Tag Archives: Self Esteem

Within and Beside You

28 Jul
A/N: The images & lyrics featured here are not mine. Many resources are cited in embeds if you click the pictures. Song lyrics cited in the tail-end A/N along with today’s playlist. This essay is embarrassingly unbeta’ed. Be kind.

Open and just hold the lantern in the doorway

For the freedom of it

And you take the night air through your nostrils

And you breathe in out, in out

And you breathe just like that, just like that

Ohai there my loveliest of lovelies! Well, my Beauties, I am not even going to attempt to cover all facets of  the supreme epicness that erupted from this year’s San Diego Comic Con. Most of you witnessed it first hand either in San Diego after waiting in line for days (Props to my warrior girls @RobKris13and @Edmett) or by hovering around your computers watching a live-blogging and Twitter feed from morning til night. And the numerous blogs and sites were superb in gathering and posting images, sound bytes, and video clips for the fandom faster than a Cullen driving a Volvo, so we were never left wanting for long. You can read the accounts and the interviews to your heart’s content all over the place for hours and still have footage you didn’t get to yet. There’s a lot, is what I’m saying. I don’t need to add my tangential ramblings to the cacophony, so today’s Musings will be my attempt at being succinct *snickers* and hopefully not repetitive. Let’s see how that goes, mmkay? But I wanted to highlight what I thought lent to the reasons for our Rebel Queen’s rousingly successful Comic Con weekend and why her pristine beauty somehow grew demonstrably more profound . Kristen Brought. It. This was the best she has ever been. EVER.  What is our Unconventional Beauty’s secret? While  all the cooking channel viewing and fight training have certainly contributed, I’m willing to wager  that her impossible loveliness is in response to something more subtle, and personal. So let’s explore this further, yes? Ok, Cats, put your mittens around your kittens, and A-WAY we GO!’ (name that quote and I’ll love you for always).

Beauty In Loving The Craft

And we saw her standing there

Our first glimpse at our reigning Other Queen before the Breaking Dawn Press Panel arrived in the form of the above picture, and the accompaniment of gasps and endless—> !!!!!!!! 8302%)#!@$%@&-<–the joys of communicating emotions in cyberspace. However, the incoherency was understandable, in my opinion. Her hair in tousled waves framing her immaculate skin above a sheer top revealing the black bra beneath, Ms Stewart appeared effortlessly sexy and gorgeous.

And then she sat down at the microphone for the panel, flanked by her amorous colleagues (including the calm and gifted director Bill Condon), and spoke candidly, excitedly and engagingly with the press amid flashing lightbulbs and murmurs.Within moments, it was evident that  the girl deemed by previous critics and naysayers as “awkward, uncomfortable and hostile” was no more. Ladies and Gentlemen, your Reigning Other Queen has arrived.

Is this Heaven or…

We always knew she was a lovely gal, but she has far transcended that descriptor it’s almost insulting. I could wax poetic about her flawless complexion and luminous eyes for years, but I want to acknowledge the unapparent internal structures lending to her almost otherworldly loveliness. It has been said that true beauty emanates from the goodness and light within. Kristen’s light derives from a newfound self-assuredness Over the past year she has gained confidence by way of  interpersonal work in staying centered and trusting her inner compass. She tuned out the constant barrage of criticisms and heckling from haters and from those who simply do not get it. She became involved in highly respected film ventures a la’ On The Road and she maintained close contact with her longtime supportive network (her family, her partner, her work team including the lovely Ruth and the constant John). She also continued to research challenging and compelling work projects.

Film industry  greats and Stew-colleagues such as Sean Penn and Jodie Foster have raved about Kristen’s accurate instincts and sagacious decisions around projects she pursues and people with whom she endeavors to work. It is the home stretch of what will be a five-year project of Twilight. Kristen’s instincts as a seventeen-year-old Indie film actress did not lead her astray. When she first spoke with Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke in 2007 regarding potentially taking on the role of Bella Swan in the film adaptation, Kristen reports she accepted the job  because she felt an affinity with the awkward, shy protagonist and her path towards self-awareness. Because Kristen felt that there was an honest, universal, relatable story about Bella and her great love Edward.

And what a story it is. And how correct Ms Stewart is. She committed in every way (as Kristen Stewart does) to the role in what she thought was a “small independent film” with a large readership. Four years and three Comic Cons later, her colleagues of past, present and future, as well as the very late-to-the-party media community are bestowing accolades for the fierce and refreshing force that is Kristen Jaymes Stewart. Her confidence is derived from knowing that she was correct in following her instincts and in her investment in the work. She loves what she does for a living and it shows. There’s congruency–what you see is truly what you get–that indicates less tension and more certainty. There isn’t a need to downplay or mask  joy or displeasure (if that be the case) felt. And we can see her. All of her. The positive, confirming feedback is pouring in. SHE. WAS. RIGHT.

And she is DEFINITELY en pointe again. And if we thought her comfortable lightheartedness at Breaking Dawn’s Panel was illuminating, then hold onto your hats and glasses, folks, because her appearance at the panel for Snow White and The Huntsman two days later was stunning 

I did not find Kristen’s decision to take on the role of Snow White particularly alarming. I’ve read an earlier incarnation of the script and found myself nodding in enthusiasm as we learned that Ms White wasn’t going to be just your average singing Disney cartoon. It made sense to me and I felt connected to the message of this incarnation of The Fairest of Them All. This Snow White, Kristen Stewart’s Snow White would be a strong, courageous warrior and ambassador to The People. When Kristen walked out on stage Saturday afternoon for the Q & A session for SWATH, I felt the distinct chills in knowing that we are witnessing the evolution of royalty. 

A Beautiful Ferocity

You’ve probably seen the Comic Con panel videos by now. If you haven’t, and I understand if that’s the case–there are SO many goodies it overwhelms– check @Robstenation‘s site for the videos: here for Breaking Dawn  and for the Youtube version, click–> here for Snow White and The Huntsman via @epnebelle. Also I encourage you to visit a SWATH Fansite created and ran by a couple friends of mine, @Dancer1 and @Cheermom called The Enchanting Beauty. You’ll find the latest news for SWATH production and  Kristen  without the gossip.

There are noticeable differences in Kristen between Thursday’s Breaking Dawn interviews and SWATH’s panel. For one thing, Kristen and her SWATH co-stars have barely spent any time together as they’ve all been working on other films. And for another, discussing, defending and explaining Isabella Swan Cullen’s actions and motivations are so deeply ingrained for Kristen after these several years, there were some slip-ups, and blurred lines between Kristen’s and Bella’s identities. Mostly though, I would attribute Kristen’s comfort in discussing Bella because she has had the luxury of marinating in and portraying a character over a longer, wider arc of time than most film roles allow. And Kristen is a passionate defender of her Bella.

*raises eyebrow* mmmhmm

But for the Snow White panel, we caught glimpses of Kristen in the company of extremely attractive new co-stars, exhibiting an eagerness, curiosity and pride on a level unfamiliar to us. Between her playful and almost sisterly-like banter with Charlize Theron, and her witty and self-deprecating responses to questions, Kristen, passionate and proud SWATH cast member, answered the call to portray the Beautiful Royal Hellion Snow White. 

It probably doesn’t hurt that the cast and crew boasts Oscar nominees and winners, as well as some of Britain’s acting elite (HELLO Ian McShane and Bob Hoskins). And these promo shots of the leads in costume…? *sputtering*

Truly a Rebel Royal, yes? 

Though the project is still in pre-production, the SWATH Panel at Comic Con sufficiently raised the bar and generated overwhelmingly positive buzz from..like, everyone, including the press and respectable journalists. Forbes journalist E.D. Kain writes:

 “But if that still shot of Kristen Stewart [up above] is any indication, I will be lining up for tickets when Snow White and the Huntsman hits theatres.”

There is something extremely awe-inspiring about people who face situations that are unchartered. Quitting a job one has had for years to participate in the construction of a starter company; speaking truth when everyone around you has been dishonest. Kristen is leaving behind the usual art house indie films she calls home, as well as the enveloping, familiar arms of her Twilight family to take on a film touted as on par with Lord of The Rings (oh HELL yes). There is a ferocity about this decision that is so very Kristen and so very Other. 

 Beauty Surrounds Her  

You say which way, which way

That’s all right, we’ve gotten hip to it

Behind you, beside you, beside you

Since the beginning days of Twilight Tuesdays and pre-Twitterazzi, Kristen and Robert have sought each other’s company and support as they catapulted from quiet obscurity into the view finder for millions of  rapt “fans”. A large factor in Kristen’s almost ethereal Comic Con appearance is the presence of love, support and encouragement in her immediate circle. Both Rob and Kristen have referred to one another as “my best friend”, and Kristen includes Taylor among a small group of people she “would do anything for” in the name of protection.

