I used to know exactly what I needed. There was a time when I could wake up, walk outside, and feel what my body and my mind were craving. Now it's harder to tell. Now my instincts are less sure-footed.
But, in a lot of ways, I did get what I wanted. I got out of Cedar. I got to disappear. I got away from the people and the culture and the religion that I didn't really like that much. Despite my constant anxiety about being a "failure" who "everybody hates," I am a working artist. I am, quite objectively, making it.
On Getting What You Want Out of Life
I have a habit of working myself all up to want something...really want something...and when I finally knock on the door of opportunity...I knock just once. Ba-dump bump, it's me, any room in the inn? and if it doesn't open, I turn away, go sit down, and remain motionless for years at a time.
2017 11 April :: 10.13am
:: Mood: relieved
:: Music: general funk
Another door shut. Another tangent I don't have to explore. The older I get, the less pressure I feel to twist myself into all these unnatural pretzel shapes. The less I feel the need to change to fit the image I see in my head, or to meet the expectations of others. Overall it's a good thing, but at the same time I'm left with more questions: If my path isn't being defined by the authorities in my life, by the institutions that I once looked up to, then it's all up to me. And what do I want it to look like?
Do I want to get married? To be somebody's wife? Is that something I ever really wanted?
I wish now more than ever that I hadn't shut you out. You believed in me, never mocked me for what I liked. What would you have said to me when I was ten years old?
2017 17 March :: 9.23pm
:: Mood: grateful
:: Music: Deux Arabesques (I), Debussy
Today was really, really good. The whole week was, actually. I'm working in the studio now - I had a student today. I feel bad that I haven't practiced much in my Gershwin. BUT, I have been drilling my shit. Had to double-check stuff like augmented chords and melodic minors scale fingerings. It's been good refreshing my own memory as I'm starting to tread those old neuropathways again.
Teaching is interesting. I never thought I would like it, but it's actually been pretty cool so far. The studio is a really positive environment and there's a lot of talent in the community to build upon. Like, I can actually say I have a career in music now. Working artist, I can live with that.
It feels sudden and new, like we just moved here all over again. I can't wait for spring to turn into summer, when we can open up the doors again and have breakfast on the balcony. Not that I can't go out there without perpetually being afraid of the bees. But still. I have regained sureness that I did the right thing. It's a good feeling, knowing you were right all along about following your own advice. Ha...if you're as into mental masturbation as I am, apparently.
2017 21 February :: 10.36pm
:: Mood: excited
:: Music: beach house mix tape
Aaaand just like that, I have a new part-time job playing music every week. My piano teacher also invited me to apply to actually teach lessons (!!!) at the studio because they are opening up a second location! Sooo today I redid my resume and submitted for that as well. What an awesome week. PLUS I randomly got a bonus last week at my actual job for doing some extra work on a project, so that's cool.
Yeah. Damn. Can't believe how high things are actually looking up.
2017 16 February :: 11.11pm
:: Mood: full
:: Music: Liz Vice
Make a wish.
I feel so incredibly lucky and loved right now. I get to fall asleep tonight next to the love of my life, and I have felt so loved and supported lately in our relationship that I know I made the right decision to try and stick it out since last May. We been through some trials this year fo' sho. But right now, I am going to rest in the love that is there, protecting us and keeping me safe and warm. I deserve to feel the love right now.
I had an audition tonight with a group that's been together for about five years. Seriously one of the most solid groups of adult musicians I've ever played with. Some actual professionals in the bunch, everyone talented and rock solid in their roles. And I fit so, so well with these people: the style and range, skill levels, personalities--tonight was a lot of fun, not something I normally expect at this type of thing. Director is going to call me to work out payment and logistics stuff this week. So we'll see what happens there.
Sitting in the Biggby on 10 Mile watching this woman totally ignore her daughter for the past hour and a half. Just sitting on her phone, not even looking up when her daughter talks to her, stomps her feet, climbs all over the furniture in the coffee shop. I watched this kid try to eat tin foil and her mom is completely glued to her phone.
Just my opinion...but if you don't pay attention to your kids, you probably shouldn't have them.
Some more insights
1. I actually pretty much like doing everything, and I am one of those people who always finds a way to be happy in any given circumstance. So I think sometimes we need to find a balance between really wanting and letting ourselves work toward something specific out of life, and also being able to roll with the punches and find another way when it doesn't work out.
2. Accepting your desire for something to be different AND the fact that things are not that way is the first step toward realizing you can change.
3. It doesn't matter what you feel like doing; do what your highest self wants you to do. That's the only thing that matters if you do it or not.
. . . . .
