Ouch!

I bruised my pinkie toe today, it seems.  It might actually be fractured, due to the style of pain, however, the impact didn’t seem to have enough force behind it to have caused a fracture, which is fortunate.  Sitting here on my bed at my mom’s house, thinking about how that happen today, has me recall the last time something similar happened while I was living here.

I was on my way to Worlds, as we call it in the community.  “Worlds” is short for United Country Western Dance Council World Championships.   (See? “Worlds” is easier.)  And it is relevant that I tell you the full name of the event.  I promise.  I had participated in and scored high enough in other events throughout the year in order to qualify for Worlds, and I was incredibly excited.  It isn’t every day that one competes for a world title, and it isn’t even in every life, either – this was an honor and a privilege, and I was ready for it.

Therefore, when I managed to hook my toe underneath me on a stair as I rushed back downstairs after having run upstairs one last time to grab something small that I’d forgotten, my mind was reeling with concern.  I was in extreme pain, and I curled up to the floor, crying, holding my foot, barely even able to make contact with the toe.  I almost couldn’t think straight, or even at all, such was the disturbance.  “If I just broke my toe, I can’t dance,” was about what I said to myself, asI was  curled up around my toe.  I prayed in a way that I didn’t know how to make selfless, and I also prayed that that would be okay for this occasion.

I realized, as my brain power began to return to me, that my fear and concern was compounding the intensity of my crying, and that the physical pain wasn’t quite so bad as I’d been thinking.  Yes, it absolutely hurt, but a large part of any impact’s pain is the initial set-in, going from comfort and ease to pain.  That is, it hurts really badly at first, but then calms after the initial shock, and then the pain begins to subside exponentially.

And such was the case.  The extreme pain was real, but was not the full cause of my tears – I was dreadfully worried that I wouldn’t be able to dance, and all for that pair of socks, or whatever it was I ran up the stairs to grab.  My toe continued to hurt for a while, – maybe even the rest of the day – but it was doing well by the time my day to compete came around.  I have been forever grateful that my toe was spared and my dancing was blessed.

If you win at Worlds, you get a specific jacket, and your name is embroidered on it.  I still have mine.  🙂

Post-a-day 2017

Advertisements

Love Notes for the World

My mom sent me an e-mail today that reminded me of one of my fun activities in college: my (love) sign.

You see, when I was in high school, I was doing partner dancing.  A guy in the dance community in Houston died at some point, and it caused people to reminisce often.  I’m not sure if I ever met the guy, because he died shortly after I began going out dancing (as opposed to just dancing at the studio and in classes), but there’s a chance our paths crossed a handful of times.  Nonetheless, I have always remembered this guy.  My friend’s dad was talking about this guy, and talked about “his signs”.  I inquired, and discovered that this guy would carry around signs – I think they were poster boards, actually – with various messages, and would use them when at the club for dance socials.  The specific example I remember was how, if two people were really flirting or kissing, he might hold up a sign that read, “Get a room.”  As this is by no means a social norm, the idea always stuck with me.

In college, for some reason, this memory arose right at the time my flatmate was in an art class and had extra art paper at home one night.  It’s the really thick, soft paper that is similar to poster board, but is used specifically for drawing or painting (or possibly both).  So, that night, I had a torn-off section of this art paper, and I decided to make my own sign.  On one side, it read, “you should, too”.  The other read, “I love you”.

I carried this poster around with me almost everywhere for the remainder of that semester.  I think I even had it while I rode my bike (actually, yes, I do remember riding my bike as I held on to it).  It was incredibly odd, but completely accepted by my college.  I was really nervous about it at first, but very quickly became comfortable with carrying around the sign.  I mean, come on… kids do all sorts of odd things in college, so this was just one more in a million odd things we would cross.

386308_2458503431853_283416624_n

Anyway, I loved it.  I miss it at times, even.  I don’t exactly live the same sort of lifestyle now as I did in college, however, I think I could work out something.  The thing my mom sent me was about business cards that read simply “YOU MATTER”.  And I think I want to make some more of my own things, but following this fashion of a small card that can be given to others.

When I lived in Vienna, a friend found a stash of the ‘Our Daily Bread’ cards, which is a sort of deck of little cards, where each is shaped like a bread basket and has a bible verse on it (these had German on one side and French on the other).  We handed them out to people at the train station late at night, while another friend would do his regular harp serenading for the late-night folks waiting at the station. (Yes, that is a whole other story.)

537938_4581443024016_2001704301_n

So, I guess, my point is that I am now planning to combine these three ideas.  I don’t know exactly what I’ll put on my cards yet, but I know that I want to do them.  I can start this week, and see what comes up, see how I like them, and see what to change for the better.

