My Music


Thursday, December 30, 2010

Dear Life,

This is that part where I start to run.

And I don't mean just physically, though I've been doing a lot of that lately.

I penned these words in September,

I'm just a girl,
blue eyes and yellow curls,
afraid of the world,
I keep to myself what I wanna be
I hide in my reverie.

I'm just a seed,
planted inside a shroud,
inclined to believe,
the world is a stomping ground
above my head.
I can't sleep inside this bed.

Sometimes I'm still that girl.

And then as I'm heading out the door--metaphorically speaking--which more accurately is me shutting the door and running away, losing myself somewhere deep inside, I stumble upon this scripture--Luke 12:24 "be ye not of doubtful mind." I'm not a firm believer in the, "I need an answer so I'm just going to close my eyes and open my scriptures and the first one I look at is my answer...." I don't think that's how it works. But, in some closely-related fashion I opened up my scriptures just for my regular study and I was drawn to this one. And then I start to feel like Zaccharias, who wanted something but didn't believe it would happen even when the Lord sent an angel to tell him it would--Luke 1:19-20--"and, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season."

hmm...there's that "timing" thing again.

which lead me to Luke 24:25--"O fools, and slow of heart to believe..." oh man, I think I'm being chastized here. And then maybe, Catherine, you need a little reminder. Mormon 9:9-11 "God is the same yesterday, today and forever, there is no variableness neither shadow of changing...[He is] a God of miracles." (Mormon chapter 9 is probably one of my favorite passages of scripture ever...I don't know why, but I find myself drawn back to it over and over in my life.) And inevitably I end up in the scripture that I needed to hear most--sometimes you have to put forth a little effort to "stumble on" your the price, if you will.

Matt. 14: 31 "O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?"
Mark 4:40 "Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith?"

*sigh* I don't know.

Mormon 9:27 "O then despise not and wonder not, but hearken unto the words of the Lord, and ask the Father in the name of Jesus for what things soever ye shall stand in need. Doubt not, but be believing, and begin as in times of old, and come unto the Lord with all your heart, and work out your own salvation with fear and trembling before him."

After contemplating this post already in my mind, I attempted to read the October 2010 conference edition of the ensign on our drive up to my grandparents in northern Arizona. I'm not much of a car reader...makes me want to die...but I made it through these two--Trust in God, then Go and Do and Faith--the Choice Is Yours. Probably not coincidental that in the first one President Eyring goes into detail about Peter's lack of faith on the water and quotes that same scripture, "wherefore didst thou doubt?" The second one talks about moving forward and having faith in the midst of unanswered questions, doubts, the unknown, the unseen and the unexplained...yeah...those things...that make me want to run.

Sometimes I need a reminder. Sometimes I need a smack in the face...apparently. I usually don't share these kinds of things with you. But it's where I'm at right now. And occassionally I get "open book" syndrome. I hope you don't mind.

I haven't written in a whole month. Wow. Sorry about that. Since you've been dying to know :), I'll catch you up on my December.

I went to not one, but two productions of "A Christmas Carol"--strike that--two performances of the same production (I had a friend in the cast.) My mom and I went to East Valley Mormon Choral Organization's christmas concert at the Mesa Arts Center--Let the Bells Ring (or something like that.) I have to say this really brought the Christmas spirit and began the season for me. Full orchestra, choirs ranging from 5 year olds to adults and some of my favorite Christmas songs--Sleigh Ride (my great grandmother used to play it on the piano and it always reminds me of her) and I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day. I really went to support my friend, Stacia, but I'm glad it was good cause we might have procrastinated getting tickets and had to pay a lot of money for "the only available seats." Communists... j/k. Last week, my sister, mom and I went to see Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker" at Phoenix Symphony Hall with the Phoenix Symphony and Ballet Arizona. This classic is one of my all time favorites and I don't think I've seen it since my freshman year in college at Ballet West in SLC. Don't worry, we did get there 2 hours early because my mom was that worried about finding our way around downtown (this woman is perpetually late so don't ask me why this moment was different) and don't worry, we DID get to see Miss U.S.A. read the children's book of The Nutcracker in the lobby before the doors opened. mom thought it was a background of the story as told by someone in the cast or crew....turns out it was just story time with little kids anxiously looking at pictures as read by the beautiful long-legged woman with the tiara. Kristin and I did find humor in this and sat on the ground and made my mom take a picture....and yes we made sure Miss U.S.A. was in it.

