Posts Tagged ‘exes’

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jagged little pills.

August 8, 2009

It’s hard for me to remember a time in my life or my musical experience before Mariah Carey’s Butterfly album, because that has shaped the way I sing, the music I aim to make and so much more besides; to me, it is nearly the perfect album (I don’t believe there is any such animal).  But before Butterfly, I was obsessed with Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill.  I bought the CD when I was 10 years old and I played it to death.  I don’t really listen to Alanis Morissette anymore, but for a while she opened my eyes, my ears and my vocabulary.  Listening to “You Oughta Know”, I used to think that “going down on you in a theatre” meant that she was going to attack him.  I guess I was sort-of right… It’s things like that that make me really that I was a curious blend of precociousness and naïvety as a child; perhaps that’s true even today… I remember my parents being astonished at the fact that I had decided to cling to this singer so; after all, she was quite controversial and her lyrics included explicit language and sexual metaphors.  My parents have not been shy about swearing in front of me since I was about 7 years old, but thankfully I didn’t hear much about their sex life until I was maybe 11 or 12.  But my parents thought I had good taste (for once), and we used to play the cd in the car and we all enjoyed it.  There was a period during my summer holidays before starting year 6 when I would literally go up to my room after breakfast, slip the CD into my black Sanyo CD player and sing it all the way through.  Every day.  For at least 2-3 months… It was crazy, and I don’t think I have done anything like that since, nor would I want to.

So today I was browsing through wikipedia on the net and I end up reading Alanis Morissette’s album pages.  I remember the situations I couldn’t relate to so much back then have now become fully fleshed-out (when I was younger, I would just connect to the song’s emotion because I had no experience of romantic or sexual relationships).  I understand the Catholic angst of “Forgiven” better now than I ever used to, and that is coincidental because I was discussing religion and Catholicism with my friend Adam today while watching the film Doubt (I caved and bought the dvd).  The concept of living up to being the “perfect child” under pressure from my parents, family and peers has never lessened but my maturity lends new hues to the song “Perfect”.  I remember nearly having an affair with my peer mentoring instructor, drama teacher and counsellor while listening to the song “Hands Clean” (we never had an affair, but I had a crush and we were close.  And all my friends at school kept checking that we weren’t sleeping together, which obviously we weren’t).  Listening to “Joining You” today reminds me of when I was younger and contemplated suicide on more than one occasion, and realising that life really can be that depressing if you let yourself get caught up in it so much.  Sometimes levity and fun are not a bad thing, and in fact vital to our survival.

I wrote a hell of a lot of songs and poems during my childhood as a direct result of Alanis Morissette’s inspiration.  I pray that none of these poems or lyrics come back to light, but perhaps they aren’t as bad as I imagine them to be.  I also expect some of them are a lot more risky than what I produce today, because as I’ve honed my craft, I’ve also made steps on the journey to finding who I am and how I can best express that.  At 11 years old, I knew a lot for my age but I still had so much growing up to do and so the poems I wrote were a mishmash of everything.  I imagine it to be a bit messy and at times laughable, though probably heartrending all the same.  I would never go back in time, because I’ve learned a lot of hard lessons and I don’t want to have to relearn them thankyou.  But at the same time, as unhappy a child as I was, I remember the growing and the learning and the insecurities, I see how far I have come, and although according to R “I put too much pressure on myself”, I can’t help but smile and remember the little boy who was doing all the “right things” and still felt so lost.  And at least I stand here today, and I’m a tiny bit more found than I used to be.  Who isn’t a work-in-progress?  But some progress has been made.

