Back to Life, Back to Reality

Prompt: After an especially long and exhausting drive or flight, a grueling week at work, or a mind-numbing exam period — what’s the one thing you do to feel human again?

After a long day of any activity outside of my house I end up doing my usual routine; sitting in my room and listening to music that starts slow and calming then leads up to funky and fast.

Ever since I got my first iPod me and music have been inseparable. Once Limewire (remember this? It was more infected with bugs and viruses than a seasoned hooker) was introduced into my life shortly after, it was all over. I never left my room, I hardly communicated to my family because I was too busy listening to a song whether it be in my head or ears. Music really had this profound effect on my soul and body, I could make my heart race and chills roll down my spin when an artist hit the perfect note. It was like I lived in those notes, a single octave higher and everything in the world seemed just. Music gave me the sensation of falling in love when I felt I never could. It cuddled me at night. It made my problems smaller. Music became life. On top of all the other things previously listed it also fueled my imagination.

I never had an imaginary friend, I didn’t have a special place that I would go to as a kid, I was actually a realistic type of kid. I took life seriously and if i couldn’t see it then I didn’t believe in it. This changed in middle school. Once Music cast it’s spell over me, I was transported to a different place. It began with pretending that I was friends with celebrities and I’m guilty to mouthing out my conversations with these people…It got to the point where I had a created an entire life for myself complete with a spouse and a job, and real-life struggles like how am I going to finish the project before Monday or faking fights with my fake partner (complete with music) and later realizing I had made a mistake and running back into the house and apologizing with the words of a song.

I now realize that this may me sound a bit crazy but I swear I’m not! I was just making up for the lost years in imagination. I was still fairly young when I did this so I would also find some spy sounding music and play capture the Russian spy in my backyard as I climbed trees and ducked and covered so I wouldn’t be seen. If I was sad I pretended I had just gone through a break up and would listen to break up songs as I looked out the window to a gloomy sky. I pretended I had my own talk show or web show and would create a playlist and set list for the new episode. My music obsession turned into a job almost as I created playlists and found the perfect to a situation in my head ( or formed a situation around a song). This really came in handy when I was made Sound Designer for my school’s theater company. Come to think of it…it was almost like I was meant to have that job…huh.

That’s how I like to unwind, with some music and a pinch of imagination to make me forget about my life and create one where I’m in control and know exactly what to say and do. If only I could be that prepared in reality.


Movies that messed me up

Prompt: When was the last time you watched something so scary, cringe-worthy, or unbelievably tacky — in a movie, on TV, or in real life — you had to cover your eyes?

There are four movies that turned my world upside down: Eight-Legged Freaks, Quarantine, Devil’s Pass, and the most important…The Conjuring.

Eight legged freaks was the first “scary movie” I’ve ever seen. I was about 5 and my sister and I were watching it upstairs. Before the movie I don’t have any recollection of being afraid of spiders but after that movie…13 years later and I’m still terrified of them. For the longest time I believed spiders could grow to the size of cars and they would steal me in the night.

Quarantine: This was my first official scary movie. The entire time I had my eyes closed and screamed at scary noises. I’m not exactly proud of this but it prevented me from seeing anymore horror movies for some time.

The Conjuring: This movie right here! This movie messed me up, then cleaned me up, then ruined me again. I saw this movie with a friend and, eyes closed the entire time, I decided it was the best movie I had ever seen because it scared me so bad I was no longer afraid of horror movies.  I used abused my new superpowers by watching nothing but horror flicks and ghost hunting shows for 5 months straight. To be continued…

Devil’s Pass: During my run of horror movies I ran into this movie on Netflix. What I was searching for was a movie that would scare me into being afraid of scary movies again because I was afraid watching all these movies was desensitizing me. I no longer felt fear and what I discovered was that without fear I didn’t have the drive to overcome my fears. It’s thought that you must overcome your fears to achieve your goals but if you don’t have any fears then what satisfaction is there in overcoming something you don’t feel? Well, I got what I was looking for with this movie, scared me so bad I couldn’t finish it. To this day I still don’t know the ending and I don’t really want to know and I’m just fine with that.

The Conjuring: I downloaded this movie and was going to watch it again (I had forgotten almost everything about the movie). I watched the movie with my sister and I regret that decision. It scared the daylights out of me and could not sleep. I like to do this thing where I do some behind the scenes research so the movie starts feeling more like a movie and less realistic ( I get really invested in movies), this however made it even worse. What I thought was just tall tale turned out to be real as I heard stories from the actual family about the real things that went on in the house. That night I didn’t sleep at all. I  stayed for 24 hours and was so freaked out that I had to sit outside of my house until my parents came home. I just sat in a wicker chair, petrified, and sweating for an hour until someone finally came home. The next night I could barely sleep, I had to have my computer on playing movies all night. Eventually I got over it but I still think my house is haunted at times and I do wake up with the fear that I’ll see someone standing at the end of my bed.

So there you have it the four movies that scared the shit out me, then there is The Human Centipede but…that’s another story for another day.

Things Left Undone

 From a young age, basically when you start school, you dream about the end of it. You think that once it’s done your life will begin or it will get better or whatever you choose to tell yourself to cope. We all get so caught up in the end of things just to start something new so the vicious cycle begins again. When does it end?

 I wished high school was over the moment I stepped on campus as a freshman. I thought this rush of relief and relaxation would overcome me as I wiped my slate and prepared for college. None of that happened. What was left after the end of school was just one question: Now what? In hindsight, I now realize I had raced to the end hoping I would eventually have a high school experience only to be stuck with the fact that my high school experience had zoomed right past me. 

What is a high school experience anyway? Is it late night studying and binge drinking coffee? Is it sneaking out to parties and making bad decisions only to do it all over again? Is it getting the person of your dreams and giving them all of you? 

Hollywood painted this picture of what high school should be like and middle schoolers actually believe it, at least I know I did. I thought I was going to get that awesome group of friends and go to football games, get that dream person ( at the time I thought it was going to be a guy), achieve greatness in school, and walk out believing that those were the best four years of my life. Yeah…no. Most of those things happened but they were all out of order. I had the friends, but not the date or grades and so on. I can’t say they were awful because I had some great times but they weren’t what I was expecting. The only thing I didn’t account for was the amount of pain that came along with those four years. All the heartbreak, regrets, nights I cried myself to sleep, the loneliness, abandonment, and stress. It’s funny, when I think about the future I forget about all the bad times that will come with the good. I wish to be successful but at what cost? 

That’s the looming fear about the future, it’s not just the unknown; it’s the fear of pain. We don’t know what horrors will come to us and that scares the shit out of us, or that’s what I think the answer is. Who looks forward to future pain? But fear is a whole other post.

This is about how it felt leaving behind four years at a place you never thought you would get out of. The way my school did it, we kinda went out in a fizzle. One week everyone is in session then finals (seniors didn’t have to take finals unless otherwise stated), then one last class gathering, one final mass (catholic school), then graduation followed by grad night and boom! over. For a month I kept feeling like I had more to do because it ended so quickly. You don’t realize your mind is loud with thoughts, tasks, due dates, and excitement until there is silence. I never liked when my mind was silent because I felt I had no purpose anymore. I had nothing to do and I just felt worthless; the world had lost some of it’s color.

I spent so much time racing to the end that when I crossed the finish line I had just earned another piece of paper. 

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