Monday, April 14, 2014

There's No Crying in Baseball

Lest you are worried that this has become Shantini's Sports Blog of Sports-ing, let me reassure you: I'm as surprised as you are.  About the sports.  And I will make an effort to keep the sports-talk to a minimum.

When people that have known me more than 5 minutes hear me talking about 'triathlons' and 'baseball games' and 'running', they are, rightfully, confused.  I am the first to admit that my life has taken a strange turn.  I have never been described as athletic by anyone, ever.

The thing is, I've spent most of my life only trying things I was good at.  Things at which I was almost certain to succeed.  Music, theatre, art, writing, public speaking - that stuff is in the bag.  But athletics fill me with fear.  I've written about it before here.  I remember counting down the years and days until PE wasn't required, avoiding frisbee with college friends and laughing in the face of anyone who suggested a weekend hike.

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Cold Heart: My Messy Beautiful

I'm not sure how old I was when my father said the most hurtful words that have ever been spoken to me.  19 or 20 maybe?

"How did you become so hard-hearted?" he asked.  He was confused and disappointed.  It took me a while to figure it out, but now I know.

We'll call her Kendra.  Kendra came to our home as a foster child when I was 10, and she was 11 going on 30.  She was world-wise and I was wide-eyed, and I was instantly mesmerized by her.  We became best friends.  She was my sister.

She was also a pathological liar suffering from abandonment issues, trauma, and probably a myriad of mental illnesses.

She lived with us for two years before a circumstance changed in her family, and she left. My best friend left.  I begged and pleaded and cried for her to stay.  I remember writing a letter to the social worker to try and get her to change her mind, but of course, it did nothing.  Kendra was resigned to the move.  When she left, we each picked something of the other's that we had always admired, for keeps. After that, I knew that I would never find another sister.

Kendra returned after about 18 months.  It hadn't worked out.  She was harder, angrier. Things disintegrated quickly.  She was doing drugs, skipping school and generally falling apart.  Shortly after turning 15, she disappeared for a week and we discovered she had hitchhiked to Quebec.  I was so angry with her, but she brought me back an amber necklace.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Privilege, Disney and the YouTube

So.  I made a youtube video.

It's a funny video, I think.  It got about two thousand views, which is a minuscule drop in the bucket in youtube land, but it was enough to garner mostly positive - and more importantly, some negative - feedback from people I don't know.

I was lucky enough that the comments weren't abusive, but I have to admit, it was really jarring.  It's a strange feeling to work on something and give it to the world and have someone sitting on their couch give it a thumbs down.  It's okay, and I got over it, but it was a serious reminder to be kind on the internet.  Anyway, here is one of the gentler comments, which really encompasses why I made the video: