Music creates life

You know, music really can make life feel worth living.

These past few weeks have been really odd for me, and this week, especially, has been quite filled (to partial explosion) with stress, and an odd kind at that.  This afternoon, as I had still two hours to fill, after what had felt like a day’s worth of work and several hours of painful efforts to sleep, I put on my jacket and rushed out into the hallways to get myself moving around, and in hopes of finding something to help pass the time, preferably involving movement (thus my vague plan of aiming for the gymnasium).

The music students are currently preparing solos (with piano accompaniment), and so I came across one of my lovelies (the Bass player) rehearsing in the hallway/student entrance area (there’s a piano there) with her accompanist.  They welcomed me joyfully, and so I watched and hopped around (it was filthy cold) with semi-frozen delight for a bit.

They finished after not quite ten minutes, and so I wandered on my way toward the gym again.  As I was making the final turn, I was caught by a trumpet and a couple clarinets (which was fine by me).  One of them had told me that she wants to play with me, but our scheduled time for today had to be canceled, because she had to go home after rehearsal.  But she was here now, and practicing…, so she dragged me in and got me to play a bit (though not together, since we only had one trumpet).

Then, when I thought they were all leaving, they told me to come with them upstairs to what turned out to be a brief a capella singing rehearsal.  They were sopranos, so I got to stand with them and learn the soprano part to a very pretty Japanese song.  It was almost spooky how cool it sounded and felt to be in the group, making such beautiful music.

Afterward, we established that one girl is crazy, and I declared my similar mental state.  She and I, and others off and on, proceeded to dance around to the music of others rehearsing… we high fived as I was about to leave, as a sign of joint craziness and joy, and I said my goodbyes to the room, with lots of love in reply.  I truly felt myself at home with this goofy group of musicians.

As I rushed out the door, and put back on my shoes, a flautist was in the hallway, next to my shoes.  He excused himself, and I said, “Play!”  Instantly, and with a smile and an “Okay,” he played part of his solo piece for me.  It was beautiful.

And it was standing there in that freeing hallway, listening to this boy play flute, that the thought crossed my mind, unbitten, “Music really can make life worth living.”

As I have struggled with life lately, – and no, I don’t mean in the sense of giving up on life as a whole, but just on giving up on this part of life, living here and doing this job and all of that – what has gotten me through every time has been music.  Sometimes it has been live music from these kids at school, or from the guitar I got as an early Christmas present last week.  Sometimes it has been from Spotify or my music collection.  And sometimes even just a single song that a friend sent me from YouTube.

Whatever the case, the source of my survival, my strength, my belief that this life is worth continuing and working at, despite its near-overwhelming hardships, has been music.  I finally understand a bit what a friend of mine meant, when she said she felt like she had died, when she lost her hearing and, thereby, music.  When I don’t have the music, I just get used to the solemn melancholy, the deafening silence of a lifestyle I don’t love – I grow accustomed to not living, and I despise the existence (but that all just becomes the norm).  And when I do have the music, I am excited for today, for right now, and for what tomorrow might bring – I feel the life inside me and all around me, and I yearn to spread myself around and live to the fullest.

Music really does give life and make life worth living, even when it feels like you have nothing else for you.

I'm part of Post A Day 2016

Breakdown in Town

Today I did a sort of volunteering, and I had a total breakdown for myself.  (Yes, tears and all!)  😀

As I noticed my irritation at being skipped over for helping with certain things, I wondered why I cared – it’s not like any of this takes master brain power, or special Hannah skills in the first place, so why am I annoyed at being asked to do this task versus that task?  I eventually got to the source of my irritation:  I was asked to do this task, because it doesn’t required any Japanese knowledge or use.  I was not asked to do other tasks, because the assigners believed me incapable of accomplishing them (due to my level of Japanese).

It was a three-part annoyance initially.
1) They aren’t letting me to something, because they think me incapable.
2) They didn’t even check if I were capable of the tasks, but just assumed me incapable.
3) I actually was incredibly capable of those particular tasks, and had even done them before, when my Japanese was a much lower level than it is now.

