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.



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…


Hi Fam!

So I had a good day today. I woke up a little later than I wanted to, but I guess that’s what you get when you don’t go to bed ’til 1…I’m still working on that bedtime routine. (Personally, I blame Star Trek Timelines).

I got my meditation and exercise out of the way and honestly spent most of the day creating a website to house my film/TV portfolio. I’ve created and completed so many projects (eight in about two years) while at Montclair State and wanted a place to house them all so prospective employers could view them in one place. So I made it, it’s done, and it looks beautiful. It is also password protected and for the eyes of my future employers only. 🙂 =. I feel proud, accomplished, and excited. I am thrilled.

Additionally, I applied to an internship that got me stoked! And I wrote a really good cover letter for my application. I’m usually my worst critic and will nit-pick everything I write to death, but I’m proud of this cover letter and really hope I get an interview. Fingers crossed!

Aside from that, I finally went out to see Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri and really enjoyed it. Frances McDormand is everything. Seriously. If you haven’t seen this film, do yourself a favor and please go see it. Definitely worth the Golden Globe for Best Picture. And when the movie let out, I serendipitously ran into two friends of mine who had just got out of Lady Bird across the theater I was in. (Another wonderful film that everyone should see.) So that was all nice and good; We talked for a bit and then went our separate ways.

One thing I continue to notice in all these new films coming out lately is there are a lot of stories being told about parental relationships. And I’m not sure if that’s even been done en masse before. And I like that a lot.

If I’ve discovered anything about myself these past few years it’s that I highly value stories. I hunger for them. I want to tell them, I want to participate in them, I want to listen to them. Good stories are art. And art makes Life worth living. As long as I’m creating or partaking, I’ll think Life is worth living. It’s in these moments that peace exists and feels as though it could stretch out infinitely, forever.

The Nihilistic Weekend

I think I’m cursed.

I spent this past weekend extremely depressed. And when I say extremely depressed. I mean so.fucking.depressed. I became caught in this nihilistic loop I couldn’t shake (thanks, all that Nietzsche I’ve been reading lately). Like:

Nothing matters.

There’s no point to anything.

Why try to do anything when there’s no point?

What’s the point of getting up in the morning?

Everything sucks, so why try?

If something’s meant to be, why try?

Why try to do anything? What’s the point?

Stuff like that. And then I proceeded to not get dressed or take a shower. And I stayed in my pajamas all day, watching Seinfeld for hours and hours, doing absolutely nothing and then felt like shit for doing absolutely nothing. Because I tend to judge my day (and myself) based on my productivity.

And I don’t think a lot of people know that I can get really fucking depressed. I’m kind of split 50/50 between introvert and extrovert and it really fucks with me. Not to say that introverts get more depressed than extroverts and vice versa, but you know what I mean. Because sometimes I can be very positive and very sociable, but then I can also get trapped into these shitty headspaces that become very difficult for me to break out of and I end up secluding myself from others.

This weekend had me crying a lot and attempting to talk out these nihilistic feelings with my parents. And even though nothing they said helped, talking with them did. And I feel so unworthy that I have them sometimes. (Although neither of them are saints and they can drive me absolutely fucking crazy when they want to.)

I feel unworthy about a lot of things.

I think I’m one of those people that has a really hard time asking for help. And maybe it’s not so much asking for help, but asking for help when need it. I have this vulnerability complex; Like I’m afraid to be seen as weak or vulnerable. And I know that’s not good. And I’m not sure why I feel that way or know how to overcome it. I mean, sure, I can push myself to ask for help in certain situations, particularly when they are in the moment and I have very little time to think about them. But for something like this? I don’t know….

Truth be told, I probably should be seeing a therapist or something, but there’s a stubborn part of me that refuses to make the effort. All that paperwork, explaining my life story, health insurance bullshit that’s sure to ensue. There’s too much anxiety in the actual process for me to go seek help. And that’s kind of funny in a way, I guess. And then: is treatment ever really over? Or will I get caught in a perpetual, neverending loop? Some sort of doctor’s trap?

See, I’ve already talked myself out of it. Too much work, too much anxiety. No thanks.

But anyway, yesterday I resolved to create and follow a schedule every day to help with my mood and the organizational structure of my day. Because as much as I hate to admit it, I desperately need structure. Otherwise I fall apart. So I’ve realized. And this schedule includes writing and reading and meditating (which I’ve been seriously slacking on) and applying to jobs and going out and seeing movies when I can. And exercising.

I’m not sure what I hate more about winter: The fact that my nose constantly runs in cold weather, or that I can’t go outside for walks on a whim. It kills me that I can’t go outside without freezing my ass off. And because of that I haven’t really been exercising. I think my body’s been feeling the adverse effects of that. I mean, forget being fit, I’m in it for the endorphins (and let’s be honest, the extra calories I earn for the day).

So today was day #2 of the schedule attempt and I think it went well. I’m definitely feeling way better than this weekend. I’m feeling more productive and at least more willing to participate in my environment.

I’m also trying not to sleep in as much; resolving to, anyway.

Sometimes it’s hard for me to tell whether I sleep in because I’m tired or I sleep in because I’m depressed. I think I’ve caught up on my sleep since last semester and I think I owe it to myself to stop being such a bum and wake up, meditate, and work out as early as possible (I’ve been aiming for 6 AM).

So listen, if you’re reading this post and have experienced depression (and/or it’s best friend Anxiety) or are currently experiencing it, please know you’re not alone. I deal with it on a nearly every day basis. It’s a very real thing (that the winter seems to make worse).

Although I don’t think I should be giving any sort of advice (since I can’t even push to get help for myself), I will say the schedule-making, my parental support group, and music have all been helping. And if you think that could help you too, by all means please try making that schedule, talk to your parents, and listen to that music you love.

These clouds usually do pass, even if they linger a little longer than we like.