 

578059_4529592367782_380749620_n

What I wrote with this one on Facebook, back when I originally posted it:


A girl in the WG found a bunch of little cards with Bible verses on them. One side was in German and the other side was French. I think they were made in Belgium. No one really knows whence they came, but the girl decided to start giving them out to people, specifically in the subway station when David, the harpist, would play late at nights. I am now hooked, and want always to have some on hand, that I can give out to people as food for thought – you never know what people have going on, and thus never know what might make a difference in someone’s life. So don’t let anything stop you from sharing your love and care for others. Rather, find a way to have those things that are holding you back actually Help you to accomplish that which you wish


 

Post-a-day 2017

The article my mom sent to me today

While everything is perfect

In this book I’m currently reading – okay, it’s an audiobook, and I’m listening to it, but you get the point – was a comment by the narrating character that rather struck me the other day.  She was talking about some date she’d had (or something like a date, anyway), and, though it seemed there was potential for another activity of some sort next, she had decided to leave.  She said, “I wanted to leave while everything was perfect.”

At first, I felt as though she was simply setting herself up for missing out by not going and for delusion by thinking that dates (or more of whatever it was) needed to be always perfect.  And then I considered my immediate responses, and discovered that I disagreed with both of them.

When I really began to consider her comment, it gave way to what felt like brilliance.  Yesterday, I was at a goodbye beach party.  There had been an option to rsvp for an overnight stay after the official party, and I had initially declined this option.  I wanted to sleep in my own bed, and several other factors helped me pick that easily.  However, once at the party, I found that I didn’t want to leave so soon.  I began exploring the logistics of staying the night, and found that there was possibility of enough space for my joining the party.

As I recalled my book’s character’s words, however, I began to think in a different manner.  Yes, I am loving spending time with everyone right now.  If I left now, I would be leaving while everything is perfect.  If I stay the night, what will happen?  And I instantly saw the probable, almost certain future of the situation.  I would stay, thinking I’d have enough energy to manage the night, and then eventually would hit a wall, want to sleep, not be able to get to sleep because of the partying people, get annoyed at the overly drunk partiers, and have a miserable end to the party.  Whom was I kidding here?  I would rather leave while everything is perfect, than stay until I’m furiously agitated and starting to hate the people I was currently loving.

And so I left a short while later, had a wonderful time riding home-ish (same train, different stops) with the group of girls who were leaving at that time, chatting and joking and having an overall wonderful time together (as I already mentioned).

And the party as a whole ended perfectly for me.  It was just plain cool to have had the party go so well.
Tonight, after another beach day with a different friend, we had planned to go to this awesome salsa party, with this Grammy-winning DJ and various salsa performances and live music for social dancing – it’s a big deal party celebrating the anniversary of some club, essentially.  And it was only like 20 bucks to attend, which is way cheap for such a thing here in Tokyo.

When we arrived back to my friend’s place, and I had showered from the beach, I began to consider that line again.  Could I “leave” while everything is perfect?  Could I just go to bed now and not go, and be happy with that?  The answer was a resounding “Yes.”  I had been exhausted all day already, and am far behind on sleep for this past week – I want sleep.  I love dancing, and I love cool opportunities like this, especially to attend with friends.  And the risk was incredibly high that I would grow to exhausted, smoking would be too intense for me in the club, music would be too loud for my already existent headache, and I would be crying (possibly literally) to go home and drink a bunch of cool water and just go to sleep.

So, I stayed home, and it was perfect.  Now, I am off to some much-needed and much-wanted sleep.  Goodnight, World.  I’ll see you when my head feels great again in the late AM.

Long story-ish short: I think it is a very valuable phrase, “I wanted to leave while everything was perfect.”

Post-a-day 2017

The Body Talks

Let’s talk about sex, baby.

Well, sort of… That’s what my body kept saying to me today.

Today was a day in which my body felt like it was in a state of panic.  In a way, it was in a state of panic (or bordering on panic, anyway).  To my body, this panic was expressed as a painful desire, né need to procreate.  

“Hannah, I need to reproduce – it is what I am designed so well to do, and I’ve waited so long already… let me go!!”  

Sigh.

Such was the sort of conversation my body and I had today.  It complained and begged and reasoned, and I sighed and just accepted the complaints.

Now, the kicker to all of this is that I am almost entirely comfortable and at ease now (despite being quite sleepy).  Why is that?  The same reason (-ish) that my body has been panicky lately – I need physical contact in my life.  Good, real, physical contact, corporal contact, person-to-person skin-to-skin touch is an absolute necessity for me.

And living in Japan has given me almost none of that.  It has quite truly driven my body into a state of panic, in fact.  

