Saturday, May 4, 2013
I am of the firm belief that the travel bug bites you the first time you ever leave your comfort zone geographically. For me, it was leaving the US for the first time last year (right around this time...crazy) to go to Austria. I'd traveled to almost every state prior to FINALLY leaving the country (at age 20), and the minute I'd done it--I was hooked.
Lately--that travel bug has been biting me, giving me shivers and giving me a lightness in step that drives me in every which direction. Maybe it's what people call stir crazy, but for me it's slightly different. I love my home; I absolutely adore it. I love my family to pieces, I enjoy the company of all my friends and mentors and colleagues, and I'm convinced that I live in one of the most beautiful places on Earth. Truly. But lately--I want to go every where and anywhere--doesn't matter how long or who with--I just want it happening soon.
It's more of an itch for knowledge--a hunger for perspective. I want to experience. I want to know. I want to see. I want to DO. And that's just how it felt when I went to Europe. It felt like an expansion of myself. I could really be who ever I wanted and create the kind of circumstances I saw fit. Nothing seemed impossible. The fact that the same sun I'd squinted toward and felt on my skin my whole life was the same sun beaming down at me on the banks of the Danube, or the St. Charles bridge.
The funniest part about it is--I've only done it once! For six short (painfully short) weeks, I lived my life in an entirely different, new, exciting and breathtaking way. I can't imagine how it must feel to be my grandparents, who have literally circled the globe (collectively AND all at once in an 8 month trip). They've seen so much of this Earth. They've slept in tents in Africa and seen 20 feet waves on the ship they boarded to circle the world. And the best part? They were in their 60's. What badasses, right? I think they're my biggest inspiration for my future global endeavors.
So, at the end of it all--if you haven't left your comfort zone, do it. Do it as soon as you have the means. Or even if you don't. All it takes is a little ambition and sense of adventure. And I promise, it is always worth your while.
Happy travels, ya'll. Tread well.
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
I'm halfway to forty. What?
Also, I will be applying to graduate school within the next year. Year. YEAR.
I currently have a whisper of a job (we're talking like, an hour every day, grossing about 50 bucks a week). This is a problem I've been trying to fix but apparently no one thinks I'm worthy of a job. Please, just hire me. I promise I'll be good.
It's easy to watch My Strange Addiction and practice my diagnostic skills as a future therapist, but thinking about actually going about that in the real world is...daunting. To say the least.
Have I mentioned that I'm halfway to forty?
I feel very strange about all these little prospects. I suppose this is life. At some point you have to realize that time only "flies" by at an even scarier rate as you age...and hold onto the idea that maybe the meaning of things start strengthening and changing. Am I experiencing and taking advantage of all the things in this life that I should be? Am I on the right track? Have I found my way?
The way...what is the way?
The way is how you choose to be. Do the chirping birds waking up for spring also make you close your eyes and stop for a second? They sound like the long afternoons out at my grandparents ranch, the smell of the cabin, the taste of tart lemonade and sweat.
It's the way you choose to feel. When it's snowing viciously and the bus drives right by you like you haven't been standing there for a half hour (true story from a few days ago). When you shrug, and even though your feet are about to fall off from frostbite, you turn up your iPod and notice the beauty in the big, frosty flakes falling all around you.
It's the way you choose to see. Is the future a daunting trek into an unknown abyss? Or is it a gigantic blank canvas with every color of paint set in front of you, waiting for creation?
Yes, I am halfway to forty. That isn't such a bad thing, either. Because in the time it will take me to get to forty, I will do some of the most amazing things in my entire life. I'll start my career. I'll get married and start a family. I'll have travelled the globe, I'll have at least one more cool tattoo and some wrinkles to prove all the smiles. I will have tasted the sweetest wines, seen Dave (scratch that--MET Dave) at least ten more times; I'll have finally pursued my dream to have a garden and dog named Stella.
It's all about perspective.
Look at things a different way. It's all in the way you choose to view your life. Choose beauty--choose peace. Be in support of all things kind, feel the vitality surrounding us all--a vitality so many of us lack a consciousness of.
Grasp today, and every minute filling it, by the very life of itself.
Monday, January 28, 2013
(Why yes, I do want to be just like this man)
I'll spare you the “I'm sorry I'm such a bad blogger” stuff, because lets face it—we all know it's true already. I'm a flake. A regular space cadet. Well, to start, while I've been on my leave of absence from Up and Away, I've gained virtually no share-worthy talents! But lots of fun stories.
This one is about my new-found almost love, guitar. My guitar is quite the character. It's a he, because, well...you can just tell. My teacher says my guitar could re-enter Earth's orbit in one piece and probably still play in tune. This is true, because it's made of the same materials they line space crafts with! Yep, my guitar is invincible. Which is a great piece of news, because I'm really hard on my inanimate objects, no matter how dear they are to my heart (phone took a swim in some tea the other day...we're making do). But anyway, back to what makes my guitar of the male sort, is that it's very sturdy and absolutely (annoyingly) huge. When my teacher, Tommy, was showing us how to hold a classical guitar (mine isn't classical, but he was telling us about everything to know about guitar as part of the course), I was completely unable. Because in order to fit my guitar between my knees successfully would take about two weeks of yoga.
