Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Bad News Blues.

Gggggrrrrrr!  I was feeling really good about life yesterday: I seemed to have a handle on all the things I'd need (new character shoes, a proper backless dance bra, etc.) for "Aida," and begun setting some money aside.  I was feeling as though all my hardwork was paying off, that when the show ended and work ended and I had a week "off," and could start rearranging, decluttering, and packing up for school, I'd have enough money to buy the things I needed and still have some in the bank for you know, food.  Nothing extravagant did I plan to buy.  The textbooks I'd need.  A daily planner (yes, I still use one of those paper ones.  I live out of it) a mirror for my bedroom, a new pair of jazz pants.  Maybe even some new pens.

I remembered the last expense I was worried about: the trackpad on my beloved MacBook Pro has been acting funky.  I didn't want to make it worse, so I carefully tucked it inside its TWO (read that again, folks: TWO.  T-w-o.  1 +1.  Mulptiple) neoprene cases and set it aside until I had made enough money to be sure I could cover the cost to repair.  Of course my aunt had generously bought me my laptop as a graduation/going away/birthday present the summer before I started college and with it she got the maximum warranty. . . which has naturally, at this point, expired.

So yesterday when I pulled out my laptop from the shelf where it had been lovingly wrapped and storred for the past several weeks (I've been using Boyfriend's laptop - he's very good at sharing) I figured I'd just double check exactly what was going on so I could tell the nice people at Apple (who've helped me out before, for free, on very expensive repairs) my specific issues.

I opened up my laptop and promptly felt the urge to vomit.  Or faint.  Or possibly cry.  Who am I kidding?  I wanted to do all three at once.  Instead I sat there with a look of frozen horror on my face until Boyfriend turned around to ask "What's the matter?"  "My screen," I managed to squeak out in a voice that wouldn't disturb a sleeping mouse.  Because somehow, folks, my twice-protected-stored-on-a-shelf laptop has a broken screen.  We're not talking a little crack here folks.  We're talking full on, looks like it was stepped on smashed.  The tiny cracks radiate out from the camera in the top center of the screen and three long thin spidery legs extend to three out of four of the corners.  I have no idea how it happened.  Not. A. Clue.  My warranty expired just very recently.  I'm not sure how much it's going to cost to repair.  I do know I absolutely NEED my laptop, and need it in top working order if I'm going to tackle the madness that is the upcoming semester.  I also know it's time to say goodbye to those new pens, daily planner, tights, etc.  A mirror in my room is not a necessity.  A functioning laptop is.

I - well, Boyfriend, I was a wee bit too distressed - set up an appointment for a little later this afternoon to have my poor pathetic busted little laptop looked at.  I'm going in for an estimate, to find out how much it will cost to ship out the little guy and have his screen replaced, as well as that darn trackpad problem.

I know it's only money, and I know I'm very lucky because I will be getting my laptop fixed (Boyfriend may be chipping in as my Anniversary present).  I know these are first world pains. . . but guys.

I'm just so upset.  Thus I will be going for a quick run and then a good, hot shower (I know it's a million degrees out, but HOT showers are the soothing kind, don't you think?).  Maybe listen to my ipopd on full blast for awhile.  What about you guys?  When unexpected stress crashes into your lap, how do you deal?

Sunday, July 29, 2012

One Amazing Week Ends, Another Begins.

What. A. Week!  Since last Monday, life has been nonstop madness - in a beautiful, chaotic sort of way.  We started adding in costumes and quick changes to "Aida."  We had a full week of camp, with lots of campers very eagerly joining us for fun and play.  Instead of going back to Boyfriend's Friday night per usual, I stayed at Mum's and enjoyed the Opening Ceremonies (I'm an o-b-s-e-s-s-i-v-e Olympics fan, and have been since the age of two when my mom turned it on in the background, thinking it would put me to sleep and woke several hours later to me glued to some sort of swimming event) because Saturday, I was filming a music video for an experimental/electronic/indie artist. One of my friends who goes to school in Philly film making and is interning in NYC for the summer got the job, and decided I was the perfect "girl that got away," for the music video.  It was awesome working with him and another good friend of ours, both boys I've known since we were in diapers together.