In my psychotherapy practice, I often recommend and encourage my clients to attend group counseling sessions in addition to individual sessions. I do this because there is a basic propensity for people to gravitate towards one another, especially when bound by similar experiences. And healing expedites when we have partners and supportive players on our side. Rob has mentioned in interviews in the past that because he and Kristen moved through the utter chaos of becoming famous together at the exact same time, they shared a deep and loyal bond, running even deeper than their immediate, easy friendship.  No one can quite understand the challenges and successes that come from being thrown into public consumption the way that Kristen, Rob and to a similar degree, Taylor can. They have become their own little huddle. #BesideYou

At the last Comic Con the Twi-Trio attended, (2009), Kristen literally took time out of  her shooting schedule for The Runaways to attend the convention to talk about the heartbreak and depression she had to communicate on-screen as Bella Swan. While some people heard Kristen’s words, she was more-often-than not defined by and questioned about her hair style (called a shag, not a mullet), and the Bullshit People and Haterade-drinkers skulked off and created wholly new websites and chat forums to bash Kristen. When asked about Kristen’s hair by an entertainment reporter, Kristen’s friend and confidante Taylor declared, “I think she looks sexy”.

Meanwhile, Rob, Kristen’s accomplice in Otherness, stared lovingly at her the. whole. time…This year, in the debut of Confi-ConStew, Kristen returned the supportive, encouraging, uh, appreciation for Rob and his Cosmopolis half-hawk.

saucy

Isn’t it fun having supportive ridonk sexy partners in crime? Of course, Rob’s hair didn’t spark anything remotely close to the riot that Kristen’s shag did. Don’t think that Rob didn’t notice the hypocrisy, by the way. Robert Pattinson is a clever, observant bloke. He attended Comic Con with his unusual hairstyle full-well knowing that people would most likely comment, judge, and question him. I actually fist-pumped when I caught a glimpse of his interesting coif. I noticed he had cut it even shorter than how he wore it for the Cosmopolis shoot. Whether it was his intent or not, Rob drew attention to his hair and his just-completed, non-Twilight film while simultaneously illuminating the double standards that “supporters” in this fandom practiced all the time. Why is it that Rob is revered and celebrated as “quirky” and “charming” for rocking a half-hawk at Comic Con while Kristen, having her hair styled as Joan Jett for her [awesome] work in The Runaways was ripped to shreds and called (and still called) every derogatory name in the Smack Book??

C’mon, Ladies. We can do better than this.

Something to think about, no? Bottom line: One more reason Kristen shined at San Diego Comic Con this year was due to the reassuring and encompassing presence of her dearest Accomplices in Otherness. Of course Rob and Taylor have faith in Kristen, they always have. But it was evident as the Breaking Dawn and SWATH panels progressed through the convention, that dozens if not hundreds of folks were finally jumping on board the KSTEW Support Train. One fellow leading the Kristen Stewart Fan Club charge was the kind and visionary director of Breaking Dawn, Bill Condon. Mr Condon may have praised Kristen’s dedication and love for the story in six different occasions. He is Team Kristen all the way. Another new mentor and commanding Rebel Beauty in Kristen’s supportive group appears to be another Rebel Queen~

A Beautiful Congruency

‘Cause I need Freedom now

And I need to know how

To live my life as it’s meant to be

Can you spot our Rebel Other Queen?

While all her Twilight co-stars wore dresses and stilettos…what did our girl wear? *HUGE GRIN* The final point I wanted to highlight this week was congruency. In geometry, congruency is when lines are the same size and shape. In philosophy and sociology, congruency refers to harmony between actions and ideas. In psychotherapy, someone is acting congruent when they are speaking of feeling a certain emotion, and their face and body language reflects said emotions. Happiness and excitement may look something like this:

When I say I’m a defender of Others and Misfits, I will act accordingly. You will not witness me throwing insults or jokes around at the expense of someone who has a different appearance or set of beliefs from my own. Neither will you witness Kristen acting incongruently. If she is nervous, you’ll know it. She’ll bounce that knee all over the place, and bite her nails to the quick in between interview questions. What you see is what you get. The reason Kristen Stewart is our Ambassador of Other is because she never  falsifies who she is, even when she is pressured by outside sources (um, MEDIA TRAINING? Are you kidding me??) to conform to the out-dated cookie-cutter ideal.

Congruency is Kristen exhibiting pride in and excitement about the choices she’s made in her profession. It is in knowing that she will be in a very physically demanding role with SWATH (“I’ll have swords and cool weapons”) and preparing herself by training in horseback riding, yoga and weapon-wielding.

It is in the way she is not hiding the affection and respect she holds for her partner Robert. It’s lovely to see their open, mutual affection for one another…Not that he  could ever effectively downplay his admiration for her, but still…The one and only joint interview for the press produced their most warm, inviting and organic interaction of the whole Comic Con weekend. It was mesmerizing to behold, even though it was only 3 minutes long. A content, confident, open, uninhibited, supported and cherished young woman again redefined an antiquated idea of “Beauty”.

Well, my lovelies. There you have it. Those are my thoughts on the jaw-dropping awesomeness of Comic Con 2011 and the Other Legacy that is our Reigning Other Queen. I attributed her heightened (how is that possible??) beauty to her confidence and the confirmation of her solid intuition; also her congruency and her amazingly constant and unconditional support team. There’s excitement  and eagerness for her upcoming projects and the love she feels for her craft.  Ahhh, love. Let’s not forget: She is loved and she loves in return. And it shows. That may be the best reason of all for Kristen’s transcendence this week.

We are Other.

Kristen is Other.

Others realize that beauty cultivates from within and beside us.

Embrace Your Other.

*    *    *

QUESTIONS: What were your reactions to Comic Con? What elements contribute to your confidence and beauty? Do you love your work? Do you surround yourself with supportive family and friends? Are you congruently (authentically) living your life?

A/N: Next time I’m resuming the usual MOO outline featuring “What The Fangirl Learned” and  a new Rebel Royal. You were lovely with suggestions last week, btw, thank you! You can expect a couple little stories about gals named Christina and Ellen in the near future.

Squeezey Hugs and Sloppy Kisses To:

@Nhess_V for always, always spreading the Other Support and Musings postings all over the place each and every week.

@Mel452, my Aussie Darl for having a BIRTHDAY this week!

@DeeDreamer16 for always checking in on me …and even though she didn’t mention it, for celebrating a BIRTHDAY as well recently.

Bouffant. For listening to me talk shit out. Per usual.

Katie. For sharing the best conversations EVER and pulling me out of the funk when I go there.

Lyric excerpts featured: 

Beside you ~ Van Morrison

The Cave~ Mumford and Sons

Essay Playlist: 

What I Am ~ Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians

Santa Maria~ Gotan Project

The Cave ~ Mumford and Sons

A Light From Within (Part 1)

20 Jun
A/N: Most images seen in this posting are not the property of nor created by ©MusingsOnOther. Photos featuring ©Red Cross Disaster Relief in Clinton, MS and Joplin, MO, however, are owned by this author (KJN). Today’s essay, per usual, is unbeta’d and any typos or grammar bobbles are all mine. Also, for whatever reason, PlayList disallowed the Auto-start feature, despite my and Buff’s attempts at usurping. To hear today’s music Playlist, hit PLAY on the player in the right-hand column (below the Twitter Feed) —–>
Whatever day this is that I actually post, I imagine it’s not my usual Thursday. I hope to get back on schedule soon. I thank you for flowing with me.   
“People are like stained – glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.” ~Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

*Takes deep breath* There you are, and here I am. Hello, you beautiful, Majestic Misfits. It has been over a month since I’ve posted a New MOO and I am admittedly nervous and shaky. I feel out of practice, super raw and tentative but at the same time eager to reconnect with you all. SO. MUCH. HAS. HAPPENED. And on so many different levels. In the name of confidentiality, and sensitivity to trauma that folks have experienced, I have spent the past week weighing the options of what to share and how to share. . .I am not even quite sure where to begin, so I guess I’ll …just…jump in.

It was ‘A Time’

So, the last MOO essay  I penned posted on May 15. We talked about the Twirling Other Goddess Stevie Nicks, and we explored what it meant to MOther, even if it was against society’s definitions (We’re Others. It’s how we roll). We also surveyed how we women can be both supportive and simultaneously destructive forces out there, especially towards fellow women. Then I shared with you all that I was a few days away from leaving for my first national Red Cross assignment as a licensed clinician on the Disaster Response Team.

