Confess your hidden faults. Approach what you find repulsive. Anything you are attached to, let it go. Go to the places that scare you ~~advice from her teacher to Tibetan Yogini Machik Labdron.
Hello my dearest of Dearhearts. I AM BACK! It’s been two weeks since we’ve talked last, and I have missssssed you! For the first time in Musings history, I did not post a weekly essay last Thursday. Not posting caused me some anxiety, to be honest. Thank you to Emma and Sbella of @TeamKristenSite for checking in on me when I was radio silent last week, and to my Manager Kathryn, my Welsh Muse, for helping me ground after I floated away for a moment. I am currently poised to hop on yet another plane tonight, for a trip down south to attend the second half of a psych training, but I would really love to tell you all about these amazing, Ah-MAY-Zing couple of weeks since we’ve last visited…may I? There were inspiring psych seminars, multiple Rileys viewings, bonfires, birthdays, copious amounts of alcohol and yummy food, and reminders of Kristen’s Royalty EVERRAH WHERE. . . So of course we’ll talk about the gloriousness that is Rio de Jan-you-believe-how-freaking-hot-ohhh?
Let’s get to it, friends, because we have some serious chemical events to address this week! So much that I am dividing this post into two parts. Part One is today, and Part Two will be next Monday. In Review: we last convened in the days before Halloween, a.k.a. illuminate-the-repressed-side-of-you-Day, a.k.a. Day of Other. How was that for you all? Let me tell you, since my last Musings, I have had the most incredible birthday that I can ever recall. Truly. I have been nonstop bodyrock for over two weeks now, and I’m on the verge of collapse, but it’s been incredible.
Firstly thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for your kind comments, tweets, texts and emails filled with birthday wishes and warm thoughts. I received ALL OF THEM (looking at you, Mullet, @Nhess_V and @horny4Kristen of IMDb for making a special Birthday Thread, and YOU, @kstewsbtrthanu and @buff_82 for my beautiful KStew Bday Card and special shout out in KStew Is Better Than You’s Halloween post). I felt like I was wrapped in a big fandom Snuggie, in a good way, not in the so-heinous-it’s-brilliant-infomercial way. So it began like this: two Thursdays ago, I flew down to my hometown and was picked up by my childhood friend/ next-door neighbor who was kind enough to take a break from fashioning her halloween costume of one of the singing California Raisins of the I Heard It Through the Grapevine TV spots that were always a little creepy, but my god, charismatic!
Ok, so remember how I’ve spoken of Plan A versus Plan B with you? This means merging all your facets, introducing your cyberworld with your 3-D world, wearing your Chucks with your Tiaras/Crowns? My birthday celebration and the last two weeks were filled with magical moments of synchronicity and encouragement to plow through the anxiety and fear of combining my two plans. I am accustomed to going home and being the brunt of snark and judgment from family members and old acquaintances who don’t understand my unconventional plans for my future or the atypical decisions I’ve made for my career and personal life. And well, I encountered ALL of those things when I went there this week. But, I also encountered great, great moments of clarity and joy that encouraged me to go forth and continue to pursue the merging of Real Life versus Undercovah Creative Other Life. These facets can exist together. I don’t have to exhaust myself trying to play “Good” Psychology Student, Responsible Daughter and Business owner at the expense of the parts of me that are Other-Queen-in-Training, Kristen-and-Rob-supporting, klutzy, though always dancing, singing, sometimes-loopy creative girl who likes to write.
