Lieber Freund,

I’m so scared. 

I’m going to pretend I’m writing a letter here. If I’m writing a letter, I’m not sitting here freaking myself out, I am writing a letter to someone else, describing my frustration. A letter to whomever feels like reading it, whomever is comfortable indulging in my few minutes of personal panic at this point in time. 

Dear Friend/To Whom it May Concern,

I’m worried my life is going to be a complete waste.

I have to trust that it isn’t: I know that. I have to believe that there is some cosmic plan out there just for me, guiding me step by step through my life. It’s only by believing that, that I can have hope. Hope that my existence here will mean something. 

That’s what it all comes down to, isn’t it? Whether or not something of me will remain once I’m gone? Isn’t that how it is for everybody, to some degree?

I’m sitting here at a desk in room 921 of the Hampton Inn in downtown Philadelphia. Tomorrow is my audition for the Curtis Institute of Music. I’m applying for a Master’s Degree in Opera Performance. Monday, I audition at the Academy of Vocal Arts. 

But. WHAT AM I DOING??? I’m twenty-one years old and already I love this– what I’m doing– with so much of myself that it just about breaks me in half to think of failing to get into one of these schools. Yes, I have Eastman (or DO I?? It’s not as though I’ve gotten an acceptance letter yet)– but Eastman for six years? Will that be okay? How will that look on a résumé? Would I be better off applying to some random Hochschule? Their deadline doesn’t end until this end of this month. Can I AFFORD to live in Europe? Can I afford the travel costs (the answer: no, not really*). Am I only considering applying there so I won’t look like a complete waste of time? If I don’t get into grad school (or AVA)– WHERE DO I GO?

I have been telling myself that it’s too soon to know. I haven’t even sung here yet. I don’t know what my cosmic plan is, and blah blah blah.

Well, bullshit to me, because I’m terrified with not knowing. I know this is not a big deal for millions and millions of people, most of whom have waaaay more important things to worry about– and I’m extremely grateful that I don’t have cancer or a child to worry about, or massive debt**. But this? 

This is my life

I have to decide what to do with the rest of my life, if I’m not good enough

I guess the answer has to be, “Be good enough. Be more than good enough.”

But to be the best, you have to know all of the things. And I most certainly do not. I don’t even know a quarter of the things. Or an eighth. Or a seventeenth.

Anyway… the rant is winding down because I have to go bed. Thank you for reading, Friend. Thank you for indulging me as I pause here awkwardly, just now remembering I was pretending to write a letter, for the sake of preserving my own illusion of sanity…

If this were to be a letter, I’d have to ask a few questions. Rather, I’d want to. That would steer me away from my own rambling… 

How are you today? Give me the long answer, because otherwise what’s the point of asking?

Have you made any plans for the rest of your life? Tell me about them. Spare no detail. I can’t be the only one around here whose dreams are widely unrestricted (to the point of madness). 

Last but not least, why haven’t you been around lately? I constantly check my phone to see if you’ve popped up on Skype mobile. It’s nice to have a distraction like you, you know. Actually, maybe you didn’t know that. Awkward again…

In any case, now you know. And I should bring this to a nicely rounded conclusion. Somehow. 

Tomorrow I audition at Curtis. That’s something I didn’t think (or even know) I was capable of pursuing. 

Monday I audition at AVA. That will be the longest shot on the planet for me, but at least it will be fun… 

Tuesday I might be leaving for home, if I don’t get called back for AVA. And I think I might be okay with that. 

I keep trying to tell myself that if I stay in Rochester, it will Be Okay. I will have an apartment. I might get a cat (so long as he can pretend he’s a dog). I can take all the language courses my little heart (and wallet) desire (can afford). I will have time to really solidify my technique… I am comfortable there. 

Do I want to be comfortable? Don’t I want to work, and do this work, in a place that forces me to the highest level I can stand? 

God knows, that I don’t know. I have to believe that it will happen how it’s supposed to happen, in this grand cosmic scheme. Or else… or else what? I lose faith in everything, probably. And I am too in love with what I’m doing to let it drop so I can have some incredibly pointless crisis of consciousness. 

Sowieso. If you’re reading this, thanks for taking the time. If you’ve skipped ahead to here, I can’t say I blame you. If I’ve annoyed you, find something else to do… If your name is Michi, why are you reading my blog instead of talking to me in person? I probably haven’t heard from you in a while… 

That said, I think I’m about done. Cathartic pretend letter completed. 

Gute Nacht,

KM

 

* And by “not really,” I mean “not at all”

** Oh wait, I’m in debt FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE, because of music school

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January

I’m supposed to be note-taking while I read for history class, but I’m really just sitting with a bowl of soup and a big glass of wine. My history book is spread out on my lap, open to the first page of the reading; I’ve titled my notebook page with the source material and my pen is at the ready.

I want to do the reading. I want to be productive and thoughtful and intellectual, and, dare I say, “smart.”

Well, I suppose I am, objectively. But there’s more to life than being smart and a good note-taker. 

