January 13, 2012

Too many words

Headband- Joann's dollar bin.
Cardigan- target
Blouse- made by me
Dress Erin Featherstone for Target, hand-me-down from my mom
Belt- Stolen from a vintage dress
Tights- gift from my parents
Shoes- those walmart ones again.

Lately I've been really thinking about the life I want to live and the kind of person I want to be, just doing some reflecting. Why am I not happy in this area? What needs to change in that area? How can I go about making me a better version of me? What do/should I define as better? All that kind of stuff. I'm changing small things first and building up to bigger things. Better eating habits, going to the gym as often as I can, balancing my time and using it effectively (no more last minute projects!), planning ahead, and so far I feel so much better! I am far more organized and efficient and I like it!


But it got me thinking, I have always labeled myself as the bumbling idiot. Not in a bad way! More of a lovable, smart girl, with her head cut off I suppose. And truth be told, I kinda like filling that role. I'm the one who spills things daily, who's always dropping things, can't wear white without getting something on it (usually coffee or lipstick!), and receives many an "oh, Ashley, Ashley..." head shakes and grins. I like that. It makes me laugh, and keeps my ego pegged down where it should be. These are good things. And I'm not sure I want to be that person who's always on top of things, I like a little higglty-pigglty in my life, I like a little chaos. It's the way my brain functions and frankly I think it's pretty charming.


As a music student though, it is not advisable to be a "B" type personality. You have a mile high pile of music to learn, far more course work than should be legal, rehearsals to go to, sectionals to remember, meetings with pianists, outside rehearsal times, costume fittings, and oh yeah, a life to live. I feel like too many kids who get involved with music feel they have to major in music when in reality, not everyone can handle it, and the little fact that in this economy an Arts Degree gets you about as far as your local McDonalds- generally.  So for some one like me, who really just wants a simple life filled with happiness in whatever form you can find it, the above doesn't make much sense. So I've been considering changing my major. I'm looking at my options and carefully examining them all, and while I haven't decided yet (nor will I in the very near future), the things I'm looking at feel right. 


But yesterday I was in a practice room going over my music, and stopped for a moment to feel the atmosphere. There's a time of day when a bunch of classes are going on and the building is quiet. But as you focus in on the silence you realize how bustling it is. People are practicing in their rooms, if you walk down the halls there are those with headphones and scores in front of them, some hustle from one room to another carrying stacks of papers and books, humming to themselves, or in deep concentration over their homework. It sounds silly, but it's a magical moment. You realize you are a part of something very wonderful and beautiful, something that is it's most wonderful and beautiful in it's quietest moments. So I wondered if maybe I was being foolish in considering a change? I love this, passionately, so why on earth would I change?  I do love being surrounded by music. It is my biggest passion, but not in the way most people think it is. I love to hear it, to sing it, to feel it, to see it. It makes me feel alive, like I know what I am doing, and it makes sense (most of the time!). I don't need any motivation to sing or perform, or even to learn music. It's the other stuff that I personally struggle with. But I am always going to love it, and I am always going to be involved in music in some way shape or form. It's a part of who I am, and a part that I cannot deny. So do I really need to have a piece of paper that says "I spent too much time, money, and energy crying over my Mozart score and all I got was this piece of paper" in order to live my dreams? No I don't.

I do not want to know what is on the mirrors in the practice rooms...

If anything yesterday's musings only affirmed the idea of a change. I like rehearsing and performing, I don't want to be an Opera star no matter how many faculty members try to convince me otherwise. I want to sing, and act, and dance, and sew, and grow vegetables, and milk a cow, and travel the world, and fall in love, and live with stars in my eyes, and see things, and love, and laugh, and cry, and have my breath taken away, and write a book, and have a kid or 20, and drink 10,000 cups of coffee over the span of my life, and marvel at the creator of all, and kiss in the rain, and feel the grass between my toes, and learn as much as I can about as much as I can. That's the life I want to live, the me I want to be, and truth be told, I don't think a music degree is going to really help in getting me that. I'm the one who's going to get that by taking chances, and following my heart and mind, both of which are telling me I need to step back and examine things. 


I was talking to my sister about this very thing the other day. She did the same thing. She started out as a Poly Sci major and then became an Art History major. She's found a job in her field that she passionately loves and that is so perfect for her it's not even funny. When we were talking I realized that even though I love music, it was actually never MY plan to major in music. I mean when I was 12 I was told I was good enough to get into Julliard (Lol.). I was still playing with dolls then and worried if the boy I liked would meet me by the tree like I asked him in the note I gave him in class that had been written in sparkly gel pen. He didn't by the way. But from there on out it was kind of decided for me that this was the life I wanted. You all by now know the sob story that followed and maybe now, 12 years later I'm finally realizing that the reasons for all that weren't life being cruel, but life trying to drop me a hint. This isn't me. I want to be a singer/songwriter who lives on a farm and makes pretty dresses, and has a highly successful line of vintage inspired Maternity Wear. That is literally my dream in life. If I do an Opera on the side, great, a musical, swell! Oh you want me in your totally awesome indie band, well alright then! The more I think about the future I want, the more I am convinced that I'd be making the right decision. But like I said, I haven't fully decided. I may get through these first couple of crazy busy weeks and wonder what the heck I was thinking. Which makes it all a little scary, but in my experience that's a pretty good indicator that I'm on the right path.  And that's how we bring the Yammering back. 

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