Monday, February 25, 2013

I don't want to hate myself just for loving someone.
But I hate that I love people at my own expense.
What does unconditional love really mean?

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Hershey's Kisses

Today in acting class we did an exercise involving dirty clothes and all the memories we could muster.
The directions: to fold all of the laundry in front of the class while telling the story of our lives. Mixing a completely mundane activity with an exposition of everything that led up to the product we were today, all in front of near strangers.

I was in for many surprises.
Getting to know classmates I never intended to know turned out to be a very rewarding experience. In my opinion, there's a big problem in the world with judging by face value; I am a chronic culprit of this. But as soon as somebody's story is revealed and the steps are retraced, suddenly there is empathy. And this understanding always paints the realization of how beautiful this person we just previously wrote off is and how much they have to offer. I'm not saying I wrote anyone off or do so often, but that I have found such a high level of appreciation for the people in my acting class, folding somebody's Cleveland Browns t-shirt in front of us. And for the people in this world in general.

But surprisingly, it wasn't just about the story they were telling that sparked my interest. I was also intrigued by the folding. Some would fold quickly and efficiently; others would improvise. Some would fold clothes against their bodies, others against the table surfaces. Some would fold, fold, fold, and fold one article of clothing in to nice, small packages, while others were done in two strokes. How they did things, how they finished a job...that was also on display in front of us.

And then it was my turn. 
The thing that struck me the most was how scared I was to tell my story, yet how excited I was to share it. And through my nerves, I began to talk. And I talked. And I kept talking and I kept folding...and suddenly the laundry was folded and I was at the end of my story.

Through all of my life, I always kept my focus on accomplishments. If I were to tick off the most important parts of my twenty years, it would be winning the ASYO concerto competition, organizing a benefit concert for the ASO, getting into CIM, etc. 

Yet as I told the "story of my life", none of these thoughts even crossed my mind. Only family. My family and everything they had done for me.
The times when my brother and I would wait outside on the doorstep for Mom to bring home the free hamburger she got while working at McDonald's that day.
Playing on the playground Dad built for us.
Eating the peanut butter and ham sandwiches Dad made for me to bring to school every day.
Mom moving back home.
Peter going to Columbia Law.

And in the end...isn't that what life is about? The people that gave to you and the people you give to?
And love in its purist form: family.