Normal life, again

Reading the epilogue of a book tonight, I found myself smiling and marveling at one of the ideas presented by the man to his love. He is giving her money to live a life she never anticipated or even hoped to pursue, because he wants her “to live”. He doesn’t mean, he says, that she needs to be jumping off tall buildings or swimming with whales – though he very much likes the idea of imagining her doing just that – just that he wants her to live life fully, out in the world as a full participant in it.

I was truly marveling at how amazing that would be… her going out and bungee jumping off a tall building and swimming with whales. That any average girl (well, woman) would have done such things, and that it inevitably would be a surprise to anyone who found out about it, because she was just so normal a person – as opposed to an obvious thrill-seeker or adventure type, I mean. How amazing that would be if I could ever have my life be such that I could go do such things.

And then I had a thought that rather shocked me, and that I mentally sputtered over: I have.

My eyes wide, I searched my inner head for clarification on the thought that had just popped up. I already have done that…. both of those…

And then, clear as day, I saw how I truly had actually done both of those things… and I’d forgotten about them. I see myself and my life as so utterly normal, even I forgot that I had pursued such adventures. Now, to be fair, the bungee jumping was more like jumping off of a tall platform led structure than a downtown skyscraper or anything. Though, I’m not too sure it’s safe or possible to bungee off those buildings in the first place… anyway…. But that was in college. I helped a small group of folks go, and it was a total blast. And, for the whales, I have to check to verify that they count as whales. They were whale sharks, you see. One even ran right into me, and I got to feel he fellow, skin to skin, while we meandered together in the waters.

**Okay, I just verified: They are sharks. So, in a way, that part is even more shocking: I’ve swum with sharks. And not while in cages. Haha. Frightening, really. But perhaps it would be even more frightening to swim with something two, three, or four times the size… with perhaps several of them around. Hmm… how could I have that happen safely in my life? Goals… πŸ˜‰

Anyway… when did I turn into this person? This person who adventures so easily, she hardly even considers herself as someone who adventures at all? Perhaps that is exactly why I keep feeling like I’m not doing the right things with my life. I feel that I am being unproductive, slow, and not myself…, and it might just be because myself is accustomed to adventure as the casual, the regular, the “Let’s grab lunch next week,” kind of statement – it’s just plain normal. And that’s why pursuing any semblance of normal life never quite feels right.

… Wow…

And that’s why pursuing any semblance of normal life never quite feels right.

Remember that, Banana.

Post-a-day 2020

MΓΊsica

I started watching the recordings for another five-day songwriting workshop that a family friend is doing this week. I watched the first video at 11:00 this morning, and glanced st the homework front he next two days before joining the noon live video for today. I’ve done one of these workshops before – that’s what got me those first several songs earlier this summer – so I wasn’t too worried about participating today without having finished the other videos yet. I just followed the guidelines from Monday’s video, and from the snippets I’d watched of Tuesday and Wednesday for the homework for each, and I was ready for today.

While the basic process is rather the same, the approach and specifics were different this time around, so I embraced the opportunity for something new. We were told to find a specific song for inspiration, after doing some topic-finding and lyric-writing work; a song that held a comparable space to the one we wanted our own song to hold.

My song? “When There Was Me And You”, as sung by Vanessa Hudgens in High School Musical. And the topic I had chosen and the lyrics I was writing that had this song somehow be appropriate for portraying the write musical feeling? Overcoming emotional and sexual abuse. Kind of an odd combination, don’tchya say?

Nonetheless, it all turned out beautifully. Hours later, after many, many breaks to go do other things and to allow stuff to sit or to mull, I had a completed song, recorded and shared with the world of my social media friends. And, what’s more, I went back to the piano just about ten minutes ago, and I played through the song again – and I remembered how it all went, and I loved the sang (two very good and rather important signs of song completion).

I sent off the audio recording to my small list of private listeners – you could call them the in club of my music-writing – got a bit of feedback (positive – woohoo!), and then shared the video recording of my playing and singing online. We only were supposed to select five people to hear our songs so far as part of our homework tonight… I had forgotten about that until just now… guess I did much more than five… haha… that’s silly.

