Monday, November 03, 2014

So we're judging 7 year olds now.

I read the Lena Dunham stuff.

Her sister stuffing pebbles in her lady parts certainly made me think, ouch, what?  Because at that age I certainly never poked around there and the middle hole was absolutely not open for business.  In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if the thing was sealed shut.  Inserting a tampon was dang near impossible at 13 (which I've heard is common) so I have no idea how anyone would shove pebbles in there as a little girl.  However, I'm not going to judge her for doing so.  And I'm not going to judge Lena for any of her weird curiosity and interest in her sister's sexuality either.

Why?

Because children are weird little perverts by design.  We don't really know anything about sex.  And we are curious about it.  

We may be taught not be mean, not to be violent, but messages about sex are confusing.

When I was little, there was a neighbor boy who stole porno mags from the dumpster behind the convenience store.  We might have been about 8 years old, I have no idea.  He used to show the magazines to me and other kids, and on 2 occasions we went outside and he asked me to pose like the girls in the magazines, which I did in my underwear, and on another occasion we decided to "have sex."

So me and the boy went in my closet, got naked, and stood next to each other in silence.  That was all we could figure out.

Then my mom found us and we were in trouble and it was incredibly embarrassing.

In 4th grade I found some VHS nudie movies and watched them and shared them with my friends.  And then I started drawing explicit images of people having sex  - imitating a lot of the hyper sexualized images that exist everywhere.  I actually remember emulating a ridiculously sexual looking woman in a comic book, as they are drawn that way.  My teacher found them and had a "talk with my parents" about it.  Thanks teach.

And when I was younger, no idea what age, I remember making Barbie and Ken engage in some hot and heavy activity and my sister calling me out on it.

You remember those moments vividly because embarrassment lasts.  It's tied in with confusion and fear, but also learning, and discovery.

Yep, Lena Dunham's story with her sister sounds pretty weird, but sex is weird, and so is being a kid.

Shut your crazy little mouth if you want to judge the sexual weirdness of a 7 year old.

I actually don't think you should judge children at all.

Discipline them, teach them sure - but judge?
Get your noses out of the celeb gossip and start remembering that being a human is complicated.
You friggin trolls, the whole lot of you!



UPDATE:

I've been rethinking my feelings about this, since it was ADULT Lena that chose to write about her sister's sexuality in this way, and unless the sister consented to that, something does feel wrong about it.  I would hope that she did and that she hasn't scarred her.  Uffff.  

Why Lena why would you share that?  What do you like about these memories?

The Unexpected Fitness Enthusiast Tells You How to Fitness

I was last picked in gym class and when I joined New York Sports Club in 2004, I quit 1 month later telling the sales guy "Sorry, it's boring and I just don't hate my body that much."

I didn't get it.  And I didn't enjoy exercise either.

Now at 33 I F'ING LOVE WORKING OUT SO MUCH.  It started at 31 when I tried Cardio Barre in LA for the first time, which is amazing - fun, total body workout, made my body feel feminine and move gracefully.  I searched for Cardio Barre or similar workouts in NYC and that's when I started trying new things I thought I'd never try.  

AND THEN CLASSPASS came into my life and changed everything!  Classpass is an affordable monthly membership where I try all kinds of fancy workout classes, so I mix up my workout and have tried just about every exercise class in NYC.  It's not often that one company's service changes my life like this one has.  This isn't a paid advertisement.  It's a raving review.




Here are my favorite classes:

BARRE

Barre uses Ballet movements plus pilates and general strength training/aerobics.  Some classes focus more on strengthening movements with less ballet, some have more ballet and more cardio (that's my preference).

1. Xtend Barre - Brooklyn Heights.  I LOVE XTEND BARRE.  It's the closest thing to Cardio Barre I've found.  A beautiful studio with friendly staff, plus they provide towels.  There's cardio plus a lot of wonderful ballet movements.

