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For What We’re Worth

21 Apr

Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

A Confident Beginning

Ohhhh, boy… *blows a long breath out* Hello my Rabblerousers and Majestic Misfits, how goes it? Things have been insane in the membrane since we last convened, right? Not in a bad way, but in a really, busy, joyful, Ohmahgawd-I-can’t-believe-how-beautiful-yet-how-involved-I-am-in-all–of-this sorta way. You know what I mean. Since we last ruminated together, Our Reigning Other Queen celebrated her 21st birthday,  which involved Twilight co-stars and friends, her good buddy Taylor Lautner and his pretty girlfriend Lilly Collins. Also included an adoring, attentive Robert ….and a motorcycle…

ok, so maybe not THIS motorcycle...but the boy was there

And she inspired folks to raise nearly $17,000 for charity. . .Bowing down to all who contributed to this incredible cause in the name of Kristen, and with the hopes of eradicating the very serious issue of teen homelessness. Also, such gratitude to those who contributed to other charities in support of Kristen’s philanthropic wishes. All of you are truly incredible.

Well, let’s see…Our Majestic Misfit managed to make a profound statement of support and confirmation in New York City this Sunday. And she did it all without saying a word. She quietly attended Rob’s Water For Elephants premiere, looking almost obscenely stunning in a J. Mendel dress. She did not walk the red carpet–she would never want to overpower or detract from Rob’s moment. Because that’s what would happen if she had set just one toe out there on the carpet. She never intends to, but unwittingly, unknowingly, she compels us to look.  She is charismatic and magnetic, and would undoubtedly cause an epic frenzy if she had chosen to walk in the front door of the theater instead of the undercover side entrance. Because..uh, LOOK. AT. HER.

It’s criminal how insanely sexy these two are together. Look at the pandemonium inspired even as she remains in the background !!!

…and within a mere twelve hours later she surfaced in Vancouver, BC for stunt work for Breaking Dawn.  She flew back and forth across the continent between Rob’s movie premiere and the film set…so she could run on a treadmill while wearing a hot blue dress and black sweatpants. Because kick-ass Bella Cullen will run in a dress, dammit, but our girl is smart enough to know her legs might suffer in the cool Vancouver air. I won’t show the pictures of her on the vamp treadmill, mostly because I cannot tolerate the camera hound who took the pictures and I don’t want to endorse his stalking and opportunistic tendencies. But I will  illustrate that nonverbal communication for which I adore Kristen and her protectors.

This is a good crew. I see why she will miss them.

This morning (Wednesday), our extremely dedicated and well-traveled Royal was spotted, thumb brace still in place, at Vancouver International Airport, having wrapped the principle filming for the role of Bella Swan Cullen. *sniffle*

Only Royalty looks this good at 5AM

It’s a bit bittersweet to watch Kristen fly away from The Breaking Dawn set, as we’ve been on a journey alongside her while she created, crafted, shaped and injected a compassionate, endearing spirit into a girl who had merely lived on paper and in our minds’ constructs. Kristen loves and passionately defends Bella’s decisions and actions to the very end (did you listen to the Eclipse Commentree?). She personified, sympathized with, and injected confidence into a restless and pretty young thing, perhaps because she found personal truths in common between herself and Bella… And perhaps this is just another glimpse of Kristen’s brilliance as an actor. She inspires our faith in a character that we may struggle to identify with…Or, conversely, over-identify with. Kristen granted the strands of conviction to those who merely viewed Bella (or themselves) as a too impulsive, too naive seventeen-year-old girl with an infatuation.

With considerable skill, Kristen Stewart took a vague caricature amongst a less-than impressive screenplay (sorry, Rosenberg, you and I are not besties) and produced a determined, complex, and impassioned young woman for whom we cheer on. As there will be reshoots and voice work, and two more movies to promote through 2012, we have not seen the last of Kristen’s Bella, but there still is a lingering sense of melancholy as we watch Breaking Dawn wrap, the actors and crew flying away from Vancouver and dispersing. Thank you, Ms. Stewart for all that you have done to create a fierce, relatable, unforgettable Bella Swan.

Playing The Game

So while Kristen has quietly (as a roar) displayed her propensity for sparking near-riots I finally did it. I finally sat down and read The Hunger Games. I hadn’t read them up until this point not because I resisted, but because I’ve just been busy and boast a bedside table bowing beneath the weight of the 208,371 books I already am reading (in addition to my fanfics). I finally sat down and read Hunger Games and within 36 hours had devoured the three books as if I were a wild raccoon ransacking a campground dumpster (check it: opposable thumbs are fierce). However, since I was late to the party in reading this magnificent series, I’ve made up for it by becoming wholly and utterly consumed these past two weeks, reliving, re-reading, basking in the genius that is Suzanne Collins’s tale of war, our society’s obsession with appearances and the healing profundity of loyalty and love. My reading of The Hunger Games Trilogy coincides with the casting of the film adaptation scheduled to release in March of next year.

This is REAL.

WARNING: An Oncoming Other Teachable Moment: Because of the amplified scrutiny of the casting process, and the passion of my fellow readers, there are strong reactions and declarations emerging. It is very, very reminiscent of the casting process for a one beloved young adult series called Twilight. I won’t launch into a full feature of defending Otherness today…but I want to say that I have complete faith in the actors Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson, who have been chosen to play two of the three leads in the film.

I don’t put too much stock into any discrepancies of physical characteristics, because a.) We as OTHERS know more than ANYONE that our external attributes are only one slice of our Misfit Majesty and b.) becoming someone else is what actors do for their jobs. Both Jennifer Lawrence (Ohai Oscar Nomination) and Josh Hutcherson exhibit proclivity in their craft, i.e. MAD SKILLZ. I say we sit back and witness what these talented folks bring to the table before judging them. It’s the least we can do as fellow Others, long recipients of preconceived notions and unfair judgements ourselves.

We of the askance tiaras SEE you. We get. IT.

And to highlight two very significant events: Remember how dubious folks were when Robert Pattinson was cast as the iconic Edward Cullen almost four years ago? There was a freaking petition circulating in which thousands of people signed, proclaiming extreme dissatisfaction and doubt in Robert’s abilities: to act..to be sexy..to be beautiful. Um. LOOK AT HIM NOW.

Things didn't turn out so badly, did they?

Secondly: At the risk of being skinned alive by my peers, I note, in the case of Josh Hutcherson, that he has pretty solid cred in the business (did you see The Kids Are All Right?) AND, most importantly, our own Reigning Other Queen Kristen, she of the infamous BULLSHIT DETECTOR, and “incredible instincts” (per Sean Penn and Jodie Foster) deemed Josh as Good People years ago when they were costars in the film Zathura. According to Josh, he nursed a pretty serious crush on our Rebel Queen (ok, that right there implicates the kid’s supremely good sense), and she bestowed a baby turtle on him for his 13th birthday. If Kristen Stewart is gifting baby reptiles to this dude, I venture it’s safe to say he is not the devil incarnate. I guess I just ask us to hang back and reserve evaluation. . .And I’ll deftly and sweetly change the subject….nao.

I get it. And I like it.

She’s Got Skillz 

Other than procuring a new obsession with a book about teenagers brutally killing each other, I’ve been extremely busy since we last checked in. A sweet friend from Australia, Miss @Mel452 and I spent a couple days exploring my beautiful city…and hanging out with The Beats (we may or may not have gotten drunk where Sam Riley and Garrett Hedlund hung), and introducing my Aussie friend to the wonders of IN-N-OUT. Partaking in Italian food consumption, smokes and “Jack Kerouacs” cocktails?  In short, it was divine.

I’ve been cultivating time and lessons learned with my clients. I’ve attended traffic school, the first part of  training for the Red Cross Disaster Relief team I’ve signed up for…I’ve been hanging out with N in the rare moment he has time off work–we have our wedding anniversary approaching next week– and I’ve been gathering courage to take the next step. The last activity has been the most challenging for me.

In a nutshell: I’ve been trying to accept the good. I’ve been digging deep and trying to take my own advice and look in the damn mirror. I’ve made the decision to expand the Magical Little Practice, not shut it down (see, Buff, I won’t give up, I won’t!). Without delving into too much detail, I have been constructing a curriculum to broaden my connection with the community of folks out there who seek empowerment and direction. Also this means I can finally, finally do what I’ve always felt I am meant to: teach, present, consult and collaborate. With the assistance of my business-minded manager-sister, I am trying to take back and own my accomplishments by channeling my skills into creating the perfect job. The job that I was chasing with other companies, outside of myself. I realized after a consultation with a colleague therapist that I can CREATE MY OWN PATH using the tools I’m already equipped with. One problem: I don’t quite have a Rebel Queen’s Confidence. #ReframeTime. Rather, ok, if I do have it, I have a hard time remembering I do.

“Letting circumstances or others determine worth gives them inappropriate control and power,” ~Anonymous 

grounding.....grounding....breathing

My Manegent (the term my brother dubbed my manager-agent) Leon began making calls to agencies and organizations to begin spreading the word of my expanded services, and we have been met with enthusiastic and promising options. Now all I need to do is present myself as capable and skilled and confident in my abilities.

*Commence knees shaking*

Leon asked me to piece together a bio so she could present a quick and direct introduction to folks who don’t have time to check my gorgeous website or peruse my flyers and business cards.

Guise…??? I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t tell Leon a thing about me that I found marketable or desirable. Not. A. Word.

“But what about your Masters degree?” Questioned Leon.

Nope.

“What about your certification in parenting, group leading and clinical supervision?” pushed Leon.

Nuh-uh.

“You make a connection with people. You provide comfort and kindness.”

Me, blushing, stuttering: “Ummmm.”

“What about the three thousand face-to-face hours you put in for your internship and licensure over three years?” She pressed.

“Eh, I paid my dues like everyone else who goes into this field. We’re not doing it to be rich or right,” I say, ever placating.

Exactly,” replied Leon. “You. Have. Worked. Your. Ass. Off. And because you chose to, not because you had to. And not for the accolades and great monetary rewards.”

*crickets*

Why? Why is it so difficult for us to hear and accept the positive attributes we have but so easy to believe the criticisms? Why is the bad so much easier to acknowledge than the good?  Dr. Glen Shiraldi, psychiatrist and lecturer, cautions us that mistakes and past traumas, external criticisms and chronic seeking approval from outside sources all deplete our confidence and abilities to see ourselves as worthy.

We lose our ability to accept the good, and accept that we’re good the minute we forget to realize that our core worth already exists. We were born unmarred, pure, untouched by externals (money, physical looks, status, possessions). See it’s when we begin to listen to our Detractors, The Vultures, The Nerdy Bloggers, The Bullshit People when we go astray. Rob and Kristen have it right in ignoring these loud critics and asking for the focus to be on their work. What they do. 

Our internal strengths are essential, unique, eternal and unchanging in value. Our internal strengths are what comprise our Royalty. 

Our Otherness. Annnd, I begin writing a bio for the business presentations. . .

 When I thank and admire and muse about the Royal Rebels that serve as our models, (please see EACH AND EVERY FEATURED REBEL IN THE HISTORY OF MOO), I actually am thanking them for delving deep within and finding that internal compass, that core self which implies we are still, in the scheme of all the chaos–traffic school (I have a clean record now!), final exams, job stressors,  movie premieres, the unemployment claims…. doing all right.

Our Rebel Queen Kristen consistently provides graceful examples of how to transcend the landmines that are externals:

  • She disregards the clamoring about her attendance at her partner’s work events and goes–while wearing a slinky dress, a bold red lip color and a thumb-brace that red carpet cameras will not capture. She didn’t dress up to be” seen” except by who matters most: herself, and Rob. I think he’s appreciative, yes?

Yeah, I'd smile that hugely if I were you too.

