Emaciated

verb ema·ci·ate \i-ˈmā-shē-ˌāt\
ema·ci·at·edema·ci·at·ing
Definition of EMACIATE

intransitive verb
: to waste away physically
transitive verb
1
: to cause to lose flesh so as to become very thin <cattle emaciated by illness>
2
: to make feeble


What a word.  Emaciate.  Sad and sinister at the same time.  The definition above from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

This word found its way into my life well before I understood it, in the opening lines of an emotionally charged summer theater work.  It wasn’t my line, I just heard it.  It was my scene, I didn’t understand it.

It’s amazing, the power of words.  How words spoken or read can stay with you, reminding you of good, bad, happy, or sad times.  Words can stink or pull at heart-strings and words can guide or uplift, inspire and destroy.

Emaciated

It wasn’t until very recently that I saw this word come to life.  In a picture.  Tall skinny body, always on the thin side but that was once commanding and muscular now gaunt.  Hollow face set apart by protruding cheek bones, no longer rosy.  Deep set eyes that once sparkled with nerve and adventure from under a distinguished brow line, now encircled by darkness.  Ghostly.

Can you see this face?  I see it clear as day.  It haunts and hurts.


Is it possible to feel emaciated?  Cause I think I have before.  Maybe it’s other feeling that drive it and you fall away, into the shadows of yourself wasting away.  Becoming consumed with what went wrong and how you should have done thing differently to avoid this place.

You sink further.
And further still till you are riddled with memories and words and images that you can’t let go of.
Until you do.
Until you decide you won’t let yourself be eaten by the darkness that is this fear and anger.  You find a way.  Me?  I run.  I run long and hard and I don’t look back.
At least I didn’t.  Back to the power of words?  One text.  A few words.  One text from one name and that Pandoras box you locked and hid under a floor board under your bed opens and all those shadows come bursting forth with fury a thousand times stronger then before.  Angered for being overcome by the present and powerful thoughts and actions.
I fell.
I fell back into that dark place.  So easily.  Like returning to an addiction, it takes control so much faster the second time.  How easy it is to fall back.
Then you become feeble, handicapped, emaciated.  Because your feelings consume you.  You forget to take care of yourself.  You don’t sleep.  Can’t eat.  Can you get out of this shadowy abyss again?

A picture is worth a thousand words.  That’s a powerful picture if one little word can pack such a punch.

One powerful words perfectly wraps up one image and it scares me.
What has happened to that charming face and powerful being?
What will happen to me the next time those shadows re-emerge from the dark?

I told you it’d be thought provoking…

lovealways, Christiane

We Say “Goodbye” to out Girls

“We all have the opportunity to leave our footprint in the sand”

Often we say goodbye and really mean, I’ll see you later. But there is always the looming goodbye that you know is really the last one. I don’t mean to sound harsh or negative or depressing or mean… It’s the circle of life and I’ve experienced my share of it… So I speak from my experience.
The physical being may be gone but the memory lives on in photos and those of us left behind. Sometimes the later in I’ll see you later, may be a long way off but memories are forever. I’m always a fan of “remember the good times”, the times before you fought, got sick, moved on, left. It’s easier said then done though, I know. So here’s to a post about memories and goodbyes.
I just found out my mom had to put her dog to sleep. Scamp, or little dog as I always called her, had lost most of her senses and her organs were failing internally. While we all called her our puppy dog, she was well over 10 years old. She had a great life full of long walks, popcorn, groomers, and food. But that doss not make it any less hard to say that last goodbye.20140915-145618-53778687.jpg

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About 5 years ago, we put our other dog, Kate or big dog, down. She to was about 13 and her body was starting to fail her. Even though she always wager her tail when she saw the treats come out or the harness go on, I the end she could hardly stand. It was better for her and for us, to end the pain and remember the good times. Because those are what matters…. While both good and bad build us up, break us down, and make us individuals.

