Vulnerability & free pints

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I wrote two songs on Wednesday and boy, am I proud of them. They really managed to bring out some deep feelings/fears/hopes, and I think that’s mostly because they’ve been sitting drafts for six months now. I hope to be able to share them with you in the near future 😉

Sometimes, certain ideas/thoughts need to marinate before they can bloom into anything shareable, I must let them steep in flavors before I can cook them. And there’s just no other way, I can try and push them, but it won’t happen unless their heart is ready to beat.

These two did their time and even though I knew I would finish them this week, I was still surprised when it happened.

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Last week, I could hear them call out to me. Like ghosts, haunting me, in every corner of my mind, I’d hear their echoes, I’d see their colors, I’d feel them taking shape under my skin, boiling in my blood. And so when I sat down on Wednesday, they simply poured right out of me. I was overwhelmed as I looked at the small crumpled piece of paper that barely managed to hold these two freshly reopened wounds. But above everything, I was beyond excited to share them.

So, on Friday night, I was eager to play them live for the first time to a small crowd at the Haven open mic. Although my throat was very dry (despite my religiously drinking my mandarin peel infusion, but I’ll blame it on my nervousness) and breath support was barely happening, my performance was fine. Exceptionally emotional. My voice was struggling to get out there and stay on track, but I had these emotions coming pouring out of me that I almost cried on the second song. And it hit me that the wounds had never closed.

That second song I performed is called A different ending and is about dreadful separations, losing friends, love… But it’s not just hopelessness, there’s also a painful hopefulness deeply tied to the despair.

It took all these months for the song to tell me what it was aching for me to sing. At first I thought it was going to be simple, but then, when I was finishing it, writing those last lines, I found out that it was actually a song about my lost friend(s). And so much more. But, when I recorded it raw to give my close friends a listen, I was fine. So I did not expect me to break down while performing it. And boy, was that foolish of me.

There were sparks as I sang it but I guess I didn’t get it yet. When I performed it that night, I almost choked on my own heart as it was imploding with emotions. And as I was holding back the tears and keeping on singing, I realized I wasn’t over it. I mean, me, getting over something? Ha, ha! I knew I wasn’t but I thought, maybe, just maybe the pain had left, at least… And, as I have always preached, sharing the art is what truly gives life to it. A different ending came to life in the Haven, left the room silent and made the cracks on my heart glow again.

Anyways. I don’t really want to linger on and on on this. What I really wanted to write about is this vulnerability that I’ve been feeling very intensely lately! Which, I’d like to emphasize, is not a bad thing at all.

It’s no surprise if I tell you that going up on a stage, to do anything at all, can be a nerve-wracking experience. Although, usually, once you start, it gets better as you realize instant death under the audience’s gaze was only a spooky pipe dream. And even if you’re not super comfortable you realize you can survive it and if you’ve been blessed with bad eyesight (like the me) you might not even see the people in the room, and maybe for a split second you’ll tell yourself you could definitely do that again. It ain’t that bad. You might not like it, but at least you’ll know that it’ll take more than a room full of blurry people to take you down.

The real vulnerability I’m pointing my finger at right now though, is the one that comes with climbing on that stage with all your guts exposed and a screen on your chest. With my many (lolzor) years of theater in high-school/university, I’ve met people for whom a show is just that, a show, you know a persona, it’s all pretend. But I’ve never been that way. I like things to feel real, to be real and so I’ve always made a point to be honest in all I do. Well, at least in my art.

The closest experience I’ve ever had to what happened on Friday was during my last year of high school, when I played Ophelia from Hamlet, and went full-blown tragedy. That shit was intense when I played it for my final exam, I could feel all the feelings burning right through me. And all of it was real. We were the same person every time I would get up on a stage to play my scene and with time, we grew closer and closer. And the thing is that, with songs, it’s even worse..

