28 December, 2009

2009 reflections (more)

Great Things about 2009 (new favorites, best of, things learned, things did, etc. etc.)

1. Went to NYC with a suitcase and $900 and stayed for 6 months.

(Patric and I in the midst of one of our 'talks' in Central Park.)

2. Glee.

3. Got off the Merry Go Round.

4. Amazingamazing friends I have made this year. People who I feel like I've known a heck of a lot longer than I actually have.

5. Got to live with/invest time in my Grandma.

6. (500) Days of Summer and Bright Star and Up in the Air.
& Away We Go (Honorable mention)

7. Got to see 13 Broadway shows and 24 live theatre performances.

8. Really got to know my Uncle Mark and Bill for the first time.

9. Figured out a long term plan. (I think...)

10. Learned that I can't keep everyone happy all the time. (I know I'm a little old for this one. Seems obvious, right?)

11. Got to take a musical theatre audition class with a New York casting director.


13. She & Him and Ben Sollee.

14. Kevin Roose and Anne Lamott.

I know 14 things is an awkward list but that's it really.

26 December, 2009

2009 reflections pt. uno

A little over 3 weeks has passed since the last time I wrote and what a 3 weeks it has been. I got to visit the beautiful and majestic state of Colorado and see my constant Patric. Patric and I did the whole IneverthoughtIdactuallydoitbutletsmovetoNewYorkwithno
moneyandnoclue thing. It was fantastic to see him and recount our memories of crazy New York and talk about plans and dreams for the future. (He promised to take me to the Oscar's at least once.)

The past few days have been super warm and fuzzy with fireside talks, cookie decorating (Oh yes, there were 4 twenty-somethings really getting into that. We even voted on which cookie was prettiest. The one with the least votes was eaten first.) lots of eating, and teary gift-giving. (I got a round trip ticket to visit Matt and Ash next year in Scotland.)

With less than a week until the new year I'm obviously surprising no one at all and being reflective. Looking back on the past year I think my biggest accomplishment was the NYC adventure. I learned many lessons: don't live with a couple (unless maybe you have your own shower), don't walk on the grates, don't expect to get seen at Broadway auditions, don't assume your apartment is rat-free. Things like that.

I've noticed over the past year I've been dubbed by many as the 'nomad.' What you maybe didn't know is that I really didn't plan for things to turn out that way. All the moves and changes of scenery that I've experienced resulted from specific unique circumstances. And while throughout the past year I've simultaneously yearned to put down roots and live a life of adventure I have no regrets. I want to squeeze so much out of life and two of those things have been independence and adventure. I have definitely gotten both over the past 2 years--at least one type of independence and one type of adventure.

My varied experiences throughout 2009 have reminded me of one very basic truth that I've known all along.

Relationships are the most important investment in life.

And as a postmodern, postfeminist young woman in the second decade of this century I have no qualms saying that. There is nothing weak about recognizing the humanity in connection and companionship. Work and making money and how we spend our time are absolutely essential to living purposefully and with fulfillment but committing to those things at the expense of investing in people leaves us feeling empty. What good is all the success in the world if you're eating Chipotle alone for dinner, ya know? As tasty and delicious as it is I've done it both ways and Chipotle is definitely better with a real person sitting across the table from you...every single time.

More 2009 reflections to come...

04 December, 2009

Can you listen to this song while you read this? Thanks.

Wednesday I—wait for it—went to the GYM (which reminds me that I need to update you on how Novemberesolutions are coming!)! I accompanied Gram to the JCC where I got moving on the track while she was in her exercise class. I’m one of those people who is kind of useless working out if I don’t have a soundtrack. I love how epic and movie-musical-esque it is listening to an ipod while doing anything out in public. When I lived in NYC and stood out in the frigid February cold waiting to get seen at auditions I had my motivation mix (featuring “Hold On” from the Secret Garden). When I just needed to get some endorphins rolling in I’d listen to “Not For the Life of Me” while gliding (read: attempting to dodge tourists who had eyes to the sky) through Times Square.
Now once again soundtrack in ear I’m listening to the Glee cast recording of “Imagine.” While decidedly not PUMP IT! music all I really need to feel motivated is music I really like. I’ll walk/jog in double time if need be. You may keep ‘Boom Boo Pow’. Thanks. So I’m hustling along the track above the gym at the Jewish Community Center in peace and quiet (all alone in the enormous gymnasium [obviously I had the audacity to sing along to my pod with no one there!]) admiring Lea Michelle’s placement and unusually high palette (I swear her skull is specifically formed for a perfect mix/belt) when the gym is invaded--by 4-year-olds! They come barreling in—running! And by choice! Their zest for life and innocence was so poignant as I was listening to lyrics like “imagine all the people living for today.” So I am listening to this entire song about idyllic peace and I’m watching these children just playing with simple things like a ball or a hoop or blocks. And I’m pondering how we all start like that—really just playing, discovering the world, completely sucking at eye/hand coordination and then somehow some people grow into monsters and inflict genocide…suicide bombings…child pornography.
As someone who really doesn’t understand the concept of senseless violence I wonder why we can’t keep the sweetness we had as children. And that’s when I see Kid 1 choose not to share his ball and Kid 2 take it anyway. Then in tears Kid 1 goes to tell the teacher the upsetting sequence of events. And I’m reminded that we aren’t innately sweet unselfish creatures. We are born looking out for #1 and we have to choose to do unselfish things. As inspiring as it is to simply see children joyfully careening across a gymnasium I’m reminded that we all have to choose to live joyfully as we grow up—and choose to live compassionately. It’s not innately in us to put others’ needs before our own but how much better would the world be if we all did? I mean, imagine.