Blue Monday

September 27, 2011 at 1:22 am (Uncategorized)

But not blue in the sense that it’s depressing. More in the sense that they offer half price drinks at the Garden, which is the main bar in Moscow. And I went out with my roommates for a while before I had to head off to work. It was actually a lot of fun, I don’t ever get to hang out with those guys (and Bethany! Although our schedules oddly mesh up a lot better than mine with Kyle or Danny) so it was a good plan. Having a couple drinks before work would be more of a deal if I actually did anything. In any case it’s not something I want to make a habit, but every so often…I won’t hold it against myself.

Listening to some Ben Folds, which is excellent. It’s the right kind of semi-melancholy groove I need for this particular evening. I just love piano heavy music…I’m not sure why it speaks to me, but for whatever reason I can always get behind it, especially when it’s acoustic. That extends to guitar for the most part also. Billy Joel springs to mind; so do Sara Bareilles, Ingrid Michaelson, and James Taylor.

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9-25

September 26, 2011 at 12:47 am (Uncategorized)

It’s one of those nights where I don’t feel much like being here at the hotel. I would much prefer to curl up with a cup of coffee or hot chocolate and read a book while the rain falls outside. Instead I can put on my coat and pretend it’s a blanket while I curl up with a big cup of nothing and the internet.

I think my problem is that much of the time, I don’t feel like talking. I feel like listening. I enjoy hearing what people have to say, absorbing it, allowing it to transform my perception of the world. It seems to me that much of what people need isn’t advice so much as a sounding board to hear their thoughts someplace other than inside their own head. It’s not like I don’t have opinions about things, it’s just that I know that I’m going to believe that I’m right even though I may not be. My best judgement isn’t always perfect judgement. So if it’s not asked for, I try not to give it. I think that’s why it would be cool to be a priest. You get to help people and listen to them in a way that is very healing, and there’s not necessarily the expectation that you’re going to give them all the answers. The important thing is being able to get it all off your chest. Now I’m not religious enough to ever be a priest by a long shot, but that aspect in particular does appeal to me.

“Part of what makes us human is what we mean to other people, and what people mean to us.” ~John Scalzi

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately; how different people mean different things to me, and how that fundamentally shapes who I am. It seems like such a basic thing, but at the same time it is utterly profound. I’m not sure I completely understand the ways in which people make me be me. A lot to think about.

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Blogging about not blogging

September 25, 2011 at 6:26 am (Uncategorized)

Well,

tonight I didn’t manage to put down my thoughts onto virtual paper. Most of the reason is because I feel pretty run down and just generally blah from the past few days of screwing with my sleep schedule and then now. However, life has been pretty fantastic since you last heard from me, so I’ll recap a few of the major things that happened to me during my time off.

  1. I not only was selected to continue on in the Teach for America process, they liked me enough to skip the phone interview and go directly to the in-person one. I have a little bit more work to do before that, but I am incredibly excited for the opportunity.
  2. I got called back to interview at a law firm downtown. This hotel job just kind of sucks away at my soul, and I would love to do a job that is at least related to my degree. And you never know, I could love it and decide to get my law degree. I’ll never be able to figure that kind of thing out if I don’t actually see what it’s like. I’m just hoping to do well enough to get the job. Working normal hours would be so wonderful. I’d be able to see people again, sleep normally, and feel like I’m really doing something. Gotta bring my game face on Wednesday.
  3. Size 10 Shoe randomly had a gig at Gnosh on Thursday night. It was totally last minute but we played a pretty good set. They seemed to really like us, so that was awesome. We were all a bit run down, especially Kyle, but fortunately for me Danny and Kyle are professionals so they were able to do all the work and I was able to be loud-ish.
  4. I’m getting a new computer and it should be here on Monday. Definitely ready to have another one…had major problems ordering from Dell and they were completely unhelpful in every possible way. So I bought a samsung instead. It was highly rated by consumer reports, so I’m not worried.
That’s most of the good things that have happened so far the last few days. I’m excited to see what this week brings (and if you pray or think good thoughts about people I certainly wouldn’t mind anyone sending some of those my way Wednesday morning) and it’s one of those times where life has given you a bunch of opportunities…I need to reach out and get them. Just have to be myself; I know what I’m capable of.
“There is no scarcity of opportunity to make a living at what you love; there’s only scarcity of resolve to make it happen.” ~Wayne Dyer

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The Sing-Off!

