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Just Breathe

30 May

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This evening I’ve decided to share a video with you guys.  It’s a little clip from a song.  Unlike the rest of the music I’ve shared on here, this one is of me.  Yep, that’s right… I’m officially going to make my internet singing debut…  Hahahaha.  🙂

Let me back up really quickly.  I have mentioned a few times that my Mom plays the piano.  She got a new one a month or so ago, and I got her old piano.  It’s in my living room, right as you walk into my front door.   That is a picture of it above.  That piano is special.  It holds a lot of memories and meaning for me and for my Mom.  Her parents bought it for her when she was 8 years old.  Her father passed away when she was 16.  I never had the opportunity to meet him (obviously).  This is the piano she learned to play on, and the one that I sort of learned how to play on.  I will admit that as a child and even a teenager I wasn’t very motivated.

My Mom gave me the piano at the perfect time.  I want to learn, at least a bit, although I have no illusions of becoming a concert pianist.  More importantly, I now have a chance to focus on myself.  This is really the first time I have had that opportunity in years and years due to the drama and neediness of my exes (both of them).  I also find myself craving a creative outlet with which to express myself (besides writing here).  Music has always been a cathartic, soul cleansing release for me.  Now I have another medium for that besides my guitar and my voice.  The more options the better!

A few weeks after getting the piano, I realized pretty definitively that I didn’t remember a darn thing about how to play it.  The next time I visited my Mom took me up to her attic and we grabbed some music books.  She also gave me a folder of “secular music” from a band that she used to play with.  I opened it up and found the song Breathe (2 am) by Anna Nalick.  Not only is it fairly basic, it is also on the piano originally which meant I could listen to it a few times to get a feel for it before attempting anything myself.  Finally, the song hit the trifecta because it has been featured several time on Grey’s Anatomy, which is possibly my favorite television show of all times.

The song also get major bonus points were assigned because of the title and lyrics.  Here’s the portion that I sang for the video:

2 AM and I’m still awake, writing a song

If I get it all down on paper, its no longer

inside of me, threatening the life they belong to

And i feel like I’m naked in front of the crowd

Cause these words are my diary, screaming out loud

And I know that you’ll use them, however you want to

Cause you can’t jump the track, we’re like cars on a cable,

And life’s like an hourglass, glued to the table

No one can find the rewind button now

Sing it if you understand.

And breathe, just breathe

woah breathe, just breathe

I connect deeply with those words.  I am often up late writing, thinking, singing, and playing (like tonight, for instance).  It’s like my brain just can’t stop until I get it out.  I write so many raw, personal things here and share them with people who know me and those who don’t.  I am judged sometimes, but receive support so much more often.  This really is like my diary, though.  When I was writing music (and it has been a while), those songs were a little piece of me.  Now I give that by singing and playing the words of other people that connect with me.  I may even get back to writing one day.  The truth behind this song that hits me more than anything else is we can’t go back, only forward.  It reminds me to take a moment and a deep breath, and keep pressing on with my head held high.

Soooo… after a few weeks of playing around here and there when I had the opportunity, tonight I decided to try recording myself.  I was already filmed once today at work for a video that will be featured at our convention in July, so I figured what the hell – I’ll give it a shot.  I ended up with a pretty decent video.  Only after uploading it to my computer did I realize portrait mode isn’t exactly computer friendly.  A few tutorial videos on the internet later and I had at least figured out how to rotate the thing so people don’t have to tilt their heads sideways to read it.  Just for the heck of it, I went ahead and shot another one in landscape mode, too.

The truth is that neither of the takes are perfect.  I didn’t play and sing the entire song, which I know means that it’s completely useless for almost all intents and purposes.  I mess up some words, and they have multiple piano issues like pauses and wrong notes and inconsistencies.  But I like them.  I like that song.  I like the fact that I made some mistakes, but it’s still beautiful.  I even like that despite the fact that I’m irrationally scared of posting videos that hardly anyone will ever, ever see, I’m doing it.  So if any of you care to watch me sing and try to play the piano in my “READ” t-shirt, here are the videos.  Feel free to let me know which one you like better if you care enough to watch them both even though they are basically the same thing.

And don’t forget, no matter what you’re going through, to stop and just breathe.

Take 1:

Take 2:

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Progress

20 Apr

This last week has seen some significant progress in my world.  The papers were officially delivered to Chris (a.k.a. Mr. Mess).  I have an appointment for a deposition with my lawyer.  The ball is rolling, and things are going in the right direction.

School has been busy, but good.  I’m learning quite a bit and enjoying the ability to stretch myself.  There was a work trip that took me away for the weekend during a time when I had a lot of work to do for school (3 papers).  It also coincided with a surgery that my dog needed to excise a tumor and check it for cancer.  Needless to say, last week was incredibly stressful.  However, the papers got done impeccably, I generated new leads at work, and my precious Buddy is cancer-free and recovering well.

All of that has given me the ability to breathe again, and a huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders now that the divorce is proceeding.  I even had the opportunity to have a little fun!  Last night I did a duet with a friend of mine who was opening a sold-out show.  We sang Jason Aldean’s song “Don’t You Wanna Stay,” featuring Kelly Clarkson.  We did an acoustic version with him, me, two stools and a guitar.  It was amazing.  We rocked the house.  If you aren’t familiar with the song, here it is:

It was so amazing to go on stage and perform again.  People were cheering and loving it.  I had so, so many people come up to me afterwards and say that they were just blown away.  I’ve missed having music be a part of my life in that way.  I also got to pick out a cute outfit and break out my pink hair extensions again.  I thought I would share some self-portraits from last night.  Pink streaks are fabulous!