There’s a lot to think about, to reflect upon, in this new January. I’m twenty-one. Most people have lives by now– they’re either finishing up school with a definite plan or they’re already working or beginning families or establishing themselves in some other way. I spent this afternoon in rehearsal and then walked home in the freezing cold to drink tea and try to get healthy again, during which I took a “What Disney Princess are You?” quiz and tried to locate a suitable recital dress online that won’t break my bank account. It just feels a little strange, to live life so abstractly. 

And still, even knowing that studying and recital dresses and whatever aren’t the most important things– they’re what’s immediate to me right now. The concepts of marriage and “real” jobs are so far away– and who says marriage is in the hazy future for me, anyway? Or children? Or even a stable family life with my own immediate relatives? I might be halfway around the country by this time next year, studying for a career that’s touchy at best– what am I doing? 

I’ve blogged before about having a kind of faith that would allow me to do anything. I’d like to say that belief– in self, and in an Otherness– is returning to me in some capacity. Otherwise, I would have been a basket case long before this little period of reflection. This introspectiveness isn’t happening with an overtone of dread or foreboding– it’s logical, calm, and clear. Here I am, with not one clue as to where I will be in a year, and I’m fine with it. I know there’s an infinite amount of work yet to accomplish, and I’m terrified, but I’m facing it. I’m ready to try and tackle it. (Not sure if it’s actually doable, but I’m prepared to give it a go.) That’s where I am right now. 

I’m supposed to be note-taking while I read for history. I’ll get around to it. I might sit and enjoy being here for a few more moments.

To keep my love alive

Do you ever feel like you’re constantly working to make sure that you stay in someone’s good graces?

I do. And I hate that.

“Don’t behave a certain way, you might piss Soandso off… don’t send that text, you might look insecure… don’t bother reaching out to anyone, you’ll look like a fool.” What happened to the good old “just be yourself” slogan? Apparently, “just myself” doesn’t cut it very often.

It’s like a lose-lose situation. Either I cave in, exhausted, and pander to those whose opinions of me matter a great deal, or I don’t care one whit what they think of me, and I look like an idiot. And then I guilt myself for it later. What’s wrong with me?

In other news, that’s what’s on my mind tonight. I’m absolutely bone-tired without any good reason for it, my bed is beckoning, but I still have things to do and I can’t seem to accomplish anything– except what’s probably too much thinking. For example, I can know, on the one hand, that this post is full of absolute nonsense, but here I am, continuing to write. While writing, I’m considering the fact that no one will look at this, and if they do, the likelihood that they’re someone I know/worry about impressing is remarkably slim. Nevertheless, here I am thinking about it. It’s a good thing that writing, just like my few fickle stabs at composing, is something I do for myself. And only me. I just pretend I have readers because it helps move my mind along. Otherwise I tend to dwell and obsess… hard to believe of me, I know.

I really should be going to bed.

Instead, I guess I’ll talk about the title of this blog. It’s stuck in my head; it’s a song from “A Connecticut Yankee,” a musical based off of Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, which, I might add, the downtown library here Does Not Have. No matter, it’s not as if I could make time to read anyway.

I suppose I could be reading right now.

Well, I’m not.

If you’ve ever wondered what goes on inside my head, this is a pretty good representation. Complete with Helvetica font. I’d make some pithy statement to wrap up my original concept of worrying over impressing others, but I can’t think of one. It’s too much work, just like it’s too much work to make someone like you if they really don’t. This brings me back to the odorous dead horse metaphor. I’d just as soon revive the damn thing, and you’d have to drag me away to stop me. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean that I can’t see the poor sucker is dead as a doornail. I can tell. I just choose to believe otherwise.

Does that make me stupid, or crazy? Or just tired?

Don’t worry, I’m leaving. Finally. Goodnight.

Puppies

I can’t sleep.

I think that’s partly because I’ve had some caffeine later in the evening– aka a large black coffee during rehearsal (so, what?) and kahlua after the SA meeting (again, what’s your point?). 

I also think it’s partly because my brain won’t turn off.

Last night I had a number of very strange nightmarish dreams that ultimately resulted in a restlessness and an urge to wake up but no real motivation to remove myself from bed. The dream I had closest to waking was my most vivid, and it involved puppies.

I was on this trip with my family. My parents and sister were both there– at some point I think Michelle may have left– and Mark and Karen were with us. Mark and Karen, for some reason, were both wearing white, and Mom, Dad and I all had our dogs. Molley was there, as a puppy, which is still hard for me to think about, really, and Grizz was there and little. I’m pretty sure Dad was keeping track of TJ the Beagle (who is, in fact, still a puppy). I don’t know what I would have done if Potter had put in an appearance. I probably just would have started sobbing mid-dream and that would have been that.  

But anyway, we were on this journey and it mostly consisted of walking. Michelle was really, really tired; we all became that tired by some point. The puppies were breathing heavily and their feet were bleeding. I feel as though we passed my house at least twice but no one but me seemed to see that it was there; “This is the wrong house,” they kept saying. So, onward ho. 

At one point, Molley seemed to turn to me; I knelt by her, and I was so, so sad. Sad that she was in pain when all I wanted to do was get her away from the commotion of the world and back home and nourished, and incredibly sad that in real life, she’s no longer with us. In this dream she was just a sprightly young thing, however, so she turned to me and looked at me with puppy eyes, deep chocolate brown and so like Potter’s– and reassured me. There was something about that point in the dream that was just wrenching– it was as if she was telling me, Look, this sucks, and you’re right, I’m not doing so well. But it is going to end and you will wake up and I will no longer be suffering– and neither will you, if you keep on going. 

