Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Ink is Never Dry

Hello friends,

I must admit, the crazy class schedule, the many sleepless nights, and the overall constant stress level wore me down a bit. I'm more ready than ever for this break.

But, holy crap. What a satisfying semester for me musically!

I'm still thinking of my education major as a fallback, but I'm a lot happier with this fallback than I was when I started it. I realize there's a lot more to education than most people ever think about in their lifetimes, and have a pretty general knowledge of what it takes to be a good teacher. But Holy applicable to what I want to do with my life, Batman! All of this has helped me look at music in a different way, and those skills classes where I have to learn all the instruments are DEFINITELY extremely helpful as a composer.

Speaking of composing, you know, the main reason I'm here and stuff, I'm very proud of the work that I've done. I still didn't get quite as much done as I wanted to because of the crazy class load, etc, but I still over quadrupled my output from this time last year, which is crazy. Not only have I quadrupled my output, but I feel that my writing from the beginning of my career here (crazy to think that it's only been a year and a half) has improved immensely. My music has more texture, more life, and clearly more musical knowledge in it than ever before. The leaps and bounds I've made getting to study under Dr. Lee are enormous, and I am so so blessed to have him as my professor. I feel that I still need to find some direction by picking what I'd like to compose for, but I can at least rest happy knowing that just because the quantity of the music I'm outputting has grown, the quality hasn't diminished at all. It's gotten better.

Every time someone performs my music, I am so immensely satisfied. Getting to hear it played by real musicians who put the emotions into your music that you wanted, and sometimes bringing it to life in ways you didn't think it could breathe and live, is just wonderful. The novelty of having it on paper has worn off a little bit, but it's still there when I stop and think about it. Which I usually don't, because once I finish one thing, I've been known to not even take a break and open up a new document to start on the next project. I feel that I can't contain all the ideas bouncing around in my head sometimes. Which is great, but, again, causes me to lose sleep a lot of the time.

The one thing I worry about a bit is that I might be pushing myself too hard sometimes, you know? This semester was my hardest semester of school yet (and that includes my first one where I was in marching band and doing pre-vet). All the sleepless nights have added up and really burned me out, and again, I cannot wait for this break to come. The worst part is, my semester next semester is looking even harder, with even fewer breaks and less sleep... Ugh. Oh well.

I mean, this may just be because I'm writing this at 3:45AM at the end of my Midnight-4am shift at work, and I'm thinking too much like I often do, but there are almost too many things I could do with my life, and I'm frightened because fewer things in this world scare me more than uncertainty. And thinking about my future, there's a lot of it. This is probably just me being a dork and overthinking it all, but I've always been the type of person who could spin a B+ on my high school transcript to possibly ending up homeless and destitute by age 40 (Yes, that really happened when I got my one and only grade below an A- in highschool, I was scared for weeks until I realized that the B+ was probably not going to make every future employer ever think I was a moron). The fact that I very well may not end up living in this country at the end of my schooling here at UNL scares me. The fact that I may end  up staying here in the U.S. and possibly missing out on opportunities abroad also scares me. If I choose the wrong thing for myself, will I miss the right one forever? Will I always be second-guessing the choices that I make from here on out? The thing is, I feel that there are quite a few things out there that could make me happy, but the idea of not having the right combination of them is frightening. How many first-world problems here does it take to add up to a real one? Jesus.

But that's why I have to keep writing, working my ass off, and trying to be the best musician I can possibly be. Because there's so much uncertainty in my future, the one thing I can hold on to is knowing that I will never look back and say "I wish I tried harder." I will at least have the strength of knowing that I am working as hard as I can, and am physically, mentally, and emotionally incapable of working harder than I do. 

So wow, yeah, that post turned from happy to serious pretty quickly. Sorry about that. I usually don't let people see how I'm feeling. I don't like talking about feelings. Ick. But, it feels good to have that off my chest.

To lighten the gloominess of the end of this post, listen to this song:

It's called Waltz for Richard by First Aid Kit. They're a sister duo out of Sweden, and their music is absolutely beautiful and relaxing and wonderful.

But truthfully, the song that's capturing my mood best is this song called The Boxer. Originally Simon & Garfunkel, but this version is by Mumford and Sons. Listen to the lyrics and you'll see why. And hell, just the music, it's perfect.

Oh, as for everyday things, I had over 6 finals last week, on dead week (don't even get me started on how dumb I think that is), and only have one this upcoming week. It's a big one, but I can (hopefully) handle it with little stress. Also, I work until Saturday, will probably spend the night in Lincoln, and come back home to Columbus on Sunday. But the beautiful thing is, I'm not OBLIGATED to come back to Lincoln until January 4th. I mean, let's be real, I probably will, but the point is I don't HAVE to (except for to do schoolwork, which I will because I am so horribly lazy when I enter Columbus city limits).

Also, I've been SLEEPING this weekend. I've gotten almost 7 hours each night! It feels amazing. So I have that to be thankful for, too. :)

Alright, I'm rambling now, time to cut this off.



ALSO, SHAMELESS PLUG: I now have stuff on my SoundCloud and you should listen to it. Available for free downloads yadayada. Russia, Switzerland, Mexico, and Pakistan have apparently already been enjoying my music.

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