  • She returns to her base, her craft, to complete her journey as a girl named Bella.
  • She peers in front of her, eyeing the next project that highlights her talents (her goodness)..That could mean filming K-11 and Snow White and the Huntsman;or, promoting her next movie On The Road (breath stutters in excitement), and maybe perfecting the recipes she’s tweaked from The Cooking Network.

It doesn’t really change the fact that whatever she chooses to do next, it’s her call, not anyone else’s. I’m pretty confident in her confidence.

These past two weeks, while our Reigning Other Queen has steadily taken steps towards her blazingly bright future, quietly but fiercely casting off the criticisms and judgements shoved onto her, I am following her lead. I am tentatively placing my feet on the road before me, re-learning how to forge onward as well, still wearing my Chucks and a (slightly askew) tiara.

We are Other.

Kristen is Other.

Others do not let externals determine their worth.

Embrace your Other.

* * *

Question: How have you let externals inform or derail your chosen path?

A/N: I plan on returning to the usual MOO format of highlighting a new Featured Rebel next time.

Thank you to everyone I’ve had the pleasure of connecting with this week in those quiet moments of uncertainty.

Thanks to Leon.

Love to Reb and love to my longtime Bestie S who I miss madly.

Thank you also for everyone I’ve spent time rejoicing in Otherness with:

@Mel452

My HG Girls–Beanai, Webby, Kris, Peri,  Sail, Brothaa

Thank you for musing and contemplating with me: @ThistleFi @PrimaryColors1 @MadamThang, @DeeDreamer16  @edmett @robkris13

Long Hugs to: @beammeup_00 @Kate_Suena @MyCleverAlias        @Justice_Aussie @Ophelia2010 

As always, my constants: My Cyber Sisters & Readers

**Are you going to see Water For Elephants this weekend? Puss and I are hitting the matinée tomorrow. We’re coming with tissues and waterproof mascara (along with snack money–nachos and popcorn are a MUST). Let’s meet next week to chat WFE, ok?

I’ve updated the Resources For Beauty Page  as well as About KJ, but will probably run another sentence completion before this weekend.

See you next time. xo, KJ

As I Do, I Honor

7 Apr

*Placing hand above eyes to soften the bright, stunning glare of the sunshine emanating from New MOO* Well HEEEEEEYYYYY there my gorgeous Misfits!!! How are you? Well, I must say that it sure looks like Springtime  has come to this little pocket of ours in the community. Please give love and props to my brilliant and fiercely creative friend @Buff_82 for the new look of MOO. Perhaps tilt your face towards the computer and bask in the balmy light that streams from the screen…It warms me every time I pull it up to edit or review. Buff had worked on the new banner and theme for Musings, while also revamping KSIBTU (which you’ve undoubtedly seen and wept over due to the gif-Banner Buff created). I had already posted the new essay, so I didn’t warn any of you about the change. I mean, I didn’t know about the new banner until I received a text from Buff the day after I’d already updated the new essay. So it was a surprise to me as well, and it was a much needed blast of sunshine, quite honestly. That particular afternoon had found me worn out and at the beginnings of what would be a very tough week. Overall, much has occurred since we convened last! So let’s catch up, kay? Today’s essay will briefly review some of the revelatory lessons I learned over the past two weeks, and also to make a big, big deal out of the fact that our Reinging Other Queen Kristen is having a birthday this weekend #LetsDoThis

Hey, Pretty Girl, I hear its your birfday?

Lesson 1: The Circus Can Be Spectacular

So currently, we find ourselves in the midst of a promotional blitz for what I think will be a visually stunning and whimsical film. Water For Elephants is to set for release April 22, and I don’t know about you, but based on the clips and screen caps I’ve seen, I think the film will do this enchanting book fine justice. Reese and Rob were on the cover of Entertainment Weekly released a couple Fridays ago, and as tradition compels me, I relied on the eyes and ears of you lovelies out there to guide me to my copy of the magazine. I eventually found mine in Barnes & Noble, one of the last 4 copies, all of which were shoved behind Popular Mechanics (bahaha to the tricksy little elves thinking I’d be deterred by a service magazine covering topics of home improvement and auto maintenance. Pfffft.) in the final minutes before the store’s closing. This was the seventh store I tried, btw.

While I was at Barnes & Noble I also picked up a copy of Water for Elephants the book (the edition with the movie poster as it’s cover, of course) with the intent on giving it to my Sister-in-Law Puss who was experiencing a painful flare up of massive, scary proportions these days, results of the autoimmune illness she suffers. I gifted the book with an agenda, though. Puss hadn’t read the book yet, and if anyone deserved a little escape from reality it was my sister. Ever hear of Cerebritis? Google it. Those who experience it absolutely are entitled to mega-healinglove in the forms of Jacob Jankowski and the gentle, graceful Elephant named Rosie. Well, and pushing my agenda–and I’d do the same with all of you if we lived somewhat close to each other–but I am seeking a date for the WFE premiere on April 22. My Sis has some great specs. ❤

LOVE.

Lesson 2a: As I Do, Not As I Say

So with my Mother in town, my Sis out of commission while she recovered from an episode from hell (the day Buff texted me to surprise me with the MOO Banner, I was at the hospital with Puss unexpectedly), I found myself as acting cruise director in charge of entertaining my mother who was in town while simultaneously hanging with my one of my favorite people EVAH, Miss Monkey. My three-year-old niece is precocious and a genius. She’s at that stage where she is testing the perimeters of protection, and also where she picks up every single cold that goes around the playground as well as every word or song she hears. She jumped on the bed and chanted, “WHO LET THE DOGS OUUUUT? HOO HOO HOO HOO!” when I was trying to put clean sheets on it for my mother to sleep in.

Well I have a sailor mouth on me. And I don’t edit much except when with Clients or around children…and my mother. Clearly, when I find myself emitting colorful language or editorials, it’s sage advice to not do as I say, but more as I do (given that I’m monitoring my impulsiveness, and respectfully). A rainstorm took over the whole weekend of my mother’s visit and during Operation: Let Sis Rest and For The Love of God Distract Monkey (OLSRFTLOGDM has a ring to it, no?), and so we had many changes of plans and encounters with erratic drivers in the city, damp clothing and growling stomachs on several occasions. My guard was down and I let a few F-bombs fly here or there…I may have said something about having things stuck in my craw or the sand up in the culottes….whatev. My mother then may have full-including-middle-named me when Monkey began exclaiming “Oooh that guy is stuck in my CRAW!” from her car seat.

So suffice to say, I had a healthy reminder of my own perimeters and limits while my niece and my mother were my constant companions. I had to constantly employ my awesome ignoring skills so as not to inject my own KJ-isms into my impressionable niece’s already colorful expressions. No, that guy is not stuck in anyone’s craw. No one has anything stuck anywhere, mmmkay?

Kristen is waiting for me to get a clue.

Lesson 2b: As I do, I Support

Monitoring the filth that spewed from my mouth is just one tiny aspect of carrying social responsibility. Those of us among the fandom, even on the periphery, have heard about the massive leak of Breaking Dawn pictures and video in which, holy mother, we witness Bella and Edward consummate their new marriage. We see those emo, tortured kids let loose and, as Rob pointed out in his WFE press conference interviews, behave as a happy, normal couple for once! Remember how spectacular it was that we caught a little bit of the blissfulness when the Rio pics began surfacing:

The leaked pictures, however, incensed such a passionate debate amongst this already sometimes overzealous community that everything discussed sparked soap box rants, judgments rendered, tension amongst friends, and public spats highlighting hypocrisy and artistic integrity. I found myself primarily concerned about the filmmakers (editors, directors, actors including our Other Queen Kristen and her mate Robert) and the sadness that surrounded having unfinished, raw creative projects stolen from them. It was just how I dealt with it all, mind you.

My mind and heart went directly to the place of remembering what it was like having my diary read by my boyfriend when I was 19 years old. RAGE. HUMILIATION. Also I imagined the mortification I’d feel if I had the first draft of my thesis stolen and handed to folks armed and hungry, their red pens in hand. I thought of my friends who are artists like @JHiggs86 and @ellelala and my dear Welsh Muse and Manager Kathryn; as well as writers and musicians trying to get their work seen, heard, published or sold, but having that option stolen from them. This week, Robert made it clear that people are affected.

So for me, what felt right, and in implementing my practice gained through Monkey-monitoring earlier, I did not retweet or reblog or further enable the widespread distribution of the stolen images. I never do anyway– as you guys all know, I try to avoid posting any pics taken in which the unsavory paparazzi-vultures would earn money from Kristen’s personal life, discomfort or when she was unaware. There were moments where I felt tense, sad, and ineffectual this week, especially as leaked images continued to surface over several days. But I continue to monitor whether my actions were congruent with my hopes and beliefs and in support of our soon-to-be-birthday girl. So that’s that. And it’s just how I decided to bring it back to the main reason why I’m here at all, Musing away. . .

She is affected by it, even if she doesnt show it.

Lesson 3: How I Feel About It

So interwoven in this incredibly busy and emotional couple of weeks, I also have been pursuing work again. I am still running my (very tiny) Magical Little Practice, and I do still hope to expand it, but again, until I’m called into duty to work alongside our Majestic Misfit Kristen in her philanthropic aspirations, or until Clearinghouse Sweepstakes shows up at our studio apartment with one of those big-ass checks, I’ve gotta get back out there. N and I don’t live above our very modest, modest (i.e. broke as hell) means, but we do have basic expenses to cover.  Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs places shelter, along with water and air among the foundation of physical and emotional health. And I’ve been blessed with those core necessities, but we’re toeing the line in a couple areas. So I need to ensure we’re a little more solid.

But JFC, it’s soul-wrenching labor to search and apply! I’ve been working since I was seventeen years old, and I never went without a job until the layoff from Bastard Nation nearly 2 years ago. Given the shaky economy and minimal respect my field receives, finding work is depressing and similar to a Dark Night of The Soul: draining, tedious, exposing, emotional.

..just lemme lay my head down for a sec..

See, I was describing the process to my beloved Bouffant the other night, and she is experiencing a similar situation in which, essentially we have to audition for judges for the position we desire. In the psychotherapy field, we freaking have to analyze, describe, ponder and then fucking emote about very personal questions: just in the cover letter. I’m not even talking about the interview or even the application form. There aren’t application forms in counseling psychology jobs. There are, however, entrance essays about life struggles and childhood traumas written just per chance someone may want to meet for an interview. And then the interview. Ninety minutes of  how do you feeeeeel about that? (insert into blank: suicidality, homicidality, cross-dressing, politics, teenagers–gasp!). And after the many essays I wrote this week, I am refreshed in the knowledge that I do have convictions and concerns and values that I adhere to and strive to maintain.

Ahh. There I am.

Do Kristen and Rob and all our featured Royal Rebels feel as compelled to impart such personal information in the name of their craft? I wager they save the profound emoting for their preparations for their job which is acting, performing, and connecting. While my work hinges on connection and honesty, I certainly can sympathize with Kristen and Rob as they bounce between “journalists” (though Elle and Vanity Fair as of late have wandered away from the title) trying to convey their passion and interest in their work as well as their personhood and values all within a short window of time. There are some vulnerabilities and risks taken in these interviews…much like my onion-peeling discussions with company directors, vying for work to peel back other people’s layers.  Plowing onward. Thanks, muchly, those of you who send me good thoughts and vibes on my search. It makes a huge difference to know that people are rooting.

Lesson 4: Honor Thy Queen

Well, this is really my favorite lesson of this week. Our Beautiful Rebel Royal Kristen is turning 21 this Saturday, April 9. One of my dearest friends in this world *blows kisses to Ree* shares her birthday with Kristen, which is further confirmation (not that I need any) that Kristen is a unique and exquisite spirit. My friend Ree is the gentlest, kindest soul with a deep love for animals, her family and friends, much like our fair Other Queen, non? I guess April 9 is BirthDay of Good People Day.

This week, Kristen is working on the Breaking Dawn set, filming the highly anticipated wedding scenes. Making a full circle in a way, Kristen celebrated her 18th birthdayin the final weeks of filming Twilight.