I’m taking that to be true. It has to be, somehow. I’ve spent a while lately thinking about what’s important right now and how I can prioritize some of the things I have to get through in the next few weeks (months, years). It’s another layer of stress that melts away when I can get myself in the mindset of, “It will be over eventually, and then you can breathe again…”

I have also been trying to keep myself in a lighter frame of mind. It’s all too easy for me to forget how to play, and I had such a good time this summer learning and studying my craft in a playful way, an easy, this-is-fun-and-wonderful kind of way. Interestingly enough, the Dream Moods dictionary cites dreaming about puppies as either a symbolization of my own playful and carefree nature, or a blossoming friendship. To care for a puppy symbolizes a dependability that others can rely on. 

I’m going to take those things as a positive sign. I’m also going to go to sleep now, as I have an early (ish) morning tomorrow and would dearly like to be up in time to get to it… Thankfully I’m tired now and won’t have much trouble getting to sleep, provided I can stop thinking long enough to drift off. Gute Nacht!Image

Miss you, sweet Molley Grace!

A lot of moving

I was going to work on other writing, but I found myself headed here first. Despite the fact that this wifi situation is laughable and that I’m alone in the pitch black living room with my laptop and makeshift bed, I still needed a different kind of closure: one of a written, personal nature. So here it is. I guess. 

I’m leaving tomorrow morning for Rochester— by seven-thirty, at the latest, by my mother’s decree. This is good, because it signifies a return to my “normal” life, a busy-ness and a whirlwind of activity. This is good for me. In other ways I am very much a hermit and prefer to laze and read and absorb and enjoy. The whirlwind forces me to enjoy from an active standpoint. 

I don’t like to leave the hermitage— the cloisters, if you will. My parents’ house— it sucks to call it that, now, but this is my first very real move away out of the house with all of my furniture and run-on sentences— my parents’ house is out in the country, five minutes by car from civilization. I love it there. I don’t think it’s far enough away from people, personally, but it’s as far as I can get at this point and I wouldn’t have it any other way. My summer has been a peaceful time of very low emotional and/or mental stress for me, and a huge, relaxing blessing. 

 And it’s over. Tomorrow, it’s over, and I leave my family for the Real World again. And this time I’m taking almost all of my belongings with me. I’m moving out. 

Things are changing. I have my first “real,” named role in an Eastman show. I’m also in a student-run performance/collaboration. I’m also Eastman’s student body president, and I also have a job where I make real money on campus. Things are changing, and things are happening. 

I guess I just have to come to terms with the fact that they will also be happening at home, and I won’t be there to witness. My sister is entering her junior year of high school. My mother has a birthday soon that will turn her an even number that ends in a zero. My grandmother isn’t going to have me there to saw branches off the crabapple tree or lilac bush, or to rip stubborn shrubbery out of her yard. Granted, my mother is just as capable of doing this, but she is beyond busy. 

I’m going to have to watch as one of my co-volunteers accepts a position on the Hollywood board: we have worked together since the current board has been together, really, and now he gets to call shots and be even more involved, and I will only be able to drop in whenever I’m in the neighborhood. I feel neglectful. In addition, I have to wait and worry about my old dog at home. He’s eleven now, and allergic to life and tired of the puppy. I feel like I have to wait and worry about everyone. 

I should feel excited, and I do— but the work ahead of me is daunting and I feel as though life is going to move on, yet again, without me. This summer at home, I feel as though I might have just barely managed to catch up with it. I should have known that it wouldn’t be for long. 

A summer update that will probably bore you to tears

Well, I’ll be leaving Philly tomorrow after a month of Russian opera.

I guess when you’re not paying attention to time, it slips away, like a thief in the night, or something similarly slippery… this is really contingent on whether or not (and why) said thief is slippery.

Ah, yeah, so, whatever. I’m tired, I’ve been reading for the past few hours, I walked around this city all day, and I haven’t showered (not going to until the morning, either, take THAT, Routine). And yeah, so please forgive me if the metaphors aren’t as strong as I’d like.

In other news, I’m going to have to be all business when I get home. I know Michelle is excited to have someone else at home, but I guess she might have to work (???) mid-day, and that means I have to drive her down: joy and happiness. I’m pretty sure that falls right in the middle of my “read and eat lunch” portion of the delightfully color-coded schedule I made myself. I really only wanted to have to head downtown once a day: for lessons, around four. And that would be all… oh well. I guess that’s real life? Run errands, pay for gas, cry when you used your gas money on a Giulio Cesare score, beg pitifully to parent A or B for gas money and/or ask Grandma to invent some yard work. I’ll reiterate, joy and happiness. Not. (This is not that I mind yard work, for the record. I just hate asking for things.)

Oh, and the yard work portion of the program brings me to the next hot and sunny streak of weather: we’ll be doing hay. AKA, Dad will be tractoring, and Michelle and I will be doing hay before Mom gets home so she (hopefully) won’t have to do very much. I’m pretty sure we’re just baling the south field, and not putting it up in the barn, which would be cool, although admittedly not as great of a workout.