Anyway, I shared it with four people privately, and I am planning to play it live for a student of mine tomorrow morning, so I guess that handles the five intentional shares, as well as an open share with my somewhat large but private world on social media.

Well… this has felt really, really good today. I even screamed just before showering a bit ago, I was so filled with excitement and energy that I needed to release in order to begin to relax for the night. It was a very, very good and satisfying scream. Man… these songs just feel right. I’ve been wanting to write novels, yet, when I set myself to work for only a few hours on a song, one just kind of evolves like the chia seeds in the chia pet commercials (“Ch-ch-ch-chia!”). Perhaps today was an opportunity for me to see how ideas that get in the way of a different story I want to use for writing my novel, those ideas can go into a song – they can be heard that way. Then, I can go back to writing my novel’s story, no longer with the former distraction of a different story asking to be told. Today’s song topic was definitely one of those ideas…

Hmm… interesting.

Anyway, I’m off to read some young adult fun and then pass out hardcore (Please…).

P.S. My song doesn’t sound almost anything like Vanessa Hudgens’ song, by the way – it started with the same foundation of chords, but quickly developed into a very different song. If I hadn’t told you they were connected, you likely never would have noticed. πŸ˜‰

Post-a-day 2020

What’s next, my dear Watson

I can feel it… my daily life… it is time for it to change.

I’m not sure yet how that is going to look, but I can tell with my whole being that something is about to change… and somewhat drastically so…

My life will not be quite the same as it has been lately…. and it will be a spectacular improvement, I can just tell…

What is it???

What are you, change???

This “What’s next” is slow to start, but will be big rather quickly, it seems…, and I am looking forward to it with delight…

Tomorrow morning, I will get myself to work on whatever this happens to be…, and we shall begin to discover what’s next.

P.S. Dearest World, would you kindly allow me to sleep really well tonight and to wake up refreshed in the morning?? These late-night storms have been waking me like crazy the past several nights, and I could really use a solid night’s sleep. πŸ˜‰

Post-a-day 2020

Crazy Reads

Man, I love good books!

I usually do not read scary or sad books, and, though I wouldn’t say it is exactly scary or sad, the book series I am presently reading is definitely intense.

I mean, it’s totally rough, and has me rather on edge at night, and wondering if I might not start carrying a hammer in my bag, too, wherever I go…, but it is not at all focused on the terrible stuff, but on the genius at work within the minds of everyone researching and brainstorming to figure things out and solve various problems that arise, connecting puzzle pieces of the various mysteries throughout the story… or is it really just one big mystery?

As it stands, I love the writing style and the story outline and slow but satisfying piecing together, and it is difficult for me to stop reading the book.

Shoot, even in the opening lines of the book, I was totally hooked.

I am a fan of this book and this series so far.

What’s more, I feel like I have learned valuable tidbits for life from the various characters, and especially the one who shares some points of struggle with me in my own life… yeah.

Reading this book has definitely been more than just reading a story – it has helped me to evaluate parts of my own life and my own thinking.

Perhaps that is one of the signs of a truly great book… the reader does not approach life in quite the same way after reading the book as he did before reading it.

I’ll keep that in mind for my own books.

Post-a-day 2020

Just do it

I did it!

I started work on creating my first book, and I started work on producing the first edition of the online women’s magazine I am starting!

I came up with ten (10) plot ideas for the book, as I said last night that I would do today, and I even really like certain ones of them… like really like them.

I got on the phone with a friend whom I want to be a secondary voice on moving the magazine forward with me, and she helped me organize out certain bits already for it.

I sent her the general outline I had of everything this evening, and she will look at it tomorrow, and get back to me on her response to it either tomorrow or Friday.

I compiled the contact list for the various contributors who are confirmed, and whom I am considering bringing on to the project.

I reached out on social media for contributors (without saying what specifically the reason was) in a couple areas that were lacking contributors.

And now, my brain is going almost nonstop, just chugging along with considerations regarding the magazine.

