Back from the Dead


It’s funny, therapists spend so much time touting the value of self-care to clients, but somewhere along the way on my journey toward graduation I lost sight of my own needs. I kept telling myself that if I could just make it through, I would have the rest of my life to feed my creative hunger. Just three more years, two more, just an internship, and then you can go back to the things that make you feel fulfilled.

And here I am, at the end. I made it. But I’m depleted, and disconnected. My body has suffered and I am looking at beginning again on my journey of health. There was so much pain, so much creative starvation, and why? Perhaps if I had set aside more room for passion I would not feel so much like I am back at square one.

Don’t get me wrong. These four years have been amazing. I’ve made friends, I’ve developed outstanding skills. I am competent and confident in my ability to be a therapist should I choose to pursue licensure. I have a degree that will assist in my current career. I fell in love.

But I also shut away a part of myself, tricking myself into thinking if I did not acknowledge it that it would go away. This is dangerous. There were times when I could not get air, I was so strangled by yearning. There were moments when I wished I could quit, just to have some semblance of my artistic life.

And yet, I’m here.

Wiser for my mistakes. Beginning again. Promising that I won’t forsake myself along the way. Hoping that others will hold me accountable.

I know I did what I needed to in order to survive, but pure survival is a very bleak life.

An artist without art is not a truly Living thing.

So hello, my dear friends. I’m back.

Begin again flowers

Sincerely,

Emilie

lay on, Macduff (and don’t forget the mortar board)


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“What’s that giant book you’re reading? Is that the Bible?”

“No, it’s the Complete Shakespeare.”

“Oh, so it’s the British Bible.”

————————————————————————————

“That book is huge, do you have to read the whole thing?”

“Well, actually we are just reading a selection of plays from the anthology. So, no.”

“…”

————————————————————————————-

“That book is so big!”

“Yeah, and she’s got it all memorized.”

“Uhm….”

————————————————————————————-

“Are you reading scripture?”

“No, (laughs) Shakespeare.”

(Turns and walks away)

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“So, what are we working on today?”

Shakespeare.”

“Which play?”

“Macbeth.”

“…Out, damned spot; out, I say.”

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There are 46 days until graduation.

I still have 3 papers to write, 6 exams to take, 1 recital to perform, 2 shows to memorize and perform,1 listening journal to complete, 3 brand new songs to learn and memorize for juries, 1 after-graduation job to find, and 9 classes to pass.

That’s a lot for 1 poor woman to have to accomplish in little more than 1 month.

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A new universal rule:

The more people who are carpooling, the more likely they will be late.

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I finally saw Inception over break. I’m confused. Everybody told me it was confusing. It wasn’t.

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Sincerely,

Emilie

 

Crikey! It’s a job hunt!


Readers:

I am writing to you from deep within one of the most exciting and frightening places on earth–the job-hunt jungle.

This world is vast, frantic, and one misstep can lead you down a path you will regret forever.

On the other hand, get to know the lay of the land, learn how to deal with the wildlife, and you can take the crown from Tarzan.

I am not there yet.

I’ve barely passed the tree line.

Some observations I’ve already made at the beginning of this expedition:

1–I do not mind doing routine clerical work, but I really want to do it for a company that interests me (as in a Theatre company or a publishing house or a domestic diva conglomerate). I am applying for State jobs and local companies, but as long as I am putting myself out there I am going to apply for the dream jobs as well (the ones that I qualify for.)

2–You probably know by now that my smart, logical plan has been to work here for a year or a few years saving money so that when I make the transition to the East Coast I will have funds saved up for moving costs, a few month’s rent, and school payments while searching for a new job over there. I would also use this time to continue taking voice lessons and see where that leads. The more I think about spending this time planning for my life, the more I really really don’t want to. This has been a recent development over the past week or so, but it keeps getting stronger and stronger. Every time I find a job I actually want and am qualified for, I look through the application and it somehow manages to be located in NYC.  I have no idea what is going to happen this next year, but I am not saying no to any possibilities.