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And senses I’m already crying, I will make this a full “in memory” post and white about my dad. We are just 1 month shy of the 3 year date of his passing from an aggressive form of kidney cancer… If you didn’t know that happened, well, now you do. In a whirlwind of a 10 month downhill spirally world changed and I was saying a goodbye that would never be I’ll see you again. What can you do? The body fails but the spirit and Emory lives on… If we dwell on that goodbye we never move forward. It becomes a ball and chain, weighing us down and holding us back. However, if we remember their spirit and channel that in our daily lives, we grow and move onward… Living with their memory and guidance.

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We are shadows.

Alright, that’s enough emotions for me today… But it saves me from writing a blabbering unreadable post on October 19th.
The take away, love the moment and live it to the fullest. Love those around you and love yourself… even when it seems impossible. I like to believe that goodbye doesn’t mean goodbye, just I’ll see you later… And depending on what you believe, maybe that’s true… But it’s never any easier.

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Reflect, share, comment, like, follow, enjoy.

Love always, Christiane

Sharing is Scary: Part 1 “Shaded Blue”

As some of you probably know and others may not, I’m a dancer.  I’ve been dancing sense age 4 and have built up quite an impressive resume over the years.  I love performing, being on stage, directing, choreographing, etc.  However, I’ve always had a hard time sharing my work while it’s in progress… or really sharing my work any other way but live.  I’ve decided that is something I want to work on- to overcome.  While I think dance, and most live performing arts are better live I know there is a huge outlet for it via video, online, etc.  I’ve decided, that to overcome this fear and to get my work seen by a few more eyes, I will work on releasing various performances, pieces, and clips of work here on the blog!

 I’m starting with a piece I did a few years ago that is truly one of my favorites and one that I would love to put on the stage again.  “Shaded Blue” was choreographed in 2012 at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, GA as an assignment for my Choreo. 2 class.  The semester before in Choreo. 1, I set a piece about my father and our struggle with his cancer and the aftermath of losing him.  That work, “Holding On/ Chasing Dreams” was an emotionally charged piece that above anything else was a way for me to express what I had been through.  After working on a piece so deep and personal, I wanted to create a piece that was just movement for the heck of it!  Phrases that felt really good in the dancers bodies and didn’t tell a deeper story.  Something that moved and was happy and beautiful, creative and flowing.  I actually wrote out all the choreography on an airplane.  I could just see the piece in my head, I didn’t need to feel it in my body, I already knew what was coming next.  This quartet is set to an original piece of music by Kyle Lacy, titled “Iceberg Shade of Blue”.  In a way, we collaborated on creating the perfect track for the final performance, editing sound levels, length, vocals, etc. It was exciting to create a new dance to a new piece of music, I was able to pull inspiration from the raw music and share the work of another artist.  The performers are all friends and fellow dance majors from Agnes.  Setting this work on them was fun and in many ways, easy, because we could all communicate and just play in the early stages of choreography to create some movement that was personal and individualized for each dancer.

And now I have to share!!   Click here, here, or HERE to see the Promo short for “Shaded Blue”.  This is a 1 minute clip that should spark your interest and make you want to see the whole dance…  Then you can click This, that, or the other for the full length video!!!   I hope you enjoy 🙂   (yes- everything in orange is a hyperlilnk to my youtube channel and the indicated performance video.  You have plenty of options on where to click…. and hopefully you will watch more then once!)

I was constantly inspired and loved working on this piece of choreography.  But I know it does not stand alone.  I have begun work on a new solo which is a sister piece to “Shaded Blue” and may be one of three in total!  Exciting things are happening and I plan to keep sharing, so keep an eye out for more “Sharing is Scary” entries that will contain snippets of new work and progress as well as (hopefully) thoughts and insight on my process.  

Please do continue to read, share, follow, like, and comment!

love always,  Christiane

And if you read this far, you get a bonus- here is a special release 15 second clip of the new solo http://instagram.com/p/sEIFF2m4EL/

Enjoy and know there is more to come!

Hey Girl, Hey: Cat Call Culture

So I wrote what has become this post a few weeks ago– more as a rant, on the train headed home one night. But after some things today, I decided to post it.