Listening to “Unsent”, I think of the people I have dated, and why it has gone wrong every single time.  Of course, it takes two, and as much as I can blame myself and push myself to learn and to act more rationally and maturely, and as much as I push myself to be more perfect and model-ready, it can’t all be my fault.  I always seem to settle for less, and now with B and with R, I feel caught in the middle of two non-boyfriends who emotionally connect with me but can never give me enough in return, for various reasons.  Last night, R’s boyfriend hijacked his msn and effectively said that R spends too much time talking to me (and other guys) on msn.  This morning, R said that the boyfriend was jealous (I suppose understandably).  I don’t want to be a homewrecker, I don’t want to be the jump-off, I don’t want to be a booty-call or a one-night-stand or a throwaway boyfriend.  I don’t want to be waiting around for B to wake up and smell the coffee, and I don’t want to be caught in the middle.  Like I said before, I can’t even imagine myself not single, and yet I’ve racked up all these nearly-guys.  I suppose I am the stronger and the better for it, but it gets tiresome… however, at least like Alanis, I get some pretty decent lyrical material out of it!  I guess part of being older and gaining experience is that you hurt and get hurt along the way of life.  I don’t really know how to conclude this entry very neatly, but I try not to feel bitterness if I can help it.  I try to stay pretty zen about my relationships, and I don’t think that we need to stay friends with our exes every time, but after a while I don’t want to waste my time hating them either.  The more open I keep my heart, hopefully the more likely someone is to find it who is worth my time and then I’ll prove my self-fulfilling prophecy wrong and be able to enjoy what everyone else seems to without trying to walk the line of perfection to everybody.

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windows.

July 10, 2009

(nothing to do with Microsoft!)

I was talking to Jess and doing one of my crazy things riffing off a concept on Wednesday, and overly appreciating windows.  Windows are something we generally take for granted, because we just look through them to appreciate what’s on the other side, whether it’s a shop display or a view inside / outside a cafe, someone’s home or while we’re travelling.  But after a while, my silliness started to display a shred of truth… Without windows, we wouldn’t have oxygen to breathe, sunlight so we can see, fresh air so we can keep cool when we are indoors.  So windows are a pretty useful invention, let alone if there’s a fire and we need an escape route.

Okay, so I may be exaggerating a tiny bit, but at the same time none of what I’m saying is technically wrong!  Anyways, tonight I was on the bus and I find myself looking out of the window a lot, rather than reading whatever reading material I have with me (I usually carry a book or something) because I can listen to my ipod and escape with my thoughts a bit.  And I find myself looking to see whether I will by chance pass anyone I know… A part of me for a long time has wanted to see this guy I was seeing for a few weeks last year, but then we lost interest in one another… but I guess I never forgot about him completely.  His name is Mikey, and he actually lives quite close to my nan.  But I hadn’t seen him in nearly a year – well guess what.  I was on the bus home and finally I saw him – he looks as good looking as I remember, wearing the same clothes I remember… he hadn’t really changed.  And I wondered what he would think if he saw me from the same window, whether he would think I looked any different (I personally think I do, the gym has paid off, my hair is darker now and my fashion game is always stepping up – but I don’t know if these are types of things that are instantly noticeable).  How much do we take in at first glance, and how much do we simply see in the blink of an eye and then let it pass us by?

At my nan’s today, we also had a situation where an ambulance pulled up outside our neighbour’s house and was parked there for a few hours.  Obviously, we were slightly curious as to what was going on, because the neighbour is a noisy nuisance but the old lady whose house it is has mysteriously disappeared after a fall (she had been living alone far too long, suffering from near-blindness, near-deafness and possible dementia, but her family couldn’t be bothered to intervene – they’re all a bit crazy) and has been replaced by her grandson who has no job, comes and goes at all hours (sometimes with dog), leaves dog poo in the back yard for days on end (along with piles of plates… outside!) and causes lots of disturbance.  And the strategy of eavesdropping through a window (ok i know this sounds really bad! but we’ve all done it 😛  ) requires some finesse!  You need to not rustle the net curtain, to keep enough of a distance from it so that nobody can tell from outside that you are by the window looking out.  You need to have a window slightly open so you can hear what is being said, but you can’t open any windows once the event has started because otherwise it will be obvious and construed as somebody wanting to eavesdrop (even if you genuinely just want fresh air!).  So we had to be strategic… though it turned out we learned very little anyway, other than the old lady has not returned to the house, and people were wandering in and out wearing masks… was the grandson ill?  Drugs, smoke?  Swine flu?  Who knows… it’s a mystery.

Anyways, windows are something we take for granted every day, but they are also a gateway which trap us on one side, but bestow upon us a view or an insight into the daily mysteries of life, all while keeping us on a lifeline.