2. Ballet Bungee - Chaise Fitness (Flatiron and UES) - negatives are that it's always booked and it's 45 mins vs an hour.  But I love the ballet movements and cardio in the workout, plus instead of a barre they use bungee hoops which incorporates balance in the workout.  They have a water fountain and towels.  No showers.

3. These are all tied for 3rd place: Fly Barre, Core Fusion Barre at Exhale, Barre at Chelsea Mind Body Studio, Local Barre - Hoboken; all 4 are great places but I wish they had more classical ballet movements and more cardio

Fly Barre - Flatiron and Lincoln Center: free water, towels, and showers, Fun music, great classes, great all over workout, high quality class and studio, some cardio in there; negative is assigned mats, they have a great dancy cardio w weights section with simple, easy to learn moves, I like that you can go barefoot and dont need the grippy socks

Core Fusion Barre - Exhale (many locations): some locations of Exhale have fancy facilities with a spa, some locations have more space than others too.  High quality classes and instruction, I love Core Fusion Sweat Barre which has more cardio

Barre at Chelsea Mind Body Studio - nice space, water, towels provided, no shower, large space, Total Barre and Sweat Barre are both great choices, solid teachers, always a good class, variety in instruction based on the teacher

Local Barre - Hoboken - beautiful space, love their ball shaped hand weights, overall great classes, whenever I'm in NJ I try to take a class here, they have towels and water, no shower

4. Pure Barre, Physique 57, Zalla Pilates - These are all perfectly good workouts, just based on my personal preferences they aren't ranked higher.  These classes focus more on strengthening movements and have less cardio and classical ballet.  Each class is different.  I really wish Pure Barre had a water fountain and provided towels.  Physique 57 has a fancy space and uppity vibe.  Zalla Pilates is small and personal with a great Greenpoint location, but I visit them less since they aren't part of Classpass.

I go to Pure Barre a lot because they have a great schedule with many classes and a convenient location for me in Williamsburg (they are all over).  It is a solid workout and I like the teachers so I feel bad ranking it lower - but here's what they'd need to get more love: water fountain, towels, and more cardio and classic ballet movements.

-- KM Barre - Fit + Flow Yoga - Williamsburg - I like the teachers there but I don't love the method. It goes against what a lot of other classes teach as far as tucking and posture and movement, and I feel I spend so much time on form, and I spend a lot of time confused.  Maybe their movements are better than other methods but I just can't tell.  This workout might be the perfect fit for someone else's preferences.  It's a convenient Williamsburg location with nice lighting.

STRENGTH TRAINING




There are many classes with different names that are 1 hour long, where your instructor guides you through a sequence of moves that strengthen each area of your body with weights or using your own body or bands, plus some cardio and tabata style movies.  I've learned to LOVE these classes, they are real, serious, total body workouts.  The key is finding a cool instructor who's fun and plays good music.

1. Geneva Simms - Cardio Circuit at Sync Studio Williamsburg, or a variety of classes at The Living Room Brooklyn; Geneva was my favorite right away, she plays great music and her energy is awesome.  I trust her exercises and enjoy how she changes it up.  She challenges me and also is understanding and flexible if something doesn't feel right so you can feel comfortable even if you aren't good at something ... yet.  You'll get there and have fun doing it.

2. Ania W - Body Sculpt - Awakening NY in Greenpoint - Ania is such a badass.  Greenpoint is a traditionally Polish neighborhood and many of Awakening's instructors are Polish like Ania, which makes her seem tougher in a good way.  She's also the fittest looking instructor I've ever had and her class is one of the hardest classes I've taken.  She pushes you to try heavier weights and do intense moves like burpees, but she's understanding if you can't do certain things so don't be intimidated.  It's always rewarding when I know I can keep up with her class.  She likes rock n roll and you'll catch some Metallica or similar in her music mix.