What prompted this you may ask? Well today I decided to dress up, as Wednesday is my Friday. I worn a dress that would be totally school appropriate- skirt to my knees, thick strapped, fully lined- and yet I got hollered at not once… Not twice… But 3 damn times!! (And not by the type I would appreciate it from). It upset me a bit- I didn’t dress this way to show off or impress anyone. I put on this outfit because it made me feel good and that makes me happy.

But instead I got to see and experience a side of our culture that pisses me off- why do men feel it’s OK to stare and call at women?

So, that brings me to the material I wrote a while ago and now feel I must post… It’s a comment on our culture, femininity, stereotypes, and boundaries.

” Rewind to late that morning. Picture me; hot, sweaty, and red in the face. Clad in sports bra, black tank-top, purple and black Lulu shorts, and running shoes. Clearly just released from an intense work out… Not making a conscious effort to show off or attract attention. And someone- some man- on the street corner decides it’s appropriate to whistle, holler, and stare at me as I make my way across the street to the train to go home– and make myself somewhat presentable for someone who actually matters… Someone I would spend the time to look decent or would care if they noticed.

Or how about this:: flashback to just a few hours ago (that night)– I’m happily settled on the idea of staying in my apartment, turning in early, and waking early for work… When the young, good looking, 23 year old lady in me decides it would be a little fun to go out and socialize- with friends and maybe a few drinks… (Isn’t that what people do on a Friday night? And make it look fun??) Not realizing it would turn into a late-night, “hit on the ladies at the bar” event. And me sitting in the train (thank goodness gracious the 1 train was running tonight), alone at 2:00 am.

Being an in shape, single woman (although the single part hardly matters) in New York City, I have come to realize what a male centered culture I’m living in. How much women, so often without even trying, come off as sexual, troublesome, and “asking for” attention.

OK, so yes I wore a dress- a non revealing dress- mind you. What makes you think it’s ok to holler at me on the street? Do you think I wore this for anyone other then myself? The answer is NO.

Or what makes you think it’s proper to stare at me at the gym. I know I have a 6-pack and triceps to kill for– but that’s for no one but myself. I work out for other reasons then to have strange men look at me– yet they seem to think it’s all for them.

How do you win? As a woman who is attractive, independent, focused and interested in different things then attention from strangers?? In a culture where “Cat Calling” on the street, staring on the train, and constantly being hit on is common place, what can you do?

Some ladies work it- seeking and soaking up attention by revealing ever so much cleavage, or wearing that very short skirt. They know how to steer the conversation at a bar in their favor and get drinks on someone else’s tab. Or have the spot light on them but no one touches. They have confidence on a different level… Or do they have less self confidence… So attention from strangers fixes that craving?
Me, I don’t need to hear everyday that I’m beautiful or strong or attractive (although it’s nice to hear from someone who matters to me and who’s opinion and eyes I value). I know I am and I have my own motivations (as jaded as they may be at times). In fact, I get infuriated when men think they can come up to me at a bar and out their arm around me. Buddy, you don’t know me and I’m not afraid to slug you one in the face… Maybe fracture your noise while I’m at it. What makes anyone think that’s OK to do? And why should any woman let that happen. You don’t NEED validation from a man- physically or emotionally- to be beautiful, strong, and amazing.

However, it seems we do- at times, in places- live in a culture where a woman is seen for her body and little else. And where so we go from there? Do we give in and fall into it? Into pleasing others- men- and settle for being beckoned like an animal or have comments made to us under a mans breath as they pass us on the street. I don’t think it’s something I’ll ever be able to do or really get used too. ”

Ok readers- what social comments or stories or experiences do you have to tell? What do you think is ok? Or not.

Comment, share, like, follow!

Love always, Christiane

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Tippin’ the Scales, Pullin Away: Finding Balance

Happy Friday beautiful blog readers! I hope you all have had a good week and are looking forward tothe weekend! I’ve had a great, but busy week- which has inspired this post… All about finding balance. In every sense of the word. These are some personal accounts and observations about finding (and sometimes struggling with) balance in my life. I hope something in here speaks to each one of you or causes you to look at the balance (lack of it) in your lives.

