the music of my life

Daily Prompt: What role does music play in your life?

My last attempt at this post disappeared somewhere…so let’s try this again.

When I started thinking about this prompt, I was reminded of the movie “Runaway Bride.” Richard Gere’s character gets after Julia Robert’s character for changing her egg preferences depending on who she was with. With one fiancé, she liked her eggs over easy, with another, scrambled, and so on. That is sort of how my musical taste has gone. When I was younger, I liked whatever was on the radio, including the Backstreet Boys and 98 Degrees. (I still know all the words, I’m not ashamed). Anyway, my tastes began to change as soon as I started dating people. At first, I liked darker music, then it was punk rock, then metal again, indy, etc. This didn’t really change until I became my own person, which unfortunately was much later than it should have been. Now, I’m a bit of a music whore, I love all kinds of music. I especially like alternative rock, indy (“hipster”) music, and any music with really intense lyrics. I prefer musicians who write their own music, because everything else seems like a little bit of a lie. There are times when I want to listen to nothing more than pop music with a fun beat I can dance to. However, my soul music is classic rock. I just love it. Basically anything from the 70s-80s…and some from the early 90s, makes me so happy.

I love how there is music for every mood. So many of my memories are linked to the music I was listening to at that time. I love how I can listen to a song I haven’t heard in ten years and I can remember what I was doing and how I was feeling when I heard it last. I love that I can find the perfect song to express how I’m feeling at any given moment. When I’m stressed out and need a pick-me-up, I can put on Ke$ha or Pitbull and dance it out. When I’m feeling sad or cranky, I know just what to listen to to either make me feel better, or let me sit and sulk. I am listening to music constantly…I have Pandora on all day at work, I throw music on while I’m working at home, when I had homework, when I’m working out, when I’m driving, basically all day except when I’m sleeping. I would be so lost without music, and so many of my memories would be incomplete without the music they are associated with.

There’s nothing better for me than opening up my iTunes and finding the perfect song for my day.

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starting over

Always starting over

Moving somewhere new

Finding a new life

Trying to forget

Failing at intimacy

Choosing the unavailable

Being closed off, shut down

Can’t fix what goes on inside

Unable to forget

Unable to move on

Always running

Searching for the fresh start

Hoping this choice will be right

Hoping this is the right path

Another mid-life crisis sweeps in

Time for something new again

Mess up this life

Start over somewhere else

As someone else

Never able to escape the past

Can’t fix what’s broken inside

Just avoid it instead

Desperate to start over

Be okay

Finally get this life started

Too weighed down by the past

It’s time to break free

you’re freaking me out man

Today at tutoring I had a 10 minute conversation with a 6th grader….about guns. To preface, I’m mildly worried/freaked out by this kid to start with. All I ever hear him talk about is guns or weapons of some sort. Any assignment I’ve seen him do where he was creative liberty on the topic, it’s something about guns, bows, or weapons. No one else seems to be concerned about this, but it freaks me out. 

Anyway, tonight he was bored and decided he liked me so he kept talking to me. He says, “Do you think there should be like two well trained men with guns in every school, to prevent something like what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut?”  I told him I didn’t know what I thought, for several reasons. For one, I don’t think that’s something appropriate to talk about at school, or for a “teacher” to discuss with students, and I honestly am not sure how I feel about it. So anyway, then he goes on to tell me about this “stupid girl” who said that you shouldn’t fight violence with violence and that having people with guns in schools wouldn’t be benefitting anyone. He said he told her that she wouldn’t be able to fight someone with her hands if that person had a gun. Now, this was the point when I was going to tell him that he shouldn’t call her a “stupid girl” or think that her opinion is stupid, because everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But, he didn’t give me a change to interject. He just launched into a 10 minute conversation (if you could call it that, because he was basically talking at me) about guns. He was telling me about all this training people can do to become eligible to carry around assault weapons, and then he explained the difference between two types of assault weapons, how you reload them, and what they’re like to shoot (complete with sound effects). Then he started talking about other guns and what it is like to shoot them, including how it felt the first time he shot that specific gun. He’s in 6th grade. These guns aren’t typical hunting rifles. He explained how when you’re just shooting a gun at a target, you’ll get a big kick-back, because you’re focusing so much on what the backfire will be like, but if you’re shooting at a moving target, you’ll be more focused on the target, therefore causing less backfire. I couldn’t really respond at all, because I don’t know anything about guns, and I was just too freaked out that all of this was coming from a 6th grader. Maybe it’s because I’m not from a hunting family. But is this normal?! 

emotional beings

I’m taking some more inspiration from Soul Pancake for today’s writing. Since my emotions have been all over the place lately, I thought it was fitting to spend some time thinking and writing about emotions.

“Your intellect may be confused, but your emotions will never lie to you.” – Roger Ebert

I’ve never really thought about emotions and intellect in that way before. Of course there have been many times over the years when I’ve tried to sort out what my brain is telling me versus what my heart wants. I’ve always been bad at making the right decision, and I suppose that was probably because I went with my heart actually. If I would have listened to reason and logic, I could have avoided a lot of pain. But I guess that’s not the point of the Ebert quote. Is it better to follow your emotions? I also think there have been times in my life when my emotions have clearly been telling me one thing but for some reason I didn’t listen. And that seemed to cause problems too. I guess it just seems like I can never make the right decision….

