so many lives at risk and threw 3 others lives so easily?? He's working so hard to stay alive... To protect the very one thing he threw away with such ease. Is he admitting that a life is worth to keep? Hmph, the irony.

I pray for mercy, consolation, compassion. It's hard to want those things at a time like this because I want revenge, I want justice. But to want those things, to desire redemption but without empathy, is pointless and redundant. So until then, I can only hope for some closure soon and along with it, some peace with it too.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

On the "G" Spot.

Not sure what the "G" stood for. First hypothesis, "good" ha. Then I googled it.

It's German, "Grafenberg". Anyways, its not the 'area' of what I want to talk about, per se. It's more of the human psyche than anatomical location that I'm interested in. A spot, where you're gooood. Whether professionally, personally, psychologically, physically and any other 'p' way to describe yourself, a place where you are simply content. When others ask how you are, you are able, within those 2 seconds to reflect on your life, to say that you're good and actually mean it.

Now, where is this G-Spot? Does it exist? What does it look like to you.. For some, that 'good' spot is when you're in that exclusive relationship. For others, it's when they finally get accepted to a coveted program or obtain their dream job. Whatever it is, it's that moment when your dreams, aspirations, goals, expectations intersect with the indisputable reality. 
Ugh I'm so not there. And the worst/hardest part of it all, is that I judge myself that I'm not. I'm 20-something and pissed for not making the "right" priorities, "right" sacrifices, "right" choices. Because had I, I wouldn't be where I am right now, right? 

God who knows. For those who aren't God-friendly may not get this, but sometimes I wonder if it was always me in the end of the day, to blame, that I'm not in this good spot in my life. Where God's like, here's an opportunity to be really happy, and then I'm the one fucking it up every single time. Thank God He's much more forgiving than I am. My mom and I often argue about whether or not I made the "right" decisions in my life; the worst is that I feel I can't justify any of my choices until I give her the golden goose. And maybe, that's the point. I shouldn't justify any of my choices. Because, they aren't worth defending.

And the worst part is, by saying that, I feel like if I'm discrediting and denying each memory, each relationship - platonic or otherwise - that arose from these fortunate detours. Moments where I got to share a stage with people and dance hip hop, where I would walk and passed by the Empire State building like it's NBD, sit hours in a mini-van for the sole purpose to preach about sex and consent. Someone said to me, your life seems so exciting. And my first reaction was surprisingly annoyed, almost angry. Key word ya'll: seems. Who cares that I have these 'cool' stories in my repertoire. Yeah, yeah I get to talk about co-directing a show or going to a ball. But really, who cares. Those memories are brief; they don't change the lives of others. I have friends with splendid, over the top lifestyles and showered with coveted degrees and accolades. I have many, many friends currently already doctors, let alone the large handful I have now that got accepted. I have multiple friends overseas doing grand gestures in third-world countries. I have a supermodel friend turned national media figure. Another with a million hits on YouTube, then a few more with a show in Vegas. I have friends engaged, married, and on their second child, not all at the same time, of course. Blah this need for perspective needs to come quick.

What to get from this isn't that "G" stands for envy. No. I am painfully excited for my friends and for their lives. I know my successes are not contingent to theirs. And I know part of this discomfort I can blame is our social infrastructure like Facebook, where we get this constant display of Hey! Look what I'm doing now! kind of business that reminds the "rest of us" where we may not be.. at the moment. Of course, we're happy that our friends are getting XYZ but it's sometimes, hard to find that space in our worlds where we can feel good about the choices we made, let alone the people we are now (becoming). That happy, little G-spot.

I need to give myself a little credit. I forget sometimes that I didn't come from the most traditional family unit. Sometimes, even then, I wonder if that even has an effect.. Had an interesting, couple of childhood experiences (again, still wonder if there's any influence). And some other adventures along the way, and - in a good way - still ended up like this. I know right now, my mind has a very limited perception of what my "G-spot" is. I have a vision of where it is, how I would feel when I get there. But for now, it all just seems like a myth. I am in a place in my life where I feel I am miles upon miles upon miles where I want to "be". My thoughts, my body, my career, my relationships. And all I can think of, is how utterly ungrateful I must sound. Please don't mind me if I'm not making any sense.. Just drive on by. Nothing to see here.. And the worst feeling is, I can't even fake it. I want to 'show face' that I'm cool and comfortable in my own skin. But I'm not. Not at this moment. And I know this self-imposed vulnerability is probably not the sexiest thing ever. But so is playing this coy and (un)comfortable facade. Stating this sentiment on a public forum, again, maybe not one of those "good" choices I made. Nevertheless, I feel strangely lighter and only slightly embarrassed. I know none of you could ever feel like this since ya'll are super human beings but in case you do, know I'm right there with you. Happy Finding your G-Spot every one.. Wait.. what?! Just kidding. But really.