3–There is so much information out there–on the internet, in the newspapers, on job-searching websites that I am a little overwhelmed. Where do I even begin? I know that I am highly employable and that I do stellar work, but how can I show perspective employers this?

I’ve also had a slight debate with myself over this lovely world; my personal blog. I have some friends who have made their blogs invite-only, and others who have deleted theirs completely in preparation for the great job hunt. I have to admit I’ve thought about it. Other sacrifices have been made–my singing voice mail has been replaced with a spoken message, and I finally got around to figuring out what my ancient Myspace emails and passwords were (yes, I did have a music profile in addition to the real one–yes, it was awful) so that I could officially delete the dead accounts.  No matter how much more professional it might make me appear, I cannot bring myself to make this blog private.

My blog has become such a huge part of my life, such an extension of myself, that I feel it would be disingenuous to mask this part of my online presence to any online pilgrim.  Will this hurt my search? It is possible. But I suppose it could also help, depending on the company and position.  Either way I am not, at this point, willing to close my blog up to transient internet-goers.

———–

Spring break is drawing to a close, and as usual, I didn’t accomplish as much as I would have liked to. I did have a lovely time doing homework, cleaning, watching online tv, preparing a resume, and job searching.

We have tomorrow off for St. Benedict’s day, but I have a flute lesson followed by a set-building session for Die Fledermaus.

I am getting more and more excited about finding full-time employment, and this is making it a little difficult for me to enjoy the prospect of returning to school on Tuesday. I enjoy school, but with graduation so near (48 days) I am having a hard time focusing on the present. I will attempt to reevaluate and work up some enthusiasm for the next two months.

Sincerely,

Emilie

School is for Chumps.


A true story of how I only attended one day of school last week:

Monday was President’s day.

Tuesday I attended school. Toward the end of my choir rehearsal my throat started to hurt and I was developing an evil headache.

Wednesday morning I woke up with throat ablaze, glands swollen, sinuses going crazy, and my head hurt even worse. I also woke to snow falling softly. I battled with myself for about ten minutes before deciding that I really did need to stay home so that I would get better, not spread the crud, and not exhaust myself.I slept for many extra hours that day, and actually took flu medicine. Before bed I took what I thought was NyQuil (which I later discovered to have been DayQuil) and my body was going crazy. It was shaking and I was knocked out.

Thursday morning, due to the extreme conditions in the early morning on the road, mom dad and I all bundled into the car together at 7am to make the treck to Oly. At this point there was a two-hour delay, but I felt in my gut that school would be canceled. I couldn’t risk just staying home though, because I couldn’t miss my accompanist session and my Chem Lab. It took about an hour to get to Tumwater to drop Dad off. Right as we were rounding the corner leaving Dad’s work on the way to drop mom off my cell phone beeped. Crud. Sure enough, school had been canceled. So here I was in Olympia at 8am, facing another hour long drive home (if my parents could arrange a ride home with my Dad’s coworker, which they did) and I never actually had to get out of bed. When I got to my mom’s work she made me stay an hour to see of the snow would let up. It didn’t. By the time driving and such was done (and getting mom coffee) I finally headed home around 10am. I knew I needed serger thread, and as it was sort of on the way home, I decided to see if JoAnn’s was open.

Business after business after business on the way to JoAnn’s were closed, but I got there and as luck (or giant corporations) would have it, JoAnn’s was open. And there were a couple of cars in the snow-filled lot. Other people must have been thinking like me. I went in, grabbed my thread, paid, and was out of there in under ten minutes. That was a miracle which has never happened before and which, I think, will never happen again. Everything told I got home at 11am and decided it was too late to go back to bed. I eventually ended up taking a two-hour nap that afternoon.

Friday morning I woke at about 5:55 to check my phone to see if school was canceled. Usually the alert goes out at around 5:00 or 5:30. There was no text. I took in a deep breath, readying myself to get out of bed, and then the phone beeped. School canceled. Back to bed.

