Detox fail and Tunes of da Week 09.19.2011

So I’m on this detox. And I’m failing. I mean not in a “oh let me just eat this Twix bar while no one is watching” kind of way, but I have definitely cheated. This detox is the Wild Rose Cleanse, in which you take these herbal pills twice a day that help cleanse your colon and you are forced to basically eat healthy, cause you are not allowed wheat, dairy, yeast and sugar in your diet. You can have protein, just not red meat and shellfish. So it’s a train of salads, brown rice cakes, none tropical fruit, chicken with steamed veggies and almond butter. It’s not that bad actually, you’re not starving or anything, it just gets a little bland sometimes. Oh sorry did I mention YOU CAN’T DRINK. FOR 12 DAYS. I make this sound like it’s the end of the world, but it is for me. Alcoholism level 10.

I’ve cheated the following ways:

My sushi take-out order was messed up and when I opened my box at home, instead of sashimi, I had a california roll with glorious crab meat and sticky white rice. I ate it.

I baked some cupcakes for a Wes Anderson marathon I held on Saturday. As I watched my friends chomp away I could only laugh at myself, did I really think I was going to sit back and watch them eat all my fluffy iced vanilla delicatessen? Fuck no. I had one.

After the marathon, Alexis, Sean and myself decided to check out an event called Radfest. I don’t really know what we were expecting, but we definitely didn’t expect to wander through the maze of an art studio into the basement where various lasers and strobe lights were helping a handful of drunk/high people immerse in a giant dance party. Complete with gorilla masks. I lasted a minute before I bee-lined for a vodka soda. Hey, the diet said I can’t have anything FERMENTED. Vodka is DISTILLED is it not? Plus it comes from potatoes. I’m allowed to have potatoes. STOP JUDGING ME.

Okay so I cheated 3 times. Listen, I did this cleanse 2 times, both very succesful. As in I completely debloat and feel focused. I can sleep properly at night and don’t feel like a giant bag of bricks getting up in the morning. I really needed this detox after the excess that was this summer. But I’m kind of ashamed that I couldn’t do 12 days without drinking. Granted a couple of vodka sodas half way in won’t be the death of the cleanse, but still… is this my life? Have I finally reached that level where if I don’t have a drink for a week my eye starts to twitch and I can’t be around people? To be continued. Four more days to go. I can’t wait for a cold beer and a plate of pasta.

Before I begin a list of tunes that have sparked my fancy this week, I just want to take a moment to thank the Emmy awards for finally recognizing Friday Night Lights. This wonderful show ended this year after 5 glorious season of amazing writing, acting and directing. It’s seriously my favourite show and the kind of television I strive to write for. Do yourself a favour and put it on the top of your “shows I need to check out” list. You won’t regret it. Kyle Chandler finally got Lead Actor, which is so amazing I can’t even talk about it, and Jason Katims finally got his long over-due award for writing. Katims, please let me intern for you. Please?

TUNES OF DA WEEK

Is that fall I hear approaching? Me thinks so. I dig it. So… some pre-fall tunes.

Vicious Traditions by The Veils

Yeah I got this on repeat. Something very simplistic, utterly depressing, yet strangely uplifting. “Well fight your way out of this one”. Advice, noted.

Pale Blue Eyes by Velvet Underground

Bittersweetness at it’s best. Don’t think too much, just listen and sigh in acknowledgment.

Cuba Gooding Jr. by Long Long Long

Okay, we don’t have to say good-bye to summer yet right? One last bike ride through sunset Vancouver, as the city lights come on and you’re crossing the bridge to meet your friends downtown. Pink skies, dark blue water, mountains black, twinkling Granville island. Feel those drums as you pedal faster.

Almanac by The Acorn

Or you know, admit defeat and curl up by your window with a cappuccino in a giant mug, body sheltered in a blanket, watch the leaves start to fall in the Vancouver rain and read your favourite book. Sleep in till noon. Turn off your phone. No one will miss you. You know you need it.

Polish Girl by Neon Indian

Sometimes we just need to dance. Plus, it college Ted Mosby.

it’s okay to not be okay.

