so many people

End of a long day. It probably was made to feel long by the fact that I was in transit, in the snow, for as long as I was in any one place. I was part of the height of the morning subway traffic.  As I waited to get on the F train I just thought, there are so many people. 

People getting on and off. People sleeping on the train. People getting ready to get off. People checking their phones, reading books, talking to a friend (that early in the morning? are they roommates? do they travel to work together?) Couples sitting speaking in English, Spanish, languages that I couldn't place. A woman with her baby carriage. A guys studying some notes. People with headphones, some playing music far too loud. Putting on mascara. Staring blankly into space, people watching. 

So many people. If you start to think about it, it can drive you nuts. Where are they going? Where did they come from? How are they today? What's their family like? So many different people, from all walks of life, and yet we all ride the subway. We're all part of the rush at some point no matter where you are going. 

People going through breakups, crushes, falling in love, having fights, getting married. Feeling lonely. Feeling on top of the world. We could go on and on this way, and maybe realize that we are all of those on any given day. 

My dad had a very good friend who said "Your problems are not unique. You are." On the one hand, I think we like to think that our problems and experiences are singular. No one has ever felt, done, lived, fought, loved, worked as you do. I would say you're right. Not because the person next to you could not empathize with a moment in your life, but because in the moment you were you. You were where you are coming from, you are all of your experiences leading up to that moment. 

So many people. All riding the subway. All unique. Pretty neat. 

rehearsal day one

So I've been working with a show that I was a part of last year, on and off for the last couple of months. It's been great to be in the city and have a source of income, even if its a day here and a day there. Today, I start helping train the new lead of the show. It's fun. I'm really excited to work with this girl, she was wonderful during her auditions. I will say, that a little part of me feels... whats the right word... anxious, bummed that its not me. I left that show because I didn't feel that I was being used the way I wanted to be. I was offstage and learned so much about the process of maintaining a show and my boundaries, what I'm capable of from a completely different angle. But I miss being the person on stage. The person responsible for telling the story.

 

Anyway, today and for the rest of the week I will try to infuse as much passion for the work and knowledge and confidence into this new girl as she embarks on what could be a very fun journey for her. At the end of the day, or rather, at the beginning (since its early) I feel excited. 

 

Off I run to rehearsal! Water check. Snack check. Sneakers, Heels, Flats check. Extra shirt check. Sweater check. Notes Check. Harry Potter Check! What am I missing?? Coffee. :)

on the go

Today I write a very short entry. I have been doing errands like you do on a Sunday. Laundry, a late breakfast, getting ready to meet my boyfriend's mom for an afternoon hang out and a show. In the midst of all that, where did time set aside to do this go?? Away!

I was thinking about writing about co-habitation today. It's new in my life. Living with my person. And I'm loving it. We live in a studio with the pup. And its been great even though its small. It is days like today though, that I see that having a room to go to, to work, would help. Maybe. It's hard after a week of busy schedules to pull myself away. 

And with that.... I really do have to go! 

PS- Love this quote:

"Our basic nature is to act, not to be acted upon." - Stephen Covey

human spaces

Hello.

I love cafes in New York City. I'm really thankful for this one that just opened up. One of favorite parts about them is an experience I'm actually having right now, as I type. Privacy in Public. Shared moments. Maybe also called eavesdropping or people watching. Shared moments just sounds less invasive. 

This guy next to me and his friend are discussing friends. (As I sit next to them for longer, I think this is actually a first date! Great conversation though.) They're talking about how sometimes you encounter people that seem to have so many friends and when you compare that to yourself, it can make you feel lonely sometimes. "Why don't I have that many friends? Whats wrong with me?" He challenged her... If you look deeply at all of those connections though, how many of them are deep. Maybe a better way to view friendships is not in quantity of people but the quality of those relationships. Good point sir. Come to think of it... I've found myself a victim of those thoughts before and come up with excuses so that I don't feel alone. 'Well, I was always friends with people older than me'. 'I switched schools a lot in middle school'. 'I was busy dancing'. 'I lived alone in college'. But the truth is, I'm making a discovery in this moment! I think that these excuses have actually prevented me, in the past, to reach out to friends I had and develop those individual relationships. At some point, I got locked into the idea that having friends means having a group. The older I get the more I am learning to take risks, and make plans. Crazy that making a phone call feels like a risk. Or sending a text or sending an email, a letter even!