I do not think I will ever truly have enough (or appropriate) words to justifiably describe the people, the agonizing pain of loss, or the brilliant strength and faith of humanity I encountered. But I will try and share a few stories with you here (and that’s what PART 2 of this post will be).  In the seminal TV show My So-Called Life, Angela Chase (portrayed by a featured Royal Rebel Claire Danes), Rayanne and Rickie ponder the glory of connecting with other people for a larger purpose outside themselves, and they simply refer to that process as “A Time”. Bear with me as I attempt to begin recalling the people and the moments that comprise the most life-changing, profound ‘Time’ I’ve ever had the honor of witnessing.

I left May 23 for Clinton, Mississippi to offer relief and counseling support to the men and women who had already been out providing food, shelter and Psychological First Aid to the survivors of the storms and destructive flooding out in the communities near the Mississippi River. What I came to find out later was that this Disaster Relief Operation (DRO or DR) was winding down. I had been called in to debrief and support the volunteers and Red Cross staff, some of whom had been in the trenches for 4o days already.

Here’s what I was struck by, while in Mississippi, other than the sheer elation it was to spell out the state’s name voluntarily, and not because I was in a spelling bee:

It’s beautifully green and lush in the most mundane places. Tree-lined highways (empty of traffic) greeted me on the drive from the gas station to Headquarters; and, to the market and to the shelter where I met with clients. See, I grew up in L.A. County, California, where any greenery, if not in protected parks–or smoked–is a rarity. Concrete utopia shrouded in brown air. Even where I live now, any lush growth and flowers are reserved for the national park.

But really, what blew my mind were the PEOPLE. The people–strangers to me–were so very warm, generous, welcoming and open. People looked me in the eye and said, “Well, HELLO THERE!” on the street, in the grocery aisles, at the gas station, and of course at restaurants. There is something so refreshing and comforting about Southern Hospitality and I am so thrilled to have experienced a little sliver of it. If I appeared too alien or unusual, too OTHER to anyone in Clinton, Mississippi, I never knew it. I was welcomed and embraced warmly and lovingly, regardless.

ahhh is THAT what human interaction looks like?

An Other Application

Of course, I got to musing, because that’s what I do, and reflected on how I’m jostled by kindness, etiquette and “common courtesy”. Why is it surprising for people to be kind anymore? Why does eye contact or a friendly passing greeting feel like such a novelty?? I suppose in this time where we spend the majority of our days deciphering words on a computer screen or texts on a phone, its not terribly surprising that the messages conveyed through eye contact and tone of voice are no longer considered integral or necessary in “communication”. Which is a shame. Those nonverbal factors including pitch and intonation of voice, eye contact contain powerful messages. Clues to a person’s intentions, beliefs and identity.

One topic in the newly conceived “What The Fangirl Learned” feature for this blog, pertained to the rise of Cyber Bullying and Online Confidence. It is notable that people present themselves assertively and cruelly as long as they maintain anonymity behind an avatar image and moniker. Would these same people be as blunt and hurtful if they shared their opinions directly with their target? Would Kristen Stewart’s Bull Shit People and Critics ever share their low regard for her if they were in the same room with her, directly to her? I must take a moment to tip my fedora to the brave and brilliant warriors at @BecauseWeAreNot for wading into the mucky secretions from the Nonsensicals and BullShitPeople… and simply holding up a mirror. Yes, Haterade Drinkers, you are that vile and we SEE YOU. My hope is that all of us still experience an instant or two of remembering the human being on the other side of the camera lens, the computer screen or discussion board. It would certainly benefit our Reigning Royal Rebels for us to remember this. . .

She Shines On

Speaking of Royal Rebels and public appearances…. When we last met here in Headquarters Other, we celebrated our Reigning Other Queen’s Best Actress award from the Milan International Film Festival for her stunning work in the powerful film Welcome To The Rileys. We hadn’t seen our lovely Queen for some time, as she was implementing her usual NinjaRebellion and flitting all over the world undetected, un-stalked. YAY. She would continue to fly under the radar until June 5, the day the MTV Movie Awards occurred. And looking at Ms Rebel Royal herself was like seeing the sun for the first time after a decade-long rainstorm. Hole-eeeeee freakin hell.

Where were you all when this stunning fashion DreamTeam of Kristen and Balmain debuted? Kristen wore a scarlet red (YESSSSSS. Red is my favorite color on Ms Stewart) strapless mini dress covered in shimmery grommets and SAFETY PINS, MOFOS!!  The dress, in my opinion boasted one of her–if not THE best–red carpet looks of all time.

Kristen was positively glowing. Blindingly luminous. She emanated pure joy and lightness, and she was giddy and playful for the duration of the whole night. I loved how happy and grounded she appeared. I loved her interaction with Rob and Taylor. I loved her dress. LOVED. IT. Loved it all. I get why Rob stared at her the whole night.

dude. we know.

June 5th, the day of the MMAs was an interesting day for me. I was on my tenth day straight into my deployment assignment for Red Cross, and for the first time, was back from work before the sun set. The day before had been the most heartbreaking day that I can recall in my “grown up” life, certainly my entire psychotherapy career, and I was feeling pretty weary. I had stolen away in one of the tiny preschool classrooms in the church that served as my sleeping quarters. I hadn’t seen my husband in 2 weeks (he was out of town at a work conference when I left for Mississippi) and I hadn’t had a decent night’s sleep nor a proper hot shower in…a long time. I needed a huge steaming bowl of The Pretty to soothe the ache. I sought a reminder of all the blessings in my life that came from musing about Rebel Queens and Warrior Poets. So there I was, hunkered down in a tiny toddler-sized chair watching the live feed on my laptop, which was placed on a tiny toddler-sized table, bursting with exultation over little clips such as this:

Can watch this pure joyfulness on loop forevah

It was a night in which GiddyRob (my Fave Rob) was front and center (yes, Rob just dropped an F-Bomb on live TV that the censors didn’t catch in time; yes he just presented an award to Reese Witherspoon as more of a ROAST; yes, he just made out with Taylor Lautner before gently kissing his hand and forehead), and Eclipse swept all categories brightening an otherwise nearly unwatchable show. After countless moments of “WHAT THE FUCKs?” over the course of the 2 hour awards show, our ReigningOther Queen capped off the night when she accepted her Best Female Performance award graciously (gratitude to the fans who voted) and wittily advising Oscar-winner Natalie Portman:

“Sorry, Natalie, The Popcorn is mine!

So she gets it. Though Kristen Stewart has always gotten it. She knows that her Golden Popcorn statuettes from the MTV Movie Awards are not the Academy Awards that her peers are earning. But she also knows that she wouldn’t be in her fortuitous position as an actress if it weren’t for her devoted supporters. Kristen is gracious and grateful for every single person who sees her work as inspiring and enjoyable and she has more than once publicly thanked the Twilight fans for their incomparable passion. Very classy and…royal of her, yes? Just another reason why Ms Stewart resides atop the Royal Court Float.

O_O

 A Way Out Of The Depths

While sitting there, in the Preschool/nursery room at Calvary Baptist Church watching my live feed of the MMAs, I found it almost impossible to reconcile the extreme paradoxes that comprised my reality on June 5.  I had just driven my pimp rental car (a tricked-out 4×4 SUV, the exact opposite of the car I own in real life) through the little that remained of a Joplin neighborhood in order to get to the air conditioned church that housed a hundred of my fellow Red Cross workers and I. The day before was my brother’s birthday, and when I called the house to wish him birthday happiness, I nearly fainted with exhaustion and grief, and was barely coherent. My mind simply could not wrap around the idea that the scenes I’d encountered earlier my day existed at the same time that the other folks in the world were moving through daily tasks, pushing through another work day, or planning the evening’s dinner, studying for tomorrow’s early-morning exam. That while a four-year-old  girl asked her mother if “The Tornado will come again and take me from you?” in Joplin or Alabama, at the same time, lighting technicians and camera crews were setting up for the red carpet arrivals for another MTV Movie Awards.  I could NOT reconcile these vastly different happenings in my head. It’s taken me over 2 weeks since my return to even begin understanding.

thank you, my Possum @Justice_Aussie for this

A summary for those who hadn’t read about it or seen the news: On Sunday, May 23, 2011 at 5:41PM a tornado with 200 miles/hr (approx 312 kilometers/hr) winds touched down on the city of Joplin, Missouri. Over the course of 19 minutes, the loud, violent funnel cloud measuring one mile wide ripped a 12 mile path through the city (population 50,000). The level of damage, destruction and fatalities left behind in its wake earned the tornado an F5 category rating, the highest on the scale. As of June 14, the death toll was at 153 people with approximately ten people still unaccounted for. The Joplin Tornado destroyed 75% of the city and is now ranked the deadliest singular tornado in decades, and among the ten most deadly tornados in U.S. History. Joplin’s tornado came on the heels of a series of destructive storms and tornados that effected at least five other states across the South and Midwestern U.S. including Mississippi  (the first stop on my deployment) and Alabama where an estimated 195 people died after several tornados touched down. People will tell you that pictures on TV or on the computer will not appropriately depict the destruction. TRUTH. It looked like the Apocalypse had occurred. It looked like a wasteland. It looked the way I imagine it sounded. Absolute obliteration and desolation.