I should probably spend some quality time with Buddy once I get back, too. That poor horse has it made– doesn’t have to do a damn thing but eat, sleep, and shit– but he doesn’t get many visitors, unless you count the cats (who could care less), and dad, when he feeds him and cleans stalls. Yeah, I could probably clean the stall when I get back, too… If I find the keys to the tractor you can bet I’m moving that out of the barn and cleaning the actual barn, too. That place is disgusting, and I get that no one wants to hang out in there– too many memories of Poco, and Molley Grace– but come on. We can’t sweep once in a while?

But who am I to talk, really? I spent maybe a couple of hours a week down there last summer, tops, and when I was home in the fall I barely set foot inside. Ghosts of animals, I guess, stick around the longest.

I’m trying to think what else I have to ramble about. That’s what this is– actual rambling, because I’m tired, because I’m sick of stupid facebook and twitter, and especially because I’m sick of netflix. And the light in this dorm room is too crap to read by; in any case, my eyes are tired. Judging by their super-easy fatigue lately, I think I’m going to have to start being more careful about my reading light, and how long I stare at the computer in the dark. Just– yeah.

Speaking of writing, though (even though I’m technically typing of writing… oh, whatever)– I have a June journal nearly completed. It originally started the day I got here, because I wasn’t sure if my roommates were going to be psycho soprano bitches or not, and because I was exhausted from the Happening, and I missed home a little. So I hid out in my room, meticulously organized my stuff, and set up Pages to write.

Six pages later, I went to sleep, and later awoke to discover my awesome roommates, the awesome program and (lack of adjectives, sue me) this awesome city. I started the journal, though, with the intent to show my grandmother what I get up to, once I’m back at home. I still might show her, if she’s interested in reading about it, but I’m pretty sure I’ll have to edit some of my language… doubting she’d appreciate the Fuck word. Still, I tried to be strictly facts unless something about the program upset me (which only happened once or twice, thankfully) or excited me (which happened rather frequently).

Like tonight! (There, I can ramble about Francesca.) Tonight was great. Seriously. It was a story, finally, and it was the coolest thing to see it start to take shape. I found myself wondering why, if Lanceotto loved Francesca so much, why couldn’t he be completely honest with her? I guess he was too prideful– she made him weak, and although he acknowledged that, it made him feel unmanned in the same breath (boys and their penises, whatever). I also wondered why he couldn’t confront his brother directly. As in, “Hey man, I’m pretty sure my legal wife is in love/having a hot, steamy affair with you… Can you confirm? And if you so confirm, can you maybe be polite enough to get the fuck out of here? Thanks, bro.” Or something along those lines.

And Francesca: there is a character that Rachmaninov (or Modest) could have dug into. I’m not saying they didn’t do a great job, because, well, holy shit, the part is awesome. And I guess one could choose to portray her a variety of different ways: demure, stone-faced, pretentious, desperate; she’s really in a tough spot, though. What could have been her options? Run away with Paolo, perhaps– don’t leave your husband to languish in the wake of your infidelity for long. Just like ripping off a band-aid or something. Or, potentially the more honorable thing to do might have been to break things off with Paolo and tell him to get lost, and try to love her husband. I get that she fell in love with Paolo because he was the one sent to greet her, but if she had pushed those feelings aside right off and, I don’t know, tried– maybe it’s just me, but I would have liked a happier ending for these characters.

And, okay, the rambling is going to have to end (forgive me, and thanks, if you’ve gotten this far without rolling your eyes and calling it a day). I walked over four miles today and I’m about ready to call it a day myself. Or a morning, rather, as I suppose it’s closer to one am. Dobrye utra? Image

Why read the paper for upcoming births, when you can just check Facebook?

I just found out via the informational super-timesuck that is Facebook that my best friend from kindergarten is– wait for it– PREGNANT.

Now, we don’t really talk anymore, unless we run into each other. We were pretty good friends right up through school, although we only hung out a few times. So why do I feel so, so sick right now?

I think it has to stem from a number of things. I’ll make a list. Lists I can do, especially when I’m upset or stressing.

Why I Think I’m Upset Because My Best Friend from Kindergarten is Having a Baby

1. We’re not even twenty-one… she’s older than I am by like a week! Are we old enough to care for living organisms wisely? Is twenty a responsible enough age? I thought this was the age to run around and get shit-faced and make impulse buys and have indiscriminate sex? Most people our age (the ones I know, anyway) can barely take care of themselves. Like, they can’t even wash their hair on their own. And maybe I’m strange for feeling this way, but I know that I can barely take care of the puppy, and the puppy’s not even my puppy, officially. Let alone a baby. A freaking human being thing relying solely on me.

