5.13.18

My dad cuts strawberries in the morning for a Mother’s Day fruit salad he is preparing.

We talk about life and a bunch of things I’ve already forgotten, but wish I better remembered.

I always love our morning talks.

It makes me want to stay in the kitchen forever and put the rest of my day on hold.

My mom walks down the stairs, having slept as late as she wants.

I make her laugh by traipsing ahead in front of her, leading the way to the kitchen, pretending to by Igor from Young Frankenstein. My brother joins in.

We eat and share what Dad brought home from the bakery this morning.

I drink coffee. Everything is great. I must try a little piece of everything he’s bought.

Afterwards, we all separate. My parents take care of the dishes.

We let Mom get ready and go to Mass. It’s what she wants.

It’s raining and miserable.

I go for a walk while she’s out. It starts to rain. I decide to chance it.

As soon as I walk up the hill, the precipitation intensifies.

I press on, doing my usual four laps.

I come home with my windbreaker soaked, take off my clothes, and take a shower.

I wash my hair really good. I don’t think my dandruff will ever go away.

I eat leftover turkey chili and watch Iron Man 3 in my robe, procrastinating get dressed. When I eventually get around to it I put on sweats, sans bra. Sweatshirt reads ‘Ramapo’, pants, ‘Montclair’.

The rest of the day is spent in a kind of lazy contentedness.

Tomorrow I start a new internship. The anxiety suddenly catches up with me. I push it away.

Everything feels new and different. I can’t wait until it all feels normal again.

@EmoEater

I’m an emotional eater.

I’ll overeat when I’m feeling down or I’ll even overeat when I’m really happy.

It’s really terrible. I hate this about myself.

Lately I feel like it’s gotten harder to control and I’m not sure why.

Actually, I have an idea: It’s likely a very subconscious manifestation of starting a new (paid) internship on Monday (YAY!), and having (almost) graduated (with my second degree YAY!), combined with feeling eerily calm and dare I say, numb to all these changes. I guess it’s better than full-fledged anxiety. Unless of course that anxiety is manifesting itself in my awful eating habits as of late.

The weather in New Jersey doesn’t help much either. It’s dreary, cold, grey, and rainy here and I can’t stand it.

It makes it hard to do things. Like literally anything. I really pushed myself to do my morning walk, and I did it but it took sooooo much effort. A lot of things have been feeling that way.

I’ve been watching TV for most of the day, trying to catch up on those Marvel movies; I watched the first Captain America today, along with half of The Avengers. Something tells me I won’t finish them all in time to see Infinity War in theaters, but I am trying. That’s another thing – I haven’t been to the movies in forever. And I have MoviePass. I definitely should make time for that…I should be making time for a lot of things. I think my procrastinating has gotten worse as I’ve gotten older. I remember being so type-A about things when I was younger that maybe I’ve just mellowed out for better or worse. I was sick of stressing myself out and worrying all the time.

This week flew by so fast I thought Mother’s Day was next Sunday, not tomorrow.

I got my Tiny Stills Kickstarter package in the mail today. That made me happy. Haven’t gotten around to Instgramming my spoils yet though…I should probably send Kailynn a message. She worked so hard on this record (Laughing Into The Void) and fulfilling these Kickstarter pledges and everything came out really great. She should be so proud. Maybe I should Kickstarter something for my music…Maybe even for an EP. I should crunch some numbers and figure it out.

I’m trying to finish Hard Choices, Hillary Clinton’s memoir. I’ve had it from the library since March and I’m out of renewals. It’s about 600 pages. I’m about half-way done. I have a week left to return it.

I have so much music saved on my Spotify it won’t let me save stuff anymore, adding to my increasing media consumption anxiety.

I played a chess game with my Dad today and won. It was one of my better games. I was very proud of it.

My room is still a mess. I’ve been meaning to clean it, but every time I think about it, I can’t motivate myself to do it…but I really need to.