3. Shayla McGrady - P90X - Breakin Boundaries Greenpoint (recently moved to a new location!  will update with more info)
Shayla reminds me of Michelle Obama and she's gotten the comparison many times.  It's not just her looks though, there's something very calm about her which I like when she instructs.  She carefully calculates each movement and the timing, and there's enough variety in both the exercises and music that keeps me coming back.  Great total body workout.

4. Erica Robertello - The Living Room Brooklyn - really smart and fun, all of her classes are highly recommended and I trust her knowledge and expertise
Mindy - Breakin Down - Breakin Boundaries Greenpoint - just recently discovered her, a lot of intense cardio, I really broke a sweat
PNT Fitness - Awesome Arms and Butts and Gutts (I wish these were 1 single class instead of 2 half hour classes, I would go more often if that was the case)


OTHER

Pilates - I love Flesh and Bone Studios in Williamsburg,  Monica's Pilates classes at Awakening NY are also hugely popular and very different I think.  Monica's classes have more strengthening involved.  Flesh and Bone leaves me stretched and rejuvenated and it's a special treat when you use their machines.  A friend recommended I do Pilates once a week because it's good for my body AND it helps lengthen you so you are actually taller - well, my height has gotten slightly taller, and it does feel like I'm reorganizing my body and setting everything right as it should be.

Dancy classes - there's a ton of really hard classes that infuse dance movements into the class.  I tried these for a while but don't take them anymore.  I'm not very coordinated or good at learning dance moves (don't get me wrong, I love to dance in my own way, but just can't learn a damn dance and feel stupid doing it)  If that's not a problem for you here's some amazing classes that infuse dance with aerobic strength training and sometimes barre:   AKT, Body by Simone, Hip Hop Aerobics (various locations - Davon Chance is a really awesome and fun instructor), Viva Bodyroll, Body Conceptions by Mahri (their dance moves aren't as hard for me as the others)
Many of these are "disciples" of Tracy Anderson - who charges $900 a month or some crazy ish like that.

Yoga, kickboxing, and Cycle classes - I'm just not into it, so I haven't tried many. Lots of folks swear by these things.

-- At McCarren Park there's some great boot camp classes like Traditional Tribal Fitness.  That's the only class I take that seems to have more men in it.  It's nice to work out outside and Kiki is truly awesome.  I just don't take it as often because I find the movements are not as targeted to the female body as some other classes I like.

-- Brooklyn Bodyburn is the only class I truly hate.  It seems unsafe, I feel no happiness or pleasure during the workout, and I feel like I'm going to hurt myself.  Plus there's no stretching!


=====

2 more tips:  Stretching matters, so it and enjoy it instead of rushing away.  Eating: eat something about an hour to half hour before working out, and have protein at least 20 minutes after a workout.  I like yogurt and I read labels to get a higher protein to sugar ratio.

=====

Long story short I LOVE WORKING OUT.  I've found a place for it in my life and you'll most often find me walking the streets in my workout clothes and sneaks these days.  

It's great for my health and I know that.  I love the way my body can move now and how strong I am.  It's brought a great deal of happiness to my life.  I'm deeply grateful that classpass exists as well as all of my wonderful instructors.



Monday, October 13, 2014

I don't think you're a bad person for looking at the naked pictures of Jennifer Lawrence.

I see a link that says see Jennifer Lawrence's hacked leaked photos and I look for many reasons:  is this real? I am curious.  what's this like? what's this about?  this is weird.  did this really happen?  It's something that never happened before.

You look at naked J Lawr, and you looked at footage of the twin towers burning on 9-11 too.
You didn't hack those photos, and you didn't fly a plane into that tower either.
Of course it's not the same, but what is the same is the experience of viewing versus doing.

Technology impacts life faster than our ability to develop a firm moral compass around it.

Celeb photos being stolen from a cloud is weird for all of us.
It's weird that there's a cloud.

What would make you a disgusting person is if you JUDGED the photos.  Because judging does imply ownership or entitlement.  If you judged her body, if you judged her for taking the photos, I'd say you need to check yourself, fool.