Physically

Balance in the most literal sense. Like, if you stand on one foot can you stay there still and peaceful or are you wiggle-wobbling all over? After many years of dance and many many twisted ankles (my right ankle has been twisted at least 6 times), this was a sticking point for me for many years… and still is on rainy days ;-/ I didn’t know what really to do to “have better balance”. Usually in trying to achieve it, I would get more stressed and frustrated… and only become more unbalanced.

Now as a (more) physically active and away young adult, I’ve learned that there are many things that can to worked on to achieve better physical balance. One would be working on core strength and centering. Having a strong center (the powerhouse for the rest of the body and limbs) helps you transfer weight smoothly and evenly from one foot to the other. Working consistently on my core strength has also help me to overcome a 6 year old back injury- that only until recently did not flair up every time I did true pushups or heavy lifting!

Balance is something that needs to be practiced and revisited many times. It’s worked on in many dance or Pilates class you will go to. In fact, we did a single leg balancing series in my Pilates class today and I didn’t hardly waiver at all.  It felt really good to see and feel my personal progress.

Fitness

This really goes closely with physical balance, but in a different way.  Sometimes when I look at how much I run, hit the gym, or throw myself into a class, I’m surprised I’m still standing.  My stress relief is working out… a LOT. But there is such a thing as to much!  Balancing time in the gym and time to recover is important.  That recovery time give your body a chance to rebuild muscle and become stronger.  But when my head is spinning and the only relief is to be on the running trail, it’s important to be careful… overdoing it could be a lot worse then some tears.

I’ve found a nice balance… for now at least!  Trying to run 3+ miles every other day, and biking or walking on the off days.  Always stretching and doing core strengthening.  Then on days off, not even thinking about it!

I would be the one to push myself to far.  Last week i was in the gym for 3 hours.  Felt great and did some of everything and did it well… but then took the next 2 days off from high impact workouts.  The next time I went for a run, I felt better and was looking forward to it, rather then dragging myself through it.  Your body will thank you for this sense of balance.

Sleep vs. Awake

Now I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time finding a good balance between sleep and getting everything I need done in a day.  We all know some of the reasons sleep is so important- it’s a time for your body to rest and recover (either from the daily stress of life or from an injury or illness), sleep aids in memorization and productivity, it gives your body systems time to recharge, etc.  However, we all know that the demands of daily life in 2014 (especially in New York) don’t always understand or lend themselves to everyone getting those 8+/- uninterrupted hours of sleep.  I discovered on my trip to Illinois how tired I was.  The first few days there I literally fell asleep every 3 hours, for at least 1 hour, and finally felt like I was “caught up” on sleep.

I’m still struggling with this aspect of balance.  Even on days off, when I technically could sleep in and not be late for anything, I make myself rise at a relatively early hour.  If I stay in bed to long i end up feeling like I’ve waisted the day.  I will get up and go to the gym even when I want to stay in and rest.  Part of it is guilt, “waisted the day”. Part of it is knowing how much I want to get done in a day.  Part of it is fear, that if I stay inside and to myself I’ll get lonely and sad.

But there must be a good middle ground.  Turning in right after getting home at night to wake early the next morning and not feel exhausted all day at work.  Allowing some sleeping in, and being perfectly alright if everything on that To-Do list doesn’t get checked off that day.  It’s a process, finding that balance.

Emotionally

I seem to have a hard time finding and maintaining balance in this category.  It’s perfectly normal to have emotional reactions to various events- good, bad, happy, or sad, however sometimes I feel like my emotions are the ones calling the shots and not at all checking in ith the rest of me!  But emotions are not something we can actually see or touch… we can’t put a brace on them for stability.  So what can one do?