There's nothing like looking at someone and saying "I remember when you still peed your pants all the time," is there?

Then today was "Newspaper Day," at "Aida," with photographs being taken and interviews being conducted and sneak peaks of certain scenes and songs being granted. Tomorrow Boyfriend has this silly idea that we're going to spend the day in together, just hanging around being bums. . . haven't got the heart to tell him I have a phone meeting with my advisor among many other things to do tomorrow. . . then Tuesday is appointments, rehearsal, back to Mum's house to start rehearsals & work as the usual evil duo.  It's all worth it for this Friday night though!  I get to see My Boys - my two wonderful, silly, ridiculous, talented, obnoxious friends who just graduated in May and are essentially my main headache and two of my biggest joys - perform an amazing Shakespeare piece on the Boston Commons.  Right after work Mum and I are driving down and making an evening of it!

The next day it's back to Beantown for a professional Lacrosse game with Boyfriend, his dad, and one of his brothers.  Sunday kicks off Hell Week (more on that later) in addition to another mad work week.

Phew!  Can't wait.

Friday, July 27, 2012

My Victory Dance In A Little White Dress.

As those of you who've been reading my blog this summer surely are aware, I've been on a health kick.  As in a serious, hardcore, crazypants health kick.  I finally got myself all motivated to be in the best shape I can, to reclaim my athlete's body from the injuries and apathy it's endured.  I've been working really hard to maintain a healthy diet, exercise (beyond my normal bajillion hours a week dancing), rest, etc.  Last night, I felt my first real pay off, and let me tell you it was amazing.

When I got to rehearsal, it was recommended that we try as many of our quick costume changes as possible during the rehearsal (we were running the whole show, beginning to end, for the very first time.  Always an exciting step!) which made sense, since this is how the show goes for me:

Lights come up. Walk on stage.  Change clothes. Dance. Change clothes.  Back to back scenes.  Change entire costume in less than 30 seconds. Dance Again. Change Back. Dance and Sing. Dance-Change-No-Scene-Between-Dance-Change-No-Scene-Between-Dance-Solol-Sit-On-Stage-Gasping-For-Air. Change. Sing.  Dance. Sing. Intermission.

You get the picture.

Well my first change is from this beautiful, snow white, skin tight dress with pretty white character heels into a tattered slave dress.  In a few seconds.  While in motion.  I've been doing this stuff for so long, that actual changing didn't really phase me. . . but that first dress did.  See, it was the only thing anywhere near my size in the costume closet when we went to our fittings about two and a half weeks ago.  When I tried it on, I had to wiggle and wriggle and fidget and suckitinsuckitinsuckitintight to get the damn thing on, and we didn't think there was ANY way I could possibly do a quick change in and out of it, so the costume designer and I agree to keep our eyes peeled for another dress that would fit the bill.  Needless to say, neither of us found anything else and last night I found myself face-to-frills with that evil white dress. Praying I wouldn't split a seam, I began to wriggle my way into it's unforgiving, clingy embrace. To my surprise, the dress still didn't fit - it was now too loose.  Thats right, folks I had the most wonderful of mercies wiggle room.  Aaaahhh, success!

I proceeded to jump up and down, whip my hair back and forth, do the running man, and otherwise embarrass myself in sheer glee.  Every time I think about it, I want to start to dance again!  In order to fit into that dress, I've not only been alternating running and weight lifting (in addition to morning stretching, midday pilates, and dancing four days a week for several hours), stopped eating any carbohydrate that isn't 100% whole wheat and stopped eating those past seven, upped my intake of fish, limited sweets/fattening foods to once a week, cut back on red meat, avoided produce that isn't both local and organic, stopped eating at 9 pm come hell or high water, tripled my daily water in take, started meditating, and upped how many times a day I eat.

