How the hell are you?

I'm terrible at keeping in touch. The fact that this was supposedly going to be a daily blog and has been bi-monthly at its best underlines this fact. Apparently I'm even terrible at keeping in touch with myself. (This idea is best left saved for another post. Or perhaps is dealt with below. Hm.) But really, terrible. My parents rarely hear from me unless I'm asking them to send me something, my friends hear from me in sporadic bursts of love sent their way on the internet, in an act of unbelievable wherewithal, I sent my sister a birthday present last November. Her birthday happens to be in what I consider a very inconvenient month, May. Interestingly, although this lack of keeping in touch does point to a certain self-centredness and lack of concern for others, I think about the people I love, and even the people I like, all the time. I've always said that my friends were my family, because in my teens I never felt that close to my family. (To be clear, I always had that "Well, their family, still love 'em.", just didn't always actually want to spend a lot of time with them.) Luckily, in my twenties I've become quite fond of them as well, and if you had told me 6 or 7 years ago that my fridge in my apartment in a foreign country would be covered in pictures of my mother, father, sister, and (for lack of a better description) stepmother, I would've... well I don't know what I would've done, but I wouldn't have believed you. Anyway, the point is, I miss tons of people and everytime I go to see something amazing, or have a quiet moment, or am dancing in downtown Seoul, or facing new challenges, or guffawing at the ridiculousness of standing boozily in front of a bunch of hollering korean eight year olds after a particularly wild night, I think of someone, and how they would react to this. I know it's no replacement for actually getting in touch with them, but I guess I just want people to know that they had a lasting impression on me and I do think of them, often. (If you have ever been called family, a friend, or a lover, by me, this means you.)

One of the questions that one inevitably encounters when one lives so far away from (most of) one's friends and family is "How are you?". (Other variations include "How are you doin?", "What's up in your world?" and the classic, if coarse, "How the fuck are you, turtlenuts?") You would think this would be a rather straightforward question, but I always feel a little bit kicked in the gut by it. I'm.... uh.... well, I'm---inevitably---I'm good, or alright or not bad or even great sometimes. Occassionally I send back a long rambling rant, rather like this one, made up of all the swirling chaos bouncing around my dome, more often, I send back something terribly inadequate. It's not that I don't want to fill people in on what's going on in my life, quite the opposite, I want to share with them EVERYTHING. Since time doesn't allow me to share EVERYTHING, I generally share very little. This comes from a strange breed of procrastination that I've perhaps not invented, but recognized in myself, which goes something like, "Well, if I don't have time to do something completely and perfectly, I might as well relegate it to 'the future'. You know 'the future', the time when I'll do all those things I was going to do before but was too busy, or tired, or lazy, to do." This is of the highest caliber of bullshit. I say highest caliber because I think I've actually managed to fool myself with this one for years. The result, of course, is that I rarely do the things I want to do that require more than 5 minutes of planning, like write a play, treat my body well, get in touch with people, etc. So, this blog post is no declaration of my eradication of this behaviour. As a very good teacher said to me once, "I don't think you have the equipment to deal with that right now." I probably don't, but if sitting down and writing my thoughts as to "how I am" or anything else for that matter, is going to help me acquire that equipment, this is a shot at making some progress. Would that I could pick this equipment up at the hardware store. Although, on second thought, my Korean is still pretty terrible, so I probably wouldn't be able to find it.

So, how am I? Well, I'm ridiculously torn. On the one hand, I love Korea. I love Sokcho. (I love parentheses.) I love lamp. The set up I have here is great. I work from 1 till 8 at a job I don't hate most of the time, I climb in the mornings, sometimes 2 or 3 times, plus on the weekends, I drink heavily in fits and starts and then cool off for a bit, I make great money, as long as it stays in the country, and I've got a group of friends here that I get closer with all the time. I live in a town small enough to be clean, big enough to be interesting, and nestled in between the mountains and the sea. I have a climbing partner and friend who is, depending on the subject and the converstion, both a mentor and a student, and definitely approaching status of brother. I'm learning loads about myself and have life by the balls, most of the time. I had a girlfriend for a while who was (and still is) a jazz singer, a damn good dancer and who I loved. That went south, but things do, and life goes on. On any given day, I face massive physical and mental challenges climbing, get to play guitar on the beach, and have random encounters with people from a completely different culture. Life is pretty good. On top of all this, I've been bitten by the travel bug, and feel that at this point in my life, I just want to keep moving around, experience things I haven't yet, and see more of the world. And some of that is certainly cooking, I've got a big trip to S.E. Asia planned for June/July/August, and am working on moving to Whistler in November to spend a season skiing there, with the possibility of tree planting next spring and climbing next summer in Squamish.

On the other hand, goddamn I miss creating. Acting especially. After taking some time off, I'm both terrified at the thought of getting back on stage, and feel more ready than ever to get back to work. I want to play Romeo so bad I can taste it. The fact that I haven't done much in the way of writing, or working text, or anything is one that's no fault by my own, but I think about theatre, in one way or another, everyday. Recently, I've begun to realize that thinking about it isn't enough, and have started to get back into reading some Shakespeare. I've got a copy of the Arden's Romeo and Juliet in the mail, and my mornings have started with a scene or two from Anthony and Cleopatra for the past little while. So that's in the works and I guess the force and immediacy of my desire to get back on stage will be revealed over the next little while based on how diligently I pursue gettin myself into shape theatrically.

On another note, although the past year has been unbelievable, there's a great deal I didn't accomplish that I wanted to. The most obvious is becoming financially responsible. I came out here to get rid of my debt, and at this point have paid literally zero of it off. I've sent home just over a thousand dollars. That was not the plan, and although being so far away and completely unassailable by my debtors means I don't feel crippled at the moment, I fear that time is coming soon. I also planned on writing a lot more. So there's the negative in all this positive, I still don't really have my shit together. I get told all the time how mature my outlook on life is. I guess this is because I'm rather open-minded and pretty accepting, and (because most of my peers are at least a few years my senior) people generally look at me as pretty young here. But I've realized it does absolutely no good to be told how mature you are. It seems just to highlight everything I feel pretty juvenile about. Natalie Portman said something on her "Inside the Actor's Studio" appearance that I really identified with, about being precocious as a kid, which I was, and then having this feeling as you get older that people (including myself) are less and less impressed because there comes a certain point when you're no longer mature for your age, your supposed to be this mature now, because you're older. I could've worded that a lot better. Anyway, there's my little rant about what's still bothering me. Back to the good stuff.

I think if I can continue to write this, keep track of where I'm at, and be present in my own life, the path before me will get clearer. So let's do that, yeah. Here goes. Now, I'm gonna go do some yoga, have some breakfast, and go to the doctor and find out if my eye is infected, because I've got a big climbing trip planned for the weekend. Peace and love.


Carly said...

joshua. (is that better than joshy?) this post is so intrinsically you, im left with little words...but i wanted to say...
no one's got their shit together in fact i dont think shit was meant to be together. i feel like i learn and forget that almost everyday.

kwandongbrian said...

How do you feel about acting in Children's plays? There is a group that performs at the Culture centre about every other month. I've taken my son to see The Jungle Book (by people who clearly have never read it), the Wizard of Oz and Snow White and the four dwarves (there aren't many actors).

I don't know acting except people are always looking for one more, it seems. The last time I went, one of the actors spoke English fairly well.