Now, these are all things that could cause some real annoyance, right?  Right.

However, I looked further than that.  I am here, making a difference, and that’s my purpose of being here.  So why am I getting annoyed at this whole thing?  What’s behind those three concerns?  Well, I didn’t know at first.

As part of the thing at which I was helping, one of the conversations was about complaints we have in life, and what we get out of those complaints, as well as what we miss out on because of our having retained the complaints.

The area which stuck out to me instantly (and which I did not want to address, of course) was my job.  Almost immediately from the start of this one-year-contract job, I disliked it.  And, here I am, four moths later, still hating it.  Even though there are plenty of things I love about it, I still have this utter dislike of my job.  It’s boring.  It’s a waste of my time.  I’m better than this.  They’re doing it all wrong – it would makes Loads more sense to do it This way instead.  They’re stupid – they just need to listen to me and let me do it.  Why do I have to do it This way?… This way sucks! And, most of all, Why do I have to be here in such a crap situation?

So, seeing this constant, repeating complaints about my job, I looked at what I got out of the complaining.  More than anything else, I get to be right, and I get to avoid responsibility.  I get to be right that my job sucks and, obviously, everyone telling me what to do or how to do things is totally wrong, as well as that I shouldn’t be here and am better than all of this boring nonsense that a Monkey could do.  I get to avoid the responsibility of finding a job I love, and putting forth the effort required for such a task, allowing me to be a victim of the situation of my job, as opposed to the fact that I was lazy, and just went one of the easier routes in finding an international job.  This sucks, and it’s totally not my fault at all.  That was about it.

And, what did I miss out on by being right and by avoiding responsibility in finding a great job?  Relationships with the people around me each day.  Sleep (from staying up, hating having to go to work the next morning, and so putting it off as long as possible).  Fun at work.  Joy in my day-to-day.  Sharing my love and wisdom with the world.  Being happy, and spreading my usually-infectious happiness all around me.  Being calm and relaxed (because I was so stressed all the time with the annoyance of “My job sucks.”).  Loving life.  Being me*.

So, what did this have to do with my annoyance in the volunteering?  Well, with all of my complaints around my work, I had been so focused on proving to who knows who that everything is just wrong about my job, that I had sacrificed not only getting to know the country around me, but also really studying, using, and learning Japanese.  So, essentially, I was pissed off, because I had kept myself from learning more Japanese, which had caused the problem of the people here today thinking I didn’t know enough Japanese to help with certain fun tasks.  Wow.

 

Now, I cried tears of fury when I finally saw that.  Total breakdown, right?  Right.  So, I declared that, in terms of the Japanese learning and studying, I would write out the list of phrases and such that I normally would learn (when learning a new language) before going to bed tonight, and that I would have them translated correctly to Japanese by 6p.m. Wednesday.  A first step in creating my advancement in the study of the Japanese language.  And I’m actually really excited now, thinking about all the fun and silly and crazy things I’ll get to go do, now that I’m actually taking on learning Japanese (and by “actually taking on learning Japanese”, I mean learning it Really, ridiculously well).

I’m still not willing to give up everything on the work complaints, and I’m not so sure why…, but I’m going to look into that this week.  There’s something still in the way for me in letting that all go.  I’m okay letting go of most of it, but something deep down is holding tight to a wadded handful of complaints. (Haha, how ridiculous does this sound?  Ridiculous to me, and yet I still won’t let it all go!  Craziness, Hannah.  Craziness.)  😀  How about we plan that I get over it by Tuesday of next week, 12 noon?  Sounds good.  I can get my final hours and days of being angry at my job, and hopefully see how utterly ridiculous it, and just let it go and have a breakthrough where I create something new and fabulous (and beneficial, of course!) in its stead.  I’ve had a breakdown, so now it is time for a breakthrough!  Okay, go!  😀  Yess!  😀

 

*I, because I do care about grammar.

I'm part of Post A Day 2016