Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Interlude: Glee "On My Way" reaction post

Last week's episode of Glee was... intense.  Several dark storylines, and inspiring Regionals performances.

I tried writing a couple of "It gets better" posts on my old blog.  I'm not sure they're all that good.  Truthfully, I have experienced some AMAZING things in my life, at all stages.  Snapshots of some of the GOOD things that I will eventually talk about,  following the text.  There's just a little -- well, a lot -- of angst to get through first.

The exercise that the Glee Club does while sitting in the circle on the stage, thinking of something they're looking forward to.  I've done that since 1986.  January 28, 1986.  The day the world turned against my dreams, or at least it seemed that way.  The Omaha World Herald published plenty of articles calling for cancellation of the space program that year.

I always have something to look forward to.  Sometimes, the far-off dreams aren't enough.  In high school, one of the things I did was count down the time until I could move out for college.  In college... there was so little certain.  I couldn't tell if I would get a job after graduation, let alone where it would be.  I knew where I wanted to go, but I didn't know if I would get there.

In college, band practice helped a lot.  Two hours a day to just put everything else aside, and focus on the music.  The homework, projects, work, and administrative details would still be there when rehearsal was over - but I felt better.

Mostly, though, I would find something to look forward to.  Day by day, week by week, month by month, until the months roll into years.  Even when I'm in a really good place, like right now, I usually keep something in mind to look forward to.  Tomorrow, there'll be a spaghetti dinner and a concert at my church.

If Round 1 of Life Sucks was high school, then Round 2 was college.  I'm just getting started telling some of those stories.

It DOES get better once you're out on your own... but first it gets worse.  A good part of my struggles through college was the inner dialogue.  Because stress and toxic environments, they sort of compress a person, make them focus on just surviving, less able to freely live.  Once you get OUT of the toxic environment, then it takes time to decompress, to really feel the freedom to move and be.  And once you get out of the toxic environment, once you find your support system, it takes time to change the voices in your head.

I'm not sure whether to count 2005-2006 in with 2007-2010, or separate them.  But those were just... Life Happens.  Accidents, illnesses, and death are all part of the natural life cycle.  There was no intent to harm in this period.

EDIT: All said, I feel very blessed by the amazing things I've been able to experience.  Whether it be seeing Pope John Paul II in high school,

Pope John Paul II in the Popemobile, August 1993.  Denver, CO

playing my clarinet for Neil Armstrong [sorry, no photos. That story should be in one of the next 4 posts, I think.] at a Purdue fundraiser celebration,

and (separately) the Olympic Torch in college,
1996 Olympic Torch Relay, from the Slayter Center stage at Purdue

going to Bowl games with the band:
Alamo Bowl, December 1998

cheering my team on at the Rose Bowl:
Rose Bowl Parade, Pasadena, CA. January 1, 2001

watching a space shuttle launch,
[Imagine a photo here.  I took lots, but they may be film. Will add later.]

or traveling the world after graduation:
Busan, South Korea, October 2005

Torino, Italy, spring 2007

Paris, France, spring 2007

Red Square, Moscow, Russia.  May 2007

  And how could I miss this!