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!

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Guten Abend, mein Knab…

Today was decent. I felt the need to get myself organized, so to provide myself with that extra boost (that I most definitely was not getting on my own), I signed up for a coaching with the wonderful Berri. She and I talked about my preoccupation with “other things” (like, credit-bearing homework) but it was nice to hear someone who’s not a peer tell me flat-out that I am here to sing, and that’s what’s most important. It’s different from hearing friends say it over and over, and it’s different than telling it to yourself. It’s fact, coming out of Berri’s mouth, and from anyone else you respect and trust.

It’s about getting myself organized, which I did, and planning out rep absorption logically (currently in process). Speaking of which, Paulina just referred me to another sassy Italian piece, so I’m going to IMSLP that shit before I lose my groove. Guten Abend…

Talk about thankful

So I have a friend right now who is severely injured right now and stranded in Zoar Valley. He has rescue workers with him, but he’s too badly hurt and they can’t move him until tomorrow. Everyone who knows him has been offering prayers and support, thoughts and well wishes.

What a horrifying situation. He was hunting, and must have fallen over a hundred feet down into a gorge. They found him in the water, and got him to a safer spot. But it turns out they just couldn’t move him. I obviously can’t do anything helpful from here except think of him, fret a little for him and his family, and pray.

On that note. It boggles my mind when people make a big deal about praying. If you don’t, that’s cool. But when the situation calls for strength of faith and well wishes, don’t make a statement about how you’re the different one, and you don’t pray, and how you hope that does the same thing.

Sure and it might. But to be brutally honest, when someone takes a tumble down a fucking cliff and is in serious condition in freezing weather… forgive me if I strongly feel that that deserves all of the attention and the focus. Not whether you’re God-fearing or whatever.

Honestly my whole heart goes to Drew and his family tonight. I can’t imagine how terrifying and stressful today must have been for them and you can bet I’ll be praying he makes a full, swift recovery.

http://www.wivb.com/video/videoplayer.swf?dppversion=6469

Blogs from home

A series of little bloggettes from my first time back home since college started.

12:17 AM 09 Oct 2010

This is so, so so so strange. It’s like, I’m home! Finally.

But so why do I want to cry? It’s like everything’s the same, and nothing’s the same. In a way, it reminds me of the dream I had around a year ago, where I was killed and came back as a ghost. Only to see that life had gone on without me, but I’d left a hole. That’s kind of what coming home has done to me: shown me the hole where I fit. The empty space I left behind that was sort-of filled but that had been waiting for me to come back to it.

It’s so overwhelming. The love is too much for me. I’m so lucky and so blessed. And I’m not ashamed to say I’m crying while I’m typing this because I’m so full of happy and– and– I don’t know if the word is unworthiness? Insignificance? Overwhelmed, overflowing. The love my family has for me is so huge. I was wrenched by time out of their lives and now I’m back and it’s like nothing ever changed. I just get to hug my mother for a few minutes longer. That’s the only difference.

But evidence of my absence is everywhere. My room, with only one pillow and no little pink lamp, shows that I haven’t been here. My laundry wasn’t in the wash, my dishes weren’t in the sink. None of my chaotic piles of makeup were dumped in their usual spot by the bathroom mirror, no brightly-colored, half-consumed coffee cups littered the counter. The computer desk was neat.

I just feel sad that I had to go. It’s like someone ripped off my arm, or something… and pretended that it was going to be gone forever, but for a few days they stick it back on and say, “enjoy, until we tear it off again.” I remember adjusting to college life being fairly difficult. Now I’m accustomed to the routine and the rhythm, but when I first got there I was just heartbroken. I don’t want that to happen a second time.

Saturday 09 October 2010 6:49 pm

“It’s not where I am, it’s you I’m with.”

I’m in the car typing this right now, and reflecting on life. It sounds really deep, but it’s not.

We get a little wild during car rides...

I think about life a great deal. But as the Avetts croon about love and existence and the car glides toward the sunset, I’m launched into a mindset that sends thoughts of home and belonging swirling through my brain.

 

Where’s my home now? I’m coming back from eating la comida italia with my family and wondering, now that my life’s been thrust into its own orbit, where I’m allowed to call home. There’s a sense of rightness and belonging about Eastman for me, and in Rochester. But in the same breath I feel that way about Buffalo and my home. Can I have two? Is that allowed? What about when I get my own apartment? Or move out of Rochester? Is it possible to make a life elsewhere, to have multiple homes that feel comfortable, wonderfully happy, and right?

Then the Avett Brothers chime in with “St. Joseph’s” and remind me. “It’s not where I’m am, it’s you I’m with.” As long as I’m with those I love and who love me in return– whether it’s familial or friendship or both– I am already home.