If she wished for success and love, I'd say the Birthday Gods provided

Her 19th birthday found her in the parking lot of Forks High School as she and Rob filmed scenes for New Moon–for Bella’s birthday. On the DVD special features, Kristen says to the camera, “Today is my birthday actually!” They went out with their friends/fellow castmates that night for dinner in Vancouver. Dude, remember Jackson’s mohawk?

ICU SmileyJohn. Also IC Rob diverting attention away, Jackson holding her hand.

When she turned twenty, NinjaStew was alive and well. She had flown unseen over to Europe a couple days before her birthday, and when she finally did surface, on April 11, she was in Budapest (where Rob was filming Bel Ami), and she did not travel back to the States alone. Think #MatchingSambaAddidas, Rob looking over his shoulder about 4 times in the span of 15 seconds to ensure Kristen followed him closely through the throngs of camerafolk. . . I’m opting not to post pics from that night, because Kristen and Rob both appeared uncomfortable and affected by the huge crowds awaiting them at both the Budapest Airport and at Heathrow where they arrived for a layover. But I will pay homage to the backs of the boys who protect the precious:

This year, as the Vancouver Breaking Dawn set appears better protected, we may not see the Birthday Girl at all, which is perfect, because I’ll go on a limb here and guess that a private, low-pro birthday celebration is exactly what Kristen would prefer anyhow.

Joyful Birthday Girls are Joyful

How are you going to acknowledge our Reigning Other Queen’s birthday? There have been several projects out there asking for y’all to send in your birthday cards and greetings for compilations:

or to donate to causes that Kristen supports:                                                **click on any of banners for the redirect

We continuously honor the lovely Ms Stewart by supporting her work and her modeling of  how to embrace her Otherness and while also exploring ways to embrace Otherness for ourselves. We honor Ms Stewart through our fist pumps in solidarity at any awkward, quirky and unconventional behaviors that she or our fellow Others may exhibit: stumbling, stuttering, pausing? FIST PUMP. FIST PUMP. HIGH FIVE. We honor her when we continue to seek coexistence and collaboration with Others within and outside the fandom.

I will continue to praise and support Kristen Jaymes by posting positive essays celebrating Unconventional Beauty such as hers for as long as you kind folks will tolerate me. This month, I also have donated to two causes that work to provide services for causes that are close to my heart and that Queen Kristen herself supports: The awareness of Sexual Assault via Take Back The Night and Fandom For Sexual Assault Awareness

As well as an organization that encourages us to find our voices and raise our hands:

Annnnnd, our Other Queen may be receiving a small token of gratitude for reminding me of MOO’s inception, and how it all began with a Homecoming Queen Nomination for the category of OTHER and the inspired (no not really) ad campaign:

It has been an eventful couple of weeks for shizz. But incredible moments of revelation are slowly encompassing me and motivating steps forward. Despite Job Auditions, various people and moments stuck in craws, pesky brain swelling, and unfortunate picture leaks, there are far more favorable and noteworthy events to counterbalance. Like the critical acclaim Water For Elephants is receiving. And how Kristen will be wrapping up Breaking Dawn soon and begin preparation on her next project: Either K-11 and/or Snow White and the Huntsman. Plus the promo will fire up for On The Road. Also good: figuring out through extensive questioning and reflection, that I. am. here, and perhaps tentative, but still behaving congruently with my  values. I do what I say, say what I do, even if it takes writing a few intimate essays or  working through tension amongst cohorts in this passionate fandom for me  to reacquaint myself with those values. A great thing? Acknowledging, celebrating (maybe even doing the Running Man or the Roger Rabbit?) the birthday of a regal, beautiful, Muse.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KRISTEN!

We are Other.

Kristen is Other.

Others know that saying and doing is congruently being.

Embrace your Other.

* * *

Questions: How do you like the New MOO look? How have you ensured your values and behaviors are congruent? Where were YOU while our Other Queen was turning 18, 19, 20?

A/N: Thanks for hanging with me through the swells and falls of my posting schedule, my loveliest lovelies. Very specific squeezes and hair-playing go to My Sister Puss, the obscenely talented and patient @Buff_82 and for pinch hitting and mid-day reassurances Bouffant.

Thanks to CC (@KStewsbtrthanU) for batting theories, thoughts and randoms at all times of the day thru nearly all communicative devices with me.

And great LOVE LIGHT AND RELIEF to my Possum Bestie @Ophelia2010 (Aai) and her beautiful, resilient, gloriously gorgeous Baby Girl. We could all learn to take stumbles and bumbles gracefully and as resiliently as these girls.

See you next time. All my <3, KJ

We’re Not The Only Ones

24 Mar

“And it makes me float free, when I see how small my life can be” ~~ Lamb, Small

My darlings. *opens arms wide and ushers you all into a ginormous group hug*. So much has happened since we’ve last visited. Not only did our Royal Rebels Kristen and Robert emerge for a low-key date night, and National Rob Day commenced in which we were blessed with two live interviews from him; but in a surreal and horrific blip of time, Mother Nature and All That Is Larger Than Us rose up and schooled us about our place in this world. I had intended to post a MOO Memo to discuss our Fair Philanthropy last Thursday, but it turns out I was to wait a bit longer while we merged with the global pulse. Literally.

See, two weeks ago, late Thursday night, March 10, 2011, I pressed the “PUBLISH” button on a MOO essay featuring The Risks and Benefits of introspection and following bliss–and Helena Bonham Carter. The post went live nearly simultaneously with the news that the devastating tsunami hit the Sendai Miyagi Prefecture of Japan. The giant wave was triggered by an incomprehensibly large 9.0 earthquake just off the Japanese coast. You all know this. You may have been awake with me and joined in the impromptu vigil with our friends, loved ones and fellow fandom members on Twitter.

It was one of those moments when I was truly awed by and strangely grateful for the effectiveness of social networking sites, but moreso, I was humbled by the grace and graciousness with which members in this newfound community  operate. Suddenly, it wasn’t about interviews or celeb-sightings nor petty in-fighting nor paparazzi wars..For once, it wasn’t even about Charlie Sheen’s alarming (and I say this from a mental health professional’s perspective) decompensation and subsequent One-Man Comedy Tour. It was 11PM here in Cali when the first images of the earthquake and the tsunami began filtering in. And I was on Twitter trying to contact friends, MOO readers and my own family in Asia…N had just come home from work, and was on the phone trying to locate his family in Indonesia to advise them of the Tsunami Warnings of waves barreling towards 12 other countries including Indonesia, the Philippines, and Taiwan. My eyes darted between the horrendous images flooding in on CNN, and my laptop’s computer screen where I sought updates from friends across the world. Though stunned and heartbroken for witnessing the devastating destruction in Japan, I still felt great camaraderie and comfort, because you all were here, witnessing it as well.

Harmony

A Shift In Focus

Nothing like the shifting of the Earth’s axis ten fucking inches to remind us how tiny we are, hmmmm? Can you believe that madness? According to the United States Geological Service (USGS), the Japanese Earthquake permanently shifted Japan’s coastline 2.4 meters!! While we endured a physical prompting, I’m going to venture out and say that we also felt the impact on our emotional and psychological well-being too. Here’s the dealio:  It’s expected and normal for us to feel jarred and ungrounded after witnessing the mass destruction of the quake and tsunami. I felt faint echoes of September 11, 20o1: Eyes glued to the television while feeling helpless and shattered and incoherent with a grief I couldn’t identify. Experiencing and/or witnessing a traumatic event, of chronic poverty, of war, of Mother Nature (i.e., Katrina, Haiti) can elicit strong feelings of anxiety, anger, sadness, depression and grief. Post-Trauma Stress and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is no joke, just ask anybody in the armed services, or  any survivor of emotional and/or physical violence. But rather than write a litany of sobering, staggering statistics and clinical jargon, I wanted to remind us all of the absolute power we posses. I want to pay homage to the inner strength and phenomenal courage that composes us, exudes from us, and surrounds us. . .because serio, there are small miracles and blessings in every single moment, counterbalancing any darkness. For instance:

That picture above? My 3 year old niece, Monkey, had her first extended day of preschool (a 4 1/2 hr session instead of just 2!) this week. She informed me that she is “learning about BUGS, Auntie!” And while she admits she “hates bugs”, she was able to paint vibrant colors on coffee filter-wings to show her acceptance that even bugs are beautiful during craft time. And she gave this exquisite butterfly to moi. Now COME ON, people. This is what it’s about. We are not long for this world, we are small, small glimmers among a night sky filled with stars.  But fuck it if I am not brought to my knees with the reminder that we are evolving, thriving creatures spreading our wings, venturing out, redefining. Monkey is for certain a sage Queen from whom I can learn grace.

Monkey also sat me down and indoctrinated me again in one of the O.G. Royal Rebels of the Disney Tradition . I very happily would have endorsed our Majestic Misfit Kristen taking on the role of THIS Disney spitfire, if she hadn’t chosen the fairest Snow White. See, 3-year-olds are sage, sage creatures. Shout-outs to @ellelala for hooking me up with this jewel, and for @Buff_82 for singing the lyrics to me…

BELLE IS OTHER

“I like Belle a lot. She was kind of a loner, but she wasn’t sad over it or desperate to fit in. She didn’t give a shit that the hottest piece of man-ass in town wanted her, because he was a total semi-retarded douchebag and she knew she could do better. She wasn’t motivated by love or the need to have a significant other to do anything. In fact, even when she began to fall in love with the beast and she got news that her father was sick, she was like “iight I’m feelin you Beast but my dad is like dying in the woods so I should prooobbably go”. And then when Gaston was like being a complete asshole by getting everyone to raid the castle and kill the Beast, she broke the FUCK out of that cellar and rode a horse to rescue her man, after she nursed her father back to health. And we don’t even need to mention the fact that her man was an 8 foot Chewbacca/buffalo hybrid, she saw that he was a kind person who loved her and she fell in love with him. Like, seriously, Belle is basically the coolest woman ever.”~courtesy of Beautilation’s Tumblr

Royal Rebels Remind Us

We always can look to our fellow Others and Royals-in-Training when we’re lacking in confidence , or if we need a nudge towards expanding perspectives. Our Reinging Royal Beauty Kristen and her “deliciously handsome” partner Robert  are always quietly urging us to focus not on their personal lives or their unconventional, mouth-watering attractiveness, but instead on their work. As we discussed last Musings, both actors have exciting, film projects debuting this year, which I personally think have the power to propel them each beyond the stratosphere.

She’s embodied the free-spirited and fierce Beatnik Beauty  named Marylou in the Francis Ford Coppola-production On The Road…

And he’s killing us softly with his portrayal of vet student-turned-circus-roadie Jacob Jankowski in Water for Elephants…

Another subtle reminder for us to chillax with the microscopic focus on our Rebels is thiiiissss: The Re-Emergence of  NinjaStew. KnowingKristen. Gleeful-SideEyesKristen. Remember, our Reinging Other Queen rules at communicating…. without saying a word. OICU, Peek-a-boo-Stew.

OICU Peekabo

Kristen’s message as I hear it?

Yeah, I’m here. With him. I will not give you details about my personal life, except that I do try to have one, and I’m intensely protective of it. Interpret that as you will. But I do partake in the same activities that you do; like bowling and attending movies or concerts. If you approach respectfully, I’ll happily take a picture with you. But I’m not really comfortable with the ardent, singular focus on me, though I appreciate your admiration for my work. But really? There are other things and events in this world where your time and attention could go.

So Kristen and Robert were able to sneak in a movie date last week. I’m happy for them. I’m happy that they supposedly were able to slip into a dark theater and support their friends Billy Burke and #ChattyCathy by seeing the film Red Riding Hood …It’s nice to hear that they easily posed with fans for pictures and autographs. I’m happy that people were fairly respectful of the duo, not tweeting or Facebooking the private pair’s location, or at least, waiting until Kristen and Rob left before sharing their whereabouts. NICE WORK, friends. Maybe if we continue to be mellow and respectful, the lovely couple will feel safe enough to venture out more often. #AnAstonishingConcept

Look! The thought of some breathing room makes Martine dance!!

