Homage To The Firsts

24 Feb

Well hello there, my loves! I hope this essay finds you well and healthy and warm if you’re in the freezing cold part of the world, and cool if it’s hellishly hot where you are . It’s rainy and stormy here in my neck o’ the woods, and I’m happily bundled up while writing and listening to the sublime Adele (check the playlist. I’m slightly obsessed this week) sing of love and redemption. Today, we’re having a bit of a Rainy Day Pow-wow!  It’s a bit different than how I usually structure Musings, and we will not highlight a Featured Rebel today. However, I hope to reinstate weekly postings next week, and I will commemorate this by highlighting the deliciously unique and glorious Other Queen, Helena Bonham Carter. Sound good? Soooo without further adieu, lets get on with our Otherness Kumbaya, shall we?

Happiness is when you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” ~Gandhi

After I had finally, finally decided on a major in college, I enrolled in a class that was a graduation requirement for my field of study (counseling psychology), the start of my junior year. I had just turned 20 (Kristen’s age now).  For MOO’s purposes, we’ll refer to the class as Communication and Collaboration or C & C for short. Though I didn’t know it at the time, I had enrolled myself in the most catalytic, revolutionary class of my life. What was this class? Can’t be categorized, as it drew from teachings in various disciplines: sociology, psychology, criminology, business and…. Kindergarten. No, seriously. I sat in a circle with eight other people and caught a refresher course on the basic essentials of socialization and etiquette: turn-taking, sharing, listening before speaking and cultural sensitivity. If we had a designated “snack time” and “nap time”, it really would be like Kindergarten.

Arts and Crafts Time

Each week, nine of us fellow academics along with two co-leading peers would discuss and share our thoughts, concerns and reactions surrounding a myriad of topics including: career, relationships, love, loss and ambition. We all derived from different backgrounds, cultures, ethnicities, and fields of study but once a week for 2+ hours we would convene to share a piece of our personal value systems with each other. I suppose it’s similar in concept to group therapy, but with more of a book club vibe. However, instead of discussing the latest best sellers, we’d  trade stories about our experiences and ideas that shaped our personalities. I always believed that we (the world) could live in a peaceful utopia if everybody  participated in two events: One, attend and work through a C & C class; and, two, work in customer service, preferably in the restaurant business. Because let’s face it: people just don’t know what it’s like until they experience it for themselves. And even then, people don’t quite see how to apply the newfound knowledge to others’ situations….

Is it really wise for you to antagonize the one who brings your food to you?

So why am I telling you about the life-changing class called C & C and encouraging you all to get food-serving positions? Well, I’ve just basically shared my core motivator for writing Musings. I wanted to create a place, like C & C, in which people from differing backgrounds, ages, and experiences could come together and  share different interpretations and reactions to events that are important to us, i.e. Royal Rebelliousness, Bliss Pursuit, Kristen Stewart’s Steeze, and have a respectful dialogue regardless if we share the same opinions or not. When we realize that we all have differing perspectives  but on universal, common themes, it removes the stigma of the “Unknown” (Demonized Other, Alien) Factor.  Perhaps it eliminates the reason for insulting, bullying, tearing down of others…? I learned that we have filters through which we view everything. Our childhood experiences, our current interactions, our culture, our family, all shape how we view and respond to situations. It’s our conditioning. See, here in the land of MOO, we’ve talked about perspective before. We’ve acknowledged that no single one of us has the exact same reaction to a certain situation, and we certainly recognize that we have very strong inclinations towards protectiveness when it comes to our Reigning Queen Kristen.

Back to the Beginning

According to a Psychology Today article entitled “Heartbreak and Home Runs: The Power of First Experiences”, our first experiences are formidable enough to shape our whole character, our  adult personalities. Elation and heartache we encountered in our younger years may hold the key to why and how we react the way we do as adults, why we make the decisions we do, why we’re fascinated with whom or what we’re fascinated with (clears throat)…

So today’s Musings is dedicated to the exploration of Firsts: ours, and Other Queen Kristen’s. A reason for a stroll down memory lane? Well, for one thing, my incredibly brilliant Cyber Sister Readers and I were exchanging  our own stories of first loves and first kisses, prompted by particular fan fiction stories we’re reading (taking a moment to rec and love on the story A Quiet Fire by @Magnolia822) and with 3D happenings in our families.

Another reason for the nostalgia: our Majestic Misfits Kristen and Rob have returned to British Columbia this week, to complete the final months of filming for the last installments of the Twilight Saga. Not only am I struck with moments of, “remember when K and R were in Vancouver the first time two years ago?” and reminded that Vancouver is one of my favorite cities in the world too, but I’m also aware that I’m more irritable and have an increased need to preserve and safeguard Kristen, Rob and their cast mates against the Vultures and overzealous critics and “fans”. See what I mean? I’m influenced by what I witnessed and experienced from Vancouver before…

Oh that's right. They're so THRILLED to be hunted down.