Being on a stage already puts you in a vulnerable position, we got that. However, when you bring with you your very own songs, which you wrote with whatever came out first, tears, blood or whatever fueled your riffs, it’s even greater than simple vulnerability could describe it. Because these songs are made of you, it’s not just your vision of something else, it’s literally you (& more). And having to play these, especially when they reach as deep as A Different Ending and Find Me do, is…. Something else.

It is some type of bittersweet terror, I’d say. I put my all in these songs, not just energy and time, but also heart and I’m pretty sure parts of my soul end up in everything I make as well. They reached really deep into me (and I am learning, wishing, to go even deeper). And as much as I was dying to share them so I could breathe life into them and feel them fully, there was also this fear.

The last time I had to play a freshly written song live was with This Isn’t Me back in summer. But I didn’t apprehend it as much because this song, although being made of raw feelings of then, was not as deep. This time, though, I knew it would be different because these two new songs are actually me plucking my heart’s strings and the sounds it makes are hauntingly sincere. And, I swear, standing up in front of eight or twenty people, pouring your very heart out, takes more strength than you could imagine.

I would very much like to keep going because I still have loads of thoughts to share, but I have to cut this “short” now since I’d like to spend some time on my guitar (and theory books aaaaah) and if time allows it, maybe paint a thing or two. So, I will just add one more thing and then I will release your eyes.

All of Friday evening, apart from the emerging sadness after my performance, I was thinking about the reason why. Because I’ve felt many different things these past few weeks and sometimes I got discouraged and sincerely asked myself, what on earth is the point of all of this? And as I sat down and listened to these beautiful souls sharing their songs, I looked around me and within, and I just knew. That’s what we do.

We feel things intensely. We see things differently. And we morph them into bridges from reality to surreality or mirrors in which each can find their own truths and never be wrong. We turn ramblings of our souls into songs and nothing can compare to the cries of your heart echoing in someone else’s and feeling a whole room breathe to the beat of your pain & joy.

I refuse to let anyone, not even myself, ever try to convince me that art is pointless and life is meaningless. Because art fuels souls and the light each of us tiny stars emit keeps the Universe alive. And if it wasn’t for all of these passionate specks of dust, then there would be nothing.  You try and imagine a world without music, without colors or love. It’s everywhere and cannot be erased.

And that is why we were all in that room on Friday night. And that is why I kept on singing when I doubted. And it is why I won’t ever stop. 

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At the Brù on Monday

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Running Gag (original song)

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This is about never giving up, even when life gets you down and pain&fear grips your throat tighter than skinny jeans.

Words:

I keep turning the pages of this book that makes no damn sense

And it’s hard to keep my head in the game when my heart’s in pieces

I don’t know where I’m going to

But I gotta keep running

I’m terrified of all that’s to come

But I can’t stay down and dream this life away

There’s pain and lies and blood and fights

But there’s still light and love for me to find

So I gotta keep running

I don’t want to let bad experiences and fear hold me back.

It’s easy to just sit back and refrain from trying. You can build a nice little empire in your head without ever having to struggle and suffer; a dream world. But I refuse. And I know that there’s Light and Love everywhere.

Gotta keep running through the pain and fear and remember that this is all perfect and beautiful, only not in a fairytale way.

Remember, fear is fuel to your fire. Eat it. Don’t let it eat you.

Until next post, keep running! ❤

Positive bullets #5

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Finally back with some P.B.; it’s been a while!

I’m in need for some of those bright vibes, warm reminders, to feel okay tonight. So, let’s shoot that happiness!

  • Peppermint tea!
  • When my host mom makes me tea
  • Bob Seger
  • When the sun hits the trees and they’re so colorful and bright!
  • My mom’s knitted creations!
  • Knowing that I can play the guitar right-handed AND left-handed
  • The vibrations in my body when I sing
  • Caffè Nero in town
  • Those chocolate bars that look like butts
  • Hugs
  • The way Esther says my name
  • Button mushrooms & broccoli
  • Soy sauce
  • My kitty slippers
  • Using silly words to censor myself when chatting with the kids
  • My flower-printed bed sheets
  • My yellow shoes
  • When the wind makes my dress sway gently and it feels like I’m flying
  • The way my best friend says “ah la la”, and even better, when we say it at the same time!
  • Jason Bateman he he
  • Cat videos!
  • Will Arnett’s voice
  • That feeling when I understand music theory material
  • When my fingertips hurt from playing the guitar
  • That first stretch in the morning that feels like death and life at once
  • My little pony socks
  • Peanut butter and banana toasts!!!!!