I found I got a graet emotional break when I got out of NYC and into the still, quiet, calm of my summer cottage in the valley.  I was able to get some perspective on my life, my situation, and my future.  I wasn’t constantly around reminders of that previous relationship or the place i used to call home.  I was able to distance myself and in doing so, came to a balance emotionally.  Harkening back to my previous post, EX-Factor, I was able to see, accept, acknowledge, and move on from what happened.  Allowing for this freed up some space to care and worry about other things- like myself and my rolls at work.  Being balanced physically and emotionally compliment one another and personally a least, have made me feel better about myself and more confident.

In just about everything else!

Balancing time with friends and time to one’s self.

Balancing one’s finances.

Balancing the good old diet.  This one I have fun with… as a bored eater, it’s sometimes hard to balance the snacking with the meals.  When am I actually hungry and need to eat vs.  when am I just eating cause it’s something to do.  Not to mention what are you putting in your body???  Are you getting a healthy balance of vegetables, fruits, carbs, protein, sugar, fiber… all that other stuff!  Especially when I leave home at 7AM and don’t come back till 11PM it gets hard to always eat healthy and on the go, without chewing a hole threw my wallet!

Who knew one word would pop up so much and in so many different places!?!  And get a whole post to itself!  haha.  I guess it’s just that important and because I does appear in so many different places, it’s something pretty much everyone has dealt with and can relate to.  Sometimes it’s easier to find and achieve then others, but balance is something that one can always work on.

I carry a little reminder to stay balanced on my person everyday.  The tattoo on my right ankle.  A traditional Yin-Yang symbolizing harmony and balance.  You can’t know black without knowing its opposite, white.  Nothing can exist without it’s opposite, but there are proportions that (when maintained) allow for calm and “balance”.  Why my right ankle?  Well not only because that is my weaker ankle, but I’m right side dominant- so reminding me to mix it up and lead with the left.  And to have a personal reminder, in general, all the time.  For balance in every sense of the word… idea… life style.  And it’s beautiful!

Well… I don’t think I have to much more to say on this subject at the moment.  What helps you find balance in your life?  What is a struggle for you to balance?  I know I’m not alone in this… sometimes though it’s hard to see where things are sliding one way or the other.  It’s not always an easy quick fix either.  thoughts?

AND bonus point to the reader/follower who can name the source I’m referencing in this entry title!!!!!

So on that note and till next time- follow, like, comment, share, etc!

love always,  christiane

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The EX-Factor

Sometimes, as much as we love to hate them, or hate to love them, or love that they hate us, or hate that they hate us, or love that they hate us (I could go on) we have to eventually admit that our Ex(s), as in someone you were in a significant relationship with and are no longer with, influence our lives and our feelings.

Do you ever find it strange how many feelings and memories can be evoked by a location, a song, a smell, a color, a food, or even a way of life? Sometimes bringing back fond memories of a different time, sometimes reminding of heartbreak, confusion, and even self doubt.

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Now that I’m back in NYC (and I’m sorry, but isn’t that the MOST AMAZING pic. of Midtown NYC– as I flew over Manhattan from STL!!! click to enlarge it!) I’m finding this may be something I struggle with. For example, a year ago today… or maybe it was yesterday, I reconnected with someone who I truly thought I would spend the rest of my life with, in Bryant Park. We talked, laughed and started to lay the ground work for a future. Fast forward to right now, and my life track looks like it’s just me… but I still have a hard time visiting Bryant Park. Just being there reminds me of that night that changed everything. So what do I do? -Go there everyday and wallow in my regret and sadness, wishing I could go back and change things so I’d still be happy? -Never set foot in that park again and avoid it at all costs, in so doing, miss out on all the events hosted there year round? No, that all sounds like it’s going a little over board and bordering on crazy. Instead, when I find myself chilling in Bryant Park, I acknowledge the memories and the feelings, but I let them go… and I enjoy my time.

I have a dear friend who very recently went through something very similar to my recent events. She retreated home in order to get ahold of her feelings and make a plan to take her life in a new direction. The other day she was headed to a wedding with family. Once at the venue, it hit her that she and her significant other had been there just weeks earlier and had enjoyed a wonderful evening. Now being back and alone, all those emotions hit her… hit her hard. Tears began as she tried to make her way into the reception room and join her family, but the memories won out- she turned and high tailed it out of there.