Baton Rouge, from where the cast just returned, served as a quieter, less-intrusive backdrop for our Queen Other and her Ninja partner Rob, and while we didn’t receive minute-to-minute commentaries on their every move, I was infinitely happier because I knew that Kristen and Rob had semblance of privacy, which is not necessarily the case in Van City.  Amongst VulturePapz fighting re: the order in which the actors disembarked from their airplanes, also bonafide set stalkers and the resurgence of Nerdy Bloggers and pretentious “insiders”, it isn’t any mystery that the only glimpse we’ve had of Kristen is one pic of her running to her car with a jacket over her head.

I’m not sure what first experiences justifies how the BullShit People and obsessed gossip bloggers can harass our girl, why they cannot seem to grant Kristen the space to acquaint herself with her own adventures. Were they picked on as children? Did they never have a moment of wanting privacy, of silence? I humbly request that we Others all reflect, C & C -style, upon our own journeys before we lose the capacity to be compassionate and nonjudgmental. Before we lose our own personal connection with the meaningful experiences in our lives. Shall we take a stroll?

FIRST FALLINGS

Some of these Firsts are featured in the Sentence Completion Section on the About KJ Page. If you feel moved to do so, answer the prompts with as much or as little detail as you prefer…

First Job: Our lovely Reigning Other Queen was working at age nine. What were you doing at age nine? Kristen had her first role (non-speaking) in the film Thirteenth Year. Next up came a supporting role opposite Patricia Clarkson in The Safety of Objects.

Of course, it was her first starring role as Sarah Altman, daughter to Jodie Foster in director David Fincher’s (The Social Network) Panic Room that earned Kristen praise from critics and created a friend, mentor, protector and advocate of Jodie Foster. It was Foster who ultimately recommended our lovely Queen Kristen for the pivotal roles to the filmmakers of of Into the Wild and The Yellow Handkerchief.

So while our Beatific Rebel was making business contacts and earning fans among the Hollywood Elite in her first jobs, most other kids her age were enjoying the wonders of being able to write cursive for a year (in America, we learn cursive in 3rd grade, approx eight years old), and maybe, maybe  celebrate participation in a junior soccer league or ballet (my brother Chew was the former, I was the latter).

My first job was at a sporting goods store. Yep. I was seventeen years old, a senior in high school, and helping folks pick out their ideal first pair of rollerblades (and subsequent knee pads and the crucial but overlooked wrist guards). Lookie here, I’m like Bella Swan working at Newton’s Outfitters! Minimum wage was maybe $7/hr which meant I could satisfy my newest obsessions: vintage Levi’s and tickets to Tori Amos concerts.

First Public Acknowledgement/Award: With the breakthrough role in Panic Room, Kristen received the first of four nominations for The Young Artist Award. It was for her role in the aching and beautiful Into the Wild for which Kristen won the award.  She was sixteen years old and enjoying critical praise from colleagues and journalists for her solid, “sensitive performance” in the film. And she unwittingly attracted the curiosity of a certain British musician named Robert. This would be an essential development in Kristen’s professional and personal timeline.

When I was sixteen, I was pretty stoked to be a licensed driver and a junior in high school. I did receive special accolades for my ability to string words together in English classes, and I was extremely proud to have won a scholarship for my essay on an encounter with a drunk driver.

First Encounter with Separation of Self And Other: Ah see, this one is pretty heavy, I think. First realization that we are Other…The understanding that we are “supposed” to adhere to structure and conform to predetermined norms based on our age, our gender, our culture, our school…our family, can be especially shattering. It’s the moment when we realize that we have an idea of who we are, and that idea is challenged by someone or something else. This realization can have such a profound effect at times pushing us into almost existential questioning. It’s the basic acknowledgement that there is judgment, there are structures, and there are rules, and that we don’t want agree. Also, we learn that people can be harsh. This is the time period–commonly in early adolescence, though really it could occur any time, any age–when our bodies, our beliefs, our relationships, our chemical makeup undergo significant changes. Gasp! Suddenly we’re aware of the opposite sex..and body odor..It’s puberty and it can be brutal.

Things can swing from THIS…..

Rainbows, Unicorns and best friends forevsies

to this….kinda quickly

Our lovely Ms Stewart herself spoke once about the cruelty of her peers at her school when she finished filming Panic Room. Classmates snubbed her, made taunting remarks to her and kept her on the periphery of acceptance. Certainly, since Kristen would be away on such long breaks to film, the separation from her peers didn’t foster opportunities to create the bonds that could be there if she were in regular attendance . Hence the beginning of her separateness, The Otherness. She eventually chose to receive home schooling to complete her education.

How anyone could alienate or snub this lovely girl, I do not understand. Oh wait. It's STILL fucking happening!

I first understood this shift from obliviousness to uber awareness of a social order  in the summer between before sixth grade. I was on a week-long trip to Washington D.C., away from my family for the first time, across the country. I realized I had developed a fascination with one of the older boys in our tour group, and he had a “girlfriend”, since, you know, he held her hand as we walked through The Smithsonian. He had darker skin, like I did, but his girlfriend was fair and light skinned, and the contrast in coloring was simply beguiling to me. Remember, I had been raised by a Swiss/German family, so I was used to seeing the exotic contrasts of light and dark when I viewed family portraits. I just hadn’t seen it anywhere else outside of my own situation.

