Archive for June 2010
If I measured my level of happiness based on how many times I smile during the day, how many times I adopt a peppy attitude towards the little things, or how few negative thoughts come to my mind in the 16 hours I am awake, I’d probably have to conclude that I am not a very happy individual.
No, this is not another whiny entry on how miserable I am, and how nothing seems to make it better, although I can see why you would think that.
Reality is that I have not reached that point in the past couple of weeks where I feel comfortable in my own skin. However, I think I have found something that is going to add some joy to my thoughts, some spring to my steps, some rainbows to my days. Today, ladies and gentlemen, I had my very first piano lesson!
First off, I got the name off of Craigslist, which is a bit sketchy considering mass murderers have advertised there. So I took a couple of escorts with me, and went to meet a lovely Japanese girl who graduated from Berklee College of Music, and who was as delightful as can be – all despite her having exactly the same name as the main singer of a girl pop band in Japan (weird, huh?). She went over the basics and made me play Ode to Joy with the right hand, then with the left hand. I was in heaven! I had so much fun!
To top it all off, she said I could email her a few songs (by… say, Taylor Swift, maybe?) and she would arrange a piano accompaniment for them so I could sing along to her songs as I played. Isn’t that wonderful??? She also showed me that she has the score to “Because of You” by Kelly Clarkson, of which, of course, I only know the Reba McEntire and Kelly Clarkson country version. But I told her to keep it in my repertoire to revisit at a later date.
It was the most fun I have had since my trip to Washington DC for my anniversary. What can I say, it was just a delightful way to get me out of my blues.
“Thank you for the music!” — ABBA
It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone to hear that I have had a pretty rough couple of weeks. I changed careers in my mind 3 times, and slowly swirled into a depression that reached rock bottom yesterday. Now, I don’t want you to worry about me, depression happens some times, and it’s the way my brain likes to “reset” itself. I always come out of it. What’s interesting to see is what idea I got in my head this time to snap out of it.
Last night I had two very meaningful conversations. One with a good friend, whom I call Alicia Keys on this blog, and one with my husband, Brian. Alicia was extremely supportive and lent me a good ear when I needed it most. I explained to her that it has been really hard for me to find the right balance in my life. When I’m too busy and unhappy I tend to keep my calendar clear. Since I have been feeling that way for a few months, I have pretty much alienated my own friends and stopped making plans, all for the sake of keeping a free schedule. And when the day comes when I have absolutely nothing to do, like yesterday, I crash into loneliness and hopelessness. Some people may find it relaxing to have nothing to do, but I find it more rewarding to plan my time and spend time with friends… that’s one thing I finally learned about myself yesterday.
Then there was the conversation with Brian. I told him I was scared shitless of wasting my time. Of just “finding things to do to pass the time” <– what a useless life I'd lead that way. He thinks I should stop thinking of a grand goal, and just start doing things I enjoy doing. Stop trying to think of something to do that will become my calling in life, and just start enjoying the little things. He suggested a bunch of things to do, like teaching Spanish to adults, or volunteering at the TV station, or learning to play an instrument. That conversation, combined with the one I had with Alicia's, was instrumental in getting me out of the dog house.
This morning I woke up at 9am, and went to the gym. I took a power yoga class from 9:45 to 11am. Then went to a family picnic for father's day, and came home eager to PLAN my week.
I also went on eBay and bid on a 49-key basic (children's) keyboard just 10 min before the auction was over. Plus shipping, it cost $25 in total. Now that I have an instrument to practice at home, I went ahead and signed up for piano classes at an academy nearby. Wouldn't that be fun? That's the point: it's FUN. No goal, no grander plan, just do something that I would look forward to every week. Wouldn't that be a nice change?
So that's the latest update… no more free schedule — I have to find a balance between relaxation, socializing, fun and work… and I can't do it while avoiding the world.
My head really goes a million miles a minute, doesn't it? Trust me, it's harder to live it than to read about it. It's crazy in here.
I’m feeling a little bit better today than I did yesterday, and I felt a little better yesterday than I did the day before. I think some would call this progress.
I have had so much on my mind these past couple of weeks. Applications to teaching positions, finding out about the profession, finding out about OTHER professions, plus being sick, it’s all just crashing on me at once, and I’m just completely weakened by it.