Life hurls us through time and sometimes life is simple and boring and orderly, but more often is chaotic and strange and unpredictable.  We act and react.  Someone gives us technology so we can take pictures, and then we discover we can take pictures of butts and vaginas and boobs.  And then we do that.  WE'RE ALL NEW AT FIGURING OUT THE CONSEQUENCES OF TECHNOLOGY.  Don't hate, haters. 

We touch stoves, we try things.  Have some empathy for cryin out loud!

I think it's ok to look.  
But to be a dick about it is another story.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Inside You Update - Something Happened Yesterday.

Yesterday, I lost my shoot!  We turned the truck around on it's way to check out the equipment because (long story short) we lost a lead cast member due to an emergency, without enough time to re-cast, and pushing the shoot even 1 day, we'd start losing locations, crew, cast and schedule.

Yes, I did cry and feel horrible weird stress throughout my body and spine.  But I got to the other side of it.  Because hell, what can you do?  I have felt like a failure before but I don't now.

We have done SO MUCH WORK to get this far, and strangely enough my first and foremost feeling this morning is gratitude and love.

Weird, right?

I never expected this - but the reason is - getting THIS FAR with the movie - I needed the support of SO many people, and my family along the way.  People have come out for the film in HUGE ways, and it makes me feel great.  This experience has shown me that people do believe in me and this movie, and I never knew it quite like this before!  Self doubt can be crippling as an artist, and people don't often have the reason to show their support - but this movie gave people that opportunity (and I'll still very much need it moving forward!).

I feel deeply motivated, strengthened and inspired to put even more heart and elbow grease into this movie.

We pushed the shoot to March 2015.  Do I like being in this position?  Not at first, but here I am - I better get used to it.  
This is not the worst.  I'm making a movie and that is COOL, dudes!


A vision of the future:


My mom and dad bought me this fancy chair!  Nola Slates made me this BEAUTIFUL (and reasonably priced) Custom Slate!  THAT CHAIR WILL BE SAT IN and THAT SLATE WILL BE CLAPPED!!!  MARCH 2015 FTW

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Suicide: the big WHY

Robin Williams' death is affecting me more than I ever expected, and now I want to try and examine WHY for the sake of understanding. I believe that the reason a person wants to die is that living feels meaningless, and they are unable to connect to meaning.


There’s also pain and sadness involved. But I think the feeling of despair caused by meaninglessness is the primary thing going through a suicidal person’s head.


How can Robin Williams feel meaninglessness?  His career and work meant a lot to people, he was loved, he had children and loved ones.  He was both creatively successful, and successful in traditional measurements, and had people in his life that mattered to him and that he mattered to.


Usually despair comes from a lack of these things. (At least for me.)


Perhaps his existence as incredibly famous, especially as a funny person who makes people feel amazing - was also incredibly alienating and lonely.  He couldn’t relate to most people or identify with them.  He had an expectation of who he was supposed to be and how he was supposed to act.  He was not SUPPOSED to be depressed.


Perhaps he was driven mad by the fact that he couldn’t make himself feel the way he made others feel. Maybe it was the suffering in the middle east.  Maybe it was tension at home, or an inability to love or be loved as he desired.  A disconnect.  Maybe he felt powerless and unable to change or feel.  If he was able to make people laugh so easily - why didn’t it work for him, when he was alone?  I can only imagine this was maddening.  And so his great power, his gift, the world’s wonderful gift of laughter - felt empty, shallow, pointless.


His happiness was fleeting.  It left him.  He wanted to escape.


He escaped all his life.
In his performance, and in a bottle.

It was ultimately just too much.


Can you imagine what it feels like to have everything at your fingertips that SHOULD make you happy - but it’s not working?  What if you had money, freedom, loved ones, influence, fame, and appreciation AND STILL you couldn’t FEEL right?!  Can you imagine that?  I am certain that it’s not the case of him not appreciating it.  I am certain that he felt even guilty, like absolute shit, for not being able to feel good, perhaps not being able to truly feel anything at all, in spite of all of his fortune.  That’s the disease of depression.