Well, after staring at this lovely boy and his lovely girlfriend for goddess knows how long, the jig was up, and I was about to get yanked out of my self-centered revelry. BAM. It’s not just me anymore. The boy loudly hissed at me, in front of the entire tour group:

“WHY DO STARE AT ME SO MUCH? WHY?”

And when one his buddies joked that it was because I must have wanted to “go around” with him (is that what you called it when you were 10 or 11? Going around? Going Steady?), to my utter humiliation, the boy threw back his head and guffawed. Laughed his stupid head off.

“EWWW. SHE’S YOUNGER…AND SHE’S NOT CUTE”

To add lemon to the paper cut, the following year found me grappling with an assortment of  Yearbook Honors (Most Ambitious, Class Clown, Cutest, etc). A yearbook misprint placed the title of “CUTEST” over my picture instead of “BEST PERSONALITY”–the award I preferred and had actually won. The final weeks of school were filled with people whispering and blatantly disputing the vote. Ah yes. Good times. See a little bit more why I declined the Other Homecoming Queen nominations to follow? I should have known then and there at the tender age of 13 that I could not trust the media and to harden my skin. Goodness. I have so much admiration for what Kristen does every single day of her life. My pain has consisted of having to contend with minor misunderstandings and whispers at my back. Kristen must dart away from Stalkerazzi and is aware through Google that people really, really dislike her outfit from last night, this morning and right at this moment. Kristen Stewart is SO MUCH BETTER THAN ME. #KSIBTM #KSIBTU

First Love: While I’m not versed in Kristen’s personal life, because she’s asked for her personal life to remain private, rightfully so, I feel safe enough in saying she has been a prominent feature in the idea of First Love at least since the casting news was announced that the iconic role of Bella Swan would be portrayed by the seventeen-year-old indie actress… Whether it’s because we’ve witnessed her embodiment of the the quintessential EveryGirl Bella Swan falling in love, or the evolvement of her very unique bond with Robert Pattinson over the years, Kristen Stewart has, for me, represented love in a very relatable, genuine way.

I had crushes that came and went, starting with my 7th grade boyfriend (he was The Edward Cullen of Middle School with otherworldly beauty and charisma) all the way through high school and my first year in college in which I pined for a boy who pined for my oblivious best friend. Of course as soon as he realized I’d do anything to be the recipient any fleeting attention he tossed my way, I set myself up for a world of pain. The less about him the better, perhaps. My brother still holds a grudge against him, and I’m pretty sure the boy reads Musings. As does, occasionally, the boy who I would qualify as my First Love, or more accurately, “The Boy I Think Is Love” because he looked good on paper, but didn’t make much sense anywhere else. I was eighteen when we started dating, but I actually broke up with him once I figured out my shit with the help of that C & C class I took. One more endorsement for introspection and clarifying values, I guess?

First Philanthropy: With the help of the recent stunning Vogue article, we know that Kristen has philanthropic goals that are profound and inspiring. But long before her hopes for building a halfway house network were verbalized, our Royal Rebel has displayed her charitable and compassionate nature byway of her endorsement of raising awareness of sexual assault when she was quite young, age 13, as she portrayed Melinda, a selectively-mute date-rape survivor in the movie Speak.

Courtesy of the brilliant Tumblr by absofreakinlutely

In a move foreshadowing more philanthropic work, Ms Stewart took time to film a public service announcement in 2009  for Security On Campus (SOC) designed to encourage awareness about sexual assault, drawing attention to the frequency it occurs on college campuses. The statistics are pretty sobering: Every 2 minutes someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted, and 1 out of 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape. Knowledge and awareness of these facts is powerful, and I admire Ms Stewart for contributing her voice and time to the promotion of knowledge about sexual assault.

>>>Click this pic to see Kristen's PSA Video<<<

I’ve watched with growing amazement at the generosity and creativity of Twilight Fanfiction communities in their efforts to raise awareness and funding for charities for relief (Fandom for Floods, for the recent Australian floods; Fandom Against Domestic Violence) and for health and spirit (Alex’s Lemonade Stand for Childhood Cancer; Fandom Fights Mental Health Issues, Autism Awareness, among many). I wanted to take a quick moment to highlight a charity event that is taking place now, one of personal significance as well as a larger importance society. In honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month (April), led by a friend of mine, @Aylah50, and another lovely author @ColdplayWhore are hosting a fandom event which serves to educate communities and individuals on how to prevent sexual violence. This primary prevention approach helps to create environments where people are safe in their relationships, families, neighborhoods, schools, work places and communities. Check out the website (click the badge below) for more information on how you can contribute and lend your voice, as our Other Ambassador Kristen has, to the sharing of knowledge.

Fandom4saa.wordpress.com

First Falling For Kristen: I alluded to first falling into Kristen in earlier posts and on the Origins of Musings page, but I haven’t really spoken to how she became my Reigning Other Queen. I had first seen her in Panic Room but I didn’t realize it was her. It was summertime 2008, and I knew Twilight was being adapted to film. I heard that Kristen was cast in the lead female role, but I hadn’t made the connection yet. I caught maybe 30 minutes of In The Land Of Women on HBO one afternoon, and I remember being struck with the beauty and passion of Kristen’s character Lucy, but again, I didn’t know. Seriously, I should probably have my KristenFan Card revoked right now with that admission.