Christine, Halfawake, Erin, thank you so much for your comments. I appreciate the advice. Yes, I find blogging therapeutic, I will look into the inspirational quotes website, and Erin, I learned to never take a book recommendation from you again! I’m joking. I’ll check out your book rec. I like inspirational stories, they really lift you up. It’s like when you see those depression drug commercials: I see the people on the screen moping around and not feeling like doing anything, and I feel like taking them by the hand and taking them out for a walk or just to do SOMETHING. The ads definitely make me want to take action, not take medication If you got how this relates to inspirational stories, I’ll give you a medal.
I’m happy to report that I have 2 weeks left of school. Isn’t that unbelievable? I will finish Summer I on June 30th, and then I’ll just have a week-long intensive class on the last week of July, and it’s finito. No more school for me. For goodness sake, I have been in school longer than I have been married. It’s definitely time to graduate and get on with my life. I look forward to having evenings off. Ahh, that’ll be the life.
Here are some things I’m looking forward to:
- Trip to Orlando next week (yeeeaahhh)
- Trip to Austin in 2 weeks (gonna go see my babies! — niece & nephew)
- Finishing school (as mentioned above)
- Getting bored so I can think of fun things to fill my time with, for instance:
- Acting (I used to be quite good in my prime)
- Singing (not AWESOME at it, I just love doing it)
- Teaching Spanish to friends and Brian
- Reading books / Join a bookclub
- Writing more
- Exercising (it’s time to start using that gym membership)
- Seeing friends more
- Something else I haven’t come up with yet
Those are just some things I think about. However, there is no escaping a very hard truth: finishing school will NOT solve all of my problems. I’ll still be back here blogging about what to do with my life and how confused I am. I’m starting to think I’ll need “settle down and stop thinking so much” medication… OR I’ll have to figure out how to control my hyperactive mind.
A friend asked me recently if I had ever met anybody who jumped from idea to idea as quickly as I did, and someone who actually took action on it, the way I do. I do have one friend who doesn’t know what to do with her life and sometimes takes some kind of action to find out. But she’s probably 50% as obsessed as I am. Am I really alone out there? Is there anybody else out there who would like to take crazy classes with me, or change careers with me? Mmmm.
This is quite enough rambling I think…
♫ Listening to: Taylor Swift – White Horse ♫
I think there should be an app akin to the one that checks your drunken state before you text or email someone, but that prevents you from blogging if you’re feeling down… Like right now.
I am tired, nervous, anxious, nervous, down, nervous. It’s not a good nervous, though. It’s a level of stress that I’m not comfortable with. Why can’t I translate nervousness to excitement? Anxiety to anticipation? A frown to a smile?
That got me thinking that there must be a formula out there for an immediate pick-me-up. Right, drugs, but I’m thinking of something more natural. Maybe a book of jokes, good quotes, a Voicemail from your husband saying how much he loves you, I mean, there has got to be a way to beat the blues.
Taylor Swift reads her myspace comments when she’s having a bad day… Too bad not all of us have an unlimited arsenal of love or a fan club.
What do you do to cheer up?
Something’s bothering me, but I know it doesn’t bother everyone, and I wish I were one of those people. They are happy people.
We all know about my infatuation with Taylor Swift. If you’ve read my past entry about Girl Crushes, you’d understand that there are certain women whom I admire. I want to be near them, I want to talk to them, I want their happiness to rub off on me.
Warning: The next 3 paragraphs are the background of how I got to this point and it’s kinda boring… you can skip to “So what bothers me about this?” to not waste precious seconds of your life.
Yesterday Taylor hosted a Meet & Greet for what ended up being 14.5 hours of just meeting, hugging, kissing fans and taking pictures with them (in Nashville, TN, for Country Fest — which I did not attend). It was broadcasted live on the web, so I logged on a couple of times throughout the day to see how she was doing. She’s just so genuinely appreciative of her fans, and she has an amazing self-awareness, uncharacteristic of a typical 20 year old, that makes her see that she’s a huge influence in young girls (plus me). She knows she’s being watched and people hang onto her every word, so she always makes sure to be positive, encouraging, and self-esteem raising. She’s what I think a real-life Barbie doll would be: considerate, ethical and just sweet.
