My heart is here tonight.

I’ll be seeing you
In all the old familiar places
That this heart of mine embraces
All day and through

In that small cafe
The park across the way
The children’s carousel
The chestnut trees, the wishing well

I’ll be seeing you
In every lovely summer’s day
In everything that’s light and gay
I’ll always think of you that way

I’ll find you in the morning sun
And when the night is new
I’ll be looking at the moon
But I’ll be seeing you

I’ll be seeing you
In every lovely summer’s day
In everything that’s light and gay
I’ll always think of you that way

I’ll find you in the morning sun
And when the night is new
I’ll be looking at the moon
But I’ll be seeing you

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I’m Your Biggest Fan

Our social networking existence is our way of channeling the celebrity in all of us. What greater tabloid gossip bomb than who took a picture with who last night? “A source close to..” has become ourselves. Everything we need to know is in the depths of our social media/friend circles, right?

This is ridiculous. We, and I say we because I’m equally guilty, somehow infer intentions, emotions, truths, from a photo on the Internet. A status. Oh, she’s definitely talking about him. I don’t think they’re together anymore, I haven’t seen anything on Facebook in awhile. They’re top snap chat friends. I’m sure you can guess the general theme that’s clearly plaguing me and always has. Like gossip magazines obsessing over high profile breakups and make ups, relationships make the world of Internet gossip go round IRL too.

I’ve found myself in a situation that is void of sacredness. As if I’m constantly being followed by paparazzi, I receive questions and inferences and rumors that parallel the most common tabloid headlines. Seen on Instagram with him, trying to make so-and-so jealous? Moves to new place, to be closer to so-and-so? Spotted: with new guy, new boyfriend? By the way, none of these conversations are had with me. Rather, I’m made aware of later.

I’m not trying to portray that my life is some kind of Gossip Girl worthy plot, but at times, in this time, it feels so surreal. The bigger point, the more soul affecting, is the reality of having fans not friends.

I am and always have been a sucker for covers. I love when I find a song I’ve heard a million times, and someone changes it up, makes it somehow more heartfelt or edgy, and I find a new appreciation for it. Most of the time, I can give the credit to the twist of vocals.

What I love more, is when a melody can stay the same, and no matter who sings it, it’s perfect. To me, that is the make of a real musician/songwriter/song.  Here is Lea Salonga performing “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables”, my favorite song in Les Miserables, and as she preludes, it is traditionally sung by a male. Lea performed in Les Miserables on Broadway as both Fantine and Eponine, giving her the chops to sing two of the most famous songs on Broadway period, I Dreamed a Dream and On My Own, and yet she chooses to sing Marius’s ballad. Proving the undeniable beauty of this piece by Claude-Michel Schonberg and Herbert Kretzmer.

 

St. Therese, pray for me

I always wanted to become a saint… Instead of being discouraged, I told myself that God would not make me wish for something impossible… I will look for some means of going to heaven by a little way which is very short and very straight. It is your arms, Jesus, which are the elevator to carry me to heaven. So there is no need for me to grow up. In fact, just the opposite: I must become less and less.

My Issue With Dawson’s Creek

Dawson’s Creek. The beloved teen soap of the 90s. The One Tree Hill before we knew we needed One Tree Hill. (Fun fact they’re filmed in the same town) The simple teenage coming of age premise that exists for young people to lose themselves in relatable television. 

It’s true, most of the situations we find on teen soaps are hyperbolically dramatized representation of real life problems. Every single one has their moment of gun play, suicide, drug problem, divorce. And while the former is less likely than the latter in the average teenager’s life. What I didn’t realize is that this kind of drama exists. Fiction can not be born without influence of some sort. What they didn’t tell me was that my life could be a teen soap. They didn’t tell me love triangles were real. The scenario of the love triangle is both hyperbolic and real at the same time, particularly in the Dawson, Joey, Pacey saga that is the Creek. This nonsense happens. It’s not just television. And guess what? Dawson’s Creek gets it wrong.

Characters ring around the rosy, dating each other, breaking up, dating someone new, and we never see, we never feel the crushing guilt that actually comes gift wrapped in a love triangle.

Two best friends (Three with the girl) and back and forth she goes (either in action or in emotion) of which to love. There’s always the reliable, kind, often inexperienced, innocent love (a la Dawson), and then the romantic, whirlwind, unstable, and even difficult love (Pacey Witter, folks). And the Joey’s of the world have to decipher. To be at constant war of head and heart. Stability versus Adventure. La di da.. you don’t even need to watch 5 seasons right? If you’re caught in this same triangle and looking for answers, I wouldn’t advise it. Because what teen soaps forget acknowledge about love triangles is the concept of time and guilt and grief. We aren’t built to love and leave and feel no qualms for the left behind, even if we’re the ones to do the leaving. It actually isn’t simple to find someone new and everyone is okay. There’s guilt. And there’s pain. And the friendship that started it all takes the most crushing of the blows. There’s mistake, and confusion, and regret, and none of it is sunshine. Handsome boys don’t actually suddenly move to town and make you forget all about what’s his name. The love does not get left behind.