2. I don’t know the dad situation. This requires a sub-list.

a.) None of my business, first of all.

b.) From what I glean from Facebook, they’re together and really happy or something of the sort, which eases my panic slightly

c.) Like I said, none of my business, but she’s known for having gone through many boyfriends. Doesn’t say much for stability… but what the hell, who am I to talk? I won’t have a steady job until August, so I’m leaving that alone

d.) But speaking of jobs, so she’s going to work in town for the rest of her life? What does Baby-daddy do for a living? They’re just going to stay in this itty-bitty town with the same people and the same routine for the rest of their lives? How is anyone okay with that? (Sub-sub list: 1. I should not be so judgy, and I know it. Let the record state that I am not attempting in any way to pass judgment, I’m simply ranting and worried and stream-of-consciousness-ing this shit. 2. My mother was okay with staying in this itty-bitty town with the same people and the same routine, ever since she and my dad got together. She’s worked at the same bank in the same town for nearly thirty years. Then again, she was married for ten years before I came along, so… not sure exactly what that’s proving.)

3. Back to reasons why I’m upset: this smacks of poor planning. Isn’t there something else, at twenty, that one wants to do before settling down with a child? Like, I don’t know, move? Travel? Live? For me, child-rearing refuses to be a pastime that one chooses to engage in when there are a few spare minutes. Maybe it’s just the way I was raised, but from the second a kid is born, they need to be the Top Priority. There should be thought and effort and love poured into that child’s upbringing. I know that if I ever had a child, they would be the center of my world, immediately. With that knowledge in place, I can comfortably say that it will be a long, long time before I am financially stable enough to support anyone other than myself. And when that happens, I’m test-driving the money theory with a giant dog, just to be sure. There’s just no way I’d even think about bringing a child into this world without a safe, stable home, enough money for healthy food, and adequate time to spend with it.

4. That said, I’m starting to think that I might be equally upset that my friend has the freedom to have a child. That sounds crazy, probably. And you know, I never thought I’d want one (I still quaver at the thought a bit). But there came a certain point (I can’t remember if it was earlier this year or last) where it hit me: if I want to make something of myself, and have a career in the profession I am most passionate about… I am going to have to give something up. I fear that might be a real relationship. I fear that I might have to give up marriage, or if we’re being modern, a deeply committed romantic partnership. I fear that means giving up any possibility of children of my own. A successful opera singer (sopranos, particularly) will hit their prime mid-thirties. Guess what that means for me? All of those years before– my twenties, early thirties, when most women meet a man and fall in love and have those traditional, often lovely things– need to be spent working. Practicing. Singing. Otherwise, no payoff. No success. That’s the way it looks to me right now, and although I want the work, and need the stage– I fear I don’t have the freedom, the luxury, to just meet a guy and have a kid with him. I can’t be that irresponsible, or that disloyal to myself and my goals, because honestly? The second I learned of a new life, one I’d be charged with loving, raising, and protecting? All of my goals, all I’ve worked for, would evaporate in favor of that child.

So maybe it’s that I’m too selfish. Maybe I’m too scared. But maybe the reason my stomach sunk and my heart broke a little upon reading that news, about my best friend from kindergarten, is that I can’t. And it’s such a common thing to see or hear about today, with young women who aren’t necessarily in a permanent relationship or supporting themselves. Not that that’s what she’s like, or what she’s going through. I hope that she and her current boyfriend will stay together forever. I hope this baby will be born into a stable, happy, loving home and grow to be someone magnificent.

I hope my list will be sufficient to get me through the rest of the facebook updates I’m sure will come… and the moronic comments that will undoubtably accompany.

[EDIT] because I just can’t leave anything alone: I did a little more creeping into the cybersphere and I honestly think that they’ve got it figured out. I update mostly for my own peace of mind, to resolve the shock a bit for myself. It’s just so strange to know that people I’ve grown up with are going to be raising families of their own. It’s even stranger, and going to be significantly more difficult, I imagine, to reconcile myself with the fact that this is something I will not get to do if things work out for me career-wise. The busiest, most successful people I know fell in love late in life, past the time when they could have had a family. The people I respect the most, that fall into this category, tried marriage and children and sucked at it, divorced and then found the love of their life. So, I guess it’s a predetermined game for me, and I have to deal, and not freak out because other people get to have a traditional life and I can’t. I chose this— because I love it, because it loves me back, and because I can make some kind of a difference by doing it.

And if it makes me sad to read about all of these pregnancies on Facebook, well… I mentioned it’s a timesuck, right? Might as well not even waste the time.

Expedition to Well-readedness*

Who knew a person could actually own so many unread books? I feel like a hoarder. Actually, I think I might be a hoarder in real life. A book hoarder. (I posted pictures; you’ll see. Just promise not to judge. Or, if you do, don’t tell me.)

I’m not only a compulsive Amazoner (“Oh, look, this book is only $3.99! That’s basically free! I’ve never read that… “), I’m a used bookstore junkie. Ask me about the Schumann and the biography of Elisabeth Schwarzkopf I found at Greenwood Books, just down the road from Eastman. Go ahead, ask me.

It’s not that I don’t want to read them. It’s not that I’m not capable. It’s simply that pesky thing, that life thing, that keeps interfering. I think that half the reason I buy so many, revolves around the simple fact that every time I see a classic I haven’t read and don’t own, or a three-dollar, four hundred page steal, or a twenty-cent gem at a garage sale, I am reminded that I spend a great deal of time meandering about, complaining about how busy I am (occasionally/aka most of the time, I actually am that busy, but I digress**). Whenever I see something I’ve been meaning to read, or might enjoy, I can’t help but grab it and flip through, maybe smell it or something; I fantasize about the gray afternoon in a presumably not-so-distant future where I will curl up with my treasure and relinquish Life, just for a few hours.