4. I am still an artist, and I don't need to be super socially connected and publicly engaged for that to be true.
5. I am way more relaxed when I practice mindfulness.
6. I need to pay more attention to my negative self-talk.
2017 27 January :: 2.15pm
:: Music: Cigarettes After Sex
1. Nothing says I actually need to pretend like I know what someone's talking about, if I don't. I ought to stop agreeing that I know what something is if I've never heard of it. They can explain it; I can learn something.
2. I am not going to magically start caring about something. Instead of being numb and waiting for something that grabs my passion, I should just put effort into something that sounds fun and enjoyable, that I already kind of like. Because just kind of liking something is enough to be happy.
3. "We do not heal the past by dwelling there; we heal the past by living fully in the present." ~Marianne Williamson
So, let's see. If I were to try being optimistic (instead of pessimistic, like I usually am), I would trust that everything is going to work out fine. I will not eventually be unloved. It would be OK for me to change my mind all the time and not have to worry about everything crashing down around my ears. It would be OK for me to trust people. It would be OK for me to trust myself.
I would be able to let this go. I would finally accept the fact that the past is in the past, and doesn't really need to affect me that much in the now. I can be good at that again. I am already accepting that peace more deeply, every time I remind myself what is and what is not my problem, my mistake, my sin (as it were).
It's all so complicated at times. But the past couple of months have honestly been better. The holidays really helped; getting to see my good family and friends. Getting a chance to travel and clear my head a bit. Doing stuff on my own and giving S the room to do the same has been good. Being more honest and open about what I'm feeling, when I'm feeling it, has been good. I haven't een letting things fest as much. Really grieving out loud and in person with our people was a helpful outlet too.
Next: I've got to work on my self-esteem. Having a bit of structure is nice, but I don't need to keep flogging myself needlessly. Staying in the present with some loose but clear goals has been good. Mostly music stuff, some of it personal. I think a good idea might be for me to call my therapist tomorrow and set up an appointment for next week. I tend to feel much more gloomy in the winter (thanks, SADD), and S suggested the wise idea of sticking with it through the winter months at least and then reassessing when spring comes (because we actually do get a spring season here, point for fucking Ohio; sorry, Michigan) since my shitty insurance won't cover the full year.
So that's what I'm up to now. Gershwin, maybe some Bach, and self-esteem/confidence.
2017 11 January :: 4.27pm
:: Mood: happy
:: Music: Last Week Tonight
Making breadsticks + spaghetti for dinner, having a beer + some ginger candy while I do it. I love my rainy city. S worked from home today and we always have a v. good time together. Feeling v. happy and content.
2017 7 January :: 8.59pm
:: Music: Harry Potter & the Sorcerer's Stone
It's cold here, but I love this city. I fell in love the moment we came here apartment-hunting, and I've only grown more enamored the more time I've spent here exploring, seeing, living. Like, I actually LIVE here. It's a dream come true in itself, a dream I never knew I had.
Thursday night was a bit rocky. Y made a reference to S being stoned years ago - haha, what a joke - a time I never knew about, an example he could never give me. I stormed out of the house in tears and K consoled me at the beach. His fault, entirely; the wound gashed open by an unwitting comment. Nonetheless. We had a talk the next day. I still have no idea how to tell whether he is sober or not. Still have no idea how it really affects me, if he were to relapse.
Fuck. I don't even know what to do with 2016. I still have no sense of direction, no clear convictions. But I think I might be ready to leave the church. Y was right - S will wait for me, whatever I decide I want to do. We already have got the kids discussion settled. I just have no fucking clue. D said on New Year's, having so many talents and so many possibilities is really a curse. Maybe I should do the thing. Join the P site. Jesus. Anything would be better than what this last year has been.
I thought my 20's was supposed to be the fun and easy part?!?!?!?!
2016 29 December :: 4.03pm
:: Mood: high
:: Music: Utada Hikaru
simple and clean
Yesterday was probably as perfect as it gets.
Woke up to a warm breeze flowing through the apartment. 7:45am, I head out to the balcony, pull up a table and chair and my jug of water, start working. Easy stuff, stuff I like. I even get to call a couple of customers. Everything finishes nicely in about three hours when the boys are back from their morning workout. We all go do yoga at the beach, the sunshine pouring down. I do better at some tricky poses than I have in a long time, actually. When I feel all nice and stretched out, I climb into the hammock and wait for S to finish up. Close my eyes to the water and rest. I am so content.
We decide to rent the kayaks. They have two kayaks, one paddle, and one regular oar. I get the paddle to start because I'm the girl and I set off into the water. We couldn't have asked for better weather. I see turtles bobbing up as I swish past them, ducks floating serenely on the other side of the fountain. I stretch my legs out long and keep my back straight, concentrate on keeping good form as I plunge one side of the paddle into the water, then push forward and catch the momentum I'm creating with my other side. I pretend my chest is the fulcrum of a mighty rowing machine, falling into a strong, steady rhythm. Over the water. I decide to paddle all the way around the lake. There are some fancy houses along the northwestern side, so I went and peeked in on the backyards. I paddled so close the dogs started barking when I got to the next bank. I kept going along the edge. I decided to cut through the middle and circle back to the fountain. The wind started picking up, and I had to go straight into the wind to get back to home shore. I kept my body strong. I told myself, "I could do this for real." It felt so amazing to get out and do something like this. I made it back to the shore in no time, and I felt great about what I had done.