All for that white dress - and I'm not even getting married.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Dancing On My Grave

The autobiography "Dancing On My Grave," tells the story of Gelsey Kirkland, one of the foremost ballerina's of a generation.  On her slender shoulders the weight of New York City Ballet was placed during it's - and her - formative years.  Her story is one of artistry, passion, commitment, struggles,  and triumph and is one I read years ago, in high school.  Now I am rereading it for a college class and right on the very first page, one paragraph in I was reminded why I love this book, how clearly her voice speaks to me through the pages and through my fingertips and eyes and right into my heart.  Here is a quote from the first page:

"When I was still young enough to catch fireflies and collect them in a jar, I already possessed my own inner world of dancing lights and fantastic creatures, an imaginary world where dreams were kindled.  Like the character of Clara. . . in the ballet 'The Nutcracker,' I fell for the beauties of the night.  I experienced dreams as if they were real, unable to distinguish them from the world outside my mind."

This was my experience exactly, captured in ink and paper and prose.  I'm so delighted to be delving back into this book!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Happy and Healthy.

I got back from rehearsal at about 11:45 tonight.  I was tired, but neither exhausted nor cranky- and my mood was only going to get better.  Waiting for me was a package containing my new Nikes!  Not the nicest or the best - honestly, they were the cheapest I could find - but new and comfortable and holding promise of an early morning jog tomorrow.  I was absolutely chipper as I headed into my late-night routine: making lunch for tomorrow, setting out breakfast, unpacking from rehearsal, changing for bed, pilates or yoga or meditating in some combination and of course this blog.

As I brushed my teeth, I realized something: I'm taking care of myself.  I am making myself healthy and nourished and strong, body-mind-spirit.  I've always known how to tend myself.  I've known the steps to take, the way along the healthy-living path.  But I've never committed to truly doing it for myself.  Now I am, and I feel the difference.  The way my body responds to me, the joy that sleeping is, the ease which waking comes with.  The slowly changing shape of my body, as the Athlete reappears from beneath the Patient.  I laugh easier and smile longer and am living a life that feels full and rounded, content and peaceful and rhythmic but never stagnant.

I love my tea in the mornings.  My stretching in the evenings.  My time in my own mind to express, devoted to this little blog.  My muscled calves and daily, varied fruit salads for lunch.  This is nourishing yourself, and it's wonderful.  I recommend everyone give it a try!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Introducing . . .

So when I planned out writing everyday for the summer, one of the things I really wanted to do was introduce folks who read/might read my blog to the amazing Cast of Characters that makes up my life.  I am incredibly blessed by the people I get to share my world with.  They are passionate, silly, creative, loyal, adventurous, loving, honest, and a host of other wonderful things.  I know that sometimes when I go to write about something that has happened in my life, the story would be so much richer if the folks reading it only knew the people I shared the experience with.

And of course, everything is compounded by my tendency to use pet names and nicknames instead of people's actual names, which can make things confusing.  I do it to protect people's identities and stories, so they can choose what they want the whole interweb to know about them: as so very many of the people in my life are performers and artists, what happens when you search them online becomes very important to their very livelihood!  I would never want to take away any sense of control they have over that.  So. . . I use nicknames.  I'm really excited by the idea of introducing these amazing people so there are faces, stories, and personalities attached to the nicknames and pseudo-names in the blog.

Without any further ado, here is my first Introduction!  Who better to start with than Boyfriend?

{This is him & I on Christmas Eve 2011}

I'm not entirely sure how to fit everything about him - and us - into one post.  At least not one post that's a length anyone wants to read!  We met in a gym. Yup. A gym.  He was going to the gym with his at-the-time-roommate and I was teaching a kids martial arts class in one of the rooms.  It wasn't exactly love at first sight - he wanted information on classes, and became a student long before becoming my Boyfriend.  

Then The Summer happened - The Summer when me, Mum, Sissy, and the Kid (my little brother, for those not in the know) grabbed our dog and all the things we held most dear and fled.  We left the house I'd spent everyday of my life in, the house Kid was born, the house where we'd all been abused and traumatized for 20 years. . . and we fled the state.  During this time of crisis not-yet-Boyfriend was the truest, the loyalist, and the dearest of friends, talking to me everyday at every opportunity, cheering me up as I tried to face the unknown with courage.  Eventually he and I were in the same state again, and we began spending almost everyday together.  Baseball games, watching movies, perusing bookstores. . . couple stuff. But see, I'd never been (gasp) part of a couple before, and I didn't realize what was going on until the night we first kissed.

Then I figured it out.  Duh, Lela.  Duh.