It rarely happens. HOWEVER,*** this summer I have vowed, due to my lack of a full time, real-people job (don’t worry about me, though, I’ll still be busting ass), that I will plow through the mountains of books in my room. That’s right: not pile, not stacks, not even singular mountain: MOUNTAINS****.

There are going to be hours this summer where I will stare at page upon page of cyrillic and transliterations and just want to scream. And so I plan to soothe myself with a good old-fashioned English language storybook. If nothing else, I’ll get through some trashy romance novels. And for some tragic drama, toss Sophocles in there (since I found the complete works all nicely bound together in Greenwood! Love that place… almost as much as I love Sophocles). Maybe I’ll add in Vonnegut, and although he might be somewhere in the depths of the mountain (appropriate, actually), I’d like to finish at least the classic Tolkein.

But we’ll see. Maybe I won’t have as much reading time as I’d like. Maybe I’ll pull an Oedipus and stab my own eyeballs out for lack of patience and eyeball stamina. Or maybe I’ll read half my unread library and be pleased with myself.

I have been tallying a books-read count since January. As of right now, I’ve gotten through a whomping nineteen (and a seventh, I have a 700 pager going currently). I’ll keep this updated, maybe. If I remember… ha, ha.

In other news, I am blogging for the first time ever from my bedroom at home in the boondocks. We have previously only ever had dial-up internet, and I am pleased to report that my stubborn mother finally, after nearly twelve years of mutual hatred, read the death sentence to the old-fashioned internet connection after one too many failed attempts with online taxes.

And now I have to resume the cleaning of my barely-unpacked bedroom. Below are my mountains of books… photographic evidence. Remember not to tell me about the judgments I’m sure are to follow.

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You’ll see that at least I have a bookshelf with which to store them (in the background)… albeit a currently empty bookshelf

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There are books in those pink tote guys, too… this bookshelf is about ready to call it a day

* Complete with footnotes and halfway decent grammar

** Holy shit, run-on sentence of my life, right there…

*** Naturally in caps due to its importance, not my itchy caps lock finger

**** Here we see my exuberance, exubing***** exuberantly

***** Clearly not a word, I’m just feeling rambunctious today

Parentheses overload (get over it)

Yeah, so… I haven’t written in what feels like forever. I wonder how many times throughout my blogging career I’ve said that (not going to bother counting). 

In any case, there’s nothing much going on with me, except the MASSIVE WORKLOAD I’ve attempted to take on and the blatant, glaring lack of vocal progress I’ve been (not) making because of it. Twenty-five credits, plus being exec secretary, plus studio rep, plus the opera, and am I in that fraternity still? I spend most of my free time either homeworking or watching netflix because whenever I try to read (you know, like, books) my eyesight blurs together and I end up realizing I’ve been away from my room for twelve hours straight without accomplishing anything but class and rehearsal. I wish I were exaggerating. 

In other news, I’m psyched for the Dominican in sixteen (!!!!) days. Tropical beach, please. Sunshine, a Sex on the Beach (and/or sex on the beach), I’ll take it. That would be fine.

Until then, I have to get through the next two weeks, which include two aural skillz midterms (next Tuesday and Wednesday, and may I remind Eastman that next week is NOT midterms week?), at least two in class performances, two (maybe more) coachings, a couple of French quizzes and oh shit I just remembered I have a vocab quiz in Deutsch tomorrow.

Yep, things are busy. But at least I can still take a few minutes to sit and write about them. I was in kind of a funk for the past two weeks: I just had an audition in Toronto, so last week (and weekend) I was worried about that… and then the beginning of this week just didn’t want to end. TGIF, seriously. Plus I had been on an eat-everything-in-my-room slump for a while, and hadn’t motivated myself to the gym. Luckily I was dragged to zumba tonight and spent another half hour after that working out. 

Anyway, that’s all I got. I only have four and a half hours of class tomorrow so I will actually have some free time to go all-out with the aural skillz studying, etc. Bis bald!

And here we go again

Well, here it goes. Into semester six of college. 

I guess not quite yet. Officially it begins tomorrow morning when my mother and I update our FAFSA and then stuff all of my luggage in the car. Then it’s off to Rochester again. I’ll be leaving my beautiful home, family, and dorky, smelly dog for the city and stress, exhaustion, coffee overload. 

I keep trying to suppress my excitement. It’s always so bittersweet– I never want to leave, but I go crazy when I have too much free time. And I always figure it’s better to go back with some sort of enthusiasm, then dread.

I’m finally going to be caught up with aural skillz. I want to get my first tattoo. I’m going grocery shopping tomorrow at Wegmans with my future roommate and then to the gym and then to rehearsal from four pm to whenever it ends. 

And then I have Sunday, a day to settle in.

And Monday it’s back to a twenty-five credit load week, complete with work four out of five days, extraneous coachings, and forced time at the gym. I have until March 10th to look hot in a bikini (that’s when our Last Family Vacation happens). Yay, Spring Break. Too bad I only have two months. 