It is a good kind of busy in my brain right now, and I think it is definitely helping keep me away from thoughts of the intense citrus smell in my room right now – and the accidental addition of isopropyl alcohol to the steaming mix over the burning candle – due to not only the dying roach I found downstairs this morning, but the live one I found crossing on top of my swimsuit an hour ago in my bedroom… and that is currently trapped in my painting water jar downstairs…

Yeah, so, moving on…

My task for tomorrow with the book – I think I need to give myself a task every day for the book – will be to come up with five (5) more plot ideas that seem particularly crazy and out of my typical comfort zone of writing and style (think zombies and goth and erotic romance novels!… :P), and then to flesh out at least two of my plot ideas, including one of the crazy ones.

Yikes – tomorrow will be a silly one for the book! πŸ˜› Haha

I’m excited, and I can hardly wait. πŸ™‚

Post-a-day 2020

Books and movies

Today, I finished reading the book (well, listening to the audiobook, anyway) Crazy Rich Asians.

I had read the book, because I had enjoyed the film, and discovered that it was based on a book, and that there was actually a whole little series of books, and that it was written by a man…, and my interest was piqued… especially by that last fact.

I had just recently been to Singapore a couple times, so the film easily held a little warm spot in my heart, especially since they go to eat at one of my favorite places in the world to eat (the hawker stand when they first arrive to Singapore).

At long last, I got hold of the audiobook, and dove in, and, though it was different from the film, I enjoyed it.

I mean, I knew it would be different from the film – books always are different from their film counterparts.

Except, perhaps, The Princess Bride… that one is purty darn near exactly the same…, though it does have slight differences still…

Anyway, two things came from this, but I’ll wait…

Whenever I finish a book, I let goodreads.com know, and it adds to my list of books read.

It also sends me an e-mail: You finished [fill in the blank book]. What’s next?

And then it gives a brief bit about the book, including the first few reviews on it, and then info on the author and how to follow him on the website, and, finally, other books that people who read this same book also liked/read.

On this e-mail, I saw part of a review that interested me, and so I clicked and was led to the full review, which I read.

The writer of the review and I had very different impressions from the book – I very much enjoyed it, and she was somewhat annoyed by most of it.

I easily disregarded the review, knowing full well that I often disagree with most reviews I see of books.

(Also, I almost never accept film recommendations, because people seem to have such terrible taste in films and in film quality…)

I have certain people I trust with book recommendations, and I rather distrust most others in the world for a book (or film) recommendation.

But this got me thinking more on the book…

There are probably loads of people who dislike and have terrible and ugly things to say about just about any book, right?

As JRR Tolkien wrote in the beginning of the 1976(?) edition of Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, there will be always those who dislike things he likes, and also who dislike the way he told these stories.

(He said a lot more, but that is the most relevant part in this conversation.)

As I thought about the film’s being so different from the book, I found myself wanting to talk to the author, Kevin Kwan, and to ask him how he felt about that all, and what his thoughts were on it…

Is it not basically a group of individuals declaring that your story was good, but just not good enough?, I thought at him in our mental interview within my own mind.

Then, it had me wonder, What is it like with reading the various reviews of your books by readers? All those nasty comments and thoughts…Do you just ignore them entirely and never read them, because that isn’t why you wrote them, anyway? You wrote them for those who would enjoy them?

And this idea had me think about whether it mightn’t be a good idea to go ahead and gather together people who love me, and have them tell me how they dislike or do not like something that I have done or created… practice the rejection, so to speak.

Not to experience the suffering, but to learn to separate their unkind words from my own satisfaction and pleasure from the work I have produced… to aid me in learning to love my creations period, with no dependency on what others’ opinions are, good or bad.

My mood is up to me, and my art can be perfect just for me… everything else is insignificant.

If it brings others joy, yay: joy for them and for myself.

If it doesn’t bring others joy, yay: joy for myself.

That’s why I wrote/made/created it, anyway, was for myself, right?

In some way, anything I create must be for myself… it is something I was ready to express, and in this particular form at this particular time… it is for myself that I do it, whether I realize or acknowledge it or not.

Yet, those bad reviews really stick with us… as I recently was called to consider from a quote by Orson Welles:

Every actor in his heart believes everything bad that’s printed about him.

So, I wonder, how can we move past that?

How can we be untouched by the bad reviews?

And, even, the good reviews, too, for, if they suddenly were to cease, would we be saddened?