After the broadcast, it gave you a “suggested” video, which was a 1-hour webchat with Taylor at her house. She read questions and answered them from her personal Mac webcam. That was in 2008.
Then last night I had a dream about her. There was a Taylor Swift camp, and all the girls were there to meet Taylor and spend time with her. I remember waking up and thinking that I had to go back and do something… I don’t remember what it was… I was writing a book? making a scrapbook? I don’t remember, but I needed to go back and finish it! It was so real.
So what bothers me about this? I lied in bed last night for about 20 min thinking about what it is that I love about Taylor so much and why do I find being star-struck so frustrating at the same time. I know that I love that she is doing something she loves to do and that she’s really good at. That’s why this is not just a celebrity crush, I also have this kind of infatuation for others that love what they do and do it well despite adversity, like my sister-in-law, who is yet to be christianed with a new name on this blog. She’s a teacher, and she knew she wanted to do this all her life. She puts up with the downs because this is IT for her. I guess I wish I were so sure about my life path as Taylor and sis-in-law are.
I was trying to think what would be the end result of my soul search. How would it feel? I couldn’t come up with anything. I just can’t see myself being perfectly content with just one thing. I am always thinking, jumpy, nervous, hating everything, wishing I were somewhere else. I could not picture a single scenario where I was happy and content and static. For some reason that’s how I define happiness: do something you like, do it well, live worry-free for the rest of your life. Even in my dreams I can’t accomplish that.
I am also nervous because I have been thinking about teaching versus working at my husband’s company, and my husband’s company is winning. I couldn’t have foreseen feeling like this in a million years. I guess the money issue is really a big one, especially right now. If I could make some money and save up, maybe I would be ready for a career in teaching. I really need to take a good look at my finances at some point.
So, I didn’t have any real conclusion. Apparently I am doomed to wandering in anxiety for the rest of eternity. What a life…
I got to go to the Taylor Swift concert on June 5th at Foxboro (Gillette) Stadium. It was great, but I had really crappy seats on the floor… or so I thought. At one point in the concert, Taylor came all the way down from the side seats touching, hugging, kissing fans while she made her way to the center of the stadium, where she sang some songs raised up on a platform. It just so happens that my crappy seats were on the second row of the aisle where she passed by. I put my hand out there and I actually touched Taylor. It’s all on tape! Here’s a frame of it:
I can’t do it. I can’t continue to put the life I want on hold. I want to do something out of the box, I want something creative, I want something ELSE. I want everything all at once. I want to try something different every week. I want to figure out what it is that I love to do.
I have decided not to pursue jobs in my area of work. I am done putting a wall of money between me and my happiness. That’s my vow.
This past weekend I had a revelation. It was a half-epiphany really. I went to Washington DC for my second wedding anniversary trip, and had the time of my life with my husband. I actually think that we fell in love all over again on that trip. But that’s not what my revelation was about.
We were having lunch at a little restaurant off of Seward Square: pizza, of course. And for the first time in many years I did not wish I had the clerk’s job. That was the revelation, and it caught me by complete surprise. I know it sounds silly, but I tend to wish I could walk in anybody else’s shoes but my own.
I think I pinpointed the moment when I had this transformation. We had the opportunity to sit through a vote at the House of Representatives. It was great! I looked at the reps and thought what a cool job it must be to pull the strings of a whole country. Imagine representing a whole constituency and act on their behalf.
Although I thought that was a cool job, I didn’t really wish I had that job either, but made me realize that I want a job that I’m so passionate about that I want to be the best at it. Remember that feeling?
So all of the sudden, the pizza man’s job doesn’t meet my standards; they are not going anywhere.
I also figured out how a job is so much like a relationship. When you try so hard to find one, your desperation blinds you from any standards. But when you focus on doing things you like for the pure enjoyment of it, relationships find you. In the case of a job, you just gotta do what makes your heart sing.
So I started attending my town’s government meetings and started a new blog about my town at norwoodma.wordpress.com and I am so excited to play journalist for a little while.
Did you know that there are people out there making a living on blogging and writing reports for online publications? People actually make money doing what I enjoy as a hobby!
If only I had the courage to give it a real shot. I guess it will have to be a hobby until I get good enough for people to what to read me in the first place!