Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Mean Reds

So, I know that this blog makes me sound like I live on some area of Cloud Nine all the time: I speak of saunas, ballerina dancing, zombies, good music, nights of general frivolity; only unicorns would make this portrait more magical. (I have a thing for unicorns. And peanuts, but that's another matter entirely.) But truth be told, there are days when I am not so full of rainbows and sprinkles. Or rainbow sprinkles. I definitely have the occasional case of the "mean reds"--to steal from Truman Capote, via the incomparable Holly Golightly--and days where I feel, to use the nonsensical vernacular, quite simply...meh. Sometimes my rock solid sarcasm fades, my general mood is a distinct shade of Scandinavian grey; whether it's for professional or personal reasons, there are some days where yes: even I doubt the existence of unicorns, and lose my taste for peanuts.

Before moving to this land of Vikings and infinite shades of grey and fun, and before meeting the wonderful people I work with, I would have just dealt with these feelings. Wallowed, perhaps, but dealt. However I've found that dealing with the mean reds is good, but dealing with them by keeping to one's self is highly unproductive. Distraction and diversions are necessary, at least for me. In my time in Copenhagen, I've discovered some excellent ways to revive my spirits and restore my faith in myself, humanity, and of course unicorns. With the occasional photographic insert, and without further ado, here is what this ballerina child does to overcome the blues (or the reds):

(1) Skype/GMail Chat/Facebook with family, at least once a day. I'm blessed to have four younger, super-talented siblings who are just as weird and wacky as their oldest sister (that'd be moi). And luckily for me, my parents are some of the coolest old folks ever invented. With brothers who routinely make me laugh until I think I might pee a little, and a sister who has a tendency to spout hilarious non sequiturs (and occasionally confuse Mother Teresa with Mother Nature), I've found that conversations with my younger SuperSibs are a wonderful way to get my mind off of just about anything. And as we get older--and geographically further apart--it's nice to see we're actually growing closer. And with my parents...well. I can always count on my mother to email me necessary pop culture updates from the States, as well as the occasional link to some fabulous piece of clothing/shoes/accessory; plus she always seems to know when I need an inspirational quote or a laugh. I tell my dad absolutely everything (he's something of a legend at the Royal Danish Ballet now, thanks to his Facebook profile), and in the same way I have a thing for imaginary horses with horns, he has a thing for bacon. Needless to say, my family's numero uno when it comes to getting me out of a funk. Cliche? Perhaps. But I lucked out with the whole genetics thing.

(2) Read a book. Look, I don't consider myself to be "cool." I have big hair; I once stored books in my oven because I use it so infrequently/live on takeout due to lacking of kitchen skills; I get my shoelaces caught in my bike pedals; I watch bad television; I clean my apartment while blasting Ike & Tina Turner songs; I snort when I laugh. So naturally, I'm a bookworm who enjoys getting lost in a good novel on a regular basis. (I'm currently reading Sarah Vowell's The Partly Cloudy Patriot, and it's awesomely witty...perfect for a rainy Sunday like today.)

(3) Go out with friends, even if you're feeling a little bit homebodyish. You might end up being pleasantly surprised. Perfect example: Last night. Before our performance, I was feeling a little 'le blabla.' (This is a new feeling, discovered when I spent Christmas in Paris with friends. We found a cafe called Le BlaBla, and since then have defined the phrase as a mood.) My friend Cecilie asked if I wanted to go out, and even though I had planned to spend Saturday night on my couch--undoubtedly engaging in time lord-watching activities (this will be explained later), and not much else--I decided to give it a go, at least for a little while. And I was so glad I did: I ended up hearing fantastic music at a Stengade party at Vega and had a wonderful night out with Cecilie and two other girlfriends, which ended with the obligatory shawarma stop before going home. I regained my "muchness" for a couple of hours. Plus we saw the following display, which completely made me smile:

(4) Talk about it. I used to be the queen of Bottling It Up, Sweeping It Under the Carpet, etc. I rarely cried (except in movies; I cry, inexplicably, at some point in most films I see). I applied a thick layer of sarcasm to the situation. The sarcastic streak remains, but since moving here, I've realized that if you keep everything inside, eventually you'll end up like a shaken bottle of Coke. Once you open it, soda goes everywhere. So not to sound like a Hallmark card, but I highly recommend the occasional vent-fest to your friends. Go out for a glass of wine, and spill the beans. With peanuts involved. You'll go home feeling better.

(5) I believe in brunch. Like Bruce Wayne believed in Harvey Dent, I believe in brunch. There is nothing not to like about mankind's greatest culinary invention. It's got a hybrid name, is often served in buffet form, is best enjoyed in the company of good friends, is generally experienced on a day off from work, and occasionally--if it's fancified--involves champagne. I can't find anything wrong with this situation.

(6) Dr. Who, the David Tennant years. Sometimes, I can't deal with people. You know the feeling when you don't want to talk to anyone, and you're a little bit homesick, and you feel very unattractive or single or bloated, and the only thing you can tolerate involves no communication with the outside world, a big blanket, maybe some Dumle candy, and your favorite guilty pleasure TV show? There are days when I need to go home and put on pajamas right after work and eat dinner. And then I need to curl up in the awesome pink blanket my mom knit me, get out a bag of the aforementioned Dumles and a pitcher of "rød" juice, and (because I have no TV) YouTube full episodes of the awesome BBC science fiction series Dr. Who. If you don't know Dr. Who, know two things: (1) It is a series about a 'time lord'; (2) It is a series with episode titles like "The Planet of the Ood" and "Fires of Pompeii." Enough said.

(7) Cry. Sometimes, none of the above will do the trick. Going out won't help; you're not in the mood to read; time lords aren't real; it's nighttime on a weekday so you can't do brunch; your siblings and parents suddenly have lives and are unavailable; you don't want to talk to anyone; whatever. And the only thing that will work is a full-on, splotchy, snotty, good old-fashioned cry. The kind that leaves your eyes puffy, and then you sleep like a baby. So just do it. Cry in the shower (that's wonderful), into your pillow, curled up in bed with the one stuffed animal you've kept since your baptism...just do it.

(8) Remember that at the end of the day, you have it pretty good. There are truly crappy days. And then there are the days where I indulge in my melodramatic side, and exaggerate events to the point where even I realize I'm being ridiculous. Those sorts of mean reds are quickly cured when I remember: I have a fairly lovely life. My family's far away and sometimes--yes I will admit it--I get a little homesick; but thanks to the wonders of the information superhighway that is the Internet, I can contact them whenever I want. I'm lucky enough to have made a second family of sorts through the wonderful friends I've made this year. At 21 years old, I support myself doing what I love in a city I love. I have my health (poor eyesight aside), and all of my hair, teeth, and limbs. Sometimes I get to guest blog about friends' promotions with The Ballet Bag, like I did here. At the end of the day, my life is not so bad. Plus, I get paid to do stuff like this onstage:

That's a pretty sweet deal if you ask me.

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