It's been almost three years since then, and Boyfriend is also Best Friend, geek out buddy, shoulder to cry on, protector, and other assorted ridiculous roles that I, a ridiculous person, require filled.

He is more conservative than I am - politically, emotionally, socially.  Tall and dark, he doesn't often jump into conversation and rarely makes waves.  He's a martial artist by passion (and hopeful career) a computer science geek by major, and a musician by talent.  He's my Anchor - my home base, my safety.  He reminds me I have to stop and sleep, that I can't survive on Luna Bars, water, and air, that smelling the roses is in fact a necessity.  He demands of me that I stick up for myself the way I've always stuck up for others, and promises shelter and nurturing in arms that are strong and always ready to receive me.  I am his Adventure, dragging him from the house, insisting he try new things, finding the edges of the comfort zone and then dancing just beyond them.  I introduce him to new foods, museums and musicals and colorful, exuberant people.  We balance and push and expand each other, filling in the little crevices that make us more whole.

I love his dark eyes and his black hair that has the subtlest red sheen in the summer sunlight.  His strong hands that rub my back and have never failed to open the door, laced across the back with tiny thin white scars and callused on the palm/fingers but often playing with his toddler brother.  I love his expansive families that love me too, and the fact that there was never a day I've been with him where I was worried I had to be anything other than myself.  I love the sound of him fiddling on his guitar with more skills than people who call themselves "musicians," write songs and the way he knows the lyrics to "Grease," and loves the composition of "The Phantom of the Opera," but his favorite bands include "Megadeath," and "Coheed and Cambria."

Simply put, when I am with him, I'm home. And there is no better place to be. 

Friday, July 20, 2012


Rather than fill up this space tonight with talk of my job, or rehearsal, or instagramed pictures I'd like to offer my prayers to all those impacted by the massacre in Colorado. My heart aches for the victims and their families, innocent people whose lives have been torn asunder.

There are no words for the horror, and so I will not try in vain to find them.

Instead I find myself holding Boyfriend's hand a little tighter, leaning into kisses a little longer. Making sure my little brother knows I love him and that I keep my patience with the camp kids. Days like this remind us all how quickly life can be taken away, and I know no better tribute to the fallen than to live fully, truly, an honestly.

May each victim of senseless crime today and any day Rest In Peace.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Kids Say The Darndest Things. . .

Here are a few of the gems from Camp today!  Keep in mind these are all kids between the ages of 4 and 10, with lots of energy and imagination.

"A goon is when you turn green and have to wear overalls." (we had just sung "Little Bunny FooFoo).

"You're a very silly lizard today!" (no idea who the silly lizard was: scared to ask).

"Brown stuff does it.  It makes all the mom's happy - my mom drinks her brown stuff every morning and she's always happy after.  Coach drinks her brown stuff too!" (referring to my decaf tea, which some morning comes to work with me in a little mason jar).

"So you're all grown up huh? Why aren't you as tall as my mommy?" (her mother stands about 5'10.  I am five-foot-one-half-inch-tall-thank-you-kindly).

"Sparkles.  More sparkles!"

"Can I make my hand a peacock?"

"YoHo YoHo YoHo!"  "What are you doing?"  "Being a pirate, I'm gonna sink your booty!"

Somedays, my job really rocks.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

It's Coming.

The real world, that is. And it is coming faster than I could possibly imagine - despite all the friends and family who tried so valiantly to warn me college would fly by.

Today was only a half day at work (boo less pay! Boo! Yay time to be productive!) and I spent the day at Mum's, glued to the computer. I spent hours pouring over every corner of the Internet looking at dance companies, internships, apprenticeships, tours, and auditions auditions auditions.

Weighing grad schools and options, imagining myself in various cities. New York, of course. But also Philly and Baltimore, maybe Washington DC or or Montreal. San Francisco even . . . who knows? As of right now, I don't. Not for sure, anyway.

I cannot wait to find out.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Heroes (Without Capes or Masks)

Yesterday I got a phone call from an out of state number. It was around dinner time and I wasn't inclined to answer a number I didn't know.