This was perfect timing, giving me the most rest possible and best way to recover from being sick. I was so thankful.

The bad part, however, is that the few days off were glorious and I found myself thinking, “You know, I really don’t want to go back.”

I just keep repeating about two more months!

——-

The Schubert Mass in A Flat went well tonight at the 100 Voices Concert. It’s interesting having different people standing next to you at each rehearsal….you get to hear different wrong notes every time.

The lady standing next to me at the performance was on top of things, but the lady standing next to her perpetually came in early, even with the most precise of cues. Maybe she didn’t know how to identify the ictus?

It was great seeing friends though.

Also, the whole time, I just thought “I love this, I love this, flare your nostrils,  MAN I sounded great there, duh tongue, flare nostrils, I love this, I love this…”

——–

Today I straightened my hair (with a curling iron…I am so over hair straighteners) and decided my bangs were far too long to see out of, so I trimmed them about an inch. I started to set the scissors down but when I saw them in my hand I got that tingle again. I don’t know anybody else who has this problem…but I just can’t resist cutting my hair no matter how much I want it to grow out. I used to give my Barbies haircuts all of the time (cute ones) but unfortunately their hair does not grow back–it can only get progressively shorter. My hair, on the other hand, does grow back!

I decided to just give myself a few snips, after all my ends were looking pretty rough, and pretty soon those snips turned into chops turned into more chops turned into a new, shorter, haircut.

I thought it turned out well, I felt pride in my new hair and I loved how light it felt. At the same time, I was really angry at myself. What happened to me wanting Taylor Swift length hair? (Yes, I know celebrities have extensions, but still!) Well I sent out an angry text, yelled at myself a little, and then admired the hair again. Yeah…it looked good.

Then I got to choir and was confronted by a few girls who tried to claim that I had given myself the same haircut as Y (which is NOT TRUE and I could point out the obvious details but most people ought to be able to see for themselves) but I got pretty upset about it. Not about the fact that our haircuts might be somewhat similar, but about the fact that people would think I would need to copy a friend’s hair just to be creepy or something.

Ok folks, this is going to sound weird, but when I cut my hair I don’t plan what is going to happen. The hair just sends me little vibes, and the scissors go where directed. There is never a thought of “Oh, I want my hair to look like this!” there is just a symbiosis between hand, implement, and hair. The different techniques are controlled, but over the whole process there is no control, just abandon. I think that’s why I got so defensive about having the same haircut. The idea of copying demeans the whole organic process.

Call me a loon, or whatever you like, but this is all true.

This is all me.

And as a reward for sitting through a bit of my hair-cutting-experience-philosophy here is a picture of the new ‘do.

I guess it’s kind of hard to see at this angle, but it is cute.

Bob, my favorite non-knicker wearing Tenor, told me that it was a great look on me and he really liked it.

My mom asked me who “cut up my hair” and wanted to know if I wanted an appointment at a salon.

You win some you lose some.

A sudden wave of exhaustion has crashed over me (but you will all be happy to know that the sniffles are down to a bare minimum and coughing is practically nonexistent now) so I believe it is time to go to bed.

I wish you well,

goodnight.

Sincerely,

Emilie

P.S. Saw Border Songs today. More on that later.

Some Might Say This Is Overdue


We are seven days into 2011, and I have not posted since right after Christmas.

All I can say is that I was on vacation.

School starts up again on Monday, and I am ready to resume life. Hence–the return of my favorite self-loving blog!

I’ve several things to cover so I shall have to dig right in:

1: 2011 Goals

I’ve always had a problem with the word “resolutions” especially when tacked onto “New Year’s”. Whenever the word resolution is used, I feel as though the person making the resolutions is determined no matter what life throws at them to accomplish a couple of things with no room for change, no room to deal with those pesky things called humanity and life. If those particular RESOLUTIONS are not kept up for an entire 365 days, then the resolution-maker is a failure and will probably lose trust in themselves, and  in the entire point of making New Year’s Resolutions. I feel as though “goals” are much more user-friendly. They give a prize to aim toward, but are more than welcome to change, adjustment, and even deletion should they become no longer applicable. Also, if one does not meet a goal one can reevaluate, or keep trying. These, then, are my 2011 (New Year’s) Goals:

A) I’d like to be a size 10 by graduation. That’s only one size to lose, I think it ought to be more than doable.