September 21, 2011 at 3:56 am (Uncategorized) ()

So, Kyle said something I felt worth quoting the other night. We were talking about my recent spate of blogging as compared to how much I’ve written in the past, and he said that my blogs now are better because it “these are like your adventures while being put into solitary confinement on a nightly basis.” I would have to say that’s a fairly accurate statement. BUT…tonight is my Friday, so I can’t be too down about it. The nights actually seem to pass fairly quickly.

Watched the first episode of the sing-off tonight. I must say, it is excellent. Definitely must-see TV if you like music. Sara Bareilles is a far better judge than that other chick. Not much more to say than that. I think the first group that went is my favorite so far, but there’s no group on there that I seriously dislike. Kinfolk-9 is fairly meh, but they could easily turn in a much better performance. So much for that.

Helped lead the first of two sessions for Alton’s leadership class tonight, it went well I thought. I had a little less time than I had planned for, which was fine, but I ended up being a bit more jumbled than I wanted to be and ended up talking more than I wanted to. Not that me talking is the end of the world, but I was hoping to spur a little more discussion. Hopefully I will ask the right questions next time (tomorrow) when I do the other section.

So I may or may not have mentioned this in a previous post, but I was cast in two 10 minute shows for this semester. Looking forward to that A LOT. It also is funny how much less daunting these shows seem after throwing together a 10 minute show (and moreover a musical) in 9 hours. It helps that I have a lot of free time in which to memorize lines. I do need to print off the shows but of course my computer is out of commission and I no longer have access to the school’s printers since I am no longer a student. I wonder if the hotel would be upset if I used like 20 pages to print off a couple shows? I mean I doubt they would be particularly happy with it, but I also doubt they would notice if I just did it. So that is somewhat of a dilemma. Something to figure out in the next couple of days.

Goals for my “weekend”

  • Do my laundry. It’s getting pretty bad. It should have been done a week and a half ago.
  • Don’t get sick. There are plenty of people I know (Bethany this is looking at you) who are ill at the moment. Going to try to avoid catching it.
  • Have some Size 10 rehearsal. It’s been far too long. I don’t know if we’ll be able to work in the time, but it would be awesome if we could.
  • Become caffeinated. I have 3 coffee outings with friends in the next two days. There is nothing better than just sitting down and talking to people about life and everything. I wish I could do it everyday. I probably would if I had enough people who wanted to spend a while sitting and chatting that often.

In other exciting news, I sent my first fax ever today. There just never has been any reason to send one before–email or regular mail has been fine. I’ve received faxes, but never sent one. So that’s pretty exciting…welcome to the world of corporate communication! I actually sent it for one of the guests. I wasn’t sure if it was ok to send other people’s faxes from our machine, but since I didn’t know I went with my general life rule of not being a dick and said sure. I don’t see why it would be an issue.

Well it’s already 4am and this post is fairly dull, but I do want to just say that at the moment, I’m not afraid of what life is going to bring me. I’m cautiously optimistic that things are going to go well. And if they don’t, well maybe that’s how it was meant to be.

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Best Joke in the World

September 20, 2011 at 3:45 am (Uncategorized)

What do you get when you cross a skunk and a helicopter? A skunkacopter!

I made that joke up when I was 12, in Europe. It was almost my 13th birthday…like the day before if I remember correctly. We were in London and I told that joke, and this girl I had a major crush on at the time thought it was really funny for some reason. I’ll never know. But it emboldened me, and I have continued to tell it ever since to everyone I know. The best thing about the joke is that it gets funnier and funnier with each retelling.

My goal is to one day have someone I don’t know tell me that joke. So tell all your friends. Make it a thing.

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Sept. 20th, barely

September 20, 2011 at 12:45 am (Uncategorized)

There is something about listening to good music that never fails to put me in an excellent mood. I’m not too high or low…simply content with things as they are. I like these moods quite a bit. I think we all have our various styles of music that are capable of putting us in these states, and I find it fascinating that it can vary so much from person to person. I can appreciate good country or metal music, but in general my appreciation of someone’s talent won’t necessarily translate into me being happy with my place in the universe. I seem to find it mostly with more mellow songs that have harmonies and are generally pop-based. Jazz can do it too if I’m feeling it that day. I love listening to talented vocalists sing…both as something to aspire to and to appreciate for it’s own sake. I don’t always get to where I am right now, but it wouldn’t be so pleasant if I didn’t know some dissatisfaction as well. It’s the same when I’m singing. There are some days where I feel like I can do anything with my voice, all the notes seem to be hitting the right places, and I think that I could melt the hearts of a million women (and probably some guys too, I suppose) with a single song. Other days I feel croaky and incapable and I wonder why I ever bothered picking up this whole singing business in the first place. Of course most days lie somewhere between those two extremes, but it’s interesting how our mental states can affect our voices. I don’t do anything different, but it comes out different. Very weird, and kind of cool, assuming I am theoretically capable of harnessing my mind in such a way so that I can be in that good place more often than not.

I’ve noticed that for a blog entitled politicallymusical, I tend to talk a lot about the music and very little about the politics. I think it’s because politics right now for me are quite frustrating. Maybe I’ll try my hand at it soon, but it’s one of those things I need to write about when I’m either in an analytical mood or ready to rant. Neither describes me at the moment.

“It is a wise man that does know the contented man is never poor, whilst the discontented man is never rich.” ~ Frank Herbert

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Sunday SUNDAY sunday

September 19, 2011 at 3:16 am (Uncategorized)

Imagine the title of this post being read by the guy that does all of the monster truck rally advertisements. THIS SUNDAY ONLY READ DEATH DEFYING PROSE AS WORDS ARE SMASHED TOGETHER…COHERENCE IS NOT REQUIRED! sponsoredbytheassociationofstreamofconsciousnesswritinginconjunction                                                          withourpartnershipwithadorablecorgivideosunlimted.

You know what’s a funny mental image? Bigfoot in a cowboy hat.

So, I was in church this morning (as I am wont to do these days…14!) and I realized that I probably don’t have the most appropriate inner monologue during services. I am easily distracted at times, especially when everyone is doing the call and response and I am attempting to furtively people watch. For instance, Father Vogel started mass telling everyone that “today was a day that we should remember and reflect upon Jesus’ resurrection…” and a bass line starts in my head.

Dah dun dun dun dun dun dun, dah dun dun dun dun dun dun….

It continues playing quietly while he talks about today’s readings and sermon. Then he has everyone take a silent moment to pray.

Guitars explode in my head.

‘CAUSE THIS IS THRILLER, THRILLER NIGHT, AND NO ONE’S GONNA SAVE YOU FROM THE BEAST ABOUT TO STRIKE…

Jesus gets up off of his cross in the center of the room, and starts doing the iconic dance. I crack a smile. All of the saints join in, and Jesus takes the lead. He’s rocking out, long hair flying all over the place. He’s got an electric guitar and is using the power of 80s pop to do battle with Satan, surrounded by dancing devils and angels. They’re vying for our souls, but a part of me thinks they’re also doing it for the music.

…I realize about a beat too slowly that everyone is sitting down, and I join them. Fortunately I do a lot of things a little slower than the people who actually know what they’re doing, so no one notices.

My mind also tends to wander during the Eucharist prayer as well.

Before he was given up to death, a death he freely accepted, he took bread and gave you thanks, He broke the bread, gave it to his disciples, and said:

Take this, all of you, and eat it;
this is my body which will be given up for you.

In my head I see Jesus tearing off chunks of himself and handing them to the disciples. I also misheard Father Vogel and mixed up the second and third clauses of that sentence…so instead in my mind I’m imagining Jesus saying “take this and eat it you, ALL of it.” The disciples are stuffed but it’s like that scene in Matilda where that chubby kid has to eat an entire chocolate cake.

 When the supper was ended, he took the cup. Again he gave you thanks and praise, gave the cup to his disciples, and said:

Take this, all of you, and drink from it;
this is the cup of my blood, the blood of the new and everlasting covenant. It will be shed for you and for all so that sins may be forgiven. Do this in memory of me.  

Jesus is now slicing himself open and pouring his blood into the cups. The by now rotund disciples have vaguely ill looks on their faces. I’m cringing slightly imagining the blood just pouring out of the inside of Jesus’ elbow. Again I mixed up the words and the disciples need to drink ALL of Jesus’ blood.

I force the images from my mind; I’m starting to get a little queasy. We start singing, and I’m able to focus on that instead.

I guess all this might be vaguely blasphemous…I don’t really daydream maliciously, and in my defense I get off work at 7am, sleep for a couple hours, wake up at 10 and go to mass at 10:30. So maybe my brain isn’t totally out of the “you’re dreaming” state yet. And if you’re the kind of person that would get upset by those thoughts in my head, don’t worry. I’d be going to hell anyway, so you can rest easy knowing my eternal damnation is almost certainly assured regardless of heretical thoughts in mass.

Of course, 99% of the people reading this don’t really care one way or the other, and are just hoping to be amused or at the very least vaguely interested by what I’m writing. For you, I hope that task was accomplished. If it wasn’t, don’t fear. I’ll probably be writing again tomorrow night unless I just sit here with a mental block like I did yesterday. In that case you’ll have some quotes. Boom

Shifting gears…

Alton asked me to come into his leadership class and talk about authenticity. My first thought was yes, of course I’ll come and help facilitate a discussion about that. Talking and listening are two of my favorite things to do. It’s why I love meeting new people, going out to coffee with friends and strangers, and generally learning about people. It’s easy to say that you love the world, but going out and really showing that you care about everyone; that’s another animal entirely. So that was the first thought. My second thought was to laugh and think, “I want to go into politics, he’s picking me?” Of course, I’m not the kind of person that really wants to deal in misinformation, so perhaps it’s not the worst choice. And then I wondered…am I really authentic? I try to be, I really do. But I know I don’t always succeed. I fall into the traps so many of us do when we are searching for love and acceptance and sometimes I don’t act like myself because I want people to like me. I’ve gotten a lot better about that over the last couple of years, but it’s an easy thing to do with a personality like mine. I also realized I would have to come up with something at least mildly interesting to say, and since I have this blog to work out my thoughts, I figured this was the forum to talk about authenticity.

I’d love to hear about your own thoughts on the subject in the comments. What is authenticity to you?

Authenticity to me has a couple of components. Before we go there, though, let’s start with what it says in the dictionary:

1. The quality of being authentic, genuineness.

The first part of that is not helpful at all. I like genuineness, but let’s keep going and see if we can tease out a bit more of what I’m looking for. I found a second definition which I think works better for my purposes. I’m going to copy and paste it; hopefully the formatting won’t look insane.

authentic  (ɔːˈθɛntɪk) [Click for IPA pronunciation guide]
— adj
1. of undisputed origin or authorship; genuine: an authentic signature
2. accurate in representation of the facts; trustworthy; reliable:an authentic account
3. (of a deed or other document) duly executed, any necessarylegal formalities having been complied with
4. music
a. using period instruments and historically researched scoresand playing techniques in an attempt to perform a piece as itwould have been played at the time it was written
b. ( in combination ): an authentic-instrument performance
5. music  Compare plagal
a. (of a mode as used in Gregorian chant) commencing on thefinal and ending an octave higher
b. (of a cadence) progressing from a dominant to a tonic chord

So the formatting only looks slightly insane. I can live with this.

1. Of undisputed origin or authorship.

I like this definition. I don’t think it’s trending towards defining authenticity in people as far as this goes, but I think one can see it as such. If I have an undisputed origin, I am me. It’s not like that Arnold Schwarzenegger movie where he gets cloned (the name escapes me at the moment) and he has to prove he’s the reahl Ahnold. So I am the Jordan Alexander Hensley I say I am. These are in fact the droids I am looking for. Clearly, though, I’m not going to be able to make much of this, especially in a more serious academic setting. That’s ok. There are a whole bunch more definitions I imagine will work better.

2. Accurate in representation of the facts.

This is also not exactly what I’m looking for, but it’s better than the first one. I mean, we should strive to be accurate, and we want to portray an accurate picture of ourselves to the world, but is that really what we’re looking for? Doesn’t seem to be.

3. In the legal sense…something has been deemed to be accurate. Again, more a descriptor of a thing than a state of being (which seems to be what we’re looking for). Onward we go!

4/5. Music!

I lumped these two together because they are very similar, and the fact that number 5 confuses the hell out of me. Interesting use of authentic which I haven’t thought about before, but again, for my purposes it isn’t what I’m looking for.

So where does that leave us? Maybe I need to take a look at that first definition again. And maybe the word I’m looking for is genuineness. Maybe instead of genuineness being a synonym for authenticity, authenticity is the synonym we use when talking about our own personal genuineness. So I decided to click on genuineness.

It took me to a link talking about the synonyms of authentic, and I think the answer lies within. I also found it interesting, so I decided to copy the entire post:

“Authentic/genuine/real/veritable all share the sense of actuality and lack of falsehood or misrepresentation. Authentic carries a connotation of authoritative certification that an object is what it is claimed to be: an authentic Rembrandt sketch. Genuine refers to objects or persons having the characteristics or source claimed or implied: a genuine ivory carving. Real, the most general of these terms, refers to innate or actual—as opposed to ostensible—nature or character: In real life, plans often miscarry. A real diamond will cut glass. Veritable, derived from the Latin word for truth, suggests the general truthfulness but not necessarily the literal or strict correspondence with reality of that which it describes; it is often used metaphorically: a veritable wizard of finance.”

Two terms stick out to me in particular–the lack of falsehood or misrepresentation and persons having the characteristics or source claimed or implied.

So if a person is authentic, they have the characteristics they want to or are implied to have, and they don’t misrepresent themselves in terms of those characteristics. I have to show that I represent those qualities. The most obvious question is whether or not I actually am authentic. In all situations, probably not. But it’s something I’m working on and have gotten better at. I’m a work in progress, so I just have to be as true to myself as I can at any given moment. I feel like this blog is my attempt at authenticity…to portray how I am, and not be someone who I think people want me to be. If I can keep my pandering to a minimum throughout my life, I can be successful in that regard. Something I have always tried to do is just write what I’m feeling, and maybe it’s not always great prose but it is true to myself. That, to me is more important. I am fortunate in that it doesn’t much matter whether or not people actually read this.

Alton gave us all a few quotes to think about as we formulate our ideas on authenticity. A few of them stuck out to me, and I’ll attempt to work through those.

“If I risk myself, I may lose your approval.  If I lose your approval, I will perhaps still be larger, for I will have gained my own approval.”  James Hollis, On This Journey We Call Our Life:  Living the Questions. p.30.

It comes back to what I was saying earlier. Everyone could say that I’m a fool (and perhaps I am), but if I do what makes me happy (living the examined life and trying to think through what I’m doing here and how I can find meaning) then at the end of the day I probably am doing what is right. I tend to believe that people respond to authenticity. No one likes to get bullshitted. They want the truth, they want accuracy. Now sometimes they can’t deal with those things, and then you run into problems, but people’s incapability of handling the truth at a given point in time doesn’t strike me as a good reason to not give the truth. And since it seems to me that the truth usually wins out, you will be vindicated in the long run. It is important to note the distinction between being true to yourself and saying or doing controversial things and doing whatever you feel is best for you. Selfishness is not the product of self-reflection, and if that is the cause of one’s loss of approval then you have another problem entirely and probably aren’t being honest with yourself. If you aren’t honest with yourself, then how can you be authentic?

