Week Eleven

About this time last week I was stood in the middle of a nearby field, with my Mum, in a state of complete and utter panic, having walked for an hour or so (in circles) and having lost all sense of direction. I was absolutely convinced we’d ended up miles away from home and I had no idea how to find our way back. It was very windy and a little rainy and I was cream crackered and when I rang Dave, my world was ending.

He found us in ten minutes. Yep. Turns out, we hadn’t strayed far at all and I’d gotten all in a tizz over nothing. Story of my life.

Right now, one week later, I’m safely curled up under a blanket, with an orange juice and lemonade (branching out from the usual cup of tea!) and I’m over half way through Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I hope I won’t get myself in too much trouble with Harry Potter fans for saying, I’ve struggled with this one so far. It’s picking up now, but the first half was a bit of a slog.

11 weeks ago I resolved to do a lot of things. I know one of them was to snooze my alarm less and that has gone well and truly out of the window (perhaps this week will be the week!). Another was to join some fitness classes and no, that has not happened. BUT this week I might start wearing my Fitbit again and at least take the stairs when I can. Dun dun dunnn.

I guess the resolutions that were most important to me were the ones that involved me rediscovering music: Music has always been so important to me. And yet, it has gradually dropped out of my life since I finished my Music and History degree in 2015. I only really listen to music when I’m driving. I barely ever play my piano or ukulele anymore.

This week, I’ve been working on two new covers on the ukulele! YES I HAVE. And I’ve been working on two new originals at the piano. I’ve also created a playlist for music to listen to at work.  Don’t ask why I hadn’t done that sooner… Who knows!? But now that I have, it’s great to be able to switch the office noise off for a bit now and again and get properly in the zone.

I feel stronger today than I have in a long time and I know lots of things have contributed to getting me there this week. My lovely team at work for one. My organisation last Sunday and the to do lists that I stuck to. The brilliant day spent with one of my best friends yesterday, wandering the Museum of London and catching up over dinner.

I can’t help thinking that music has literally given me strength though. This blog is called ‘Singing Goodbye to Butterflies’ after all. I always feel invincible after time spent singing. The feeling’s like nothing else.

All’s left to do now is find a choir or a band to join. I need to get working with other musicians again. I want my music mojo back.

I hope that whatever your passions are, you can make the time to pursue them. Because life often gets in the way and we simply shouldn’t let it.

IT’S CHRISTMASSSS

I’m sat in the lounge drinking tea. I’m surrounded by Christmas decorations. The fireplace is cluttered with ornamental robins, Santas, snowmen and candles. The darker it gets outside, the brighter the lights on the tree and in the window shine. The whole room looks cheerful.

I had a piano lesson this afternoon. It’s been nearly five years since I gave up on my grade 5 and decided to focus on my singing. Now that I’m making money again I figure I can afford to allocate funds to getting back on the music band wagon. I’m so excited to be getting back into it again. The lesson was amazing… Just like back in the good old days: I’ve even got a practice diary.

Had a singing lesson last week too! There’s a strong possibility I’m going to be singing in concerts come April next year and as nervous as the thought of that makes me, it’ll be so good to be performing again. It’ll force me into singing more. In the new year, I’m going to pledge to set aside time for music and I’m really going to. I know I say it all the time, but there really is no better cure for butterflies and I need to take advantage of it. I spent just one hour at that piano today and I feel so much better for it.

I’ve one day off this week and it’s tomorrow. I’m going Christmas shopping with one of my best friends and I am so looking forward to it. She’s studying in Cambridge so it’s a chance to get away for the day as well. It’ll be a day full of laughter I’m sure. We both shop alike, so even though we’ve both got loads of presents to buy, it should be a stress free day. We’ll stop for plenty of tea and cake too. We’re going to need it.

I’m still working lots. If you spoke to any of my friends they’d probably tell you I’m a tired mess, but I’m not. I enjoy a grumble over how much work I’m doing and how my feet permanently hurt and how my body clock can’t work out when to sleep and when to wake up anymore, but really, I’m doing alright. I still fit down time in here and there.

It’s the most wonderful time of year and so far, I’m still loving hearing the Christmas songs everywhere I go.

The only way is up

I’m in the kitchen with my mum, bacon’s in the frying pan, I’ve got a cup of tea in hand and I’m a happy bunny. I’m wearing my roughest jeans and a hoodie and I’ve definitely got that Sunday feeling.

Work last week was better than I ever could have imagined. I went back into the school on Monday a nervous wreck of a Bronwen, but when I left that afternoon I’d found my confidence again. Honestly, just like that. It was like something clicked and I finally got over the fact it was all new and it started to feel familiar. Nothing’s more comforting than familiarity.

I knew I was comfortable when I found myself singing everywhere I went.

This week’s my training week at the restaurant and I’m so excited! Will be great to meet everyone more than anything. Feels so productive to be working again.

