Nothing matters but knowing nothing matters

Some things change, and others stay the same. I think that’s a quote from somewhere. Truth is, I’m sitting belting out Wicked like it’s nobody’s business, and reading the FBI’s Year in Review Part Two.

Guess that quote I think might be a quote’s true.

I’m pretty sure I’ve changed. So much. And I say “pretty sure” only because, I mean, how can I analyze myself and stay unbiased? Obviously I’m a little discombobulated when it comes to self-reflection.

But I’m writing again. I mean on paper. In a book. My sister got me a journal, one of those really really cool ones you see in Barnes and Noble with the leather and the strings that tie it together? It’s got some Italian dude’s manuscript on it. I’m not going to consider whether the music is legit or not because honestly it’s beautiful and I’m not that much of a music snob. I also promised myself to write whatever I want in it. It’s gotten pretty uncensored and disjointed and stream of consciousness, but if it helps me sort myself out even more, and streamline my focus so I can do what I’m here to do (whatever the hell that may be), then it doesn’t matter. No one’s going to read it, anyway. Or so I tell myself. Maybe when I’m dead or whatever some brave soul will crack it open and decode my crappy handwriting. But until then? It’s not exactly a diary and I’m not going to hide or safeguard it… but I refuse to censor myself. Whatever comes into my head goes through my pen to those pages.

Not that I totally censor myself here, or anything. I don’t. But there are some things that are more comfortable reflecting on in a hands-on, pen-to-paper method. Those thoughts become less available to me when I’m aware there are those who may read them.

But yeah. So I’ve also come to the conclusion that I’m not going to suck at school anymore. Being around everyone at Eastman makes me feel stupid. This makes me doubt my own capabilities (not that I’m a genius or anything). I know that my writing isn’t conventionally correct in many ways. There are issues in my sentence structure and grammar and anyone acknowledging that this is true knows what I’m talking about. But since I love reading and learning and music and thinking… I want to stop feeling inadequate every time I discover my own faults. I know I can achieve good things academically. It’s just intimidating being around people who are naturally good at it… more naturally good at it than I am. I know that in reality I am insignificant but I like to think that with the right discipline and strategy I’d be able to accomplish something worthwhile in any area of study, whether I’m automatically good at it or not.

That said, I have to go. I’ve got a letter to write and a CD to send to a certain German in Schwäbisch Hall.

And I know I didn’t really discuss the title of this post. I kind of wanted to, because it fits where I am right now in terms of mindset a little. Maybe another time. In any case it’s a line from Wicked’s “Dancing Through Life.”

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I don’t know if I want to know where this will lead

There are some things you just don’t want to see
Some things you don’t want to admit to yourself
I find myself wondering every once in a while
If for you, one of those… is me.

Why is it that whenever I think something is so simple, just lovely and perfect and hitting with elegant timing, it’s just a joke? I’m one of many, I know now. It’s one thing to think I am, in my head… another to see it. It’s cliche to say that something’s too good to be true but in this particular case that’s the ticket. Perhaps I shouldn’t have looked. Perhaps I shouldn’t have let curiosity get the better of me. I had a bad feeling about it: why didn’t I just follow impulse, like usual? But isn’t that what got me into this situation? Simple instinct.

So I guess I’ll have to rely on instinct to get me out of it unharmed and happy. I’m sure I’ll learn something… but as of this moment I’ve kind of gotten myself in a hole and unsure of where to go. On the one hand I’d like to stay there and see who joins me. On the other I want to start climbing my way back out, and running as far as I can in the opposite direction.

We’ll just see. There’s time yet to figure it out.

One semester down…

I can’t believe it. One semester over already. Seven to go.

Holy crap. For all of the agonizing I did before arriving here, I seem to be fine.

Understatement there. Life is amazing.

Let’s analyze because I’m too excited that I’m GOING HOME in less than an hour to write something super-coherent right now.

SIMILARITIES – THOUGHTS THAT HAVE REMAINED THE SAME SINCE ARRIVAL AT EASTMAN IN AUGUST 2010

– I still have trouble believing that this school accepted me.
– I still believe everyone dresses up here on a daily basis way more than everyone else in Rochester.
– I still adore my roommate.
– I still always want to be back at home. But I mean, it’s great here anyway.
– I still live off of caffeine most days.
– I still don’t know what I want to do with my life. But I figure I’ll just let it happen for now.

DIFFERENCES – THINGS THAT HAVE CHANGED OR THAT I DID NOT EXPECT

– I have made some of the best friends I think I’ve ever had in my life.
– I didn’t think that such supremely talented individuals could also be incredibly kind, hilarious, unique and wonderful all at once. But most really are.
– I never expected to thoroughly enjoy organ or chamber music. But here we are.
– My adoration for trombone music has quadrupled… and I liked it a lot before.
– I didn’t think I could improvise well, or arrange a song, or part-write.
– In fact, I thought my writing skills were completely limited to words.
– I am doing well in theory. That alone is insane.
– I’ve conquered serious, debilitating nerves. For now at least.

And, to me, this is most important:
I really feel as though I can call myself a musician now. Not a particularly splendid or learned one, but I’ve reached a point where I know what’s going on and can form actual opinions about things. It’s very different from where I was not even four months ago.