So here I sit on my living room couch, stuffed (my mom made turkey chili tonight), and the sky is the same color it was this morning. I’m afraid to look at my to-do list. I’ve been trying to use Apple’s Reminders, but I’m honestly wondering if I’m more of a pen and paper kind of gal. I can’t tell which one makes me more productive.

As this post probably accurately depicts, I feel very scattered and uncentered (yes, I’m still meditating).

The other day, I read an article on LinkedIn about polymaths. I can’t find it now, but basically a polymath is a “person of wide-ranging knowledge or learning”. It really spoke to me. I never knew the word existed, nevermind what it meant. Leonardo da Vinci seems to be credited as the pinnacle polymath, but the article was talking about how in the business world (or quite frankly, in society at large), we are often encouraged to follow and master only one pursuit, to not go outside that box, and how that belief is outdated. The author goes on to talk about Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, et al and how some of the biggest minds of the 21st century are polymaths and how they combine disciplines and knowledge from seemingly unrelated areas and thrive and create by bringing all their disparate knowledge to one area. And I don’t know, it got myself thinking like, maybe that’s me? Maybe I’m a polymath. I call myself a “Renaissance Woman”, mostly as a funny, but because I have so many interests and know so many things about seemingly unrelated fields and then bring them all together when I work and create. I love that.

I went on a job interview that I didn’t get, and I think one of the reasons why I didn’t get it was because the interviewers thought I was too “all over the place” in terms of my interest. I have a degree in Music and TV Production, I have nearly three years of IT experience. Because the interview went rather well. It was a competitive position, but I gave it my all. And when I thought about why I didn’t get it, this was the strongest conclusion I came to. But frankly, it’s their loss you know? Ah well.

I just feel like I want to do so much, I can’t decide on a single thing to concentrate on. Music, writing, movies, books. These are all very important things to me. But combined with my lack of motivation and lack of enough hours in a day, I find myself stuck and frustrated most of the time.

I’ve also been meaning to blog more. I think it helps alleviate some of the loneliness i sometimes feel. I’m going to try to do more of that, even though my schedule is about to get increasingly busy soon.

Anyway, thanks for reading, thanks for listening.

xoxo

-RKB

 

JULIE ANDREWS APPRECIATION POST

This.song.is.genius.This.song.is.everything.This.song.means.so.much.to.me.HOLY.SHIT

I’m not quite sure when I first witnessed the triumph that is The Sound of Music; I don’t have a distinct or specific memory of it. But I can tell you that is my FAVORITE musical of all time and that because of this and Mary Poppins, Julie Andrews has remained an untouchable goddess to me. She.is.everything.

But beyond my insane (and some would argue unexpected) fandom of Julie Andrews and The Sound of Music, “I Have Confidence” is one of my favorite songs EVER. And for me, as a musician, holder of a Music degree, and overall music FAN that is SAYING something.

The song is a Rodgers & Hammerstein masterpiece, especially the lyrics. I think one of the reasons why musical theatre is so powerful is because of it’s ability to tell extremely compelling stories but also have the songs be relatable to the viewer/listener so that even when you leave the theatre, you can take those songs with them, hold them close, and call them yours; to feel a sense of belonging and ownership to them. Like, yes, “I Have Confidence” is what Fraulein Maria sings as she’s sent from The Abbey to the house von Trapp, but it’s so much more than that. It’s about being terrified about what’s about to happen in your future and doing your best to meet it with a positive outlook; You find yourself in a set of circumstances and you must move forward, but you’re scared and you know what? You somehow scrape up the willpower and positivity to say, “I can do this! I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I’m going to make it work! I’m going to cast aside this self-doubt and I’m really going to go for it, no matter what happens!”

Personally this song is crucial to me because I struggle so much with this sort of thing. It’s so hard to will yourself to be bright, upbeat, and positive. Some days it feels impossible. Some days it’s easier to feel depressed. This song can be the perfect antidote to give myself more energy, to play a role in moving myself forward, and leaving the bad, self-sabotaging feelings behind.

