Friday, January 27, 2006

and, of course....

Happy Birthday, Wolfi!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

diseases, shadows, and a belated new year's resolution

I am a happy person. I tend to be cheerful almost all the time. I don’t like feeling dissatisfied, ashamed, sad, full of regret, angry, etc….. and so I tend to get past those feelings very quickly and move on. My mom calls it a disease. J

I don’t think that I suppress bad feelings, only to have them explode later on. I don’t think I’m particularly passive-aggressive (at least, I try not to be). I generally handle my bad feelings in a healthy way, and vent when I need to. I just like to put them behind me as quickly as possible.

For example, I got rejections, essentially, from all the programs I auditioned for in New York in one day last month. It affected me a little more than usual, mostly because I felt like the auditions went so well, and I was hopeful that something would work out. It was a bad day. Well, it was a bad hour, and then I felt better. Now, I still have a couple auditions to do for the summer, and I have some back-up plans if none of those things work out. I’m not feeling sorry for myself. However, I’m realizing that there are benefits to living in those dark moments for a while, and exploring them. Some of the most remarkable personal growth in my life has been during times of great sadness. For one thing, it’s important to examine things, to find out if there’s something I could be doing better, and to make those changes, if possible. But beyond that, there’s a whole other side to my personality that only comes out in those moments. I discover things about myself that I don’t see in my normal, cheerful, day-to-day existence. I’m forced to ask myself those difficult questions that I don’t deal with on an average day. Not in a self-pitying way, but in an honest and real way. What would it really mean for me as a person if this or that situation did or didn’t come to pass? Would I still be able to be happy and fulfilled as an individual, even if I never get to……….? The answer (so far, anyway) is always yes. And it’s important to get that perspective. I go back to being happy and cheerful, but it’s different than before – refreshed, truer, and more grounded.

I have a friend who, up until a few years ago, was having a great deal of success performing early music as a vocalist. She was singing in some great situations, and becoming very much in demand. She pushed through a performance when she was very sick, developed vocal nodes, and had to have surgery followed by 6 months of TOTAL vocal rest followed by a year of no singing. When she came back to it, obviously, it wasn’t the same, and she is no longer singing, as far as I know, on a regular basis. I haven’t been in touch with her for some time, but the last time I talked with her, she was grateful for all of it. It reminded her, she said, that singing was not life itself – just a form of expression within it. And she had a real life that was far more important to her in every way.

I hope I’m never in that situation, but I’m reminded of it as I make this resolution to spend some time exploring this year. I want to live for a while with whatever I’m feeling, even if it takes me in to the shadows, and to see what those moments have to teach me.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

one way to make my day....

I was standing in line at the cafeteria yesterday, when one of the girls in my zero-hour choir (which meets every day at 7:25 a.m.) came up to me and said, "I just want to tell you that concert choir is SO fun -- I love the music we're doing!"

It's moments like those that make me love teaching. It's a lot easier to get up at 5:30 (yikes) every morning if I know I'm providing even one student with a reason to love music and a reason to sing.

Still, 5:30 is awfully early....

In other news, my audition for the Seattle Opera young artists program is today. It miraculously fits right in to my teaching schedule so that I don't even have to have a sub today. At least my voice was up and working nice and early!

Tuesday, January 3, 2006

Happy New Year!

I've been very bad about posting lately, but that will all change soon. I have been saving up things to write about, actually, and hoped to get some good posting in over the break, but the stomach flu (followed by a brief but lovely vacation -- life is not so bad) took precedence.

I started work today at a small private school, filling in for a friend on maternity leave. I'm teaching 5-12th grade choirs and music directing their spring show, Seussical the Musical, which is based on the writings of Dr. Seuss and promises to be very fun. My schedule at the school is great (for example, I'm currently in the middle of a 3-hour break), and should leave me at least some time for practice and editing. So far, the worst part about it is getting up early -- my first class starts at 7:20 every morning! It's amazing how much longer the day is when one rises that early. Other than that, it's a great job. I've worked here, as a sub and as part of their musicals, on several occasions, so I feel at home, and the kids are great. My room is right next to the school theater, and has a very comfy couch in it, on which I'm currently lounging.

One down side to this job is that I'll be here more or less all day, Monday-Friday. It really cuts in to my flexibility schedule-wise, and I'm already feeling the effects as I try to schedule lessons and rehearsals around my job. It really makes me realize how lucky I am the rest of the time to have such a wonderfully flexible schedule. However, being so busy (and I'm in for one extremely busy spring) also makes me more productive, and believe it or not, more organized, if only out of necessity. I've cleaned my bathroom (sorely needed), and cleared off my desk, which I haven't seen the top of for months. I've organized my music and finally put away my summer clothes. I've even taken time to write out my 2006 goals and break them in to monthly installments. Some highlights:
  • pay off all my remaining credit card debt and my car loan (this has been decreasing steadily this year, but this full-time job will definitely help!)
  • continue to grow musically and vocally, and follow all paths I can find to help advance my career (there are specifics here, to be dealt with in another post.)
  • keep my apartment organized and clean (a tall order, as both my husband and I tend to be slobs unless we have company coming over, but I'll never maintain my sanity this spring if I come home every night to a messy home). So far so good, and it feels great! Actually, Alec and I will hardly be there, which should keep it from getting too messy!
  • re-lose the 10 pounds I gained back after losing 25 pounds on Weight Watchers last year

That's it for now! Happy New Year, everyone, and good luck with your own goals and resolutions!