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.

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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!

Little post-departmental spewing of miserable words

Why is it SO HARD for me to fail? It’s worse when no one else can see it but my teacher: that means no one else noticed how much I really have to offer, and how much more I still needed to give.

“Die Nacht” is so important to me. Not only is it a favorite of my teacher’s, it’s a favorite of mine. The story is beautiful, the setting is beautiful. It just needed so much more than I gave it today. Part of it was nerves, part of it was energy. I had been so revved up all day long for this performance: it needed to be worthy of being second-to-last on the program. It needed to be clear enough to understand, it’s message had to be there.

I had shown my professor my dress and warmed up before the recital. She thought I was going to nail it. Then I sat through six or seven other performances before going to the green room. I think that might have been my problem. I didn’t nail it. I sang it with expression but with half of my voice, it feels like now. With only half of my love. I guess it makes me feel better that my teacher said my accompanist was underplaying it and undersupporting me as well. That makes it less all my fault. But it’s still a step back for me, it feels.

These performances only come once a semester, if that, and I disappointed myself and my teacher in this one. Also, I guess I was just looking forward to rounding out the week I go home with a great performance, and that didn’t happen. Not by my standards. And my standards aren’t very high: it’s usually, if I sing well, I’m on a post-performance thrill for the rest of the evening. Now, I just feel a sense of dread and disappointment, much like the one I’ve been carrying with me since Saturday morning. Maybe I thought, if I do this well, it will take away the parts of myself I currently don’t like. Maybe it will fix me, If I can sing how I know I can sing, in front of my department.

But I couldn’t. If I had done that in an audition, and undersung it by so much, it would have been a mess and I wouldn’t have gotten hired or cast. I wanted to leave a favorable impression on the voice staff; I wouldn’t be surprised if not a one of them gave me a second thought besides “Her outfit looked good” (which, it did). It’s good that I’m not doing the opera this year because there is so much more I need to work on.

It is just so hard to fail at something I worked so hard for. And for it to turn out mediocre? When I’ve previously sung it so, so well? I just wish I could grab time, grab it hard and twist its arm and make it take me back. Make it give me a second chance to do it again. I wish that so much, and I know it’s only because I care so deeply and so ferociously about what I’m doing.

And that makes it worse. Because I do care so much, and I rarely get a chance to perform, and I love it when it goes how it should.

I can do better. And that’s the end of it.

Quick note to self

Whether a man would have died tomorrow or the day after or eventually… it doesn’t matter. Because… this life… every second of it… is all we have (Rice 238, Interview with the Vampire).”

It’s not worth being angry over mistakes that were made  a long time ago.

It’s not worth not going all out to accomplish something.

It’s not worth it to hold back.

It’s not worth your energy to hold grudges.

It’s not worth your time to wonder what might have been.

It’s not worth your heart or compassion to forgive and laugh. Not this time, or back then. Summertime may make you think of those “special” boys, but really? They used you, and they didn’t respect you. So now, you keep your backbone, and you keep your head up. You deserve better than all of them.

They’re not worth giving up any small speck of happiness you’ve gathered.

A little taste

So I’ve been looking at writerstore.com’s articles lately. I encountered one about writer’s block and lack of motivation and it said stuff about just writing and writing and writing and not minding if it’s crap; I suppose that’s helpful. I mean, having the words in front of you is better than not seeing them, not knowing what’s going on. Even if it’s just a literal stream-of-conciousness based flow of words, it’s something.

I should probably be doing something a little more useful right now. I got back from theory (and my quiz, and the fastest part-writing I’ve ever done) in order to eat a bagel and drink some milk, and zone out with TV for, oh, an hour and a half. Frankly, I’m calling myself out on this right now. So pathetic. Just a time-waster. I should be practicing, or working on my music ed hours, or even printing off my resume for SA nominations. But I didn’t, and I haven’t, and that time’s gone again. Oh well? I suppose.