I didn’t truly get it until I caught a glimpse of the famous Larry Carroll MTV Interviews  (Twilight Tuesdays) in which she carried herself with poise and a grounded-ness that was so refreshing. And then I read the Vanity Fair Q & A and fell in love with her direct answers and her obvious intelligence. Of course, pictures like this, depicting her lightness of spirit and chemistry with Rob…I was breathless.

My championing of this Royal Rebel only increased by leaps and bounds as Twilight was released, as well as the backlash of criticism of Kristen’s interviewing skills, her frenetic energy, her refusal to participate in media training. As I heard all of these “offenses” I was thoroughly convinced that she is the coolest. chica. evah. Uncompromising. Unapologetically genuine. Steadfast. . . .And you? When did you First Fall for Kristen?

Well, as I cautioned, today’s MOO was going to be slightly different in structure and tone. Maybe I’m inspired to chat with you all on a more personal level because I’ve felt further away than usual, with my staggered posting schedule, or maybe it’s the rainy weather. Perhaps the return of Kristen and Rob to Vancouver, wrapping up a film project that has been so influential and integral in our lives these past three years is the trigger. I was curious also how the people who stalk and bash and hound Kristen and Rob in Vancouver can justify their behavior–have they forgotten what it was like to be a young person on a new job assignment? Have they lost their abilities to empathize? Do their encounters with First experiences influence their current actions, or have they forgotten the significance of their Firsts altogether? Just wonderin’…..Or maybe it’s the introduction of AmishRob that has sent everyone into a tailspin? *shrugs*

(c) absofreakinlutely tumblr

Meanwhile, my hope is to continue to remind myself and my fellow Others that as we continue to blaze forth on our paths towards integration and bliss, that it’s a good thing, a healthy practice, to revisit our beginnings. Today’s Musings is the forty-first essay. I’m simply amazed by that. Forty-one essays celebrating Unconventional Beauty, awkwardness, rebelliousness and Otherness…of rejoicing over the epicness that is an actress and Rebel Queen named Kristen.

We are Other.

Kristen is Other.

Others do not lose sight of the significance of Firsts.

Embrace your Other.

*

Question: I’ve tons of ’em here and in the Sentence Completion portion of About KJ. Tell me about your firsts…

*

A/N: For Fandom For Sexual Assault Awareness Info, visit the website: http://fandom4saa.wordpress.com/

See you next week, my lovelies. Thanks for all your tweets, emails and kindness as I was recovering from what felt like Typhoid. xo, KJ

23 Responses to “Homage To The Firsts”

  1. Christine March 2, 2011 at 5:30 am #

    Hello KJ,
    I am very touched by what you shared on your post today. It is personal indeed, to talk about your firsts and all that. But what is more touching is how you shared it with us, the Others too. It must have been hard to write about your love experiences which was very personal.
    I may not be able to share a lot of firsts, since ya know, I’m only seventeen and still beginning in life. However, I think I could manage to get out a few firsts but you have to promise that no matter how embarassing my experiences are, you would not laugh. I would not hear a single giggle. Here it goes.
    The first time that I realized my Otherness, or as I like to call it, the time I became more aware of the other gender, I was in Grade 6. I had to be honest though and say that I wasn’t very keen on exploring this new world. It’s not because it felt weird and I’m confused, but if you know, the society here in the Philippines was a little more on the conservative side. And that means that as soon as your parents know your crushing on a boy, they tell you that it’s too early to think about love and that you should focus on your studies. Also, that meant that my older sister would be teasing me endlessly about it, to an uncomfortable point.
    I wasn’t the most popular girl in high school either. There are no yearbooks, but the boys are as mean as that boy you love to stare at so much during your trip to Washington D.C. I’m still at the point where I’m trying to explore myself while I was diving on, head first, to first love.
    I won’t be gushing, I swear. But I would like to share to you this guy I like, and okay, I really, really care about. I hope you’re listening well becasue I don’t tell about him very often. He’s name starts with the letter “K” too! Okay, he’s swoon-wrothy. Very sensitive and attentive. He’s also nice. I’m starting to sound like I’m selling him or something, so I’m just gonna tell you that I ‘like’ everything about him. I accept every shortcomings and I’ve learned to ‘love’ (there I blurted it out) him for who he is, regardless of his mistakes and priorities (he’s kind of a public figure at our college), responsibilities, and pesonality. I don’t know where this is going, but no matter where, I would look back to my times with him and smile. I just know it. Because regardless of how he looks at me, I like the way I feel around him. Like I’m really important, that I’m a voice worth hearing.
    You know what, you’re right. Wherever we are going, it’s always important to revisit our First Times. I’m very happy to have heard about your Firsts and I hope that mine aren’t bad either.
    P.S. I fell in love with Kristen Stewart when people started criticizing her for her ‘unfrogivable’ treatment of the media. I, myself, is studying Communications and Media Studies but I never believed that one should be condemned for who they are and being their own person in front of everyone. If anything, they should be praised because it is rare that people reveal themselves for who they are when the spotlight is on them, most of the times, they just try to impress. But not Kirsten. And I admire her for that, and love her too. Long live our Reigning Other Queen Kristen Stewart.
    Another P.S. I watch Speak every now and then because I know it’s about rape and all, but I consider it my feel-good movie. Weird, I know. Maybe, it’s becasue of her transformation, but I just really connect with Melinda.

