Burn, Baby Burn

The TowerMy favorite Tarot card is the Tower, specifically from the Aleister Crowley Deck.  It always has been for many reasons.  One, it’s about the total destruction of old beliefs.  Two, it has fire, which I consider my personal element–all my tats have fire in them, or the representation thereof.   The picture to the right is of the Rider-Waite deck, which is not one of my favorite decks–but the picture is free domain.

There was a period of time where I drew the Tower every time I did a reading.  I considered getting it for my last tattoo.  I reluctantly decided against it because while I really resonate with the destruction theme, ultimately, it’s not a mesasge I want permanently inked on my body.

Slight digression:  My last tattoo will be of a phoenix with the face and body of an Asian woman rising out of smoldering ashes (yes, there will be flames somewhere in the tat).  It will be on my left hip/thigh/rib cage.  I will track down Ben, my tattoo artist (he no longer works at The Ink Lab) because he is the best, bar none.

Ok.  Back to complete destruction–which is where I’m at right now.  I am in the midst of scrapping thirty-eight years of plans, beliefs, behaviors, ideas, and other such shit.  It’s scary as hell because so much of what I base my persona on has to go.  For my entire lifetime, my core belief has been that I am a detriment to the world, that I would be better off dead, that I was a waste of space, that I was unlovable, etc.  I would make choices that reinforced these negative beliefs, and then I would withdraw even further.

It’s hard for me not look at the lost fifteen years because there are no do-overs in real life.  My therapist had a great point, though.  She said, “If you keep looking back and not doing anything to change your future, you will be sitting here ten years from now regretting the loss of twenty-five years.”

Damn it.  I hate when she fucking says things like that because she’s right.  Damn her.  She’s also right when she brushes aside the zillion philosophical questions I pose to her.  See, because I have a high intellect, I am able to use my brains to avoid actually doing what needs to be done.

So.  Short, sweet, and to the point.

Writing fiction nourishes me.  I love blogging (y’all know that), but the creativity of my fiction really sustains my soul.  That is number one on my priority list.

Two, getting healthy.  I have let my eating habits slide over the past few years, and  I have reached the point where I am conscious of how much I dislike the way I feel–and, to be honest, look.  I know what I need to do; I just have to fucking do it.

Three, dating.  I hate it, and I am really bad at it, but I want to see if I can actually do the dating thing without getting weird about it.  I have never been comfortable with getting to know people in real life, so it’s about time I learned how.  Especially as it’s a tad bit easier to initiate the sex if I actually know someone’s name.  On second thought, no it’s not, but it might make for a more satisfying connection.

Before that, though, I am contemplating moving to my favorite city in the United States–New York.  I hate crowds, and I hate noise, but I love New York.  Go figure.  I’ve only been there once, but we were simpatico from the very start.  There is a feeling in the air that just resonates inside of me.  I felt alive as I walked the streets of Little Italy, in the Smithsonian, in Central Park, down Broadway.  I didn’t care much for the Bay Area, but I got the same warm accepting feeling as I walked down the streets of El Cerrito.  Of course, that could be because I was getting constantly hit on, but whatever.  It was nice not to be looked at as some kind of–ok, not going to use that word.  Oddity.  Some kind of oddity.

It’s not just about race, even though that plays some part, obviously.  It’s about a vibe, a feeling, a diversity that goes deeper than skin.  There is a sense that I can just be in New York.  I mean, there are so many different types of people there; I am bound to find a couple hundred like me.

And to a complete one-eighty, I have to acknowledge the charisma I possess.  It’s something I’ve fought all my life, but I have to admit (listen to me.  I’m saying it like it’s a bad thing) that people are drawn to me like moths to a flame.  I’ve tried to deny it for most of my life, but I cannot any longer.  One thing about the internet is that you can walk into any forum and get an immediate sense of how the culture of that particular forum works.  Looks don’t matter.  Clothes don’t matter.  The only thing that matters is what you say and how you say it.

What I have noticed is that when I choose to participate in a forum (which isn’t that often.  I’d rather observe than participate), I invariably attract responses.  Sometimes, it’s because I’m one of the few females on the board, like with UniWatch.  Many times, initially, it’s because of my handle.  I have used a variant of asiangrrl since I first started visiting the interwebz, and it’s quite the conversation starter–for better and for worse.

It makes me uncomfortable to admit that I can easily engage people like that.  Over at BJ, I hold down the nightshift with a few other people, and there is a lot of attention directed my way.  In the past, I would have demurred, denied, and denounced any such idea.  I would have been almost offended by the idea.  Why?  I could spout a dozen reasons, but the bottom line is, if I accept that others are eager to talk to me, then I have to discard so many of my preconceived notions about myself.

That’s a daunting task.  “What I say doesn’t matter.”  “Buzz!  Wrong answer, thanks for playing!”  “Nobody cares if I die.”  “Ehhhh!  Try again!”  “I am disgusting.”  “Hahahahahahah, yeah, no.”  When the resounding answer is, “You’re fucking wrong, Hong,” it’s hard to ignore.

I don’t know why, exactly, it’s easier for me to accept the negative things about myself than it is for me to accept the positive.  It almost hurts for me to admit something good about myself except for my brains and my humor.  I think it’s because once I admit I do have worth and value and all that touchy-feely shit, I actually have to do something about it instead of just languish on my fainting couch, swaining around bemoaning how delicate I am.

This brings me to my biggest fear of all, but I am exhausted so I’m calling it a night.  I will continue in the next entry.

12 Responses to Burn, Baby Burn

  1. What can I say, Minna, other than, “It’s about effing time.”

    Kudos on making the correct choice of coasts, too, by the way. Come to the East Coast — we love you long time! (Come on, you know I had to!)