I still have a full hour before I have to leave for aural skillz, though. So, hey, I’ll make some coffee and finish some paperwork and maybe even crank out that theory packet for Thursday. Then I’ll head to aural, then lug my clarinet and piano books to the practice rooms for two hours before ed psych. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to rehearse Affanni before studio tonight… merda, if I don’t make sure that shit’s solidly memorized, I am screeeewed.

So yeah. Here’s my writing and writing and writing and not minding if it’s crap for the day. Time to actually go do something.

All my loving

I see my family in three days.

Technically I see them next Tuesday, but I have to get through Friday, Monday and Tuesday for that to happen. I’m leaving straight from studio class at 730 in the evening to load up the car and get the heck out of here.

I can’t say I’m unhappy here, because I really enjoy myself, normally. But I am so ready to go home, to breathe real air. To see stars. The one Sunday we went to the beach at night? Yeah. Amazing. Just that little teasing glimpse hooked itself into my heart and still tugs, tugs, until the breath comes short in my chest and I can almost picture the sky from my house. I can’t wait to see the horses, to run around with Molley and Grizz and maybe go for a run. Okay, so I don’t actually run, but a leisurely jog with the dogs or a wander in the woods is certainly an exciting possibility.

I can chill out with my sister when the parents are at work. We’ll play Sims and eat Real Food and insult each other. Probably fold some laundry and do the dishes and laze around and drink hot chocolate.

Then, Thanksgiving. Oh my God. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Grandma’s house in Forestville jammed full of the Luders and maybe/hopefully Uncle Norm and Aunt Lena. Bursting with sounds and smells of football and Really Real Food. I’ll probably be chopping vegetables or making gravy or whatever while Uncle Dave struts around like the proud grandfather he is (regardless of the fact that baby Evan will be with Maria at Scott’s parents’) and Grandma runs around trying to make sure everything is amazing. She needn’t bother– it always is. There will be turkey and holy sweet baby Jesus mashed potatoes. And salad, and some weird casseroles that I probably won’t eat, but then. But then. Dessert. Pies and holy crap it doesn’t even matter what other goodness there is because there will be homemade freaking pie. More than one kind.

I’m going to faint just thinking about the phenomenal week that awaits me.

I just have to get through three days. And a weekend. I cannot wait to be home.

The view of the back of my house from a little ways into the backyard

Awkward laundry post

So I’m sitting awkwardly in the basement of Eastman right now, waiting for my laundry to dry. I guess this can be a good exercise in seeing whether or not I’m capable of cranking out a halfway decent blog in eleven minutes (approximately).

I think that, overall, laundry time is a bad experience (unless you have someone to do laundry with). I don’t like the wait, and I don’t feel comfortable leaving my clothing unattended. It’s not like I believe someone will take it; but I don’t like to leave things to chance. So I sit down here and wait.

The lonely vending machine in the laundry room...

It’s not as if it’s unproductive. No, I finished all of my homework and now I don’t have anything mandatory to finish except for the Laitz reading, which I can do in about five minutes when I get back to my room. (It’s a big book, I didn’t want to have to lug it down with my bag and my laundry.) But other than that? Successful finish of the work for me today… and the homework for tomorrow and Wednesday? Totally out of the way.

So why is laundry awkward?

It is awkward in that the people who walk in, stare. And don’t speak. And then do their own laundry processes and leave. It’s like, what? Where would I go? Where else do I have to go that’s not the weird little room full of interruptions off from the kitchen, or my dorm?

So I sit here. And wait until my laundry’s done and I can shuffle over to fill my bag, then leave.

Wish projection = formula for success

So I haven’t written anything meaningful (to me) in about a week.

I have, however, produced the hands-down shittiest piece of writing in my life. I would say that to my professor’s face. That’s how horrendous it is. It helps that the course is only a semester long and I only have to pass it. That’s not my actual goal- I would like to knock the disapproving smirk off of her face permanently- but I feel as though that may not happen and will be pleased as long as I get through the class and never have to take it or anything similar ever again.

Speaking of goals. The other night, I had a dream. It’s been stuck in my mind for a while now, because it started as kind of a puzzling dream, and I was wondering, Okay dream, where are you going with this?

