The following post is transcribed from a conversation I had with Kyle 'TooTall' Strauts about identity, love, visualizing what you want in your life, teaching, and the difference he wants to make in the world.
Seeing someone who is 6’9” moving really coordinated to music – I know what it looks like because I’ve seen videos of it… it just looks really weird. I don’t know how to describe it, but it transcends a lot of boundaries of thought. You don’t expect someone to do that. So when someone says ‘TooTall’ it empowers me to do that even more. And even when someone says Kyle – “Kyle” is derived from ‘determination’ and ‘power’. That’s why my mom chose it. And I don’t even think I’m that determined – I mean, there are people way more determined than me. But it’s a story that I feed myself. And that’s the only story you’ll believe: the story you feed yourself.
[When it comes to how you interact with other people], when you focus on who they are when you say their name, you end up empowering them by saying their name. When people say “Too Tall” – people call me ‘too tall’ more than Kyle now – it’s feeding my image for my dancing aura.
But these names like “babe” – they’re just identifiers to show “look you’re more special, and this is me reinforcing it.”
For me, I’m very kinesthetic. Everything has to do with touch and movement. So if I’m trying to show my girlfriend that I love her, I’d grab her by the lower back, and slip my fingers right along the crest of her back so that she feels the pressure. And then when I grab the nape of her neck– right where her hair is, so it’s sensual — I can give her a really good kiss. And then release. It’s an art. If I just did like a “see you babe” and a peck… that’s also saying something: Your minds busy or something. For me at least. That’s what I think.
Thoughts on Love
If you’re visualizing the things that you want, you’re already starting the process of drawing that person closer. I think that’s the first step: visualizing what makes you feel good. Cause for me, anytime I’ve tried to look for a relationship… never worked. You’ll find what you were asking for, but it’s never what you wanted because as soon as you’re looking for it you’re… too intent on it. You’re trying to pull it to you instead of letting it come to you. And it never really works. In nature everything flows. When you grow towards the things you love. You might hit some stumps along the road, but that’s life. As long as you’re following your path, you just collide into that person. And whether it lasts a long time… that doesn’t matter. Because if you find someone you truly connect with, and love (whatever that means to you) then you’ve already lived. It doesn’t have to last your whole life to be meaningful.
I think a lot of people in North America feel that love is only meaningful if you get married, have kids, buy a house, and pay bills together. There’s this weird belief that love is only meaningful if you decide to spend the rest of your life with that person. But I’ve loved three people now, and I’ve loved them all differently. I can’t even explain how they’re different, but they really are three completely different emotions. As if I said ‘here’s red, ‘here’s green’ here’s blue.’ They’re all beautiful colours. You can’t make red blue, etc. But that doesn’t mean it’s not just as beautiful.
So when your love comes… it could be short or long, but it will always be meaningful because it’s happening because you’re doing what you want.
I think if you’re following your passion, you’ll always run into what you’re supposed to.
Thoughts on Teaching
I think what makes you so intuitively intelligent as a child is what everyone loses as an adult. When they say “don’t lose your inner child,” what they’re trying to say is “don’t lose that intuitive ability to think in explosions of ideas.”
But to build your life you also need structure. Like a pyramid. Structure on top of structure. Because if you jump straight from the bottom to the top you’ll just fall.
As a teacher, I want to be that secret weapon inside the school system.
I have music playing in my classroom always and I have a picture on the wall and ask them what they think that is, and I get them to write what they think it is. And these things don’t always exactly line up with the P.L.O (prescribed learning outcomes) but I find a way to tie it in. I just want them to be imaginative.
I was trained for grades 4-7, and that’s my favourite because their minds are still really malleable, but they’re also intelligent enough to understand more advanced concepts. They get things. And they’re intuition is still really powerful before it gets numbed out in high school.
I want to influence them to think. I want to help them see the wonder in life.
Thoughts on the Future
I want to have a lot of things in my life. I want to positively influence kids, but I also want to do things for myself. And that’s where film and dance comes in. I’ve been doing a lot of indie films with people – using dance as a medium, but not in the traditional sense; really trippy stuff.
So I want to continue doing that, and as other creative opportunities pop up, I want to do those. I don’t want to just be like “okay, now I’m a teacher and that’s all I can do,” or “now I’m in movies and that’s all I can do.” I think I want to spread myself around the world.
And this comes back to relationships. I think it’s more important for me to make a difference in the world than to have a white picket fence.
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