How can we be self-sustaining in our joy and satisfaction with our own art, and untouched by the opinions of others?

The second idea was about how films are always different from the book, even when the book is spectacular already.

Why must the book always be changed?

Why?!

Ugh.

Post-a-day 2020

Lifelike emotions

I did many positive things today, and they were rather satisfying, both individually and as a whole…

And yet, here I sit, cross-legged on my made-up bed, feeling a shiver go out of my body, both from the chill of cool air blowing directly on me and from the feelings of angst deep in my belly.

Perhaps this sense of injustice, of feeling lost as to what to do to make a difference for this suffering individual (i.e. for myself), is not actually caused by the lack of knowledge as to how I will earn money in the near and far futures, nor in my upset and still not having things worked out enough to find my partner in life…, perhaps, the cause of this belly-deep feeling is really just that I wanted some ice cream (coconut milk, not dairy milk) earlier, but it was already after 8pm, and this whole intermittent fasting thing that the nutritionist really wanted me to do made it easier for me to have some tea, instead of eating anything… until tomorrow morning, that is…

But now, I can’t tell if I really just want ice cream, or if my other concerns are manifesting physically, as well as mentally tonight…

Oh, well…

I guess I will find out if my nutrients were too low for today by being awakened by hunger later in the night… hopefully, my dreams can satisfy everything for the emotions, and I can happily have ice cream tomorrow at some point…

πŸ˜›

Actually, I was pondering dreams while showering tonight:

Dreams help our minds to handle all sorts of emotions and psychology via our subconscious… and, thinking on that, I thought, upon feeling such dread relating to my disappointment of an attempt to date someone recently, ‘Go ahead: dream about it… that will let your brain handle the desires and attached emotions, and enjoy them all, but then let you move along from them all…’

And then, on a whim, I added, ‘Plus, the dreaming usually ends up a better tale than the real thing, anyway, so go ahead and enjoy it.’ (The real thing being when real life actually turns out successful in an endeavour.)

At that, I had myself wondering, ‘Then why do we bother with the real thing, after all? There must be something to it, if the dreams are seemingly better, yet we prefer to live life itself…’

In the book Ready, Player One, this concept is somewhat addressed – that of preferring a dream world of an immersive, lifelike video game to the real world… (I highly enjoyed reading this one, by the way!*)

I choose the real world, for sure…, but can I say why?

As I mentioned, the dream world has an often significantly improved version of life…, so, why do I pick real life?

My query for the time being, to be ever-present in the semi-passive side rooms of my mind for the foreseeable future… perhaps I will end up inspired by it all. ;D

*Reading meaning listening to the audiobook… it has a tiny fun flair of the reader’s being someone who is actually mentioned within the book itself! (I’ll leave you to discover who that is.) πŸ˜‰

Post-a-day 2020

Thursday night

I finished having dinner, showering, and generally readying myself for bed tonight while the sun was still up… I dare say that it was around 18:45 that I was up in my room, ready to begin whatever I wanted to begin after all of that.

I tidied and rearranged certain things, continuing along what I had begun earlier this week.

I listened to my audiobook, enjoying it greatly.

I found myself somewhat hungry around 20:30, and so made some tea.

It helped beautifully with the hunger feeling, and improved my already high spirits.

The evening and night have been going lovelily, indeed – it has been just as I have longed to have my average evening go, tonight, and I have loved it.

Rather than proving unsatisfying, it has proven my dream and goal worthy of existing.

I love going and doing things in life, but I am quite the homebody I’m the average night… and I like it.

I didn’t even notice that no one was with me, I was so content.

Now, I am off to final preparations for bed, so that I might wake up early and do a distanced group workout at the park at 6:30 tomorrow.

And then, I think I shall have my Friday night be rather similar to tonight’s… I have so enjoyed organizing and tidying things so well.

Plus, as I declared a while back now, I have had this feeling that I would meet my someone once I cleaned up my room and living space, and had them true to how I want it all to be…, so that is an extra little edge of delight behind it all (though by no means the main impetus).

