Sunday, May 28, 2017

I Shall Keep Singing (Credit: Emily Dickinson)

I shall keep singing. For a while, I thought I wouldn't. I thought my time was up, the glory was over, and the time had come to hang up my choir outfit and turn in the music. 
This is exactly how I felt at the end of the chorus season. I was burned out, bummed out, and just ready to call it a 20 year ride. But suddenly, as I was standing on stage with my fellow singers, looking out into the larger than usual audience, I remembered why I do this. There is nothing in the world so satisfying and emotionally wonderful as singing in a choir. The music we make is not possible to make on my own. Also, I realized in that moment (yes, as I was singing) that it's more than the music. It's the people who create it with me. It was at that moment, I realized, that while I may need the summer to recharge my batteries, the thought of leaving all of this behind caused tears to well up in my eyes. I'm looking forward to singing in the Fall with my beloved chorus. Sometimes we all need moments like that.

I shall keep singing!
Birds will pass me
On their way to Yellower Climes—
Each—with a Robin's expectation—
I—with my Redbreast—
And my Rhymes—

Late—when I take my place in summer—
But—I shall bring a fuller tune—
Vespers—are sweeter than Matins—Signor—
Morning—only the seed of Noon—

             -Emily Dickinson

I've always loved this poem for many reasons. I discovered it first when a composer set it to music as a tribute to our late artistic director who lost her battle with breast cancer. She never wanted us to stop singing--not even when she could no longer conduct. She believed in the hope of morning and she loved yellow. Even though the taste of evening better suited me, she taught me to love and hope even in the early morning hours.

Years later, after a rough time, this poem means something more. I stand a little taller, stronger, and more confident that, yes, I SHALL KEEP SINGING. It's a beautiful thing and it fills me with joy I can't find anywhere else. I've cried tears of despair but now I cry tears of joy. Tears that let me know singing is vital to my very existence. And not just singing--but singing in a choir. 

And that is why I continue this journey of song with 49 or so of my friends walking with me and hoping with me for a better world--at least in our corner.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Trials and tribulations

I started this blog as a way to express my Type A personality and love for routines in a world where things are often chaotic and not to my taste. I've drifted into another realm, but when I think more about it, it's really the same thing. I feel upside down and out of control and I crave that feeling of security found in routines, knowing what to expect, and always feeling prepared. Lately, my emotions confound me. I am surprised at my reactions and responses to what are usually small annoyances. Suddenly, I feel my blood boiling and I explode with words I hardly ever speak aloud. I am unable to regulate my emotions and my interactions with people are unexpected--often way out of character for me. It's as though my insides have come out--everything I think inside comes flying out at the world. Very unsettling.

I am working hard to remedy this and by doing so, have become acutely aware of my words. I choose them carefully both in speech and ESPECIALLY in writing where people can't see my face or hear my voice. Email has become something to fear. Will I say it wrong? Will someone interpret something that isn't there? Should I use a different word? Put a smiley face so they know I'm happy? The anxiety it causes is too much. I retreat back into myself where it's safe. Sort of. Except that I'm afraid. Very afraid. The highs are high and the lows are lower than ever. I see a light at the end of the tunnel, but it's a long journey from here and I have to be patient--not something I'm particularly good at.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

When You're Not Invited

Despite my best efforts, when it comes to being on the A-list for events, I don't usually make the cut. I see happy pictures on social media of people I thought were my friends having a great time at one place or another. I see people who I didn't even know were friends of the host(ess) and I start to wonder if I'm oblivious to the fact that I am persona non grata. I thought I had wonderful friends and people liked me. I was wrong. I need new friends but when you're "of a certain age" it's not so easy. Everyone has their group of people. Everyone has their tribe. And they don't need a newcomer. Sigh. I guess I could repair the friendships I thought I had, but it's hard to repair what you didn't know was broken. 

Sticks and stones can break my bones but words will ALWAYS hurt me. 

Left out.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

I don't know you anymore/upside down & inside out

I wander through life and hope not to stumble or fall. Lately, I've stumbled more than I've fallen, but I only now realize how many times I fell over the last few months. I don't know why I'm writing this because I wouldn't want anyone to know. I guess I'm banking on the fact that nobody reads this idle chatter so I have nothing to worry about.

Days are long and nights are longer. I struggle to keep up with the simplest routines but I force myself to keep whatever I can in the realm of "normal". I just want to feel human again. And I don't want anyone to know I ever wasn't.

There's so much good in my life and I just have to remember it. I try to write it down every week so I can look back and see through all the craziness, that there were good moments. I have good people in my life, good things--love my jobs and singing. I'min love with a married man....but we won't go there. I never said that.

I need to sign off.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Something different

Sometimes it's good to explore something different. I'm not big on change, but variety can be good. Sometimes. I'm avoiding the topic at hand right now because it's a difficult one. For the last few months, I've been on a wild ride of mood swings, anxiety attacks, and feeling out of control. We all know that I thrive on routines and control. I hate surprises and not knowing what's coming. This is precisely how my life has been --filled with surprises and I never know what's coming. It's uncomfortable and scary. I find myself saying things before I know what they are. Words fly out of my mouth or onto my computer to land on some hapless person who may or may not deserve them. After a lot of destructive thoughts and intense anger, I reached out for help. I realized that this type of anxiety wasn't the "normal" "general" anxiety I always have, but something deeper, darker, and almost unstoppable. I can't live like this. Finding myself using alcohol to relax or numb the pain was a frequent occurrence. Staring at a bottle of pills and wondering if taking all of them would make me feel better and I'd fall into a puddle of tears wondering how I had gotten to this place. I'd been here before and I thought I climbed out. But here I was right there and it was all too familiar. I know I've hurt people in the past few months--or maybe longer. EEEK. I know I've seemed "off" and people have noticed I'm not myself anymore. I don't know whether to be sorry, scared, or embarrassed. Or all of the above. I'm out of solutions. I am hoping the help I've received will work. It will take time so I have to be patient--not something I'm terribly good at. I have to trust that there is an end to this awful feeling--this heaviness in my heart. I have to know that I CAN beat this. I don't have to cry every day wondering how I can survive when I'm dying inside.
The old saying is "better living through chemistry" and I know it to be true because I've lived it for years. Now we're adding something to the potion. Hopefully it works wonders.
That's all. And yes, this entry is blue. I feel a little less purple than usual.