Sunday 10 October 2010 8:38 pm

I just got out of my third shower since I’ve been home. It’s an exercise in indulgence: I take a shower that would have been normal for me here, but at school is extravagant. At Eastman, we have the minute yellow bathroom stalls with mangy floors and flip flops involved. Non-adjustable spray with squeaky nozzles and an atmosphere of tension in case (gasp) some strange girl flounces in mid-exit and sees me in all of my toweled-up, drippy-makeuped glory. All in all I rush to perfect personal hygiene and it’s simply a mandatory procedure.

Here, I take time. Take those precious few moments to take off all of my makeup, to savor the clean white, steamy air. To stand with bare feet in a clean shower. The perfume of my home billowing around me, swirling with the sweet citrus of body wash and lotion and shampoo, is the scent that irons out the stress of a long day and a nervily-anticipated trip back to school.

Even the simple actions that I completely (typically) took for granted are purely divine now. Like, toweling off in a space that’s not two square feet. Having a well-lit and enormous bathroom with a halfway-recognizable color scheme. Not having to dig through a caddy to find the right item.

It’s so great. Except, I realized tonight that I’m already missing home. And I haven’t even left it again.

Sunday October 10, 2010 11:27 pm

I knew it would happen. I knew I’d love home so much and never want to go away and always want to stay here safe in this warm and cozy house with the people I adore and the sunshine and the comfort.

I know in my mind that I’d go insane. If I had to stay here all the time. And I’ve really just been trying to enjoy every second spent here and with my family. Playing Sims with my sister, watching the Sabres win (then lose), Criminal Minds marathons, and selling Harley tickets in Ellicottville. All of it is part of being home and coaxing every drop of happy from it that I can.

I miss Eastman too, but in an academic sense. I wish Eastman was right next door so I could step into my family’s life whenever. I’m so freaking happy to be with them right now it’s stupid, because when I get back I’ll be happy too and that will be a betrayal of sorts. But also I just don’t want to leave them. Their lives will roll on and so will mine and even though this visit was like no time passed, I know that won’t continue. Life goes on.

Damn it, life goes on whether I’m there or not. Something– anything, really– could happen at any second. I could get hit by a bus or get slashed in the parking garage or sweet Jesus God forbid fall from a stairwell and break my neck. And writing that makes me want to vomit but it’s the truth, and then what? And then what? Life would still go on.

I can’t wrap my head around it and I am so miserable trying to try. It’s so hard. It’s so hard to have two places I want– need– to be, with so many desires and hopes and fears tearing me in so many directions. Expectations and longings and worries and stresses. And I’m depended on to deal with them all, to handle it. I can. I mean, I can. And will.

Life goes on. But I’m still here and sad, this moment.

Time for the fall

I had it out with my mother last night.

Those of you who actually know me, and/or my mother, will realize that this is not the simplest or most enjoyable activity.

Those of you who don’t know me, and/or my mother, will please take note that we are quite similar… type A personality, somewhat aggressive and domineering, like to be in control, fairly intuitively aware of when someone is having a difficult time with something. The difference is, my mother will confront this struggling person with a “what’s your problem? your tone sucks” (i.e., that’s what she said to me yestereve), whereas I will either allow said individual to continue to work out whatever it is they’re dealing with in peace, or I will ask them about it (hopefully a smidgeon less abrasively… although I’ll confess to being an abrasive soul on occasion).

Anyway. So we were sitting on the porch. Me: bowl of popcorn and some grape juice, Nora Roberts’ The Villa in one hand and a texting conversation with Michael in the other. Ready to relax and burn up the forty-some pages left in my book before the natural light faded.

Mother: “So when are we going to Wal-Mart? What else do you need to get?”

Me: Rattled off list of supplies still necessary.

Dad (eavesdropping by the grill, pretending he’s not being awkward standing there): “Are you going to bring your fridge?”

Me: Explanation of how I don’t know because my roommate’s sister facebooked me about how they have a fridge already. Further explanation of how, even if I don’t bring it this year, I will need it next year when I have my own room.

Mother: “You know, you sound like this all has to go your way. Like, you are entitled for everthing to be exactly the way you want it.”

Me: “That’s not how it is–”

Mom: “That’s what I mean. Your tone… sucks.”

And that’s when I ignored my father pretending to be part of the conversation and forgot to calculate the effects of what I said or how I said it.  Basically I just spewed out what I didn’t know had really been gnawing at me.

“I’m going to a high-intensity musical conservatory in less than two weeks, where I know no one and I’ll be expected to work my ass off every second of my day. Not that I mind, but on top of that I’ve never done college before, have no idea what to expect or what to do or how to do it. No one’s there to help me and I’ll be completely on my own. I’m sorry if that gives me a ‘tone’ since I’m terrified and will have no idea what I’m doing. It’s just a little bit of added stress, if that’s understandable. Just a little stressful for me.”