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Finally, for some levity, I would like to share a little ditty from today.  I decided to treat myself to my favorite Thai restaurant for dinner tonight.  When I went by to pick it up, the owner who is an older, small-statured gentleman from Thailand, started asking me about how things are going for me.  I’m a regular there, and used to go at least once a week when I worked close by.  He said that he has noticed the man I used to bring in with me is gone.  I laughed and said yes.  He said it’s easier that way.  I told him he was soooo right.  Then, in his broken English, he told me, “Next time, you get better looking one.”  I burst out laughing!  I’m still chuckling to myself.

Yes, next time around I will get a better looking one.  More than that, though, I’ll get a better all-around man.  🙂

Shoot Me Down, But I Won’t Fall

25 Jan

One of my readers suggested that I listen to the song Titanium by Sia.  I went over to YouTube to check it out.  Since I live in a fairly small music bubble (my style is mostly country and some acoustic stuff like Jason Mraz), I had no idea who Sia is.  I clicked on the first video that popped up, and fell in love with the girl and her voice.  After some more clicking around I discovered she was not, in fact, Sia.  Her name is Madilyn Bailey, and she is a phenomenal self-starting musician who uploads covers and her own original music to YouTube and iTunes.

I went back and found the “original” song, which I discovered is listed as being by David Guetta, featuring Sia.  The video was weird and hard to follow, and while the song was nice, the vocals were muddled and heavy compared to the video I had just watched.  I went back to Ms. Bailey (Maddy as she says she likes to be called), and started devouring her stuff.  I love the fresh, simple way she performs – just her, a piano or guitar, a microphone, and the song.  Pure.  All about the music, the lyrics, the feel of the song.  THAT is my kind of music!

I thought I would share the song, her version, and lyrics with my readers.  Please go check her out on YouTube.  Purchase her songs (like I did).  Support a real musician who is breaking into the industry all on her own with her voice, instruments, video camera, microphone, and computer as her tools instead of some flashy record company and digitalized equipment to hide the vocal flaws…

Titanium Lyrics

You shout it out,
But I can’t hear a word you say
I’m talking loud not saying much
I’m criticized but all your bullets ricochet
You shoot me down, but I get up

[Chorus:]
I’m bulletproof, nothing to lose
Fire away, fire away
Ricochet, you take your aim
Fire away, fire away
You shoot me down but I won’t fall
I am titanium
You shoot me down but I won’t fall
I am titanium

Cut me down
But it’s you who’ll have further to fall
Ghost town, haunted love
Raise your voice, sticks and stones may break my bones
I’m talking loud not saying much

[Chorus]

Stone-hard, machine gun
Fired at the ones who run
Stone-hard as bulletproof glass

[Chorus]

Here is another of my absolute favorite covers that she sings.  Of course it is country.  🙂  I am a big Carrie Underwood fan, but the song Blown Away has always seemed to be too much.  I couldn’t really put my finger on it, but it the music and background seemed to overpower the vocals.  This version is much, much more about the song and lyrics.  It took me a few times listening to the Carrie version to really understand what the song was about.  Not with this one.

I had one audition song picked out for this evening (a singing competition with a nice prize), but after hearing this I’m re-evaluating.  It’s a good enough version that it made me take a second look at a song I usually disregard.  I still love A Broken Wing, though…  It will take a lot to top that as my go-to audition song.

Letting Go of False Fairytales

9 Jan

Have I mentioned lately that I love Pandora radio?  Right.  I have.  Well, today it did it again – played the perfect song.  I don’t know how it knew.  I don’t even like Taylor Swift usually.  In fact, I think I have “thumbs downed” a few of her songs in the past.  Her voice is too sweet and childish for me.  She seems to fall in love every other second.  I find her pretty annoying, honestly.  Her winning vocalist of the year is a joke.  She may be a great song-writer, but a vocal powerhouse she is not.

With all that being said, today her song White Horse came on my Pandora radio channel, and everything froze just for a second.  I have heard the song many times before, but today I really listened.  Then I looked up the below video.  I didn’t cry, but I’m certain that another day, another time I would have.  This is where I was 3 months ago (almost to the day).  Maybe some of you are there now.  Personally, I’m living in the very end of that song – the part where I know there is someone else who will actually treat me the way I deserve.  I’m glad that I let go of that false fairytale.

 Lyrics – White Horse

Say you’re sorry
That face of an angel comes out
Just when you need it to
As I pace back and forth all this time
‘Cause I honestly believed in you
Holding on,
The days drag on
Stupid girl
I should have known, I should have known

That I’m not a princess
This ain’t a fairytale
I’m not the one you’ll sweep off her feet
Lead her up the stairwell
This ain’t Hollywood,
This is a small town
I was a dreamer before you went and let me down
Now its too late for you and your White Horse,
To come around

Baby I was naíve,
Got lost in your eyes
I never really had a chance.
My mistake, I didn’t know,
To be in love you had to fight to get the uppper hand
I had so many dreams about you and me
Happy endings
Now I know

I’m not a princess
This ain’t a fairytale
I’m not the one you’ll sweep off her feet
Lead her up the stairwell
This ain’t Hollywood,
This is a small town
I was a dreamer before you went and let me down
Now its too late for you and your White Horse,
To come around.

And there you are on your knees
Begging for forgiveness,
Begging for me
Just like I always wanted,
But I’m so sorry

Cause I’m not your princess
This ain’t our fairytale
I’m gonna find someone, someday
Who might actually treat me well.
This is a big world,
That was a small town
There in my rear view mirror,
Disappearing now.
And it’s too late for you and your White Horse
Now its too late for you and your White Horse
To catch me now.

Oh whoa whoa whoa-oh
Try and catch me now
Oh
It’s too late
To catch me now

Sometimes Goodbye is Necessary to Really Live Life

3 Jan

I discovered Pandora radio this week.  I purchased a new car because it was the only way for me to handle the financial loss from the car that Mr. Mess gave back to me.  The $2,000 loss was easier to handle rolled into a new car payment than directly out of my bank account.  Mr. Mess is also going to let me take the entire tax refund to help offset that loss since the other car was his and the options that he added (like the extended warranty and fabric protection) is what made the car more expensive than it was worth.

So, anyways… Back to the story.  My new Chevy Cruze has Pandora radio built into it.  I have never used it before, but once I did I was hooked.  I love the ability to customize radio stations and get new songs added based on my previous preferences.  I’ve even started playing it at my desk because I love it so much.

This morning when I arrived to work I opened up the Pandora Radio page that is pinned to my taskbar.  I switched to my favorite country radio station.  I had it playing softly and half-way listening while I did my work.  Suddenly a Carrie Underwood song came on that I’ve never heard.  I didn’t buy her first CD even though I love her voice.  It just seemed a little religious and there was only one song from the radio on it that I liked.  I have purchased everything she’s put out since she got away from the American Idol record label, though.  Because I have marked a “thumbs up” on several of her songs before, Pandora obviously decided to play some of her older stuff, too.

The song that played this morning is “Starts with Goodbye.”  The lyrics and emotion in the song fit what I was feeling when I made the decision that divorce was the only way I could be happy.  It also made me think of a blogging friend who is struggling with this concept right now.  It’s very, very difficult to let go of your ideas of what life was supposed to be.  It is even harder to realize that the potential you thought you saw just isn’t there.  When I finally came to a point of accepting the truth of my husband, my marriage, and what my life would look like for the next 30 years if I didn’t make a change, I was able to say goodbye.

That was the beginning of my ability to really live my life to its fullest.  That is the day I found my happiness.  It all had to start with a goodbye.

I was sitting on my doorstep
I hung up the phone and it fell out of my hand
But I knew I had to do it
And he wouldn’t understand 

So hard to see myself without him
I felt a piece of my heart break
But when you’re standing at a crossroad
There’s a choice you gotta make 

I guess it’s gonna have to hurt
I guess I’m gonna have to cry
And let go of some things I’ve loved
To get to the other side
I guess it’s gonna break me down

Like fallin’ when you try to fly
Sad but sometimes
Moving on with the rest of your life
Starts with goodbye 

I know there’s a blue horizon
Somewhere up ahead just waiting for me
Getting there means leaving things behind
Sometimes life’s so bitter sweet

I guess it’s gonna have to hurt
I guess I’m gonna have to cry
And let go of some things I’ve loved
To get to the other side
I guess it’s gonna break me down

 Like fallin’ when you try to fly
Sad but sometimes
Moving on with the rest of your life
Starts with goodbye  

Time heals the wounds that you feel
Somehow right now

 I guess it’s gonna have to hurt
I guess I’m gonna have to cry
And let go of some things I’ve loved
To get to the other side
I guess it’s gonna break me down
 Like fallin’ when you try to fly
Sad but sometimes
Moving on with the rest of your life
Starts with goodbye

Does anyone else out there know what I mean?  Not just about love or a marriage.  We have to let go of all sorts of things to achieve true happiness.  I will have to let go of not only my marriage, but the hurt and pain and betrayal.  To realize my true potential at work and in life I will have to let go of my self-defeating behaviors and thoughts.  I have to say goodbye to self-doubt, uncertainty, and the fear of failure.  2013 is my year to say goodbye to the things that are holding me back and hello to all that life has to offer!  I hope that’s what 2013 brings for you, too.

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You Won’t Find This

30 Dec

In the last week or so since my last post I have been really enjoying my family and having a spectacular holiday.  I truly can’t remember one in recent history that has been so nice.  For the first time ever my grandma on my Dad’s side celebrated Christmas on a day other than Christmas Eve.  We all gathered down there on Sunday.  I got to see my cousin who I haven’t seen in years and catch up with my Dad’s brothers.  It was nice to watch football, drink beer, and talk about silly things.  I laughed a lot and was glad to interact with my younger cousins who I usually only get to see on Facebook (and boy do they love it).

On Christmas Eve I spent time with my Mom’s Mom, who taught me how to knit.  I went to a candlelight Christmas Eve service at my Mom’s church that was surprisingly wonderful – full of Christmas carols, family, and joy.  Then I had dinner, watched my step-sisters and niece and nephew open presents, and hung out with my step-Dad’s side of the family.  It was great to see the excitement on the faces of the two kids.  There was Christmas music playing in the background, presents everywhere, beautiful lights, and a real sense of happiness and family in the air.

candles

There was some sad news, too.  My grandfather, Pa, who I wrote about here and here, was my Mom’s step-Dad.  Her father died when she was 16, and he was the only grandfather I ever knew on that side.  His son, who is named after him, owns homes in Georgia and Florida.  I wasn’t very close to him growing up, but when my grandfather got sick, he and his wife moved up to this area.  I really, really like him.  He is a pilot, just like Pa was.  Right before Pa died his son took him up in his helicopter.  Having his son around made my Grandpa so happy, and they became quite close with the rest of us as well.