And it gives our Majestic Misfit a moment to gather her wits and thank The Gods that people are willing and able to shift their focus…

Be The Change

“We must be the change we wish to see in the world”~Gandhi

When Ms Stewart first alluded to her ambitious philanthropic leanings in her Vogue interview, it’s clear that she possesses that broad perspective we discuss here in Otherland, the awareness of the Global Soul. Kristen’s interest in charitable causes only further confirms her right to wear the Other Queen Crown. After I awoke from the haze I’ve been in these past two weeks–partially due to the Japan Disaster, partially due to the depression and writer’s block– I experienced the overwhelming desire to help…do something… just as I had with Hurricane Katrina and with the Haiti earthquake. And this is where our personal power surfaces. While we can’t all be Sandra Bullock , Jack Johnson or Gwen Stefani (bowing down to their awesomeness), my dears, it doesn’t take too much of us to contribute to the global goodwill and make a big statment.

One way we can help is to text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation…and spread the word on Twitter and Facebook, or whatever your social network of choice….

OR, contact your country’s RED CROSS to donate any time or supplies or money.

The American Red Cross

So I find myself lacking severely in the financial arena. However, I do have eyes, energy and a skill-set that is warranted these days. I hopped online and began researching Disaster Relief options and found myself face-to-face with an opportunity to partake in what has always been a goal of mine: Mental Health Disaster Response work. I have signed up for the Disaster Response Team with Red Cross, offering my psychotherapeutic skills to families who are effected by the Japanese quake/tsunami, as well as to any folks experiencing local disasters…and also importantly, I’ll be available for relief and debriefing for the caretakers and counselors who are already there in the trenches. I also have been led to–and have decided to pursue certification with– GREEN CROSS, an organization comprised of mental health professionals who are on standby for deployment to Japan for direct work in the hardest-hit regions–a very hands-on crisis counseling team. So this is how I can help, and exercise my power with resources available to me. This feels right for me.


So how else can we “Be the Change” ? We can be kind and patient and supportive of one another. We can exercise compassion towards our fellow beings, whether in 3D/”Real Life” or amongst our Cyber Friends. We can emulate our Reigning Other Queen Kristen and seek ways to build and support a cause close to our hearts. There are a couple of incredible fundraisers occurring these days that are integral to the Twilight Community…One charity I recently gave a small donation to is Fandom For Sexual Assault Awareness, spearheaded by a friend of mine @Aylah50 and author ColdplayWhore.  April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month; plus, the cause is especially significant for me personally.

Another one you’ve probably heard of, is the fundraising efforts in honor of our Reigning Queen Kristen’s birthday (April 9), for the Non-Profit organization Covenant House whose mission is to get runaway kids off the streets.

Helping Kids Today for Kristen Stewart's Birthday Widget

“You may say I’m a dreamer. But I’m not the only one.” ~John Lennon, Imagine

So yeah…There are lots of ways we can embrace the dreamy “Dreamers” in John Lennon’s Peace Anthem Imagine… And, there are many small, but powerful practices to “be the change” we wish to see in the world around us, as advised by Mahatma Gandhi. Support does not always manifest monetarily. Sometimes the most profound gift we can give to someone else is a kind word or a listening ear. Several beloveds in my world are experiencing shattering, soul-depleting divorces. My dear Sister-in-Law suffers from a chronic, painful, autoimmune disorder  requiring chemo treatments monthly for symptom management.

Knowing that we are not alone…well, that may be the most invaluable knowledge of all, hmm? Because I know my friends enduring the painful dissolution of their relationships, as well as my Sister grappling with the anxieties and physical complexities of chemo appreciate the hand to hold and the validating nod or two…And I know that in those moments two weeks ago, after posting MOO…and after the news of the Quake and Tsunami, I felt a rich, encompassing solace in knowing we were in this together.  As sentient beings. As Others.

We are Other.

Kristen is Other.

Others know they’re dreamers, but that they’re not the only ones.

Embrace Your Other.

* * *

A/N: There are many words to say, but I’ve already taken up so much of your time. I thank you for stopping by and checking out this week’s atypical MOO.

It is imperative that I send a very special SHOUT OUT to the brave, beautiful souls who filled out the sentence completion questions on the About KJ page.  And there were many of you who have sent in private emails with your stories and your answers. I read every single of them and laugh, cringe and cheer along with you. Your courage and honesty bring me to tears. You inspire me . Thank you for sharing a piece of your soul with us: MYCLEVERALIASMARI/PAILADYBUGEDMETTELLELALAPHARMGIRL15

To author 107YrOldVirgin, Amber, how graceful you are. You will be missed, but you are supported in every step of your journey. Your incredible writing thrived and blossomed and became extraordinary from “Mystic” all the way to “Authentication”. A force to be reckoned with. Go do your thing, honey.

Beloveds who have been on my mind and in my heart: OJ, Ellelala, JRollin5, Ree, Puss, Katie, CC, Iris Adrienne, Buff, RobKris13, Possum Jai, My SK, RandomMama, Ms. Maroon… Julie and your family on the Central Coast.

BIG THANKS to CC, Buff, LCMom, IndiaPale, Beanai and Tebby for sending me encouragement (and links!!) for the job search. I’m chasing after it, guys, I am.

See you all next time…Wholly yours, KJ

The Risks and Benefits of Expression & Introspection

10 Mar

“To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.” ~Joseph Chilton Pearce

Greetings, my fellow Majestic Misfits! Before I dive into this week’s essay, I wanted to mention a couple things. Firstly, please accept my apologies since I did not post this weekend as I had hoped to and even purported that I would. Some of you know that I’m recovering from a 3-week long flu-bronchial something-or-other and I’m still dodging bouts of tiredness, especially since I’m back in full-force trying to build a clientele for my tiny psychotherapy practice. I’ve decided that I’m not going to give such explicit statements such as: “Musings will post this weekend”. Instead, I’ll rely on the posting schedule I have always had…Thursdays are meant for updates, whether weekly or bi-weekly. However,  if something comes up, I’ll let you know, as I have lately, when I’m running behind or if I need more time (like today). Cool beans?

Secondly,  a sweet friend *waves at @JRollin5* advised me last week that because she catches MOO updates on her phone, she doesn’t benefit from the music playlist each week. In fact, she didn’t know that there was a playlist! I may have to release Volume 2 of the MOO Mixed-Tape Love Letter soon here, because oh mah gah, if anything has been present these past weeks, its been THE MUSIC! A few of you have asked me what influences the playlists for each week, and my answer is: these songs are either connected to the Featured Royal Rebel or the theme for the week–often times, both. I listen to the same playlist while I’m writing the essay and I find the songs often inform the tone of the whole post. Plus, our Reigning Other Queen Kristen reports music as essential, and her musical sensibility is genius. And we celebrate Kristen’s sensibilities here in Otherland, so….

Then there’s this: *cue soaring heart*

The Fairest of The Fair

Perfect segue into the check-in with our Royal Beauties. Last week was a glorious week for those of us keeping an eye on the happenings of a certain pretty, Rebellious Partnership, yes? In last week’s Muselet, we were still acclimatizing to the newly released Vanity Fair in which Rob posed for legendary photographer Annie Liebovitz. While the pictures were beautiful (awaiting more OUTTAKES , pleeeeease!) the interview portion, though not including any unknown information, left me feeling unsettled and wistful. I also felt the “journalist” who conducted the interview (allowing for faulty “facts”) operated with an agenda. She even asked the tired and unoriginal question pertaining to his relationship with our Other Queen, Kristen, after she wrote a sneering paragraph scoffing at other interviewers who have tried to obtain the same information (“Oprah couldn’t even get it out of them”). Well, her exclusivity-seeking fell short, and when she showed up on something like seven Entertainment News shows hooking interest about Rob’s non-denial denial she revealed to me just one more person clamoring for a piece of the magic. The very folks that Rob and Kristen need protection from.

Well, opportunistic writers aside, luckily there were other bright spots in our Rebel Royals’ week. Rob still shared a glimpse into his insatiable thirst for knowledge as well as his personal experience of living under a microscope.  And we were reminded that his new movie is going to be …well, gorgeous. Gorgeous in all ways: cinematography, set design, costumes and story. I am still trying to pick myself up from the floor where I had fallen due to the new Water For Elephants screen caps and the official trailer for the movie: Water For Elephants International Trailer Holy Jeebus. Distract me, distract me!!!

Its not even funny anymore. I flatlined weeks ago.

Now let us please, please, pretty please talk about our Majestic Kristen’s spectacular news of the week shall we??  After months of speculation and weeks of the curiosity operating at a fever pitch, it was announced by the film’s producer that our own Majestic Misfit Kristen Stewart is going to play a Rebel Royal Original, Snow White, in the movie Snow White and the Huntsman opposite the insanely beautiful Other Rebels Viggo Mortensen and Charlize Theron. People may have been skeptical. I am not one of those people. I screamed in delight when I heard Kristen was considering the role of Snow. Ok if it is too hard for you to envision, let’s break it down:

One extraordinarily beautiful girl:

Who is known across the land as being kind and compassionate. Also known to be an animal lover and a bit of a goddess in the kitchen. Loquat Pie anyone?

She’s next in line for the throne (there’s your Royalty), but she has many, many detractors and critics fueled by jealousy and insecurity. Members of her own family send henchmen after her for Goddess’s sake! Forced to hit the road and kick some ass (not to mention defy the age-old gender stereotypes of the hapless, helpless woman awaiting rescue), all while sporting fierce fashion wear? She ain’t your grandmammy’s Damsel-In-Distress, yo. Who ELSE could portray such a Rebellious Beauty? No One. This Is KRISTEN’S ROLE.  In this medium, our Queen of Unconventional Beauty will model for a new generation what it means to defy decrepit gender roles and also respond to the women-against-women destruction in our society and in this fandom. On your knees, kids. Bow down to what could potentially be a great thing.

Risks & Benefits

“If you want to work on your art, work on your life” ~Chekhov

Kristen is reportedly fielding numerous incredible projects, unsurprisingly. Her reputation for professionalism and the brilliant embodiment of the characters she plays (Read: The Runaways,The Cake Eaters) is paving the way for what could be an astoundingly deft and unique career, not to mention one of longevity. Her confidence and focus on piecing together her career plan is not lost on her partner Robert. He admires her propensity towards clever role choices, and also exudes the sense that he is testing the waters for his own path. Which is normal and expected. He’s only 24 for goodness sake. Typical twenty-four year olds are just outside of completing college or are experiencing the glories of jobs and internships. Rob and Kristen have been handed cash and fame and are being hailed as having “hit it big”, but they’re not even a quarter of a century old. It’s a lot of pressure. Knowing and pursuing what “we want to do” is stressful (even when it’s a good stress, stress is still stress), daunting and potentially disheartening. I sense a little overwhelmed-ness from Rob when I read that VF article. These very valid feelings could be there for him, but I still am wary of the VF interviewer’s not-exactly-supportive influence on the story. Regardless, I understand those feelings well.  And in questioning my career path and goal for this world, I recognize there is the risk of discovering I am not exactly happy or actually doing what I had initially set out to accomplish.

I just need a moment of quiet...

Luckily, Rob is blessed with several gifts and he has the capacity to explore many avenues in which he can utilize them. He is granted versatility and really, opportunity to soar. He could be a musician, songwriter, movie producer, screenplay writer, and he has dabbled in all of these fields already. But for him to declare aloud that he feels limited to representing a sparkling vampire for the next ten years indicates he’s aware of the long-term effects prompted by his particular profession, and he’s questioning these effects. Is it enough to discourage him from exploring his other talents? I hope not. I hope he pushes forward and pursues all of his interests, refusing to be pigeonholed.