To preface this entry I have to go back a little, I think this might have been a year ago. I was out with friends on a Friday as per usual at our favorite downtown pub, The Morrissey. A friend of mine named Beau, who I met the first month I moved to Vancouver back in June 2005, was with us that night. Although we’re not close and only tend to hang out at mutual social events and holiday parties, he can paint a pretty good picture of who I am. That night in particular he turned to me and said “you know, you’re different now Julia”. I was taken aback, no one had every told me that, not even my closest friends. “Different how?” I asked. He pondered for a moment looking at me, and then simply said “Just not as strong. More vulnerable”. The split second it took for me to reply to him about a billion thoughts exploded in my head. The first one being, THAT’S A TERRIBLE THING TO SAY. I’ve known who I am, what I want and what makes me happy from the time I was 12. It’s been the one thing my parents will say when they look at me in a moment of, ‘is this my child?’, and always tell me how proud they are of how confident I was in who I am. It’s my number one pride. One of my traits is that I’m a wall. When I was kid and into my teen years I held my shit together very tightly. I don’t get angry. I don’t get upset. I try to remain positive at all times. And I’m really good at it. Of course there are cons to this, clearly I have a hard time letting people in and seeing my core, I stuff deep issues down somewhere in a region I barely address which causes me to have random emotional breakdowns every 2 years or so when something escapes and bubbles to the surface. I don’t even know what these issues are but they are there, one day I will have the courage to fully address every single last one and move forward with them, accept them as a part of me. I was hurt that suddenly someone was telling me I wasn’t this person anymore, that I was weak. Of course I’m not weak, just human. But that is the thought I will have when someone tells me I’m not as strong. But then something even better happened, the new version of me that I hadn’t even realized was emerging replied to Beau “You’re right. I am more vulnerable.”. And that was it. I am. Beau met me when I was 19, the height of my strong Berlin Wall care-free attitude. I had just spent half a year in L.A, and then two months traveling. I had just started a job in the TV industry and was making friends every day and starting film school. At that moment a year ago I was 24, just single again after a 2 1/2 year relationship (my longest) that made me be more open than I had ever been, and I had started questioning my future and the next phase of my life. I believe we go through changes every 5 years, and currently I am due. And after I replied, and admitted my new vulnerability, the rush of shame and anger that first came disappeared and was replaced with a calm surge. Yes, I Julia Niendorf, am in the pinnacle of my life where we go through major changes in who we are to the core. We lose friendships, we discover parts about people we didn’t want to, we learn to trust, we learn to mistrust, we learn how to truly be in love and that it’s never black and white, there are so many levels of different love we can have for people at the same time, we learn how our careers make us miserable or ecstatic, what pushes us, what breaks us down and most importantly we figure out what we are truly passionate about. We can hold on to who we are but the slow build of your new self that will eventually take you to your 30’s is unavoidable. And I am currently learning and getting comfortable with Julia 2.0. Even though I HATE IT. Mostly because I am more vulnerable. These emotions…. HOW DOES IT WORK? Foreign concept to me.

All that being said, I am really trying to adapt and embrace my new changes. Not what kind of person I am, just how I deal with things and how they effect me. The first is being more honest with myself. I’ve gotten used to saying how I actually feel when someone says “Hey how’s it going?”. 99% of people will do the standards: good. fine. all right. I just go right for it. It’s ranged from: balls tired. miserable. feeling kind of sad. actually really good today. What are we so scared of? Why can’t we just say how we feel? Of course it’s always polite in a social situation to grin and say you’re fine when you might be slowly dying on the inside, and I’m not saying I lay all my baggage out as soon as someone asks me, but if I meet a friend for lunch, or come home after work to Franz, or even to my co-workers who are friends I worked with in the past, I will be honest about my current state. Two to three words where they get the picture. Franz thinks this is great progress for me, and my co-workers seem to appreciate it and it’s almost become humorous to them. “So how’s it going today Julia?”, “Truly awful, I need a drink. You?”. I can only be honest to my current state, and it also helps me pinpoint why I’m sad, or angry, and I end up moving on much quicker as opposed to letting it bottle up inside and put on a brave face. For who? This is my heart, my health, my state, I’m the only person in control of my happiness, so why not confront it head on. Hey, this shit doesn’t happen overnight. I slip into old habits most of the time, where I get quiet and withdrawn when something is truly bothering me. It’s hard for me to put into words how I feel. I don’t know how to do it. Hence why I stay quiet in confrontations. I can never fully articulate what I want to say and end up angering or confusing the other person. It’s so frustrating that I just give up. I articulate my feelings much better in writing. So here’s how Julia’s doing:

I’m not okay. But that’s okay. Much has happened to me over the last year and leading up till now which makes me not okay. Old Julia would have soldiered on and pushed all these experiences and the internal issues they caused in a vault somewhere further than her heart, but new Julia is confronting how these experiences made her feel. I’ve fought battles, I’ve lost things close to me and I’ve held my head high and let things go. Letting go is the hardest is it not? God damn. From the smallest issue at work, to a physical being, letting go is fucking brutal. All this accumaltes into me currently dealing with swings of sadness, anxiety and anger. And that’s okay. I’m allowed to feel this way. I’m dealing, and I’m healing (what a rhyme!). And I’m proud of myself. So next time someone asks how you are doing, just remember there is nothing shameful, and nothing weak about admiting, no, no I’m not okay. But I’ll be fine. Because we all will be. I will be. Life moves on, forces us to let go of the past and eventually come out the other side where we can genuinely say “I’m great”. Just like Kevin Spacey did.

So there you go, don’t be afraid to say it. It might actually make you feel better to say it aloud. Most of us are not okay. But we’re trudging through it. So lets pour ourselves another glass of whiskey, give each other a sad smile and cheers to the future where we will haven gotten over our current bump in the road. Best case scenario, we learn and add another layer to our personality, and what makes us who we are. Wear those scares. Wear em’ proud.

TUNES OF DA WEEK

These Arms Of Mine by Otis Redding

Ugh this song, this is fucking soul to me. When you’re yearning.

Lover, You Should Have Come Over by Jeff Buckley

I don’t think I’ve read lyrics so painfully accurate about wanting something you can’t have. Dios Mios! I mean come on now.

It’s never over, my kingdom for a kiss upon her shoulder

It’s never over, all my riches for her smiles when I slept so soft against her

It’s never over, all my blood for the sweetness of her laughter

It’s never over, she’s the tear that hangs inside my soul forever

Kissy, Kissy by The Kills

Just saw them again live and this song is such a great dark blues revengful love song that’s even better seen live between Jamie Hince and Allison Mosshart.

Sigh No More by Mumford and Sons

Always remember to let love back in your life.

American Girl by Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers

One of my favorite classics of all time. Too many good summer memories of road trips, bike rides and laughter with my best friends.

And in honor of being honest, here’s a pic of me wearing a chocolate face mask that I had on writing this blog entry! One thing will never change about me, I just don’t embarrass.

Swamp Thing