Call Me Dua Lipa, ‘Cause I Got Some New Rules

Unlike Dua Lipa, however, my rules aren’t a fun and sexy mantra I can repeat to myself so I can get over him. (There is no him.) (I’m gay.) I’ve just made a list of rules for my life to try to abide by so I can be a little healthier and a little more positive. You can’t just wake up one day and be a workout-nut vegan who wakes up and does yoga at 6 am every day, you gotta start small, and this is my start.

Rule #1: No eating after 10 pm.

I don’t have issues with my weight, but eating at night messes up your digestive schedule. Moreover, it makes my tummy feel funny in the morning, so no more midnight snacking for me.

Rule #2: Go to bed by midnight.

No matter what work I have or what I’m doing, I have to stop and go to bed at midnight, otherwise I lose any semblance of a healthy schedule. This also helps with #1, because when I stay up too late I get hungry, and when I’m hungry I can’t sleep.

Rule #3: Rise by 10 am.

I know 10:00 in the morning is pretty late for most humans, but when the majority of my responsibilities occur in the afternoon and evening, it can be hard for me to find motivation to wake up in the mornings. But when I do, I feel so much better and end up having a much more productive day.

Rule #4: No caffeine after 4 pm.

Honestly, the time for this one is a bit superfluous. I know nothing about how long it takes for the body to process caffeine, but 4 pm sounded good. Hopefully, if I cut my caffeine intake (mostly coming from black and green tea) I can have an easier time sleeping at my new midnight-bedtime.

Rule #5: You must eat one (1) healthy meal per day.

Like #3, this one isn’t much, but as a student, even this can be a lot. Someday soon I would love for this rule to become “you are only allowed one (1) cheat meal per day”, but for now that’s just not practical. I need to ease myself into this whole healthy-living thing, and that means baby steps. If I try all at once to be 100% healthy 100% of the time, I’m not gonna have a good time. Most likely I’d become overwhelmed by my inability to do it and give up completely.

Rule #6: No use of the following phrases:
-I hate myself
-I want to die
-I’m going to kill myself
These are all things I say, always joking, in response to kind of anything and everything. It’s a popular form of self-deprecating humor amongst the kids these days, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but for me it had a similar effect on me that the “not a real whatever” language has, which you can read all about in my article “I Think I’m Becoming Positive” from two weeks ago. I don’t mean any of it, but saying it has an effect on my perspective nonetheless. And if there’s one thing I learned from 1984, it’s that the language we use determines the thoughts we have.

Rule #7: Just because you screw up once doesn’t mean you should give up.

I have this bad habit where, once I fall out of a routine that I’m trying to make a habit, I declare the whole thing a failure and I give up completely. Gotta stop that. I’m gonna break these rules, I’ve come to terms with that. #2 will probably be the first to go, to be honest. I get wrapped up in doing stuff and end up awake until 3 am. I know that and that’s fine, so long as I keep trying to keep in with my rules. If I can make midnight my usual and 3 am a special occasion, I’ll call it a success.

So am I going to become a workout-nut vegan who gets up at 6 am everyday to do yoga? Probably not. That’s ridiculous. But if I start getting up at 10, then I can bump it to 9, and what the heck maybe one day I’ll get up at 7:30. Baby steps to building a routine that’s good for my brain and good for my body, so that I can be in peak physical and mental health in order to enact my plot to overthrow the government and tear down the white-supremacist patriarchal power structure of the world.

EDIT: In the day it’s been since I first drafted this, I got home late, was starving and ate after 10 pm. BUT IT’S OKAY.

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What’s in a Name?

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What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;

What is in a name, dear old Juliet? You speak of forbidden love, but honey that don’t even scratch the surface of the issue. Capulet and Montague aren’t the only names that carry baggage here.

My name has baggage, and I’m not just talking about how everyone keeps singing that damn Drake song at me. Kikí, as you may or may not know, is a nickname for Angeliki. Αγγέλικη, actually. Named for my dad’s mom.

As you can imagine, (or remember, if you were there), the first day of school always sucked for me. Sometimes even the second and third days, too. And for some particularly careless teachers, it sucked all the way into second semester. Angelicka. Angelica. Angelique. The list goes on and on. Some people, despite constant insistence to just call me Kikí, continue to attempt to pronounce my full name.

Just don’t.

Some things need to be left alone, and my name is one of them. Because it’s not just my name, it’s my Yiayia’s name. I know you just want to be able to do it, prove you can or whatever, but repeating my name over and over gets annoying for me, and hearing it be mispronounced over and over again starts to grate on me and even feel a little bit disrespectful. Not just to me, but my Yiayia.

Call me Kikí. I don’t even mind if you get the accent wrong, because yes, it’s supposed to go on the second syllable. Not a must, but kind of a suggestion. I do not begrudge someone being unable to pronounce my full name. I get that it’s difficult, because the sound that the “γ” makes doesn’t appear in the English language and it’s a hard thing to learn. But I have a nickname for a reason, and that reason is to make your life easier. Yet all y’all be out here gettin’ your knickers in a twist trying to say my name. Don’t.