I interviewed for, and got a job--thank you Hailee!--for which I am most grateful. It means I can get myself out of debt and save for New York....anything that gets me closer to New York, I am grateful!

I participated in the musical marathon that IS Christmastime--sang & accompanied & directed in 4 wards, a fireside (best. fireside. ever....if you sat on my row, you know what I'm talking about..and if you didn't, sucks for you!), and organized and participated in a spiritual/musical presentation for our ward's Christmas party. As my good friend Hunter Brady says, "Being musical at Christmastime is like being a man with at truck." Amen, brotha.

I ran the literal sense. My friend Camille and I are training for a half marathon on January 29th. I've been racking up somewhere between 15-25 miles a week. On Christmas Eve we went for our 8-miler and were feeling so good we decided to run 10. At mile 6, however, I rolled my ankle and biffed it hard core. Awesome, huh! I just sat there laughing while Camille and her sister were trying to console me. I honestly just thought it was funny. After the pain subsided and I re-gained some feeling in my ankle I decided to run 4 more miles. Runner's high!!! It's still a little swollen so I've been trying to take it easy this week---it's just so hard!!! I've been forced to take about 48 hours off cause though I would run here, it is a butt cold 36 degrees at 7,000 feet and if that's not enough it's windier than the seat of Aunt Delilah's pants!!! (no, I don't know what that means, either.) My goal is to run the 1/2 in less than 2.5 hrs. I think this is do-able for sure, but I'm hoping to surprise myself.

I'm also putting together a team for this--> Epic Oregon Relay on June 17-18 from Portland to Eugene, OR. If you are interested, let me know!!!

I had a self-love day. A day dedicated to myself, to treat myself and choose to not feel bad on my own very personal "I'm single and it's Valentine's Day" day. Initially my plans for my perfect day were thwarted for reasons beyond my control. So, I improvised, I got myself ready & looking cute, took myself out to lunch, went shopping, did some P90x yoga (though difficult, always leaves you feeling amazing), went to this place, because I couldn't think of a place that I would feel more loved--and indeed I did---and took a bubble bath. It was by no means a perfect day. I ate lunch by myself, it rained on me & ruined the hair I took the time to curl, I couldn't find the movie I wanted to watch, a button fell off my new (really cute by the way) coat, I didn't make the session I was trying to and missed rehearsing that night with a friend. But in all the madness of the torrential downpour and things not going as expected I just smiled and laughed to myself. No love is perfect, I thought. It's better that way.

And while we're on the topic, I went on a date! That makes 4 official dates (I think) this year...and a handful of non-official or "non-dates" as I call them. I realize how pathetic that sounds, but this is monumental my friends! And all of them were after this post (Doors.) Coincidental? Maybe...but probably not. I'm still in possession of the master key in case you were wondering. But I suppose there is reason to hope for a different story in 2011. Let's just say it's nice to have options. In the end, it makes the choice all the more meaningful. After all, I am off to taste the rainbow in New York City (that was for you, Erin.) I also learned that playing tag in bumper cars is way funner than you would think and re-affirmed that though I suck at bowling, I can still come out destroyer...ha. At least my date was a good bowler. I also learned more about Italy from one of the other guys on the date who served his mission there. He had better things to say about Venice than Florence, but I suppose I will have to find out for myself...someday :).

I spent a lot of time (once again) at this place. Kylee says I'm addicted. Maybe. But I also did not anticipate being here at this point in my life, and through a sequence of events felt guided to where I am and being able to go to this place. So I appreciate it all the more and feel the most peace and assurance there. That's all.

My sister came home and it's been nice to have another person my age in the house. Although my parents are always fun, they fall asleep on the couch within 5 minutes of every movie. So, there has been lots of good food, mostly Christmas cookies (and you wonder why I've been running so much), and lots of friends to have fun & share them with. That's what the holidays are all about right? People (friends & family), love & chocolate! ha.

