This morning was a bit brisk, more than I expected…running out the door to my early morning yoga class—in a thin tee, braless. It was no traffic stopper—as I don’t have much to hold up—but was a bit annoying considering the cold weather.
After class, I stopped in my fav Starbucks next door and ran into a girl that just finished 300-something odd hours of teacher training. She’s a Korean girl, very young and very good at yoga. I used to watch her at the front of the room and envied how perfect she was, “Those Asian overachievers,” I thought, “They treat everything like they’re getting a doctorate degree in it.” I’m Asian so I guess I can say that. I never wanted to work out next to her ‘cause she intimidates me. There’s not one posture that she can’t do—and do perfectly. Meanwhile, I’m struggling in every session.
One thing I like to do is close my eyes and fantasize while I’m doing yoga. My teachers often say, “Get out of your head, be present.” But I find that I work out the best when my brain is somewhere else—I’m still in the dream world—and not really inside my body. I feel that being 100% in my subconscious gets me through tough things in life—because it’s a much more flexible world to be in.
A pleasant older lady I haven’t seen in a long time walked up to me in smiles. I had dropped off the earth and went MIA during the NUNE production. I can’t believe it, but it’s coming close to a year since I first began development.
“I’m so proud of you,” she said. “You did all that on your own?” She sounded like a surrogate mother. She said she watched all the videos of me directing and praised me on how “calm” I was. I was like, “You’re kidding me right?”
“You were so calm throughout the whole thing, I don’t know how you did it,” she said.
Trust me, I was anything but calm. If she only knew the volcanic turmoil, massive disturbance and one million layers of problems whirring in my head during production. I don’t know how I pulled that off. Jessica (the actress that plays Briana) often told me I was “Zen” in my most difficult moments—and I don’t get it. She’d see shit go down and ask me why I wasn’t reacting. The thing is, I AM reacting. I just try not to show it.
Anyway, the lady was dear. She mommied me with accolades and this made me feel awkward, small and embarrassed. I haven’t been mommied in a LONG while. I think that’s what girlfriends are supposed to do for you. But she got me thinking about how the actors in my films have parents that are proud of them for being part of NUNE. And I feel honored to help parents feel good about their kid’s career. It’s something that I never planned for in making this movie, so it’s one of the biggest payoff for me; because it makes me feel like part of their family. That connection, the bond of love is a bit unexpected:’)
So, in Starbucks, this overachieving Korean girl that’s in my yoga class smiles at me and warmly introduces herself. I was surprised that she was so friendly and outgoing. I got to thinking most people probably think I’m a real bitch too—because Asians always look so serious.
She says, to me, “You’re so good at yoga. You seem like you’ve been doing this for a long time” and my jaw dropped.
“You have a really good sense of your body and its parameters.” I’m thinking to myself, “OMG, this girl is so good and she’s paying me compliments!” I was embarrassed. If she only knew how amateur I felt every time I go to class. I still can’t touch my feet, my splits are shit, my backbends are fake, and I forget to do my Ujjayi (breathe). I’m aware of all of this every single time.
But that was really cool.