Saturday, May 30, 2009

May Princess Challenge

Another delayed blog! As the wedding gets closer, even without classes, there has been tons to do. I'm studying for two classes that will start upon our return to the United States from Japan on June 30th, because otherwise I know I'll fall behind and do poorly. I've also been working my heart out on putting together my song, which is now "One" instead of "We Are One," and recorded it on Thursday. I may go back to the studio one more time to do some touch-ups, but overall it's not horrible! I think that, as with anything, there will always be room for improvement. This whole experience has left me wondering if professional musicians are ever truly satisfied with their work, or if it's just me. Terinati and the mixer both thought that the song sounded "good," unflinchingly, but I think that unlike all of my experiences leading up that moment they were just giving me too much freedom to do what I needed to do and I should have been more picky. Either way, I have the song recorded and am going back to get the whole original mix put onto a DVD so that I have it, and perhaps I will do some changes when I go back in, but otherwise... it's done. Strangely, the world has not changed significantly and I am still the same person. :} I'm not sure what I was expecting, really, but it's weird. I guess it hasn't really sunk in yet.

Meanwhile, my goals and the May Princess Challenge have been in the back of my mind. On International Princess Day, May 5th, I made time for Kyriel and we watched Gilmore Girls. That may not sound significant, except that I had been really overworking myself and I don't think I'd seen her for a month or two. The main part of the challenge issued by Princess Skye was to increase awareness. Appropriately, we were watching the episode where Rory goes to her Yale dorm for the very first time. The first time Rory goes through, Lorelei tells her how she missed the moment being stressed out and worrying about getting started at Yale, so she made Rory go back through the dorm room, aware and appreciative of the moment. It was kind of a smack in the face for me; I've been trying to be aware, but I have been really stressed out. My ultimate princess day is coming, my wedding day, and I haven't been enjoying much leading up to it. Everyone keeps asking, "Aren't you excited?" More and more, especially, now that it's two weeks away. However, up until that day with Kyriel, I hadn't been enjoying things. I hadn't been relaxing enough to! I had been limiting my awareness to getting things done in a very check-list fashion and missing all of the moments.

This probably contributed to me getting the flu for two weeks. :} I was so stressed out! Between that epiphany and the flu, I had to slow down. I worked from home a few days because I didn't have much sick time, and I rested a lot. In this time I've learned even more about myself and my complex nature, and what's really important to me. I even realized that there were a few things I'd given up on because I told myself that was what I was supposed to do, that I needed to move on . . . but I'm still not ready to give up on them, really. One of those was my music. That may sound strange because it was part of my goals, so it doesn't sound like I'd given up on it, but I had. I purposefully sabotage myself in many ways, trying to keep myself from feeling disappointed by my lack of success. It's a bad pattern of behavior.

So, while I was sick and still pondering International Princess Day, I decided that I really deserve to be happy. I don't expect perfection out of life, but I deserve to allow myself happiness and to be who I really am, even if other people can't accept it. Therefore, I'm allowing myself to feel like a princess for my special day instead of a person who is making a bunch of other people feel obligated to show up and shower her with attention. :} Everyone deserves this at least once, right? And, if you knew the background of my life and how other "special events" have gone for me... well, I really deserve this one day. :}

I didn't realize how hard it was for me to allow myself pleasure. In my own way, I've kept myself in my own prison, punishment for failing at so many dreams I've had in the past despite my efforts. In a way, I suppose, I blamed myself for an awful lot . . . when I really shouldn't have. Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, bad things happen. It doesn't make it anyone's fault. But, I guess I take it all pretty seriously and felt that there must have been a wrong way, and I missed it. It's probably a good thing I don't have Hiro Nakamura's super powers to go through time and space, because I don't think I'd be able to give up trying to find the "right way." In reality, I can only control myself, so it's only natural that there are other things beyond my ability to "make right," whatever right is. And, every bad experience I've had has ultimately led to something good, despite the hurt involved.

In taking time to be aware, I saw that I have support from people who really matter, especially Kyriel, Terinati, Anna, Illuminique . . . the people who haven't criticized my failures and just been there to try and help me along in their own, different ways, and have been supportive and always show some kind of care about my happiness. * smile * It's nice to have people who, while struggling through their own lives, care about me too. If good people like them can see that much good in me, then I need to take time to believe again too. No more blaming myself for all of the sorrow. I don't blame anyone; now, I'm spending more time appreciating what I have and learning to have faith in that I do deserve to pursue my dreams again. I've been growing in confidence slowly over the past years leading up to the wedding. It's strange how getting engaged lead to so much change. I honestly didn't expect much of anything!