So now it’s said and aired, and I have come to the realization that leaving has really started to worry me. It’s like the wait before an audition, before a performance. I feel prepared, but unsure of how I’ll actually perform. I mostly am anxious because I don’t know what’s in store, I don’t know what’s waiting at Eastman. Hogwarts, it feels like, but I doubt it will be that fun. Challenges, stress, coffee, no sleep. Hopefully it will be the time of my life, but who knows, really. I’m sadly undereducated and as much as I love music, I don’t like to be behind.

I just don’t know what to expect, and that worries me. The wait pressures me. All that I’m leaving behind here seems so final, so like the end of summer, the end of childhood.

I’ll deal with it and kick its ass with intensity, but for right this second, it’s stressing me out.

Ужь ты нива моя (The harvest of sorrow)

The day I memorized my Russian (a poem)

My buddy Sergei.

The day I memorized my Russian
I decided to take a new tack
It was the day of a master class and
I was sick of being told not to slack*

It was a humid and muggy and watery day
(Meaning I drank lots of water while I paced and I prayed)

The day I memorized my Russian
I wrote it all down in Cyrillic twice
It was muttered and scribbled and screamed and
Sung and I realized laziness was my worst vice

It was a hurried and stressed and embarrassing day
(Since, well, I came to terms with myself, in a way)

The day I memorized my Russian
Well, I thought about Eastman a lot
Will I make it if I can’t pull this off for today
Maybe my chances at succeeding are shot

It was a reflection, realization, come-to-Jesus at best
(I don’t need to relax, overthink, or to rest)

The day I memorized my Russian
It clinched something in my soul
Cliche and think whatever but
Music’s going to play its role

It was a long and trying afternoon when I learned my Рахманиновь
(But I’m motivated, here and now, and still will be when push comes to shove.)

*For the record, it’s been since, like, last October when anyone’s told me seriously to take practicing seriously. Since then, I’ve been the one telling myself not to slack. I just don’t listen.

Always free

Here is what I think college will be like. I think it is going to be a lot of work. I’m going to get migraines again (I already had one the other day for the first time since I think yearbook ended). I am going to stress endlessly and probably overdose on caffeine and most likely will stop blogging for a while because I’ll be so insanely busy.

But I am going to enjoy every second of it. The long hours, constantly pushing myself. The eventual improvement that will hopefully follow.

Heather said outright, “They’re going to take you down a few pegs.” She means emotionally, musically, and mentally. Not ego-wise, I don’t have a problem that way. But everything I’ve ever been taught or thought I was doing correctly or well enough? No, they’ll fix me. And that was my reply: “As long as they’re planning on bringing me back up and higher, I’m totally fine with that.”

I am ready for this massive change. Not too eager: I love life, simple as it is right now. But I’m prepared for something bigger, something on a more serious and intense scale. Something I’ve been waiting for all my life.

At five years old I wanted to be a country star with a hundred horses and side jobs as a firefighter and ballerina. But even then I knew that my existence couldn’t be a simple marriage, children, and steady nine-to-five job. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! I almost envy it now that I know I probably won’t have it. The simplicity and basic motions that lead to a challenging and extraordinarily life-filled time here.

But I have come to realize that those probably aren’t going to be mine. Marriage wouldn’t be so bad: I like the tradition of it. The family that comes from it and the life two people can build together. I’m too much of my own person to share it with someone like that, though, I think. I like to be in charge; I want to have control over what I’m doing, with my body, heart, and career. A husband would really screw with that. Besides, the only guys that would be willing to stand up to me (or stand with me) on a romantic plane are the toughy-toughs: but the guy who believes he has a chance at leading me around anywhere is smoking the good stuff. Or delusional. Wimpy boys aren’t any fun, and the regular guy (if there is such a thing) seems to find me intimidating. But maybe, who knows, if there was someone who didn’t mind my lifestyle and let me do what I want, without being a complete pushover… oh well. It bears thinking about when I’m older. As does the thought of kids: but seriously? With what I hope is my career during the kid-bearing ages? Yeah, right. I’ll let Meeshie have the children, and I’ll be the best damn aunt anyone could contemplate.

Speaking of careers, if all goes as planned I’ll be singing. Singing then teaching, or singing and teaching. But either way I’ll probably be traveling. Maybe I’ll take classical music to third world countries or something cool. Who knows? But from a very young age I was aware that there would be different things in store for me. Whenever I thought about staying in a small town and having kids, maybe running a little business (pizza-making? a bookstore? cafe?), it just felt awkward. Like something was telling me, good try bud, but not in this lifetime… at least, not until you’re very, very old.

All the same, I want it and I don’t want it. I see the beautiful home my parents have, I know of the happiness my mother found in the early years of her marriage (up until my sister and I entered the picture, anyway. ha ha) and I know that the job security and a pleasant home can be a wonderful thing. I just don’t know if they will be mine. Anyway, all this rambling comes to one conclusion: college will be the start of something big, something magnificent and bright and wonderful. A vibrant beginning to an adult life that will make me who and what I was meant to be. Sempre libera.