Allow me to set the scene a little bit. I have an affection toward the actor Matthew Gray Gubler. Not only does he play a great character on Criminal Minds (my favorite show for many reasons), he is actually a pretty cool dude in real life. Despite his elderly status (he’s thirty) he’s still got a pretty face on him and is doing interesting and motivating things with his life. I mean, come on, he’s directing, he’s acting, he’s being an artist– all of these things people say you can’t make money off of. And he loves it.

It’s a motivator for me because I do multiple things that people tell me will never get me any money. I mean, let’s be realistic, I’ll end up living in a box (or so I’m told). I sing classical music, want to write about it, speak and teach about it, love performing/acting/fingerpainting– yeah. Box on the side of the road.

Back to Gubler. He’s only thirty. Granted, to me right now, that seems like, um, old. But in thirteen years, that’s where I’ll be, yo. Okay, sorry. Twelve years now. Yikes. But he’s only thirty and he’s actually doing things with his life. He’s where he’s aimed. He’s famous.

Granted there’s a certain allure to fame that I’m sure isn’t so shiny once you actually get there. But I’d really like to find out for myself. Not only does fame ensure you can actually pay those college bills, it provides a conduit to sincerely make a difference in the world. To be a change.

And God knows I’d really love to be a change.

But back to my dream, I’m derailing here. So, I kind of admire this Gubler character, and he’s not too hard on the old eyeballs, either. For being old. Therefore I was confused when, in my dream, he was dating a friend of mine here at Eastman. I was like, okay, cool, but I’m having this dream. Let’s swing the focus here, huh? Instead, Rebecca’s on his arm, and then the scene spins and suddenly Rachael is telling me that he broke up with Rebecca and had started dating her… then Rebecca is telling me that he broke up with Rachael too. They both kind of merged into the same person after a while and were telling me all of these lovely things he used to do with them– outings, and walks in the country at sunset, and art show premiers… all of these great adventures. I got really jealous, and kind of annoyed now. Because those are all things I love to do, and Matthew (in my dream) had completely met me. We were on speaking terms.

The dream spun and shifted again, a spherical twist that put a giddy leap in my heart that stayed; suddenly I was having a drink with Gubler at some outdoor cafe and he was wearing his funky glasses and wide-brimmed hat. And I think plaid. We were… together. The paparazzi were there, that’s how I know.

Then we were in line for something and Jack and Matt and David were in line ahead of us? I remembered (in my dream) once having the tiniest crush on Matt and feeling balanced and not awkward about it (because nothing had come of it) when Gubler came to stand by me.

this guy = symbol of ambition ? hmm.

And you know that feeling (and this has really only happened once for me, in real life), when a guy comes up behind you and it’s not creepy? He just stands there and he’s warm and solid and present. You can tell he wants to be there and he’ll reach for your hand and/or rest a hand on your waist. That happened in my dream and I was just so… so settled, so satisfied with where I was, who I was, and who I was with.

 

Now to analyze: I don’t think this dream means I want to “be with” Matthew Gray Gubler. On the contrary, I’d rather just meet him and discuss all sorts of interesting things with him because A.) I’m sure he has a bajillionandahalf leagues of girls throwing themselves at him, and B.) I’m sure he has a wide scope of things to talk about and wanting to get in his pants would kind of deviate from any type of actual thought-related discussion.

Not that I would turn my nose up at an outing with him. I love adventures, any time, any where.

But that takes me back to my analysis. I think Gubler represented my goals. My wishes and desires to achieve, to be There in that hot light of the public eye. First I was confused, why don’t I have that? Then I was frustrated, I should have it by now. Then I did have it, and it felt right and I felt centered.

Just one possible analogy. But my eyes are getting dry and I’m tired so I’m putting this away for now. It was nice to do some storytelling for once.

Irrationality

I hate this. The not knowing.

But I refuse to go back to that scared and vulnerable, trembling little place where I was after Daniel died. That paranoia? That doesn’t make any sense.

