Of Monsters and Men

Well, maybe I’m a crook for stealing your heart away
And maybe I’m a crook for not caring for it
Yeah, maybe I’m a bad, bad, bad… bad person
Well, baby I know.

And these fingertips
Will never run through your skin
Those bright brown eyes
Can only meet mine across the room
Filled with people that are less important than you

‘Cause you love, love, love
When you know I can’t love
You love, love, love
When you know I can’t love
You love, love, love
When you know I can’t love you

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Happy to meet you Nakon Sawan

In my bedroom I have hung index cards of almost 50 phrases and in both English and Thai. I have placed them all over my walls, so that each day I look at the phrase in English, and then read it to myself in Thai. I am determined to learn as much of the language as I can this next year. My goal by the end of the year is to be able to spend a day traveling without needing to use any English.

Taped to my bedroom door is an index card that reads, “Happy to meet you.”

Translation- “Pom mi cuam suk ti dai pop khun.”

8 Days

It’s been over a week since I’ve spoken to the person that was closest to me for the past few years. I had to stop talking to him in order to move on with my life. I knew that as long as we were still around one another I would remain paralyzed in moving forward. Moving on without him. The only way I was able to finally committ to going abroad was because I seperated myself from him.
This past week my mind has been spinning. Spinning with all the memories of good and bad. All the chances we gave one another. All the times we fell in and out of love. All the times we built one another up to only knock eachother down.
No matter how angry I  am with him at first, it always fades, only to be replaced with how much I can miss someone.

My Home-To-Be Across the World

Today I spent some time learning basic Thai words as well as simple phrases. With a month until arrival I feel as if I have enough time to pick up some very beginners Thai, so that I am not completely ignorant when I arrive.

While most of what I was learning was introductory phrases, how to ask for directions, the translation of manners, and how to ask the time, there were a few words that really stuck out to me.

Heart is pronounced- Jai

To enter is pronounced- Kao

To understand is pronounced- Kao Jai.

To understand another person, is in a sense, to enter their heart.

Saturday Afternoon

 

 

Since first moving out of my house three years ago to start college at the University of California Santa Cruz, I have spent countless hours packing up numerous rooms and then unpacking hundreds of boxes.

Although the sun is shining and there is literally not a cloud in the sky, today I have dedicated the afternoon to clearing out my room. Wait- rephrase. Beginning to clear out my room. In a month I will be moving out of my childhood bedroom in a different way than I ever have before. I will be leaving for at least a year to live in Thailand, and then I plan to apply for a program to work in Japan that will start in the fall of 2013. If accepted, it will be over two years until I return home.

A room is our own personal place, full of all the objects we have accumulated over the years- Many of which have sentimental meaning, and many which had it at one point and have now lost the meaning they once held. Where do you begin? Sitting here today, starring at the project that stands before me, how do I know what I will still want to hold onto in a year from now? Two years?

When I finally return home I will be far different from the person I am today.

I have to start clearing out this room full of possessions I won’t need anymore. A closet full of clothes that won’t be worn again. Material objects that are currently part of my everyday life, that I will no longer live with. Minimizing is incredibly refreshing. I own too much.

 

For anyone who has traveled and left behind the room they grew up in, full of the possessions they have come to own over a life time, any advice on where to start?

The Heavenly City

It’s official. I have accepted a teaching job in Thailand. Today I went to get a new passport and in the next few days I will be buying an airplane ticket. Over the next few weeks I am going to share pictures of the place that I will be living- Nakhon Sawan- which translates in “The Heavenly City.”

 

Almost Done

I am notorious for starting things and then never finishing them. Most of the time when I start a canvas I will do the sketch, fill the picture in about half way, post it some where in my room, and then proceed to stare at it for the next few months without touching it.

This particular canvas I started a very long time ago, and I have worked on it bit by bit over the last three years (in my defense I left it at home during part of college, in DC and in Tahoe). Each time I’ve worked on it it has changed, and my style and the details have evolved. As I’ve come close to finally finishing it,  I realize that in someways it is a self portrait. It is a reflection of the person I have been since starting it.

Often, when you are in a relationship, your identity begins to fuse with that of the person you are dating. You come to know yourself as the person you are with them. Subconsciously, I think I began to let this portrait reflect the different sides of me that arose during my relationship. The different dimensions of who we can become. While the person I loved brought out the dreamer in me, he also brought out a nightmarish side.

This canvas was made with him in mind. With me in mind.

A self portrait of the person I am leaving behind. My own identity, without him, I am beginning to find.

 

Summer Nights

It’s been 24 years since I arrived here on earth. The first eight were spent in Hawaii, the next twelve in San Diego, and the last few in Santa Cruz. Although I’ve never taken the time to do anything more than childishly mess around on a skateboard, the sport has still be intertwined with my life for as long as I can remember. Especially being from Southern California, it seems that for most here skating is a life style. My teenage years were defined by hanging out with boys who skate, and this still seems to be a pattern even in the youth of my adulthood. Some of my favorite nights in high school were spent at an abandoned house- watching people skate an empty pool, legs dangling over the side, cheap beer in hand. It is a sport I have always been fascinated with, and enjoyed watching, and these pictures capture it in the most beautiful lighting. I felt as if this was a great set of photos to start the art of summer with.