Light Handed

Month: May, 2013

Lessons: Money, Shame, Failure, Growth, Money.

Sometimes you want to apologize profusely and sometimes you don’t want to say shit because of personal shame. That’s where I’m at right now. I feel like this writer’s space here on wordpress acts as a middle ground for me to say things publicly, but not have it seen by that many eyes unless I share it to facebook or social media feeds.

I have been under a lot of duress lately, namely because I have been spread myself too thin. I’m taking two classes, one of which I have a final for on Tuesday, in order to finish out my degree. Most people have been under the impression that I had graduated already but I still have a few classes to finish out because budget cuts and time at Berkeley did not allow me to fulfill a few requirements. I have a job working with MVBLFeast food truck events which is great, and my biggest project at the moment is taking a lead role in organizing the Style Elements Anniversary with the help of the crew and a few others.

I don’t know why I feel like I’ve been keeping that last part a secret to myself when its been obvious by how drastically my interactions with folks on Social Media has changed. For some reason I did not want to seem boastful, or too forward, but that’s just the life of an event organizer. My aching of mind, soul, and heart come from having made many mistakes in planning this. For one, I was pretty arrogant to think I could do so much on my own for the event, while balancing the other elements in my life, and now I am suffering the consequences of it. It was pretty ambitious to organize a 3 day weekend event with people coming from all around the nation and the world…as my first event since probably high school. I know I’m capable. I know I’m smart. But goddamn was I stupid.

I’m sitting here wishing to apply the wisdom I have now to myself in January. In January, I was mopey, dopey, sadface, and slow. I was so impaired by questions of my own self-esteem, personal worth, experiences in college, and past bouts of shitty character. I was learning a lot about love and loss, and how much I missed certain people in my life. Dreaming of what I gave away to explore the world only to find out what I really had 6 months later that I could no longer have.

Could I have been ready for all this then? Hell no. I cannot fall into the train of thought of judging myself backwards. That does no good, because what matters is the present. Your actions, not your words, but your actions as they are done now. But goddamn I wish I could’ve slapped myself into shape at least by Feb or Mar. I knew I was going to get busy (I was even thinking I could do all this with a 9 to 5 LOL wtf Andy you dumbass). But here I am. I’ve still done a lot of good work. People have been very encouraging but I have messed up so many places that my clear perspective and introspective qualities make quite apparent to me, that I cannot help but get mad at myself.

And that has always been one of my biggest issues: self-directed anger. From playing video games and getting frustrated at levels I couldn’t beat, throwing controllers and breaking them/TV screens/toys and the like, to moments like these where I expect so much of myself and do not meet those lofty expectations. Anger with others, I practice the Buddhist approach and am able to let go fairly easily. I have not been tested so deeply yet so I cannot promise the world Buddha’s character but so far I have been able to practice detachment from such things in most cases. But self-anger, frustration and pity for the self, this is the place I require the most growth. It is simultaneously a big reason for my good work, but also the downfall of my approach in being able to enjoy my work and my life simultaneously. Meditation can help, but I think one of the biggest things I overlook is simply reaching out to people and talking about stuff. I could have saved so many headaches by simply reaching out to members of my crew and local mentors, rather than taking on the brunt of my challenges. I felt like I was bothering them, but more so I felt that I was failing myself by reaching out to people for help. And that my friends, is one of the worst things you can do. One of the WORST. Reaching out for help is not a sign of weakness I have learned, it is a sign of wisdom. I have learned this in the past few weeks, and will continue to learn it all the way through the completion of the Style Elements Anniversary, and for the rest of my life.

But now, what can I do? I will do the best of my abilities and this event will go great because of the people that are there, regardless of the space we use not being as special as I had once hoped it to be, and the grandiose nature of it all being taken down many steps. There will be more burdens and sacrifices because of poor planning and inexperience, but burdens and sacrifices I will be willing to be bear, as I hope those around me will have to as well. Dream big they say, and then cut it down. I guess one element of that is detaching yourself from those expectations of the big dreams because nothing is really real until you get the money to do it in this world lol. That’s probably the biggest, most practical lesson I’ve learned so far. Berkeley gives you this open mind around capitalism and its ills, and you cannot leave the school without some familiarity of Marxism, but when you get passed all that shit, it really comes down to the Money. This world does not change because of your perspective. There are a number of objective realities we must all contend with. It is our worlds being changed by our perspectives on those objective realities, which make all the difference in living the life you desire. These are my conclusions of the day. I should get back to writing this essay and studying for my final on Tuesday.

From this flow of consciousness streaming across space and time,



Is it different now?

It’s 4 long weeks since Massive Monkees day and I haven’t danced since…well, I went out like once or twice, entered a jam on the 28th, and taught a private lesson yesterday, but no practice whatsoever. And truthfully I feel a little crazy! I’m watching old footage of myself and trying to remember the state of mind I was in. 

There was this one battle, in August 2010, against a friend of mine Roe from Headhunters. It was an all-styles exhibition battle at Voodoo Lounge between two of San Jose’s finest. I watched my last round, and tried to put myself back in those shoes. I had just returned from my Euro backpack trip, and earned stripes at the Style Elements Anniversary (a year before I got into the crew). But the part that stuck out to me most was the use of the hybrid third eye handshake/signal at the end…only Hybrid cats would know what that is lol. 

It used to be so spiritual to me…everything was about opening the third eye and letting myself get free. That’s where this style came from, openness. Is it different now? I still feel free when I dance, but maybe I don’t value it as much anymore. I wonder if that’s an effect of getting older. I was just turning 21 that year in 2010. And now I’m 24, graduate(d), and about to move into the professional world. Is it fear of losing touch with the purity I used to chase, and even sometimes arrogantly claim? 

Perhaps I must practice in my actions more than in my words my commitment to the spiritual path of a dancer like myself. I was never groomed to be a perfect, clean bboy/dancer. I was raised by circumstance, privilege, mentors, and a thirst of knowledge to translate into my own life because doing so felt good…I feel so overwhelmed nowadays that my thirst isn’t as prevalent. I don’t feel it dance-wise because of how spread thin I am. Damn, I need to meditate more. I feel a bit lost because I have not made the time to cultivate that important side of myself. It also could be that I just haven’t been dancing…and I’m going nuts because of it. Dang. 

This post has no conclusions, maybe when I edit it. I’m flowing with a stream of consciousness and that’s it. 

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