Em Mitchell

Wee Rants

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Noah and the Whale are coming to my city. They were in Europe last month and are quickly hitting up all the major cities every day: Boston, Philadelphia, Toronto, Grand Rapids, Chicago, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Seattle, Vancouver, Portland, San Francisco, Anaheim... I'm debating whether to go. The show is $15. I'm not too big on the opening act, and I would feel really guilty about not studying for my upcoming exams next week so I wouldn't be able to freely enjoy myself.

I've been consuming all their music and it's so wholesome. It nourishes my soul and though my heart hasn't really had experience, I feel so connected and alive when I listen to Noah and the Whale. Noah and the Whale manages to express things I didn't know how to say and even some things I didn't know I wanted to say.

They are one of my to-see-before-dying acts, but I have two formidable exams. Gah, I will probably end up not going, though friends from other uni are going. I think I will regret this. You can repeat a class, but you can't repeat a party, right? JK. At the same time, I really want to go. If only I had a time machine so I could sleep, manage school, and pursue personal interests.

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Thanks, Brady, it means a lot to me to know that I'm not just totally overreacting! I do feel kind of like I've been dumped through Facebook... Big Grin The whole situation is just so riduculously awkward and difficult to live with. I really wish I had the guts to tell her that I'm really annoyed and that I think I have evry right to be. How can it be so hard to express negative enotions...?

lennonist, my advice to you: go to the concert. The fact that you are ready to sacrifice that kind of event in order to study shows that you are a good, hardworking student who will do marvelously even if you spend one night doing something else. And as you said, exams can be re-taken. If there is a chance the the concert will be something you'll remember for the rest of your life, you shouldn't miss it. Of course I don't know you well enough to make a hundred percent accurate analysis, but I will tell you to go anyway. Big Grin Tell your professors I forced you to.

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hah, I ended up not going. I'm looking at the mobile uploads on twitter from the friends I know that went. It's making me jealous. I should have gone, because I would have studied more beforehand if I had the intention of going, but I ended up totally wasting Saturday for the most part. And not much in the way of studying as I planned on today either, unfortunately.

I'm listening to NATW right now while studying like a true sadist, which is kinda ironic cause it's happy music. Le sigh. Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel is coming, so I will try to see him if the show doesn't get sold out as a consolation prize. And will definitely try to see NATW some other year. I'm afraid their ticket prices will get more expensive as they become mainstream.

Oh, and I'm sorry Rianna about your difficult and uncommunicative roommate. Definitely let her know how grieved you are with the way she is handling the situation. Your roommate should have shown you the most basic courtesy by informing you of her plans that affect you.

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teeeeny tiny, itsy bitsy rant, just to get it out of my system... so i can get on with my life..

Today has been the crappiest day.. I've put an immense amount of pressure on myself to do well this semester, but life just isn't cooperating with that. Not at all...

I've been getting grades back from projects, test, and papers that i worked hard on and felt good about, and am immensely disappointed.

I've gotten approximately 4 A's in all the 4 1/2 semesters i've been in college, and i'm frustrated. I don't know what to do to improve. It feels like no matter how hard i push myself, i'm still just scraping by.

I'm disappointed because this was supposed to be the semester where i really pushed through my procrastination habits, and have been doing a good job of it. Yet no difference is evident in my grades.. I write papers in 2 days and get B's and B minuses, I write papers in 90 minutes with the same result.

I'm worried i might have a reputation as a slacker or something. I don't know how else to look at it--I know i'm doing good work, but conisstently it fails to draw exemplary grades from my professors.

I'm at the end of my rope, anyway, because it's the week before Thanksgiving break, and i've been in need of a break for nearly 2 weeks. Knowing i'll get to knock around for a few days means my motivation is diminished. Pair that with unmet expectations for my previous performance, and i really just don't see the need to get out of bed in the morning. The final whammy is that i have waaaaaaaaay too much work on my plate. Getting back discouraging grades from things that i was on top of really makes me feel helpless in the face of so many things i'm not prepared for in the slightest.

In conclusion, the mid-semester blues are hitting me hard, and all i have to show for it are mediocre grades across the board. SCREW IT!!!

/end rant. i'm also not motivated because my goals are so vague right now. i don't have any passion for what i'm doing, or for anything i'm not doing. i feel like a gray blob floating around, being pulled in too many directions at once and who lacks direcrion because i don't love anything.

/now actually end rant...

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ugh, done with exams. I had resolved that this would be the semester I diligently and dutifully performed my school work and would be on top of things, dammit. What a way to sour my Thanksgiving vacation in Boston.

EDIT:

okay, so update on the engineering class I was really worried about. I thought I didn't do well, but I did okay. The professor must have puffed up the grades, which he was letting on that he wouldn't do. I've let my standards slip. :\

My advice to young'uns here: Start off strong in college. Most people (I personally know a lot of people with great potential who are already half-giving up early in their academic careers) start drifting and lose motivation. Don't do that. Otherwise, you'll end up trying to recover from your freshman or sophomore years as it gets harder.

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I just had to tell someone that I don't want to hang out with or see them anymore because we have nothing in common. He was blindsided. Now I feel ill, and like a total bitch. Ugh, I hate it!

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Don't feel like a total bitch, Jamie! The fact that you think about this and feel bad about it proves that you're not. Those kinds of situations are always awful and I don't think there is a neat, nice and merry way to deal with them. You just have to try and do it as nicely as you can, which I'm sure you did. I've only been there once and I'm not even sure if the guy had any high hopes about us, but it still made me feel like a horrible person. I wanted to like him "that way", I wanted it so much, but I couldn't, and it was pretty obvious that it just wouldn't work out for us. I hope he has found himself someone nice, nicer than me.

So here comes the rant... My new thing: freaking out and crying while attempting to sing. As I must have metioned a bazillion times already, I study to become a music teacher and singing is obviously part of my studies. I have always loved singing so much, it has been the thing that makes me feel good and helps me deal with my emotions. I love taking singing lessons at school, it's what I've always dreamt about. I'm not great, but I practise and I try and hopefully someday I will be. Lately I've been feeling like I'm going nowhere with my singing. Like I'm not improving at all, like I'm completely stuck. These phases have come and gone before, but this time it has gotten real bad. For the past couple of weeks singing has felt so bad. The anxiety kicks in whenever I start practising and it just keeps growing stronger. I feel like I have no control whatsoever over my voice. It gets worse and worse until I break down in tears and feel the urge to scream (which is not something I do, normally). I don't really know why. I just get so frustrated. I can't enjoy singing at all, right now it's just a source of negative feelings and failure. The one thing I have always trusted to help me and make me feel better is failing me, and I don't know how to be without it. In less than two weeks, I'm supposed to sing in a concert but I can't seem to practise at all without ending up hating myself and my voice and my stupid body that won't do what I need it to do. Now I'm scared that I won't be able to survive the concert without falling apart in front of everyone.

A trivial rant, I know, but I really don't have anyone to talk to about this for I don't know what's wrong with me. This whole situation makes me feel like a complete failure as a musician. Maybe I'm just not good enough, maybe I'll never be, and if I had any sense in me I would just quit and start doing something else instead. That thought freaks me out even more.

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Rainna, I read your post last week and came across it again today, and I just wanted to say please, please don't give up! I hope you're feeling a bit better already but otherwise I'd advice just letting it go for a little while - scream along to a fun regina song ('my name is lucilleeeeeeeeeeeeee..'), try to get the pressure off a bit. Im sure you're good enough, because you're so passionate about it. Some famous musicians still have to deal with the same worries, and it's only showing that you care a lot about what you want to achieve. That's not such a bad thing but I can see how frustrating it can be. It will be okay though! Don't give up - you'll get there.

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Rainna, if you do, what you do, then you'll do fine.

This song is for you:

'Cause the ones who taught you how to live, they know no more than you. So if you trust what's in your heart, what better can you do, than if you do what you do. But if you do what you do, yeah, well, you'll do fine. Oh, and when love comes a-calling, don't forget the tune. And when love comes a-calling, don't forget the tune. And just do what you do.

I think listening to the N&tW album might help you figure things out. I'm not a singer, but I'm shy about singing along to songs or dancing in public.

When I'm home alone, I love to sing out to: (see how it fares for you Smiler)

Cat Stevens - If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out

(w/ lyrics on screen)

The Purple Bottle by Animal Collective

(w/ lyrics on screen)

Summertime Clothes by Animal Collective

(official video)

(w/ lyrics on screen)

Here, There, and Everywhere by The Beatles

(w/ lyrics in description)

The King of Carrot Flowers Part 1 by Neutral Milk Hotel

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SM3Z3-JzEGM (w/ lyrics in description)

In the Aeroplane Over the Sea by Neutral Milk Hotel

(w/ lyrics in description)

Song Against Sex by Neutral Milk Hotel

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTxYyQnDDUg (w/ lyrics in description)

Holland, 1945 by Neutral Milk Hotel

(w/ lyrics on screen)

Just do what you think is right. In the end, that's all you can do.

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Thanks, guys, you're kind of great. Smiler Today, I do feel better. I managed to talk to my vocal teacher a little bit about all the pressure and frustration and she managed to calm me down a bit. Even though we're not super close with her, she's a nice person and she really has perspective as she's taught so many singers before me. She reminded me that every singer has their own issues they have to struggle with, even the most talented ones, and I'm not alone with this in the universe. She also said that, even though frustration is not something you want to pursue, she is glad that I feel strongly about singing and that it's important for me to learn and improve and become as good as possible. For the sake of my sanity, I personally hope that could take this a little less seriously every now and then... Well, the lesson was alright, nothing great but I wasn't awful either. Then I went to a practising room, did some other assignments and then suddenly felt like working a little on the songs I'm going to sing at concert. Then I sang. I sounded great. And it wasn't just the sound, it also felt so great, so effortless. It wasn't perfect, but it was definitely not bad and it felt like heaven after so many weeks of painful singing. (Actually, it felt exactly like this:

.) I walked out of that room ecstatic, walking in the air. Then I went home and threw the classical singing standards out of the window and sang out some songs I love. It was just me, my voice, and my keyboard having a great time together. Such a GOOD day, finally!

My biggest problem I guess is the fact that I really don't know what is it that's in my heart... Music is not the thing that's easiest to me, it's not the thing I'm best at. And still I chose it, and I sometimes wonder if that was an idiotic thing to do. But I love it. I just feel like I have to prove myself worthy all the time. If I can't learn to sing, I will have nothing, I will have no right to call myself a musician. Of course the main reason I want to learn is just that I love singing and I want to sing, all the time, sounding good and feeling like I have the right to open my mouth, the right to ask people to listen to me.

I'll still have time for hundreds of mood swings about this before the concert on Thursday, but at least I know now that I am able to produce some decent sounds. Fingers crossed for me being able to repeat that trick...

PS. lennonist, I almost never dance in clubs (if I ever even go to clubs...) or parties. It's a common joke among my friends that me, a person who spends a great deal of her free time on dancing lessons, won't dance when everyone else does. It just doesn't come naturally to me and dancing like that makes me feel self-conscious and awkward. AND I never sing karaoke, at least not alone. So yeah, shyness all around! Big Grin

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