This evening I’m off out for a curry with some old friends from school. My brother’s home from uni this weekend and I’m stealing as many hugs off him as possible before he leaves again. My mum’s still promised me a teeny tiny roast at lunch time. (Can’t ruin my curry but don’t wanna miss out on roast either. Especially when roast lunch is going to be a whole family occasion.)

My mum found out she’s finally got the job of her dreams this week. She’s wanted to be a LSA for as long as I can remember, but she’s had the worst luck. I was so happy when she told me that this time, the position is hers.

I’m more addicted to The Walking Dead than ever, so studying has kind of gone out of the window. In a way though, I felt like I was studying all week at the school. At the risk of sounding like a complete nerd, I couldn’t help thinking about the ways Music Therapy could be applied everywhere I went.

The butterflies only flutter occasionally now as if to remind me they’re still there, but they’re manageable. Peace has been restored. Everything is on the up.

Hip Hip Hip Hip Hooray

I’m sat at my desk, the sun has got its hat on, Passenger’s album ‘All the Little Lights’ is whizzing ’round the record player and I’m making my way through a massive mug of tea. I can’t contain my excitement: It’s GAME OF THRONES DAY. 

Last week, I worked my first day in a school! I was ridiculously nervous; I think I forgot to breathe for the first two hours after I arrived, but when I got back home at the end of the day I was feeling positive. I had a really good day. Everything came to me surprisingly naturally and I was in my element being back in the school environment again. I was too busy getting stuck in to sit back and think too much so I haven’t made any big life decisions yet, but I loved it. I know that much.

In October 2013, I wrote a post called ‘Busy is Best’.

You’ll find it in Chapter One, Finding Bronwen:  https://bronwensamantha.wordpress.com/2013/10/24/537/.

When I went back to university for my second year, I very quickly discovered that I was noticeably happier when I kept myself busy. To this day, I swear by it. A busy life is a happy one; for me at least. Time to think has never done me much good. A day in with my best mate Netflix only ever turns my brain to moosh.

I’ve had a wonderfully busy week. I’ve been to the cinema and I’ve been out for dinner. I popped into town for cheap work clothes. I’ve been to work. I went along to a fundraising quiz night, in aid of a brave young girl who has been diagnosed with a rare terminal illness and whose family are raising money for her treatment*. Saturday was such a long day that when I woke up Sunday morning I blamed my aching muscles on the dancing I’d done Saturday night, forgetting about the fitness class I’d done first thing Saturday morning. Yesterday was spent eating BBQ food and drinking Prosecco to celebrate my beautiful twin cousins’ birthday. I cannot believe they are going to be 18.  I’ve also come to realise that keeping busy isn’t the only thing that makes me happy: I’ve done a singing practice every day without fail. I don’t think I’ve truthfully been able to say that since I finished my degree.

I’d began to forget just how much joy singing brings me. Tuesday, I rang Dave at the end of the first proper singing practice I’d done in ages. I tried to explain in words how I felt and how much it meant to me. I tried to explain how it had made me feel and in the end I just told him that nothing compares to it. Nothing gives me more freedom than singing. Nothing makes me feel stronger and nothing makes me happier.

I’m off to set up at the piano for a little while. If you can, go play your favourite song at top volume and whether you think you can or not, sing along at the top of your voice. After all, I don’t sing because I’m happy, I’m happy because I sing. 

 

*Follow the link to donate to help fund treatement for Phoebe Flo: https://www.gofundme.com/phoebeflo

Singing goodbye to butterflies in the shower

Caught myself singing in the shower, wondered ’round with a towel turban on my head, left my stuff all over the sofa while I went out last night, sung opera in my bedroom, let my iTunes music shuffle freely without cringing when The Circle of Life started playing: One week here and it feels like home already.

As a fresher, I’d sit and read my book on my bed in my room, or perhaps on one of the hard chairs around the communal table in our kitchen. And don’t get me wrong, I loved our kitchen for all the amazing moments we shared and memories we created there. Right now though, I’m sat on an actual sofa, curled up among the cushions reading my book with a cuppa tea and loving life.

As soon as I wake up in the morning I come downstairs in my pyjamas. My bedroom door here is almost always open and so are everyone else’s. Heading out in the evenings is easy now we know where to head and on which nights. I can cook without embarrassing myself by asking silly questions, dropping things or burning myself. I know the quickest route into town and into University and back, and I didn’t have to try three different routes to find the best. This year I’m applying for jobs and even now I’m paying bills student budgeting doesn’t seem like such a scary concept.

Life as a second year student so far has been so incredibly different to life as a fresher. I feel so much more comfortable living with my friends, in a beautiful city that I now know and love.

We may still be lacking internet and our washing machine may be broken, but the butterflies that lived in my stomach permanently last year seem to have temporarily fallen asleep this year already. Who would have thought it!? Now to conquer the world.