How did I go from freak-out to calm?  I hung out with friends and went dancing with them.  In this time, I leaned on them, they leaned on me, we rubbed backs, hugged (the real kind), held hands, stood with our arms draped on one another’s shoulders or around the waist or hips, touched this or that spot on someone to get his/her attention.  In short, we had a nice amount of physical contact with one another.  No, it was not anything compared to what I am accustomed to having back in the US, – we are So touchy-touchy in Texas, and especially at dance there – however it was tremendous when compared to my average day and week of zero physical contact here in Japan.

I went to a dance event in Korea just a couple weekends ago.  I danced like crazy there, and I hugged people and had lots of physical contact with people who love me and whom I love.  I think that going from a weekend jammed full of corporal contact and love, back to the solitude and non-touching life I have here right now, my body had a sort of shock.  After having gone so many months with only a bit of physical contact here and there in a month, I was accustomed to it.  But, after spending a weekend filled with physical contact, it has been difficult to go back to the zero-touching lifestyle.

And so my body cried for a while, until it at last had some loving physical contact this afternoon and tonight, at which point it is ready to take on this next week (until I head to the beach next weekend, at which point the physical contact occasions will resume). 

So, instead of listening to the crybaby body make excuses about its evolution and its original design for existence, I just get myself some physical contact, some hugs and snuggles and such, and things work out beautifully.

Cheers to loving physical contact! ❤

Post-a-day 2017

Normal or normal?

I guess that whatever we are accustomed to having around us, ends up being what feels like “normal” to us.  Like how my life never seems to feel very exciting or special – it has become my experience of “normal”, and therefore can’t seem exceedingly exciting or abnormal to me.  

I regularly feel as though everyone can speak loads of languages, and so I’m nothing but average (or even below average) in that field.  But who are my acquaintances?  Well, we tend to end up spending time with people who, in some way or other, are quite similar to ourselves, do we not?  It is no wonder, then, that I have so many friends who are bi- and multilingual, and who have not only visited but lived in at least one country other than their own.  This isn’t to say, of course, that all of my friends meet this criteria.  Certainly not.  I just happen to have a lot of friends who do.

So, when I have a night like tonight, where my friends and I sound to an on-listener like we can’t seem to pick a language, as we constantly switch around between English (our one common language), French, and Japanese, I all too easily forget that this is not normal in the world.  Sure, it is normal for me and for my life, but that doesn’t mean that everyone does it regularly.  It doesn’t even mean that half the world could do it regularly, even if they wanted to do so.

Or perhaps they could.  I think, nonetheless, that I severely underappreciate my language abilities, by subconsciously expecting that the people who most closely surround me are an average sample of the whole.  What is normal for one person simply is what is around that person in life.  And two people with closely aligned lives might find the same things as one another to be normal.  So, of course the people who are out doing the same things I live to do, tend to see the world in a similar way to how I see it, and hold a subconscious standard of “normal” that is similar to my own.  That’s why our paths cross in the first place – we’re all into* this particular kind of awesome.

Filing a room with awesome people doesn’t mean that they aren’t all still awesome, just because the standard in the room is about equal.  It just means that you have an extra-awesome room that is full of a ton of awesome people.

I guess what I am aiming to say here is that, despite my feeling below-average and utterly “normal” and boring at times, I realize now that I am not viewing things outside of my nearest surroundings (so to speak), and that I realize that I am, in fact, awesome.  And I’m proud and happy about that.

Peace, y’all. ❤
Post-a-day 2017

Still Awake at 6am

I’m sitting on the bathroom floor, eating bagel-shaped bread (that is not a bagel), stretching, occasionally gulping water, and writing this.  My two roommates are asleep already, it is 6:05am, and I have spent the past many hours dancing.

The ballroom sort of closed around 4:30, but I was having such a great time dancing, I didn’t want the music and dancing to stop.  Plus, I hadn’t gotten to dance with one friend who was still there, and I had been wanting to dance with him since I’d first seen him at the dance event earlier tonight.  So the DJ – he also happens to be the event director – said that just the friend and I would be dancing, and everyone else would watch (seeing as the ballroom was closing and all), and announced us as though we were a couple in a competition from earlier tonight.

For whatever reason, everyone, as they gathered around in the floor, ended up encircling us, and stretching out their legs so that they formed a very large star around us on the floor.  As we danced, they clapped along and cheered us on.  When we finished, everyone agreed that another couple needed to dance, now that we had started this whole contest idea.  The DJ, glorious in his will to be ever-spontaneous in order to suit the current situation, allowed and rolled with the idea.

So, another couple danced, and we cheered them on.  And we went through all five couples sitting on the floor, plus the one girl who had been recording, over to the side.  One of the other girls and I traded off dancing with her, since the DJ declared that he had to remain DJing.  (Cough-cough, though really I enjoyed getting to lead in his place.)

We didn’t do an all-skate at the end (where all the couple dance one song together).  Most everyone was too tired.  But that’s okay.  We had an amazing Superstar dance contest in the middle of a human star, and that’s more than fine with me.  😛
Post-a-day 2017

A match made in France?

