Saturday, February 1, 2014

Random Travel Update 101

Last Locations:
Zurich, Switzerland: January 20th  – January 30th, 2014

Present Location:
New York, NY: Forever?

Next Location:

I have started writing poetry again. Which leads me to believe that I am heartbroken. I have been drowning myself in angsty music and just letting myself feel. Amazing, colorful, gut-wrenching emotions that fall somewhere between breath-taking and suffocation. I like to think of the other side of love as just as beautiful as the first, but can’t figure out how our biology evolved to make it hurt. so. bad.

There is so much good angsty music out these days. While watching music television in Zurich--where they still play music videos all day like how MTV used to--I identified the turn of a new era of music: indie pop. First it was pop-pop, then hiphop-pop with some pop-punk thrown in. And now indie-pop. Which is a funny era to be in, since growing up, we always thought of indie music as the opposite of pop.

Check out: Haim (Forever), Alt - J (Breezeblocks), and Sbtrkt (Wildfire). It’s the hipsters' doing, I suspect. The delightful, hedonic, and morally aloof hipsters.

I just got back from snapping pictures in Switzerland. I am starting an exciting but unpaid position in business development at a start-up next week and need to be able to book more modeling work in less time by getting an agent. Which requires a portfolio, which requires a lot of work. Some of which was completed last week.

I have grown fond of modeling. When I was younger, it fell too far afield of my nerdy, academic identity. Now, I enjoy the challenge of brutally confronting my insecurities and empowering myself to operate outside of my comfort zone. If I have nothing else in life, I have the power to be project whatever attitude I choose. And that, as it becomes ever more apparent, is pretty much both the beginning and endgame to having it all.

There is, by the way, a formula to these things. I have been using it since I turned my life around in the 7th grade and pivoted from a friendless, suicide-obsessed child to a socially thriving, and over time, now, finally, happy, depressionless human being.

The formula is simple enough:
1. Identify the problem
     ex. unpopularity/ subpar modeling ability
2. Ask why it is a problem
     ex. insecurity/overthinking
3. Ask why...
     ex. people won’t like me/ I am not good enough
4. Ask why...
     ex. bc I don’t like myself/ I don’t have enough experience
5. (Repeat asking why as necessary)
6. Ask what it would take to remedy the problem
     ex. becoming a human being that I like by doing things somebody I would like would do/ practice, practice, practice
7. Ask what other people have done
     ex. read about cures to childhood depression/ see how other models practice
8. Test the suggested approaches by trying them and measuring the results
     ex. practice smiling and making eye contact/ practice posing in front of a camera or mirror
9. Do more of the things that work, stop doing the things that don’t
10. The problem will correct. Repeat for subsequent problems

Note that the process takes for granted that the problem is addressable. What I don’t do is assume, “I must just be an unpopular person.” Or, “I must just not be cut out for modeling.”

For big, life changing things, the process can take place over months or years. It is best to start now, get through as many iterations of asking why as you can, look up what others have done, and start testing changes.

It gets easier each time you do it so that the gains become exponential and happiness becomes easier and easier to obtain. Until you realize that, maybe there is even a state beyond what you originally thought of as a content, happy existence. A state of perpetual bliss. I don't know if there is, but I am certainly starting to believe it is possible. And I don’t mean in a figurative sense. I mean actually achieving a scientifically verifiable near-constant state of euphoria. As if on ecstasy or the deepest state of love forever, but without hangovers or the risk of unbearable heartbeat.

I stepped out of my apartment last night for the first time in 10 days and was overcome by joy when I re-realized that I live in New York City. I celebrated by putting my headphones on and street dancing my way to yoga. Because you can do that here without people thinking you are crazy. At least, without them thinking you are crazy in a bad way.