Tag Archives: Moments

Missing Ireland.

7 Nov

Ireland-Summer 2012

I’ve been missing Ireland recently, and with that strong sense of missing I am filled with a sense of hope….hope that I found another place I love and hope that one day I will return to a place that showed me what it is to feel truly alive. My 5 weeks studying abroad in Ireland this past summer were the hardest and best 5 weeks I’ve ever had. Heck, I made the decision to spend 5 full weeks in a foreign country where I didn’t know a single person beforehand. Thankfully, I could speak the language, though at times the accents took some getting used to (no matter how much I loved them). I experienced things I never dreamed: I climbed to the top of an Irish castle, I sat in numerous pubs and enjoyed traditional Irish music, which the locals called “trad,” I experienced the horror and excitement of having to remember which direction traffic was coming from, I enjoyed Bulmer’s Hard Cider to my heart’s content, and I made some of the most incredible friends. For the first time, I really did take a bite out of life. Actually, I ate the whole dang cake!

A quote from Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy sums up my experience perfectly:

“Sometimes the briefest moments capture us, force us to take them in, and demand that we live the rest of our lives in reference to them.”

Tuesday’s Tunes: Dulling The Pain With Alan Jackson.

20 Mar

On the drive up to Shriner’s Hospital for my second surgery in 2003, my mom and I stopped at Best Buy so that I could get a new cd as a present. I picked Alan Jackson’s Greatest Hits Volume Two. From the time until I bought that cd until I went into the operating room for my second surgery (and afterwards), that cd played in my Walkman. Now, when I hear a song from that album, I think of how I replayed that cd in order to drown out fear. I remember my roommate at Shriner’s, Jocelyn, and her bouncy blonde curls and heavy southern accent. I remember how Jocelyn and I would go to the computer room down from our room and play Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, laughing at how much money we “won” or “lost.”

In previous posts, I’ve mentioned how specific songs have brought me back to a specific moment, a specific time in my life. But in terms of the Alan Jackson album, I’m not only reminded of specific memories, I’m reminded that music could also make me happy. Though my parents most likely got sick of the fact that I listened to that cd on repeat for months, it dulled the pain in a way. Or rather, it brought a small smile to my face in between the grimaces of pain. When I think of the Alan Jackson cd though, I remember how it didn’t take me long at all to memorize the words. I remember listening to it as Jocelyn wished me luck in surgery, and then later learned that she had been discharged while I was in surgery, but chose to not go home until after my surgery to make sure that I was okay. Or as okay as could be expected. I remember the good things. The things mixed in with the bad that reminded me to keep trying even though all I wanted to do was cry.

I’m beginning to see that not all the memories in my book will be sad. As I push through the really bad ones, I’m reminded of the good ones (from the hospital)….like dulling the pain with Alan Jackson, my first hospital roommate (Ginny), the benefits of craft night, the weekly visit of the therapy dogs, the ICU nurses….and more that I can’t think of right now. When I visited my best friend Skidmore this past weekend and she read what I’ve written so far in regards to my book, she suggested that I alternate chapters between good and bad memories. She pointed out that a “happy” chapter may be a nice breather in between the really sad, painful tear-jerker type chapters, which is a good point.

Ground Yourself In Music, In Living.

9 Feb

I love to sing. Music is a big part of my life in the sense that I’m constantly listening to it. When I’m not enjoying it, things feel sorta off kilter…like something’s just not quite right. Even though many people are drawn to music because of the emotions that it brings to the surface, I love it for different reasons. I love music and singing because it makes me feel alive. It’s like every cell in my body is saying, “Yay! Happiness!” every time I sing or listen to music. It’s such an incredible feeling that has the power to reach down into my soul and let out all the love that I want to give to the world.

I think I love singing and music because it provides me with a sense of presence, which is something that I also get through yoga. When I sing or hear music that I enjoy, I’m grounded in the moment. I’m letting the music move through me, while being so happy to be living. Though I turn to music when I’m in all sorts of moods, I love that it has the power to get me out of a really crummy mood. I’ve got to sing out the pain. I mean, a few days ago I was feeling down (due to the emotions from book writing) and so I went to drive on the parkway with music blasting and singing at the top of my lungs. Though I know that I don’t want to sing as a career, I think it’s something that will always help me remember to stay true to myself. It’s a reminder that though life is hard, the only thing we’re sure of is this precise moment. So why worry about the moments that aren’t even in front of you yet? Not worrying about the future is something I have to constantly remind myself to do. However, through music and singing, I’m able to ground myself in music, in living.

Here are some of the upbeat (mostly country) songs that I blast in my car when I need to be reminded of the amazing parts of life:

  1. Get Out Of This Town-Carrie Underwood
  2. Georgia Peaches-Lauren Alaina
  3. She’s A Wildflower-Lauren Alaina
  4. Miles To Go-Alison Krauss and Union Station
  5. Some Days You Gotta Dance-Dixie Chicks
  6. Everybody by Ingrid Michaelson
  7. Marry You-Bruno Mars
  8. What Doesn’t Kill You-Kelly Clarkson
  9. Build Me Up Buttercup-The Foundations
  10. Some Hearts-Carrie Underwood

If you haven’t checked out those songs, you should. They’re amazing!