Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Me, Alphabetized!

Oh dear, not a good question to start with.  Didn't anyone warn you, I want to do everything someday?
To be a professional dancer.  To be on Broadway.  To perform in a role made purely for me.  To be a published author, earn my DPT, and be a supporting wife & loving mother (to a truckload of children).  To see the world.  To do it all and be it all and never loose sight of the woman God wants me to be.

Bad Habit:
This should've been pluralized.
Swearing like a sailor.  Biting my nails.  Hoping when I have a terrible day, the people who know me will understand I'm x2 as sarcastic as usual because of that and almost never not them.

Where I Was Raised: Doesn't count as a city.  Barely enough people to be called a "town" and not a "village."  Anonymous New England.
I Study In: Any Collegetown, NE.
Where I Feel Most at Home: Boston (I love that dirty water. . .)
Where I Want to Live Next: NYC, baby.  There is only one Broadway.

Water.  Tea.  When I'm very good, Arnold Palmer or Cream Soda!

Then: Homeschooled from 1st grade all the way through 12th.  My education was a combination of my mother's ingenuity, a parochial correspondence program, 1,000+ hours at the library every month, and my own inquisitiveness.  I was introduced to Italian at 10 through movies & CDs, French by Kindergarten in Ballet classes, and Latin at 14, translating & diagramming Bible verses.
Now: Small liberal arts college in NE, where I major in Dance & Theater/Musical Theater while minoring in History.

Yes please.  Always.  All the time.  There is almost nothing I will not try to cook and even less I will not sample.

Guilty Pleasure:
Root beer floats.  Creamsicles. Travel. Staying up too late for an 8:00 am class the next day talking to Boyfriend.  Too much computer time.  Sparkly things.  True Blood. Cookie Dough. Bridezillas.
(Oh dear, that's just off of the top of my head.  This list is embarrassingly long.)

Field covered hills and winding roads, all shaded by pines and maples.  Every maple tree has a bucket come March.  White church steeple as marks the center of town - one traffic light (always red) greets you, a few miles over the bridge.   An old mill building, full now of quiet industry.  Cell phones rarely work, and cable is a new luxury.  The brick town hall is still the heart of the town and roads are named for families that have "always," lived there.

Ice Cream:
Are you offering me some? That would be awesome.
Soft Serve: Vanilla with Cherry Dip at DQ
Hard Serve: Anything with mint.  Or cookie dough.
Gelatto: Watermelon!

Jonesing For:
A kick-ass dance class.  

As In What I Can't Resist: Children/Babies.  Beautiful singing voices.  Boyfriend's new haircut. Weddings.
As In What Can Bring Me To My Knees: Friends who are not friends back.

Disclaimer: I don't think I look anything like these lovely people.  This is all according to what various people have said.
Sarah Bareillles, Penelope Cruiz.
You can stop laughing at me now.

(You just know there's more than one, don't you?)
Princess Bride.
(There are a 1,000 ties.  I'm trying to play nice here.)

Lela.  Lani.  Lei.  Lala.  Mom.  Mummy!
(Yes, the exclamation mark is part of it.)

Dance/Dancers.  Performance/Performers. Weddings.  Pointe Shoes.  Anything and everything Hugh Jackman does.

Lucky You

I don't sleep.  Ever.

Never forgot what I read as a girl in an interview with Sophia Loren: "I don't do regret: regret causes wrinkles.  And I don't do wrinkles - so I don't have regrets."

Never had so much as a sip of a Starbucks product.

Thrift Find of the Year:
A jewelry box full of my late Grammy's vintage brooches.

Now: Small liberal arts college.
Future/Hopefully: Columbia University for my DPT and Fordham Univeristy/The Ailey School for my MFA in Dance/Theater.

So Far: Trinidad & Tobago for Carnival, Spring Break 2011
Someday: Anywhere I can get.

Only in Church on Sunday's.

The scariest "X" in my life so far is my shoulder x-rays.  They showed me the images of my left shoulder, compared to a normal shoulder.  The difference was sort of disgusting and more than a little frightening.  Then they showed me the shoulder that needed surgery. . .

Yeah, I wish . . .

"It's not the amount of years in your life, it's the amount of life in your years."

"I believe everything in life can be solved by salt water: sweat, tears, or the sea."
Dancing.  Drinking tea.  Being in the woods.  Running water.  Conversation's with God.

Thanks for reading!  I got this from my friend Alivia's blog - my friends Sarah and Nicole have also alphabetized themselves, so please go ahead and read their lists!  If you want to participate, leave a link in the comments.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Perfectionist Much?