Legally, my name is Angeliki Moussetis, and I have no intention to change that. I’m proud of my name and I love being named for my grandmother. But I introduce myself as Kikí and I go by Kiki Moussetis in all my professional work, and there’s a reason for that. The reason being that it’s just simpler for all involved and saves me trouble. So save yourself some trouble. Call me Kikí.

And I swear if ONE MORE PERSON asks me if I love them, if I’m riding, or to “have a Kiki”, or “how’s the delivery service” I SWEAR I WILL LOSE IT.

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I Think I’m Becoming Positive

I would never have said that I was a particularly negative person. And yet- my perspectives on myself and what I spend my time doing have, as of late, been negative. I joke that I’m not a real writer, not a real filmmaker, not a real artist, whatever. Lately, I think it’s been getting to me.

I’m not a real writer, so why finish my novel?
I’m not a real filmmaker, so why struggle to make films?
I’m not a real artist, so why call what I do “art”?

I wouldn’t say it hit me all at once, but I kind of came to realize that my attitude was affecting my work. I always prided myself on not being someone who takes themselves too seriously, and to an extent that remains true. I have no intention of becoming some hum-drum that only talks about how messed up the world is. That’s completely unproductive and thoroughly annoying.

But I think I ought to give myself a little more credit than I do. I’ve made half a dozen or so short films, and worked dozens of hours on sets. So yeah, I’m a real filmmaker. I’ve written hundreds of pages of this damn book and I’m so close to finishing a draft that I can taste it. So yeah, I’m a real writer. Writing and filmmaking are art forms, so hell yeah, I’m an artist.

I think I’m becoming one of those ~positive people~. And not in the way that I have been, which is where I make jokes when things are terrible. (The more terrible things are, the more jokes I make. I can draw a graph, if that would help.) And definitely not in the *everything will be okay* way because that’s impractical and dangerously reductive. I mean genuinely positive. Like, I think I know what I want to do with my life? And maybe… how to do it? I know it’ll be hard but I feel like I… can handle it?

Halfway through film school and I finally feel like I really know where I am and where I want to be. Maybe it’s a passing thing, and tomorrow I’ll wake up feeling lost again. But if anything, that makes writing this down now all the more important, so when I start to doubt myself again I can look back at this and remember that yes, I do know what I want to do, and yes, I am doing it right now. Literally, right now. I’m sitting in class as I write this. (Maybe if I were really doing this right I’d be paying attention.)

But for the first time in a long time, maybe ever, I feel so confident and so right with what I’m doing. I want to tell stories, and I know how to tell them. And it’s a good feeling. I hope that you can find that same sense of purpose, dear reader, in something important to you, whatever that may be.

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Not pictured: Me
Pictured: my sister, looking cool on a bench in Greece while I sacrifice proper exposure for that JJ Abrams Lens Flare

A Little Bit of Bubblegum

I dyed my hair pink. That much is plain to see.

Previously, I had only ever dyed the top part of my hair, which makes sense when you consider how long I had a fade for. In high school I had my top varying shades of red for a while, then my freshman year of college I attempted to go silver. I say attempted because, unsurprisingly, my dark brown hair did not take too well to the process, and after two bleaching treatments thoroughly fried my hair and left it an ugly yellow, I just went bright purple for a while, then let that grow out.

Then I made a plan. Which is big, for me. I don’t plan. I’m lucky if I know what I’m going to do after whatever task it is that I’m currently doing. I was going to grow out my hair (for me that’s about chin length all the way around and this is the longest it’s been since the sixth grade) and dye it pink. Then purple. Then blue. Then green. And then… well let’s leave that one a surprise 🙂

I learned a couple of things in that chair. I mean, I was there for nearly six hours, so I would hope I got something out of it. Besides the pink hair. I learned that if you sit anywhere for six hours, you’ll start making friends, with other stylists, other clients, etc. People just chat, and a salon tends to be one of those great positive environments full of women that just want to compliment each other, like the girls’ bathroom in the club.

The comment I got the most? “OMG I love your hair it looks so nice but I would never be brave enough to do that!”

So here’s the thing about that: if you don’t like bright hair, fine. If you have or want a job that requires you to look more professional, fine. If you can’t afford to dye your hair or are worried about damaging it, fine. But if the only thing holding you back from doing something wild to your hair is fear? NOT FINE. Your hair, your body, your choice. It makes me so sad when people tell me that would love to cut their hair short or dye it but they’re just scared to do it. More often than not, there’s nothing to be afraid of. Honestly, people are more likely to compliment it than insult it.

Maybe I’m a little privileged because I live in an urban area where colored hair is as common as crime, but I feel like in general, people have bigger things to worry about than your hair. Plus, colored hair is a good ice breaker. People ask you about it. People remember you for it. And Uber drivers can always find you.

Frankly, you have your whole life to have natural hair, minus a little for going gray. There’s no better time to do something stupid with your hair than the now. And if it goes wrong- well, it grows back eventually.

 

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