Y and I sat in the chairs on the sand. Everything was funny. We couldn't stop laughing. We drank grapefruit juice and found shapes in the clouds while S went back out on the water, this time with the paddle.
That was probably the most safe and alive I've felt all year. Those moments.
Spending Christmas in Raleigh with G and R, then heading down to Orlando/Fort Myers until after the New Year.
I am going to stay. I am going to trust. I've spent enough time worrying, figuring things out. I don't regret any of it. Not one minute. If I could do it all over again, I would do it all the exact same way. Mistakes included. My destiny, my choice.
2016 5 November :: 12.49am
:: Mood: whoa, dude...
:: Music: the wallflowers
since last we met
yo. i'm still here.
I suppose a lot has happened in 2016 up to this point, and I should probably catch you up.
I didn't wind up getting that house. I did wind up getting out of my parents' basement. I was very fortunate to find an awesome roommate on craigslist. She owns her own home, and I rent the back bedroom. The price is right. We have fun. We eat food and watch tv and shit. I got super lucky to find this place, and appreciate that I get to live here. I didn't realize how much it bothered me living at dad's until I got out and felt this immense weight lifted off of my chest. That's not to say it's always sunshine and rainbows and shit here... but it's a lot better. I'm much more relaxed. More comfortable being myself. It took a few months being here to allow myself to ease into it. It's a good fit, for right now. It won't be forever, but it's nice to not be in a hurry to go anywhere. And she's not in a hurry to get me out of here, which is also nice.
I'm still single. Cold and alone, forever probably maybe. I still vascillate rapidly between deeply longing to be in a relationship and realizing that bachelorhood and freedom is actually pretty fucking rad. I mostly just want something warm to cuddle with. Maybe I should get a dog. I did do the 20-10-5 thing.
*spends half an hour looking for it*
... and now I can't remember what I did with it. I may have thrown it out. the big takeaway I can recall from it is that I'm shallower than I'd like to believe. I wanted to think that a sense of humor or intellectual stimulation would be the most important - and they were important, they definitely made the list of 20 (it was actually really hard to think of 20 things without being redundant) - but if you boil it down ... i have to be attracted to the person physically. have to. don't much care if anyone else thinks they're hot, but I damn well better think so. Otherwise there's no point to the rest of it. I wanted to think that I'm above all that physical superficiality, but apparently i'm not.
i have a "new" (year-old) lunchbag. it is gigantic and awesome. kathy got it for me. after all that bitching i did about her, she buys the best gifts. and i am an asshole. but the zipper works great
I still don't eat very healthy or exercise much. however i recently quit smoking tobacco. it's only been 11 days, so it's still a little premature to call it quits for good, officially, but this is the longest stretch of time i've gone without nicotine in my bloodstream in 10 years. it's kind of a big deal.
also, i bought myself a drum set:
I've been banging on that thing quite a bit lately.
like - all the freaking time. which is awesome.
i also built a drum. it's purdy:
It's at dad's house. I gave it to him because i wasn't crazy about how it sounded, and he didn't have a wood snare. he likes it, so i'm glad it worked out and found a good home. i probably would've warmed up to it over time. it didn't sound bad ... just not how i expected/hoped.
prior to that, i built a bookshelf and a nightstand for my bedroom. they turned out well. oak plywood is fucking expensive as balls. but it looks nice, and is rock solid. glued and screwed together. sanded and polyurethaned. should last a good long while. not perfect, but suitable for my needs.
I did wind up getting that 'promotion' at work. so now i have my own office, a company phone, and a slight (very slight) pay increase. it's a lot more responsibility - i'm running quality control for our entire plant - but it's not terrible all the time. i show up, do stuff, go home, and at the end of the week they deposit money in my bank account. it's a thing.
the basement audio lab has been put on hiatus for the time being. the other guys got busy with life and work and stuff and were unable to commit the time and energy they felt was necessary to continue the project. i can respect that they didn't want to half-ass it. and if things slow down, we'll pick it back up again.
in the meantime, i'm starting on a new project with different people. we will see what happens, but at least i'm still playing. there wasn't even that much down time, and i didn't have to go out looking for something, it came to me. so hopefully that's an indication that i'm supposed to be doing it. we don't have anything online yet.
Here's where the basement audio lab left off, if you'd like to hear what things sounded like right before we hit pause: