Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Welcome Vacation

I'm not here. I've put my imaginary "do not disturb" sign on. I'm going on a mental vacation.

I'm at the airport, but I haven't decided where to go yet. I look at the departures board. Mexico is nice, but I'm too exhausted to bother to speak Spanish. Austria's too cold this time of year. The only place I would really want to go to in the Bahamas is Atlantis, and I really don't have the bank account for that right now. Florida is surprisingly cold this time of year. I love Costa Rica, but I was just there. Hawai'i? That sounds like a nice change of scene.

I board the plane and drift off into a deep sleep to the soothing tune of the American Airlines safety video music. Mmmhmhmmm...

A flight attendant wakes me up. I seem to have caught up on all the sleep I've missed over the past 2 months in one single flight. I step off the plane carrying only a backpack full of necessities and hail a cab. I politely ask to be taken to the nearest beach and receive a warm answer. Why can't people be this nice up north? I think. I don't even mind that it takes us half an hour to get to the beach. I need to slow down.

I pay the fare and step out of the car. Either this guy really likes me or he just wanted to rack up his cab fair because this is the most gorgeous beach I've ever seen. A few locals and I are the only patrons of this paradise today. I set up my towel and spend what seems like a lifetime simply watching the waves go in and out, feeling the sun warm my face, letting the soft crashing of the waves lull me into a trance. It's been a long winter and I need sunlight like Lindsay Lohan needs tabloid attention. This scene is perfect...but something's missing.

In my trance I find myself vacationing from my vacation. I'm out of the moment. I soar back to the RHS auditorium, to a scene where I'm laughing at Ian's ridiculous Gaston costume or intently listening to Jon describe the latest Wolverine comic book. I'm a sophomore, holding back tears as Clare and George sing "A Little Fall of Rain". I'm feeling the thrill of spinning a flag in the middle of Downtown Disney World as a freshman. I'm cuddled up to Russ watching a movie at home. I'm running through the streets of Dinklesbuhl, Germany, with Carolyn, Sarah and Mike trying not to get caught at that rock concert. I didn't need to spend all of this money to get away. I didn't need to literally escape to escape. All I needed was to get out.

Monday, February 22, 2010

My Hands They Shake, My Head It Spins

I think I've forgotten what it feels like not to be busy. I have a feeling my head is going to explode in the next two weeks, what with the musical, school, the middle school guard, and attempting to pick a college. At the same time, though, I feel useless when I'm not busy. This stress is mostly self-inflicted. Therefore I will try to visualize it the best way I know how: put it in a list.

Circumstances Increasing My Stress Level
  • Beauty and the Beast opens in 10 days. My high school musical theatre career will be over in 13 days. That doesn't seem right.
  • Chip's cart (which I have to push with one hand for most of the show) weighs a zillion pounds and is pretty hard to maneuver and I have very little arm strength nowadays. You'd think that color guard would make me stronger but I can hardly lift my 30 pound dog. So not only is the cart frustrating, it also makes me feel like a weakling. I can work with what I've been given, though, I'll figure it out.
  • We have yet to run through an entire act beginning to end.
  • My voice is slowly being beaten into the ground but I don't have the willpower to go on vocal rest. I tried today but kinda forgot about 20 minutes after I woke up and kind of gave up. Fail.
  • My Spanish teacher has taught us one of the three topics on our test tomorrow. Cool, Senora.
  • I'm letting myself go. I set the intention to work out everyday but just get tired. I also tell myself that I'm going to bed before 11 every night and don't actually enter my room until 11:30. Damn you, Olympics.
  • I have yet to finish teaching the middle school color guard their show. They have a competition in a month.
  • My senioritis is keeping me from doing anything productive.
  • I still don't have a definite first choice college. My mom isn't helping in the process much either, since every time I express positive feelings for a school she finds something wrong with it. I guess she just wants me to think about it. Thinking is too emotionally draining.
  • I really want to write some new music but I either don't have time to or have major writer's block. I am a frustrated artist.
I think these stress-inducing factors necessitate a Brightsides list.