Can you blame her? I know those feelings all to well. All we can do is hope that time will make it easier to cope and that eventually these places will hold new and better memories for us.

However, not all Factors are something as easy as a location. This is where my current struggle kicks in. My now-Ex and I had begun a very strict vegetarian diet and lifestyle together… and now that I’m on my own I’m having trouble deciding if I should (or want to) remain vegetarian or, if in attempting to “purge” myself of all reminders of him (ya right, not!), I should let it go and eat whatever I want.

Thoughts? Suggestions?

I have found I naturally tend to lean towards a vegetarian diet regardless (I really don’t like to handle raw meat, so I don’t cook it often) and I have come to truly LOVE many of the vegetarian meals I have been introduced too. Am I holding onto something by continue with this lifestyle choice? I know that I do feel better when I eat less heavy meats and I’m enjoying trying new foods that otherwise I may never try. But it does remind me of him… and as we have to eat somewhat consistently… it’s almost a consistent reminder. Eventually I know it won’t be, but for the present moment… sigh.

This whole experience and how I’ve managed to (somewhat) overcome it and continue to live, has been a true eye opener. You may never realize how closely tied your life is with someone else until they are no longer a part of it, for better or worse. Then it’s a healing and growing process… which, as much as we wish it would just happen over night… actually takes a lot of time (whether we admit it to ourselves and others or not).  Sometimes it seems like the easiest answer is to delete all reminders of that other person (I don’t do this but I know someone who does) and pretend like it’s not something that keeps us up at night, or surfaces after a few to many drinks, or seems like it would be a comfort when things are hard and no one is there for you.  (more on this concept in a post coming soon).

So, what’s your Ex-Factor? What things stir up memories that you struggle with? 

Feel free to Share, Comment, Like, Follow, ETC!

There are some great posts on the way, including some travel stories with great pictures, the importance of balance and how I find that, and my newest post work-out treat! So I know you will want to stay tuned 😉

Love always, Christiane

Take Off, Hey Let’s Go Flying: Airport Adventures!

How many airports have you been through? For someone who did very little air travel until being a young adult, my list is growing quickly… Roughly 7 different ones to date… And I am always surprised at how different they all are.

Being from Atlanta GA, I am used to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (the worlds busiest airport- beat that!!) so needless to say, anything else seems very small and quiet. When I fly to New York, I prefer to go through LaGuardia verses JFK, it’s just cozier. And Will Rodgers Airport on OKC- with it’s one terminal and 24 gates- is by far the smallest I’ve ever been in.
While sitting in the St. Louis Lambert Airport, I noticed how much each airport reflects the culture and people of its location, while serving as international hubs for people from all over the world.
At LGA people are cold and things move fast, and JFK is just flat out confusing… just like NYC. In Atlanta it’s a friendly but strictly business attitude- especially when going through security, and in the Mid-West there’s a more cozy friendly slow paced vibe. Here people are more inclined to chat and wish you safe travels and a good day. I’ve come to love flying and passing through these various ports because I get to see the people and experience a taste if different cultures.

What do I not enjoy about air travel? The TSA security. I know it’s important but boy-oh-boy is it stressful. I’m always worried I forgot to remove my bail clippers or eye drops from my bag and they will be confiscated. Or that the one time I’m running late for a flight will be the time the security line is crazy long and I get stopped to have my bag checked. Hence, I’m always very early! To date, as I’ve yet to have a major problem while traveling, I still enjoy it. The exhilaration of taking off and getting to look out the window still thrills me. I spoil myself by always flying Delta direct to my final destination. The mobile app, which lets me check and adjust my seat is the best thing ever- I now always go for a window seat. The more I fly the more little tricks I learn to make the flight more enjoyable.

What are your favorite flying moments? How many airports have you traveled through? I’ve yet to do overseas or cross country… But I’m sure it’s not far off. Comment below, share with friends, like just because you can, and follow the blog if you like reading personal stories and observations.

Carpe diem!

Love always, Christiane