Life doesn’t make any sense, I know. And neither do feelings, do emotions. The only thing that makes sense is the concept of irrationality.

But I can’t shake the notion that anything could happen. That frightens me. I don’t want to return to that cobwebby muddled corner with the nervousness and the hunched-up shoulders. I shouldn’t have to go back there.

Death could be outside my fruit roll-up clogged peephole and I wouldn’t have a clue. It’s anywhere; it’s everywhere. It seeps into our very pores and sets us up ticking, counting down until the second we go boom and BAM we’re no more. And the rest are left to sweep up the remains and keep on truckin’.

I don’t want to have to think about this shit. But I do. I do think about it and I do want to think about it. The macabre.

Isn’t it better to know? Isn’t it always better to know, to be aware? Even if it lends us that little sickly sharp edge of paranoid, isn’t it better to think ahead, to wonder? Keeps the imagination pumping red as the blood that still gallops with every flutter of the heart. And someday may prevent it’s untimely halt.

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.

Addressing issues of “tone”

I hate this class. Look familiar? That’s because I’m here again and really really hate it. Surprise!

We’re working on essay structure. You know, if I didn’t detest this course, I would be perfectly cool with writing and editing and re-editing my essay, even with a peer critique involved. Instead, we’re treated as incompetents. It might seem that way, honestly, because no one talks when she asks a question, except occasionally Pat or Paulina. Sorry if my brain’s shriveled from lack of coffee inhalation. Sorry if you’re standing there, “teaching,” with your arms crossed and voice dry, critically mentally labeling us all as dumb music students. We can see it.

She just mentioned a “funnel introduction.” Now the “dawn of time” introductions. GOD I need caffeine.

“Generally you don’t want readers to be skeptical. You want them to accept what you’re saying.” Actually, for me, I’d want to pique their interest. I’d want to twist them around my finger but entice them to think. From their contorted new mental state I’d want them to wonder about what they’ve read.

So no, I don’t simply want them to accept what I say.

I think I’ve shed all over my cardigan. My phone just vibrated reaaaally loudly in my pocket. I would give anything to be in Italian. And that alone should proclaim with obviousity my fiery desire to LEAVE this ROOM and never return.

Since she just was staring at me as she talked about addressing issues of tone, I wrote a few things down.

What kind of tone do you want to have in your papers? No feelings behind it. It’s a moral judgment to have an opinion. NO opinions. Well, I mean, you can have an opinion. But you have to be as bland and dry as this class. Oh wait, I need to offer a solution. Moral condemnation, and then no solution. To fix, ask why that contradiction is there? Better question: WHY DO I HAVE TO BE HERE?

F MY LIFE. “We’re going to do paragraphs for the next two classes.”

Excuse me? I beg your pardon. The NEXT TWO CLASSES?! Who needs to spend a week on learning to write a paragraph? Oh God. Oh dear sweet God.

In another life, maybe

So I realized upon waking up and reading what I wrote last night, I left a few important things out of my post.

First of all, I realize it’s a pretty personal subject. When I mentioned the vulnerability? It’s kind of weird leaving that last post up, just because it talks about crap I’ve tried my best to not even think about for a long time.

Because let’s be realistic. I sing opera. I have plans for my life, and they’re not all money-making or stabilizing. I’m ambitious and fairly smart and love to read, write, think, and work outside/shovel horse shit/run around with my dogs when it’s not snowy. I don’t fit the typical mold for a significant other and I’m aware of it. But that doesn’t stop me from thinking about it, or having a yen for it. Even if it doesn’t make sense.

And hey. This was a blog for my thoughts, first and foremost. So if I’m thinking about boys and the future, then that’s what I’m going to write about.

But upon further reflection, I almost feel as though I should resign it to fiction. Keep the thoughts of a future with some faceless, nameless gent within the pages of a word document. The idea of jeopardizing my future plans because of some unknown stranger is horrifying. It’s just not worth it.