I like my guitar, who I have yet to name (suggestions appreciated), and he has proven very worthy of my time. The action is low, so I already feel like a pro (ooh, now I'm rhyming, watch out!) and the strings don't even hurt my fingers that badly (probably because they need to be replaced). And the best part is, now I can play all the Dave Matthews I want!
Only not really. Because after learning my chords, my chromatic, major and minor scales, and even dabbling in a wee bit of finger picking—I was still really inept at this damn instrument.
But here, my friends, is a story of valiant effort and charged desire. Yes. It was my ultimate goal to play Dave Matthews songs. And I would do it so help me God!
So I sit down, get myself all tuned and such, play a few scales and prepare myself for what I thought would be pretty easy. Let's all keep in mind my eleven years of piano, and being able to sit down and play just about anything I want. Let's all keep in mind that a guitar is not a piano, and that I was severely kidding myself.
I open up the tab to Crash Into Me, because in my little brain I think: those chords sound easy! False. They are not easy. I guess Dave expects you to be able to stretch your weak little nub finger called a pinkie across two entire frets by itself while still holding onto two other completely different strings on completely different frets. But, try I did. Again and again and again. It soon became very apparent that this was not in the stars for me. Frustrated and angry, I flung my phone away from me and pouted for a minute.
Why was I so bad at guitar!? Oh, because I've been playing for three damn weeks.
Trying to go easy on myself, I picked up the phone again and instead, took a different approach. “Easy, transposed Dave Matthews tabs”. Ah yes, a much safer, friendlier search that would surely set me up for success. And it did! By the end of the night I could almost play all of “Sweet”, which is actually one of my new favorite songs of his. Who cares if the strumming pattern is way easier and the song is put in an entirely different key (G...probably the easiest key on the guitar. I'm not complaining)?
Moral of the story? Don't beat yourself up as a beginner. Shoot high, but if you wind up failing, try again and just try a easier damn song. I wound up feeling a sense of accomplishment and a glimmer of hope that one day I'll be good enough that Dave will ask me to be in his band (yes...I've already thought this through). So, don't give up, keep trying, you can do it, etc and all that jazz.
Off to play!
Sunday, October 21, 2012
More than just every now and then, I realize that my musical horizons need to be expanded. Yes, this is sad, due to the fact I've spent more than half of my college career thus far as a music major.
Don't be fooled. This often means you know just about every Chopin nocturne there is and can analyze music down to its mere intervals--and luckily enough, this leaves one wanting to spend their free listening time in complete silence.
I feel out of the loop. I feel like everyone else is discovering a bountiful amount of rad new tunage, and I'm still listening to the same Bob Marley and Dave Matthews Band songs on repeat. Although I'm still shocked at the fact the few artists I listen to never seem to get old, I'm starting to realize, I'm in a musical rut.
This simply won't do, since more than 5 amazing artists have recently put out shiny, lovely, new albums. First on my list?
It was clandestine when a new friend introduced me to this lovely Irish entity almost a year ago and got me hooked on songs like And We Danced and Can't Hold Us.
How did I forget him?! I basically did. Untiiiiil--he A, put out a bangin new album and B, CAME TO MISSOULA AKA WHERE I LIVE CURRENTLY RIGHT NOW.
I'll just admit it right now, I didn't get tickets in time. But it didn't matter--the fact he was in the vicinity had me buzzin' for some Macklemore. He was up on the playlist again.
This was when I discovered a new, wonderful, touching and thought-provoking song...Same Love. Macklemore has always been a good lyricist in my opinion (yes, he a white rapper, but don't judge just yet) but this song took the cake. It was powerful. It was strong. It was everything that embodied what's going on in today's news regarding same-sex marriage. It was kick ass, and I think everyone should listen to it--and not just for that catchy, soaring, melodic part that gets stuck in your head--for those damn lyrics. Have you heard it?
No? Take a second. Right. Now.
Sunday, September 2, 2012
I didn't know what to do when I woke up yesterday. Was it actually September 1st? Was it finally here? The day I'd saved for...the day I'd waited for so many years...the day I'd anticipated and dreamed of since the moment I hit "purchase ticket".
Was I actually going to Dave Matthews?
Honestly, the entire day was a blur. The drive was quick, painless and before I knew it, we were already entering Moses Lake to find our hotel. The fact it was a $70-a-night motel titled "Hotel Oasis" didn't even matter to me at that point--I'd sleep on the ground at The Gorge to see what I was about to see.
Parking was a zoo, but luckily, we showed up with plenty of time to spare (my enforcement), and soon found ourselves lost in throngs of people making their way to the same point--that big, black amphitheater over the hill. After my ticket was officially scanned and I entered the area, my adrenaline really got going.
Everywhere. There was DMB. Everywhere. Shirts, tattoos, bags, hats, posters, blankets. I felt completely at home among these people. The amount of love for Dave in that one area was absolutely overflowing.