Today was a very good day, capped off by what in most households would have been a very nice email to receive.  One from my school, informing me that for the fourth of my four semesters at college I have made the Dean's List.  I was happy when I opened the email.  For maybe a split second. . .

Ok, so when I say I was happy for a split second, I'm probably exaggerating.  I was only happy long enough to register that happiness was the emotion I was feeling, before I squashed it.  How dare I be happy with those grades?  I have had two years to earn a perfect 4.0 and I haven't done it yet.  What is there to celebrate about mediocrity?  I should be working harder, studying at all my meals.  I should delete my Facebook account until I've attained a 4.0  

Etc. etc. etc.

I am a tiny bit of a perfectionist, I suppose.  And that isn't something I necessarily want to change - it can, despite what you may have heard, be a good and helpful and productive thing.  For instance, I am very thorough.  I am often quite efficient (so as to have time to do the next task thoroughly.  and because I have to be the fastest, being a crazy person and all).  I work very hard.  I study a lot.  I have lots of useless-but-oddly-helpful knowledge.  I'm reliable.  Everybody's go-to gal.  However, when mismanaged perfectionism (is that a real word, or did I make it up?  You know I'm totally going to Google it right?) can be . . . difficult.  Challenging.  A little destructive.  Case in point, my evening.  I jumped directly from last semester's ok-but-not-good-enough grades to next semester's schedule.

My eight classes.

Five jobs.

Theater show (as a performer)

Theater show (as Props Designer & Mistress)

Dance shows

Etc. Etc. Etc.  And how nothing I do in any of those areas is good enough.  We've already covered the GPA.  I don't want to get in to the jobs.  My goal is ultimately to land a lead while at school in the theater shows: which I can't do if I don't work harder.  Get in better shape.  Work on my appearance.  Take voice lessons seriously (which I can't afford without adding a sixth job).  The shows I do props for I'm such a perfectionist I went out and bought glass coke bottles manufactured the same year as the show was set - even though we already had some in the props closet from roughly the same time period.  I know.  I'm insane.

You're already not as pretty as the other girls.  Why do you think you're never going to be a lead?  Your voice is good but it isn't trained and you're too old for that shit.  It's your own fault, you should've gotten another job sooner.  So you're not as pretty, you're not as trained, you're not skinny enough, and you think being a decent actress is enough?  Shut up.

And of course you'll probably bitch about adding a sixth job.  Your family and friends don't deserve to hear it.  You need to work that hard to get an education, you shut up and work that hard.  Most people don't even have the chance!  

The chance for an education you'll probably squander anyway with your so-so grades.  A little work ethic.  If you had any, you'd be a better dancer.  You'd get your legs higher.  You're 21 and can't pirouette.  That's just laziness.  Which is why you're chubby. . . .

And thus the cycle begins again.  Sometimes - like tonight - I can step back and see it.  The unhealthy, crazy dialogue I have with myself.  That five and six jobs at a time is a lot, that I take twice as many classes as a regular person.  That there are people who really struggle with school who will never earn my personal-low of a 3.85

I know that being a perfectionist is part of my personality, that it is hardwired in.  And I know, of course, that some of the voices come from how I was raised.  Never being good enough.  Never being "as smart as you think you are."  Or working hard enough to avoid the endless litany of swears.  Knowing anything less than the perfect sentence or action or thought or learning curve was enough to get me punished for weeks.  Crying because there didn't seem anything left I could do.

Sometimes I wish I could tell myself to shut up, to leave me alone.  I'm not really sure how I've avoided an eating disorder or some other such illness.  I'm very grateful that I haven't. . .

I'm not really sure how to end this post.  What to say, to make it all make sense.  Or turn it in a hopeful manner.  I'm not really sure I can be hopeful and optimistic tonight.  This, too, makes me angry with myself.  That I unleash my burdens on an unsuspecting world drama queen, my mind hisses.  They don't want to hear it.  If you're going to talk, have something nice to say, I order myself.

But tonight, I am not listening to my own voices.  I am going to hit the "publish post" button and maybe shed a few frustrated tears.  And tonight - if only for tonight - thats ok.  Because





Weekly Gratitude 6/24

*I'm thankful, as ever, for my family.  They're insane, stressed, busy, funny, sarcastic, challenging, loving, and all mine.  I know.  I'm lucky.

*Thank you for Boyfriend. 

*I'm thankful for Boyfriend's wonderful family.  And the chance I've had to build relationships with them, individually and as a whole.  

