Thursday, 7 June 2012

A New Place

A New Plan:

As part of my restoration, after 3 months of discomfort, January through April, I set myself some promises, rules and routines that I would prioritise in my life- Like a happiness project.
Simple rules, enormously positive impact.
  • Minimum 6 hours of sleep a night
  • A daily dose of 30 seconds minimum of all-out, groovy-lame dance
  • Most inspiring and influential, however, has been my promise to myself to consciously acknowledge an every-day special happening... Some sort of super-dork Miss Lame moment, to focus on the darnest, entertaining and touching things that my students say, to seek/acknowledge/appreciate a new experience.
Every day. Mindful appreciation for every day.

In the beginning, I made this promise to myself more regimented. I carried a small notebook around, in which, for a few weeks, I required myself to actually record these moments. This was to ensure that I actively acknowledged the positive in my life.  This also got my writing brain rockin', which I obviously enjoy...

Eh hem, blog.

A visit with family:
The paramount, initial part of my resuscitation, immediately after the DOWNRIGHT, SILLY-BOTTOMED SCHOOL,  was going home to Canada for a week during the two week break that occurs in the beginning of April here in Britain.

Back to her birthplace, Miss Lame was able to re-ground her marred soul and conceive her happiness plan.

Being with those who love and know you best.  

You are reminded- “oh yes, these are the things that make me special, that make me beautiful." 

I visit, dance and experience a snippet of life with old friends and family and share in a mutual laughter and deep appreciation for the quirks and qualities that can sometimes have less opportunity to shine through in new places around new people. 

Miss Lame likes Miss Lame. She is worthy of love and connection. She is ready to jump back into life...

With some apprehension of course.

New job- new commute

Although, I am now currently getting a ride to and from work with my flatmate Simon, who happens to work out in the general direction of my school (another of life's random positives), I spent my first week of work and the odd day commuting by train.

To and from the train, between home and train, presents a stark contrast to the march between train and school. I love this.

My walk from home to the train leads me down the bizarre, rough-around-the-edges, Afro/Caribbean ambiance of Ridley Road that is gearing up for its daily street market. 

Allow me to paint a picture of this erie strip of street...

I pass vendours beginning to set up their stalls for the day. I must be on my toes, dodging and ducking table legs and unconstructed stall apparatus portruding in all directions, fruit and veg crates, people lugging their goods.  I smile at everyone I pass, as Miss Canada/Lame does, but have to quickly disregard and break eye contact with the male vendors who respond unfavorably...

"heeyyyy darrllinnggg..."

I smirk as I step over an errant chickens head sat in the middle of my path in the middle of the street approximately 10 meters in front of the questionable meat butcher shop.  I am amused by my lack of surprise, as I casually modify my gait to avoid stepping on it as if it were a commonplace piece of dog poop.

As I continue to walk down the long, stirring street scape, I am entertained by the eclectic nature of the market and the stalls that reside there.

A massive wooden table covered in crockery. Another table displays bowls upon bowls of fruit and veg to be purchased by the bowlful- I notice the bowlful of tired red peppers. A forest of patterned and laced manican legs dangle in my view, moving slightly with the wind- A sort of erie mobile.

My favorite part.

A smiling, rotund black woman leaving the train station. Smiling Miss Lame (her "normal" face) striding to the train station. As our paths cross we share an exchange...

With complete and utter sincerity in her tone and her face beaming "Have a wonderful day darling!"

I feel a genuine happiness well up inside of me. My smile broadens. "Thank you! You too!"

A fellow smiler to another- In that moment, during that brief exchange, I feel she and I truly understand each other.  Living in a world (London England "world") where people too often keep to themselves. We are refreshed by each others positivity.

The perfect start to a day.
On the other side...

I step off the train. Open air surrounds the station, a calm residential area, trees, span down below the station and out...

Suburbia.  Some countryside.

I've stepped into a whole new world within a 20 minute time frame.
My feet carry me past traditional, English gardens... Deja vu. A flash thought of my Grandma Gerry and her gardens in Winnipeg Canada. It's been years since I saw them. I must have been  11 or so when I last visited Grandma's home and explored her garden. I remember the maltese cross that consumed her back fence and the small creek that bent around behind. This flashback is strong and recurring with every passing of these homes and their eloquent gardens. A lovely, unexpected memory.

I then turn around a bend to a footpath. It expands into fields to my left.


To my right, an old brick wall stretches a ways along the path with small tufts of foliage and growth poking out from its crevases. I imagine I am about to enter the labriynth. A little, high-pitched worm dude will appear and guide me. I am Jennifer Connelly. I will meet David Bowie- the Goblin King. 

Did I mention my attention span is flighting... 

There is nothing common between these two segments of my commute except for maybe Miss Lame's grin of contentment as she absorbs and loves her new commute, her new job, her rejuvinated perspective.

New Job- The darnedest.

My sweet little year 7 rays of sunshine wrapped up their unit test early the other day, and so with the 5 minutes left of lesson time, Miss Lame started distributing little colourful sticky note squares, bright yellow, orange and pink. 
Tell me something about yourself! Something I don’t know about you!

Miss Lame wrote one for herself, something she knew most little British children would relate to (“I play football- left midfield”) and “splat!” stuck it up energetically on the white board at the front of the class… 

Students followed suit.

As I traveled home from school that day, along-side my flatmate, Simon, I began to read off my students’ comments.
·     I do free running” (aka parkour)…I smiled as I envisioned my 11 year old student scaling buildings like a spider man or some kind of awesome ninja. I do believe google images and my microsoft paint masterworks depicts this mental image well... 
     I’m bi-sexual and I’m in love with Mia. Jay.”… I have absolutely no problem with individuals expressing themselves and celebrating/proclaiming their sexuality, however, I can say with complete confidence that this is not Jay's words...