  2. Crystal February 27, 2011 at 9:44 am #

    Dearest KJ, I apologize that it always takes me forever to get around to commenting on your posts. Life lately has been insanely busy which I can imagine you are familiar with! But as always this was a beautiful post!

    First, your comment about everyone working in customer service ESPECIALLY restaurant, at one point in their lives could not have been more dead on to how I feel. Having waitressed all through university and even after – I get it. And most people will not get it until they have done it. You don’t just learn about customer service, you learn about people – ALL kinds of people – and how their minds work. It can be crazily insightful.

    Now answers to the “firsts”:
    First Job: at a movie theatre, appropriate yes?

    First Award: I was 13 and I won a best actress award at the provincial drama festival. For a 13 year old, it was pretty epic.

    First Encounter w/Seperation of Self and Other: Also when I was 13, I became REALLY obsessed with writing. My bff and I LOVED going to the library at lunch hour to eat our lunch and write and talk about our stories. We actually got in trouble with our teachers because we didn’t want to go outside like “normal” teenagers and get fresh air and sit on the bleachers and kiss boys. We ended up having to reach an alternative where we agreed to go outside every second lunch hour. Imagine. 13 years old and needing to debate on reasons WHY we should be allowed to stay inside and be creative.

    First Love: I was 18, it was shortlived because it was a summer love and we lived on opposite sides of Canada. There was a pretty amazing reunion story where I left him standing in an airport at 23 years old seconds after he’d chased after me and told me he was still in love with me (I was in Alberta for my best friends wedding and it was the 1st time we’d saw each other in 5 years). Part of me wanted to just leave with him but I had a boyfriend waiting on the East Coast for me. Now that boyfriend is long gone (my own decision) and the boy I really was in love with is now married. Life, right?

    First Philanthropy: At 12 years old I began canvassing door to door for the Heart & Stroke Foundation accepting donations. My mother had done it for 6 years prior and I in turn did it for the next 6 years before heading to university. My dad took over the year month of February job 😛

    First Falling for Kristen: Land of Women, I loved her but knew nothing about her. Twilight REALLY made me start to want to know more about her and then Adventureland just solidified it. She was amazing and I had a major girl crush.

    xx

  3. edmett February 27, 2011 at 2:10 am #

    Your C&C class sounds like a bunch of the communication classes I took in college. I had an excellent teacher that had us all sit in a circle for each class (there were about 20 of us), yet it was still very intimate and personal. At the end of semester, we had a discussion of our greatest fear… it was the first time I had bawled my eyes out in a classroom. I waited for as long as I could to admit my fear, but then after that, everyone else cried too. It was a beautiful class. Those experiences are magical. I haven’t seen any of those people since, but I still remember them and what they taught me.

    I find your posts so far reaching that I feel like I want to comment in about 15 different directions, and it would take me too long to write about all that, but know that I loved what you posted. I agree with SO much of it.

    I too wish that we could all do the C&C circle of sharing. ❤

  4. pharmgirl15 February 25, 2011 at 3:58 pm #

    Wow…. what a great entry! I view the world through my very much “left brain” existence…and have been trying very hard to exercise my “right brain” more frequently and this week’s blog has given me a lot to reflect upon and journal about. This is why I love following your blog… (as well as the kick-ass playlist!!!) I can answer a few of the easier “Firsts”
    – First job: My extended family are produce farmers…so I worked on the farm from the time I was 8 or 9 in the summertime. I helped make boxes, pack produce, and when I was a bit older, sell fruits and veggies at the roadside stand. Sometimes I miss the simplicity of that job compared to my current crazy hectic job as a pharmacist. sigh.
    – First love: I think I was like in 6th grade and I decided I liked this kid that I had known since 1st grade. We were totally friends and had lockers right next to each other (lol)- but when I finally let my friend tell him I liked him (haha- oh middle school love games) and he swore he only liked me as a friend. I was crushed and avoided my locker for weeks. Two years later, I had moved on and he decided he was in love with me… too little too late!!

    I am going to marinate a bit on the first encounter with separation of self or others business…. Thanks again, KJ, for being so thought provoking 🙂
    p.s. have you heard the Adele/Darius Rucker cover of “I Need You Now”? Beautiful…..

    • KJ February 25, 2011 at 4:24 pm #

      Ahhh! Pharmgirl, it’s fate that we connected today because I’m such a RB (Right Brainer), I need LBs for balance and grounding. But ohhhh your story about loving the boy at the next locker, only to have him realize he returned the feelings TWO YEARS LATER? That’s what the great love stories are made of, my friend. I’m familiar with how devastating unrequited love is, though, I feel you. Thanks for your kind and courageous words my dear, and NOOO I did NOT know about the Adele/Darius cover! *running to YouTube* And fist pumps for the playlist. I kinda love it too. You’re lovely. xo, KJ

  5. LCMom February 25, 2011 at 1:36 pm #

    K, you are so honest and open with us. By sharing your experiences you help the rest of us to own and accept our own learning moments. Thank you so much.