---


Killing yourself is sad, but I don’t think it’s evil.  It’s something else.


The truth is, it’s a choice, as it’s a choice to stay alive, which some philosophers refer to as “the existential absurdity.”


I wonder about the sex slave’s will to live.  
I wonder about the severely impoverished and diseased people’s will to live.


Why would they stay alive?  Their life is misery and torture.


Maybe it’s not.  Maybe it’s why the caged bird sings.  


---
we only know darkness because we know light
we also know that we all wanted Robin to live


I think we all identify with Robin now more than ever


--


One of the most remarkable songs about survival in the face of trauma is Tori Amos’ “Me And A Gun” which recounts her thoughts during and after surviving rape.


The refrain is “but I haven’t seen Barbados, so I must get out of this.”
And that’s the tiny voice that Robin Williams couldn’t hear inside his own mind, the cry of survival.  The will to live.


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

I was a class clown.

This meant mischief, pranks, and being a big mouth. But it was always for the sake of fun. I wasn't a mean clown.

I will NEVER forget one day in a high school class when a kid named Ben, a nice but opinionated boy who played soccer, who I also never had conflict with nor too much interaction with other than casual friendliness - RAILED against me in the middle of the class. The teacher wasn't in the same part of the room when this happened so he didn't hear it.

I don't remember the specifics of what was said - but I remember that I could not figure out WHY he was saying it.
I know this:
I made a joke.
Ben tore me down in front of the room, going off on me for being a clown, yelling at me as though it was impossible to hurt my feelings - as though I didn't have any,
I remember the shock and surprise that anyone could possibly think that
I remember yelling back "how can you say that! how can you think I can't be insulted! how can you think I don't have feelings?! Stop!"

And I remember him being smug and suggesting that I don't have feelings - because I'm such a loudmouth, because I'm always making jokes.

I can't remember the words.
But I'll never forget learning that.

He thought I deserved to be taken down.

In my life, at times, I've encountered difficult people who have the perception that I can take everything that's thrown at me. I can't.

Putting yourself out there can be an invitation for others to hurt you - but it shouldn't be. We shouldn't rape people for wearing sexy clothes. We shouldn't yell at people for speaking their mind (let's exclude hate speech). We shouldn't suffocate celebrities with unrelenting paparazzi and gossip reporting.

Robin Williams' death is a reminder to all people that every living person should not ever be objectified. He's a human being beyond what you knew of him. We all just learned that our extroverted clown was sad, felt pain, and didn't want to live.

Every person you encounter has a private soul.

The comedian's desire to make people laugh is a compulsion.

When you know you can, you feed it, and it feeds you.
But it cannot be found when the comedian is alone.  

It thrives on you, on others being there.  Your presence gives permission for the comedian to escape into you.  Your presence is the ignition of the flame.  You can really feel it when the fire is out, and it takes a lot to feel good while extinguished.

And that's part of why it's hard to be alone as a comedian.
But it's so very possible.

If you can accept and embrace your life's circumstance.
Without having to lie to yourself about it.
While knowing you're trying your best because you are.
And that's certainly universally true.

People often say comedy and standup comedy is hard.
But when you are born with that compulsion, the difficulty of it feels irrelevant.  It doesn't feel entirely like a choice, it feels partly like an obligation.  Ambitions are often admired but one quality of ambition is that it's just there - you don't know how it got there.  You were born with it. You don't know why or how other people don't have it but you know it's ok that they don't because people are different and that's good.

There's a million manifestations of ambition and talent, and those born with those things know that they have this extra hunger.  This extra obligation to something they can't explain.

Why did Robin Williams need to make us laugh and act so silly while he was suffering inside?
Because he couldn't help it.  He was born with that hunger.  With his natural impulses.  