*Thank you for today - tomorrow isn't promised.

*I'm so grateful for my kids - the ones I teach.  They're inquisitive, hardworking, and bright.  They keep each other laughing and I keep them learning, and we all get through rainy days.

*Thank you for my second summer job.  I can't wait to start!

*So grateful that I have the chance to perform this fall.  Missing fight call really put how lucky I am in to focus!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Random Thought and Sleepy Words.

I am tired.  These ever changing hours of going to sleep, waking up, and going about my day are no good for anyone.  Least of all an insomniac.

I would really like a little pet of my own.  My doggies are wonderful: two of the sweetest and most personality filled animals on the planet.  They are however big dogs.  The sort of dogs you can't really have in an apartment, like the kind I will be spending the next several years of my life in.  I miss having bunnies.  I would love a kitty.  I've always wanted a ferret.  Hey, don't judge - they're very smart and full of energy and personality.  And they're just cute enough.  Not glitter and cupcake cute, but I-might-take-a-bite-of-you-yet-you-cannot-resist-scratching-my-belly-cute.

There is a beautiful, formal wedding only a few weeks away.  One of my dearests is getting married.  And I still have nothing to wear.  Shoot.

It is so frustrating not having enough money to do anything or go anywhere.  Looks like I'll be missing the Celtics Dancer's Try Out this weekend. . . because I can't afford to go.  Oh well, more time to work on getting in shape I suppose.

Somedays I feel like the head counselor at Lonely Hearts Day Camp.  I love you, darlings, and I hope I can help. . . but sometimes I'm just not sure what to say.

This stream-of-concious-style-writing is a little uncomfortable for me.  Not enough structure.

Ooops, now you all know I'm a wee bit OCD.

I can't wait for fall semester and all the awesome stuff I get to be part of.

I am terrified of having agreed to too much for fall semester.

My new mantra (especially for stressed-out days):

Let Go And Let God.

A Few Things I Think You Should See.

Hey there!

Aren't you the lucky bunch - I made up for my previous drought with a flood of new things to say.  I've been fidgeting (as I so often do) with this blog: the way it looks, the page elements, what it says, who it includes, etc.  I made a change to the expanded about me section.  That narcissistic page where I get to yatter on all about myself (how exciting).  I realized as I was writing it that I didn't really no how to sum up a person - any person at all.  How would you do it?  What do you think about what I had to say?  Please read the page ( the tab that says Lela and features a big orange flower) and share what you think with me!

Something else I updated was the list of blogs I follow.  It's now called Internet Inspirations (Or Blogs I Love) and has the name and links to some of my favorite bloggers here on blogspot.  Blogs like Is There Any Mommy Out There?  Which is an amazing piece of art about a mother with four kids under five.  And The Wild and Wily Ways of a Brunette Bombshell, where a 20 something writer/actress shares her perspective on Manhattan, her time at Juilliard, what it's like to have an eating disorder, and how being single in the city feels.  All of these amazing authors and the beautiful, vivid stories are worth visiting, I promise!

The last thing I added this evening was a second list of blogs - I know, I know.  But trust me, it's so worth it!  These blogs - Friends & Their Inspiring Words (AKA More Beautiful Blogs) are very dear to me.  They're written by people I know personally, and I love having the chance to connect now matter how far apart we are.  These friends are:

Alivia of Alivia Thinks This.  She's an artist, a humanitarian, a dancer, a teacher, a friend, and one of the kindest hearted people you'll ever meet.  She's traveled to Africa & NYC, lived in Boston & Maine.  She writes eloquently about everything from depression to dancing.

Chelsea of . . . A Life of Passion.  Chelsea is an actress and singer, currently spending part of her time in VA at an intensive voice and acting program.  She won the chance to attend by being nominated for her performance in our school's production of Little Women last fall.  She beat out dozens of other nominees for this chance.

Nicole of Nicole In the Making.  Nicole, Alivia and I all went to college together: the summer after they graduated, Alivia and Nicole (real life best friends!) went to NYC to train with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater together.  Nicole has been blogging ever since, and her posts always make me smile!

DJ of His Inner Thoughts.  DJ is another friend of mine from school (Sense a theme?  Us performing artists can't get enough attention I tell ya!) who just graduated this past May.  I'm going to miss the stuffing out of him: partnering class, lunch break, backstage, DJ was my go-to guy all year!  I'm so glad I can keep track of his butt now that he's off chasing his dreams!