Yesterday I met with a new client for an assessment appointment at the Magical  (though flailing, is still magical in its intent) Little Practice. One of the forms, among the confidentiality agreement and consent for treatment forms discussed in an intake appointment, is a form outlining the Benefits and Risks of Therapy. This concept, of the risks involved with introspection and discovery serves as a cautionary moment. Because, as the Chekhov quote above notes: we must do the work that comes with living authentically, creatively, expressively. Work on art, work on life. And it might not always be pretty.

Have you found this to be true? When you decide to participate in inquiry and introspection (whether it be to look for a new job, pick up a new hobby, start a new relationship, or start receiving therapeutic support), and specifically self-improvement and career aspirations, do you feel that rush of reactions? Excitement for the adventure; or, anxiety and grief in stepping away from the familiar; joy at exploring a new project?  Are loved ones in your life discouraging your leap of faith or change in direction? Or are they cheering you on with well-wishes of, “do whatcha gotta do, brother” ? The point is, not all feelings and emotions in reactions to a confrontation of uncertainties of goals are pleasant. I tell clients that as they embark on their journey of self-reflection and mental health improvement that it often gets darker before the sunrise. It can be intimidating to look in the mirror. Introspective folks might experience feelings of resistance (which is synonymous with fear) and may employ all sorts of creative strategies to sabotage our own plans.

I find myself in an interesting position these days. I am re-evaluating and gathering courage to jump back into the job market after a near-two-year hiatus. “WHAT??” You may screech.Wellllll…I have’t been able to sit down with my musical engineer to record the demo I had planned for last fall. But I have become a small business owner and tried my hand at becoming an independent practitioner as a therapist despite the abysmal state of this economy and the stigma attached to mental health improvement. But  for one, it’s a tedious, time-consuming process to build regular clientele who are willing to talk about their emotions (quirks eyebrow. I get that), and for another,  people don’t have any money to pay for services. Suffice to say, my little practice is on the verge of extinction, six months after opening day, and I still need to pay rent, and buy all the Top Ramen N and I consume for sustenance. While N is flourishing at work and fast-becoming the It Boy in his restaurant chain, I am a handful of weeks away from discontinued unemployment checks. Bottom line: This Other-Queen-In-Training has gots to get herself a J-O-B.  At least until the practice picks up steam, or until HRH Kristen contacts me and takes me up on my offer to help build the Halfway House Network…

Oh there is resistance, my friends. There is a cannonball sitting in my tummy. I am unsure. I have faith I can move forward but I also feel the fear. I have identified myself for the last decade as a psychotherapist who whole-heartedly pursued the requirements to become so. But after the disillusionment of BastardNation, I lack the confidence and desire to return to the corporate world. Fortunately, I, like Rob and Kristen, have been blessed with aptitude in a few areas: I can teach, I can create and perform music, I can babble and type these ramblings out to share with you kind folks…but can I do something with these skills? Am I brave enough to do something about it? After numerous pep talks via friends from around the world (Countless gratitude to @Kate_Suena in Canada, and my Aussie Besties @Ophelia2010 & @Justice_Aussie, along with my Cyber Sisters) I feel that I can. But…not gonna lie, you guys, there could be a resurgence of EMO-KJ with all these warring reactions of joy, exhilaration, frustration and insecurity. But perhaps I can look forward to donning a new work uniform soon?

Let the healing...begin.

Featured Royal Rebel: Helena Bonham Carter

While I’m not exactly speaking about reinvention, I have no problem encouraging it. At the very least embrace the idea that your uniqueness and colorful choices on career, clothes and the people you choose to surround yourself with can be your defining characteristic…Like this gorgeous Rebel. British actress Helena Bonham Carter, or HBC as I’ll refer to her occasionally, is the pinnacle of interesting and unconventional. And she does not care how she is perceived. She does not care how odd or unusual she presents, and perhaps that’s why we remember her…revere her…adore her.  We know her as a Queen already, on so many levels, and in many of her film roles (Lady Jane Grey, Queen Elizabeth, Queen of Hearts). It’s only natural that she’s featured on Musings’ Other Homecoming Court.

Helen’s first brush with acting occurred when she was sixteen years old, performing in a television commercial. She reports no formal acting training. She began her career when she entered herself in the British Acting Directory Spotlight with her winnings received from a writing contest. As she has stunning charisma, it is not surprising that Helena comes from a family of a prominent political background. HBC’s paternal great-grandfather H.H. Asquith was Prime Minister of the U.K. (1908-1916)  and her paternal grandmother Violet Bonham Carter was a famed political orator. Helena’s mother’s lineage is also impressive: her maternal grandfather was a Spanish Diplomat who was recognized as Righteous Among Nations for rescuing thousands of Jews from the Holocaust during the Second World War, her maternal grandmother was a Baroness and her great-aunt was a famous French Philanthropist. Her great-uncle, Anthony Asquith is Hollywood Royalty: he was the director of the films Pygmalion and The Importance of Being Ernest. Truly she’s a Royal who defies convention, the epitome of Royal Rebelliousness.

Her royal blood lines might not be as well-known to this generation, because we’re already preoccupied with her rule on film screens. An actress since the mid-1980’s HBC has appeared in over 60 films and made almost 30 film, television and radio appearances. The ingenuity by which she’s crafted her long and respected career cannot be denied. She has portrayed several twentieth-century “corset queens” beginning with her roles in Lady Jane GreyWings of The Dove (For which she earned an Oscar nomination along with SAG, Golden Globe and BAFTA nods)  and Howard’s End. But her remarkable versatility is what resonates strongest with her admirers. She has played Don Johnson’s girlfriend on the 80’s iconic TV classic Miami Vice, as well as Queen Elizabeth in the her most recent success, in the sublime and inspirational The Kings Speech (for which she was nominated for her second Academy Award, and for which she won a BAFTA). Somewhere in between those roles she has participated in such memorable films like A Room With A View, Twelfth Night, Fight Club, Frankenstein, Mighty Aphrodite, Harry Potter Movies 4 through 7, and four of her partner Tim Burton (And fellow Majestic Misfit)’s films including: the surreal (and my fave) Big Fish and the awesome Sweeney Todd.  HBC’s mother Elena is a psychotherapist (*fist pump in solidarity!*) and Helena has paid (and may still) pay her mother to review scripts with Helena to uncover the “psychological motivation behind a character” before she decides to take a role.

In 2009, HBC was named in the  Times’ as one of the Top 10 British Actresses of All Time . Not too shabby, eh? Perhaps the fact that she can wear mis-matched shoes and constantly top fashion magazines ‘WORST Dressed’ List is meant to truly illustrate how this talented, cool, unaffected beauty embodies Rebel Royalty at its finest. She has reported often that she is tired of the labels as “Prim Edwardian” and instead wants to “shock people out of it”. I simply adore her insistence on living her life her way, despite cautionary advise or the blue blood lineage. She doesn’t match shoes when on the red carpet. She hasn’t married her long-time partner Tim Burton, and she does not live in the same home with him, even though they have been a couple for ten years and have two children together. Instead she and Burton live in adjacent residences, connected by a hallway. Awesomesauce.

Offenses of Otherness:

Successfully balances independent projects with blockbusters.

Does not adhere to industry standards of “fashion”. She creates her own.

“I’m the kind of actor who has ventured into escaping from me.”

Ahhh well, we’re wrapping up today’s Musings on the risks and benefits of taking the leap towards introspection and reinvention. Rob became a little introspective in his Vanity Fair interview and it could possibly be the key to his liberation. Kristen, our Reigning Other Queen knows she wants to be an actress and the film projects funneling her way imply, at least to me, the potential for Greatness, despite the fact that she’s taking on yet another iconic role of which she will single-handedly redefine the antiquated standards attached to it. Pfft. She can do it for a Disney character. She schools us on how to question and pursue change daily.

Reigning Other Queen: Kristen Stewart

She’s back in Vancouver with her friends and colleagues from the Twilight Saga, and even though she has HottieBodyGuard and Agent Security Blanket John, she is proving day in and out how stealthy she can be. Her focus, as Robert says, is on her career trajectory as an actress, as it should be, because girlfriend is goood at her job. She reports knowing she wanted to be in the business ever since she was a little girl, growing up on sets where her parents (TV producer father, screenwriter-director mother) worked. Our Reigning Queen has the ability, like our Featured Rebel HBC, to lose herself in a character, becoming almost unrecognizable. We did not see a trace of our Valley-girl KStew beneath the heavy eye liner or shoulder pads in The Runaways. Nor did we see her in the battered but resilient Mallory of Welcome to The Rileys. However, if our girl wants to write or produce or compose screenplays, as she has said in the past she’d like to try, I can’t see anything holding her back from exploring those avenues as well. Her ability to be versatile, open and courageous reminds me that there is possibility for longevity and fulfillment in anything.

Offenses of Otherness:

Does not desire celebrity nor fame.

She does not adhere to industry standards for “fashion”. She creates her own.

“When I go onstage to accept an award, they think I’m nervous, uncomfortable, and awkward—and I am—but those are bad words for them.”

All right my lovelies….We talked about the beautiful stills and trailer from Water For Elephants and about the fantastic news that our Queen Kristen will actually be Queen-in-training Snow White on the big screen. We talked a little about the beauty of versatility and the courage to question ourselves and our paths. We talked about job hunting (which I don’t think Kristen nor Rob nor HBC will struggle with) and the resulting emotions that come from doing the introspective, clarifying work…emotions of elation, as well as melancholy and irritability. But that’s ok, whatever it is, however it presents itself. We all still hold our spots on the Homecoming Court for Otherness.

Helena is Other.

Kristen is Other.

Others realize that to work on their art, they work on their lives.

Embrace your Other.

*   *   *

QUESTION: How has it been for you to embark on new journeys? Have you met resistance? If so, from whom?

A/N: Thanks to JRollin5, MyCleverAlias, Possum Besties Jai and Aai, and my CyberSisters Bellsy and Cheermom and to the always present and brilliant Bouffant. Thanks to Katie for hooking me up with texting abilities. Thanks to my family Puss and Monkey for taking me to the museum  to see the butterflies and the piranhas (in the A-Ma-ZON).

Sending love and light to friends struggling this week: EACNM, BELLSY-BAI, LISA, CHEERMOM…and my dear IRIS ADRIENNE.

I donated to two fandom charities this week for causes near and dear to my heart. Wont you join me?

FandomsFightTheFloods and the charity Take Back The Night through the Fandom For Awareness Against Sexual Assault.

Next week I hope to contribute to the Fandom Against Domestic Violence and Fandom Fights Mental Illness.

See you next time, loves. xo, KJ

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

Redefining the Learnings of Love

10 Feb

A/N: Well today’s post is much later than anticipated, but I’m happy to be posting, nonetheless. This essay was written in several different parts, over several different days, from various locations. I started writing when I  was down in L.A. for Bobby Long’s show. But since, I’ve traveled back home and have experienced several events that urged me to keep writing, despite any issues with continuity. In other words, it’s how I roll. Thanks for flowin with me, Lovelies, and thanks for not being too hard on me for being a complete fail with comment and email replies. My goal is to finish them this weekend!…Anyhoo, Let’s go forth, mmmkay?

***

A soul connection is a resonance between two people who see each other’s essential beauty, behind their facades…a sacred alliance, whose purpose is to help both partners realize their deepest potentials

~John Welwood, Love and Awakening

Well this very spur-of-the-moment trip down to my hometown found me in possession of several outfit options for various weather, including scarves and hats, though it is so mild and perfect here in SoCal, I fear I’ll be lynched by those of you in blizzard country experiencing heinous conditions. As indicated, I’m only kinda prepared. I have makeup (which I only really wear when I go out to shows or in meetings), though no makeup remover; my phone and wall charger, but no car charger, which proved to be a hindrance as I charged my phone in a public bathroom at an L.A. shopping center during lunchtime yesterday. I have my trusty MacBook Pro (and charger, yippee!), but not my usual Musings Notebook; no books of poetry and psychotherapy to prompt me, not even a spiral notebook. I don’t even have a pen!  You Office Supply Junkies know WhatImmaSayin when I mention needing the right writing utensil in order to truly produce good work.

