Today I Will Start to Heal

Today, I will start to heal.

Today, I will turn my face towards the sun and embrace its warmth, bright and burning with passion

Today, I will still think of you, your soft lips and your wicked arms

That entangled me, holding me hostage in your care

 

But today, I will not cry.

I will not succumb to the wretched jolts in my stomach, those that climax into sobs

I will not dream of your body in pinky-white hues

 

No.

Today, I will start to heal.

Today, I will think of you in simple black and white

Just as you were my everything and nothing all at once

Today, I will honor the wretched jolts in my stomach, those that climaxed into sobs

The sobs that you tempted

Today, I will remember the times I set myself on fire just so you could feel warm

Or the times I contorted myself into knots so that I could fit into your pocket,

Diminishing my magnitude to be at your slight, beautiful size.

 

Today, I will remember the darkness that poisoned my spirit

That dark cloud of smoke you drove into my being, greedily engulfing and shielding my light

 

Today, I will start to heal.

Today, I am generating my own warmth.

Today, I am the sun. I am whole and I am bright and I am burning with passion.
Today, I am the center of my own universe.

 

Tomorrow, I will continue to heal.

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Confidence and Music

It’s hard to realize your desired path is not the one you will actually follow in life.

I, for example, had dreams of becoming a music therapist. My parents spent a small fortune on music lessons for me and when I wasn’t getting privately trained in voice, guitar, piano, and theory, I was practicing for my school band, chorus, select choir, and symphony orchestra. This all was distraction for the times when I wasn’t in rehearsals for my international Jewish teen choir, of which I was also a part of the chamber choir.

In short, music was my life. It was all I knew, my identity. I was “the music girl” at my high school, and I would not have wanted to give up that title for the world.

I wanted to be a music therapist because I saw all the potential the field held for me. Helping others through the medium I loved most? Interacting with different populations and instruments on a daily basis? Making a difference in the lives of others? What was not to love?

During the musical era of my life, however, I was not able to help myself. It was during these years that I was at my lowest points of life. In fact, there were days which I no longer wished to even exist. I hated myself- I hated my appearance, I hated my personality. It did not help that the “music world” is one of competition. I was never the most talented, never the smartest. Sure, I was involved, but I would never be a musical prodigy. I worked my ass off to try to impress those around me, but in reality I think I was just trying to help myself to believe I was good enough.

Thinking back now, my lack of confidence reared its ugly head in every aspect of my life. Musically, it was very difficult for me to stand up straight and own the stage. Even when I was performing Italian Arias which I knew I loved, I could not bring myself to feel the surge of diva power I was thirsting for. I was fine with singing sad, lonely songs. Those I could relate to. But how about powerful songs celebrating independence? I just could not bring myself into character.

I remember the day my world imploded. I had auditioned for the music school at my university but was faced with a non-music therapy panel and knew I had failed the audition. When I received the letter articulating my worst fears, that I was denied of pursuing my dreams, I was crushed. I locked myself into a bathroom and hysterically cried until nightfall. The thought of killing myself spun around in my head during those horrific hours, but I wouldn’t let the music win.

This is the day I learned that my love for music was unrequited. I’d have to reformulate my dreams, and that was terrifying.

Two years later, I am at my best. Music is only in my life when I want it to be, and I have cleared a new path for myself. Public Relations and Intercultural Communication are a much better fit for me. Here I am living a life I would have never pictured for myself, and loving every moment of it. Though I still am not quite comfortable in my own skin, I have confidence. I’m beginning to see my own beauty. For the first time, I am focusing on the radiance of my smile instead of the bulge of my belly.

For the first time, I am truly happy. The strong, difficult roles I had struggled with in music are now the parts of me I let show when giving public presentations. The beautiful Italian Arias I had once loved to perform are now topics of conversation in meetings with Italian friends and colleagues.

While I miss music a lot more than I’d care to admit, I am so happy with who and where I am now. For the first time, I am confident.

So, I suppose the message of this whole rant is this: Life will change you. Let it.

Wanderlust.

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Wanderlust is defined as “a strong desire for or impulse to travel and explore the world.” Boy, do I have wanderlust (catch wanderlust? experience wanderlust?)

Ever since I was little, I loved exploring other cultures. When the girls in my predominately white, italian, New Jersey town all bought the Samantha American Girl Doll, I had my sights set on Josephina, a girl growing up in her Mexican pueblo.

In sixth grade, when we were instructed to choose a famous historical man or woman to write a “book” (ok, it was 10 pages but still) about, I chose Sojourner Truth, an African American crazy feminist who flashed her boobs once during a speech. Atta girl.

Such has my life continued until now, where I am a sophomore at a New York State school, surrounded by the greatest diversity I’ve ever experienced (although according to my friends who comprise this “diversity,” New Paltz is pretty white. Oops.)

So, as you could gather, I’m pretty interested in different cultures and places. The issue, however, is that I’ve yet to experience the world.

I yearn to face culture-shock. I want to be so taken aback by surprise and wonder that I can break down my dormant ethnocentrism.

I want to feel the beauty of rituals, both old and new. I want to surpass the level of tourist and fully immerse myself in the people and places around me.

This world is so big, yet so accessible. I want to reach every continent, every country. I want to see what the world has to offer me, and give a piece of myself back in return.

Wanderlust. I need to explore.