Sunday, January 27, 2013

Practice and (Practice In) Tolerance

I listen to my brother dribbling the basketball downstairs in the kitchen. I am tempted to go downstairs and ask him to keep it down, or go outside–which would be cruel considering it's 30ยบ out–or at the very least, go in the basement. Then I remind myself that he hears my singing exercises every morning, which are infinitely more ear-piercing and distracting than dribbling a basketball. Two nights ago he listened to me plucking out notes on my keyboard at 10 o'clock at night. And then on dress rehearsal week he tolerates me when I gargle every night with salt water to assure I don't get a sore throat (my Grandma swears by it). 

So I let him practice. After all, he has dreams and goals just like I do. He loves basketball. I'm not sure how far he's willing to take it, but as of right now, I know he wants to play in college. He's decided to join another basketball league in the spring instead of track, despite the fact that it means leaving a lot of his friends. He's beginning to find his passion, and he's recognizing that to harvest that passion, he needs to commit to it. (He could perhaps play a little more physical basketball than NBA 2k12, but that's alright...he's getting there.)

That's what I realized last year with theatre. This year, I made the decision to commit myself fully to theatre. There is not a day that goes by when I don't read about theatre, practice singing, watch interviews, whatever it may be. I am especially excited for my classes this semester because my English class (Intro to Shakespeare) is very acting-intense, and I have chorus for my Art/Music elective. This means every week this semester I have nine hours of in-school acting/singing, 10-12 hours of play rehearsal, an hour of voice lessons, and this doesn't even include what I do on my own time. My bedroom walls are also beginning to be filled more and more with theatre reviews and head shots and playbills. I am completely immersed in it. 

It is times like right now I need to remind myself, "It's not all about me." Perhaps I am just excusing my selfishness, but I feel like this isn't uncommon, especially during the teenage years. Am I wrong? I feel like I have to remind myself of this fact quite a bit, like when I want the bigger brownie or when someone needs help at school but I myself have a lot of work to get done. 

Zig Ziglar said, "If you can dream it, then you can achieve it. You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want." The brownie example is irrelevant, but on a general note, help offered is never wasted. It's nearly impossible to accomplish a dream by ourselves, even if we don't recognize the help that aided us along the way. We have to be willing to ask for help, but also willing to give it. 

I ask my brother to tolerate my singing; the least I can do is tolerate his dribbling...even if it does shake the house. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Like a Snowflake

"Every time you get on that stage, you dance your heart out. Because you will never dance the same exact dance on the same exact stage with the same exact people ever again," my friend's mom said. Every moment is like a snowflake; no two are alike. 

Home from school today on a snowy afternoon. Smoothies this morning, with a ginger zing. Bread rises on the stovetop; it takes a long inhale and exhales at the slightest touch. Grandma's homemade soup keeps me warm as I'm curled up on the couch in my baggy sweats. We went outside to help my grandfather shovel this morning, and we made a snowman and a snow dog (a tribute to our dog Mocha). Our cheeks were rosy and our throats cold and it made our house seem so much warmer. I love snowbound days when I am forced to stay home. It makes me notice the things in my own environment that I forget otherwise. There's so many places I want to travel and explore, but I forget what's right outside my door. I need to know my own home before I know anywhere else. Before I know anything else, I need to know myself.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

A Few of My Favorite Things

Chocolate, peanut butter, and a five hour play rehearsal. I can't think of a better day. After the past few weeks of end-of-semester stress, I finally have a homework-free weekend now that the first semester ended Friday. Everyone in school deserved the weekend off. These past few weeks have been "snippier" than usual amongst us students, what with all the project work piled on top of the winter extracurricular activities (which are in full swing now). I try not to take any personal offense though, because I know I have my moments when I may snap unnecessarily. At the end of the day, we're all still friends. We're here to support each other.

Today, as a sort of "end-of-semester" celebration, my friend and I got together to make homemade chocolate peanut butter cups. After a successful five hour play rehearsal, I spent six hours in the kitchen creating elaborate chocolates with fancy pastry bags; and, of course, eating chocolate. We dipped everything we could get our hands on in chocolate (sometimes literally our hands themselves), from pretzels to popcorn to apples to carrots. Yes. Even carrots. We figured since it was practically our dinner, we needed to have a vegetable. We already had the dairy from the milk chocolate, protein from the peanut butter, grains from the pretzels, and fruit from the apples. The carrots weren't bad in chocolate, but we decided carrots and chocolate are probably better left separate. On top of that, we jammed to T-Swift. Plus we got to hang out, which we haven't gotten to do in a long time.

Chocolate, peanut butter, play rehearsal, friends, and T-Swift..."these are a few of my favorite things."

(Sorry for the poor video quality.)

What are (some of) your favorite things? 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

"You're Okay"

For the past nine days, my mom has been away on vacation with no cell phone or internet access, and I'll admit I've been going through a bit of "Mom withdrawal." I know...I'm not three anymore. Rest assured, I no longer cry every time she drops me off someplace. I no longer pester her every time she goes out, insisting to know where she's going and what time she'll be home (as much). But I still wait for her to tuck me into bed, and I still rely on her to approve nearly everything I do or say. I rely on her to assure me I'm okay; that these jeans don't make me look fat and I'm not a b**** (all the time), that I'm doing enough and it's okay I ate the whole tin of candied walnuts and yes, this necklace looks good with this shirt. Ever since I was little, it has always been this way.

And I realize that it's not necessarily a good thing. These past nine days I was put to the test when Mom was gone. I couldn't talk to her every day to hear her tell me, "Yes. You should go sleepover your friend's house. It's vacation. You'll get your homework done later." I couldn't ask her if what I said was arrogant. I couldn't hear her tell me, "Tomorrow's another day. Don't beat yourself up over today. Just start again tomorrow." I couldn't hear her tell me that everything I was feeling was normal.

These past nine days, I had to rely on myself. When I looked in the mirror, I had to tell myself that I looked good. I chose to go to my friend's sleepover. When I ate four brownies (in a row) after a Coolatta from Dunkin' Donuts, I calmed myself down enough to realize that it's not like I do it every day; I would be better tomorrow...and if not tomorrow, the day after. (With all the leftover Christmas treats, it took a few days of this.) I chose to help out at play rehearsal even though I could've gone for a run, because I love being completely immersed in it. When I couldn't figure it out in my head, I journaled.

Mom came home tonight. These past nine days were a good experience for me, considering I'm going off to college in a few years and she won't always be there to rub my tummy when I'm sick. Regardless of the fact that I recognize it's important to rely on myself for assurance, I still gave her the rundown of my nine days. She told me what I already knew. She told me, "Tomorrow's another day. Don't beat yourself up over today. Just start again tomorrow." She told me everything I was feeling was normal.