I arrived in Joplin, MO, directly from Clinton, MS, on May 30, on the one-week anniversary of the tornado’s touchdown. People have  different coping mechanisms and timelines in dealing with grief and loss. So by the time I arrived in Joplin, I felt the stirrings of recognition. The numbness and shock was wearing off, and people were slowly growing aware of their feelings about what they just lived through.

Within minutes of arriving in this pummeled and stunned town, I encountered  the electric thrumming of passion, strength and ferocity. And there is promise.

Gratitude. 

Faith.

Resilience.

"I will rebuild", he says.

Beautiful People Do Not ‘Just Happen’

I will delve more personally into the phenomenal stories of the people I met and counseled in my time in Joplin in the second part of this post. Part of the reason for the delay in publishing this essay was my struggle in telling the stories of the Royal Rebels I met in a sensitive, respectful, confidential manner. Another reason for the late posting is my own body’s delayed reaction to my assignment. On day 12, I awoke with a sore throat and sniffly nose, unsurprisingly. By the time I flew home a couple days later, a doctor’s visit had provided me a diagnosis of a “very bad cold-flu”. Additionally, my heart was bursting with stories of loss and sacrifice and dazzling acts of LOVE. Not even I, Miss Ramblelicious, could piece together a coherent sentence. I needed my own brand of therapy to soothe my wounds. Which is where you gorgeous, pulchritudinous, glimmering Rabble Rousers came in. You provided an antidote.

Thank you. THANK. YOU. THANK YOU.

I burst into tears when I was sent the link to the love letter and Birthday Celebration you all participated in, at the generous and gorgeous prompting of my girls CC, Buff and Bouffant. Already I was shocked at the kind words my Team Other Captains bestowed, though I pay them a lot of money (currency is made up of poking, prodding, annoying texts and rambling emails) to say nice things to me and about me, but I am beyond astonished at the loving words and generous wishes you all shared as well. CC was not kidding when she told you all how hard I love those of you on this journey. I do. I love you like a full-body board check in a hockey game. I go big or go home in my gratitude and adoration for you Readers, Sisters and Friends. In addition to check ins with Bouffant and CC, and occasional tweet-exchanges…lines of poetry  and words of encouragement began to filter in while I was away from you…Reminders of #BEAUTY and #RebelRoyalty and #OTHERNESS. . .

From my girl J (@That_Bitch86) who also provided me an anchor long before. #QUEEN

From Katie (@Kate_Suena) who shows me #Other and #beauty in book recs

You could not possibly know how you healed me on June 3, when you chimed in to wish a Happy Birthday/Anniversary to my little blog about Beauty. You did and do. YOU. HEAL. ME. As do sights such as this:

Giggly, LondonStew will ALWAYS Win.

annnnnnnd….ohhhhh mah Good Goddess…just a day or so after the MMAs…Are you KIDDING ME???!?

Well, so. There really isn’t much to say to follow up that, other than that time away for NinjaStew only further proves to be GLORIOUS….So it’s a perfect place to pause until I post Part Two later this week, hopefully Thursday, to get back on Regular MOO Programming. I know I’ve droned on about my gratitude to you all, but you cannot possibly know how much you have provided joy, comfort and cure for me while I crawled through this month’s Other-worldly events. Thank you for your patience as I re-acclimate and try to find my grounding again…Thank you  for tolerating me while I fangirl a month late over the beautiful sightings of our Reigning Other Queen. Thank you for reminding me that no matter where I travel, who I meet, how deep the struggle is to see it…that OTHER. IS. EVERYWHERE. 

We are Other.

Kristen is Other.

Others’ light shines on, shines far.

Embrace your Other.

*       *      *

A/N: Later this week, Part 2 will introduce you all to the pristinely beautiful Rebel Royalty I met while abroad…And we’ll talk more about Kristen’s GlamourUK appearance, because it’s too beautiful not to. And…There’s another MUSINGS GIVEAWAY!!! Until then, be well, be kind to one another.  See you soon. Yours, KJ 

I have numerous people to thank individually, but I’ll wait til the second part of the essay before doing so. Just know that every single person reading this: I felt you. I know you’re there. And I am indebted to you.

PLAYLIST: (PUSH PLAY) 

Look For Me As You Go By ~ The Innocence Mission

Satisfied Mind ~ Jeff Buckley

Price Tag ~ Jessie J feat B.O.B.

I Feel Pretty/ Unpretty ~ Lea Michele & Dianna Agron of GLEE

After The Storm ~ Mumford & Sons

All That She Is

19 May
A/N: Images seen here are not owned nor created by (c)MusingsOnOther. Today’s essay is unbeta’d per usual. Forgive me any mistakes or imperfections you may find. But that is how I roll. This post is a long one. Make yourselves comfortable.

“You’ll never get away from the sound of the woman that loves you”

~Stevie Nicks, Silver Springs

I hope this new MOO finds everyone well. Did all you incredible Mothers, Parents, Aunties, Mentors, Providers, Caretakers and Grandmamas have a lovely Mother’s Day? My hope is that you did. I was able to pull off an impromptu visit down south with my own Mother, spending treasured time with my immediate family in the same city, which is a first for us, in a very long time.

In Royal Rebel news, it has been a pretty quiet, sighting-less week of our Stealthy pair, our NinjaQueen and her Royal consort. And it makes me happy. Between his punishing world promo-tour for Water For Elephants, the six months of international gallivanting for Breaking Dawn filming, plus recent birthdays for both of them, any quiet, unduh-covah time they can grab right now is probably sweet, sweet salvation. And it probably isn’t long enough, this break. Rob returns to work, starting the gritty, raw film Cosmopolis at the helm of esteemed (and frankly, in my opinion, really cool) director David Cronenberg (History of Violence, Eastern Promises) on May 23rd in Toronto, Canada (where he and Kristen have been spotted walking the infamous puppy dog Bear on more than one occasion).

I’m ridiculously eager to watch this project unfold, if anything for its stark difference in roles for Rob. Hello, apathetic billionaire-business man seeking connection through increasingly self-destructive ways….How fun does that sound??

Ok, how ’bout now?

My name is Eric Packer. I need a haircut. And financial advice.

We’ll talk more about this film as it progresses, okay?. . .The little “break” time that Kristen may be enjoying now isn’t all that much longer for her either. She is scheduled to begin her work on the small film K-11 soon, as well as preparation work for Snow White and The Huntsman. We received the great news that the titular role of The Huntsman was finally cast (well hello there, Thor) last week, but also the nice surprise that the film will be released six months sooner than originally projected. Filming begins in August, and the premiere is scheduled for June 1, 2012. A summertime kickoff by our Reigning Other Queen! So while our Royal Rebels are under the radar, hopefully grounding and recuperating in privacy, we are not lacking reasons to celebrate their growth and successes and remember why we began admiring and supporting them as artists in the first place.

Oh, for Pete's sake, that's just ridonk pretteh.

 What the Fangirl Learned

“Did she make you cry, make you break down, shatter your illusions of love?” ~Stevie Nicks, Gold Dust Woman

For today’s topic, as the first discussion in this new feature, I had planned on discussing a woman’s incredible capacity to love wholly but also to acknowledge her capacity for destruction (sometimes intentionally, sometimes not) in her passionate wrath. I was going to explore some of the themes I saw in our own community, in our fandom, because I’ve met the most incredible women, brilliant women, as a result of being a Kristen and Robert supporter. Conversely, I’ve observed in public venues no less, the most shocking behaviors emerge from my fellow sisters.  *This was the last section (the Fangirl Learned) I needed to complete today (I write MOO in all kinds randomness…the Muse visits when she is damn well ready, y’know?). But since receiving a phone call that I’m detailing down below, I may re-work how to address this topic…

The (M)Other Within

*ANNOUNCEMENT*  

Remember when I told you lovelies that while I have no money, I do have time and skills to contribute in these dire hours? I literally received the phone call right now as I’m finishing up today’s post. I have been cleared for and accepted onto the Red Cross Disaster Response Team as a therapist. I’m deploying out to the Tornado/Flood Zones back east (Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina-esque areas) next week to administer frontline counseling and emotional support to the tornado and flood victims. Its looking like  it will be Tues or Wednesday when I fly out. I will be gone for at least 10 to 12 days and could potentially remain out in the field for up to three weeks per cycle. *side note*  Even if I leave on Tuesday morning, I’ll still have been able to see SAM BRADLEY perform the night before. PHEW! A girl still has a couple of #priorities.