My heart should be wildly rejoicing.
Oh, what’s the matter with me?
I’ve always longed for adventure,
To do the things I’ve never dared.
Now here I’m facing adventure
Then why am I so scared?…

…Oh, I must stop these doubts,
All these worries.
If I don’t I just know I’ll turn back!
I must dream of the things I am seeking.
I am seeking the courage I lack.

The courage to serve them with reliance,
Face my mistakes without defiance.
Show them I’m worthy
And while I show them
I’ll show me!
So, let them bring on all their problems,
I’ll do better than my best.
I have confidence
They’ll put me to the test!
But I’ll make them see
I have confidence in me…

…With each step I am more certain,
Everything will turn out fine.
I have confidence,
The world can all be mine!
They’ll have to agree
I have confidence in me.
I have confidence in sunshine,
I have confidence in rain.
I have confidence that spring will come again!
Besides what you see I have confidence in me.
Strength doesn’t lie in numbers.
Strength doesn’t lie in wealth,
Strength lies in nights of peaceful slumbers,
When you wake up, wake up!
It’s healthy!
All I trust I leave my heart to,
All I trust becomes my own!
I have confidence in confidence alone.
I have confidence in confidence alone!
Besides, which you see, I have confidence in me!
It’s just so bright! So sunny! So positive and pure! And Julie Andrews’s delivery of it is spectacular. I believe every word she’s saying! There isn’t a doubt in my mind! And I want that for me, you know? I want to shed all my doubts and tackle life and move forward with grace, despite any stumbles or mistakes because I know in the end they will help make me who I am!
Does anyone else have song like this they hold close to their heart, musical theatre or otherwise? Drop it in the comments! I’d love to hear about it!

The Tape

Hi All!

So re: my last post, I am doing much better. In case you do not follow me on social media (namely Facebook and Instagram), I recently lost someone in my life who was a supervisor at one of my jobs. And it was very sudden and I was not aware of just how sick she was, so it all came at a bit of a shock. Even though I only knew her for two and a half years, she left enough of an impact on my life that her loss deeply effected me. She was so kind and sweet and funny. I always enjoyed talking and laughing with her and so I will deeply miss her. What’s so strange is that about two weeks prior to her passing, I had requested her as a Facebook friend and she accepted. And I remember feeling trepidatious about reaching out (because of the whole employee/supervisor thing), but we got along so well and the night I sent the request (which was the night of the Golden Globes) I remember thinking, “Ah, fuck it”. And I think she accepted the next day.

It bums me out when people die, mainly because I think the simple reality of like, “Oh my gosh, I can never have this person anymore. I can never see them or talk to them or be with them ever again”, that’s a very traumatic, jarring feeling. The reality is so simple and plain but getting over it (or even through it) is difficult and exhausting, especially because I did not know how ill she was. It did take time, but as each day passes I feel as though I’m slowly coming to terms with it.

The thing about getting older is that death triggers other deaths you’ve experienced and it cause a chain reaction domino effect. And that can be a frightening thing to try to contain. I’m not sure if I’ve ever told this story on this blog, but a few years ago it was Easter Sunday. My family and I had just returned home from Easter dinner with our extended family and everyone was settling in, getting changed, and winding down. Days prior, I was cleaning out my basement and I found a strong box with a few of my great-grandmother’s affects (who had passed years prior), among them a unmarked, older looking cassette tape. I though that was curious and I had brought it up to my room to listen to it later.

So here I am, after Easter dinner. I go into my room to get changed and I stumble across the tape again and I figure, well why don’t I listen to it right now? I had recently got a record player which had an attached tape player in it, so I popped it in and began to listen. It was a woman speaking. No music. It was a woman and a man having a conversation. It only took me a few minutes to realize that the woman was my grandmother (my great-grandmother’s daughter-in-law, who had almost been gone 10 years ago at that point) and my dad’s father (my great-grandmother’s son, who I refuse to call “Grandpa” or anything because he was deadbeat alcoholic who I never met, whose voice I never heard).