Jewels of Jewels (What Makes My Life Sparkle).  She's brand spanking new to blogging, and yet another multi-talented performing arts kid.  Did I mention she's also a beauty queen?  Her blog is just developing, but I can't wait to see how she uses this new space as she navigates her senior year (and I figure out how to say ciao! to another beautiful friend!!)

Autumn Rose of The Art of Catching Happiness.  Doesn't her name & her blog's title, together just tell you everything?  She's probably the sweetest person I've ever met in my life.  She just spent the past year working in Disney!  Her blog is the perfect place to go if you want to be reminded of all the world's sweetness.

Sarah Helsinki of Helsinki's Journey to Move to NYC.  One of my best friends.  She's passionate, and quiet.  Hardworking and funny.  She's one of those people who always knows when to send you a text that makes you smile, without knowing you've been frowning.  She's an incredible choreographer, and she's going to change the world someday.  Watch and see.

Lydia  of Reflections of An Oriental Medicine Student.  Lydia start her journey when studying for her Oriental Medicine Degree, after graduating from Bowdoin College!  She's a formidable woman in every way you can imagine: strong, smart, funny, passionate, kind, loyal.  She sings, teaches music to children, and moved back home to take care of her mama when she became ill.  She's never let me down, not in all the years I've known her.

Nick of All the World's A Stage.  He goes by the moniker The Transformed Man.  Because he's an actor, and thats what we do isn't it?  Become someone new, someone different, someone totally unlike ourselves until they totally are ourselves.  Or maybe just reveal ourselves to us in a new way.  He should write more.  He's good.

Brit of Movement is Life. . . This Is My Movement.  Brit helped me through my first year of college.  She was my New Student Orientation Team Leader (a mouthful, I know).  And President of the first club I joined on campus.  And choreographer of some of my favorite pieces on stage.  She's currently filming a music video!

Letta of With Bells On My Feet and the Wind At My Back.  My best friend.  What else can I say?  Two words that mean the world.  Best.  Friend.  She's got her B.A. in Anthropology and studied in India for a semester.  She bellydance's and laughs louder than anyone I know.  If I had to use one word to describe her, I would use "color."

So please, please click around this page and get to know me and the people, places, and things that inspire me most. There are some beautiful things just a click away.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Hello There Friend

I did it again.

I neglected my poor blog, for almost a whole month this time.

I really must stop doing this: it isn't fair.  The biggest reason it happened this time was my computer.  My trusty, lovely, loyal Macbook.  Something went wrong with the circuit board, and I had to bring it in to be fixed.  Thankfully, I have wonderful relatives, who purchased me the best (and longest, ahem) warranty out there, and all of my work was covered under warranty.  Yay!

In addition to the fact that I have been busy  - which is really no excuse when I look at some of my blogging friends and all the wonderful things they manage to produce in their real lives and their blogs.  Tsk-tsk and shame on me.  However for the rest of the summer, I promise to keep you much better updated!  I really do love blogging just far too much not too.  So what have you been up to, my internet friends?  My life has been full of:


*chocolate cake making



*panicking over broken computers

*convincing Boyfriend to cut. his. hair. (he did! and it looks so good!)

*Using my 20 lb weights everyday

*listening to music to keep myself inspired.

*traveling too and from and too and from and too again. . .

*children: dancing, rolling, punching, watching sponge bob, drawing pictures.

So you know, the usual stuff.  And I can't wait to keep sharing more of it with you!

Please Help.

Hello there  - I apologize for my hiatus.  I promise in the next post I will explain myself.  Right now I have something more important to talk write about.  I need your help - actually, there are six lovely people that need your help.  Do you remember the tornados that hit Massachusetts a few weeks back?  My beautiful friend (and birthday sister!) Alivia was teaching at a dance studio in Monson MA when two tornados ripped through the town - if you'd like to read about her experiencing the tornados with a class of little girls and a smattering of parents, please go to here, to her blog Alivia Thinks This.

Like the wonderful person she is, Alivia went straight from this terrifying experience to helping others: her six students, who lost everything in the tornados.  Everything - homes, clothes, children's toys, dancer's leotards, beds, family heirlooms.  Everything.  Alivia is trying to raise funds for these students, to help them rebuild their lives.  You can help by donating here, or by spreading the word.  Every penny counts: every time someone spreads the word, we get closer to our goal ($1,000 to be shared among the six): every prayer and positive thought helps.  So please - if you can do anything to help (be it donate, spread the word, or say some prayers) it would be endlessly appreciated.