The American Red Cross

So while I’m away for potentially the next 2 to 3 weeks, I’ve asked my fellow Team Other Captains (CC, Buff and a behind-the-scenes technician Bouffant) if they wouldn’t mind keeping an eye on MOO and perhaps contribute some of their brilliance to continue the support of Otherness in my stead. The wonderful gals that they are, of course, all stepped up immediately and exuberantly. So I’m going to thank you amazing Readers in advance for welcoming them warmly and wonderfully as you have in the past when they’ve contributed. And besides, CC and Buff already have their own mass followings (because they’re geniuses and I kinda hope to be a little smarter just by associating with them). My friend Starlust may contribute a written piece as well. She has been my  good friend since the very beginning and I trust her with heart and soul. You will too when you meet her.

This leads me to discuss what I had hoped to, even before learning that I was going to deploy. Look back to one of the earliest Musings ever. I wrote an essay called Aphrodite and Kristen Go Against Code  <—–click it to check it, yo. I responded to the Entertainment Weekly preview of the roundtable interview that Kristen, Rob and Taylor did in promotion for Eclipse.  Remember this hotness??

The Musings  written in response was almost one year ago, on June 24, 2010. What did I see at the bottom of the brief EW preview back in June 2010? Within moments of going viral, the preview had already garnered nearly one hundred commenters’ reactions to the excerpt and these comments were quite criticalNo, worse. The majority of comments were cruel and hatefulI won’t go into specifics because I don’t have the energy nor do I want to taint this supportive Kristen and Rob site with anything remotely negative. But I will share my observations. The majority of commenters both critical and supportive, presented themselves with female monikers. And the harshest, most cruel of the comments were from women. Women who reported they were mothers, professionals.  Also, I noticed that most comments were disproportionately supportive and defensive of Rob, but were incensed and enraged towards Kristen. She was torn down for anything from her physical appearance to the way she phrased her responses. In those commenter’s eyes, those predominantly female commenter’s views, she could do nothing right. The need to tear others down to feel imposing and powerful and bigger has perhaps been an evolutionary trait, leftover from our earliest days on earth–survival of the fittest…but the way that women attack is especially fascinating and …disturbing. 

Today, in 2011, when I watch my Twittah timeline and scan the PMs filled with updates from around the fandom, I notice that the anger and resentment towards our Reigning Queen has become more specific and therefore illuminating about the folks who spew the Haterade. After witnessing success after success for Kristen as a professional and as a woman, her Critics–the Bullshit People as she dubbed them last year in an interview–grapple with any new angle from which they can attack.

Their options are becoming pretty limited.

Criticizing her relationship with Robert as publicity-driven holds little weight since Kristen’s professional and critical success has only increased in the past year, what with the ovations from film critics and audiences flooding in for her work in stellar performances in The Runaways and Welcome to the Rileys (Example: MIFF Award–to be addressed in a bit).  Plus there’s Robert’s direct statements in interviews that his relationship with Kristen is in no way calculated or “nefarious”. So the anti-Kristeners focus on…her abilities to walk young Bear…??

This gangly, awkward, beautiful creature caused major damage to the Bullshit People's campaign. Powerful little guy.

 And instead of calling Ms Stewart some of the degrading and hateful names they’ve given her over time, many Nonsensicals simply refer to her as “That Girl”, which in the scheme of things isn’t the most horrendous, not compared to what they’ve called her before. Also we have identified some of the boldest of the BullShit People in the past year. Kristen and Robert have names and information about the particularly heinous of the Unhappy Ones. When attackers are no longer faceless, offensive plans can be created. Kristen and Rob’s incredibly good-looking effective security teams have been quite active and occupied this year.

Another shift I’ve noticed over the year, is a growing, greater compassion emerging in this fandom. Perhaps it’s because we have been in the trenches together now for several years. We have created friendships and support networks and camaraderie. We have faces and voices to names…This again, is in that universal movement to remove the masks we wear, and efforts made to consciously embrace our Otherness. We’re finding we have so many more commonalities than differences.

Last year, my Welsh Muse Kathryn wrote me a poignant letter detailing her journey embracing her Otherness and it was in embracing her abilities to be a new M0ther. It was in her exploration of what motherhood meant for her that she realized she was truly embracing her authentic self, quirks and oddities and all, that she already had the propensity to accept herself in all that she is. She was similar to me, in that she hadn’t planned necessarily on having children, opting instead to focus on pursuit of bliss and career and expression. And yet now she’s all of those things: beautiful, kind, compassionate, artistic, and a Mother. (I miss you, K).

When we sit down and examine all the ways someone can be “motherly”, we conjure up feelings and associations with universal, human qualities such as:

LOVINGNESS…DEVOTION….PROTECTIVENESS…CREATIVITY….COMPASSION…SELFLESSNESS…KINDNESS

When I survey the descriptors above,  I don’t feel as defensive of  my near-certain decision to not have children. Believe me, society and peers are pretty critical (i.e. harsh and judgmental) about people who decide to not have children too. One of the most incredible things a couple of my Cyber Sisters Nail and Mari have said to me in the past few months involved the employment of my favorite strategy: REFRAMING. They said,

“You are mothering and providing, even if you’re not technically a child-bearer. You give nurturing and compassion and protectiveness to your clients, to your friends…and to MOO Readers.”

See? We all gotta do a little reframing sometime. And I can see this next step on my path in my work for Red Cross is an extension of that concept. I do carry a wish that as we each evolve and thrive and stumble and then pick ourselves back up again that we are finding, that there is less of a need to deconstruct or tear Others down coasting on fear or ignorance. Because we’ve gotten to know each other a little more. Our (M)Otherness has kicked in, perhaps?

Anyway, in light of the somewhat unexpected events occurring in this moment, I won’t delve further today into the reasons why, psychologically or emotionally, women behaved in appallingly harsh ways over the past year. But I certainly can appreciate some of the improvements and changes that have occurred …and I can pin some hope that the changes have made due to steps closer to embracing Others’ Otherness.

And lets take some time to get to know and then celebrate these incredibly brave Unconventional Beauties, shall we?

 Featured Royal Rebel: Stevie Nicks

Stephanie “Stevie” Lynn Nicks, called everything from eccentric, legendary, a gypsy, a witch, a sorceress, and a poet, since her debut in the music industry forty years ago, is the epitome of Other to me. I have my own fascination and adoration of her, have since the early 1990’s when I accidentally stumbled upon a music video on VH1 called “Gypsy” and then later heard songs from the Fleetwood Mac live reunion tour “The Dance”. I didn’t know it then, but with a few bars of the haunting song “Silver Springs” soaring from my car radio’s speakers, I had encountered music’s Other Royalty.

A little background: Stevie’s grandfather Aaron was an aspiring country singer, and from the moment Stevie could speak, she was singing country ditties and picking out melodies on a guitar which was handcrafted for her by said proud granddad. Stevie credits her grandfather for teaching her to love music and for inciting her passion for songwriting and musical crafting. It was at a northern California high school that she met a singing-songwriting-guitar-playing boy named Lindsey Buckingham. Stevie and Lindsey immediately forged a strong bond which would ultimately prove to be an outrageously productive musical and intimate partnership. Stevie tells The Guardian (UK) that she believed joining the band Fleetwood Mac in 1975 was predestined, but that upon reflection, she ventures that Lindsey Buckingham feels the opposite.

You have NO idea how loud I screamed when I snagged this vinyl off Ebay years ago. Yeah, and they're nekkid.

At the start of the year 1975, Stevie and Lindsey (apart of the rock band Fritz) had already been cultivating a small, devoted following in San Francisco, CA. Their time with Fritz granted them once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to observe and learn from rock legends Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix, both for whom Fritz performed opening sets. When Fritz disbanded, Stevie and Lindsey became the duo “Buckingham Nicks” and recorded their one and only debut album by day, and worked as servers, house cleaners and carpenters by night. The album did not meet commercial success, and the duo was dropped from their record label. Meanwhile, British blues band Fleetwood Mac had just parted ways with yet another guitar player and as the now-legendary story entails, Mick Fleetwood, the group’s co-founder and drummer approached Lindsey and invited him into the band. However, in a serendipitous exchange, Lindsey refused to join without Stevie, saying, “We’re a packaged deal”. So the California hippie kids joined the British Blues Crew.