      Classmates “taking the piss”.

      In the classroom I would have had to get all “Miss Lame means business” on their bottoms about this comment. However, in the comfort of the cruising, homebound Mazda, I shared a small bellow of laughter with Simon… Ohhhhhh kids...
And now for Miss Lame’s top 3...
Bronze: “I’m a ladies man. By Flavio” 
Silver: “I sing, dance, swim and do gymnastics. P.S. I am very flexible.
Gold: “I’m safe :)" 
I love my job.

New experiences- Go get em' tiger...

The past few months Miss Lame decided that she needed something unrelated to teaching to look forward to. Something to break up the week and to fulfill her desire for social stimulus… and cute men... 
The new-age way to date… Internet dating websites 

There are many ways to look at this world, and I know many people question this approach to meeting people.  It makes many individuals uncomfortable… I felt semi-weird about it at first but as Miss Lame with no shame, I quickly got comfortable with the idea.
Internet Dating- Schools of thought:
A new-age way to date
·         We should be leaving it up to fate… It is more real and romantic that way”. 
·         Many worry that this approach to meeting people reflects poorly on the individual.  People fear that seeking these social forums indicates desperation or struggles with social interactions (i.e. a person who needs the comfort of a computer screen to instigate communication and develop relations)
·         Allows for opportunities to meet other like-minded individuals in our hustle-bustle, working society.
·         Creates many more date opportunities as it removes simple, anxiety provoking questions such as “Are you looking to date? Are you available?

I can see how the “natural” approach has more romanticism linked to it however the romance is perhaps not lost in internet dating as it is not until the first meeting that a spark or lack thereof is discovered. 

Ultimately, if you are like Miss Lame and dislike waiting for things to happen and desire instant gratification, the internet dating approach can be exciting.
Perhaps the “natural”/“let fate take a hand” approach takes too long…

...See cute boy in café- smile briefly at cute boy, leave café and hope to run into him again- Get lucky and by chance run into cute boy again- a little eye contact and smile of acknowledgement, perhaps a brief exchange of niceties, small talk- Interaction over- Hope to naturally run into cute boy again- With incredibly good luck, you DO run into him again- more conversation and MAYBE, just MAYBE one of you muster up the courage to go there… Someone suggests hanging out/a date with apprehension of rejection/finding out they’re actually unavailable or not looking to date… Or just not interested…  That is, if one of you has the courage TO GO THERE…Which, to be quite frank, is fairly unlikely.
And then there are those cuties while in transit. No hope.

How it works...  
  1. Look through profiles on the sight. Identify those you feel attracted to- pictures and narratives (you could even skim read the narratives to save time). Option A: Press the “Wink” icon at those you find cute/charming/DOWNRIGHT sexy to let them know you’re interested… (the virtual coy “hey there”…) and wait for their response… Option B: Be the forward-type and go for a message.  Think of something simple and chill or clever to say that will intrigue and draw in this cute/charming/DOWNRIGHT sexy individual… 
  2. Receive “winks” and pleasant messages from other on the dating website who have viewed your   profile and liked it… A nice confidence boost! 
  3. After a brief message interaction in which you identify mutual interest… set up a date. 
  4. DONE! (let the magic/lack thereof happen!) :)

This dating process has led to some terribly bland dates as well as lovely ones. 

Sometimes, although lovely chaps, the right spark isn't there.

Other times, Miss Lame just felt completely misunderstood...

"You don't consider yourself a hipster?"


And finally, sometimes there is something worth exploring...  

As I write about my adventures in the dating world and my desires for DOWNRIGHT sexy men, I reflect on the perceptions I used to hold of my educators during my youth.  I would never have imagined my teachers to be horny, dating, fornicating, socially drinking and dancing beings. They weren’t people- they were teachers.  The ultimate “example” in society, the teacher, is required to maintain an image of purity, a surreal wholesomeness in some ways beyond that of the parents of our students. We have this incredible social responsibility which we are required to maintain… We are required to hide this “humanism”. 

 A man-venture.

"Common, let's go in!"

In the midst of a gaze. Taking in the stunning, grandios historical Landmark Hotel, my hand is suddenly pulled toward the beauty.

I hestitate, my natural tendency to feel out of place in such elegant, lavish spaces. Can Miss Lame be fancy???

"Really?... Are we aloud to just walk in?"

This hesitation, this wavering moment, contrasts his confidence as he leads us forward through the double doors, each cradled by a door man. A nod and mild smile from each.

I reflect...

Until entering the teaching world, which is its own type of world, I have always held jobs which serve others. Personal training, in particular and most recent, I aided and provided fitness services to the lavish... In this setting, as the served, I feel coy and wonder- "Do I stand out like a thorn in this world of roses?"

I'm led up the broad, pristine stair case and into a vast atrium, palm trees stretching towards the distant glass ceiling, piano notes dancing in my ears, a few wining and dining in the candle lit centre.

My apprehension starts to dissipate as he moves me through the space with complete assurance.

The decision is made, we sink into the ornate couches that surround the formal dining space and order a coffee and hot chocolate- 7 pounds each.

Together, we become part of the space. I feel like I'm blending, with moments of obnoxious, Miss Lame laughter of course. 

NOTE: Any words that are bolded, italicized, underlined and in red are suggested/preferred words by Mom. She doesn’t like me saying words like fuck, shit, ass (etc) on the internet… I feel these words better illustrate my feelings as times, so just imagine them in there if you will.

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