    I recently came across my first diary. I’m not a diary person so it only had maybe ten entries but all or nearly all were in reference to my first crush object in 4-5th grade. So, I’m thumbing through the silly wishes and dreams I had about this boy, until I get to the very last entry. Which, I’d forgotten entirely about. Reading it cut me like I was reading it for the first time. My crush object, somehow in my room, had found my diary, read it, and written in it. He didn’t quite mock my sappy but heartfelt pining but said something along the lines of, ‘well, good luck to ya with that’ along with a little cartoon. *O M G*. I could have barfed all over again, the humiliation as real as the first time I saw his handwriting in my diary. HE READ MY DIARY. Dead. So, I took the diary, and put in the trash. Yep. Sure did. Put that sucker out of my misery. Buh bye. Whew. Felt good. Is that a first? I dunno. First crush object. XO

    • KJ February 25, 2011 at 3:22 pm #

      OHH LC! Thanks baby, for sharing such an intimate moment with me and us. That absolutely qualifies as a First Crushing Crush….I spoke a little about my First Crushing Crush in the About KJ section. He had his new crush (a “friend”) call me to dump me by phone. After he messed around with her, he had the audacity to try and ask me to come back to him. Oh man. Devastation. But your story of the way your crush not only invaded your most private musings but added his commentary on it with a “cartoon”? Mortification. It is definitely a very significant FIRST, my friend. Thank you so much for your kind words and for always leaving such insightful responses. xx, K

  6. ladybug February 25, 2011 at 9:58 am #

    You just managed to put into words a lot of my toughts. Don’t these people remember? Can’t they empathise? Were they never nervous, young, in love, embarassed, learning? I could go on and on, but instead I’ll give you some of the firsts that shaped who I am the most:

    First Day of School: I was 4, my parents left me there and went on their merry ways. I had never been to school before ,in Portugal most kids go from the time they’re only months old. Somehow I fit in just fine. To this day I find that I’m very adaptable, I get along fine with most people. I never was the cool/popular kid but I always just fit in. So even though I’m naturally shy and anxious of getting out of my comfort zone I manage pretty well after the initial shock.

    First Love/Heartbreak/Time I held my own: I was never a boy-crazy kind of girl. There are no happy marriages in my family so I had nothing to go by. At 15 there was this boy in my class, I hated everything about him, even the sound of his voice! Of course, we ended up madly in love. (Fanfiction much?) One year later he broke up with me. He wanted things I was not ready to give him. I decided I wouldn’t budge, if he loved me he would wait. There was peer preasure and teasing friends. He didn’t. I held my own, eventually (and not with him) I got what I wanted, when I was ready for it. So there!

    Most jobs I’ve had were in costumer service. There’s a LOT of learning in there. ( I still do it but now I only dot it through the computer so it’s much safer.)

    C&C definitely sounds like something everyone should do!

    • KJ February 25, 2011 at 4:15 pm #

      Hiya Ladybug! Wow, I think you’ve been blessed with the ability to adapt, to just flow. This will be of great benefit as you continue to move through challenges, I believe. Fantastic story about the experience in which you held fast to your principles and despite outside detractors–much like our Queen Kristen, I’m so glad you were rewarded for your insistence on remaining authentic, my friend. Thank you for your always-amazing and supportive words, I greatly appreciate them and you. xo, KJ

  7. DanO February 25, 2011 at 6:33 am #

    Hi KJ — the course you are taking sounds like it could be life altering in a good way.

    I’ll answer a couple

    First Encounter with Separation of Self And Other —- for me this means when did I learn to not let labels and my own internal chatter define who or what I am. When we let out thoughts define us it can be brutal self inflicted pain, unless you are practiced against this. I learned how to disassociate from these things a few years ago. But the technique needs allot of work and regular practice. A refresher is needed.

    When did I fall for Kristen: last year around this time. I detailed this process last Saturday on my blog.

    Take care,

    Dan

    • KJ February 25, 2011 at 6:44 am #

      Hi Dan,
      I was on your blog a couple days ago looking for a subscribe button. Is there a subscribe button, my friend? Because I always seem to miss your posts and end up stumbling onto them after the fact. And I hate that, because I want to respond to your insight and brilliance in the moment, immediately. I like your interpretation of “First Encounter with Separation of Self And Other”, and yes, the gentle disentanglement from the inner critic as well as the “monkey mind” takes practice and patience, and it’s not at all a mystery as to why people (myself included) avoid self reflection at times. I work through that process at least a couple times a day in some form or another. Hope you’re well. Thanks muchly for sharing your thoughts. xo, K

  8. DeeDreamer February 25, 2011 at 5:58 am #

    As always, I loved this. Your C&C class in college reminds me very much of a Development Theory class I had in grad school – I, too, constantly use the term “the lens through which you see everything” and the image of an old-fashioned film strip running in the background in everything you do. The film strip are your firsts – your influential experiences. And those images are burned in your brain, like ’em or not, acknowledge them or not. And then all of those experience color your lenses. It was one of the most influential discussions of my life!