And so it began. Fleetwood Mac 1975

Ok, novels and ever-expanding Wikipedia entries can barely cover the expanse of this Majestic Gypsy’s forty years in the music industry, and I will not attempt to reiterate the glorious peaks and valleys of Ms Nicks’s life here today (but sit down with me in person and I’ll happily chatter on with you about my adoration for her). But I can try to highlight a few reasons why she, for me, is a true Rebel Queen.

Of course we cannot overlook Stevie’s distinctive, raspy-growly voice, her whimsical, journal-entry intimate lyrics, and her propensity for flowing, ethereal dresses. And it’s quite a testament to her artistic influence when she can count among her legions of fans some musical greats such as Billy Corgan, Tom Petty, Sheryl Crow, Courtney Love, Adam Levine, and Taylor Swift to name a few.

In days long preceding concepts like Stalkerazzi, Twitter and Celebrity Rehab, Stevie Nicks navigated the pitfalls and customary practices of a Rock-and-Roll lifestyle in an extremely human, relatable manner. There were the drugs–she had a ten-year cocaine dependency stemming from early days with Fleetwood Mac, and then in the late eighties through early nineties developed a harrowing addiction to prescription medications, namely Klonipin which she weaned from after a painful near-fifty day course of rehab. There were personal tragedies, including the death of childhood best friend Robin Snyder who succumbed to leukemia two days after giving birth to Stevie’s Godson Matthew; and there were the emotional and physical illnesses such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, depression, anxiety and weight fluctuation (which was relentlessly criticized by critics and “fans”). And then there was the love. Always the love.

“In ’75, ’76, we were beautiful, fast,  sexy, love was everywhere and we were moving from person to person. That’s it. Love was around every corner”

Of course there was/is her musical and personal soul mate Lindsey Buckingham, with whom she shares an “Edward and Bella-like” love, but there were many other lovers and inspirations famous and not-so-much (including her Fleetwood Mac band mate Mick Fleetwood, Eagles rockers Joe Walsh and Don Henley; music industry legend and current American Idol mentor Jimmy Iovine). Her relationships with these men informed and influenced her songwriting and musical creations engendering some of rock and pop music’s most famous songs…ever. We’re talking songs that have permeated our collective consciousness. For instance: Landslide has been remade or covered by everyone from The Smashing Pumpkins, Tori Amos, and The Dixie Chicks, to, recently, Gwyneth Paltrow on an episode of Glee). Last week alone was a Nicksapalooza with Glee dedicating an entire episode to Fleetwood Mac’s seminal and legendary album Rumours (which detailed the band’s scandalous divorces, break-ups and affairs with each other and as a group).  Also, my new favorite TV show The Voice featured competitors singing Stevie’s song Leather and Lace and in conclusion Maroon 5’s frontman and Voice Coach Adam Levine reverently declared, “Stevie Nicks is The Greatest.”

At 62 years old, the woman is showing no signs of stopping. In fact, she just released her newest solo album, her first in a decade to the highest reviews of her career. She admits to an obsession with The Twilight series and even wrote a couple of songs on this new album inspired by Our Reigning Queen Kristen’s portrayal of a broken Bella Swan in New Moon. Ok, seriously. How do you not LOVE that???

Stevie Nicks has your back, Bella!

Ms Nicks is about to embark on a tour to support the new album titled In Your Dreams, but also a world tour with Fleetwood Mac in 2012. Perhaps my admiration for Stevie Nicks stems from her grace in managing conflict and life while in the public eye. Perhaps it’s because Stevie struggles with body image, insecurities, relationship concerns, and anxiety, channeling angst into catharsis byway of songwriting and musical performance. Maybe it’s because the tambourine-shaking, leg-warmer-wearing, spinning, whirling songstress never compromises her beliefs or ambitions when all of society pressured her to.

Stevie’s new album sounds more like vintage Stevie than ever, recalling early Fleetwood Mac rocker sentiments while also preserving her poetic whimsy. Admirably, she rebuffed traditional gender-specific expectations when she was younger (she was a lady of rock in an arena of men) and later regarding marriage and motherhood in order to pursue “freedom in following [her] art.” I can relate on such a basic, visceral level to this decision, as I’ve shared with you all earlier today. Because Stevie twirls through very personal and genuine tribulations gracefully while wearing 4-inch platform-boots and diaphanous dresses that Couture designers have tried to emulate since 1975, she forever is a stunning Queen of Other.

Offenses of Otherness:

*Emphatically celebrates her feminine divinities: love and beauty

*Invites an intimate and realistic connection to her personal heartbreak and struggle

*Opted out of the gender role expectations of marriage and motherhood

Reigning Other Queen: Kristen Stewart

While we may not have seen Ms Rebel Queen herself in a while, we have been gifted with a few wonderful events that are pretty spectacular all the same. From the interview that keeps on giving, i.e. Uk Elle, we have some more “outtakes“…And good gracious, I do not envy the photo director who had to make the final cuts on these beauties…

The prestigious Cannes Film Festival is wrapping up this week and while this landmark annual event is designed as a showcase for new and developing films, it is a coveted  forum for filmmakers to exhibit and sell projects based on their artistic quality to distributors from all over the world. This year, a six minute trailer from one small but mighty film was shown to a Cannes audience of potential buyers.

According to attendees, after watching the diminutive six-minute trailer, buyers rose to their feet, passionately clapping. With the warm reception of the highly anticipated Francis Ford Coppola-produced project, On The Road has emerged as prevalent and desired today. Now. This adaptation from the book about restless souls seeking the elusive “It” to soothe post-war disillusionment has been anticipated for something like 30 years. Director Walter Salles and his outrageously gifted cast wrapped filming in the fall last year, and the news of positive reactions to the short film teaser gives us one more reason to hope that we will be seeing Sal, Dean, and Marylou on screen very soon. I cannot tell you how excited I am for this movie. If I did, it would sound something like this: $#!(*$*@#@&!@#!)&%//!!

nope. Not even close to getting old.

Hmmm, what else? Our Reigning Other Queen has had quite the week, as we’ve said. Even though we haven’t laid eyes on her since we saw her in New York, we have had plenty o’ reasons to rejoice. At another International Film Festival, Milan this time, another one of Kristen’s films, or more specifically, Kristen herself was the toast of the town. On May 11, we learned the news that Ms. Kristen Jaymes Stewart received the coveted honor of being named Best Actress at the Milan International Film Festival (MIFF) for her portrayal of the electric, vibrant, almost “feral” but vulnerable teenage stripper, Mallory in the effecting Welcome to the Rileys.

Congratulations, Kristen!! 

ICU dedicated actress with the bruised up legs and arms

One might observe that being called “THAT GIRL” as almost complimentary…? That Girl has been named Elle’s Woman of the Year…That Girl has a Young Hollywood Award, several MTV Movie Awards and a BAFTA. This same lady has the respect and love of legendary colleagues and filmakers. Ms. Stewart may very well be one girl who doesn’t really need introduction. She doesn’t need a label to garner praise and respect and prestigious awards. She does after all, make a living dressing up and portraying everybody else other than Kristen Stewart. But it’s still wonderful to watch as the authentic, grounded, intelligent, witty, kind, dedicated, compassionate, articulate and talented woman named  Kristen Jaymes Stewart continues to follow her genuine path, and embrace her royalty and Otherness.

Offenses of Otherness:

* Celebrates her feminine divinities: compassion and protectiveness.

*Unapologetic about displaying confidence, assertiveness and independence.

*Spurns the idea of downplaying her intelligence or genuine emotional response.

*  *  *

Stevie accepts all that she is. And is Other.

Kristen accepts all that she is. And is Other.

Others accept themselves and all that they are.

Embrace your Other. 

*  *  *

Notes: 

Wellllll. This one was long and it was all over the place, I realize. There were a lot of Royal Rebel events that occurred, on the sly, as well as over the course of the WFE promo tour….And in tying it up here, I struggled to organize and address all the goodies as well as the Otherness stuff.

Thanks for hanging with me, everyone. It’s been a crazy few weeks and now it’s gone outer limits with this new Adventure I’m heading on in a matter of days.

I don’t know exactly where I am going to be stationed on this assignment. I don’t know exactly how long I’ll be there. I don’t know where I’m sleeping. I don’t know if there’s a consistent stream of electricity and I doubt there will be steady internet connection. I don’t have a good set of work boots since I gave my Doc Martens away last year. But I will communicate as often as I can with my girls on Team Other, and maybe through Twitter if I can get a signal. I’m  @MusingsOnOther . . .

I DO know that this has always been my life’s hope–to combine humanitarian work in the fields. Its why I became a therapist in the first place. I am ecstatic and nervous and proud and scared all at once. I totally told @DeeDreamer16, @Kate_Suena, @KStewsbtrthanU and my CyberSisters today that I “want to vom right. NAO.”

