So it’s late and I’m writing. A sure sign that my head is too full. I’m not sure I know how to have fun. Not that I don’t laugh or enjoy people’s company but somewhere along the way I got too scared to trust “good” things. Like life or karma or something was just waiting in the wings to bite me in the ass the moment I let my guard down. And the funny thing about self-fulfilling prophecies is that sooner or later you’re right.
I got very good about weighing the odds and making the “right” choices. There is a part of me that almost wishes I could go back and re-do my 20’s knowing that I would be fine. But my life didn’t set me up to know things like that. I only knew that it was on me, to make it or to fail. I believed I could do it but I never dared to dream of anything more, bigger than what I could hold with my own two hands.
There was a moment when I let myself think like that. And for a while it was inspiring and I was bold. And then it changed. Like a house of cards the years of “you will fail” that I had managed to hold at bay by graduating from college, getting and keeping a job, finding someone to love; suddenly none of that mattered. It was like ten years of life amounted to one epic disaster called me. No amount of careful planning, determination or restraint had saved me.
I wonder now why I “seemingly” wasted my time being so good? I’m really not trying to build myself up. I was that kid who didn’t miss a day of school and did all their homework. I didn’t drink before twenty-one and didn’t have serious relationship until after college. I lived my life trying to make as few waves as possible, to do things the “right” way. I know that all of these ideas were/are well rooted in the instability of my childhood and my own fears about being noticed and not measuring up.
But now as an adult I look back and wish I could tell myself that it wouldn’t have mattered if I had missed a day or two of school. If I had attended even one party in college. If I had a fling or two. But I do not know how to be that person. I do not know how to not look at what “could” happen given my choices. I envy those people who just feel like doing something and they do. I’m not saying that I want to become a care free hedonist. But it would be nice to not have to think all the time.
So I dance and I let my friends con me into stuff I would never do on my own, in the hopes that one day it won’t be quiet so scary to just go with something and not know how it will all turn out. To lay some little piece of myself in the hands of fate willingly.
So life…it’s the holiday season for me. I always want to love this time of year but for the past few years it has been hard not to see all the changes and differences in my life. My family does not do big get togethers. In fact Thanksgiving usually marks the beginning of my father’s “I hate Christmas/ this season in general,” story that I have had to listen to every year.
I last year I just wanted it to pass by but this year I find myself needing a little holiday cheer. I’m not going to lie and say I don’t have my own issues about the holidays. It is hard to listen to other people tell their happy stories and know that more than likely that will not be me. But I’m working on making my life what I want it to be instead.
I spent Thanksgiving with my friends and the weekend with my sister and her family. It was really wonderful. There was no drama, not fighting and I even clocked a few new good memories. Christmas is harder though. I can’t really remember a good one while I was married. We always went to see his family because he didn’t like/ was uncomfortable with mine. And I have a hard time crashing someone else’s Christmas. When I was child it was a special day for families (nuclear) and I don’t have one of those. Just me and the cats.
I’ll put up my tree sometimes this week and the boys (cats) will begin the yearly camp out. I’ll burn candles that make the house smell nice and I’m sure a few batches of cookies as well. But all these things are just things. I miss singing carols with my sister. I miss baking with my mom. I miss having someone to share things with. I know that in part the distance is my choice. But I would rather have an empty Christmas than one that is filled with fighting and guilt.
So I’m off to find my own holiday. Don’t know if I’ll be successful but I’m going to give it a shot.
Have you ever looked at yourself and been unsure of the person looking back at you? I find myself in such a state, it’s not bad parse but it is very different from the rest of my life.
I am a person who doesn’t really do labels of most kinds but I realize that this rule -like so many others- was only applied to the people outside of my head. For a long time I wanted to be the “good daughter” I’m not sure I even realized how far that one went until I didn’t want to do that any more. I wanted to be a “good student,” in HS and college. I never sassed my teachers and always did my homework.
I have tried and will continue to be a “good friend” though I know I get too caught up in my own stuff sometimes. When I was married I desperately wanted to be a “good wife.” And I became another person to try to pull it off. I knew that I was a “good teacher, bad writer and someone who loved to sing and make art.”
But now precious few of these way of identifying myself feel real or wanted. And the terms I find myself thinking in feel different; sometimes comforting and others threatening. So many of the labels I had hurt to try to retain. I know there is something taking that space but I don’t know what it is. There are so many things I could do and I could be. And I know that the “you must have a purpose” part of me would love to just latch on to anything to keep from being a void. But that is where I am.
I have met a lot of interesting people lately that have caused me to think of myself in different lights and for that I am grateful. I have a strong inclination that the person I used to be is fading away. I am uncertain of the person I am becoming but I trust change. Some seeds take fire to sprout.
When did I first learn not to trust you?
Was it an unanswered cry in infancy?
A tearful, childish night I was sent back to bed without a hand to hold?
Or was it the nights I listened to stories yelled through the walls,
Shattering my illusions of home?
Was it the first time you doubted my judgment?
Pointed out how my “methods” needed improvement,
How different I am from you?
Or was it when you decided I wasn’t worth the sacrifice of anything to be in your life?
Was it when I realized that little girl still lived inside me?
That I had not managed to kill her with my rationals and coping mechanisms?
When you still loved those that failed to take care of you?
When you loved someone who could not love you in return?
I don’t remember. I only know that I want to try again.
Amanda C 2012
For many of us watching a movie with an incredible score is what makes the film. The man behind so many of those moments is John William from E.T to the theme for the Olympics his has done it all and made history along the way.
I remember doing a project with my students about art and music. We listened to a double cd that I have of his music when the students tried to get inspiration from Kandinsky.
I quizzed them on what I considered very well-known pieces of cinema music and had a heavy heart when they could not recognize the original theme to Superman or the flying theme from E.T. In their defense they probably never saw either movie. But they did get Jaw, Hook and Jurassic Park.
I mention this project because we took the time to listen to each piece and though some where easily identified (The Imperial March from Star wars) there was plenty of room to talk about the different instruments and the mood they created. How you could tell by the first few moments if it was a theme, adventure or the bad guy. It was wonderful to share the gift of this amazing music with my students and I hope that you as well will be inspired to listen to the work of this amazing man.
I love this movie. It’s very fun but remember it was made in the 80’s so take it with a grain of salt. David Bowie sings and do numerous other bizarre creatures as Sara tires to get her brother back from the goblin king.
I love all the different placed they create in this world and the amazing puppeteering.
The Dark Crystal
This one is scarier for small children and more on the philosophical side. There is a race of good people (the mystics) and a race of bad people (the Skeksis) and lone child or a race thought to be dead (the Gelflings) who is the key to discovering what has happened to this world.
I like the beautiful setting in this film. There are many different environment and cultures that the characters pass through and each is believable and unique. This film as also made some time ago, so if you only do fast paced this is probably not for you.
This is the story of a young girl who goes on a quest to find a cure for her ill mother. But little did she know she would have to go into another world to find it and then fight her way back to her own.
I love the crazy visuals and ideas in this story. It was done much later once CGI had started to be incorporated into these types of movies but there is still a lot of classical puppet work.