I later learned this tape of conversations existed because my grandmother, Roselyn was in the middle of divorcing my dad’s father, Jack, and her lawyer told her the proceedings might go easier if she could get him to say something implicating to use against him on tape. Nothing was ever really captured from what I understand. But in these intimate conversations, Jack was being really sweet with Roselyn; He was trying to win her back and get her to come back home. And my grandmother would politely laugh and tell him to stop and knock it off and she’d ask about the cat and the kids (my dad and his siblings, who were all grown). See, my grandmother had gone to California to get away from Jack, as he was incredibly abusive. And one day she decided she had enough and left. And the tape was just filled with these beautiful, intimate conversations I had never been privy to listen to, aside from the fact I hadn’t even been born yet when they were had.

But as I listened and I listened, I began to feeling incredibly overwhelmed and unspeakably sad. Suddenly I felt as though I was holding back a dam of tears. See, Roselyn had passed away in 2004 (or 2005). And I remember being 14 and not quite sure how to take the news. I didn’t cry. It didn’t really effect me. I wasn’t sure how it was supposed to but it didn’t. Which was weird because I loved my grandmother very much and I felt as though she did play a hand in raising me. And she was always so sweet and kind and generous and gracious and a consistent presence in my life. I chose not to go to the funeral (my mom asked) and never thought much about it. When she was alive, we would go visit her every weekend. And as a kid I got sick of it; I got tired of going every Saturday or Sunday and wasting my time there. There were so many other things I wanted to do; As a kid, it was the last place I wanted to be. So when Roselyn died, it just felt like we got a break from visiting her every weekend; and I enjoyed that freedom.

But I had to turn the tape off. I was still holding back this dam of tears that was about to burst forth. I went back downstairs, sat down, and tried to pull myself together. And then suddenly, I couldn’t hold it together anymore. And I just broke down. I sure scared the hell out of my parents, who had no idea what was going on. Remember, we had just come back from Easter dinner where I was emotionally together for the entire day. I think we all actually had a nice time. It took awhile for me to get the words out, to tell my parents the story about the tape and how it affected me. And it was like all those years of not grieving just caught up with me. I think I cried for over an hour. I never realized how much I missed her. How much I wished I could talk to her again, now that I was older. I still have those wishes. The family members who passed away when I was young, I wish I had the chance to be with them as an young adult because I think I would appreciate them more and enjoy their company more. Especially my Poppy (Nonna’s husband, my grandfather), my Zia Angelina (Nonna’s sister), and of course my grandma, Roselyn.

Everyday I wish they were here with me. Not just in my heart, but really here with me. And I could talk to them in a room and we’d sit around a table sipping espresso. But I know that won’t happen – though maybe in dream.

I know death is a part of life, but it doesn’t make it any easier when it happens to those you love. It’s still hard.

It’s still hard, but it can get easier as time goes on.

I believe in that for sure.

Yours,

-RKB

invisibility cloak, dementor’s kiss

I was recently informed tonight that someone I knew quite well died suddenly.

And as soon as I heard the news through the cell phone receiver on a phone call that was not mine, I could feel the energy being sucked from my body. Like a dementor’s kiss, but the dementor has an invisibility cloak. I can’t see it, only feel it. Feel my energy slipping, slipping away as my body grieves what my eyes (and ears) cannot process.

I felt like falling and collapsing.

I (still) feel my energy dwindling.

I feel lightheaded and sad.

And in disbelief.

But maybe mostly stunned and sad.

When I feel like this, I like to be left alone in silence; No TV on, don’t talk to me, no music.

I need the silence to cradle the moment or else I might break.

I had to call someone to tell them the news. And it was hard.

And now I’m sitting in silence, hoping this will provide a minor cathartic release.

But I’m not sure if it is…