I reached out to a friend for help a day ago. I just needed to talk something out. And I realized when I sent her the text "Hey, let me know when you're free. I'd love your advice on something," that I haven't really done that in so long. I call my dad, my mom, my brother. I talk to my boyfriend. I write. But this conversation with her was so great. And when we hung up, I felt like we had really gotten somewhere, I'd received great advice AND invested into the emotional bank account of our friendship. 

An Emotional Bank Account is a metaphor that describes the amount of trust that’s been built up in a relationship. It’s the feeling of safeness you have with another human being.
— Stephen Covey

I want to have great friends. I love that some people have these groups of friends that feel like family, and sometimes I envy that. People who travel in packs. However, maybe some of us only have a handful of friends that we carry close to our hearts. That we let in with time and then will always be there for. We just have to keep showing up.

Cheers to the people we trust with ourselves. 

the underground musicians

Sitting at the cafe. Latte in a mug. Glass of water and a record playing. What a wonderful cliche. The sun is shining and the sky is blue, it's one of those days that makes you walk a little taller, happy to be in this city. Possibility. Palpable energy in the air.  

Yesterday, on my way here and there I kept stumbling on the most wonderful musicians. Playing in the subway stations. Just amazing. True musicians, poets, singers and songwriters. 2nd ave, a boy who played the guitar and the harmonica. He sang about moving to New York City to chase a dream and singing to take himself back to the mountains, the ocean that he missed. He sang about wanting to find love. West 4th, a duet. A girl sang and the boy played guitar. He said they were just 'having a rehearsal since space was too expensive in the city'. They were good too. People stopped and listened and some gave money. What surprised me, in each instance, was that no one claps. Even the musicians that pull quite a crowd finish songs to the bustle of trains and the silence of people who immediately retreat back into themselves or their service-less phones. I decided. I'm going to start clapping. 

In other news, I've been going through some vocal trauma. I developed a polyp, due to allergies (or at least that's the best guess), and had to have surgery to remove it. I haven't been able to sing since September 2013. Its mid-January 2014. I hear those people, no expensive training, no cough drops, just some water, a wall for acoustics and being connected to why they are singing and then they go on for hours. Pretty incredible. And neat how they become part of the soundscape of the city. I've gotten used to hearing the guy who plays the wind instrument as I run to an early rehearsal or audition. He hasn't been there for a few days, and I wonder where he is. Add them to the rest of the hustle and bustle of accidental music here. The cab horns and cars screeching, construction on a new high rise, kids laughing, people yelling, dogs barking, trains starting and stopping singing "There's a Place for Us". Have you ever heard that? It's just the first couple notes, something about how the train tracks meet the subway car as it starts to go, creates that minor 7th chord.  "There's a...." 

 

A round of applause to the subway musicians. 

first post

Hi.

Guess that's as good a place as any to start. I'm here in New York City. The city of lights, of dreams, the city that never sleeps. Also, the place where I live. If I flip back through most of my journals through the years so many of them start like this:

"Sitting in a cafe... "

Today is no different. A cafe has opened in the Lower East Side, up the street, with tables and wireless and delicious coffee and 'to- stay' mugs and plates. And its not a Starbucks. I love Starbucks, it has saved my life many a time while I was on tour. But in the city, the local coffee is king. For me at least. 

I'm not sure where this will lead. I just read this book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. I finally read it, is more like it. I was raised on this book. My dad read it when he was starting his company and so all of these things that I grew up hearing were all of a sudden in print before my eyes. One of the chapters says to 'begin with the end in mind'. To envision where you want to be and then figure out how you get there along the way. My dad always says that planes en route to their destination are off course 99% of the time, but they still arrive where they knew they were going. I think I'm at a point in life where I want to be really selfish about the kind of life I want to have. And then go about living it. No apologies. No comparison. I imagine myself in a cafe, working, sitting at a table with a latte or coffee, and reading and writing. I think that's where today comes from. I feel good here. So. Here we are. 

Let's see where it leads.