Anyway. I have some last minute packing to do, and under an hour to accomplish it. One semester down…

Cross my heart

I haven’t blogged in such a long time. Instead, I’ve been busy with finals and wrapping up my first semester of college. Holy God.

In place of blogging I’ve taken up venting. It helps that I have some great friends here who will listen to me and not hate my guts, and who understand that it is simply a way for me to sort out what the hell is going on in my life and in the world around me. Some vent back, and I listen when they need to figure things out. It’s a good balance. Since to me, balance is necessary, I have incredible loyalty and honesty with my friends. It feels somehow that this was never the bond I had with most people back home. Some, like Brendan and Kenny and Sra, are just that honest and openly caring. Others make me wonder why they spend time with me.

Here, we are all crammed together in one little building. Fourteen stories are nothing when compared to the expansive gossip mill that runs around here. This is why I’m always careful now. What I say, who I say it to. There are a few close friends here I could tell anything to: and they would respond in kind with some precious information of their own and never repeat what I told them. It’s a strange kind of loyalty I don’t think I’ve experienced before.

There’s an honesty that tags along with the open and innocent lines of communication. A trust that shouldn’t be broken. If you feel one way, say it straight. That’s my policy.

Take tonight. An acquaintance of mine decided she was not going to shop with us. That’s all fine and good, but she said she was tired and had work to do. We found out when we came back that she had gone skating.

Like, what? If you don’t want to go with us, that’s FINE. Totally cool. We’ll probably say have fun and be on our merry way. But don’t LIE and say you have important things to do when you plan to go out with the nearest other easy social opportunity that comes your way. It’s just so phony.

I can’t take it. When I’m phony, it always comes back to bite me in the ass.

For example, tonight I went to get a beverage with a (gentleman) friend of mine. I think he’s kind of cute. Whatever. We get along. But I had to be honest with myself later that I think he is attractive and funny and kind. Also musical. You don’t see that combination much, and it interests me. I don’t know exactly what I am admitting to by that, but I had to be honest with myself.

Later, another friend decided that he would ask me out. I do not have feelings for this friend and so I told him so. Honestly. I thought about saying I had alternate plans, or that I didn’t think I was ready for a relationship right now, or even that I was sick or studying. But I didn’t. It is so much more direct, straightforward and downright decent to tell the truth, with simplicity. I mean, make it nicer if you want, just be honest.

I guess that was my theme for the evening or something, since it just happened to be on my mind for a healthy chunk of time today. Now I’m going to honestly say that’s it is WAY past my bedtime.

The snow

If you’ve never heard the piece “The Snow” by Elgar, you need to.

This entire week has put me in the rather melancholy/irritated mood of e minor, which “The Snow” is set to. I just haven’t been myself, or rather, the self I’d like to be.

I am so tired. It’s not altogether from lack of sleep, although that contributes. It’s more from lack of confidence, lack of fun on my part that keeps me restrained and stressed and beat.

I just want to be home. And that’s an excuse, since I love it here. That’s a cop-out response to a stress-triggered demand: why are you like this?

Why am I like this? No fun and antisocial and sad and unsure of myself or what I’m doing or how I’m doing it or if I’m doing it properly?

Why am I like this?

I don’t know.

November blue? Make that December puce

So I haven’t written in a long time. Not unless it’s been for a class, or in music form.

I don’t know that there’s much I can cram into one post, especially since it’s late. I will say this: I am being challenged. I am being challenged on a daily basis to do everything I need to. It’s on the verge of being overwhelming, but this is what I asked for. Pleaded for, really. The concept that I can handle this much intensity, this much pressure, and have come from a rural small town school is unusual to me, now. I think it must be my parents who made the difference. Or specific teachers in honors courses that encouraged me. Why aren’t other kids so encouraged? I know that maybe three or four kids from my graduating class could withstand this much pressure. Perhaps more from the current seniors there could, as well. But this is craziness. I’m getting to bed at almost one o’clock on a Thursday, and this is not for lack of focus throughout the day. There’s simply not enough time to finish everything before now. And my first class tomorrow is at eight thirty.

I wonder what next semester will be like. I think I’m taking three more credits in the spring: that’ll be twenty one. Double majoring is going to be a bitch. A productive, wonderful, sassy and difficult bitch, but a bitch nonetheless. I mean, I’ve been taking all of the Music Ed courses all along so far, so I’m pretty much doing it already. I’m so crazy.

But I’m here, and that’s what matters. I’m trying and wearing myself out but I do take time (like, a half hour tops, but I take time) to unwind and wait for the tension to trickle off a little. That decompression is so necessary, I’ve discovered. As is sleep, and food, and orange juice. And caffeine. By God.

It’s just surprising. Still. That I’m even at Eastman, that I’m even participating actively in such a place. I mean… it’s Eastman. I try to ignore that fact that this is a big-deal school but it does tend to crop up whenever anyone who brushes against the musical universe has something to say.

But, thankfully Christmas break is nearly here (just two more weeks as of today/Friday).

First semester: almost over. Next semester: let’s see whatcha got.


* This blog needed some color in it, so here’s a lovely wave I found on stumbleupon. Also, I’ve mostly been posting to tumblr lately because it’s really simple and easy when I don’t have time to write. It’s mainly images and quotes and links to this blog, but if you’re interested, check out the link. I think it’s at the top of this page someplace? Anyway. Have a great night/morning!