And when he was alone, he had to face his pain.  His best medicine could not be found.
He loved you as much as you loved him.  He didn't do this because he wanted to hurt you.  I don't know him, but I know this.

goodbye

Friday, July 11, 2014

Success! THANK YOU!

I'm so deeply excited to announce that the Kickstarter campaign for my upcoming feature film "Inside You" was a success!  I'm incredibly grateful to supporters and am so excited to shoot this film in September.

For those of you who missed the deadline to give via Kickstarter and still want to support the film, you may donate here:






Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Dear UCB and comedy community,

Do you remember the first time you saw a show at the UCB theatre?  Do you remember your first Del Close Marathon?

I remember the hot summer of 2001, waiting in line at the UCB theatre on 22nd street to watch some crazy wrestling improv show with Rob Huebel, Rob Riggle, Amy Poehler, Horatio Sanz and others.  At the time, Horatio was the only really famous one.  Afterwards the crowd went to a nearby bar called McManus, and the people I just idolized were hanging out and drinking beers together.  I was thrilled in 2002 when my college comedy group “Capitol goga” performed at the Del Close Improv Marathon.  We wore matching shirts.  Serious stuff. Since then I've taken every improv class at the theatre, auditioned for Harold teams just like many of you, and performed at many sketch and standup shows at the theatre.


On our way to perform at the 2002 DCM.
Over the years, we’ve witnessed the UCB transform into a phenomenon unlike anything else.  The UCB theatre moved from 22nd to 26th street, and then on to LA.  Now there’s even shiny elevators and a corporate building instead of running operations from that dingy 22nd street basement!  We lost great clubs like Rififi and Mo Pitkins, but we gained the UCB East and new improv theatres like The PIT and The Magnet.  


I did standup for years in NYC while spending all of my money from dayjobs on film equipment and UCB classes, performing and shooting comedy videos on my nights and weekends.  Eventually I began NYU’s Grad Film program, and I gave up every other comedy discipline to focus on film writing and directing.  It was heartbreaking to separate myself from that world and watch it grow and thrive without me, but I was determined that my new skills and expertise would pay off. I'm shooting my first feature film this September in NYC. It's a comedy called "Inside You" about a couple that switches bodies magically in the tone of modern comedies like Louis, Girls, and Apatow movies.

Now is a critical moment when I need your support.  Please consider backing this project on kickstarter and telling people about it.  Even $1 donations are meaningful.  They are a vote of confidence, and the amount of backers helps create visibility.


My hope is that you realize “she’s just like me!” and think, “if I’m in her shoes, I hope that the community supports me too.”  I’ll always tell writers and actors that the UCB theatre is the number one place to develop their craft.  And sometimes I’ll tell humans that improv classes are the number one place to develop their humanity.


You have been a part of my work from the beginning, and I hope to keep you with me every step of the way.

Thank you,

Heather Fink




Saturday, June 14, 2014

My very first kickstarter is LIVE!






www.InsideYouMovie.com

PREPARE YOUR BUNGHOLES
for Heather Fink's Birthday Party Film Event Comedy Variety Show

Lulu's in Greenpoint: 113 Franklin St
Thursday June 19
8pm

FEATURING
Hannibal Buress
Chris Gethard
Jacqueline Novak
Jamie Lee
Sunita Mani
Rob Lathan
Anya Marina
AND MORE

Free - No Cover Charge
But those who make donations to Fink's feature film "Inside You" kickstarter will be handsomely rewarded (it’s not a catch ok, you can have fun anyway even if you are a turd and don’t give anything).  Also FREE PIZZA from Lulu's when you buy a drink.  insideyoumovie@gmail.com

Monday, June 09, 2014

Pain Anniversaries and Perspective

“Heather you know what today is.” said my mom

It’s the 4 year anniversary of my dad’s stroke.

This is the only anniversary of a painful thing that I keep track of, perhaps you have yours.

Today felt like two other things: the day before my birthday, and the day I intended to launch my kickstarter but I had a glitch, now it’s launching tomorrow morning on my birthday.