Today, I decided to call that number back. Afterall, it seemed to be the polite thing to do. And the area code was for the same part of New England as my college (and work and physical therapy place etc.) so who knows? The call may have been important.

Of all the voices I expected to hear on the other end of the phone, this was not the one. Low and strong with a vague massachusetts accent. It was a man's voice and familiar but not quite placable. Until he said his name - Officer Mark* from the Police Department.

And then I knew his voice. It was one of two voices that had questioned me the day after my assault: calms, soothing, but formal and insistent. I had stayed so calm under the hours of questions and follow up questions and scribbled notes, until finally I looked at the time. Discovering I was late for rehearsal was more than I could stand (mess with my body, my mind, my heart, my time if you must. But Do. Not. Violate. My. Art.) and suddenly tears hot and fast came pouring down my cheeks. That voice had quietly asked for tissues, and spoke gentle kindnesses as I sobbed, broken and frightened and somehow guilty, shaken and alone and exhausted past my very bones into my soul.

And here was the voice again. My throat swelled close around my heart where it had leapt from my chest. Calmly I stated my name while my mind went so blank it buzzed. Had there been a DNA match? Had my assailant been found? Was there any news? Was I maybe going to court?

No. The reason for the call did not wing with justice: rather, it sighed with compassion. Officer Mark had simply called to check on me. It was not formal, no police business at all - aside from wanting me to know that to him and the other officer who questioned me that day, I was "not a file," but a "person still," very much in their minds. That they wanted to be sure I was ok: mending. Safe. That I knew there were people out there still trying to catch the bad guy . . .

I felt the knot in my stomach loosen and for the second time listening to that voice, tears filled my eyes. This time they were gentler, sweeter, tasting less of salt and pain and more of sheer emotion. I assured the officer I was doing well and that I understood why I had to go through so many interviews and such exhausting questioning. I promised him my prayers and assured him of my gratitude and when I hung up the phone - only a few minutes had past, though it seemed like years - inlet those years fall.

There are heroes in the world, and they aren't all dark haired strong jawed blue eyed patriots in tights, or angsty teens with strange powers. There are some who are men just shy of middle age, in crisp blue uniforms with voices that will press themselves into your heart.

May God bless them.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Bad Blogger.

Ok.  So that whole Blogging-Everyday-For-The-Summer thing?  Clearly did not work out last week.  I make no excuses for myself: I made a commitment and I didn't follow through.  But I'm back and we're taking another crack at it.  The rest of the summer, ladies and gents! I'm going to give you a quick fill in on what happened last week, and then jump right into my first Introducing post!

So, in the past week:

*We had an amazing week of camp.  Lots of laughing little ones, yummy fruit-and-veggie snacks, and successful classes.

*I finished choreographing and teaching the dance I was hired to choreograph for a wedding.  It felt amazing to have completed a job like that, and to the customer's satisfaction.

*We completed blocking on "Aida."  For those of you who aren't involved with theatre, blocking is setting anything that isn'ta dance routine.  Where people stand, walk, how they move during conversations, formations, etc. It's a big accomplishment to know every dance has been learned, all the songs are finished, and all of the blocking is done.  We can officially start  doing runs and cleaning!  Yay!

*My college bill for Senior Year came, with a nasty, shocking and maybe prohibitive surprise.

*I jumped through yet more hoops with my insurance company, trying to get my physical therapy from the spring paid for. On the upside, this problem should be more or less resolved now.  That's a relief one, because the fine people at my physical therapy center gave me great treatment and have been amazingly patient waiting for payment.  Two, it is a relief because I am in need of MRIs and other tests to determine what further treatment I am in need of, and I have spent several months now without any physical therapy or treatment at all, despite a prescribed regular cortisone shot and physical therapy.  Hopefully I can continue on my path to recovery now!

*After the stressfullness listed above, I had an awesome weekend with a small group of friends, some of whom I know from school and others whom I have met through Aida, which we're all involved in.

Hopefully this week (which has already started kinda stressing me out) goes smoother than last with as many big things taken care of!  Everyone have an amazing Monday, ok?

Friday, July 6, 2012

My Friday Slogan.