“To be nobody-but-yourself—in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else—means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.”  e.e. cummings

It’s so easy to seek validation from others…to want people to love and care about you. In the pursuit of that I think we often turn into other people. If you really want people that love you though, you have to be authentic. You can’t live a lie your entire life knowing that people like you because of something that isn’t substantial. The truth eventually comes out, and if you haven’t cultivated real relationships with people who love you for who YOU are, then you’ll end up alone and without any validation at all. I also struggle with the need to be validated and knowing that the only validation I really should be looking for is the validation from myself. I just want to be liked. What if people don’t like me? There will always be people who will care for you if you care for them. I think that you need to love yourself before you can love the world, and you might just have to love the world before it can really love you.

There are several more quotes that have gotten me thinking, but my mind is a bit blurry at the moment and I feel as though my writing has become more and more incoherent as I continue to write this post. My brain throwing up into my fingers which then spew forth onto a keyboard. In any case, I do feel as though the most important thing you can do is be yourself, because that’s the only way you’ll ever be happy with yourself. You have to embrace it.

So how do I start telling any of that to the classes I’m working with this week? Well the beautiful thing is that I don’t have to. I can give a bit about myself, tell a couple of stories, and then let them think for themselves about it. Let them steer the conversation; all I need to do is moderate. Undoubtedly they will help inform my opinion and bring me to a level of understanding that I don’t have at 3:15am on a Sunday night. I’ll just leave the world with a couple of quotes:

“Never idealize others. They will never live up to your expectations. Don’t overanalyze your relationships. Stop playing games. A growing relationship can only be nurtured by genuineness.” ~Leo F. Buscaglia

And this I fear because I also fear remaining in obscurity forever:

“I’m afraid of losing my obscurity. Genuineness only thrives in the dark. Like celery.” ~Aldous Huxley

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September 18, 2011 at 3:53 am (Uncategorized)

“For the record, I am not an admitted homosexual, nor am I a homosexual, though I do know the lyrics to every show tune ever written, which might perhaps account for the confusion.” ~John Podhoretz

“If you could only love enough, you could be the most powerful person in the world. ” ~Emmet Fox

“Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.” ~Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

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We Looked like Giants

September 17, 2011 at 2:18 am (Uncategorized)

Hello dear world (blogosphere? Facebook fiefdom? Cyber country?),

I know you missed me. No new blog post yesterday…It broke a pretty strong streak I had going there. Unfortunately I am sans computer at home at the moment, and that makes it somewhat difficult. Not much more to say than that; time to just jump into another night’s musings.

I finished my Teach for America application today. I had everything finished except for my letter of intent. How do you say how much you want to make a difference and help people without having it sound contrived, especially in 500 words or less? I did what I could. And now of course I’m nervous I won’t move forward at all. I don’t know how I’d take it if I didn’t get in. It’s always hard getting rejected from something you really care about. It’s out of my hands now, I can just hope I did well enough to make it happen. It’s not not to look ahead and be excited about it all though. It’s one of those things you just have to try not to think about too much, and I’ll know on the 22nd. So we will see!

Auditions tomorrow for directing scenes. Should be fun, being in rehearsal couple nights a week and keeping myself sane. I guess this is assuming I can get in; I didn’t last year. My understanding is that they are hurting for people this time around, so I like my chances.

Feeling a bit drained, not much exciting to write about. However, I will scour the internet for some interesting things and perhaps leave you with a few of them.

 

“After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.” ~Aldous Huxley

I agree, and I love me some BNW.

“My life is every moment of my life. It is not a culmination of the past.” ~Hugh Leonard

Too true, and how often we forget.

“All major religious traditions carry basically the same message, that is love, compassion and forgiveness the important thing is they should be part of our daily lives.” ~Dalai Lama

Anyone who has read my blog before will know that I agree with that!

Ryan and Caitlin came and visited me this evening, huzzah for friends! I get pretty lonely out here, and occasionally having my existence reaffirmed is pretty great.

Well sorry for the terribleness of this post, but my mind is not focused even a little bit today. I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me. Next one will be better!

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Sept. 15

September 15, 2011 at 3:40 am (Uncategorized)

Hey everyone,

well this is my first blog post done with a bit of a buzz going on. Sometimes I forget what great roommates I have, and then they take time out of their week to hang out with me until 3 in the morning on a Wednesday just because it’s the day I happen to have off. So we watched a movie (The Story of my Success with Michael J. Fox…actually quite good) and had a few drinks and they all just went to bed, because that definitely was needed from them. I’m still awake, partially because of the red bull I had with my my tequila and partially because I don’t usually sleep until 7:30 or 8am most mornings anyway. But I appreciate those guys (and Bethany) for being my friends. It’s easy to sometimes forget about everyone and the rest of the world because I’m usually so isolated, but knowing that there are people that care about you…you can’t beat that.

We started the probationary process for 10 new members of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia tonight…excited for those guys, and a little bit sad that I won’t be around as much to see their development and how they exemplify everything we stand for. I mean, I’m sure they are wonderful individuals, but with the way I work at the moment I only am usually able to attend choir on Wednesdays. It isn’t the end of the world, but it is less than ideal. I think the nice thing about being in a group like Sinfonia is just being able to have a group of guys you can count on…it’s a kind of support structure you rarely find other places. It’s also nice knowing you have a group of people that share the same ideals as you. I think the world can be uplifted through music, and knowing that there are other people who feel the same as you and who are committed to it is really cool. This isn’t to say there aren’t plenty of people who aren’t committed to that all around me; I definitely have seen that kind of belief from people all throughout this University and beyond. But it’s one thing to see that people believe in it and it’s another entirely to see them commit to this organization and vocalize that fact with you. Plus it’s just a good tool for building men and musicians. I know I’ve learned so much from my time with Phi Mu Alpha.

I oftentimes wish I were more musically inclined, and sometimes I wish I had tried to do something with music instead of political science. It’s not that I regret my degree at all; I don’t. It’s just that I think that music inspires me so much I wish that I could inspire others to the same degree through song. If I were a little better at singing, or were able to read music, or play an instrument, perhaps I would feel differently. I think it might just be enough to know that occasionally I can sing well enough to bring people some joy in this world. If I can brighten someone’s day, even if it is only sometimes, I think I can feel that I’ve done something good for this world.

At the end of the day, that’s all I want. If I can make other people’s lives a little bit better for have having known me, I can die a happy man. Sometimes I talk with my parents, and they raise valid points about needing to be able to support myself and whatever family I eventually have. They are completely correct. But it’s not about the money, and it never will be. I won’t ever find happiness if I’m constantly worried about moving up the ladder. I need to be the best person I can be, just being Jordan, and that will be enough. The success…well that will either happen or it won’t, and I believe in myself to think that I am talented and capable enough to be successful in whatever occupation I choose. I just think that my main motivator will be my wife, my children, and my ability to help and love everyone I meet. It can be difficult to think that way at first, because sometimes we have to sacrifice our own “happiness” for the sake of others. For me, though, being happy stems from making other people joyful. That’s why I want to to Teach For America so badly. I really want to help these people who may not have had teachers in the past who have had the passion to help them succeed on their own. I want to contribute to the betterment of society. I want to spread my passion and love as far and wide as I can…as much as I can. I’m not perfect, and I never will be. Sometimes I wish I could make everyone understand that I care for them incredibly deeply. I wish people would seek me out as a friend, and someone to talk to, as much as I know I seek them out. There are so many people I’ve met in high school and college who I respect immensely but for whatever reason I never got to know as well as I would like. Perhaps I will someday be able to make up for that a little bit.

For now, it’s enough to know that I have been blessed by all the people that have touched my life, and that I can go on knowing that everyone I have met has taught me something, and that I am a better person for it. Everyone that reads this, I appreciate you, and the contribution you have made to my life. I wish we could get coffee and sit down and talk about the things you feel are important, and you could deepen my understanding of life and existence. I know that isn’t always realistic, but it’s how I feel.

I apologize for the somewhat rambling state of tonight’s post, but I was from my (albeit someone intoxicated) heart. Love and peace to all of you, and I hope that if you ever find yourself needing to talk to someone, anyone, you won’t hesitate to seek me out. I’m always willing to listen.

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