Brightsides 2/21/10
  1. I finished a non-required reading book, Looking for Alaska by John Green, for the first time in a long time a week ago. I absolutely loved it and it gave me a lot to think about in terms of my relationships with people and life in general. It's a powerful, funny and obviously thought-provoking novel that I would recommend to anyone.
  2. Televised figure skating and ice dancing makes me happy. I think ballroom dancing should be an Olympic sport. I mean, ice dancing is basically ballroom on ice. They both require almost the same amount of athleticism. Maybe someday...
  3. Despite the stress it causes me, the show is actually coming together nicely. I recommend seeing it if you're in the area (shameless plug).
  4. I spent a lovely weekend at Drexel. :)
  5. While in the city I discovered Buffalo Exchange (thanks to Miss Carolyn Haynes), a Plato's Closet/Goodwill-esque store that buys and sells adorable gently used clothes. Somehow I managed to find a gorgeous Betsey Johnson dress that was originally $165 for $32. Win.
  6. I'm seeing Coheed & Cambria in May!
  7. I have an amazingly supportive boyfriend who makes me incredibly happy. :)
  8. I'm going on a cruise to Bermuda with my dad's family in August! I love cruises, and now I can gamble at the on-board casino, which may or may not be a good thing. :-P
  9. My music teacher's adorable German Sheppard puppy makes rehearsals much cuter.
  10. I learned how to play "You and I" by Ingrid Michaelson on ukulele. I may be cliche, but it's a cute song.

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Middle

I think I've got cabin fever. Thanks to the Snowpocalypse of 2o10, I've been stuck in my house since Tuesday night. School's been closed and it's too cold to go out and I don't even own a sled so I wouldn't have anything to do anyway. So all I can do is sit in my house, not do my homework and think about how lost in the world I am. I don't have a clue who I am. I mean, I guess I'm still forming an idea of who I am. Ever since I moved to Pennsylvania in fourth grade my life has been a series of questions...

Am I a New Yorker or a Philadelphian?
Am I a Catholic or...nothing?
Am I liberal or conservative?
Am I a feminist?
Do I value my family or my friends more? Is that a stupid question?
Do I really want to be an actress/writer/director/journalist/assistant to the regional manager?
Am I pro-life or pro-choice?
Do I really believe in all this alternative medicine that my mom has based her career on (i.e. Feng Shui, homeopathic medicine)?
Why do I feel uncomfortable discussing my personal life with people while I love hearing what other people are doing and feel like I have to keep up?
Do I want to go to school far away or nearby?
Am I really a part of the Class of 2010?
Am I missing out on the normal high school party experience?

Why can't I be fine the way I am?

The answers to most these questions have always been "in between". Most of my conscious years have been spent in the suburbs of Philly, but because of my family New York will always have a special place in my heart. Maybe I'll end up moving there someday. I didn't really like NYU when I visited it and sometimes I have a hard time explaining to adamant NYU-lovers why. I guess I'm just not ready to be thrust into the big city just yet. I'll take some baby steps before I can get myself there. I always knew I never belonged in Jersey. Even today the people I knew then are pretty different from myself. I needed to be somewhere a little more down to earth.

I guess I'm a Catholic in practice; I go to church as often as I can, I believe in God...I just don't have another explanation for why things are the way they are. I looked out onto the gorgeous mountains and valleys and rainforests of Costa Rica and I just thought...this can't be an accident. But at the same time the Catholic church itself makes me angry - the hierarchy, the shunning - it's kind of dumb. We should love everyone regardless of who they love or whatever choices they've made in their life. I guess I'm somewhere in between pro-life and pro-choice. I would never feel comfortable killing something that does have life and energy, but I'm not going to shun someone who has made that choice. Sometimes there's no other option. And why the hell should Congress decide what I do with my body for me? The majority of them are upper class men in their 50s and 60s, they don't know how I feel, or how some poor woman who can't even support herself feels. And yeah, I think men and women are all created equal, but I'm not a feminist. I'm not radical. Shit, I don't even know if I'm liberal. I'm so conservative in my own conduct - I'm not one to riot, I don't drink or do drugs, I cover up, there's a certain degree of comfort I think you should have with a person before you risk making babies with them - but politically, I'm pretty liberal.

I don't have an answer for the rest of the questions. I love my parents, but sometimes I need to get away from them. I guess that's healthy. I have my own life. I probably won't know what I want to do with my life until I try everything. Maybe this screenwriting thing will work out, maybe it won't. I won't know until I try. I'm not ashamed of anything I've done, but sometimes I have a hard time sharing it with people. I want to share girl talk with my friends but at the same time I'm afraid of being judged on what I have or have not done. It's dumb, but I guess it comes with being a girl. I'll shake it soon enough. Sometimes I feel like I'm missing out on the high school party scene, but truthfully I've never even been comfortable watching a bunch of people who I barely know get shit-faced. I'm one for small hang-outs. Senior week may promise a mix of this, and I'm coming to terms with that. I'm trying to learn how stick to my own values without sounding like a judgmental mom, all while actually having FUN. I work so hard that sometimes I forget what it feels like to have fun.

So I guess all these answers will come in due course. I know I'm going to change throughout my life. There's no definitive answer to the question of who I am, there's only the question of who I am right now. The journey comes in being comfortable with who I am right now. And that's what I need to work on.