Anyway, it’s going to be rough transitioning back, but I think (hope) (at least at the beginning, when it’s kind of easy) it will be fun. 

I’ll try to keep writing over the course of the semester, but we’ll see if I have the time.

À bientôt!

Perch’io non voglio

I’ve been doing a lot of crying lately. It’s stupid, I know. I know, I know, I know. But I can’t help acknowledge that there must be some validity to my own feelings otherwise I wouldn’t be such a mess. I’m not normally like this.

And I feel ridiculous trying to blog about it because I feel like it will just be a huge list of complaints, and that pisses me off more than anything– the complaining, the bitchiness, the constant WHINING from EVERYONE HERE… Why aren’t we happy? As a whole, all this school does is complain. The workload is too much, the students don’t get enough (from the lecture, from the facility, from the dining center, from the ensemble office, etc)– which is true, this is true! But the negativity is so catching and God help me, I’ve just been bursting into tears the past few days and it’s not even that time of the month.

I’ve been told that I shouldn’t be here. In someone’s opinion, I would be “happier” at home.

That’s true. But it’s also true that I’d hate myself if I gave up everything I’ve worked so hard for. It is my decision to put myself through this absolutely exhausting, challenging, difficult school, and it is also my decision to pursue this as a career– and don’t tell me that someone else’s passion for this is greater or their experience is more vast– don’t tell me that. I am learning. We’re all learning, and are at different places in our development musically, and in terms of repertoire and general knowledge– don’t I deserve a chance to get my feet under me, in my own time, on my owns terms, before I’m dismissed as a farm girl that should go home? I don’t want to determine at this stage of the game what I want to do with my life– but do I need someone else insinuating where I’d like to end up? Hell, no. Go away.

That doesn’t change the fact that I miss my home. I miss my family. I miss my sweet dog, that I’ve raised from a puppy for the past ten years, who left this world yesterday.

I miss hugs and an environment where the people around you care about more how you’re actually doing, than how you’re going to affect them and their career. I miss a place where others respect me and what I can do and don’t doubt me, constantly. I miss an environment where I know what I’m doing and don’t doubt myself.

But I love the challenge, and the things I’m learning here. And for the most part my colleagues are wonderful people. I don’t know if it’s the planetary alignment or something in the water, but the atmosphere here has just been unbearable. That coupled with homesickness (and dogsickness? or wait, I think that’s called a level of grief, maybe), and this week has been no fun at all.

To whom it may concern

If I may be honest with you, I’d like to say something. I’ve only been drinking a little bit, so really I shouldn’t have to preface it with an “if I may be honest.” Oh, well.

I think we should go out sometime. Coffee. A walk. Both. Whatever, I don’t care. Just time together would be cool, before summer begins and time starts ticking away. We don’t know each other very well, not yet, and having an opportunity to see you, to talk to you? I’d be so happy.

I know how silly I am. I’m a romantic when it comes right down to it and I’m only a little ashamed. But I can’t help myself, and I can’t help feeling a certain sense of urgency when it comes to you. I can’t help feeling like Laetitia in Menotti’s “The Old Maid and the Thief,” willing her clueless interest to steal her away before time steals away her vivacity.

I’d try to sit back and simply will you to ask me out but I don’t think that’s going to happen. So I’m going to ask you to coffee, if the opportunity arises. Nothing pressured, nothing stressful. Really. That’s all. Before time’s flight steals my youth.

Du meine Wonn’, o du mein Schmerz

Here we are again. Diese Woche ist Jurywoche. Ich fühle mich krank. Ich fühle mich anxious und eklig. 

BUT. 

It’s here again, and I’ll do it. I’ll suffer through the nerves and tension and try to communicate. I’ll take some Pepto and hope my stomach calms down. I’ll run over and warm up right after I’m done drinking this water and typing this post. 

It’s here again, and I have something to say this time. I will walk into that room with a clear head and a clear heart and deliver the stories I have to share. 

Short angry paragraph that changes absolutely nothing, and a happy birthday wish

It’s not fair. It’s not fair that someone so full of life and promise should be reduced to lying on a hospital bed generating bedsores and infections with a traumatic brain injury at nineteen. It’s not fair that a mother should have to yearn and hope and pray and grieve for her child all at the same time– isn’t just plain grief enough? Isn’t it horrible and wrenching and downright heartbreaking enough without the hope? Without the constant pull that maybe, maybe someday her baby will be back the way he was? Or even maybe say “Mom, I love you” one more time. It just isn’t right. It isn’t fair.

Every day I think about you and your family, and mentally send the best positivity, strength, peace, and luck your way. Every day. You deserve to get better. You have so much to live for and in order to do that you need to heal. I know that takes time and patience but honestly you’re a strong guy and your family needs you. You’ve come a long way and we all support you. We all love you and miss you so fucking much. I wish I could go visit you with everyone else today. Happy birthday, Dakota.

Well, whatever

So I’m having another unproductive day. At least it feels that way, but at least I finished my theory quiz this morning, did well in aural skillz, and have a time worked out to rehearse before studio. I will have Affanni memorized and beastly with the accompaniment or shit will go down later when I have time to berate myself. But that will be completely unnecessary since right now I am pepping myself up and am preparing for the clarinet test on Thursday (illegally in my room, of course). I will do well, I will do well.