His wife, my aunt, was a very sweet woman.  She had lung cancer a few years back, and they thought it had been cured.  Shortly after Pa died they discovered that it had moved to her brain.  They moved back to Georgia where some of her family and her doctors were.  My Grandma talked to her all the time.  She even offered to have them both come stay with her when my aunt’s brain cancer got so advanced that she was starting to get disoriented and confused.  On Christmas Eve we got a call that she had passed away that morning.  It was very hard for my Grandma to deal with.  We found out right before the candlelight service, which made that service even more emotional.

Despite that loss, or maybe because of it, sharing Christmas with my family was very sweet.  I savored the moments – really soaked them in.  I also didn’t have the constant pain and hurt and fear hanging over my head from my ex.  It was just the pure, simple pleasure of being with people that you love completely who love you the same in return.  I spent the night at my Mom’s house on Christmas Eve.  On Christmas morning my brother, Grandma, sister and her boyfriend all came over, too.  We watched Christmas movies, had brunch, opened gifts, talked, laughed, and had a ball.

Afterwards my brother and step-Dad came back to my house and put together my brand new, amazing bed frame for me.  It was nice to hear them connecting and bonding over building that bed for me.  It is gorgeous – hand-welded metal, heavy-duty, intricate iron work – my dream bed.  It’s even better to get rid of a bed frame that I hated anyway and shared with both Mr. Mess and my previous partner.

My new bed

My new bed

I have also begun wrapping things up in other areas, too.  Slowly but surely Mr. Mess and I are unravelling all of the loose ends still left.  I have gotten rid of the car he had that was in my name.  I had to take a loss, but he’s going to let me keep the tax refund to help cover it.  He’s also supposed to be off of my car insurance, although that didn’t actually happen.  Instead, when I checked yesterday not only was he still on there, but so was his new car.  Huh?

I texted him to let him know and find out what was going on.  He said that he got a new card and it doesn’t have my name on it, so he doesn’t know what I’m talking about.  I checked online and called – both places show him on my account as well as his new car.  I took the extra car off yesterday by phone and told him to check his insurance because if he doesn’t have his own policy then he no longer has car insurance.  During the course of that conversation he said something like, “if you think I want to have anything to do with you then you are crazy.”  Ummm… okay.  I was just trying to let him know to be nice.  Guess I should have just cancelled it and let him get in trouble with the DMV or cops.

That comment got me thinking, though.  His actions have left him in a place where he lost something that he will never find again.  My family is wonderful.  We are close, we spend time together, we do everything we can for our own.  He was one of us.  Now he has lost an entire extended family – grandparents and parents (which he doesn’t have anymore), brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins.  He has some of those things, but they hardly ever see each other.

Not only that, but he will never find another woman like me.  I know that sounds vain, but it’s honestly true.  I’m educated, emotionally intelligent, well-rounded, accomplished, sweet, giving, beautiful, sexual, young, vibrant, and well-spoken.  I gave him more acceptance and love and forgiveness than he can hope to get from another person ever again.  I gave him everything I had and then some.  He used me and lied to me and took that all for granted.  And now I’m the crazy one?  It’s laughable and sad at the same time.

This song came to mind yesterday, and it’s still with me.  He won’t find what he had with me.  He won’t find the things that he threw away.  He might not be single forever, but he won’t find this.

Did you check the tires
Put gas in the car
Don’t think you need too much,
’cause you ain’t gonna get that far
Did you pack the good times
Don’t forget a map
Just in case the route you take isn’t there to take you back

You can hold any girl that you like
Fall in love when it’s easy at night
But, you’ll wake up wondering why she ain’t ever something better
When you’re lost and run out of road
Find what I already know
 In the end, close is all there is
But you won’t find this
No, you won’t find this

There’s once in a lifetime
And there’s once in a while
And the difference between the two is about a million miles
Oh, you might get lucky while the moon is looking up
But in the truth of the morning, the stars will be long gone

You can hold any girl that you like
Fall in love when it’s easy at night
But, you’ll wake up wondering why she ain’t ever something better
When you’re lost and run out of road
Find what I already know
 In the end, close is all there is
But you won’t find this

You can hold any girl that you like
Fall in love when it’s easy at night
But, you’ll wake up wondering why she ain’t ever something better
Find what I already know
In the end, close is all there is
Oh, in the end it’s me you’re going to miss
‘Cause you won’t find this
Oh, you won’t find this

The Perfect Song Came on My Radio Today

21 Dec

This song is perfect for me and where I am right now.  I’m the complicated, giving, tough, overachieving, scarred, strong, mess of a woman who is finding who she is, figuring out that she will be okay, and opening her heart to the possibility of something more in life.

