Finally yellow

It’s been my favorite color since I was old enough to know my colors. It’s sunshine. It’s a dandelion. It’s my hair.

And it’s happiness, for me.

I wanted to put that happiness here, for anyone who reads my thoughts. The negativity some associate with yellow should vanish upon reaching this page, because, well, crap. I really dig “happy.”

It’s here. The big eighteen. I’m so old. And in some ways I still feel like I’m three again and sliding down brightly-tinted plastic with my hair static-ed all around my face.

Two years ago, I was going to get my learner’s permit with my mother.

One year ago, I was so insanely busy I don’t even remember what the heck I did. Oh wait, I think I went to musical and ate a giant cookie with purple frosting. Or that could have been the AIDA year. It might have been, because Kiener and Emma were there. Yeah, whatever.

This year, I’ll be in theory and in aural skills and traveling to get pizza with a completely different group of people in a still-new place. I’ll voyage to sing with ladies I respect and admire and return to be initiated in the ways of Student Association.

It’s so different. And I can’t help but think, it’s where I’ve wanted to be and worked to be for the past eighteen years without knowing it. I’m finally here.

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Musings on the probability of success

Today has been long and exhausting so far.

I had my choral ensemble placement audition today. I sound like crap, by the way. The humidifier I bought at Target was only on for about a half hour before I had to leave. My throat hurts. My head hurts. I’m not “sick,” yet, per se, but I sound terrible.

Being in that room made me want to cry. I know sol fege. But I sang do-re-mi-fa-sol-fa: and the ending note ascended. It should have been la. I wouldn’t be surprised, honestly, if the grad students and professors in the room (there were five) simply noted down that I should go back home. It was so not my best, but it was all I could do at the time. Competing with stupidly paralyzing nerves and my own lack of knowledge just exhausts me. That’s why I’m glad this isn’t a cutthroat place. If people were outright mean in addition to outstandingly talented, I would be screwed.

Apparently they told Rachael (who auditioned after me) that she sounds like a voice who will really succeed at Eastman. I (obviously) was told no such thing.

That’s really cool they told her that, and as I was talking to John and Tong I heard her and got distracted because it was so pretty. And it was only vocalizing.

But now I’m wondering what it would be like to fail. The parasitic leeching doubt’s just there, and, well… two years of previous classical study might not cut it. It wasn’t intensive study, either. I was part-timing it previously to this week.

Shouldn’t giving it everything matter, though? I know I’m practically infantile in my knowledge of classical music and opera. I get it, okay? But I want to learn. The desperate nerd in me is trying to drag classes closer so I can go and get some homework. The obsessive musician is clamoring for my lesson tomorrow so I can get feedback and have a concrete reason to work in a practice room for the maximum hours allotted a day like I really, really want to.

But on the other hand, what if I’m not qualified to be here? I’ve been telling myself, they’ll teach me. They’ll teach me. They won’t judge me for what I don’t know, they won’t hate me because I’m ignorant. Students or faculty, anyone I respect and/or admire for who they are or what they do, won’t think I shouldn’t be here because I’m still learning what they were proficient at years ago.

I don’t want to be considered out of the running for success simply because right now I don’t know anything. If I am willing to learn, isn’t that important? If I crave the knowledge I’ve seen in action here, if I want it and will reach for it with all that I am, won’t that factor in?

If the thought of failing is breaking my heart, shouldn’t that mean something?

This doesn't really lighten the mood for me, but he is my new humidifier/penguin

ESM! ESM!

So here’s what’s up with college. Specifically, Eastman.

IT. IS. AMAZING.

It sucks being away from my family. I really miss them. Like, I Really Miss Them.

But GOD. I am at this school, this premier institution with a brilliant faculty and astonishingly friendly students. I know at least half of my class by name, if not name and major. My Big Sib is the greatest most outrageously busy yet successful person I think I may have ever met. Currently I’m enjoying a really excellent balance between rushing around and downtime. I’ve signed up for classes, which begin Monday. I’m going on a tour of Rochester tomorrow with some of the most talented, levelheaded and sociable individuals I have ever had the pleasure to meet, then I’m going to a Redwings game.