Mantra, mantra. Whatever.

I don’t want to go to River Campus tonight, either, but I’ll get over it. I’m a big girl, after all. I’ll just reward myself with lots of Starbucks afterward (and hopefully it won’t take too long). After spewing out this post I will proceed to:

– rapidly finish up the ed psych online discussion and reading assignment, because, um, I forgot about them and they’re due in forty minutes (oops, didn’t write that down)
– fill out my music ed observation forms
– maybe make the Niagara Falls trip poster
– draft an email
– complete my mission statement draft
– do the Hall work for aural so I don’t have to worry about it later

AAHHHH.

“I can’t lose you too”

I have needed to blog for a very long time.

There are so many things I feel like I need to say: about life, about family, about romance and love and sex and other things. I think constantly, about concepts that are bigger than I am, and when I go to put them into words, they become about as easy to catch as vapor.

About life
I guess I’ve come to terms with the fact that it doesn’t do to be terrified of dying all the time. I think about dying: how one dies, the possibilities, probabilities, likelihoods. Serial killing’s the most colorful, but there’re random acts of violence, gunshots, stabbings, poisoning, and anthrax. And sheer accidents. But it really doesn’t do much for peace of mind or happiness to dwell on these things. If it happens, it happens, and I guess I’d just have to hope that my family would celebrate my life instead of mourning my death. I guess I’d want them to do everything they could to live to the fullest and enjoy themselves because there’s no way to tell what could happen.

But I feel like a moron saying that because here I am, not living life to the fullest BECAUSE there’s no way to tell. On a level with something happening to me is if something happened to them. That’s the most horrible thing I can think of in my own limited sphere of terrors on a personal scale. I say it would be on a level with me being gone because if something happened to me I know that my immediate family, anyway, would be heartsick. I know them too well and it would be painful and awful and sad. I would feel like shit and be responsible for their pain. That guilt and responsibility is paralleled by something happening to them. They just need to be safe. Healthy. Happy.

That’s another thing. I feel guilty being happy a lot. Some things are too important for me to be happy all the time. But the repressed happy is making me sad. If that makes sense. All of this worrying is pointless because it’s out of my control. But whose control is it in?

I needed to ask that. I’m not saying that I’ve suddenly turned agnostic or whatever. But I feel like there comes a time in everyone’s life where it needs to be asked, and answered on one’s own terms. I’m asking, and I’m going to have to get an answer for myself, instead of just flopping around searching for some kind of response and taking it from others’ thoughts and ideas.

It’s me from now on. I am sick of saying that my own life and happiness is second to other, bigger issues that I cannot effect. Such as the concern over death. It will happen eventually and I’d be really dumb if I continued to let it loom ominously behind me with it’s ugly, outdated scythe at my neck. I need to let it go, or push it aside. I worry about doing those things to certain aspects of my personality because I don’t want to risk losing my sense of self. But seriously, what self will be left if I spend all of my time stupidly, silently crying over events that haven’t happened yet?

This is going to be lame, but it reminds me of Roy Mustang and Riza Hawkeye in the series Full Metal Alchemist. They love each other, but she protects him and he has goals that they are both incredibly determined to see through. They never act on their love– they’ve known each other since childhood– because they think they’re never in a position to do so. I think that’s nonsense. If you have something so beautiful and tangible and powerful in front of you, how dare you let it go without a fight?

Riza dies, so that’s the sad ending to that story and also the moral.

I have something so beautiful and tangible and powerful in front of me. If I delude myself into thinking I’m incapable of taking it and making it mine, then I’ve wasted just as much as the characters I adore.

It’s past my bedtime.

With a heavy heart she went to sleep, but not before the compulsion to put the words into the world hit her.

It was only twelve hours ago that she thought about the fact that twelve hours from now she wouldn’t be home anymore.

It doesn’t really lessen the dull centered ache that spreads with each rusted, russet pulse. Picturing oneself somewhere in a better frame of mind may help with nerves but it doesn’t with sadness. It lingers and it throbs and convulses and kicks.

Nothing serious, though. Nothing compared to the realization that one day everything beautiful here and now won’t be. Nothing compared to the recent revelation that once upon a time, her great grandmother was a child. Once upon a time, that child left her family for a new and foreign world and a completely different life. Once upon a time, that child’s family loved her and wanted her back. And years, years later, that child– now a woman– refused to speak of it.

So much life. It’s all around and it’s indeterminable and it’s complex. Everyone begins, grows, learns, understands (or refuses to) and lets go.

Today I understood that my family as I know it is fluid and fragile at once. It’s strong and vibrant but could shatter into nothingness at any second. I’m here– not with them– when at any given moment the unthinkable could happen and all that I know would be lost and there would be no way for me to know, or to help… and everything that I love about life as it is now, with the people I love now, would be forever irrevocably altered.

Once upon a time, my grandparents were young. Once they dreamed of adulthood and valued their childhood and reached for more and were content with less.

Now it’s me. In twenty years will I have come to terms with the endlessly cycling change that powers this place?