Rules Of Conditional Acceptance:

They’re so glad to have you here
So long as you’re not too much of what you are,
And can fit yourself inside their narrow outline for one of the good ones
(Exactly one of the good ones).

But now you notice it’s feeling tight
And you’ve spent your life climbing up their pedestal
So you can be a prop:
One season change away from going out of style,
One slip away from getting knocked off.

I don’t want to be one of your good ones anymore.


Things I Did In Paris

The Shmoop version:

  • Spent time wandering through parks and sitting on benches and lingering in cafes not feeling bad about not being productive like I do in New York.
  • Improv-ed a lot.
  • Found my groove. Forgot where I left it and lost it again. Found it. It ran away. Chased it around.
  • Krumped.
  • Choreographed in a park.
  • Learned to like journaling.
  • Wine.
  • Had some late night w(h)ine and feelings conversations that dug deep.
  • Needed friends. Found them.
  • Cried in public.
  • Cried in private.
  • Had about four and a half identity crises.
  • Ate snails. Didn’t hate them.


    Garlic can fix anything.

  • Almond croissants.
  • Macarons.
  • Monoprix brand chocolate mousse.
  • Saw seven performances, which I loved, hated, and felt meh about, sometimes all at once.
  • Noticed which moments from those performances (whether love, hate, or meh) still stuck with me after a few weeks.
  • Was impressed at the size, diversity, and casual-ness of theater audiences. Realized that subsidized tickets probably have something to do with it.
  • Developed an appreciation for NYC’s 24-hour subway service after 2am.
  • Dealt with some transportation strikes.
  • Learned to get around using actual maps instead of just Google Maps.
  • Took dance classes in French. Was thankful for ballet terms and body language.
  • Was an open class junky as usual.
  • Really felt like I was hitting a wall with my performance (in that I literally ran into the wall during a performance).
  • Got good at saying “je voudrais”” and “pardon” and “Je ne parle pas français.”
  • Gave directions in Arabic once (which is a big deal for me given that I rarely have competent directional knowledge or language skills, let alone both at the same time).
  • Got lost in museums.
  • Wondered why I was in museums and theaters when the world is a mess.
  • Went to more museums.

Posture jungement.

  • Spent a long time looking at art and an equally long time looking at graffiti. Tried to figure out the difference.13494989_10208692991714392_1993365495488247232_n
  • Wandered around cemeteries looking for famous dead people. Wondered about the non-famous dead people I saw along the way. Tried to Google their names. Found nothing.


    Nijinsky though…

  • Decided that I should to make a resume section for every airport security additional screening test I pass (It’s senior year–gotta pad that resume with something).
  • Realized how quickly I can get comfortable in new cities.
  • Didn’t necessarily leave with the feeling that I need to move to Paris, but with the feeling that I could move there, or a whole lot of other places, and find bits of home-ish.



All Suburbia Looks the Same

I mean #notAllSuburbia, but enough of the Eastern US along the highways was built around the same time and the same model that driving through upstate New York immediately conjures memories of driving though central North Carolina.

It feels like home. Home?

The houses with brick borders and vinyl siding in one of five pastels. The nearly identically-organized shopping center with a Michael’s, Dick’s, JoAnne’s, Marshall’s, WallMart, and Olive Garden. The half-thinned woods and the planted pear trees.  If I let my sense of the present drown out in the flooding nostalgia, I could inaccurately and precisely pinpoint the location on an outdated map of my old neighborhood.

Then and now, it doesn’t seem particularly exciting, but the type of boring seems to have changed. Before, I had imagined that these mundane images were unbearably local, a terribly narrow view of the world. But now, stretched wide across unencountered space, they appear unbearably generic, a nondescript, placeless universality. Like maybe everywhere can be home, but nowhere really ever was.

Back then, when I thought about living beyond that the limits of my suburbia, I assumed that what was outside would be bigger, faster, more complicated, more sophisticated, unknown. That was a little bit true, but probably mostly false (in proportion of square-footage, anyway). If I haven’t that noticed until now, maybe it’s because I’ve fixated on little islands of flashy difference in an ocean of more of the same-ish.

I wonder if all the overhyped sea explorers of history realized that the oceans everywhere are mostly the same, when they committed their lives to sailing around the world. Or were they too caught up in their sparkly dreams of islands to see?

Placeless, familiar, unencountered, known, endless.


You could drown in it, or just keep floating. 

Aspartame (a snippet)

You spoke to me with a voice that was sweeter than sugar. Two hundred times sweeter, to be precise: engineered and measured to the mark. Some would call it sickening, but swimming in the dark, bitter coffee, you could shine through like natural couldn’t.

And you never promised something real, just something better: guilt-free; an untraceable zero. So you could be my zero. And I was your zero.

So then somehow I was left with a gaping hole: empty with hunger and filled with hunger.

No one thought to calculate the aftertaste.




Gaps (a snippet)

I thought that’s just how we did things: talking around issues instead of talking about them. Communicating in loaded silences and drawing out our boundaries with negative space. Because it beats running at the divide head-on, only to find that we don’t have big enough words to bridge our gap in understanding.