Oh. And I also know that I kinda love you all. Madly.

The pristinely talented and lovely author @PrimaryColors1 (Firefly in Summer) is already out there on site in Alabama donating, transporting supplies, giving water to workers and folks in shelters on a daily basis. Consider donating time or money to assist the victims of the Tornados and Floods. Every little bit helps, especially to folks who have lost everything.

Talk to you laters, Lovelies. Until then, be well and be kind to one another. We’re really all Other together.  Yours, xo, KJ 

More:

This Essay’s Playlist

Trampled Rose ~Robert Plant & Alison Krauss

I Shall Believe ~Sheryl Crow

Starlight ~Muse

Gold Dust Woman ~Stevie Nicks

Winter Winds ~ Mumford & Sons

The More I See, The More To Know

5 May

He who knows best knows how little he knows ~ Thomas Jefferson

Greetings, Lovelies! My hope is that this new essay finds you and your families healthy and flourishing. A lot of  time does not need to pass before something wonderfully Other and so luxuriously Royal occurs, cueing my mind to spin out of control with ruminations and reactions and the overwhelming urge to analyze and then appreciate…and then celebrate. The past two weeks away from Musing with you lovelies have been so jam-packed with these glorious Other Moments that I realized first with sadness–and then with glee–that I simply cannot address them all. Not in one sitting at least. *smirks* There have been equal parts Reigning Royal Awesomeness  paired with reeling introspection personally, that this I’ve decided to switch up the structure of MOO. I’ll get back to that, though. Let’s do this, let’s jump in and review some of the spectacular moments that have surfaced since we last convened. ANNNNNND GO.

Oh. ummm. #$*!@#$!^)% What was I saying?

*recovers, sits up from position on the floor* Ok, lemme work up to the gloriousness that was The Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala (aka The Met Gala, aka The Oscars of Fashion) in NYC. It’s been a busy, exciting, near-overwhelming slew of goodness this week for our Other Queen,  so let’s back that thing up.

Princes, Previews and (a) Bear, Oh MY!

Just yesterday, while we still await cautiously for  the introduction of the actor who will take on the titular role of The Huntsman in Kristen’s next film project, Snow White and the Huntsman, we met the fetching British bloke who will portray Snow’s Prince Charmant. Say hello to Sam Claflin, everybody! 

While I’m still stinging at the loss of Viggo Mortensen in the role as The Huntsman (who, due to filming conflicts, dropped out of the project), and swatting away the teasing possibility of Hugh Jackman  (who also passed on the role, which was offered to him when Mortensen vacated), the announcement of Sam Claflin landing the part of The Prince provided a little soothing. Twenty-four year old Claflin is from Suffolk, England and is building an impressive resume with TV performances (The Pillars of The Earth) and with upcoming lead roles in the newest Pirates of the Carribean film and The Seventh Son opposite acting royalty Jeff Bridges and Julianne Moore. Looking forward to seeing Sam begin work with our Reinging Queen Kristen, who, of course, is the fairest of them all in the role as Snow White, this retelling of a tale from the Brothers Grimm.

Another week, another Entertainment Weekly cover to hunt down. But I got smart and returned to the same bookstore that sold the previous hard-to-access EW covers. No more driving all over town for ME! We saw our Majestic Misfit Ms Stewart leave Vancouver after wrapping the principal shooting of Breaking Dawn, though we weren’t entirely sure when or where we would set sights on our lovely Rebel again. We know that Kristen’s Partner-in-Crime-as-well-as-Life, Robert, has been on an exhaustive world promotional tour for his beautiful and whimsical film Water For Elephants (Did you see it yet? Have we talked about our impressions yet? No? Ok, SOON.), but we weren’t sure where our stealthy girl would be–which is ideal. #StealthyNinjasNeedRefugeToo. Enter EW.

EW explored with Kristen, Robert, and Taylor their sentiments about wrapping the final movies of the Twilight Saga, and while nothing earth-shattering was revealed with this interview (thanks to the massive leak of unedited film images and footage, the speed and prevalence of Twitter, and Rob’s numerous on-camera appeals to the Twi fandom to cease the hacking and spreading of said images), still, some illuminating recollections emerged from and about our Reigning Rebel Queen Kristen.

  • She was angry and “gutted” by the Breaking Dawn leaks.
  • *spoilers* She was affected emotionally while filming the wedding scene as well as the brutal childbirth scene.
  • Director Bill Condon is not immune to Kristen’s overall awesomeness nor her royalty, deeming her “hugely talented” and most likely able to “mold a career around who she is” and not the other way around.
  • Kristen is extremely satisfied with the wrap up of the story telling and filming process of Breaking Dawn, sounding downright giddy. “We ended on such a high note…” reaching a “state of exuberance”.

"exuberance" has never been more stunning, Your Highness

Oh, I can’t help it. Whenever there’s a pause I am absolutely compelled to paste an image of #MetGalaStew because in my opinion, Kristen embodied everything that is unique and edgy and unconventional and sexy and confident and simply regal. 

Having said that, there is one more event I wanted to acknowledge before we delve into the wonders of the Met Gala. Again, there were so many Royal goodies these days, but yesterday was simply a banner day for our Queen and her royal court. We not only met Kristen’s newest SWATH co-star in Sam Claflin, but we met a particularly special addition to Ms. Stewart’s family, the decidedly, Other Rebel: Bear.

Bear sees YOU.

This adorable adoptee, a German Shepherd-Pit-mutt-mix whom Robert and Kristen saved from euthanasia in a Baton Rouge shelter, has been a favorite subject of several of Rob’s interviews while on the road promoting Water For Elephants. In interviews Rob has made several references to “we” in the ownership and rearing of the rescued pup; and, yesterday, a whole new level of frenzy ignited when pictures of our girl Kristen walking with Bear in New York City surfaced. I will talk more about the soulful-eyed Bear a little later, as I delve into the discussion topic of this essay. But I have never seen such an explosion of opinions and reactions to a gangly, four-legged companion like this in my life. And I’ve seen some cray-cray, lemme tell you. Kudos to young Bear-san for a spectacular debut!

A Savage Beauty

But let’s cut the bull and celebrate another spectacular debut, shall we?

The Lady in Red with her dashing dates Jack and Lazaro- Proenza Schouler's designers.

Well, ok, so I’m not a fashionista, let’s just qualify that right now. But I understand that Monday night’s Met Gala was a night celebrating late designer Alexander McQueen byway of a theme of Savage Beauty, and our Reinging Queen arrives on the carpet in a ruby red floor-length gown designed by the aesthetically pleasing designers themselves as her dates, so stick a fork in me: I’m DONE. I was absolutely mesmerized.

I am not well-versed in the language of Couture, but I can appreciate silhouettes, and colors and fabric and texture. I can go out of mind with lust over edgy lines, and boldness in hues. I can ascertain the theme Savage Beauty as Queen Kristen interpreted it: fierce, delicate, powerful, sensual and strong. I kinda understand  how maybe the heaviness and texture of Kristen’s Proenza Schouler gown lent a draping quality. And I can absolutely understand and admire the beauty and aesthetics of …the back. 

Holeeey Hell. *gulp*

I can applaud Ms Stewart, a typically reserved woman who has admitted to feeling great discomfort at red carpet events, for buckling up calf-high Proenza Schouler heels on “Fashion’s Oscar Night” and gracefully posing for the bazillions of flashbulbs …before trekking up those stairs. Knowing those few things might just be enough.

Savage defined: fierce, wild, untamable, cutting and ruinous. Yes. She certainly destroyed it that night. I thought she looked, well, unapologetically, exquisitely, magnificently… Royal. 

All I Know, I Learned From. . .  

So. I opened this essay by mentioning that I would be changing up the flow of Musings to accommodate the swell of Moments of Otherness that have transpired lately. See, it’s usually here at this point in the post where I would introduce the Featured Royal Rebel for the week. I know I said we’d discuss a new Rebel today, but I’m deferring the discussion til next posting so that I can try this new format. I’d like to send special acknowledgement and long-hugs to a friend of mine, author Miss Betty Smith, whose own blogging style inspires and informs the new MOO Format with which I hope to play and muse. Whaaaa? There could be some form of organization to my ramblings?

Even MessengerStew is a bit skeptical.