Little Miss done on love,
Little Miss I give up,
Little Miss I’ll get tough, don’t you worry ’bout me anymore
Little Miss checkered dress,
Little Miss one big mess,
Little Miss I’ll take less when I always give so much more
It’s alright, it’s alright, it’s alright,
Yeah, sometimes ya gotta lose ’til ya win,
It’s alright, it’s alright, it’s alright,
It’ll be alright again, it’ll be alright again
I’m okay, It’ll be alright again, I’m okay (okay) It’ll be alright again, I’m okay
Little Miss do your best,
Little Miss never rest,
Little Miss, be my guest, I’ll make more anytime that it runs out
Little Miss you’ll go far,
Little Miss hide your scars,
Little Miss who you are is so much more than you like to talk about
It’s alright, it’s alright, it’s alright,
Yeah, sometimes ya gotta lose ’til ya win,
It’s alright, it’s alright, it’s alright,
It’ll be alright again, it’ll be alright again,
I’m okay, It’ll be alright again, I’m okay (okay) It’ll be alright again, I’m okay
Hold on, hold on, you are loved, are loved
Little Miss brand new start,
Little Miss do your part,
Little Miss big ole heart beats wide open, she’s ready now for love
It’s alright, it’s alright, it’s alright,
Yeah, sometimes ya gotta lose ’til ya win,
It’s alright, it’s alright, it’s alright,
It’ll be alright again, it’ll be alright again
I’m okay, It’ll be alright again, I’m okay (okay) It’ll be alright again, I’m okay,
It’ll be alright again

Something Has Changed Within Me

3 Dec

change

I have gotten comments from many people, both here on my blog and in “real life,” that I seem different.  It’s because I am.  I can’t necessarily put my finger on exactly what it is, but something deep within me has changed.

The one song that I have been playing over and over that epitomizes how I feel right now is Defying Gravity.  My all-time favorite musical is Wicked.  I loved the book before they even made it into a Broadway musical.  I have seen it in New York, D.C., and Richmond.  I could watch it hundreds of times and never get tired of the amazing story, music, whimsy, costumes, message, and wonder it inspires in me.

Defying Gravity is the most famous song from that show for a very good reason.  My current favorite version of the song comes from Glee.  The episode itself was also very touching.  It included themes of being who you are despite difficult odds, standing up for yourself, fighting for what’s right, and finding internal peace and acceptance.  All of those things are apropos for my life in general and where I am now specifically.

I want to share this inspiring music with you today.  I hope that you, too, are defying the odds in your life, creating your own rules, trusting your instincts, taking chances, and refusing to be brought down by whatever circumstances you are up against!

Something has changed within me
Something is not the same
I’m through with playing by the rules
Of someone else’s game

Too late for second-guessing
Too late to go back to sleep
It’s time to trust my instincts
Close my eyes: and leap!

It’s time to try
Defying gravity
I think I’ll try
Defying gravity
Kiss me goodbye I’m
Defying gravity
And you won’t bring me down…

I’m through accepting limits
‘Cause someone says they’re so
Some things I cannot change,
But till I try, I’ll never know!

Too long I’ve been afraid of
Losing love I guess I’ve lost
Well, if that’s love
It comes at much too high a cost!

I’d sooner buy
Defying gravity.
Kiss me goodbye,
I’m defying gravity.
I think I’ll try
Defying gravity
And you won’t bring me down.

I’d sooner buy
Defying gravity.
Kiss me goodbye,
I’m defying gravity.
I think I’ll try
Defying gravity

And you won’t bring me down!
Bring me down!
Ahhahhoahh

Cover of "Wicked: Piano Solo"

Living in the Moment

17 Nov

I got in the car today to drive to therapy, and this song started playing.  It is the perfect song for me right now, and I put it on repeat and blasted it all the way there and all the way home.

This music really hits me close to home.  I’ve put the lyrics to this song below and highlighted the words that are speaking to me right now.

If this life is one act
Why do we lay all these traps
We put them right in our path
When we just wanna be free

I will not waste my days
Making up all kinds of ways
To worry about some things
That will not happen to me

So I just let go of what I know I don’t know
And I know I’ll only do this by
Living in the moment
Living my life
Easy and breezy
With peace in my mind
With peace in my heart
Peace in my soul
Wherever I’m going, I’m already home
Living in the moment

I’m letting myself off the hook for things I’ve done
I let my past go past
And now I’m having more fun
I’m letting go of the thoughts
That do not make me strong
And I believe this way can be the same for everyone

And if I fall asleep
I know you’ll be the one who’ll always remind me
To live in the moment
To live my life
Easy and breezy
With peace in my mind
I got peace in my heart
Got peace in my soul
Wherever I’m going, I’m already home

I can’t walk through life facing backwards
I have tried
I tried more than once to just make sure
And I was denied the future I’d been searching for
But I spun around and searched no more
By living in the moment
Living my life
Easy and breezy
With peace in my mind
I got peace in my heart
Got peace in my soul
Wherever I’m going, I’m already home

I’m living in the moment
I’m living my life
Just taking it easy
With peace in my mind
I got peace in my heart
I got peace in my soul
Oh, wherever I’m going, I’m already home
I’m living in the moment
I’m living my life
Oh, easy and breezy
With peace in my mind
I got peace in my heart
I got peace in my soul
Oh, wherever I’m going, I’m already home

I’m living in the moment

The Music That’s Making My Heart Sing

20 Oct

Today I’ve been doing a fair bit of driving – much more than usual for me.  I drove to S-Anon and home.  I drove to the ATM.  I distracted myself by driving out for an hour or so of shopping.  I drove to my Mom’s house for dinner.  We drove around to Sam’s Club and BJ’s (very unfortunate name) and a few other places, then back to her house.  I just drove home.

During all of that driving the common thread was that the radio was blaring.  Not the radio so much as some of my favorite music that has been loaded onto a flash drive that my radio can play.  Either way, you get the point.  I thought I would share the two songs that seem to be epitomize where I am right now.

For my husband:

Little Big Town – Looking for a Reason

Chorus:
Lookin’ for to make some sense out of nothin’
Lookin’ for the hunger to hang on
Lookin’ for to know if you’re really worth it
Lookin’ for a reason not to be gone

Your signs are fadin’, Baby
I can’t read ’em anymore
Can’t you see where I’m standin’, Baby
I got one foot out the door
You better show me somethin’ fast
‘Cause my patience for you, it ain’t gonna last

Chorus

If there ain’t nothin’ there
Well, that’s my time you’re wastin’
If you say you’re givin’ all you’ve got
Well, that’s my chain you’re yankin’
Love is on a slippery slope
Barely hangin’ on at the end of my rope

Chorus

 So tell me what you’re gonna do to keep me around
And Baby, whatever it is, you better do it now, now, now

My state of mind (or at least the one that I’m trying really hard to have):

Martina McBride – Happy Girl

I used to live in a darkened room
Had a face of stone
And a heart of gloom

Lost my hope, I was so far gone
Cryin’ all my tears
With the curtains drawn

I didn’t know until my soul broke free
I’ve got these angels watching over me

Chorus

Oh watch me go
I’m a happy girl
Everybody knows
That the sweetest thing you’ll ever see
In the whole wide world
Is a happy girl

I used to hide in a party crowd
Bottled up inside
Feeling so left out

Standing in a corner wearing concrete shoes
With my frozen smile
And my lighted fuse

Now every time I start to feel like that
I roll my heart out like a welcome mat

Chorus

Laugh when I feel like it
Cry when I feel like it
That’s just how my life is
That’s how it goes

Oh watch me go
I’m a happy girl
And I’ve come to know
That the world won’t change
Just ’cause I complain
Let the axis twirl
I’m a happy girl

Chorus

Oh, yeah
Oh, yeah
I’m a happy girl

Every time I start to feel sorry for myself or get the urge to mope or complain, I think about the above song.  It is true, as simplistic as it may seem.  I just choose to be happy instead.  I don’t push my emotions down, as I admitted earlier today I still cry when I feel the need.  I just try not to dwell in that place.

I get my emotions out, feel the pain, let the gratitude and thankfulness for my family and those who care about me wash over me, then think about or do something that makes me happy.  I cuddle with my dogs, turn up the music, laugh at a funny story, or text someone who brings me clarity, strength or even just a distraction.  I pick up my journal and write.  I organize or clean something (there is never a shortage of that to do).  I take a deep breath, wonder at the beauty of the changing leaves, revel in the perfect October weather – warm sunshine, a cool breeze, the crispness in the air of the beginning of Fall.  I have a lot of reasons to be happy, so that is what I choose to focus on.

I hope everyone’s Saturday was full of love, beautiful weather, good food, and great music!

Be Honest With Me

18 Oct

Another Reason I’m in Love with Sara Ramirez

20 Sep

Sara Ramirez (EP)

I heard Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol on the radio in the office today.  I had no idea what the name of the song was, and still have absolutely no idea who that artist is.  However, I immediately recognized the song from Grey’s Anatomy.  The Office Manager at work looked up the song and band for me, then I rushed back to my desk to buy it from Amazon.  I listened to the sample, and it’s just not the same.  The Grey’s Anatomy version is about 1,000 times better.  All because of Sara Ramirez and the wonderful producers of the show who wrote a moving story-line.  I get chills every single time I watch the video.

If you’re not convinced of how powerful and gorgeous Sara Ramirez’s voice is from that clip, then you have to listen to her singing The Story by Phil Hanseroth, sung originally by Brandi Carlile.  Again, I have no idea who Bradi Carlile is, but I listened to her version.  Not even close to a comparison.  There is a reason Sara Ramirez graduated from Juilliard, performed on Broadway, and won a Tony!  She is amazing!

Warning:  This video may make you cry if you’re anywhere close to as sentimental as I am.

I can’t say enough about her talent.  And if you are one of those people who thinks she is just lip-syncing or has been touched up vocally like crazy in the studio, watch this video, then shut up.

I really relate to this song, and I think I’m going to have to find the music so I can sing it very, very soon.  These lyrics especially resonate with me:

“You see the smile that’s on my mouth
It’s hiding the words that don’t come out
And all of my friends who think that I’m blessed
They don’t know my head is a mess
No, they don’t know who I really am
And they don’t know what
I’ve been through like you do”

Most people who work with me, see me around, and even a few people that are relatively close to me don’t see what is behind the smile on my face.  It’s not that I’m not happy, but I am much more of a mess than I appear on the surface.  There also aren’t very many people who really know who I am.  That is something I value immensely in my husband.  He knows me, all the way down to my core.  When I’m having a bad day or triggering, I can hold on to that knowledge.  We have been through worse, and we’re growing stronger every day.

I’ll leave you with one more picture of the incredibly sexy Sara Ramirez.

Sara Ramirez modeling at the Red Dress Collect...