And I have only been here almost five days.

It’s unbelievable.

I know learning and classes will keep my occupied. I’m well aware that, at times, I’ll be a completely antisocial hermit with grungy hair and extra black coffee, hoarded in my dorm, locking Lucy out. But I also know that, with the right harmony in place*, a premier experience here will be mine. Not exaggerating here: the most freaking phenomenal time of my life is here. I’ve thought about it and waited and worried and waited some more, anxious and tense and tweaking out.

Waiting’s done. It’s here. And whether I was qualified to be here or not, I’m here now.

I’m going to grab this time with all I’ve got and hold it close, savor it. Then I’ll make it mine like no tomorrow because really, my life is what I make it now. I’m making it successful by being here, making it musical by living here. And making it something I’ll treasure for the rest of my life by pulling every sparkling golden note from each moment I’m here.

The ESM lobby.


*Music pun

Simple peace

I sit in the woods right now. By the time I copy and paste this online I won’t be anymore, but as of this very second, 7:24 pm, I am sitting on Faerie Rock in the woods and writing.

I’ve wanted to do this for such a long time. Have a laptop and go into my favorite place to write.

When I’ve thought of doing that, I’d always picture myself typing out some novel, putting some spectacular story into motion. Instead I sit slouched here pondering my own sad story and craving to know how the forest always holds what I need.

A few years ago, I needed a playplace to live out my imagination. I needed a fantasyland for a warrior, a setting for a wandering heroine, or a hideout from pirates. A few months ago, a good friend and I needed winding beauty and distractions to keep us from making a silly mistake that we made anyway. A few weeks ago, I stood just over there and needed silence, smothering silence to blight the sounds of breathless, passionless, horribly chemistry-less kisses. This land has given me all that.

And if lore and conscience hold I shouldn’t blame the earth for the mistakes of her children. (But between you and me, I frigging hope she disowned this particular child. I’m not the clingy sort, I’m just sad.) So I’ll forego the blame, skip over the empty betrayed emotion that surfaces whenever I consider that night, the night the forest blissfully forgot for me. Instead, I remember that she gives me all I need, even when I don’t know what that is.

Apparently today, I just need solace. I need forgiveness for misusing this stunning place of my childhood. Just because this place is so, so special won’t mean that any boy I bring to see it is or ever will be. I need the trees to come alive in Tolkien fashion and tell me themselves that they don’t hate me for misunderstanding.

This raw undiluted place knows my beginnings. I feel as if it know of my darkest mistakes and half-feigned innocence but chooses to love the innocence more. Allows me for just a little while to become part of the world humanity once belonged to.

That little while is enough to hold me until the next time I come. The vivid greens, the ripe mud and leaves and debris, pounded into one thick ground. The soft trickle of the stream you can hear tinkling at you if you just listen hard enough. The constant vocal constructions of the birds and wildlife that are too real to be called music. Yeah. The little grey squirrel that’s coming to check me out as we speak. It’s enough to tide me over until I see it again. I can pull it up in my mind crystal-clear but it doesn’t compare.

It really does let you become part of it for a while, too. The little rock-grey rodent that just leapt from tree to tree on my right was totally chill with me being here: or at least she didn’t really give a crap enough to be subtle about her traveling plans to the bank-side. It’s a kind of acceptance that you have to just sit and be still for; a kind of peace that hits you quietly but keeps you quiet, and feeling as if you’re part of something. It’s something I’ll never willingly give up. It doesn’t matter how long it takes me to come visit this place, it always seems to be just as pleased to have me, bumbling about or writing away.

Anyway, the mosquitoes are out in full force now and there is some stench that makes me feel that something’s died nearby. Oh, hey, new scent: some skunk doesn’t accept me as much as that squirrel seemed to. Cute.

So I’m off, out of the forest. Off my rock I’d christened Faerie Rock when I was probably no older than three, wandering in here with my dad or grandpa. Twelve or fifty bug bites later, and I’m out of the woods and into the real world yet again. I wouldn’t pass up this haven for anything.