Alrighty! Five minutes out!

I do feel better now. 🙂

For those of you that have no idea wth this is: It’s a thing I started back in 2016(?) when the storm was going pretty strong. I set a timer for five minutes and I jot down things that make me smile, that make me happy, things I enjoy, etc. It serves as a reminder of the light that surrounds us. And it’s like a little positivity shot!

Sometimes you can feel lost or overwhelmed by the silliest things, so it’s always nice to sit down and remember those little sparks that brighten up your life. It’s comforting. And as you write them down, it tickles those memories in your brain, and you smile as you recall how they make you feel. And you breathe better once you’re done as you remember that there is so much good in your life, no matter the amount of darkness, no matter how worn out life can get you.

Until next post, keep your eyes peeled; the Light is here! ❤

The “H” word.

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Happiness is not a sacred land that you can only reach after years of hard work. That is purely a fantasy.

Happiness is not an everlasting bliss. That is delusional.

Happiness isn’t a mysterious light at the end of a tunnel that you pursue.

Just like sadness, happiness doesn’t last forever for it’s only an emotion. And emotions aren’t forever. They have a certain duration and intensity, and more often then not, they fade fast. They’re only passing through.

How long it lasts only depends on what caused it. It can be a person, a thing, a moment, a dream; anything. It can be recurring. Like, when you see them again; each time. But it’s never a constant line. It needs to take breaks, breathe in, freshen up so it doesn’t get old. It’s interrupted by other emotions, sudden waves. Or it simply fades out after a while, like a cigarette slowly consumed by your eager lips.

 

It can’t last.

Because nothing lasts.

“Forever happy” is a fantasy. Happiness is a moment; a deep breath; a smile; a smaller piece of dust from the sea of dust blowing in the wind.

Happiness is the little things, the bigger ones. It’s the people, you. It can be found anywhere, in anyone, anything, at any time. And it’s a lovely emotion, it feels really good. But it doesn’t last. And it isn’t as big a deal as you’d like to believe.

 

Don’t reach out for a fantasy. Reach in and around for a real emotion, a pure bliss and enjoy it as it runs through you.

Happiness is now. It’s everyday. And it’s never lonely for we are like salad bowls of emotions and feelings. It’s never just one. Your insides are intertwined in a big messy hug.

Sometimes, this life leaves you blue…” But if you look close you’ll see that’s not the only color in your bruises. There’s more than meets the confused mind & distraught heart.

I’m a firm believer that there’s light even in the darkest of places, even if just a spark. And I’ve made a way of life out of finding it everywhere, the Light; the sparks.

You’ll get sad. You’ll get angry. You’ll get happy. You’ll get loads of different things, sometimes all at once! But you won’t get to a special place that contains all that means “light” to you. Not in this life at least. If happiness has to be a place, then, look no further than in yourself. There’s a whole universe in there; it’s all yours to explore…

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Until next post, embrace the ephemeral lights that make this world go round! ❤

Home is calling.

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Sometimes I close my eyes and it’s like I’m already there. The warm lights, the warm smiles and the drums in my chest.

And when I open them, only to find out that I am still so far from where I want to be, that heart of mine sinks in my chest.

It is hard, at times, to keep going when all you do never seems enough. It is hard to keep running towards those new horizons when all you do feels like running in circles.

But the one thing that is harder, is giving it all up.

I would never conceive a life without music and a future where I’m not there. My mind can imagine loads of things but that is the one thing that defines “impossible” to me.