So ignore my lists and forget the standards. It’s just a silly topic that happens to surface in my mind whenever I see my friends happy in that way. I’m glad for them, but in the more selfish section of my brain I do tend to wonder why I can’t have it, too.

Brevity

So I am actually in the process of trying to get some projects that are due in a few weeks out of the way right now. It might seem like overachieving, but honestly, I don’t know when else I might find time to do them. Even today, an “easy” day, so to speak, is going to be fairly active. I’m going to a Chopin piano concert at three later today.

That means I have roughly two hours to get homework completed and out of my “to do” pile, in addition to getting a little more spiffed up than is usual. Currently I’m in jeans and a thermal because it’s pretty chilly.

On a completely unrelated note (going atonal here), my nails are hot pink. Yeah, weird. I haven’t painted my nails in so long, but yesterday some nailpolish got on them by accident so obviously I had to finish the job. They don’t look too bad, but I think I’m going to have to do away with it for piano class. It’s tough for me to play with longer nails. But whatever.

Yeah. So other than being insanely busy and loving every second of it, I am pretty much finding myself chilling with whoever’s around. If I think about it, my schedule doesn’t seem that complicated or intense… to me. But taking a step back, and reflecting? Shows me that, holy crap, I’m running all the time.

It just doesn’t feel like that, because I love it.

And I have a feeling it will all be gone so quickly: already my first month here has nearly elapsed and I feel like I have been here forever (and yet, no time at all). It’s really strange.

But okay, I’m done rambling for today. I have to go work on my creative project for theory. Tatiana’s Letter Scene, here I come.

Hvorostovsky and Renee as Onegin and Tatiana at the Met (2006)

Disjointed, like my thoughts

No, I don’t
want to blog
right now.
No, I don’t
want to do
my work.
No, I don’t
want to sit
in here.
I would rather be at Sibley.
But, I can’t
leave this desk
please God
But, I can’t
slip or slack
dear God
But, I can’t
seem to stop
oh God
I would rather be at Java’s.
Why, I should
crack a book
Italian
Why, I should
look it up
that word
Why, I should
start on my
theory
I would rather be practicing.
Now, I guess
I will try
to try
Now, I guess
is the time
study?
Now, I guess
I’ll go to
sleep… or work
I would rather be making music.

Please, Bach... save me from the tedium

Blurb

I should not feel disoriented and dizzy this early in the morning. I’ve got a cinnamon pop tart in my system and am consuming searingly hot tea but I’m still groggy and I don’t like that. I also don’t like that there’s so much gap time between everything. I want to go, to get it done. I don’t want to disregard the importance of time and waiting and all that crap but come on, I’ve been waiting to reach this stage in my education (in my LIFE) since I was, like, four. Old enough to know what college was and that I wanted to go there and be smart and use it to do something worth it.

Granted, I never thought it would be opera, but here I am.

Still waiting.

Waiting for theory to start at nine thirty, waiting for the day to end so I can begin another monotonous cycle of homework, waiting for the next exciting thing to do that doesn’t involve food and hopefully does involve caffeine.

Waiting, ironically, for fall break to swing around a month from now so I can see my family. So we can laze around for once crisp fall weekend and enjoy the brief time we’re together. The stupid little pleasures of home no one thinks they will ever miss are the ones that turn and twist the tendons of your heart.

But I’ll wait; I’ll wait it out and I’ll work and drink my tea and burn my mouth and wait. It had better be worth it.

This scrawny-looking cat is in fact waiting for me... I'm the only one that likes him at my house :/

A little bit of time

I’m taking a breather right now. I’m just sitting in the dorm relaxing (playing on my laptop) as the sky dims to a sheet of grey outside the window as a soothing breeze tries to creep in.

It’s just a nice pause in a week that’s been crammed with new sensations and the first spurt and rush of a new life. Fourteen weeks to go until this semester’s over.

