More Late Nights

It’s 1:10am, and, naturally, I am wide awake and yearning to write something.  Anything.  Any words that will convey some kind of feeling.

My thoughts are living in my head lately, swirling around, knocking over coffee cups and scattering papers – apparently my head resembles an old British parlor – and try as I might, I can’t form them into something that makes sense.  I’m a writer.  Something isn’t working correctly here.

I feel like I’m in a constant state of slight panic, overwhelming worry, incredible indecisiveness and annoying hopefulness.  I’m working myself into a tizzy trying to make things happen and evolve and work out, and the things that I should be focusing on are falling to the wayside and that makes me even more worried. 

It’s a hot mess up in here.

For instance, I’m meeting a new friend tomorrow for breakfast.  And I’m nervous.  To me, nervousness is a useless feeling, one that gets in the way and steps on everyone’s shoes without saying excuse me, please.  I know, logically, that I shouldn’t be nervous.  We’ve been talking most every day for the past month.  But yet, here I am, thinking ridiculous thoughts about where I will park and what I will wear and if the shop will be open at 8:45am and what happens if it isn’t and should I wait in the car or inside or maybe outside, but it’s hot and I don’t want to sweat –

See?  Too much here.

I wish I had a definitive answer as to how I can get ahold of myself and stop the world from spinning so quickly.  But I don’t think there’s a button that will magically make things better or easier.  I’m beginning to think this is life, and it’s time for me to join the ranks of those who are holding on for dear life.

I’m not sure how to feel about that (cue another round of extreme self-introspection) but we’ll see how tomorrow goes before I make any rash decisions.

Until.

Tonight

Tonight is a night for toasts.

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A toast to the freedom to have a messy desk (it means things are happening there).

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A toast to the freedom to drink wine every night.

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And a toast to the freedom to eat cookies every night.  Or the whole damn box in one sitting (update: I didn’t).

Here’s to sleeping soundly all through the night and keeping a clean house.  Here’s to staying out all night or heading to bed at 9pm, spending all my money on a trip to the beach or adopting 5 dogs.

The point is, some people’s lives are changing tonight.  And some people are settling down.  And there are times I wish I was in their shoes.  But then I step back, and re-evaluate.  Their life is right for them.  Not for me.  I am where I am supposed to be, right in this moment.  I feel like I’m finally coming into my own, emerging as the person I’m supposed to be.  And I’ve had a realization.

I am someone who is looking for love. Real love. Ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming, can’t live without each other love. I thought I found it once, but turns out it wasn’t real at all. I’ve finally arrived here, and love is finally what I’m looking for.  I love my family.  I love my job.  I love my dog and cats.  But I’m done saying that love isn’t for me.  It is.  I’m ready.

Here’s to being free to do what you want to, and be who you want to be.

Windows Open

The windows are open tonight, and I’m reminded of the summers of my childhood.  I’m here, silent, the only sound the crickets and cicadas outside my window.  I’ve showered and am wearing one of the nightgowns nanna bought me for my birthday, partly because it’s comfortable and partly because it’s keeping me cool.

Summers were a battle at our house.  Nanna insisted on turning the air off at night and opening all the windows.  Occasionally a good idea, but mostly not.  Tonight I have no choice, as my air conditioner is broken and not being repaired until the morning.  I remember sitting in my room, Sunday nights, the weekend ending and the crickets chirping.  I was ready for school the next day, and I was probably watching something on TV, from a Disney movie to Desperate Housewives or some awards show.  It was quiet.  Still.  You could hear summer’s southern heartbeat.

It’s funny how life moves.  I could close my eyes and rewind 15 years in a mere moment.

Maybe there is something to being with nature.

A Sad Day

This is one of my favorite stories, found on Reddit a few months back:

Q: What celebrity surprised you with their kindness?