And why would I give up anyway? I can feel myself getting closer and closer.

And as I slowly approach this dreamland, it only gets harder and more frustrating. The challenges flow and it’s not easy to follow.

But I can hear them.

Out of my window.

When I close my eyes.

When I lay in bed.

When I breathe.

I can hear the voices. I can see the lights. I can feel my pulse and almost feel my smile.

I feel it in my heart, my bones; my soul.

I can hear the stage as it’s calling me.

It’s closer by the day.

I might be crazy but I believe.

I’m on my way.

I like the idea of a future because although it never comes, it’s somehow always happening” – Hotel Books

Until next post, keep believing and don’t stop trying. Make things happen! ❤

What the existential fuck?!

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I think it’s crazy how Reality & Fantasy are superimposed on each other every second that I breathe. Like broken oil and water, finally mixing together, only not completely, and never not sloppily.

Essentially, all of Reality is Fantasy because, through my sole point of view, the only one I own, nothing ever is truly true or fully complete. A lot of what I actually perceive of Reality’s scope, if not all, is me guessing, me imagining, connecting the dots, trying to fill in the blanks, making sense of silences and desperately trying to see words, pictures in empty skies. None of it is ever truth, rather hollow ideas.

Reality is a fantasy. Life is unreal. I am surreal. Nothing makes sense, nothing is real. My eyes have fancy filters on, adding sense, colors, warmth and whatever else it deems necessary to this bland, vacant space in which I float. All of which are gone, from me; from the rest.

There is nothing.

I am nothing. And yet, I remain.

Nostrum is 3 months old!

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…And, sadly, this is how she spent the day:

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I woke up with some tension in my right arm this morning and rather than being bold and pushing through the soreness, I made the responsible choice of not touching the guitar at all today. Which was terrible and rendered me under-productive on this merry day! I wish we could’ve had some nice jam time together to celebrate our three months together, but it was for the best…

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Spending my day with the brace on my right wrist brought back some memories of 2016 with Glitch and so much bullshit. I remembered the struggle and I tried my best to be brave through it, and patient. I had my muscle relaxing oil, my special cream, my ice patch and my snuggly Emily around to care for me. Although it did get me very frustrated now and then, I frowned a lot but did not cry, and I had a lovely day with the kids.

I’m not gonna lie, it is super hard to try and force my brain to use mostly my left hand in these situations. Although I have been lately incorporating more and more left-hand activities in my daily life in order to actually become ambidextrous (and avoid any more days like these due to overworking my right hand/arm)… It does not make it easier. Because there is the factor of constraint involved and that makes it harder on me. But anywhoooo, I made it through the day, huh?!

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Mid hide&seek selfie

I still got to work a bit on a DIY cardboard shelf I’m making to gain space in my tiny bedroom(yes, I’ll post about it later on haha). And, after I’m done with this post, I’m going to to do some online Italian/music theory exercises (that won’t involve my right hand) or maybe even do some more left-handed writing if my eyes aren’t too tired. I played some cool games this evening with the kids and we had a very smooth transition to bedtime and they’re sound asleep now. It is my second night babysitting in a row but I’m not complaining; we love each other and it’s always a good time!

Today was a bit of a bummer because I’m dying for hard work right now and there’s always something, and I end up working way less than I intend to! But I should definitely celebrate all my progress and most importantly, celebrate having the exact guitar that I wanted by my side in this moment. She’s a beauty & she’s mine!

It’s hard to believe that she is here with me but, once again, this is fact not fiction and g*d does it feel so good! We’re making progress, step by step, we’ll get there! And I’m happy I have her because, even on days where I don’t play at all, Nostrum keeps me company and just like a good friend, even in the silence, my heart she tends. It’s weird but it’s real.

Happy birthday my dear Nostrum! And here’s to more existence together! ❤

(I’m super tired now, might as well just post this and hop into bed, rest that arm some more! I’ll get work done tomorrow!)