P.S. It is only now that I realize, with the coming of May tomorrow, that I missed ‘celebrating’ the ides of March… more like lamenting, but acknowledging, nonetheless… I have for many years valued the contributions of Julius Caesar, and even joked for a time that he was my kind of guy… he was, in many ways, amazing… he was also, in every way, still a man… ‘P.S. I love you, Julius Caesar’, I guess πŸ˜› Haha

Post-a-day 2020

Pride and Prejudice and Candor

I am currently rereading Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, as I tend to do about once every year or so.

[If you haven’t read it and you care to, be forewarned that plot ‘spoilers’ ensue.]

Tonight, listening to the audiobook – yes, I count it as reading, though I could argue against it in a way – while I rearranged and tidied my room, mostly folding laundry (one of my biggest struggles in daily life so far, laundry is), I was struck particularly in the section of Mr. Darcy’s proclamation of love and request of Elizabeth’s hand in marriage.

The whole reason things work out in the end is because, in going against all standards of propriety, Eliza speaks openly and honestly of her opinion of Mr. Darcy.

Sure, it is an opinion formed by false and inaccurate information, but these errors could never have been remedied had she not mentioned them so vehemently in their few minutes of true candor with one another – a few minutes which were quite irregular in society at the time.

And then, I thought, a few minutes which are quite irregular in society here, now…

How might things be so drastically different, if we were open and honest with one another as they were in that brief interview?

Would more problems be caused, or would more be solved?

Perhaps, at first, more problems would arise than we would feel we could handle…, but then, with practice, I think we would learn how to live differently, communicate differently, such that an unbelievably high number of problems would be resolved by the new way of interacting with one another with true yet kind candor.

It isn’t that everyone would be running around, insulting everyone else all the time… merely that, when asked, we would speak honestly of our opinions and our thoughts on matters.

Knowing that people would be honest, perhaps some questions would not be asked…, but, knowing that honesty would be given, perhaps more questions would be asked, the asker knowing that no offense need be taken from the answer – it would not be contrived, but merely honest.

It reminds me, too, of how, in the Bis(s) zum book series (a beloved German read of mine), the one group of individuals suddenly obtain the ability (?) to hear one another’s thoughts collectively, always – they cannot avoid sharing a thought, nor avoid hearing a thought of another in the group.

One’s pain is, in a way, experienced by all, and the same with joy and anger and any other experience, as they all hear one another’s thoughts, almost as though the thoughts are their own.

They all care for one another and support one another, and the exposure of the deepest and darkest and most embarrassing of thoughts of any one member, at some point or other, must be accepted by the others, if they are to remain together in life – so long as they live, they will know the thoughts of one another, all of the thoughts.

And they, despite learning these dark and embarrassing thoughts of one another, and of unwillingly exposing their own, eventually draw even closer to one another, their bonds made even deeper by the shared thoughts…

And I find that lovely.

How might the world be different, if we learned to share like this with our loved ones in life… and to love one another knowing these thoughts of one another…?

If we dropped our pride and our prejudice, and listened to the innermost thoughts and fears and wishes and concerns of those around us, and shared our own in return, would we suddenly be able to love more deeply than we had ever imagined possible, live more profoundly than ever we dreamed?

Anyway…, some food for thought, I guess you could say.

(Though I kind of just want some actual food right now…)

Post-a-day 2020

Struggle Bus

Boy, has this weekend been giving me a run for my money… oh, wait… I don’t really have any money….

Well, it has certainly made me feel like I am slowly falling to pieces via a slow and painful inward collapse from anger, frustration, and helplessness…

And I know everything will be great and more than fine, and I am great and more than fine, and everything else hopeful and positive in my life will be amazing… I know all of that.

Nonetheless, I am having lots of emotions hit me pretty hard this weekend.

An escape to the forest and mountains would be spectacular right now… some nature would be good for me, instead of a house in the middle of a city with all of its parks closed for the time being…

Anyway, I haven’t got that option.

But it was nice to visualize it for a few moments…

Perhaps I’ll just go to sleep somewhat early again tonight.

I slept really hard and well last night, and for eleven hours – clearly I was lacking in sleep.

Now, we shall see if tonight’s rest will help me tomorrow…

Time for some more meditation and reading, and then I shall pray for healing through sleep.

Wishing you all well,

Peace

Hannah

Post-a-day 2020