photographer | director
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Thoughts

First Date at La Scala

“She fell madly in love.”

“What are you so passionate about in life that you would die for?”

“At what cost do you sacrifice your integrity for fame and money?”

“A life without love is not worth living.”

“The heart cannot lie.”

As I sat motionless in La Scala, Donizetti and his singers were begging me to re-think the questions/statements above in such a raw-tastic way that I had spontaneous tears coming out of my eyes throughout the evening. That’s exactly what I love about this art (and any good art for that matter)—it dares to question our values in an unapologetic way. Having ADD propensities, asking me to sit still for three hours on end is pure torture. (This is the very same reason why I don’t get around much to the movie theatres… sit for two hours instead of going running or being outside—what?) Though I absolutely love opera, it’s always been a struggle for me to watch a show from end to end. But tonight, I was as still as I could ever be. The only things moving were my goosebumps, the tears streaming down my face, and my chest tightening as I stopped breathing during Lucia’s final aria. The experience was absolutely ethereal—and no I was not smoking anything.

Tonight was a very special night for me as well because I took Me out on my first date. La mia sorella italiana Aster told me that I should take Me out on a date as a way to nurture myself. And boy did I need that after 2013. Year 2013 is what I’ve dubbed as the “year of the growing pains.” It was altogether humbling, bloody, sleepless, heart-breaking, frustrating, sweaty, and grueling, but it was also one of the most rewarding. 2013 tried to break me, but I said “fuck you”—even if it meant having a team of five medical professionals to get me through it (which is in and of itself a whole ‘nother story to tell)—though at times it may have been more of a “FML.”

Though I do question my motivations for having gotten an MBA instead of an M.Mus, I am so glad that I did because now I have a job that pays more. I am no longer abashed about saying something like that because I am proud of how hard I've worked to support myself independently and would not have been able to afford to go to La Scala and enjoy the experiences I have had in the last 6 weeks without being in the financial place I am right now. I read a quote (on a photography blog no less) that made me laugh histerically, "If money doesn't make you happy, then you probably aren't spending it right." (It's actually the title of a Harvard study.) And I think that’s why I work really hard—so that I can experience these beautiful moments without counting pennies at the same time. Reason number #136 why an MBA and M.Mus was not such a bad idea.

And I think I did a pretty damn good job for a first date. Pre-date, I got ready with a 2.5 hr spa treatment at a Turkish bath beforehand, I got dressed up to the 9’s for her, I picked her up in a taxi and blew her mind away when we pulled up in front of La Scala. I knew I had picked the perfect date spot when I saw her eyes water throughout the opera. (It was especially fitting because the night before I had gotten food poisoning. I could have taken gold for long-distance vomit projectile. Going to the opera made me feel so much better.) Opera was more than a good date, it was medicine for the soul.

What I learned tonight:

1) ask yourself what would you die for and if you don’t have it, then what are you living for?

2) take time to do something nice for yourself

3) spend your money on experiences, not things—they last much longer.

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Genevieve KimComment