This is like porn. #OfficeSupplyJunkie

I am of course struck with inspiration to write and to create after  yesterday’s jam-packed day of travel, good food,  and unbelievably dazzling stills from On The Road. Top the night off with attending Bobby Long’s show at The Troubadour and we’ll call it a good, good day, my friends.

Let’s talk about the just-released OTR stills a minute, ok? Or not. Really, I don’t know that there are words to adequately describe the rush of euphoria that overtook me when I first saw them. I had been away from my phone and the internet for most of the day since I was flying in and enjoying a lovely day of catch-up with @Edmett and @RobKris13. I checked my email/Twittah timeline and saw these pics, each one more breathtaking than the last.

Ohai, Sal. I mean, Sam.

And I nearly caused poor @Edmett to swerve off the 405 as I screamed and showed her this still on my iPhone:

I cant even.... *sputtering*....legs. Garrett. Sam #INeedThisMovieNOW

The  third picture–you know what I’m talking about–features our Reigning Other Queen in a suspended moment of exquisite magnificence. I literally moaned and chanted OHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGODDESS over and over when I pulled it up on my phone’s decidedly too-small screen.  I had just basically handed our lives over to @Edmett in showing her this picture while crawling through L.A.’s Rush-Hour Traffic. How we didn’t slam into another car in that moment I’ll never know, but MAD PROPS to my friend’s stellar navigation skills. Because…LOOK. AT. THIS!!!

...And if we would have died that day, I would have been ok with that

“… because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones that never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn…”  ~Sal from On the Road

Not only is this picture sensual and visceral, and captures our Rebel Royal Kristen in a moment  of oneness with her Inner Beatnik Beauty, but to me this scene depicts exactly what I envisioned the jazz club scenes to look like as I read On The Road so many years ago. Kristen appears glorious as the sweaty, heady, possessed and unfurling MaryLou(Stew). This moment just drips with spontaneous creative expression and liberation. She is completely enslaved by the music she hears, having no choice but to undulate. I will admit to you that I moaned when I caught a glimpse of this gorgeous film still. The Beats, in their celebration of creativity, sexuality, music, prose, and non-conformity were some serious trailblazing Others were they not? I cannot even begin to describe my elation at knowing Kristen is in this movie, along with Sam Riley and Garrett Hedlund. It cannot be here fast enough, in my opinion.

Oh, and speaking of magical moments,  let me say how soulful and brilliant I find Mr Bobby Long (singer, songwriter, harmonica-and-guitar-playing, Britpack-rolling-shy guy) to be. He felt all the notes in every cell of his body. With grimaces, gyrations, body-sways, he appeared consumed entirely and I was enraptured. I hadn’t seen him live before, just via YouTube, and I was utterly captivated  by his gritty, passionate voice and his talented guitar-playing.

It also struck me that I hadn’t been to this particular  L.A. Venue for at least three years. The last time I’d been at The Troubadour, I had arrived extremely intoxicated via limousine for a birthday party and a live show. I technically wasn’t single, as N and I were trying like Hell to keep our über long-distance relationship afloat, but it was a darker time in our courtship.

I swear Bobby was on par with me this week as he performed his breathtaking song “Who Have You Been Loving”. The night was already enchanted as I got to spend a teeny bit of time with dear friends (big waves to my KSIBTU Crew Girls Iris & Kim) and  enjoy the company of my sister Mari/Pai, @RobKris13 (whose pictures of Bobby I’m featuring) and @edmett while participating in one of my favorite activities: watching brilliant singer-songwriters perform live.

Love as a Transformative Path

So let me go back to the beginning and  tell you that I knew I was going to write about love and relationships this week, and not because we’re approaching that obnoxious-pink-hearts-and-teddy-bears-day, February fourteenth. I wanted to address Kristen’s admirable poise as she sidesteps the intense scrutiny and curiosity into her  own love life, and I wanted explore the question that arises in relationships in general: Is this relationship worth the struggle?

So while in SoCal, I had hoped to write, severely lacking in notebooks and writing utensils, even as I was bursting on the subject of Amore (Italian)! I stayed in my childhood bedroom while down in L.A., which is peppered with baskets and drawers of little treasures I couldn’t part with. In one basket I found an old journal, started two years ago. There was only one entry in it. It began with the line:

“I am on United Flight 53 to Maui”

To my joy, I discovered that this is my traditional airplane journal entry commencing the start of a new travel adventure. This time, N and I were embarking on our honeymoon. Perfect. Just another confirmation to write about the faith and consistency of love, despite setbacks, challenges, immigration and wild speculation from external naysayers–obstacles that Kristen and her partner Robert have to address nearly every day.

Let me inject briefly with a clarifying statement.  I do not believe in “Valentine’s Day”. I believe in love, I believe in declaring it as often as possible to my beloveds and I believe  in sacred contracts with numerous soul mates (see last week’s Musings). But I do not need a specific day, decked out in cut-out hearts and boxes of chocolate to dictate how I express my fondness for those in my life. So again, I’m not writing about Liebe (German) in reaction to the event that occurs next Monday. Instead, I am writing about  Szeretet (Hungarian) because I believe loving someone is always worth any struggle… And because N and I are going through the next phase in the permanent residency/Green Card process. And because I had a mind-blowing lunch with a childhood girlfriend while I was in town. (Meg is a newlywed, and is discovering who she is as a married woman). . .and because our Reigning Other Queen Kristen and her chosen consort Mr Pattinson are trying to navigate the pitfalls of being in a relationship under the telescopic spotlight amongst cynics, set stalkers, “nerdy bloggers” and the spectacle that is our society’s expectations.

Swear that youre in it to win it

Our Majestic Misfit Kristen is only 20 years old. I know it’s easy to forget this when we witness her stunning transformation into MaryLou(Stew), or when we realize she’s portrayed more sage, battered old souls then most of us have had jobs (most of us. I’m into my twenty-something job since I’ve been seventeen). But it’s true Kristen is just out of her teen years, chronologically. I ask us all to remember what it was like to be in our early twenties, attempting to negotiate a career, decipher what we want to do with our lives, falling in and out of infatuation with the gorgeous kid at our work or in our classes.

John Welwood–author, psychotherapist, and founder of the field that is my doctoral studies currently: East/West Psychology–notices that  most beliefs about love, commitment and marriage have been altered drastically today. Welwood writes in his article Intimate Relationship as Transformative Path, that the definition and function of loving relationships and marriage in particular, were prescribed by family, society and religion, and upheld (supported? Whaaa?) steadfastly by the community. Today, however, perhaps due to cues from television, movies, and new media, the loving relationship has become the wild frontier and almost the exception.

Ummmmmm. So what happens when your “community” is Hollywood, land of the 5-times-divorced-but-let’s-have-a-reality-TV-show-about-our-crumbling-relationship-mentality?  What happens when you’re trying to grapple with social networking sites, Tweets, twits, gossip blogs, camera phones and your own “fans” fighting, plotting and sorta-kinda hoping/wagering that your relationship fails?

It may be frustrating to some, but Kristen and Rob’s policy of keeping their personal lives to themselves is a policy that is effective. The curiosity may be at an all-time high right now, but the rabidity will fade eventually, and the bond that exists between our Royal Rebels is probably only strengthening as they face the challenges purported by being outrageously famous, together as a partnership. John Welwood’s thoughts on long-lasting couples echo this:

“What can sustain a couple through the most difficult times is knowing that they are together for a larger purpose–helping each other refine who they authentically are as people.”

All I’ve Ever Learned From Love

“But all I’ve ever learned from love, was how to shoot at someone who out-drew you.”

~ Leonard Cohen, Hallelujah

I cannot imagine the horror Kristen and Robert must feel when they recognize they cannot even hold hands in public for fear of retribution, of the Vultures swooping in and pecking away at their still-warm forms. I  have great admiration for  how they both have waded through the speculation and obscene invasion of privacy. Could you say you’d handle it with the same finesse? At age 20 and 24, what were (or are–Musings has Readers of all ages, ranging from 15 to 65+) you doing, and how did (do) you view love and intimacy? What cultural, familial or religious factors govern your views on love, commitment, marriage…?

When I was 20, I was a junior in college, just having declared my major for the sixtieth time (Sociology. English. Journalism. Psychology. Music. ) Speech Communication was the winner…for about 1 semester until I stumbled upon Counseling Psychology. I was in the final months of my relationship with my first  boyfriend as an “adult”. I was already experiencing the heartbreak of first love, first loss, the first discussions of marriage, and why or how it wasn’t in the cards for me just yet (if ever). I can’t imagine trying to process these overwhelming emotions while in the public eye, with my face splashed across every rag mag counting down the minutes to my demise.

As Mr. Welwood asserts, times have changed in how society views love and relationships. No one culture or religion views Mahal (Filipino/Tagalog) and marriage in the exact same way. In India and some African villages your soon-to-be spouse is chosen for you and you don’t meet your new honey until a family-chaperoned meal is arranged. In 1950’s America, the ultimate act of love a woman could display is finding a husband for whom she can immediately birth children and tend his home.

I never believed I would get married. I was raised by a spectacularly efficient single-mother and I had no example of marriage to draw experience from. I grew up surrounded by peers who all were married and having kids by the time they were 24, which is great since these girls and guys have always, always envisioned their lives playing out exactly so. I looked upon my future in love as nebulous. Mostly because I couldn’t imagine settling in one place long enough to anyone’s liking–I have expansive dreams of traveling and an impulsive nature to boot–hence the  reason I carry a passport in my purse nearly all the time.

But this is not always acceptable, even today. I have friends who recount to me how patronizing and judgmental people are  because they are single. One of my Possum (aka Aussie) Besties, @Justice_Aussie (Jai) came home one afternoon after a doctor’s visit. The nurse receptionist called Jai …wait for it..“Socially Infertile”. Meaning, she is single, and not able to hang onto a partner, and most likely decreasing any chances that Jai could have children, whether naturally or with some help. My friend Jai, granted, I’m biased, but I still speak truth, is a beautiful, intelligent, snarky, accomplished lawyer in her twenties. For some stranger to offer up her opinion (a narrow, cruel and uninformed one at that) unsolicited, is an abomination. And it rocked Jai’s confidence. My beautiful, strong Possum felt a moment of uncertainty.

Oh, fuck no.

Now. Can you imagine the onslaught of unsolicited opinions that our divine, royal Queen Kristen must receive on a daily basis?

Creating A New Definition

I met my now-husband N when I was single and traveling on a personal quest. I spent 3 weeks wandering through China, Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong, with my mother. Then I spent one week solo traveling through a few places within my Motherland, The Philippines. I was 27 years old (waaaay too old for some people’s liking and waaaaay too single) seeking some understanding of a culture that is mine but little experienced since I was not raised within it. N was working as a dining room steward on the cruise ship my mother and I toured with. We met in Osaka, Japan. It was not Love, or Cinta (Indonesian) at first sight, but it definitely was a bond of respect upon first meeting. After I left Asia, N and I kept in touch with the assistance of modern technology: Skype, Chat, long-distance calling cards. Long, wonderful, movie-worthy story short, despite ungainly obstacles (cultural differences, religious differences, nearly insurmountable long-distances–like all the time; our family’s skepticism, and our respective communities’ concerns), N and I are now in the home stretch of his garnering permanent residency and his green card. We just have to pass this second interview proving that we indeed are a genuine, married couple and have been for the past two years. We’ve worked hard these two years, fought for this, defended this. And we two wanderers just created a love story of unconventional means. But it works. And I have a single journal entry detailing our honeymoon flight to Maui.  SCORE.

