Y is for Your, #AtoZChallenge

Your name ignites a whispering hope.

Moonlight white bathes the scene-

Perfection in the nighttime glow.

A setting; mysterious, but serene.

 

Something right turned out wrong.

A decoration not for display,

But instead for target practice.

True violence masked as play.

 

Morning disaster unobserved-

The realization cold.

Lessons sometimes cannot be learned.

The truth gets hard to hold.

 

Electric flames lead the way,

Paving a road in humming light.

Which way we go I cannot say,

But we’ll end in the depths of night.

 

A voice heard on high

Signals those who are below.

More audible than a sigh

With words coming slow.

 

There is one weapon above the rest:

The power of thought and a persuasive tongue.

Most would overlook it as the best,

But there’s a reason we start off young.

 

My destination remains unknown

While everyone else knows where to go.

And it seems I’m always on my own,

But I find it’s better not to know.

 

 

O is for One Perfect Moment, #AtoZChallenge

after the hourglass has filled

with time-worn sand

turned dusty and coarse

after the air has settled

still and stagnate

after the weight

of disintegrated decay

that plagued the mind

after the realization

that change is inevitable

after the faces

streaked with saline

after the anger

hot and unbridled

after denial

after rage

after acceptance

afterafterafter

after everything

comes one perfect moment.

Goodbye

Then, after comes….

 

 

N is for Nuisance, #AtoZChallenge

I am the fly buzzing in your ear,

flitting this way and that,

just out of reach of your

frantically waving hands.

 

I am the parched, cracked sponge,

caked with gummy grime

and specks of ancient food.

 

I am the lip in the sidewalk

that thrusts from the earth,

uneven and begging

for your foot to make contact.

 

I am the nail in your tire,

letting your air escape

in a slow hissssss

until your tire sinks,

drooping against the pavement

as I proudly perch in my new home.

 

I am the haunting whisper in your head

that calmly reminds you,

“You aren’t good enough.

You can’t do this.

You are flawed beyond repair.”

 

I am nagging dread.

I am lingering doubt.

I am creeping fear.

I am persistent anxiety.

 

I am constant, unrelenting,

but you have a choice.

 

What will you do with me?

M is for Make Mistakes, #AtoZChallenge

Whenever one of my music students makes a mistake and apologizes for it, I tell them don’t apologize for learning. Making mistakes teaches us what not to do so that we learn what we really should be doing. This doesn’t just apply to playing music, it carries throughout our lives.

Nobody likes the feeling of when they mess up, but if we could change our perspectives around mistakes I’m sure we’d do a better job managing regret.

I’m not saying I’ve mastered this concept, but I’m working on it.

One of my 5th grade classes is working on the song Try Everything by Shakira for their Spring Concert. It was featured in the movie Zootopia. I love the lyrics of this song because the message is saying it’s okay to fail as long as you keep trying. One of the lines is actually “I’ll keep on making those new mistakes, I’ll keep on making them everyday”. This is said as a positive!

I still am very hard on myself when I make mistakes, but I’m getting better at putting it back into perspective.

 

What is your perspective on making mistakes? How do you deal with them?

D is for Doubt, #AtoZChallenge

I started to think of my posts ahead of time so I wouldn’t fall behind in this challenge or my work, but after the past three days my perspective is already changing. Before yesterday, this post was going to be about how I’m always second-guessing myself, not really knowing if what I’m doing with my life is what I should be doing. Or if the things I’m saying, or the way I present myself is the correct way to be doing things. Don’t get me wrong, those are still true statements, but now my outlook has changed.

I get very stuck in my head. You (my readers) have gotten me unstuck. (Billy Pilgrim, anyone?) Yes, I doubt myself, yes, I contradict myself, yes, I carry my baggage and can’t seem to figure out just how much alone time to give myself. BUT, turns out, so do most of you! And I honestly couldn’t see that before. I just thought there was something wrong with me.

I’m not going to change my theme now, but I might reconsider calling them flaws. I think I may just think of them as unfortunate quirks in human nature. I am beyond thrilled at the people who have connected with me and shared their insights. I’m getting fed life lessons a handful of words at a time and I couldn’t be happier.

So let’s connect!

I often doubt if I’ve chosen the correct career path. Would I have been better off/happier choosing something else? Is it too late to change my path? Would I even want to change? I also doubt my abilities. Am I really a good teacher? Am I really a good musician? Am I actually good at writing? Other people have no problem assuring me and some days it’s not hard to believe. Other days….well I’m sure you know!

What do YOU doubt in your own life?

I’d also be curious to know if there’s anything you’ve never doubted. Please share your life experiences!

 

 

 

As always, thank you for reading my A to Z! Check out last year’s posts if you missed my traveling adventures: D is for Dominican Republic

B is for Baggage, #AtoZChallenge

Is baggage something you acquire and continually grow your collection of? Or do you eventually drop it off somewhere when you’re tired of carrying it around?

I ask because I’m tired of carrying my baggage around, but I can’t seem to find a place where I can safely drop it off.

I’ve been cheated on. I’ve had my heart broken. I’ve had my trust shattered. I’ve been disappointed, betrayed, deceived…

Of course I’ve done my share of heart breaking. I’m not inculpable.

All of these experiences have contributed to my baggage collection. Each peek through a browser history, each password decoded, each explicit message I was never meant to read, have gradually weighed me down.

