I always like to write some sort of reflection at the end of the year. I get very introspective on New Years Eve, which has always made it difficult for me to be a party-girl, but this year in particular I’m struggling.
To be completely honest, this year has been one of the most challenging I’ve faced. Looking forward at the extraordinarily daunting list of things that need to be accomplished in 2015 would typically fill me with joy and excitement. But that is not the case today. Today it makes me want to sit down and cry with my exhausted heart. 2015 is not going to be easier. It’s going to be even more difficult. Take even more out of me when I feel that I’ve already been running on empty. So I’ve been struggling with what to say.
Every year after Christmas I do a huge purge of my house, my spaces, my cupboards. Everything either gets cleaned or tossed. If I haven’t used it, it goes. Today I came across an old journal entry. Not in one of my journals, strangely enough. It was written in the back of one of my old lyric notebooks. And I So. Needed. to Read This. (The Universe strikes again).
So instead of forcing out a summary, I’m going to share this. This was written in 2002. I had lived in California for about a year. Was still living in my first apartment out here which was in Walnut Creek. To say I was “lost” would be an understatement. I knew I wanted to make music. That’s about it. I had been a classically trained musician my whole life. That’s all I knew. Be a teacher, play in symphonies. Classical training does not leave room for improv. You are not supposed to feel your way through things. You are supposed to appropriately translate what people way smarter than you have written. You do not think out of the box. And even if you compose your own music, it’s physically written out as sheet music and is 100% mathematically accurate. No one that I knew had ever even PLAYED in a rock band. Not in high school, not in college. That’s not the kind of music we even talked about. I had only even tried writing songs with with words about a month before I moved to California.
At the end of reading this today I wanted to scream “I KNOW WHAT YOU CHOSE!” If CurrentMe walked up to PastMe while I was sitting there writing this and told her “You’re going to learn to listen to your inner voice. You’re going to take a bunch of wild leaps. You’re going to finally tap into that crazy-awesome music that you feel in your heart and people are going to love it. People will say they’ve never heard anything like it. You’re going to have fans. You’re going to release albums. Shoot music videos. Be on the radio. You’re going to go on tour.”
I think PastMe would have stared blankly for a long time and then just asked “How?”
What would I even say to her? It doesn’t matter, really. What matters is that I needed to see this today. I needed to see that I’m not as lost as I sometimes feel. I needed to be reminded that The Universe is always there and will carry me in the meantime until I get my energy back.
Happy New Year, everyone! I hope you too can look back and see how far you’ve come. Stay safe tonight. xoxoxox
Me – from some undated night in 2002:
“Why on tonight of all nights does the moon call for company? Am I unique? Am I the only one who feels this pull to dance beneath the dark black sky and sing the glory of everlasting? Thank God for the quiet.
Why do I feel like daring the world to call me a freak? A freak of nature stuck in this average body? When everything inside me screams to be spectacular, yet at the same time dreams of an ordinary life – house, kids, cooking, reading, PTA and potlucks. Perhaps because that’s the life I grew up with? And the same life I see so many people I love living.
The world is full of ordinary people and perhaps I’m one of them.
And perhaps I’m not.
The cops are here checking out the crazy girl sitting outside the 7-11 after midnight on a weekday with a coffee and a pack of smokes writing furiously in a beat up notebook trying to figure out the meaning of her life under a black sky. Classic. I wonder what they think. I wonder if they think I’m a menace in this suburban evening-of-mystery. What kind of girl leaves her house in the middle of the night to go sit outside a 7-11? Crazy girls. That’s who.
Perhaps I should revel in my craziness.
Perhaps I should grab it by the horns and wrestle it to the ground and then leave it hog-tied. Walk away and never look back.
Or maybe instead take it by the hand and walk with it through a life less ordinary.
Who knows. Maybe I should just give up. Maybe I should just go to bed.”