A sampling of my First Week of Otherness: Friday morning, I walked into the seminar after taking a year off from psychology, ready and primed for inspiration. I got it. I was inspired, motivated, confirmed and encouraged for doing the right thing in starting my Magical Little Practice and going independent as a small business owner in lieu of working for Bastard Nation in the Sea of Hopelessness out there. A quote was flashed on the presentation screen to serve as segueway into a discussion about guidance, inspiration and technique for teaching:
“People seldom improve when they have no other model, but themselves” ~Oliver Goldsmith
Isn’t that what it’s all about? Instead of looking for structure and pre-designed technique to make change and be ok in the world, we are to look to ourselves to be the role models, the guide. Ourselves. Sure, we can grab suggestions or inspirations from folks we admire and people who inspire us (hellloooo, KRISTEN STEWART), but the improvements aren’t made unless we make the conscious effort within ourselves, and when we acknowledge that it STARTS. WITH.US. But this quote also indicates that we can’t do it alone. So collaboration and remaining open to external input is extremely correlative with success. But we have to make the conscious efforts to make change, to grow. I already know what to do . I’ve been trained. I have been given the tools to use. Now I must apply them in my daily life to create momentum for change and to actively pursue happiness.
Ok, so let’s use this moment to talk about Welcome to the Rileys. Since last chatting with you all, I have seen that powerful little movie THREE TIMES. The lovely Iris (@Just2CUSmile) and Kim (@Kimmcarr) were my hot dates for my first viewing of WTTR, of course, and like good Kristen fans, they were on viewings 2 or 3 already…
You’ll notice the title of this essay perhaps, and think it’s a bit odd. It really was meant to be the overall theme in this long, two-part post, about how we let fear hold us back from pursuing our bliss, and consequently miss out on opportunities handed to us.
In Welcome to the Rileys, we meet Doug and Lois Riley, or rather, people who look like Doug and Lois Riley but are really just empty vessels moving through their daily activities, aimless, hopeless, anguished and grieving. They have shut down. The scariest place they can go in that moment, is back up, to break the surface. In Lois’s case, the scariest thing she could do is walk out onto her front porch, leaving the shelter (prison?) of the walls behind her.
In 3D world, behind the scenes of this film process, our Other Queen, Ms. Kristen, was on set by herself for the first time in her professional career. She was 18 years old and about to take on a role as a stripper/prostitute in New Orleans, Louisiana, post-Hurricane Katrina. Kristen did have moments of anxiety in the beginning of filming, as she reports in interviews. But as she immersed herself in Mallory’s skin she found she was able to access some deep, dark, “feral” place within herself to possess the strength to express to portray such a raw, passionate, fierce woman. This woman in the film helps Doug and Lois Riley realize they have been holding back living due to their own fears…This woman recognizes that she is a survivor and resilient in and of herself. And Kristen? Well our girl Kristen is receiving the highest critical acclaim of her career for going to the place that scares her to conjure up Mallory…
There are more examples, many more, of how challenging the things we fear most can be the catalyst for breaking through a new level of functioning and awareness. I have just begun to detail some of the moments I’ve encountered just in the past ten days. We’ll revisit them for Part 2…But I wanted to throw in a few visuals that express the awe and the AHHHHH of the past few days too. Because really? How freaking incredible has Kristen and Rob’s time in Rio been? SERIO.
FEATURED REBEL ROYAL: ZOOEY DESCHANEL
The lovely Zooey “Zo” Deschanel is an actress, singer and model, recognizable for her deadpan, sarcastic roles in films, and most recently as the “She” in the indie duo She & Him with producer, songwriter/guitarist M. Ward. Zooey was born into a family quite familiar with show business. Her father Caleb is an Oscar-nominated cinematographer (Passion of the Christ) and her mother Mary Jo is an actress (Twin Peaks). Zooey’s older sister Emily is also a well-known actress, most notably for her work in TV’s Bones. I knew Zooey from her role as Anita in the lovely Cameron Crowe film Almost Famous in which she played the older, rebellious sister hell-bent on following her heart’s desires in the 1970’s. Her film debut was in the comedy Mumford, but it was her performances in The Good Girl in 2002 ; plus, All The Real Girls and Elf opposite Will Ferrel and James Caan in 2003 that solidified Zooey’s presence in the film industry. The LA Times called Zooey a recognizable and desirable actress due to her “deadpan, sardonic and scene-stealing performances”. She often is cast as the “Best Friend” in roles, about which Zooey commented:
“I don’t even have that many friends. In high school, I stayed home all the time. How is it that I’m everybody’s friend now?”