Should I take blame for looking when there was always something to find?

There was one time when I got home and my ex had bought a new phone. His first smart phone, in fact. This was frustrating to begin with because he did not have the money to afford a smart phone, but then he locked it with a password and refused to tell me what it was. I think I took that as a challenge.

So when he wasn’t home, I just looked through the browser history on the computer and lo and behold, ALL the dating websites. Including a site supposedly for rich men to date hot women…. This was especially hilarious since he could barely afford to pay rent and utilities (although maybe that’s because he kept buying frivolous things like sunglasses and smart phones). And by hilarious I meant I felt like I was going to vomit and my body started shaking uncontrollably.

I picked up paranoia and I picked up ways to ease (or confirm) my fears. I learned to replace honest communication with sleuthing.

I’m getting better at talking myself out of searching for things I don’t want to find, but I still feel that urge sometimes. Maybe Mimi in La Vie Boheme said it best, “I’m looking for baggage that goes with mine.”

How about you, dear reader? Have you been able to let your baggage rest? Or are you continually reminded of what you cannot leave behind?

 

 

 

Thanks for checking out my 2017 A to Z! Here’s last years: B is for Bennington, VT

 

#AtoZChallenge, A is for Alone

Last year this challenge got me into the blogging world and I had intended to do it again this year, although I did not expect to be so busy! I’m going to try my best to complete it anyway! I’ve been going back and forth between theme ideas, and I think I’ve settled on one. In college, I had to write an essay that focused on my flaws. I titled it “Self Paradox”. I think at the time I really thought I was being honest, but now I read it and see where I was defending my actions even through the exposure. For this challenge, I would like to dig deeper and find something through each letter of the alphabet to address and challenge. Not to make myself feel bad or seek sympathy, but to grow through self-analysis and hopefully identify some flaws I can work on fixing.

I like being alone. I also hate being lonely. It is certainly a contradiction when I get invited to do something, decline, and then sit at home and feel like I’m being left out. I wouldn’t quite say I’m anti-social, because when I’m in social settings I do fine. I just find it really hard to get motivation to leave the house, especially for situations that are unfamiliar.

I used to get this feeling of loneliness all the time. It didn’t feel the same as just being sad. It felt more like some sort of void that came from within and gnawed at my soul like a creeping chill. I could feel it fester in the pit of my stomach and I hated and embraced it all at the same time. It was the feeling I could sink into and I thought it made me write honestly and freely. Thus, the pattern began where I would decline invitations to go out and then wish I was out with everybody else.

I still like being alone. I still decline a lot of invitations to hang out. I don’t get that same feeling of loneliness as much anymore. I think part of it is being busy, part of it is being in a stable relationship, and part of it is just growing up. I’d like to say I’m getting better at going out more often and I’ve taken responsibility for the fact that I know it makes me feel bad, but the truth is I haven’t.

Maybe by time this challenge is over I can say otherwise.

 

Here’s last year’s post if you’re interested! A is for Africa (and Accra)

 

 

One Year

It has been a year since I created this blog. I got the notification this morning, and it’s caused me to be a bit reflective today. A year ago I felt desperate. Trapped in a life that felt no longer like my own. Stuck down a path that I felt like I had willingly chosen, but not truly considered the consequences of my choices. I created this blog as a way to escape. Writing has always done this for me, allowed me my piece of escapism. It helps me sort through my emotions and come to reason with my over-analytic thoughts. Even though I have not been able to post consistently since my move to California, I still think starting this blog is one of the best life choices I have made. It started me down a road of my own choosing, and steered me in a healthier direction, towards life.

One year ago today, I felt like I HAD to share my writing about the struggles of having a parent with Alzheimer’s. I think about why this was, and I think it’s because I’m not able to communicate in conversation the way I am in words. What I really needed was a way to find my voice, and to feel like I was finally being heard and understood. I found that here through the WordPress community. I found people who read my words and connected with me, and shared their own stories that I could relate to. I read stories that brought tears to my eyes and was told I had done the same. I opened up this channel of human connection and interaction that I know I was lacking in my life away from the keyboard, and honestly, I think that has changed my whole life.

I got the courage to apply for my MFA in Creative Writing. This is something I have always dreamed of doing, but never thought I really could. The kind of dream where a child says, “I’m going to be a movie star when I grow up!” and you say, “Sure, kid, whatever you say.” That’s the kind of dream this was for me. Mostly, I was terrified that by applying I would find out what I always dreaded….I wouldn’t be good enough for a writing program. I got an email saying my documents were ready to be viewed and I literally started shaking. I read the first three words “We are delighted” and my eyes began to tear. I got accepted! I actually applied for two different programs, music and writing, and got accepted to both. This is honestly something I had not thought was possible. Something this, seemingly insignificant, blog helped me facilitate.

I have three jobs that I LOVE here in California, and my life is probably the busiest it has ever been. I cannot promise to post or read with any sort of consistency, but I will not give up this blog, and I will not forget the positive change it has brought about in my life. I would like the people I have interacted with to know that I still think of them and their blogs often. Something I read in a post or comment will still make me smile or be a topic of conversation. I cherish the bloggers I have crossed paths with time and time again, as they have been my teachers in this new domain. Thank you WordPress community, it has been an incredible year.