Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Thoughts on (and lessons learned from?) Wicked

...To those who'd ground me
Take a message back from me:
Tell them how I
Am defying gravity!
I'm flying high
Defying gravity!

A couple of weekends ago, I went to see Wicked on Broadway in NYC. Brought my mom and grandma to see it, and the City, since they get out to the East Coast so seldom, living in Minnesota and all... I was pretty awesome, I must say. Though, I was a little disappointed by the second half of the show. There were certainly good numbers in the second half, but on the whole, the second half was a little anti-climactic after the first half. There was simply nothing in the second half to give a resolution that lived up to the climax at the end of the first half. Maybe I've just been spoiled with other shows on Broadway: Phantom, Les Mis, Rent, Joseph... I dunno, and I hate saying there was something about this show that I didn't like - because over all I felt it was really powerful, and did the story quite well. I just didn't fully feel the second half like I expected to...

That said, Wicked has an amazing soundtrack! I can't get the songs out of my head. And it's kind of amazing to me at how relatable the lyrics can be to life - given the fantastical fictitious world this musical depicts...

I've heard it said
That people come into our lives for a reason
Bringing something we must learn
and we are led
To those who help us most to grow
If we let them
And we help them in return...
...I know I'm who I am today
Because I knew you...

...because I knew you
I have been changed for good.

Makes me think of the friends I've made over the years. Or the friends I knew in college that I just got to see again at my 5-year college reunion last weekend! :) Amazing how much people have an effect on you, huh? Or even how much the absense of people can affect you.


Something has changed within me
Something is not the same
I'm through with playing by the rules
Of someone else's game
Too late for second-guessing
Too late to go back to sleep
It's time to trust my instincts
Close my eyes, and leap...

Kinda describes the feeling of changing to adulthood, huh? How many times have I felt I'm taking a leap of faith into my future over the past 4 years since I moved to Boston? There was never a manual of how to do this thing I call life... I've just been driving by the seat of my pants and trying to figure out where I want life to go. But, this song gives you a fantastic mantra to recite with that leap of faith in the next lines of the song (after the ones above):

It's time to try
Defying gravity
I think I'll try
Defying gravity
And you can't pull me down...

But, my all-time favorite right now directly relates to my life in many ways:

Dancing through life
Swaying and sweeping
And always keeping cool...

...Nothing matters
But knowing nothing matters
It's just life...
So keep dancing through...

And that's where I'll leave this rather crazily constructed free-flow-thought post. Keep dancing through life. In my humble opinion, it's the best way to find happiness wherever you go! :)

Monday, June 09, 2008

Free-flowing bubbles of ...what?

How is it that people affect us so much? And by "people" I mean individuals, groups, crowds of strangers, that random person that bumped into you at the grocery store yesterday... think about it. People are an intricate part of our lives - and as much as we'd like to be above the effects they have on us, in the end we're always wrong. We let people affect us simply by not wanting them to affect us. We let them affect the way we view the world, the color of shirt we wear or don't wear, the song we skip on the radio.

I just watched Fried Green Tomatoes for the first time in my life - and it's one of those movies that I think, after I've watched it, "how did I never see this movie until now?" Ha ha ha. Guess it's just one of those things...

It's one of those movies (if you've never seen it yourself) that hits everyone differently. Different people catch different messages from it - and I imagine that if I watch it again 6 months or a year from now, the movie will affect me in an entirely different way. But this time around, what really struck me was how many different ways people can affect us. It made me ponder a bit - how much the different people in my life affect me.

Friends: who are there whenever I need them - just a phone call away. They calm me, keep me sane, help me remember my own ridiculousness, boost me up when I feel low. That sort of thing.

Family: who all too often get neglected because "they'll always be there" - but whose opinion matters more than anyone else on earth.

Dancers: different people in the dance scene affect the way I feel about my own dancing abilities in very different ways. The way someone looks at me when I dance - are they judging me? Good or bad? Or the way a particular dancer moves - I want to emulate or stay away from said movement patterns.

New acquaintances: always make me wonder how I appear to others who don't know me well. What's their first impression of me? Good, bad, ugly? And does it change over time, or remain relatively the same?

Female friends: make me remember why I love being a woman. Help me get more in touch with the feminine side of life, especially when I forget to remember that I'm quite the looker myself. Laugh at me and my crazy boy stories. Tell me their crazy boy stories and make me wonder how they came to be a part of those stories.

Guy friends: always make me feel at home - like big/little brothers. I can sit back in the couch, not even have to talk, and get back in touch with those tom-boy roots of mine.

Good friends - guy or girl: allow me to just be. No worries of judgement or embarrassment or threat. I can be me, dressed down, goofy, nerdy ol' me.

Men: aw men... boys... guys... whatever you want to call them (in the intricate leveled system of labeling based on the very subjective process of judging age vs. maturity level to determine whether they get assigned "boy" "guy" or "man" and also tied into how well you know him: 'boy' is casual acquaintance/hook-up turned into "not sure if we're friends or more but we talk a lot"; 'guy' is a dude you like but haven't necessarily done anything with except perhaps a few dates; 'man' is a dude you're dating, but only if you're older than college-age... and those are just my rough definitions...) - why do they have such a lasting effect sometimes? Old boyfriends, who pop up in my thoughts every so often and send an embarrassed glow to my cheeks as I remember something I'd said or did and was embarrassed that he suddenly knew about it. First dates gone awry - why did they go awry? Did he not like me? Or was it the other way around? Random others - hookups, run-ins, crushes both mutual and one-sided... all seem to eventually boil down to: "hmm, what next? Anything? Nothing? What are the rules here? Do any rules exist? What's he thinking? Do I want to know?"

Haha - funny how thoughts bubble out of my mind sometimes before I even fully recognize they're there. I start typing, and POW! there are suddenly endless words trying to vie for space to adequately, though never quite thoroughly, express what exactly it is that's on my mind. Heh. Amazing how brains work, really. That one can be thinking about something so intently, without really knowing that one is thinking of it at all. And while that something is brewing in one part of the brain, 10 other things decide to run through one's head as well - all vying for position, getting conscious-thought time when they can grab it. It astounds me. Because, in addition to all of that musical chairs that's happening in my mind, it still runs my entire body - reminds me to breathe, to see and interpret and adjust. To sense, touch, taste, smell, hear. To acknowledge the air around me, the number of people in a room, gauge the feeling of said people (which gets me back to how much people - whoever they are - affect us). It also governs the way I will feel. And who knows how that happens??? Is it because of the thoughts - positive or negative - that run through my head? Or is it something else? Can I actually control my emotions simply by changing thought habits? Or is it more complicated than that? Or is it completely random? [Hmm, like this post has become...]

Ha, funny. I don't think I'll ever fully make sense of how it all fits together, no matter how hard I try....

I tried so hard,
And got so far,
And in the end, it doesn't even matter...

...doesn't stop this brain from continuing the attempts to make sense of it all, though. :)

[Happy reading? Don't worry if you don't follow - this is free-form writing if I've ever seen it... I have my doubts about whether I'll be able to go back in a week and read through it and make any sense of it myself.]

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