I want to say that I will be prepared. I have a plan. I am ready for what may come my way, or I will make myself ready. I’m facing the future with less fear than I’ve ever felt. I haven’t wondered “what will happen if I die today” in almost two weeks. Well, to be truthful I thought it yesterday, but it was in passing over the fact that I haven’t really thought about it. In case you’re confused, after my cousin passed away at nineteen, I became fairly neurotic and theorized about death almost daily. If you could see my other blog… well, it wasn’t the most cheery read some days. I mused on life and its end a great deal.

But lately, I have thought about other things.

For example, how Eastman is like Hogwarts. We have a Chamber of Secrets (the Director’s Dining Center, off of the regular Dining Center), many (MANY) stairs that lead to hallways that look highly alike, and we make something from nothing. Whether we use wands or batons or horns or ourselves, we’re shaping ourselves and the world around us into (what is perpetually hoped to be) something better. Something that can make the world better.

That brings me to what I’ve been up to. Yesterday I went to the first SA meeting of the year. SA is the Student’s Association. Representatives from each class are chosen and it’s recommended they attend regularly; also reps from clubs and organizations on campus show up. It’s where student government leaders are decided. In addition, anyone who has something to complain about is urged to go.

So Mary and I went and were the only freshmen there. We’ve been (well, I’ve been) trying to kind of spread the word about the need for freshmen class council members. I’d like to do it, but I think I’d want to be secretary/treasurer, so the pressure of leading others to decisions doesn’t necessarily fall on me. I have to see if I get an ushering job first, though. And there might be more interest and someone with more drive will want that spot.

I’m not saying I’m not ambitious: quite the contrary. But I’d rather see someone who’s obsessed with class government get it, if they want it and will do a good job. I would be pretty good, I’m not going to lie, and I want to be involved, but Garrett Rubin’s organization seems like something I’m going to find a passion in.

It’s called Eastman for the Shropshire Music Foundation, and Garrett developed our little part of it. The Foundation itself was founded by Liz Shropshire, whose background and experience in music and music education led her to raise funds to purchase musical instruments for the children of Kosovo refugees. It now reaches children in Northern Ireland and Uganda as well. I won’t go in intimate detail here, but please visit this site for more information if you’re interested. If you’re not interested, check it out anyway (please). But my point is, I want to get involved. I don’t want to just “be a part of something” for the feeling of inclusion. I don’t want to commit my very limited time to an organization that isn’t doing something proactive, something useful and beneficial.

The Shropshire Foundation is worthwhile. It helps people. Moreover, it helps the children who will grow up to someday have their own impacts, however publicly realized, on the world. To be a medium through which people can learn to love music seems to me a truly influential and vital use of time. Especially since Eastman for the Shropshire Music Foundation is based here. It seems too coincidental that something I’d be crazy about doing would be one of two university-based campaigns for the foundation.

So in this little snippet of down time I’m snagging now, I’m considering the future, considering the options here to be a part of something that’s making a difference. And, I figure, it’s about time.

Refugees (picture taken from http://www.shropshirefoundation.org/mission)

Here’s a criminal mind… mine

I have discovered why I have been so unhappy lately. Why my senior year of high school made me so miserable. Why there’s just this little spot of rot just above my heart that keeps eating away at me.

It’s because I’ve reached the point in my life where people expect a great deal of me. So it’s not only my own self pushing me, but I have to live with the idea of those I respect the most really counting on me. Counting on me to make the most of myself, to kick ass in college, to do so much with my life. To learn more than how to tie a string of eighth notes together.

In addition to that, I’m facing the stark reality that the dreams and hopes I’ve carried for so long might fall to the wayside. They might never happen. The best intentions could result in the worst circumstances. So many terrible things could happen and with the drop of a hat, my life’s course could change forever, take an angle I’d never considered before.

I’ve always considered myself lucky and blessed to have grown up in the environment I did. Last night I was trying to fall asleep and found myself thinking about Criminal Minds, and writing. I’ve been obsessed with the show lately (lately meaning, a few months on and off), and in my daydreaming (and actually dreaming) hours have found myself picturing scenarios, picturing an alter ego of myself acting and solving crimes. Getting inside the minds of the Seriously Screwed Up and figuring out how they tick.