“Robin Williams…very friendly and funny. More so then I expected honestly. I went to a dinner with my father and a couple of his co-workers at a fancy Italian restaurant when I was about 18 and about halfway through the meal a few of the co-workers got drunk and started to scream at the waiter in Italian. In response, the waiter, and eventually a few other workers, joined in and were screaming back at the co-workers and then in between all of them came Robin Williams gesticulating wildly and screaming mock Italian at both sides until they calmed the hell down and started to laugh at Robin Williams and his antics instead. When everyone went back to their seats I walked up to Robin Williams, thanked him for defusing the situation, and did the usual “I love your work, It’s amazing to meet you” spiel and then he began to ask ME questions about my life, how I am, my age, what I wanted to do, and was very friendly and caring. When I was walking away back to my dad he stopped me and said words I try to live by:

‘Kid, take a good look at those suits. Don’t try to end up like them. If you need booze or drugs to enjoy your life to the fullest then you’re doing it wrong.'”

A great, great man died today.  Effortlessly funny, extremely kind, a uniter of the young and old.  Depression is a fickle creature and it spares no one, famous or not.  I can’t help thinking he kept others laughing to hide his own sadness, or maybe to help others out of their own dark hole.  We’ll never know.

I watched Mrs. Doubtfire over and over again when I was little.  Dead Poet’s Society quickly rose the top of my favorite movie list – I swear it helped inspire me to be a writer, and one day, a professor myself.  Good Will Hunting only appeared on my radar a few years back, but Robin Williams’ performance was a damn home run.

I leave you shocked, a little frozen, and very saddened.  Brilliance like his only comes around once in a generation.

Scott Simon (@nprscottsimon) has put it best:  “A thought is helping me get through the day: Richard Pryor & George Burns greeting Robin Williams at the pearly gates.”

Goodbye, Mr. Williams.  I hope you’ve found the peace that you so deserve.

From Dead Poets Society

From Dead Poets Society

 

Struggling with depression and thinking suicide is the only way out?  Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 1-800-273-8255.  There is always hope.

Ring Like Crazy, Ring Like Hell

What is it about song lyrics that dig down deep into your heart and stay there, intermittently tugging on the strings?

Pandora, along with a quiet workplace, is a recipe ripe for new musical discoveries.  However, I can’t count the number of times I’ve had to stop work and write down a song name so I could go look it up later and add it to my library of ever-expanding goodness.

I used to want, more than anything, to be one of those rock n’ roll chicks, with a band behind her, crashing drums, dirty electric guitars, numerous amps, etc etc.  I thought that was the epitome, the ultimate, the place to be.

I became incredibly annoyed with myself when I couldn’t produce songs like that.  I couldn’t write a rock song to save my life.

Things now, however, have changed.

Someone once told me it’s easy to be in a rock band.  You’re essentially hiding behind the reverb, the effects, the volume of the instruments.  It sounds badass, and is super fun to play/listen to, but it’s not real.

I see the value in their words now.  I believe them.

There’s something raw and emotional about a microphone, a piano, and a voice.  You’re naked, exposed, having to carry the melody, the lyrics, the entire song, yourself.  People can hear those lyrics, and they better be good.  They better mean something.

Take Gregory Alan Isakov’s Stable Song:

remember when our songs where just like prayers,
like gospel hymns that you called in the air.
come down come down sweet reverence,
unto my simple house and ring…
and ring.

ring like silver, ring like gold
ring out those ghosts on the ohio
ring like clear day wedding bells
were we the belly of the beast or the sword that fell…we’ll never tell.

now i’ve been crazy couldn’t you tell
i threw stones at the stars, but the whole sky fell
now i’m covered up in straw, belly up on the table
well and sang and drank, and passed in the stable.

that tall grass grows high and brown,
well i dragged you straight in the muddy ground
and you sent me back to where i roam
well i cursed and i cried, but now i know…now i know

and i ran back to that hollow again
the moon was just a sliver back then
and i ached for my heart like some tin man
when it came oh it beat and it boiled and it rang..its ringing

ring like crazy, ring like hell
turn me back into that wild haired gale
ring like silver, ring like gold
turn these diamonds straight back into coal

(I was just going to post a few lines, but how do you pick a few lines from this brilliance?)

It’s simple.  It’s heartfelt.  It’s perfect.  Easily one of my top 10 favorite songs, and I never say that.  You can trace his journey through the lyrics, and no matter what your experiences, you can relate.  You can feel it.  It’s as close to a perfect song as you can get.

Words are words, but it takes some real talent to arrange them into something that makes people feel.  Readers, what songs have touched you?

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