The book also raises the question of why does revenge feel so good….I’m not really big on revenge. I tend to just get over things and not waste too much energy caring about what goes on with the other party involved. But, I think revenge feels good because it’s a little reminder that people get what they deserve and that karma does exist. When someone does something to hurt you, not matter how much you can say you’re over it, it always feels a little satisfying when you hear that something equally bad happened to that person. I won’t deny that I’ve had those feelings. I wouldn’t intentionally do something to get back at another person, but I will silently celebrate when karma pays them a visit.

Is happiness a choice? I think so. Happiness is definitely something that you need to experience and feel, but at some level, it is a choice. Things can be going “perfectly” in ones life, but yet they can be miserable. They are choosing not to experience that happiness. Or, maybe it’s just a matter of individual differences. Things that should bring happiness to one person might  not have the same effect on everyone. To truly experience happiness, I think people need to be open to it and have the ability to be content with what they have, rather than always wanting something more or different.

The final question posed in the book is: What emotions are you afraid of? I’m afraid of anger. I used to be angry a lot, and I didn’t like the way it made me feel or act. I hope to avoid feeling that way again. I’ve also never really liked when anyone was angry with me, it always makes me feel really bad. I’m also afraid of anxiety, feeling under appreciated, and sadness. I would prefer never to feel any of those things again.

inspiration vs imitation

I’ve been reading some of the Soul Pancake book, “Chew on Life’s Big Questions” as a way to try to find inspiration and sort out what’s going on in my head lately. You wouldn’t think it’s possible for some who is only 24 to be having a mid-life crisis, but I think I’ve had about one a year since I turned 20. Ugh.

Anyway, in the section of the book on art and creativity, a question was posed: “Where’s the line between inspiration and imitation?” How do we determine if we’re inspired by someone else’s work, or we’re just imitating it? Is there a clear way to designate? The book also poses the question of whether an idea can ever really be an original. Can it? Think of all the good ideas you’ve had — or ideas from history. Were those original, or just an off shoot of someone else’s work? For those who are creative, can you really just come up with a new idea and create? Or is it somehow based on something you saw once, whether recently or 10 years ago and buried in your memory?

Maybe it’s cynical, but I tend to believe that there is no longer such a thing as an original idea. Whether we know it or not, everything we see/hear/do is influencing us in some way, and those experiences are carried with us through our entire lives. Maybe the only way to come up with something original would be to barricade yourself away from the world, but then probably once you do have an original thought, you’ll realize that someone else already had it. I don’t think this lack of originality is all that bad though. The point of interacting with others is so we can challenge and learn from one another. We can take ideas or inventions that we don’t think are quite right, make our adjustments, and see what happens. That, in itself, is a wonderful thing because it suggests that we don’t just accept things as they are without question.

If no one would have ever questioned or altered someone’s ideas it would be a much different place. We would be stuck with the ideals that were around when the world started and there would be no evolving. That sounds scary.

That being said, I don’t favor a world where everyone is the same. There needs to be some originality – (even if that’s an abstract notion) – if everyone was the same and had the same ideas, it would be intolerable. Maybe in these terms “originality” isn’t the right word…maybe I mean differences. That sounds better. People need to be different, in the way they look, how they act, and what they believe. A place like that sounds scary, and boring as well.

it’s a new year!

Daily Prompt for Jan 1: Where were you last night when 2012 turned into 2013? Is that where you’d wanted to be?

When 2012 turned into 2013 I was in the midst of escaping from incarceration or death because of a drug deal gone wrong. I was standing there, in some dingy room, with my “friends” when some form of authority came in. I can’t remember now if it was the police or just my drug guy who happened to be very, very upset. While he was coming in, my friends started freaking out and trying to get rid of all the drugs they had on them. Me, being the smart drug mule that I am, didn’t have anything on me. Apparently someone thought that wasn’t acceptable, because they threw their little bag of cocaine into the hood of my sweatshirt. Needless to say, it was found, and I was beat up. I kept saying over and over again that the drugs weren’t mine, that someone put them there. This mysterious person took “my” bag of coke and dropped it in a solution, which immediately turned it into a rock solid crystal like form. It was also blue. That turned out to be my downfall…because they knew it was mine because it was blue. Everyone else in the room had theirs turn clear. So they continued to beat me up, because apparently blue cocaine is not acceptable. Because I am a super ninja, I was able to escape somehow. I even took along a few of my “friends” even though they tried to get me in trouble with this mysterious blue cocaine. We stumbled out of the dingy warehouse into the alley and took off. I’m sure I’ll regret bringing them with me. I didn’t really have too much time to think about it, because then I had to wake up to go to the bathroom.

WTF is up with my dreams lately?! The night before I was being beat up by a boyfriend/husband character. I guess that’s the hazards of working in this field, and also reading a book about an abusive relationship. Hopefully tonight will be more restful.

I rang in 2013 sleeping and having night #2 of crazy dreams. I would have preferred to be having fun, or else just sleeping without being scared. I did, however, get to celebrate Brazil’s new year at 8pm with a nice can of Pepsi and Mitch. So that part was okay. 🙂