So in 2010, on my 29th birthday I was in the hospital where I was born, listening to the emergency helicopters land on the roof, alongside other beeps.  Sitting by my dad’s side as my sister, mom and I took turns, I volunteered for the wee hours.  He kept waking up, looking around, confused.  Fresh out of the stroke his body was mostly paralyzed and he couldn’t speak at all.  His eyes would open wide and he would look around the room and I thought about how scary that must have been to wake up and not know what the FUCK is happening to you, why can’t I speak, why can’t I move?  So every time he did that I would say to him “You just had a stroke, you are in the hospital.” or something like that.

A lot has happened these past four years.  His right side is paralyzed.  He can say the words: Hi, Bye, Yes, No, Ok.  He can write the first letter of a word sometimes.  He has his memory, personality, and can read and comprehend - the part of his brain that takes in language is different from the part that puts it out.  His motor skills are impaired so he can’t just learn sign language.  He cannot use the bathroom without assistance.  My mother has to brush his teeth, cut his food, transfer him in and out of various chairs, beds and cars.

He cannot be left alone, and he has constant needs that he cannot take care of himself.  The world is not built for a wheelchair, his medicine is at least 800 a month WITH insurance, and all of his handicapped things like a chair lift up the stairs and a special van for the special chair cost thousands of dollars.  My mom doesn’t get to relax.  The idea of a vacation is so difficult since the world isn’t built for wheelchairs and especially not most places you like to visit, my mom is exhausted at the idea of trying.

But I call my parents just about every day and I try to visit them once a week.  They are funny.  They are loving.  They are alive.  They raised me in an incredibly supportive, loving, and safe, even if ecclectic, environment.  I’ve had the opportunity to live a life full of adventure and have seen and experienced some of the most incredible things life has to offer.

The number one thing I got from all of this is perspective.
What is BAD really?  What is DIFFICULT really?  What is personal FREEDOM really?

Those voices on the end of the phone are so cute and vibrant and loving.

Some people are able bodied and they are totally miserable to be around.  Which is worse?

These generous people, my parents - I’m lucky to have them, and I’m lucky they are alive, and I’m lucky they are so silly and I’m lucky that I know they love me.  I know not everyone has that.

And they have me too. Maybe one day I’ll be big and successful and then they can have piƱa coladas on a comfy beach and someone that helps bring them over. On the one hand money isn’t everything, maybe you are someone who has lots of money and no happiness. You can’t force happiness no matter how hard you spend. And so then you need perspective.

And so in that light, the value of perspective shines.


Saturday, May 24, 2014

Why won't people date me? A reaction to today's tragedy.

What happened today is extremely sad and disturbing.  I think there's other people out there who feel upset about dating and girls or boys "not wanting them" so I want to talk to those people.

There are many different reasons why many of us haven’t found someone to be with.  

1) Maybe you are unattractive.  
The solution to that is to work on being the most attractive person you can be, examine: your health, your personality (are you pleasant to be around), what you have to offer (do you have any skills or hobbies? do you have anything to say? do you know things?).  Those things can all be worked on: exercise, eating right, seeing a therapist, meditating, education, travel, learning a skill, working, volunteering - the list goes on and on and there’s a million things in your control that can make you more attractive!

I truly believe that you will attract someone who is as attractive as you.  And attractiveness is a reflection of the efforts you make in life.  If you are kind, you can attract someone kind.  Don’t expect a supermodel if you don’t look like one.  Maybe you can “get one” based on your personality or money BUT it’s unfair to EXPECT something that you can’t offer AND perhaps your values are screwed up (you just want someone for superficial reasons and expect someone to want you for the real you?!).  
How can you expect someone to love you for absolutely no reason?  You have to give someone happiness and love in order to get happiness and love in return.  If you don’t like someone for a REAL reason, and you just want them for their money or looks, you won’t have solved your loneliness or desire problem.  You are just being stupid, and you know better.  You do.

