06 April, 2009

One year ago...

One year ago this week, I could not possibly have known that I would be here today, writing about what I was doing one year ago this week. It goes to show you how pointless it is to answer questions about "Where do you see yourself in one year?"

Though, I guess, had I constructed some fantasy future that did not, in any way, stem from where I was a year ago, it might have looked like this. But I am not writing about the present here, because right now my thoughts are reflecting on the past.

A year ago this week, I auditioned for my band. I did write the name of the band here, but then I realized that it would undoubtedly result in this blog being found in a search engine for stories about our band, and this is not a story about our band, so I'll let it be anonymous, not that I don't like to have attention for the band. But it was something that was very important to me; monumental, in fact. I had invested quite a substantial amount of time preparing for the audition in the week before it happened. That was unusual for me, because I am a fast enough learner, that usually I would just "wing" auditions. But this one was different, because I didn't want to be "good". I wanted to be "the only option". I wanted to play well enough that they couldn't possibly consider anyone else. So, for one of the first times in my life, I worked really hard.

A year ago this week, I was in the conflicted throes of the last week of my mother's life. She was probably dying, not sure, but likely, and I was here in Seattle, confused, and angry, and frustrated. In a holding pattern, with part of my family telling me I should get on a plane right this minute, and the other part of my family telling me there was no point, and that I should sit tight, but be prepared to come quickly. Basically, the split was between those in denial, and those not. Those in denial were telling me to come immediately, to see her. Those who were not... they knew that she was already gone, and it was all over but the dying. I didn't really cope with it well. I didn't know what to do. It seemed pointless to go home to visit someone who is in a coma, with no certainty as to how long I would need to be home. What if I went for a few days, then came back, and then she died? I'd have to go back again. This all sounds callous and selfish, but I really was confused. The flip side was that it seemed equally pointless to wait for her to die and then go home for a ritual in which I don't really believe - the funeral. Especially a religious one, which means little to me. In the end, I realized that it was about supporting my family, mostly my father. And I did go, coincidentally at the right time. And I was there for him. And I felt okay with what I had chosen to do, but felt a little guilty about how lucky it was that I had been there at the right time. I felt selfish because I did stay in Seattle to do my audition, and then I went home. I probably wrote about this in a blog before. I can't imagine I didn't.

A year ago this week, I was in the downward painful spiral of a relationship that was disintegrating under the reality of circumstances, coupled with my personal crisis with my mother, and her personal crisis with depression. The feeling of having a "significant other" during a crisis, but not being able to turn to them is actually far worse than not having a partner at all. It draws attention to the lack of support, because the support should be there, and it's not. It was during that time that I thought of the lyric "Being alone is like being with you, without being together". Unfortunately, I never did anything with that line, but it's a pretty good one.

It's weird looking back at that week - this week - one year ago, and all that was happening simultaneously. I didn't give myself any "credit" for the shitload of pressure that was on me. And for the better part of the remainder of the year, I didn't pull myself together. The only thing that was absolutely solid for a good chunk of 2008 was the band. Out of the crash and burn relationship and my mother's death, like a phoenix rising from the ashes, I landed the position in the band. And the band kept me going. Not by providing any active support, because I didn't ask for it. But by being something on which I could direct my energy and passion. Something that I could not afford to fuck up or lose. A reason to not just give up and become woefully depressed.

This weekend, I will "celebrate" the one year anniversary of my mother's death. I guess it's called "Remembrance Day", which I think is sort of ironic, since ideally we remember people we've lost whenever we remember them. But this is a day that I guess I will stop and try to feel some of the feelings that I might typically repress or ignore, or set aside for a rainy day, or a hot sunny day, or any day that the mood strikes to go in the places that are easier not to go. I won't be spending the day with my family in Boston.

I feel really good about where I am now. I feel like the band is now not the only good thing in my life. In fact, I can't complain about anything in my life now (though sometimes I still do).

1 comment:

  1. There can be fencing if you wish it.;-)