My interest in psychoanalysis doesn't come from these guys, but the show adds fuel to the plot-generating fire

I realize there are only about eleven real profilers in the world, and don’t worry– I have no intention of switching careers right before Eastman. But I’ve always had a lingering fascination with the why of the human mind. What trigger in their past claimed their energy and turned it to murder? How did their parents’ relationship affect them, how have vital occasions in their life turned them into serial killers?

Mingled with my predilection to write, to tell a story, this appreciation and interest in psychoanalysis has led me to develop some pretty whacked out plotlines. Despite my glee at arriving at such atrociously exciting stories, though, I can’t help but think, in all seriousness, how do people do such horrible things to one another?

I tend to wonder about and picture every possible aspect of others’ lives in my spare time. We could be driving past a suburb and I wonder, who lives in that pretty house, and what are they hiding? What do they enjoy? Do they hate their job? Dog or cat people? I see two Canadians come into Tim Horton’s and I think, why are they traveling? What brings them to Gowanda? Do they come to Timmy Ho’s because it’s familiar or they want coffee or they need directions? Or potentially all three?

It’s a compulsion to be curious, I suppose. And with that compulsion comes certain darker thoughts, especially when I mix it with a healthy dose of serial killer research and my own life.

If someone had gotten into my house at night– which, I’ve discovered, would be pathetically easy– and killed my family, how would that affect the world? If I–or someone near me– snatched up that root beer bottle and smashed it over someone’s head, what would the consequences be? Would they be evadable? If there was a slasher in the backseat of the vehicle I always make sure to lock, how would I escape them? How would they try to kill me, what would their past look like if mapped out, to lead us both to that point?

Then it all circles back to, how do people do this to each other? What was the significant event that pushed that button: kill, hurt, maim, make suffer? How is it that beings who are predisposed to crave love, end up creating ruin? Is it in pursuit of love, of attention? How can it be rectified?

All this from the spinning mind of a soon-to-be music student. Maybe I should stick to eight notes.

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.

Thoughts while sipping the first mugfull

 

I had a dream that I was sad. That I was left behind. That I was about to die.

The truth is, I am all of these things, however much I press it back into my subconscious during waking hours.

I literally just dragged myself out of bed and have a sip (okay, gulp) and a half of caffeine in my system. I’m still under the last haze of dreaming. But as my mind starts its slow shift back to the waking world, I begin to realize that I’ve stopped analyzing myself lately. Usually I’ll use my blog and journal-like writing to accomplish that. But I haven’t been doing it. I’ve been working, and when I’m not, I’m practicing. (Or swimming… or anything else in a countless realm of things that do not include blogging.)

So I haven’t spent much time reflecting on my own personal balance (yes, Libra reference there). It screws with my anxiety levels when I’m not fully aware of my own mind and emotions.

But now (thanks, dreamland) I know: I’m sad. I’m worried about being forgotten and discarded. And I’m alarmed by the reality that I’m getting older– and even that doesn’t matter because, really, any second could be my last.

My older blog talked a great deal about death. I discussed in great detail how I felt about life and trying to exist and make the most of it. Circumstances that had nothing to do with me ended up having the greatest effect on my views regarding death. I still believe that living all-out is the way to be… the way to go.

But now that I spend most of my time employed, at a job that’s pretty great if you need a job, but not where I want to be for the rest of my life, I have been thinking. What about people that have sucky jobs, that pay like crap? How do they stay happy? Sacrifice time with their friends and family in order to make more?

I figure now that you have to pay for time. It costs money to take your friends out to eat; it costs money to go shopping with your mother; it costs money to go to college. Does it equal out: the happiness versus the time lost to make the happiness possible?

I don’t know yet. I imagine when my cup(s) of coffee has(have) been emptied I’ll say the pleasant times are worth giving up so many hours in order to provide them. This is yet another concrete reason why I know I need to end up with a job I love. A job I live and breathe.

But speaking of work, I have to stop doing this and start getting ready. So, thank you for choosing Tim Horton’s, and have a great day.