Several Thoughts
I have to get used to people without formal musical training not being able to understand what I do. My roommate and I were talking about studying music, and I told her that sometimes I worry that I'm not doing anything IMPORTANT, I'm not doing something that can help people. Her response was, "Well, music is entertaining, and it's good that you can understand something that people love... I wish I could have learned to play violin." A couple of things about her statement bothered me. First, she doesn't understand (nor do I expect her to understand) what I am doing with music. Her idea of studying music is learning an instrument and playing music in an orchestra. My idea of studying music is reading articles, understanding theoretical concepts, being able to apply an analytic method to a composition, being able to articulate the function of harmony in a piece.
Second, sometimes I am worried that I am wasting my time by working in a field that is, in large part, a form of entertainment. Then I got to thinking: even in the poorest cultures, people make music. Music isn't just something that is done for fun. Music isn't simply a luxury that people in richer countries have. Music is something else-- maybe a way to cope, a way to create community, a release of stress or pressure, a symbol of something higher, I don't know. I am drawn to that power that music has-- everyone, in every culture, does music, and I want to know why.

I can't let go of the past.
It has been at least three years since I have even seen him, and still I find myself thinking about and remembering something from that relationship about once a week. Now they are having a baby. That hurts, for some reason. I still feel like that is my life they are living, she is living. I feel like my place was stolen, taken from me-- that I was replaced. I know that I am a different person now and he is a different person now. I know that it was better for me to leave that relationship and take the path that I took. But still I have this nagging feeling that I missed out on something. I wonder if he thinks of me like I think of him. I wonder if she is a better kisser than me. I wonder what they'll name their kids. I wonder if their inside jokes are as funny as ours were.
I don't know how I can resolve this inside myself. I feel like I never got some bit of needed closure and now I'm suffering because of it. Sometimes I think that if I could just talk to him now and see that he hasn't changed, then I will be satisfied that I made the right choice. But what if he changed into a person I could love unconditionally, that I could be with forever? What if he was my soul mate, and I just wasn't patient? That thought terrifies me.

I have been in this town for about four months and I still feel sort of lonely. I'm just not close to people here like I was close to people at NWC or in Japan. Chi-chan is in Fukuoka, Lis and Becky are in Chicago, Aubrey is in Minneapolis, and my family is in Des Moines. And I am here. In an apartment with two roommates I rarely talk to. In an apartment complex full of noisy college co-eds. I have friends here, but no one I feel like I could cry to or randomly hug. I wish I was closer to people who are close to me. I wish the people I am close to were closer to me.

I really think I might end up in Asia for a large chunk of my life. It's such a fascinating part of the world. I don't think I'd ever get tired of living in China or Japan. I really want to go back overseas, to either country. I want to see my friends in Japan again. I want to go back to the laidback lifestyle and awesome food of Southern China. This isn't to say that the US is boring; I just feel drawn to the Far East. I don't know why.

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written by Ruthie @ 10:23 PM  
2 thoughts:
  • At 2/07/2009 9:42 AM, Blogger CLU said…

    Oh, Ruth! The simple truth is: people don't "turn into" someone we can love unconditionally. We either love someone unconditionally or we don't. .
    As a parent, I want to shield you from all the hurt and pain that I have gone through but we all have our own stories to write.
    As a friend, I can tell you that for your well-being you MUST LET IT GO. It's an act of the will, and you have a strong one. I know, I raised you. Desiring "closure" is a 6 year old wanting to know why can't I have...do...go...?. Writing out loud (privately, not on the internet) your anger, frustration, pain, bitterness and culpability does help to get it out of the loop playing in your head. Don't let those 2 (and now 3) live rent free in there! Evict them.
    That is what I would say to any girlfriend. Not just you. It's truth. You can say "but, but, but" all you want, BUT that's 50 years of experience (actual and vicarious) speaking. Imagine that's Bev speaking. She would say the same thing!
    Do what you want. I know you will you come through this sooner or later. I love you so much, girlfriend and daughter.

  • At 2/07/2009 2:12 PM, Blogger Becky said…

    Hey Nala :)
    It seems to me that the most fundamental part of being human is learning how to deal with our circumstances, regardless of how they came to be. Stop thinking so much about these issues, and think a little more about how to deal with them. Eventually it'll come to you. If it will help you deal with your old relationship to know that it just wasn't right, then sit down and have an honest talk with yourself (or hell; with me; I'm here anytime!). You shouldn't have to sacrifice your own identity to be in relation with someone else. Remember that there are good reasons that you got out of that relationship. Sure, you two may be compatible now (and that's a BIG 'may be')...but that doesn't mean you didn't make the right decisions at the right times. Your life ain't over yet, honey; keep living it! As far as the rest of it--you're learning so much about yourself, and I love it=) You feel at home in Asia, you require certain kinds of friendship and closeness, and you have your very own personal niche in the music world to do your life's work in. This all probably sounds very jumbled, but it makes sense in my head;) Just keep working on dealing with the whole mess; you ARE getting somewhere, I promise. I've decided we're old enough to start setting longer-term goals. Mine is, "If I'm not significantly happier in five years, then I quit at life." I made it two years ago when I moved to IL, right after I finished my class at NIU and was broke and lonely and lost. I'm already in a better place--not perfect, but better. Allow yourself room to grow and room to deal, and make sure to look back occasionally so that you can see the progress you've made. And when in doubt, ask a friend, because we often see others more clearly than ourselves. I meant what I said--call me anytime! I love you, Nala!!
    -your Simba

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Name: Ruthie
Home: Japan
About Me: I want to know who God is and what his truth is. I love getting lost in beautiful music and cloudless star-filled skies, especially in the fall. I hate being bored. I like big cities. I want to travel the world.
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