Sara Ramirez modeling at the Red Dress Collection charity fashion show to benefit The Heart Truth. Identity confirmed through image gallery at wireimage.com (a gallery of professional photos of the same event that has the models identified). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Gone Fishing

11 Aug

Literally. I’m heading out for a weekend of shopping and fishing with my Mom, sister and Grandma. We’re going to hit the outlets Saturday then take to the seas on Sunday. I’m so excited!! It should be lots of fun. 🙂

I’m still thinking about the things from my last post, just kicking them around in my head. Thank you for all of your support and encouragement. It has really helped confirm my decision to make my own happiness.

I hope that all of you have a fantastic weekend! Do something great just for yourself. I’m going to leave you with a song that inspires me and that is very fitting for my upcoming weekend activities.

Lyrics:

I woke up early this mornin’
And I’m already runnin’ late
There’s a list of things long as my arm
I won’t get done today
Is it Tuesday? Is it Wednesday?
They’re runnin’ into each other
Somebody tell me, when is my day
Man, this life can sure be a mother

Chorus:
So tomorrow I’m takin’ me fishin’
Hang a sign on the door of my life
Tell the world that I’ve gone missin’
An’ I won’t be back for a while
I’m so tired of only wishin’
I could leave my troubles behind
I wanna be front porch rockin’
With a big sun droppin’ in a blue sky
Kick back an’ get high
On the livin’ part of life

They say to keep your spot on the ladder
An’ keep that money rollin’ in
They say keepin’ up with the Thiles, boy
You can’t back off one inch
But I been puttin’ in my time
An’ I built up a pretty good deal
I’m gonna spend some, maybe waste some
Before my time comes an’ I wind up dead

(Repeat Chorus)

When I get home tonight
I’ll open the window an’ let whatever roll in
An’ if there’s no breeze, that’s cool with me
I’ll just raise my sail, an’ wait on the wind, yeah

Yeah tomorrow I’m takin’ me fishin’
Hang a sign on the door of my life
Tell the world that I’ve gone missin’
An’ I won’t be back for a while
I’m so tired of only wishin’
I could leave my troubles behind
I wanna be front porch rockin’
With a big sun droppin’ in a blue sky
Kick back an’ get high
Kick back an’ get high
On the livin’ part of life

It’s August Already?!

1 Aug

I interrupt your regularly scheduled programming for a big “What the hell?!?!”  I can hardly believe that it is already August.  It feels like this year just started.  Now summer is almost over?  We got a “fall sale” flyer at work today, and it says the promotion lasts from August 1st through 17th.  Who the hell told them that August is in the fall?

That also means I am now entering my 5th month of blogging.  Wow!  It doesn’t seem like I’ve been blogging for that long.  On the other hand, I have written quite a lot so far.  Additionally, in just 5 months I have made so many connections and at least one lifelong friend.  I have rediscovered how writing my thoughts down can really change the way I feel – usually for the better.  I have also realized my desire to be a better person.  To live life to it’s fullest.  And to push past my fears to discover what is waiting on the other side.

So here’s to progress!

And here’s a fun little song that I couldn’t get out of my head all last night:

If you’ve ever seen Rent, then you know that Maureen and Joann get back together.  They realize that their love is worth it, and they can make it work with a little compromise.  I am soooo a Joann!  🙂  Mr. Mess is pretty similar to Maureen – with his extroverted, attention-seeking personality.  I can certainly understand how frustrating it can be sometimes being with someone so different from you (see my post Being Complete Opposites).  It is also rewarding, though.  This song reminds me that there are some things that are an inherent part of my personality, but many other things that can be adjusted or changed.  I’m worth it and so is my marriage.

On a side note, this video gets me all hot and bothered.  They are so smoking hot, and they have very obvious sexual chemistry, even while fighting!  I also adore both of the women in real life.  Idina Menzel is just a.m.a.z.i.n.g.!!!!  She was also in the original cast of Wicked, my all-time favorite musical, playing Elphaba, my all-time favorite character!  That she is married to Taye Diggs (who she met as part of the original case of Rent), is extra yummy, especially if you have ever heard them sing together.  Tracie Thoms is so elegant and poised.  I also loved her in Cold Case.  If you have never seen Rent (the musical or the movie), I would highly, highly recommend it!

Until next time.

Making My Own Happiness

27 Jul

This post will probably be a mishmash of lots of things.  First, I realize that even though I posted twice yesterday I never mentioned what I did for myself.  The answer is that I dressed up for absolutely no reason.  I wore a pretty floral dress, did my hair and make-up, and put on my pearls.  I wore these adorable new high-heeled Crocs I have that are brown with pink insoles.  I felt gorgeous all day.  Now if only I could find my sparkly silver nail polish!

Today I’m not sure what I’m going to do for myself.  I already downloaded the Thompson Square CD (actually MP3), and have been listening to it at my desk and in my car.  I will be sharing my current obsession with you later in this post.  I also officially put in for a vacation week today.  I will be taking a full week to do nothing except relax, have fun, and take care of myself.  I’m planning a haircut, possibly a new tattoo, plenty of sleeping-in, and maybe a shopping trip or day adventure somewhere.  It’s Friday, though, so I’m going to do at least one more thing for myself today.  🙂

This week I have started realizing the real value in focusing on me.  This past Saturday I went to my first ever S-Anon meeting.  It was a really great experience.  In our area SA and S-Anon meet at the same time in the same location.  The Saturday morning meeting is one that my husband has decided to go to, and last week I made the leap and decided to go along.  Since starting Codependent No More I have a completely different perspective on myself.  It shined a light on the fact that I have plenty to work on, too.