Ms Deschanel received critical acclaim and an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Female Lead in 2003 for her work in All The Real Girls, all while pursuing creative expression as a musician. She is featured today as a Royal Rebel as she is successfully balancing her love of creating music with her rising profile as a respected actress, walking the fine line between independent artistry and blockbuster fame, much like our Other Queen Kristen. In 2009, Zooey married Ben Gibbard, frontman of the band Death Cab For Cutie in what indie music writers called, “a match made in Indie Heaven” and she starred in one of my very favorite movies, 500 Days of Summer with her 3D friend and recent Featured Rebel Royal Joseph Gordon-Levitt .
As a child, Zooey traveled a lot, as her parents were working in locations all over the world. While she is a Los Angeles native, Zooey reports growing up in exotic locales such as Canada, Yugoslavia, England and South Africa, though her sadness at constantly saying goodbye to her friends made for a lonely childhood. Zooey told L.A. Times in an interview at Coachella this summer: “I think California is our nation’s greatest state. It’s multi-faceted…it can have a melancholy about it.” After the exotic travels of her early childhood, Zooey eventually settled into a private high school in Los Angeles where she became friends with future costars Jake Gyllenhaal and Kate Hudson, and she had planned to pursue a career in musical theater. After just under a year of study at Northwestern University, Zooey left university to pursue acting full time.
Perhaps she was destined for Other Royalty, having been named after the male character of Zooey in Salinger’s Franny and Zooey; also, with her nomadic childhood, and her reports of feeling always on the fringe of circles. Zooey credits her ability to sing as a big reason she received the role as Jovie in Elf. She sings with a Cabaret group called If All The stars Were Pretty Babies in addition to her cameos in comedy groups and her singing/songwriting/performing with She & Him. A self-proclaimed homebody and old-fashioned girl, Zooey exercises awareness and sidesteps the scandals and drama associated with other young Hollywood artists. She is interested in finding film projects similar to “Rushmore and Being John Malkovich” where young directors are “doing different things in cinema. That’s what I’m passionate about”. She acknowledges that growing up in a show business family requires that she has to fight even harder for work and respect in the field, and that she is not in the film and music industry “to be famous” and that her job is not to be “the beautiful”. Smoothly and gracefully navigating the line between artistic integrity and Hollywood It-Status, Ms Zooey is a sublimely lovely embodiment of Other Royalty.
*Is uninterested in fame or notoriety
*Successfully balances several facets of creative living, as well as indie projects and blockbuster work
“Always the aim for me is making people feel like they are not alone.”
*** *** *** ***
ZOOEY IS OTHER.
KRISTEN IS OTHER.
OTHERS GO TO PLACES THAT SCARE THEM.
EMBRACE YOUR OTHER.
A/N: This is where I’ll end Part 1 of this essay. I have yet to pack for my flight and if I keep writing, I’ll miss it. That wouldn’t be such a hot idea. I know I haven’t even brushed the surface of the epicness that was Breaking Dawn Day One, which coincides with the night we refer to as THE BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION with my KSIBTU Girls. We’re talking booze, The Real Housewives of Orange County, Bonfires, CC lighting herself ON fire, Van Morrison, and the introduction of Bella Cullen to the world, Rio style.
Here’s something to gawk at til I see you in a few days…
I shouldn’t have put this gif up so early. It’s like having dessert before dinner. I can’t even write beyond this, because when I do, it causes the page to scroll down and I can’t stare anymore. It’s mesmerizing. Much like Kristen’s famously robust butt, from which Rob seemingly cannot (and quite understandably) keep his hands away. Let’s look again at this (right, like you haven’t been staring, open-mouthed this entire time, probably having watched the loop about 47 times by now).
Rob, er, Edward bends Kristen Bella backwards under the passion of his kiss, while his hands drift first from her face and neck, bypassing her waist and going straight for the motherlode….*fans self* phew! Um, it’s a good thing I’m ending this post right here.
SEE YOU ON MONDAY for More Musings, my Lovelies! xo, KJ