Here’s the deal: I’ve been apart of the Twilight/Kristen/Robert fandom in some incarnation or another since late Spring of 2008 which means, good Goddess, I’m hitting a 3-year anniversary!! I’ve been writing MOO, defending Kristen and fellow Others for almost ten months (y’all are gonna celebrate the year anniversary with me in June, yeah?).  I have been a practicing mental health specialist, psychotherapist and social worker for over ten years. One of the deciding factors behind my pushing the PUBLISH button on the very first Musings last year was the excitement of possibly ceasing an opportunity to incorporate my skills and knowledge of sociology and psychology into better understanding why this fascination and passion in defending an actress called Kristen Stewart came to be. When I began tossing around the idea of Musings ten months ago, I remember saying aloud, “What is the draw? Why so fascinated with the fascination?” Well, besides the obvious.

Post-Met Gala, perhaps my fave?

Okay, why now? Why am I outlining a specifically-focused MOO? In addition to having a few charged, tense, personal encounters with friends-cohorts in this fandom, these past few weeks have additionally proven to be the most frenetic, passionate, eye-opening, jaw-dropping, temper-eliciting couple of weeks in this community that I’ve ever witnessed in the three years I’ve been here. And beyond the initial shock of seeing people go rogue, I realized I wanted to stay and keep representing the fight for fellow Misfits.

In one event, I found myself disappointed  by friends’ actions and by the quick judgments they issued that were very un-Otherly. But I realized it was my own disappointment to work through, not anyone else’s (other than what they take responsibility for) and an indicator of grace and poise is in conflict resolution. I reached out in all three occasions to open the lines of communication. Of the three different encounters of disagreement, I handled one instance very well, another one tolerably well, though quietly, and the third, well, not great.

And in other surprisingly controversial news, ummmmm: Bear (?)

I dunno bout you, but I derive so many fantastic, positive things from this picture. Rob is out of town, across the pond promoting WFE, so it makes sense that Kristen, a known dog lover and cat owner, is caretaker for their shared pet. Kristen is in  New York, which means she brought this puppy with her while she attended The Met Gala so that he wouldn’t be left behind with strangers or placed in a kennel. That dog travels better than I do, that’s for sure. Also, these pictures clarify (at least to me) who the “we” Rob refers to in interviews when asked about Bear’s guardians, and it further encourages the kind-hearted act of adopting animals from shelters. But apparently, that is not a shared sentiment.

Comments have trickled into my Twittah timeline or email box (people send them to me so I can laugh)  accusing Kristen of “animal abuse”, clearly since she attempted to force an animal against its will to “like her”, like ‘Snow White’, by “dragging” poor Bear along behind her on the cold, wet streets of New York. Other folks have dismissed Kristen walking Bear as her attempts to “copy everything Robert does”, adopting her own dog only because he adopted one. Because they couldn’t possibly share the animal, this could not be Rob AND Kristen’s dog. Then there’s the ridiculous theory that she’s using the dog to gain supporters for her career. Come again? I can’t even address that charge without snorting with laughter. But I do wonder–how does it make sense that to win the heart of your beloved you trash and insult his beloveds?

Does this scene look familiar?

hmm. I see that you're incredibly dedicated to proving your point...Your cynicism isn't at ALL alarming.

I’m only spending energy on highlighting some of these preposterous claims to illustrate the climate amongst The Bullshit People and Nonsensicals.

Leads me to think—->POTENTIAL DISCUSSION TOPIC #3: Haters Gonna Hate? 

For every new MOO post, we will still review and celebrate our Reigning Other Queen’s successes and endeavors as she barrels forward on her path, and we will discuss and highlight an Ambassador of Other/Royal Rebel, but we (“we” meaning, you, me, and occasional guest writers) will also survey some of the concepts and topics that have arisen simply because we are apart of this very interesting, and undeniably passionate collective.

Miss Betty Smith writes a feature called Ten Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Started Writing Fic  on her blog and it’s the format I’m fashioning the following new MOOs on. Check out Betty’s blog, it’s brilliant and insightful and alarmingly revealing. Also, if you read FF, read Betty’s stories including my favorite Full Disclosure.

I’m going to write something along the lines of: Case studies at work have NOTHING on the workings of folks HERE.  The interesting is not at the clinics I’ve worked in, they’re HERE. At this point, I don’t have a title for my new feature…I’ve tossed around ludicrous ideas of course:

  • Ms Therapist Finally Learns The Meaning of Cray-Cray
  • All That I Know, I Learned As A Fangirl
  • What The SpiderMonkey Saw

Let me know if something strikes your fancy, or if you think of a suggestion to pass along…And the discussion topics may range from a variety of observations I’ve had over my tenure in this passionate community…including, but not limited to:

:::The love we have for L.O.V.E.

:::Searching for perfection– (aka, are you projecting unrealistic, Vampiric expectations onto some poor unsuspecting mortal?)

:::Coping mechanisms for stress– (some eat a lot, some blame a lot, some pick fights a lot)

I may know of a diagnosis if this is the case for you ...or..

:::Extremes in this fandom–NOT. THAT. DIFFERENT. The “Haters” do not behave ALL THAT MUCH DIFFERENTLY than the “Supporters”.

:::Anonymous Cruelty–aka it’s okay to be an asshole as long as you moniker up.

:::The WOMAN’S Wrath–Ladies, when did you become so harsh?

:::The pursuit and struggle for power– (are YOU a Top”Insider”?)

:::Are we highly supportive, or actually scary-fanatic?– (How many hrs a day do you dedicate to involvement in your interest in Kristen, Rob and/or Twi?)

:::Double standards and hypocrisy–guess what? We don’t practice what we preach.

:::Brilliant and Creative Expression– (ahem, do you photoshop yourself into pictures with Rob and pass them off as real? Just wonderin’.)

Though there are some colorful challenges in this community, I will always try to express my deep gratitude and humility for being apart of it as well. The people I’ve met and encountered through this fandom possess the unbelievable capacity to love, and a fierce loyalty, and they (you) remind me how brave and courageous and soulful humans can be. And how freakishly funny and witty we can be too.

It has dawned on me how IN this I am. How personally invested I’ve become in this fandom and how, because I’ve continued to attempt in merging the fragments comprise my daily living, it isn’t an option to separate my Musings and 3D life anymore. …And how I’ve witnessed this become truth for many of you, my cohorts, fellow Others, as well. I did not see that coming. It isn’t a bad or a good thing, it is what it is. I should reiterate that there are no regrets, I am incredibly humbled and grateful if anything. Because my life is extremely colorful and challenging and exciting and filled with laughter and some very good friends whom I hope to have for a lifetime.

I check in with my Cyber Sisters as well as some of you folks every single day whether on Twittter or via email. I don’t talk to my own mother as much as I speak with you guys. We know about some of the heartaches and successes in each others’ lives. You all have hung with me while I navigate this new world of unemployment-turned-business-ownership and Bliss-Pursuit. And you cheer my husband and I on as we claw through the hoops dangled in front of us by Immigration.

Which reminds me: Psssssst!! N got his green card!!! !!!

See? I knew you'd celebrate with us. I feel your joy all the way here in Cali.

So, I guess what I’m trying to say, in my usual rambling, roundabout way…We’s haz lots to talk about. We always do. And it’s personal.  We have so many opportunities to gain knowledge from our Royal Rebels and our Reigning Queen, but also from each other. We still have boundaries to push and passions to defend and Otherness to embrace. But there are new lessons to be learned in every interaction. I seriously have enough potential discussion topics to run MOO another several months without needing to search. . .  Just with the “FANS'” behaviors alone!!

Some pretty profound events on a global level occurred this week as well: hello #ChangingRelationsWithTheMiddleEast; Hi, #RoyalWedding; oh hello #ExtinctionOfOBL; Top o’ the Morning to you #OperationEndIslamicVilification… and it was incredibly charged and emotional and stunning to experience these events with you all. So as things continue to shift, and ebb and flow and construct and destruct, let’s roll through it together, mmmkay?

Next time? We’ll discuss a few things: R & R for Kristen and hopefully Rob; Coping Mechanisms and A Woman’s Wrath (seriously, I knew women could be harsh, but this is bananas)…plus we’ll chat about The Gypsy Spinning Queen herself, Stevie Nicks. Until then, my Majestic Misfits, be well, be kind to one another. See you soon. xo, KJ

We are Other.

Kristen is Other.

Others know that there is always more to know.

Embrace your Other.

* * *

Question: Have you found that you’re in deeper than you realized? When did you know?

A/N: Sorry it’s so late in posting tonight. Had a hard time summarizing. You know me. I am rarely succinct.

I’ve updated the Sentence Completion of About KJ

Playlist for this week:

Rescue Song (RAC Remix)~Mr. Little Jeans

Flightless Bird~ Iron & Wine

Kites~Geographer

Crystal~Fleetwood Mac

Gratitude and strength to my usual suspects: Cyber Sisters & Readers, Puss, Monkey

Infinite love and lunch date dreams for @MissBetty Smith

Super hugs and gropes to: Bouffant and Beanai

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

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

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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