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Monday 13 September 2004

Mindfulness / Future / etc

Yeah, so very soon I must start applying for whatever I want to do next fall. My plan now is to apply to a bunch of stuff and then go to the one that takes me. Smart, eh? I have two things to worry about: my life and my career. But for composers, how seperate are these things? anyway, yes, I could go home and start a lovely career. Or I could not go home and get another degree and continue a little adventure of living far away and be able to use that degree to get a teaching job anywhere. Few west coast teachers have more than an MFA, but with a DMA (or other PhD level degree), I could go more places. Do I want to teach or do I want to compose? Do I get a choice? How many composers are teachers?

And I've been a it stressed lately. First week of classes is always a bit stressful. I have a low stress threshold, really. and things are still progressing on other fronts of stress improvement. I've just boxed up the dishes that I've been using for the last several years to send them to the ex. The dishes were made by her dad. My name is on the bottom of them. Packing them is a bit disconcerting. Can't he just make her another set? Anyway. Yes, I have a tatoo that matches these plates. On my leg.

so dealing with this makes me feel a bit freaky. I start to worry about other things. I'm trying to pull myself back and wonder why I'm freaking out about possible future application suddenly. And it's because the dishes are upsetting me. I'm trying to be aware of my actual sources of stress. Because then I can deal with them. Olga posts about how anxiety comes from thinking that dangers are greater than your reserves. But if you really look at it, you're often maximizing danger and minimizing reserves when you contemplate things. So if you make a list or something, you find out you can handle your problems and are calm. I'm a step off from that, because I first start by worrying about unrelated things. Yes, you think I'm neurotic. Not so! I'm just displacing my worries.

Nevertheless, my reserves do get hit pretty hard. How much emotional reserve does one need to put the dress one's ex wore to one's wedding into a box and drop it in the mail? What if the majority of your friends and family were thousands of miles away? What if another year on the other side of the country was starting to freak you out anyway?

The seasons here are very strong. Fall looks like fall, it does not look like spring or winter (or summer, presumably), so when I walk around here this fall, I am strongly reminded not of last winter or spring, but of last fall. Let's play the game: how has my life changed in the last year? I wonder if this year will be like last year? I wonder if I can handle it? Knowing what you've already survived ought to provide some confidence for the future, shouldn't it? Knowing situations to avoid. (I know it would be unreasonable to start worrying about this thing, but it's the sort of thing that worries me, so I think I'll just avoid it.) When you start adjusting your life to deal with your insecurities, is it because you are getting better at dealing with stuff or is it because you've just given up trying? More healthy / less healthy?

I'm trying to be aware of the kind of things that freak me out and why they freak me out and how that shows up and what I can do about it. Knowing these things is somehow helpful. At the very least, I stop worrying about what I think I'm worried about and concentrate on what's actually bugging me. I feel half as worried that way.

So my future plans are up in the air. But I don't need to worry about them. Yet.


Jean Sirius said...

there there there there there there there.
you're getting much cleverer at dealing with things. i'm proud of you.

Anonymous said...

Hi. It's Jess. I didn't really want to be annoymous, I just couldn't remember my password, if I had one. ANYWAY. I am here to tell you that I don't think you're neurotic, sweetpea. That's all.

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