This was my slogan today:
It was just one of those days: my ride to work got lost this morning. Thee kids at camp wet fussier and more difficult than usual. I got badly sunburned (again). There were issues with my paycheck. I got tomato sauce on my light-green tank top. My private lesson kids showed up late. Etc. etc. etc. But the show must go on, right? So instead of indulging in poor-me-time, I tried to tap that inner reservoir of strength, that part of me that surfaces on th good days. Powerful, coordinated, organized, in control. Fake it 'till you make it folks. Fake it 'till you make it.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

There's Gonna Be Fireworks

My first thought on this 4th of July was "what do I post about? I really and truly feel I said everything I wanted to say about the holiday itself a few years back."  That post is here and it's not terribly long but it says exactly how I feel about my country and this holiday.

What it doesn't talk about is Grandpa.  And I can't celebrate the 4th without thinking of him for a rather simple and sad reason.  He passed away on the July 4th, 2007 with fireworks in the air.

Sometimes I think I miss him more with every firework.  How do I describe my Grandpa?  Tough.  Gritty.  He had a voice like gravel rubbing together, and had been a Marine.  When he was younger he could tear a pack of playing cards in half, he was that strong.  He was a boxer, a soccer player, worked most of his life for the same company.  When he was a young man, he married a beautiful blonde girl, elfin and delicate and against everyone's wishes because she was Sicilian and he was Portuguese and in those days you didn't mix the two.  He married her anyway.  He never bother not to swear in front of the kids: I learned many a choice phrase (blonde haired like my Nana had been, and like my mother too) playing in his living room.  I also learned the rules of soccer, and how to say the Hail Mary, and how to both say and hear "I love you," from a gruff and weathered man.

"I love you," heavily seasoned his cooking most of my life.  Rich pasta dishes like baked ziti, chicken parm that tasted like angels made it, soup that stuck to your ribs and warmed your belly and your heart alike.  Everything was from scratch at Grandpa's table: sauce, meatballs, his meals could take hours to prepare and the closest you came to a recipe was "eh some more pepper," "then I throw in the meatballs, make sure they have enough garlic," etc.

 "I love you," was wrapped up with the many "treasures," he would give us - Grandpa was a packrat and believed everything might someday have value.  You never knew, going to his house, what sort of item he'd bring down from the attic, a toy horse he'd rescued from a yardsale, a barbie dream house he'd had since your Aunt's were girls, and other assorted joys.

"I love you," was watching the same home video of a soccer game played for a rec team by elementary school kids, their faces pink in the autumn evening, their movements excited and sure but still unsteady and sloppy, over and over and over again.  And each time declaring it was his grandkids who would be professional players - long after his eyesight had faded and he could hardly see the screen, let alone what happened on it.

"I love you," in an open wallet and money slipped into your hand, your pocket, admonishes to set it aside or get yourself something fun.

"I love you," in rough, whiskery kisses against your cheek before you left.

He taught me a lot, in that special, unspoken language we shared.  He taught me about fear and courage and strength, as diabetes slowly claimed his leg.  First just the lower leg, beneath his knee.  Then right to the knee disappeared, and the prosthetic was longer, heavier, more alien looking.  Then above the knee, too and he no longer wore the fake legs, but rolled himself in his wheelchair.  That was when they sold the apartment and moved out of the city, to a house on a hill in town where there were hallways he could fit his wheelchair down and a better yard to put his statue of Mother Mary in and a back deck so he could go outside. They got a dog then too, a little beagle that could climb in his lap who he liked to chase from room to room shaking a bag of marbles (to discipline her, apparently.  I'm convinced it was to irritate my Nana).  Nana used to sign all of our cards in her elegant, old fashioned, looping handwritting "Love Nana & Grandpa."  Now she signs "Nana & Maggie," and each time I read the now-portly-not-such-a-puppies name I hear marbles clacking together and smile.

I wish there was a point to this.  Some way of tying it up, of feeling as though I've introduced you to Grandpa or said goodbye or that I've told the stories that need telling.

That's the funny thing about loosing a loved one, isn't it?  Long after they're gone you find yourself staring at the sky, remembering. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Weekly Grattitude (6/24-7/1)

Hello there friends!

Weekly Gratitude time, where I list all the things I am thankful for this week.  It seems like this past week just flew by, the summer is halfway gone!  As ever, I have so much in my life I am fortunate for.