In my first year of college, I went on a traveling Janterm, where we spent two weeks studying French in Cannes, and doing tours to the nearby towns and famous spots, and one week in Paris, exploring as we wished.  During the first two weeks, while a group of us were on a city bus, I noticed a French kid about our age.  He was sitting in a seat, on the left side of the bus, somewhat near the front, listening to music with headphones on.  I was curious what music he had playing.  I also thought he was cute.  Therefore, I wanted to talk to him.  The easiest thing for me to say to him was to ask him to what music he was listening.  I fought constantly with the insides of my brain and the fluttering of my stomach, and at last, I believe, he got off the bus.  Or else, we got off the bus.  I really don’t remember. However, I remember making eye contact with him at least once, if not a few times while we were all riding  the bus.

Well, I was incredibly disappointed that I had not spoken with the boy, though not entirely surprised at myself – even today, I have to psych myself up for odd situations like that.  However, I usually succeed in making the interaction nowadays, whereas at the time, I did not.

But this tale does not end sadly.  At least, not yet.

I believe that it was that same night, or perhaps the following – but I really think it was that same night – that a group of us decided to go to a nightclub in the town.  Some of the older guys who were working at the dormitory where we were all studying offered to take us to some cool bar and club.  We all happily agreed.  Well, some of the girls and guys and I agreed, but not everyone.

So, a small band of foreigners temporary living in Cannes so they could study French headed to a nice bar for a while, and then to a dance club later on that night.  On the way, I learned that a Romanian speaker can understand other romance languages rather easily.  (Fun Fact: This was my first interaction with someone being able to understand another language that is similar to his/her own, without necessarily being able to speak that language.  Of course, I can now do that with various languages myself, but it was a fun start to the concept for me.)

The bar was fun and interesting, and we didn’t have to check our coats, but we did have to buy drinks to compensate for having not checked our coats, and we had to deal with a huge pile of coats, which we were somewhat hiding in the corner.  However, I need not say much more about the bar.  Rather, anything more.  The club is the important one, you see. 

First off, the club was huge and, really, quite an awesome dance club.  I was amazed at the environment, as well as the clientele.  People danced by themselves or with a friend or with friends, and it didn’t matter which they did.  There were no circles forming awkwardly, or anything like that.  People weren’t doing official or formal dances of any kind, though.  They were just free dancing, having a wonderful time, doing their own things to the music.  I happily joined in in this type of merriment, while being amazed that on one side of me could be a 17-year-old, and on the other side of me could be a 40-year-old – no one cared how old anyone else was.

In short, I loved the club, and I loved dancing in it.

And, while I enjoyed dancing in it, I saw a familiar head.  When he turned and saw me, we looked in each other’s eyes, and there was this sort of understanding.  We both knew that we had seen each other that day.  We both knew that we had not talked to one another.  And it felt as though we both knew that I at least had wanted to talk to him.  This time, however, it seemed quite clear that he wanted to talk to me, as well.  Shortly after seeing one another, he was dancing in front of me, with me.  We held hands as we danced with one another, and we danced without holding hands, too.  

Even though I could manage French rather well at that time, he never got to find out this fact, because he addressed me in English.  It was somewhat iffy English, but adorable, and I loved that he was trying and that he knew we had all been speaking English on the bus.  He had been listening to music, of course, but he clearly had been paying enough attention to us nonetheless.

I don’t remember how long we danced or how we started dancing with one another, but I remember that it was absolutely wonderful.  At some point later in the evening, a couple of the girls who were with me told me I needed to give him a way to contact me.  I didn’t have a phone, of course, but one of the girls had just gotten one that day, because she was staying for the whole semester.  So, we wrote my full name and her phone number on a piece of paper.  In the French conjugation of the verb to want, I couldn’t remember if the you form ended in an or a t.  So, instead of saying, “If you want,” I wrote, “If one wants,” which, in French, can also be read as, “If we want.”  (Si on veut.)

I handed him the paper and I said goodbye and rushed out with my friends.  I don’t even remember what I said to him, or if I even said anything to him as I gave him the paper.  I just know that I gave it to him.

I spent several hours throughout the following months searching a particular page on Facebook.  It was the page for the club where we had been dancing.  I was scouring the faces and names of all the people who had liked the page, looking for this guy.  I used to know his first name.  I honestly couldn’t tell you what it was now, though.  I do remember his eyes, though… those gray-blue, yet bright eyes.  But I searched long and hard for his Facebook, to no avail.

He never called.

Or, at least, if he did, it was after I had left, and my friend with the phone never told me.

I am reminded of all of this, because today, for the second time in my life, I gave a piece of paper with my name and contact info on it to a guy.  (My full name and LINE ID, to be exact.)  He has already contacted me.

Post-a-day 2017