2) Maybe you are very attractive.
BUT
You aren’t good at flirting or dating.  
Maybe that’s a confidence thing.  Maybe you could observe others, or just become more aware of social cues, or really think about the kinds of things that make you smile, and think about how to do that with others.   Or maybe you have a hard time seeing the opposite sex as just regular people.  Don’t put them on a pedestal or treat them as alien creatures.  Treat them as friends and family.  Just talk to them like you would talk to any person.  Speak to them how you would like to be spoken to.  If you're awkward that's ok, it can be really cute, as long as you are SINCERE.  If they don’t like what you have to say, and you aren’t being a jerk - then maybe they aren’t very attractive or cool after all.  Don’t desire someone who doesn’t understand you or like the things you like.  That’s silly.

You will also have more to say, and be more natural at saying it, if you live a little.  Get out there and make experiences.  JUST DO THINGS ALREADY!  Don't be sheltered.  Do stuff.  There's all kinds of stuff to do.

You probably have to learn how to be friends with people from the opposite sex before you learn how to be attractive to them.  If you don't see them as normal people, you won't act normally around them, and you just might be creepy.  It's important to not be creepy.  People have natural instincts to protect themselves from harm, and romantic interactions are only possible when someone is comfortable enough to be vulnerable around you.

Important note: being pushy and forceful and not being able to sense how the other person feels - is extremely unattractive.  You have to learn social norms and understand people in order to make someone feel comfortable and interested in you.  You are desirable when someone is able to learn what is great about you, and then they have the opportunity to win you over!  You can make someone like you simply by showing them your best self, and creating the opportunity for that person to talk to you.  Don't repel them by being pushy, attract and entice them by being awesome.

3) Maybe you are very attractive AND you ARE good at dating and flirting.
But you just can’t find the right person.
This is a difficult one, but it's also normal and common, so give yourself a break.  You must accept that you can’t control what life brings your way, or who likes you, or how people act.  You can only control yourself.  You really must make it a priority to have a fulfilling and meaningful life outside of a relationship.  This can be challenging, but also very rewarding.  Appreciate the time you have to focus on your own projects and desires in life.  It’s really wonderful that love and sex are possible in life, but don’t stress out if you can’t find someone you want to do that with.  It doesn’t grow on trees.  Some people are less picky, or more lucky.  These are things you can’t help.  Life is mysterious and unpredictable.

I don't believe spending all of your time TRYING to date and meet people works very well, but obviously you won't meet anyone if you hide inside your house.  Balance is always healthy.

I do believe that the harder something is to achieve, the greater the reward.  I’m single still after a long time, and I feel attractive and that men like me - but I don’t feel something special with most men I meet - even if they are attractive, those special feelings are never guaranteed.  It happens once in a while and of course I enjoy it when it all works out.  Sure, I wish it happened all the time, that would be really fun.  But I can’t force my feelings, and I don't want to pretend to like someone, or settle for something less.  That's a recipe for disaster!  The loneliness that causes enhances my need to do great things on my own.  The fact that there’s no man around to support me has forced me to become a stronger and more capable person because I really have to face a lot of situations where I've got to be strong for myself, and figure out how to do something for myself.  I think that has a meaningful purpose in my life story, and that will influence how it all works out.  I also think that means that I have a lot more to give, and help me have a relationship out of desire and pleasure rather than necessity and dependency.  So those are all meaningful ways to look at that situation.

Good luck out there, kids.

FINAL NOTE


If you have the desire to hurt someone, please talk about it and try to figure it out.   Discussion and thought really help people let go of their anger and hurt. 

Expect that your life will include sadness and pain and learn how to accept and process those things!

You CAN have a life full of joy and meaning.  You MAY NOT be able to have the life that you WANT if what you WANT is unreasonable, unrealistic, or simply out of reach.  That doesn't matter.  You can still have a good life that didn't go the way you PLANNED because life is MAGIC and MAGIC CAN'T BE PLANNED!  

Do your best and life does the rest.