*I am so grateful for an awesome boss

*Thank you for the chance to be employed

*I'm grateful for a Boyfriend whose family treats me as there own.

*Thank you for an "Aida," cast that goes out for a late snack/dinner/drinks after rehearsal on Sundays. The time laughing, talking, bonding, and helping immerse Boyfriend in this world is awesome.

*I'm grateful for a Faith that sees me through dark days.

*Thank you for a few normal-temperature-summer-in-New-England days instead of last week's 100 degrees. My campers felt much better.

*Thank you for a little brother who isn't too cool to say "Love you too," randomly.

*Thank you for my pseudo-siblings who understand me strangely well.

*Thank you for raspberries. I'm dead serious. Those babies rock.

*I'm grateful for my doggies. They're one of my favorite comforts.

*I'm grateful for more nights away from Night Terrors and less haggard mornings.

*Thank you, Lord, for letting my family see their 3 yr anniversary from abuse. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Freshman Fears, Senior Year.

Today is July 1st.  Not a date I expected to have mixed feelings about but, well, there you have it. My summer is, basically, halfway through.  I know many families with kids still in elementary and even high school are just beginning their summers, but for me I was done back in May and return at the beginning of September.  So the first of July marks the halfway point.

Part of me is very pleased with that thought - woo hoo!  Almost time to go back to school, to awesome roommates and a beautiful apartment and a super productive, overwhelmingly busy schedule.  Almost time for dance and dance studios and stages everywhere you look.   Almost time for regular voice lessons and half way to the Sunday I can sit in what has become "my" church after three years of attendance.

But part of me is sad, too.  Sad because I know the place I'm so excited to return to - the place I love so well - is just not going to be the same place any more. My new roommates are good friends, talented people, loyal, clever, beautiful, wonderful.  But they aren't Roomie.  And the apartment won't be the one we shared.  The thoughts I have of my school almost always include Marissa Jenna Sam Meg and Julia and my boys - my crazy, wild, silly, sweet boys who are actually older than me and graduated and won't be there any more for watching the game or The Scottish Play or convincing me tonight is as good a night as any to put down the homework and let my hair down.

And then there is the work itself. So much of it.  Just so, so much of it.  Including my voice lesson, I am taking 23 credits this semester alone.  Twenty-three credits. That's an entire year's worth of classes all jammed into a semester. . . plus my Independent Study.  And Senior Performance.  Those are at least two performances I'm guaranteed to be involved in, never mind Cabaret, Oklahoma!, and any of the other club-sponsored shows.  Or any clubs - Sisterhood, Vocal Conviction. . . plus my mandatory auditions as a Senior for dance companies.  And the "mock" auditions with professionals from a NYC Agency, who actually hire people every year (!!!).  And where in there will I find the time to *work*?  And if I don't work, how will I eat?  Or pay my cell phone bill, or for internet, or dancewear (which I haven't replaced/updated/bought since the summer before freshman year).

In a weird way, it feels again like the summer before Freshman year.  Though I do in fact know and love (really and truly and very much) people at school, without my seniors around me it feels almost as though I'll be around strangers again.  Will I be ok?  Will I have enough time to work?  Will I have enough food? Will the classes be too much for me?  How will I keep my grades up?  I'm scared.

I'm scared.

I'm scared.

There.  I said it. I admitted it. Something I've barely even allowed to whisper in the back of my mind but has wiggled in my belly anyway.  See, I'm almost never scared.  I'm *ready* or I'm *excited* or *prepared* or always *confident.*  I smile and say "I think I can handle it, no worries," and set off with a laugh for the impossible.  For the adventure.  And really, that part of me is more than there still - ready, excited, sure.  But part of me is a little frightened.  Daunted by how big the obstacles appear.  Nervous about whats on the other side.  Sad to have lost my favorite hands to hold along the way - even if only for a little while.

And so, my summer is halfway done.  I have another two months to work as hard as I can and save money to survive on, to prepare and organize my life.  To take a deep breath, put the smile on and say "I think I can handle it," to the impossible.

Here's to the adventure.  Let's set off laughing, shall we?