So again, I bring attention to our stunning Rebel Queen Kristen and bow humbly at her feet for the incredible strength and grace she endures to have her personal life include one Mr Pattinson. How do we know she’s in this relationship for the long haul? Well we don’t know as an absolute, nor should we, but from what I’ve observed, our Queen has withstood great distances, public criticisms and concerns, meddling film studios and co-workers, stalkerazzi, obsessed and delusional “fans”, all while in the spotlight. They’re defying predictions and excruciating scrutiny, and they’re making it work. And it’s so pretty.

Reminiscent of the fair Snow White and her prince, no...?

Kristen, Rob, and our Featured Rebel have explored ways of creating a new definition of old values. While the idea and concept of Amour (French) is as old as time, the way we practice it, protect it, and live it is all our own accord. Others refuse to be labeled or pigeonholed in one identity, despite external pressures to choose just one definition. Others continue to refuse compliance  to industry and societal expectations in their work and in their expression of values.

Featured Royal Rebel: Viggo Mortensen

This beautiful, multi-talented man not only worked with Kristen in On the Road this summer, but his name is attached to the new film project Snow White and the Huntsman, which would feature Reigning Queen Kristen in the titular role of Snow (if she accepts the offer) and Mr Mortensen as The Huntsman. Viggo alone would be enough for me to want Kristen to do this film. Everything that he produces is just better. He caught my attention first when he was the sexy, hippie vagabond in A Walk On The Moon with Diane Lane, but Viggo Mortensen has been on the scene for much longer than that. He is a Danish-American actor, writer, painter and musician boasting an incredible list of accomplishments and an array of exotic locales in which he lived. Perhaps he is best known for his work as Aragorn in epic and one of my personal favorites: The Lord of the Rings film trilogy (yes I apparently was a geeky fan girl for much longer than you knew), but it was his most recent work in a series of esteemed director David Cronenberg’s films A History of Violence and Eastern Promises (for which he earned an Academy Award nod) that elevated Viggo’s status to glorious heights.

Mr Mortensen always provided glimpses into his Otherness, even from his childhood. His mother is American with family from Nova Scotia Canada, and his father is Danish. Perhaps Viggo was destined to be a wanderer and seeker of more since his parents met while traveling through Norway. The first eleven years of his life, the artist lived first in Denmark, then Argentina, where his father managed chicken farms and Viggo learned Spanish, the language he speaks fluently today and is the language in which he reports feeling most comfortable communicating. His parent’s divorce prompted Viggo and his brothers and mother to return to the States, and he spent the remainder of his childhood in New York. To address his restless spirit in which he reported needing “to define purpose of life” (very appropriate he is in On the Road, no?), Viggo chose to travel and live in Europe, including Spain, England and Denmark after he graduated from university in New York. He held miscellaneous jobs such as truck driver and flower seller until he returned to The States after two years, to pursue acting as a career.

His first film role was as an Amish farmer in Witness alongside Harrison Ford, and since this film Viggo Mortensen has produced a steady string of well-received movies over three decades.  His  film work includes The Portrait of a Lady, Crimson Tide, A Perfect Murder, Hidalgo and Sean Penn’s The Indian Runner among so many others. He has cultivated a career that is highly diverse as well as intriguing and it would take maybe three more pages for me to list his incredible hobbies and rewards. In addition to acting, Viggo is a poet, a jazz musician and a painter. He refuses to comply with Hollywood’s expectations with statements like, “I wouldn’t do any more movies, quite frankly.” He also declined his agents’ suggestions to change his name to Vic Mort. He has been knighted in Norway, he is a published poet and writer, a musician who has released at least three CDs, an accomplished equestrian, mural painter and linguist (he speaks French, Spanish, English, Italian and Swedish fluently). He’s a translator, a hockey buff (big supporter of the Montreal Canadiens), and a skilled swordsman (residual from The Lord of The Rings). And he is a co-parent to a now 22-year-old son, with his ex-wife Punk singer Exene Cervenka (of the band X). Throw on top of that the honors he’s received in being named Sexiest, Hottest or among the Most Beautiful nearly every year for the past decade. He indeed created his own idea of what it means to be an artist. Neither fame nor money are of importance to Mr Mortensen, only the opportunity to express some facet of himself creatively. One of my favorite quotes I’ve read from him is in his musings on being an actor:

“It comes down to the fact that you supply the blue, and other people supply the other colors…and mix them with your blue. Maybe there is some blue that wasn’t there before. Maybe there wasn’t supposed to be any there in the first place. So have fun, and make a good blue.”

Offenses of Otherness:

*Hadn’t pursued the now-legendary role of Aragorn for LoTR until his 14-year old son convinced him to reconsider

*Does not approach filmmakers for new roles, prefers to “wait to see what comes” to him

“Life is short. I like to pay attention while I’m going through it. I will create and filter my own idea of what that means”

Reigning Other Queen: Kristen Stewart

So in this fairly long Musings on redefining an idea or identity despite age-old expectations, we sidestepped the antiquated Valentine’s Day-like title of Love and discussed different definitions of that ubiquitous emotion, verb, title. We applauded our Majestic Misfit Kristen because she reminds us that falling in Love, and expressing Love “Ninakupenda” (‘I Love You’ in Swahili)  can look very different from what we expect. We all are informed and influenced by our childhood/cultural/religious communities  in constructing meaning for a concept or title, whether it be:

LOVE or CREATIVITY or GUIDANCE or ACTOR or ARTISTIC or HUMANITY  

Kristen also reminds us that only one facet of her being is in-tuned with portraying Bella Swan…Kristen has the means and the courage to embrace her inner MaryLouStew as well. This is doubly and triply confirmed by some of Kristen’s OTR costars: Amy Adams, Sam Riley and Garrett Hedlund. Maybe (hopefully) Ms Stewart will embrace the true role of a Rebel Queen by the name of Snow White, as well as embody the role of a transgendered prison inmate (K-11) this year. Maybe she’ll take the time she wants to write and direct. Maybe she’ll arrive at the BAFTAs this Sunday with Robert on her arm as she passes the torch of Rising Star to this year’s deserving recipient (Maybe to fellow Others Emma Stone…Or Andrew?). Whatever role or creative plan she chooses to share with us, I do not doubt it will be all Kristen. As she defines it. And that is seriously beautiful.

Role Call: Other Queen? HERE. . . P.S. Thank Buff & N again for this photo/edit collab. Its my very favorite.

Offenses of Otherness:

*Remains grounded about the enormous success of her career

*Strives to channel celebrity into philanthropy

“You should have the opportunity to be more than one person with different people – because you have that within you.”

Go on. Go and challenge what you’ve been taught about expressing yourself, expressing your emotions, expressing your gifts. Take your “blue” and make it the best blue you can. Question and defy the critics who label you “socially infertile”, give the double-bird salute to anyone who tells you that Valentine’s Day must somehow involve paper heart cutouts and flower delivery companies. Remind yourself what it’s like to fall in love, fall out of love; to seek identity and direction and to create a new model, a new culture, a new language. Redefine and REPRESENT Otherness.

Viggo is Other.

Kristen is Other.

Others create a new definition for expression.

Embrace your Other.

***

Question: What factors influence your beliefs about Love, Creativity, Expression, Individuality? Do you ever challenge these factors?

***

A/N: Again, I thank you for your patience with me as I try to make peace with a new posting schedule. It may be bi-weekly now for a while as I tackle 3D happenings such as Immigration interviews, MOO Missions and a fledgling Private Practice. The response and support for the last essay was unprecedented and I am stunned.

You read the glorious and genius KStew Is Better Than You, yes? Well it’s KSIBTU’s BIRTHDAY today, February 10! One year ago, CC blessed us with her gift of humor and intellectual sexy and altered everything. I count her among the inspirations and co-creators of Musings. I’m kinda indebted to CC for life because she first found the courage to publish her brilliant and effective defense of Queen Kristen.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KSIBTU!!! To many, many more years of laughter and Cat Quotas.


This Essay is For: Possum Bestie Jai, to my friend and beloved sister, CC of @KStewsBtrThanU, to Ree (my warrior), Megs (I could spend hours with you), Cheermom (You’ve been blessed by Angels) and N (I’ll gladly challenge immigration with you any day, Babylove).

Big thanks to @RobKris13 and @edmett  for an incredible day-long adventure in L.A.

To Bouffant: You’re my brand of Cray-Cray. Love you.

To Mari/Pai: We’ll need to make it a tradition, our girls nights out. Love spending time with you, mi hermana.

To my Cyber Sisters/Readers: Muchas muchas gracias, Te Amo.

Check out the New Resources for Beauty Page….I’ll be adding new material often, and hopefully including links and videos.

See you soon. Yours, KJ


KStew & Vogue Inspire the Seeking of Global Soul

27 Jan

We all have wings. Though some of us don’t know why

~Never Tear Us Apart, INXS

We Are Here.

Well, hellllo there, my Majestic Misfits and Rebellious Royals! I’ll address why you haven’t heard from me in over two weeks (and, more importantly how profoundly effective the hiatus has been) in a few moments, but I just wanted to take a deep breath and enjoy being in your company. I hold deep and sincere gratitude to you for your patience and understanding. And you must know that I have missed you all. In a very experiential, existential way. And I’ve missed your clever, hysterical editorials on all things K/R/Twi/Bliss/Other related. So, this is me, before commencing this week’s essay, bowing down to you in humble appreciation. And I look a little like this:

One thing that has become dazzlingly apparent to me recently is The Bond. There is a bond now. We all have bonded over our admiration for Kristen and Robert. Regardless if this is an almost 3-year journey (raises hand) for you, or if this is your first glance at a blog you discovered after typing in the words “Kristen” and  “Stewart”  in a Google search, there are a great many of us who share in a feeling of unity in this vast community, this fandom. We have invested at least a sliver of personal interest into a twenty-year old woman who is navigating the peaks and valleys of living, loving, doing and being. How has this bond manifested for me? Well, first, I had the opportunity to spend some face-to-face time with one of my Cyber Sisters, Missy/Brothaa last week. Nothing cements camaraderie like ingesting copious amounts of pasta and alcohol before running around town to random bookstores and liquor stores seeking VOGUE Magazines. While the gentleman behind the liquor store counter double and triple checked with me as to whether I “really wanted to purchase all four copies of the same magazine”, Missy didn’t bat an eyelash. Instead, she squealed and did the soccer-announcer -screaming-GOOOAAAALLLL-Dance with me when we spotted it.

CLEARLY a productive night

How else did I glimpse the awesomeness that is the Fandom Community? The emergence of more clear and powerfully positive voices speaking up in support of Kristen, Rob and the greater picture. A friend of mine, M, aka one part of the blogging team @DrownInIt wrote an eloquent essay on the joys of participating in this fandom. Check it HERE: How KStew Changed Fangirling. One of the many points M highlighted in her essay is the sheer exhilaration and honor she feels in meeting fellow intelligent, and creative voices among this fandom. I personally can attest to the genius and almost crushing generosity of Kristen Supporters, if Musings’ Readers are any indication. I’ve long-held the opinion that Musings Readers are the wittiest, bravest and most brilliant of all the fandom (bias schmias), but as I stumbled around uncertainly these past couple weeks, I became convinced that MOO’s Readers are DIVINE. Here is where I turn my adoring gaze upon Matt B and @Dano328/OpyTaylor for their impeccably timed, kind words of encouragement. You both unknowingly contributed to the saving of Musings.