    The middle Kellion wants to live in a huge city; NY, DC, Chicago, LA. She is all about the anonymity, and yet also about the casual acceptance. You have to work a whole lot harder to be “different” or “weird” and she likes that idea.

    Oh, and btw? If you do indeed “give Louisville a try” I demand the rights to photograph you in a prissy dress with a huge hat and amint julep in your hand for the Derby! Hahahahahahahhahaha! I’m going to be grinning and giggling all damn morning at that one…

  2. On my last comment, I almost included two visual images. One of which was a phoenix rising from the ashes. So, I’m failing to come up with a good word that describes the coincidence that you have already chosen something similar for a tat.

    Louisville is a great city and in terms of photography the Downs is okay but Cave Hill Cemetery is to die for ;). Many monuments of various shapes in, basically, an arboretum.

    New York is good. Boston, though, is my favorite city.

    As to your apology, thank you. As much as I love the printed word, sometimes I miss the nuances of inflection found in the spoken word. And I did not take your response personally.

  3. I love NY too. I totally support you doing that. But I’m going to get a little selfish, and say that I will be sad to lose such an awesome student, and I will miss you! OK, I’m done pouting now.

  4. Gregory, I would love to check out Louisville, but alas for me, I MUST live some place where I can freeze my ass off at least six months out of the year. I have a hunch that leaves out Louisville!

    Kel, yeah, I just can’t dig the West Coast, no matter how close to my beloved Pacific Ocean it is. Yeah, NYC is perfect for closeness coupled with relative anonymity. As for photographing me in a prissy dress and a mint julep, bite me.

    Crystal, wow. Great minds think alike, don’t they? I can’t believe you thought of the phoenix, too. Yes. I have had it in mind for my last tat since…at least five years ago. It was going to be my way of rewarding myself for emerging on the other side of the battle, forged by the fire.

    I like cemeteries. If I ever go to Louisville, I will definitely have to check out Cave Hill Cemetery. Thanks for the tip. P.S. I like Boston a great deal, too. I’m just an East Coast grrl at heart.

    Choolie, you know I would miss you like crazy as a teacher and a friend if I move to NYC. I don’t know how I would find another teacher who was so simpatico with me!

  5. I sincerely hope you can find another good Taiji teacher in NY, if you do go. I know of one very old, but VERY masterful guy – William CC Chen. Don’t know if he’d be simpatico, but at least he teaches really good Taiji.


  6. I went without a tattoo for the first 37 years of my life, then got 1…and caught the bug. I’ve only got the 2 right now, but have been thinking about getting another ever since – I’ve changed my view from “It’s just branding yourself” to “it’s about making your body unique – a testimony to your thoughts and ideals”. Oh, and I actually enjoy getting them too (I’m kinda weird I guess).

    As for dating – I’ve never been keen on it, I’m actually very shy when it comes to meeting people (I don’t like crowds either), but recently, I seem to have developed another persona – I love music festivals, the freedom they give me – I can actually talk to people I’ve never met before and make friends so easily there. But dating – the last few weeks I’ve been VERY successful at this (maybe too much so – I seriously need to get some sleep), and it gives me a spring in my step when I get a number, or date with someone new.

    I’ve said it before, and no doubt will say it again – I’m such a tart…

    Like a phoenix from the flames – snee is BACK!

  7. Oh lord, hide your young daughters!

    I stopped at three tattoos but am already planning the 4th which will involve shaving half my head (the bottom half) so I can get a tribal style rabbit. Of course I’ll let my hair grow back and no one will really ever see it. I’ll know it is there and all of my tattoos I have gotten have been for ME and no one else (except for the celestial sun, moon and three stars that means I love The Girl to the sun, moon, stars and, back again!)

  8. Choolie, you’ve told me about him, and that would be amazing. I don’t expect to find another teacher like you if I move. I just want to find someone from whom I can learn. I don’t expect to find someone with a personality so compatible with my own!

    snee, I hear you, brother. I am much bolder online than I am in real life. It’s not that I’m shy, exactly, but that I just don’t do small talk very well. My tats are a part of me. I can’t imagine not having them.

    I’ve said it before, and no doubt will say it again – I’m such a tart…

    And as I said before, you keep saying it like it’s a bad thing!

    whabs, your next tat sounds amazing. My tats are for me as well. I put a lot of thought into each and every one. I wouldn’t do it otherwise.

  9. I’m the same way on my ink. I don’t mind explaining them if someone asks, but I got them done because of the deep meaning they have in my own heart. I’m holding steady at 4…for now. =)

  10. Hi Minna…

    I don’t feel Major Arcana make for a good significator or personal identity card, but that’s just my opinion. What court card would you say you identify with? Just curious.

    I gravitate towards the King of Swords mostly, but sometimes the King of Hearts where those close to me like my daughters are concerned.

    I find your descriptions of emotional state here on your blog interesting. You don’t seem depressed, just uncertain of which way to go in life.

    Been there, done that. It will clear up in time like a bolt out of the blue. Avoid doing anything you may regret until you figure it out, or your choice of direction may be made for you, and you may not like it… Peace Out

  11. Fulcanelli, hm, I never thought of it that way. I would have to say that the Princess of Swords for the most part, and Princess of Wands secondly.

    When I wrote this piece, I wasn’t depressed. However, before it, I was. Severely. As I have been for many many many years.

    I slightly disagree with your last paragraph because I’ve used that excuse as a reason not to do anything for the last fifteen years. I know this is tempting the fates, but nothing could be worse than the last fifteen years of my life. Still, some prudence is beneficiary, I agree. Good to see ya again!