Allen Stone and Avett Brothers opened for Dave, and they did a bang-up job. It was hard to truly focus on them, though...because all anyone wanted was to see Dave and that glorious moment when the band entered the stage and started blowing our minds.
And he did...he really did. The second that man walked out on stage--every single person in the crowd went wild. I have never seen a crowd do what they did in my entire life. The TVs popped to life, the lights blinked on, and the music erupted. He went from Too High, to Crash, to even the newest song, Mercy. And mercy, it was beautiful.
I was absolutely lost in it. I had zero perception of time. All I could take in was the incredible music, the colored beams of light shooting in every direction, and the up-close TV shot of Dave--singing his heart out. It felt as though it had just started when I looked at my watch and already an hour and a half had gone by.
The musicians seemed bound together by some kind of spell--where every move was in-sync. Each player exuded happiness--Beauford back on the set was grinning like a kid on Christmas the entire time--and I had no idea the level of exuberance would be so high...and absolutely feed the audience. The music seemed to just fill everyone up--leaving us exploding with laughter, singing at the top of our voices and dancing like fools.
I didn't want it to end.
I still can't believe three hours of my life flew by like seconds. It was like nothing I've ever experienced in my whole life. Nothing can compare or relate. It was perfect. It was unreal. And I'm never missing another Gorge show again. Correction: I'm never missing another Gorge WEEKEND again. Next year? I'm goin' all out. And I'm already counting down the days :)
Friday, August 31, 2012
My dear, dear readers. Where did the summer go? Where did my mind go? How long can a blogger go MIA before she loses all of her beautiful followers?!
I'm glad you're all still here. I'm sorry for my absence and for my failure to report on Vienna.
Vienna, in a nutshell, was probably the best thing I've ever done. Easily. It was full of beauty and splendor, good friends and adventures...all in all, it was mind-blowingly awesome and I miss it every day.
But, alas, here we are. Another year, a new fall and what feels like another beginning, another chance. It's an odd time, filled with new responsibilities and wonky (favorite word of the week) transitions. (That paragraph sort of made me sound like a rep. for the U of M...with the exception of wonky.)
Does your life ever enter into a strange and very hard-to-define place? Where plenty of constants remain and lots of familiarity still makes up your life...yet the mixture of the "new" and the feeling in the pit of your stomach makes everything feel off-kilter? I'm right there with ya.
Maybe it's these hazy sunsets (love those summer fires) or the fact my body isn't used to waking up at 8am anymore, but something feels different. I'm filled with all this desire--all of these goals and ideas... I'm filled with drive, excitement and fire. And yet, I feel an overwhelming calm, as if I'm on track, plugging along at the road just like I'm supposed to be. I suppose there's comfort in that.
There's the unknowns everywhere, just surrounding everything and everyone and every place. It's hard to escape them...and I'm starting to think you can't. And that at some point, you have to accept that and just be okay with it.
But I think what's really eating at me, is the dream of arrival. The notion of accomplishment. It's within my reach and for once, I have all the confidence in the world that I can reach it. But I haven't. And sometimes it makes me antsy. But it's time to realize...all that can be done is contining. Pursuing. Trying. Gettin' goin'.
My message today is not to spout my own achievements and brag ;) But to pass it on. There are so many of you that read this and that I hold dear embarking on your own path now. And no, I'm not going to give you that same-old same-old "It's going to get hard, just push on through!" Because we all know that.
My advice? Think about arriving. And how after you arrive, you'll have a new place to arrive. And how this is all one big amazing fun thrilling hard beautiful gut-wrenching and incredible experience. Life. Embrace it, and arrive.
Monday, May 28, 2012
The saying that traveling brings out the worst in people is definitely an accurate statement. Hopping on three different planes ranging from an hour to eight hour rides with a slew of college kids was...less than perfect. But nothing made it quite as fun as sitting next to my new friend, Nick Gilbert.
Nick plays guitar. And I mean, he plays guitar about as much as he breathes. He dons the dreads, smudged glasses and always has his guitar within reach. First thing he says? "This is more fun than a roller coaster."
That notion faded pretty fast. The nine hour flight was exciting at first...they give you free blankets and pillows and you have a little touch-screen TV and you get TWO meals and ahhhh! It was like Christmas. At dinner it was a meal, the drink cart, the alcohol cart, the tea cart, the coffee cart, the after-dinner alcohol cart...it was mind blowing.
Things started losing their allure when the seat in front of me reclined about as far back as it could go, the temperature was too warm with the blanket on, but too cold without it, the movie selection sucked, and after sitting on my ass for about 5 hours straight (middle seat, mind you) I was not in the mood anymore. The only redeeming factor at that point was the free alcohol.
"I just want to rage right now. I just want to dance or something," Nick claimed, sitting next to me under a towel that doubled as a blanket (he's all about efficiency) to block out the TV lights.
Things didn't improve after none of us could sleep when it was only the middle of the afternoon for us, after they fed us this gross pickle/hotdog/potato salad crap that made me want to vomit and we got the sparkling news that when we arrive: TOUR TIME!
After twelve hours of plane rides? No, no thank you.
Needless to say, the next day was better. :)