TRUTH TIME. I experienced a moment in which I contemplated the discontinuation of Musings. Without going into great detail, I have had some pretty stressful 3D experiences including another bout with a painful sinus/flu-like sickness, a major setback in the financing of The Magical Little Practice, and some family issues to attend to. Plus, with my inability for succinct storytelling, I had written essays averaging 3000 words every week for seven months prompting self-care (coming from the consta-sick girl) and perspective-expansion, and I wondered if maybe I’d over-stayed my welcome. Quite serendipitously, The Universe sent me several encounters with synchronicity, impeding my too-hasty, and not-quiet disappearance. Synchronicity in the form of emails from rebel poets (@DANO328 and MATT), MidWestie Visitors (winks at Brothaa), inspiring Blog posts (@DrownInIt), Team Other Captains who used SHOUTY CAPS (ahem, CC) and soothing words and pictures (My girls Bouffant & Buff). And just in case I truly didn’t get the memo, Synchronicity sent an Angel….

VogueStew bestows grace

These encounters with friends, Readers, fellow fans (The Bond), and our Reigning Other Queen Kristen reminded me of the agreement I’d made with myself, and with Others. In essence, I was re-introduced to my Blissful Path, prompted to expand my perspective and revisit my Sacred Contract. This Contract, as defined by the awe-inspiring author and medical intuitive Carolyn Myss, is essentially the understanding and implementation of our greater functioning. Our Path. Our higher purpose. Our Soul’s Work. Basically, the reason ‘Why We Are Here’.

We have established these agreements with many people in our lives–past and present–also with our higher power however it is named for you, and with ourselves. They are compiled of anything and everything and influence anything and everything: Romantic relationships, friendships, family relations, career choices, money management, artistic expression, fandom communities, and society. SISTERS. BROTHERS. MOTHERS. FATHERS. LOVERS. HEALERS. TEACHERS. PARENTS. STUDENTS. WARRIORS. LEADERS. OTHER.  Jungian scholars may refer to these as “Samples” and patterns as informed by Archetypes. My Divine Agreements are with my soul mates and beloveds, and with my hope to provide healing and empowerment to people through my fledgling psychotherapy practice…and through Musings. All who enter into a Sacred Contract acknowledge that we are accountable to not only ourselves, but to others, and to our environment, to ideas much larger than just us as individuals. We agree that we have communion with the Global Soul.

The Fairest Philanthropy

Raise your hopeful voice, you had the choice. You’ve made it now

~Falling Slowly, Swell Season

Contrary to popular assumption, the desire to connect to the greater collective (also creating spiritual and emotional transformation) is not always motivated by tragedy or loss. It can be inspired by a particularly beautiful line of poetry, or introduction to a soul mate, a sunset, a movie, an inspiring business discussion. Or by an issue of Vogue. It was quite the celebration once we learned that Kristen Jaymes Stewart was going to be the February Cover Girl for Vogue, as our Rebel Queen broke through the barriers of Unconventional Beauty to grace the front of such a culturally iconic publication. And when the first photos from the shoot began rolling out, I, along with millions of others gasped at the majesty.

I may have cried a little over the Outtakes and the Behind-the-Scenes Video. . .

But it was the accompanying article that truly plundered me, leaving me speechless. Interviewer Eve MacSweeney managed to capture our Majestic Misfit’s quiet but still-blazing intensity, intelligence, kindness and other-worldly aestheticism in print, accomplishing what so many journalists have attempted before but could not entirely deliver. Kristen’s now-famous Mexican Tortilla Soup had been alluded to in the past by colleagues and costars, but Ms.MacSweeney enjoyed a first-hand observation and consumption of Ms Stewart’s culinary prowess as the actress prepared (in her “friend’s” kitchen) and served the famous Soup along with pulled-pork sandwiches. We all knew that KJ Stewart (of course I squeal just a tiny bit that Kristen and I have our initials in common) is a voracious reader, but the Vogue journalist received an updated book list directly from the source. Kristen’s nightstand is piled high with literary gems including Columbine by Dave Cullens, a study of extreme Mormonism and Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina. OIC. Light bedtime reading.

legs

This interview became my favorite interview in direct correlation with two very essential responses Kristen gave. First, when Ms. MacSweeney alluded to our favorite Featured Rebel and Poet Warrior, Robert P, Kristen addressed but closed down further discussion entirely by saying,

“It’s not my job.”

This was an impeccable answer.  The best answer Ms. Stewart could have EVER given. She clearly indicates that she will fiercely protect her private life, all while shooting down any outlandish charges that her relationship with Mr Pattinson is a PR stunt. Her relationship with him is not available for monetary capitalization nor voyeurs’ entertainment. She granted this interview to a world-renown magazine to discuss her work. BOO.YAH.

The second response that rendered me dizzy simply was Synchronicity nudging me to sit the fuck down and revisit my resolutions…Review my Sacred Contract. I believe I heard angels singing.  Kristen has perhaps glimpsed her own Sacred Contract, as she is realizing the great influence she has (She’s on par with She-Ra). Not only is she greatly admired (translation: adored, lusted after, coveted, worshipped, idolized) by esteemed colleagues and cohorts, but she has the unwavering devotion and attention of millions of readers, and movie-goers, thanks to her work in the films Twilight, Adventureland, The Runaways,and Welcome to the Rileys to name a few.  That’s such a daunting concept. And yet, Ms Kristen finds herself concerned only with the happiness and approval from fans of the Twilight books….She’s also considering what to do with the pile of cash she’s acquired as a result of her film work. She is a lovely, successful, and shy young woman shaping a plan to contribute to society, benevolently aiding a cause she feels “most connected to”. Kristen’s work for the film Welcome to the Rileys in which she played Mallory, a teenaged runaway  working as a stripper/prostitute, illuminated Kristen’s Contract. She wants to contribute to the Global Soul via the creation of safe places for people seeking recovery and rehabilitation…in the form of a Halfway House network.

*Cue Angels’ glorious chorus. Cue KJ’s weeping*

I was already an ardent admirer of Kristen Stewart. I already inherently, instinctively believed that she was a compassionate, intelligent, and gentle spirit. But when I read about Kristen’s desire to build a network of  halfway houses, my respect for her grew exponentially …into a kind of reverence. I have spent over ten years working with the population that Kristen wants to assist. My clients are children, women, teenagers and families who were victims of abuse, poverty, substance abuse and disenchantment, and every one of them sought a quiet moment of respite and a kind word of encouragement to continue forward, when all they really wanted to do was fall back. But since mental health and soul rehabilitation are the bottom-rung of priorities when considering the piecing together of state and national budgets, there are no resources to finance counseling or social services. I lost my job as a psychotherapist and manager over a year ago due to the severe budget restraints. And now this beautiful, compassionate artist wants to contribute to the reinstatement of safe havens and encouragement for people who are in dire need. Her Halfway House Network could enable the hiring of gifted counselors thirsty for work and eager to help to the millions of people just struggling to find their next meal. What other twenty-year old do you know does this? To say that I am stunned is an understatement. I am absolutely astonished.

Didn't I tell you that Buff and N are MAGICAL together? Recognize. Courtesy of Buff&N Collabs.

A New Musings Mission

You’re never given a dream without also being given the power to make it true

~Richard Bach

So, let’s recap shall we? In my unplanned, unexpected two-week hiatus from Musings, I got pretty sick (again) and in the midst of addressing illness, family stuff and business planning, considered closing down this blog. Ah, but The Universe had other ideas for this restless Other Queen-in-training. The Bond simmered and surged, other strong voices joined the fray, and letters arrived from  gentlemen who provided exactly the right words to soothe at exactly the right time (bows to Matt and Dan). My beloved and insanely gifted husband N was promoted at work (we have a roof over our head for another month! We have cable again!). A Sister came to my city to have cocktails with The Beats ..and me…And Kristen Stewart made a connection with the Global Soul through a very beautiful and compelling photo shoot and interview with Vogue. Did I cover everything?

Here’s where I tell you about the revitalized, reinvigorated, re-inspired Musings Mission. *bouncing on my toes in excitement* Encouraged by Kristen’s incredible philanthropic visions, and with Carolyn Myss’s guidance on seeking my own Divine Agreement (or Sacred Contract), I’ve decided my mission is two-fold. First, I am going to continue to write Musings. That’s right. You’re stuck with me, kiddos, all my rambling and musing just needs to go somewhere…Writing MOO makes me happy, and it satisfies my desire to communicate, empower and embolden fellow Misfits to find their true Home, their Bliss. The continuation of Musings provides support and encourages our Reigning Other Queen Kristen to KEEP GOING, KEEP GOING, KEEP GOING as well. My hope is that we can all pursue our Bliss, and seek connection to the Global Soul through connection and compassion with Others. And besides, I get to post pretty pictures of Kristen and all the Royal Rebels who light the path and persevere. I like pretty pictures of Royal Rebels….

The second tenant of my New MOO Mission–Shall we call it THE MOO MISH?–entails: My offer of anything within my power and scope of abilities to our Reigning Queen Kristen’s disposal so she can implement her  own Sacred Contract. I created and managed small counseling teams while I was at BastardNation, a company that truly released and liberated me when budget cuts sliced my position out. Now I’m free to contribute to projects that inspire me–Like Kristen’s vision. Her vision is very close to my own: Guide, provide safety, health and empowerment of self.  I would love nothing more than to contribute my skills of clinical psychotherapy, supervision and program management to helping Kristen build a Halfway House Network to help Others start their healing journeys on their own paths towards health and …home. It’s kinda what I do already in my teensy tiny almost-there practice, and in my weekly ramblings with you beautiful Misfits…So why not contribute the goals of my Sacred Contract to someone else’s goals for the betterment of The Collective Good? *shrugs*

So, my Loveliest of Lovelies…here we are, already at the end of the first month of a new year. Its only the second Musings of 2011 and I do apologize for the unannounced delay in posting. But I am eternally and wholly indebted to you all for your unbelievably inspiring support and love for Musings, for your passionate defense and support of Our Reigning Queen Kristen and all the Featured Royal Rebels highlighted each week. I thank you for your enthusiasm  and courage in Embracing Your Other and following your Bliss….for remaining so positive in a roller-coaster of a passionate fandom, and for modeling true UNCONVENTIONAL BEAUTY ….I am honored to be amongst you deliciously odd, awkward, unusual, unique, and brilliant beings.

WE ARE OTHER.

KRISTEN IS OTHER.

OTHERS SEEK WAYS TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE GLOBAL SOUL.

EMBRACE YOUR OTHER.

Question: How have you been inspired in your Otherness to recognize and honor your Sacred Contract?

A/N: Well, this essay was a bit of a departure from previous posts, but essentially it is a love letter from me to you, to Kristen, to Others. I do hope to post next Thursday as per the usual schedule, but I may take longer if 3D life keeps throwing the curveballs at me. Next time, we’ll show love to our male Rebel Royals. Perhaps Viggo Mortensen (First OTR, now perhaps Snow White?) Garrett Hedlund? Javier Bardem? … We’ll see who jostles to the front of the line…

Oh!  And I’m going to a Bobby Long concert next week too. *happy claps*

Also, I updated the About KJ Page. Leave some answers to the sentence completion in the comment section. LOVE hearing what you have to say!

I’ll be making some changes to the site’s appearance as well, and adding a new page or two perhaps…I’m hatching a diabolical plan with Buff (i.e. poking and annoying her til she breaks).

Part 2 of the New MOO Mission is in discussion with my best girl Bouffant, and our Team Other Co-Captains Buff and CC.

I’ll letcha know on Twitter of progress and updates for The MOO MISH. . . @MusingsOnOther. . . You know me. I’m the one who is Not. At. ALL. SUCCINCT in my descriptors of love for Kristen, Rob and our massive Majestic Misfit Royal Court..

THANK YOUS, LOVE, LIGHT, GROPES, SNUGGLES and NUZZLES to:  My Sister Puss. My dearest Bouffant. Cynically Convy. Buff. @MyCleverAlias. Nail. Missy. Iris. @RobKris13. Possum Besties Justice and Ophelia. And As always: My Cyber Sisters and Readers.

…..and to the FF authors who have owned my unfocused ass this week: BrattyVamp, RochelleAllison, 107YrOldVirgin, MissBettySmith, KrisSalvador

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY SISTERS INDIA & BEANAI!


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