I spent Christmas Eve first with my family and then with the family of a dear friend. Through one of their Christmas traditions, I was given the opportunity to reflect on what I've been most grateful for this year. And I realized I have a lot to be grateful for. My family, the addition of my new, healthy niece, Ella, the ability to release my album and the wonderful reception it has had (thank you thank you thank you!!! I don't know if you can ever fully understand how much it means to me!), I've lost 40 pounds!!!--I'm currently sitting here wearing pants that are two sizes smaller than the ones I was wearing this time last year. I still have more to go. By this time next year I plan to be wearing pants that are two sizes smaller than that...but I am fine with the slow & steady, it's been a rewarding process of finding myself again. I have met so many wonderful people this year that have meant so much to me and been there for me at the most unexpected times. When I moved here I knew relatively no one and left so many good friends in other places. It is nice to know you can find good people everywhere you go.

On Christmas we woke up late (things are a bit different when there's only 4 of us and we're all adults), went and saw Harry Potter in the theatre, made dinner (my dad makes some amazing salmon...just trust me, it's amazing), ate outside under candlelight, THEN opened our presents, sang Christmas carols and watched a movie. (oh and Kristin and I had a photoshoot in our matching Christmas pajamas...don'tbejealousiknowyouare.)

This month I was interviewed by my good friend, Nicole Sheahan and featured in a Mormon Times article about my music. I also found out that a song I sang on Reflections of Christ ("I Need Thee Every Hour") is being featured in an independent film coming out this year called "Higher Ground." And, this morning I did my first radio interview (over the phone) for with Cherie Call. It will be posted online Tuesday, so look for the link! I joked on facebook about being "famous and things"...well...not yet...but I really just want to share the music. So, I appreciate your help and support in that endeavor.

We'll be heading back to Mesa tonight and I will try to figure out what I'm doing for New Year's Eve. I am trying to look forward to this event and with it the coming of a new year that I hope will bring lots of growth and change like this year did. It's just that I became accutely aware of a certain New Year's tradition when I was around 16 or 17 and have yet to participate in it. This year it feels slightly more sensitive and though I could be crazy and just throw my inhibition out the door to participate in this tradition with just anyone it doesn't feel quite right. This is really not a big deal or the end of the world...but I am a girl. But by next year...hopefully it'll be a different story...hopefully I will be in Times Square and I will have no problem laying one on whatever moderately attractive male that is in my proximity. Ha. Ha. Let's hope he's drunk!!!

New Year's night I'll be celebrating the birth of one of my favorite people on earth, Ms. Kylee Shields. This is cause for celebration.

Then I'll go on to start my job and probably inevitably attempt to relate reading to other life endeavors and fill the minds of these 5th and 6th graders with the hope that through hard work and believing, anything is possible. This is the part of teaching that I love. Other parts I could care less for. But when you see a glimpse in a kid's eye that they actually get what you're saying and want to believe you, it makes it all worth it. I'm thinking of you, Gordon...the scrawny, red-headed awkward child in my class who took teasing and bullying from the others and dished it right back out. Who ate donuts and pixie sticks for breakfast and complained that you needed a Red Bull to start your day though without any candy or sugar at all you were running a mile a minute. Your parents split and your grandpa died halfway through the term and the rest of the kids made homophobic jokes about you even though you had a crush on the new girl with the glasses in the corner. You listened to me that day when I brought in my John Lennon "Imagine" playlist and I asked you to write or draw about what music means to you or about what you want to be in life and I said that no matter your circumstances now you could have that if you wanted and you worked hard and it didn't matter what anybody else said. And you started to stay after class and help me clean up Rhythm Bingo and you said it was because you didn't like your science teacher and didn't want to go to the next period. I saw in you what I hope to see in these other kids...hope and potential. You make teaching worthwhile. And I'm excited to go back.

This has been a long post, and I apologize for withholding and then pouring out like a broken faucet. It's how I roll...sometimes.

For now, Life, I'll try to believe in you. I'll try to push away that doubt that comes creeping in and threatens to destroy the progress I've made. I still feel this way. And I still am hoping for you to come through.

I want to believe in everything you say to me,
entreating me to be all that you see in me,
but I just need to know that love's always gonna show
when I'm afraid to be,
I hope that you carry me.
I hope that you carry me.

Thanks for taking the ride,