So, for me, the challenge continues. This has actually been harder for me than anything else, to allow myself to feel more again. To allow myself to want things sometimes, a little selfishly, and to allow myself to form opinions that others may disagree with. To allow myself to be who I am, and to have enough confidence to take myself to the next level instead of forcing myself to be satisfied with what is sometimes a boring life. Going to school and working hard is all well enough, but I've been denying myself the feeling that I could do so much more long enough. It's time to really wake up. This sleeping beauty isn't going to stay under the surface all this time just to wake up and do nothing at all. My adventure is just starting. I don't know how it will turn out, but not trying is just boring. * grin * And to start, I'm going to enjoy the beginning of our "happily ever after" more than anything else we've embarked on together thus far. I've actually been planning for it being horrible! Can you believe it? I just didn't want to get my hopes up, to get excited. No more of that. How can I not be excited when we're more united than we've ever been? It truly is one of my dreams come true already. <3 <3 <3 From here on out, there's no more holding myself back. Only I can allow myself to be the princess I dreamed of being. Everything starts with me.


Now, to update my goal progress from the original January Princess Challenge I made.

2.) Finish composing “We Are One” for the wedding in June so that it can be recorded in the studio.

05/27/09 - recorded!! Two discs and one flash drive of both the version with voice and just instruments.

3.) Work toward recording my other songs (this will start with getting decent recording equipment in my home).

May - We purchased new software, new sound card, and I have a lot of exploring to do here.

21.) Change my look to something that I like all of the time. I don’t think I’ll ever change my hair (whenever I think about cutting or dying, I just can’t see that happening), but I want to stop feeling like I’m going outside wearing clothes that embarrasses me. I want to wear something that I think speaks for how I feel about myself and the world around me. More feminine, less uptight, and yet still respectable! Or silly. I think I need some of both. This ties into the goal of getting rid of clutter (#7).

05/17/09 - Cut my hair for the first time in a salon since I was 15 years old. With LAYERS!

29.) Learn to make more dishes! Perhaps one a week, because more than that is insane. It’s tedious trying out new dishes, but I’ve discovered many recipes this way.

05/30/09 - despite being very busy, I've managed to cook several dishes since last month. :) I'm learning a lot. My most recent accomplishments were Barley & Asparagus and Yellow Starlight Cake. =^--^=

33.) Stock makeup that I like and works for me.

May 2009 - found eyeshadows that I like at Whole Foods! They're light and don't bother my eyes. Also found custom sparkle temporary tattoo sticks from Europe. AWESOME!

41.) Get a working ATM card. My current card doesn’t have a working pin (it’s the company; recurring issue for over two years), and I’m getting sick of not having cash on me because the bank is too far away and then feeling like a bum when I’m in a cash-only place and have to mooch off of my friends. Yuck. :/

May 2009 - FINALLY DONE!! :D :D :D

47.) Believe in what I am, and what my accomplishments make me. Sometimes, I find it hard to think things like, “I’m a musician,” when I compose music and can play some pieces pretty well, all because I’m not as good as I’d like to be. But, that’s not fair to me and how hard I’ve worked for certain things. That would be like an Olympics medalist denying the title they’re given because they don’t think they deserve it. There is a time to be humble, certainly, but there is also a time for self-acknowledgement and rewarding the self for a job well done!

05/30/09 - The May Princess challenge was critical to this goal. I didn't really realize how bad it was.

78.) Make my work environment appear more respectful. There is too much stuff on my desk, and not enough organization.

05/30/09 - this past week, I ordered new supplies and did a complete do-over of my desk. It needs some dusting, but it is VERY organized now, and older files have been scanned in to the system and the paper shredded and recycled. It's incredible how much more space I have. Now I just need some pictures to make it feel like home. :) My maneki neko is lonely!

So, two more goals are complete. Now, I'm going to go and enjoy the weekend with my Sweetie-kins. :) I'll keep following my dreams, having faith in people who matter to me even if it has been five years and our lives are completely separate, and doing what I believe is right. I don't know how I could ever expect anything else than following my heart, after all.

Take care, everyone!

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