So, back to last Saturday.  The SA meeting seemed to be pretty packed judging by the number of men I saw coming into the building and slipping into the room where Mr. Mess went.  They all seemed to be fairly early, too.  Yet, here I was, the lone woman.  We were pretty early ourselves, so I wandered down the hall to a table with information and brochures.  It seems like this place has a group, 12-step meeting for everything.  Everything, I tell you!  They have SA, S-Anon, AA, Al-Anon, Overeaters Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Debtors Anonymous (never seen that one before), Gambling Anonymous, and maybe even a few others that I can’t remember.

Anyway…  The scheduled time of the meeting 9:30 am quickly approached, then passed with no other women appearing.  I was fairly certain I had the right room, and I knew I had the right place and time since I was staring right at the schedule on one of the flyers.  There was really only one entrance, so I was also pretty confident I didn’t miss anyone.  Conveniently, the number for the group contact person was on said flyer.  I gave her a call at that number, and the answering machine listed another number (her cell) as the best place to reach her.  I called that, and a cheerful woman answered and quickly assured me that she was in the parking lot, and she just caught sight of a few other women walking in.  Leave it to women to be fashionably late for their own support group!

Sure enough, within a few seconds two women walked in.  We made our way to the designated room (the one I thought it was), and quickly turned on the A/C to try and combat the humid stickiness in the air.  Not too long after a third woman appeared.  It was the one I had talked to on the phone.  We started chatting a bit as everyone got settled.  Funny enough, I wasn’t the only newbie.  There was one other first-timer in the room as well.

Since there were just as many newcomers as old-timers at this meeting, they decided to do a welcome meeting.  They didn’t have any extra white books with them, but I had brought my own 12 steps and the women were very willing to share for readings.  Another lady came in during the initial introduction and reading of the 12 steps and 12 traditions.

I won’t bore you with all of the minute details, but I will say that everything really resonated with me.  Some of the readings had some hard truths that I will have to dig into more before I really know how I feel, but overall it was a comfortable, uplifting experience.  Each of the women shared some of their story, what brought them there, how long they have been in recovery, where they are on their personal journey, and that sort of thing.  Their stories all touched some part of my experience.  The other newbie was in tears basically the entire time.

Another woman showed up about half-way through, and shared her story as well.  Both of us first-timers also shared, although we didn’t have to.  Everyone was extremely supportive.  I could tell immediately that this was a group of women who wouldn’t let each other get caught up with the addict.  Crying, anger, and other emotions are definitely welcomed, but wallowing, blaming, and focusing on the sexaholic instead of ourselves is a no-no.  No one really had to say that, it was just the vibe in the room.  We are here for us.  We can’t change them.  But we can strengthen ourselves, set boundaries, decode our codependent behavior, and change our own patterns.  It was empowering.

I got a list of other women in the program with their email, phone numbers, and whether they text or not.  I supplied them with all of my information.  At the end there were hugs all around.  I didn’t know these women, but already I felt connected.  They can understand me.  They are me, in some ways.  All it took was one meeting, and I know this is where I belong.  I am already encouraged that I will be going with another person to their first meeting on Monday.

I was resistant to the idea that there was anything I needed to do, since this is “his problem.”  Now I know differently.  I know that there are things I can do – for me.  To get healthy.  To have a better response.  To feel complete, worthy, and lovable.  To stop making the same bad choices, to get off the roller-coaster, to feel at peace.  I can do it.  I also read something yesterday that I understand in a way I couldn’t have at the beginning of this process:

“I know now that I can’t choose to love or not love DH [dear husband] but I can choose to have him in my life or not.”

It’s true.  I don’t have control over what he does.  I don’t have control over his commitment to me.  I don’t have control over whether he cheats on me again.  I don’t have control over whether he lies to me.  I also don’t have control over the fact that I love him.  It’s just a fact at this point.  I do, however, have control over whether I accept his behavior and allow it in my life.  Everything else is up to me – my happiness, my boundaries, my self-esteem, my mental and physical health.  He can’t control those things, either.

So, today I am feeling encouraged and inspired.  I am smiling, tapping my foot, and jamming to wonderful music right now.  That is how I want to go through life.  Speaking of fantastic music, I promised earlier that I would share the song I can’t stop singing along to all day.  Here’s the video:

And here are the beautiful lyrics that are really speaking to me today:

Tryin’ to live and love
With a heart that can’t be broken
Is like tryin’ to see the light
With eyes that can’t be opened

I think I am finally realizing this.  I have to put my heart out there to possibly be broken again, no matter what course my life takes. 

I’ll let you look inside me
Through the stains and through the cracks
And in the darkness of this moment
You see the good in that

I have just as many issues and problems.  They aren’t the same because we have taken different paths to get here.  I have to be just as open about my stains and cracks, and work on mine.

We may shine, we may shatter
We may be pickin’ up the pieces here on after
We are fragile, we are human
We are shaped by the light we let through us
But we break fast ’cause we are glass

True and very profound.  We are shaped by the light we let through us, so I’m going to let as much light through me as possible.  I’m going to stay positive.  I’m going to remind myself that I am human.

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