    Thank you for sharing your firsts with us, KJ.

    xo ~DD

    • KJ February 25, 2011 at 6:21 am #

      Ah, D. So well said. In C & C, we called them “snapshots”, not unlike your filmstrip concept. And yes, I say the same thing, that our filters (snapshots, filmstrips, Firsts) completely inform the way we view, respond and react to situations. And we all are bound to have varying reactions, since we all had varying moulding experiences. It’s a good thing to remember as we navigate through this fandom too, plus it inspires patience and compassion. Thanks for your kind words and constant support, D. xo, K

  9. Aai February 24, 2011 at 10:11 pm #

    Becca! I need you to swap lives and come and teach my son’s class on a Friday! Pretty please?

    • BookNerdBecca February 25, 2011 at 6:35 am #

      I’d love to! I miss teaching so much and I loved my Special Needs students. They are so gifted and honest! Sounds like you should take a stroll with your boy to class and keep an open dialogue with the administrators of the school! Teachers like this lady can do permanent damage to boys and girls!

  10. Aai February 24, 2011 at 10:07 pm #

    Kai, I’m going off topic babe, and I’m gonna ramble..but here it is- I had this conversation with my son this afternoon – I am still processing it actually – but here it is.

    He has a substitute teacher on Fridays. The same one each week. She’s young. She’s new. She graduated a mere 3 months ago. And she only likes little girls.
    He says ‘why do people always think girls are lovely and boys are horrible?’
    me ‘really? who thinks that?’
    him ‘its on all the tv shows – and my teacher only likes the girls. You’re only good if you are quiet and pretty. She says they are perfect. They always win the prizes or get to go first.’
    me ‘hmmm – well – I think often new teachers who don’t have their own children and haven’t been teaching very long haven’t learnt to really appreciate little boys yet Hun. Don’t worry about it. I know you are lovely AND perfect, just as you are (yes, in my RL I borrow from film scripts…).
    him ‘I think the opposite is true Mum – I think usually its boys who are nice most of the time, and girls who are mean and nasty most of the time…’
    me ‘*nodding* yep – I’ve noticed that too sometimes *start rambling in a mothery way about avoiding generalising etc etc, appreciating each person’s individual qualities blahdee blah..*

    The reason this struck me is this. My son has Aspergers. He is socially challenged. Just this same afternoon I had to school him in the art of talking to girls while playing on the junglegym…(we must not mention that tumbling around the monkey bar hurts our penis – its not appropriate…).
    So – how fascinating that he distilled this truth – that women and girls can be NASTY and that his teacher is only appreciating superficial behaviours. Teachers applauding the outwardly perfect behaviour of ‘perfect’ pretty little girls who I know for certain can be, and very often daily ARE,little bitches in the playground. And never appreciating the fidgety, sometimes scruffy, sometimes loud and almost always, unfailingly honest and kind children.
    Its an interesting reflection, isn’t it?
    Seems to me, if you are ‘other’, you don’t fit the perfect and pretty mold, and you are frequently at the very least, unappreciated, and it starts SO young.
    I hope my son has the strength of character to stay ‘other’, despite this pervasive ‘training’ being offered in the classroom.
    luff ya Possum – thanks for letting me ramble….mwah!

    • KJ February 25, 2011 at 5:43 am #

      Aai, Possum, this was a glorious comment. Children are automatically purer and more open/accepting than any other beings, and your little guy has that little added extra special something which helps him distinguish truth even more fully. He doesn’t have interest nor the inclination to buy into the perpetuated bull shit, nor disingenuous “grown ups” and ungrounded girls. Folks applaud and support the ‘perfect’ pretty ones, because well, it’s easier to do so. It takes a different energy and investment to work with folks ‘outside the box’ or…gasp ‘Other’. Under-appreciated indeed, and yes, programmed very young. Thank goodness your lovely boy seeks through the facade already. Good Job, my Aai. Luff you too, Possum. xx

  11. Jrollin5 February 24, 2011 at 8:23 pm #

    Beautiful post as always KJ. I truly believe that we can’t really appreciate where we are today without remembering how it all began. I love seeing all of K’s firsts as well as your own! Thank you for sharing your beautiful musings again this week!! <333
    -J.

    • KJ February 24, 2011 at 9:12 pm #

      Hi J, thanks so much for your kind words and for your constant support (and for keeping me company via twttah while I was a #thug locked out of my car). I feel the same, it would be neglectful and for me, disingenuous to be standing where I am without acknowledging my roots. You’re lovely. xo, KJ

  12. Misty February 24, 2011 at 7:47 pm #

    So glad to have musings back. Hope you are feeling better. Such a good topic. Back to Firsts.. very grounding. So here are my firsts:
    First Job: librarian assistant over the summer when I was 15 (yes, I worked early under a program that allowed kids from families of less than normal means to work in the summer). I was a great experience for a book worm.
    First public award: my awards for years of dance
    First Love: a blond, cute new kid to middle school named Steven. We became fast friends. But just remained friends. His love was for a girl name Stephanie who caught his eye.
    First philanthropy: visiting nursing homes with my great aunt when I was a tween. We would spend hours just talking and sometimes reading to those left unvisited by family members. They were so adorable and appreciative of the attention. They had the best stories.
    First fell for Kristen: I am late to the game. So most came during her interviews TV,press junkets, magazines. Her honesty and directness blew me away. I was not use to seeing young actresses being so real. No false pretenses. To me her inner beauty shown thru to match her outer beauty. Of course, she did this prior to the New moon promotions but I am late to the party
    So I think I got them all. Til next time.