So it irks me when people use these shows, as guilty of a pleasure as they may be, as poems of great loves. Stories to aspire to. Love is messy and most of the time makes zero sense. The only thing that is indisputable, in real life or on television, is that only one gets the girl in the end. The difficult, subtle, unacknowledged part, is the agony of figuring out which one it’s actually supposed to be. 

The Looking Glass

If you had just one chance to take a look through the Looking Glass
To see the truth for one brief instant would you take it?
Do you use it to look at the past or look at the future?
Would you look at yourself or look at the ones you love?
Would you share it with another or would you keep it a secret?

What if you were the Looking Glass?
What if everyone were just like you?
What if their lies were your lies?
Their loves your loves? What then?
Would you lay aside ignorance and prejudice?
Would you stand up and fight for what you believe in?
Would you pick it up or would you put it down?
The Looking Glass

 

“I wish I could be a fly on the wall in that conversation.” I’ve certainly said this a time or two in my life. But sometimes, we are lucky (or maybe unlucky) to have the moments where you see yourself through the metaphorical looking glass. Maybe it’s a moment of recognizing bliss or maybe standing on a moral high ground questioning or accusing What are you doing? And why? The latter is a more devastating sense of reality that the seemingly self-aware person is confronted with. I call this moments mirror images. I’ll catch myself criticizing someone’s behavior, and then I realize: I was just like them.

A dear friend of mine taught me that the recognition of these behaviors, these character flaws, may be God’s way of telling me something. And with that in mind, indeed, I have clarity.

And I can shamelessly (now) say: I have been a nightmare.

I dwell. Monumental and understandable pain would plague me, and instead of accepting and moving forward, I wallow in the misery and insist on company while I do it. So many things could have hurt so much less if I just let it go. If I had not insisted on making topic of conversation an endless circle of “Woe is me” 

I put too much stake in appearances. How I looked to the social world, particularly in social media. I don’t know what I thought I needed to prove. That’s really all Facebook is anymore. A flaunting of early 20s behavior that shows the world that you indeed are happy. Humble brags and selfies and relationship statuses become the reality. If someone can’t search for it on the Internet, did it really happen? Of course it did and does, but I still stepped into the bear trap of always having something to prove to a fictional society and the only way to not engage was to lose the limb of connection to the world.

And then there’s the negativity. All it really takes is a facial expression. Eyes cast downward. A language of the body that illustrates weight. A heaviness that forces the entire room to bear, sucking the life out of everyone in the vicinity. I’ll say that sometimes we are suffering so deeply that we don’t know how else to tell anyone. However, I crossed the delicate line of victimizing myself too many times.

I have sought validation. Although we’re predisposed to a lot of behaviors in our upbringing (in which I didn’t receive the validation I needed) there is a breaking point where it becomes an obsession. If those I loved didn’t tell me what I needed to hear, it obviously was not so. Even though my personal intelligence knew these validations to be true, I still played the game, set the bait, engaged the trap, for the people I loved to walk into. Then it was real. Disguised by obligation, I told them what to say, selfishly receiving what I and I alone needed at the cost of repetitive circular conversation I was forcing others to engage me in.

I have not been tight lipped. I certainly understand what is meant to be secret and what doesn’t matter. But I have had too many missteps. The line has often been blurry, but that is no excuse. If the line is blurry, I should have slowed down until it was clear whether or not I should say what I’ve said. In poor defense, often times I have just sought companionship. Gossip pathetically bonds people. Some of the most intense (and often unhealthiest) female relationships are built on hating the same person, place, or thing. But what I’ve realized is that friendship with that as its base is cheap and unsteady. We do not have to like everyone, but we should always be kind. And a friendship with malice at its center can turn on you in an instant.

I have not been graceful. I stumble through conversation like a bull in a china cabinet. I become overzealous and hyper sensitive and yell. If I yell, then they will hear me. But this isn’t true. If I am sincere, they will hear me. If I am honest, they will hear me. They will hear me if they are good and want good for me. If I matter, they will listen. Shouting does not make what you have to say any more convicted than if you whisper. The importance is in the intention, not the delivery.

 

I think that’s the most significant lesson I’ve learned through my mirror. Intention. This post may seem strange. Something maybe more fit for the confessional (Don’t worry, I’ve taken it there too). But what I’m trying to do … well .. needing to do is place in metaphorical stone that I have made mistakes. And many of them have led me to where I am now — alone. I can not distribute blame for my life in its entirety. While some circumstances out of my control may have been the road that led me here, my behavior has been the car I’ve driven. And I am so sorry. 

Moving forward, I can only remain true to my intention of being good. Getting into heaven. To be better. And maybe quit punishing myself in the process.

 

 

Syncronicity

 

One of the most special gifts God gives me is when the universe seems to sync up, and two things I love or two things that move me connect, representing each other so flawlessly that I nearly weep from the beauty.

I had one of these moments last week during an episode of So You Think You Can Dance. Of course, it is no secret I have always loved dance and many times a piece can move me. But in rarest forms, Stacey Tookey talked about religion in her work. She created heaven. This piece reminds me of the world I pictured as I read C.S. Lewis’s “The Great Divorce”. Individual angels guiding each other to salvation. Guiding me to salvation.

There aren’t many more words I can say about this piece, other than I am completely content in believing that this is what heaven is like.