A.a.) I’d like to be a maintained size 8 by next January. (Don’t freak out, I know what is healthy for my body shape.)

B) I know that this is not solely dependent on me, but I would quite like to go an a date some time this year. I’ve decided that I am ready to experience one. I don’t know that I want anything more than a date, but it is on my list.

C) I would like to, after graduation, move out of my parents house this year.

Those are my goals, and I think that they are all attainable.

—–

I’ve been on an extended Christmas holiday this year (extended because I did not have to return early for RA re-training…as I quit that job last year). For the first time I have had a whole month off, and I’ve got to say it did not feel like it. Even with not doing all that much, I  still felt like I did not have enough time for everything. It’s amazing how much time not doing anything requires.

I sewed a lot, making scarves and monogrammed hankies, and personalized gift bags, not to mention a special canvas tote, three sports bras, and a yoga mat bag.

Here is a photo of the latter:

You cannot really tell from the horrific snapshot but on the green ribbon drawstring there is white fringe, and there is also a pocket. In my Acting for Singers (Opera Scenes) class we will also be having Yoga for Singers sessions twice a  week. I am already the most ridiculous bag lady on campus, so anything to free up a hand will be most welcome as I haul my school books, music books, laptop, choir binder, flute, gym clothes, and yoga mat around school. Don’t you love the fun, funky fabric that came out of a box belonging to my great-grandmother?

I’ve also been reading a lot. For my birthday my brother gave me the 13th Wheel of Time book, and as I have not read the series since high school I thought I would re-read it. I’ve just finished number 5, and I am waiting for the next one to come into the library before the later ones are overdue.

At the beginning of break I watched a lot of Smallville, trying to catch up. I hit a road bump at Season 8 episode four, because Season 8 has not come into the library yet and all the links I could find to that episode online were broken. I am at a halt until I can find season 8. So, naturally, I switched over to re-watching Angel while I sew as I own all of that.

I also went to a movie by myself for the first time. It was a great experience, and I hope to do it again in the future.

Movies I strongly recommend from break:

Black Swan

CountryStrong

*I’ve come to the most horrid, disgusting, repugnant, shameful, sick realization that I’ve started to like Country Western and Country Pop music. Ugh. I guess it had to happen at some point. I will NEVER like country hick music however. You know of what I speak.

Shortly after my last Healthy Me post, I was lost to Holiday overindulgence. I ate cookies and brownies and a little pie and turkey and drank soda and cocoa and heavens knows what else and the end result is that while I have not gained any weight back (thank heavens) I am looking a tad more pudgy, my skin is a wreck, and I now have some intense sugar cravings which I had mastered for a time. Oh well, I forgive myself, and I will return to making better choices shortly. (I am still impressed that my bad choices this year with regard to food are still only a tiny percentage to what I may have consumed in previous years. Which is, in itself, a frightening thought.)

I didn’t practice my instruments one bit. I exercised a little. I completely upset my sleep cycle by reading til 3am every night and not waking until 9 or 10, or even a few days 11:30 and once 12. All in all, it was a successful break and I am quite  anxious to return to real life and finish up my final undergraduate semester.

How insane is that?

In a few short months (and they seem to get shorter and shorter as they go) I will be an honest-to-god college graduate with a sh*t-ton of debt and vague notions about what to do with the “rest of my life”.

Ah well, here goes…

I would like to leave you with some words that one of my favorite authors apparently posts on his blog every three years or so. This is exactly what I wish for myself, and for all of you. :

“May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art — write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.”

–Neil Gaiman

Sincerely,

one stuffed Emilie