    • KJ February 24, 2011 at 7:58 pm #

      Hi Misty, thanks for your lovely response to firsts..It is an incredibly grounding as well as provocative discussion…I am feeling better, certainly better than I was this day last week. I was bedridden for days and am still clawing back, but I’m happy to write. I am envious of your first job, honey. I am a bookworm too and find bookstores and libraries this close to heaven. You’ll have to tell me about your years of dance for which you are award winning! The first loves are often the first crushing crushes, aren’t they. Yeah, I pined for boys often who loved my friendship but wanted to BE with my friends. Sigh. Visiting nursing homes is exquisite–the stories are priceless. And you’re never late to the game if you’re still supporting and championing our Queen (as I know you are). Her genuineness is stunning in its starkness. So refreshing. Thanks again my friend. xx, K

  13. BookNerdBecca February 24, 2011 at 7:03 pm #

    Absolutely beautifully put. On all accounts.
    I used to teach Kindergarten, I miss it daily, especially now that I teach adults. When I first started though, people scoffed, “How on earth could you tolerate that?!” But honestly, teaching five year olds was the most honest work I’d ever done. Their eyes are all seeing, their little hearts, so pure and full, just waiting for us to give them everything. There is a book I recommend to everyone titled “Everything I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergardten” http://www.amazon.com/Really-Need-Know-Learned-Kindergarten/dp/034546639X
    How true, how true!
    I left Kindergarten to help underprivileged high schoolers in a rough part of town with literacy but was quickly burned out. One of my biggest regrets in life, not sticking it out and saving more kids. I still found myself though, saying the SAME things to those kids at 17 that I did to my five year old students. Sometimes, a kid is just a kid. I found myself slowly becoming angry though while I worked there. All these beautiful, smart, kind young ladies were just being eaten alive by shitty parents, dishonest boys, and mean girls with evil agendas and chips on their shoulders. I could never go back to being a teen girl. It’s a battle field. I started leaving post-it notes with encouraging words on their books when they’d get up to use the restroom or head to the library. Nothing too intricate. Just a little heart with the words “You are beautiful” or “I know you can do it.” Things I’d hoped to hear myself or have told to me when I was having one of those days. I don’t know if they knew it was me, probably… I didn’t want them to know it was me though… in a way, I wanted them to feel like the universe was saying how great they were. Because they are great, just because.
    Just like you are great, just because 🙂
    Now I teach grown-ups and it’s a very fun job, but I don’t feel like I’m saving lives the way I had been before. It pays the bills but it doesn’t fill my heart, if that makes any sense at all.
    Someday I hope I’ll go back. I can’t have children of my own and I may never have the means to adopt, but I have students. Important children 🙂

    You’ve done a lovely job of sharing your love of life along with your love of Kristen. And to answer your query about when I fell for Stewie… well, when I first saw Twilight, my husband called her “Blinky McSighsAlot” I didn’t get why he was so mean, but I saw what he was talking about… her pausing during her scenes with Rob as Bella and Edward. Now that I’ve seen her in other films, I know that she’s not huffing and sighing, she’s breathing life into a character. Giving pause to a story that needs to be told. She evolves into a character. Whether it’s a rocker chick or a prostitute, she’ becomes that character, pulls their skin on and calls on their spirit. She’s the human, natural equivalent to a clone. Her portrayal of Joan Jett stands out at the forefront of my mind. Hell, JJ herself said she was astounded speechless by just how much KS became her in the film. I knew I thought she was pretty, I knew I liked her “fuck you” attitude, but I think what “sold” her for me was when she was doing an interview with Dakota Fanning and she said “I look up to her, not the other way around. This girl is incredible. I’m just an actor, nothing special. She should take the credit” referring to how well the film was received. There was just something about her in that interview and her adoration of another actress, it just won me over. I’ve been in KS love ever since 🙂
    She truly embodies the kind of humble, intelligent, passionate, and loyal woman that makes a great role model for the girls I want to be a role model for.
    I’m glad she’s out there.
    I’m glad you’re out there too KJ! ❤

    • KJ February 24, 2011 at 7:16 pm #

      Hiya Becca. I know that book quite well, maybe that’s why I said what I did. Everything we may ever need to survive we learned already when we were 5, and yet some of the worst bullies and critics out there in this fandom are “grown ups”. So if we must, we go back and review, right? Thank you for sharing your story about your journey from teaching K to underprivileged HS students …when its’ time you’ll get back to where your heart is, my dear. I am confident that you’ve impacted so many lives. I’m laughing at your husband’s nickname for Stewie…and your beautiful, accepting reframe. I’m glad we’re ALL out there. Pushing onward. Thank you for your always kind words. Words cannot convey my gratitude. ❤ KJ

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