Tag Archives: The Avett Brothers

Don’t know where I went wrong, but I can write a song

This one goes out to my lovely sister Jenny. Don’t know how she stumbled on this wonderful Avett Brothers-like song, but it makes me want to dance every time I hear it. As we all know, I am very much obsessed with anything that sounds anything remotely similar to the Aves.

Here is what I have to say today: patience is a virtue. We all know that phrase most likely. Probably heard it from a parent or sister or friend. Let me tell you something – patience is the hardest virtue to maintain.

Guess what – it’s been over a year since graduation and this whole time, I have been telling myself to be patient. The paths of life are never straight and rarely sure. My life has been ridden with those descriptors since the day I walked up and grabbed hold of that rather oversized piece of paper we call a diploma.

Now, many of the my friends (who are all so wonderful by the way) are getting ready to do the same. Instead of providing them with wonderful words of wisdom throughout this year, I probably scared them. Whether it was about the transition, making friends, jobs, where to live or what have you, I am sure my friends heard about those things one too many times.

Of course, an inevitably part of life is frustration. We are frequently plagued by flagrant wants and I needs that leave us utterly dissatisfied with whatever existence we currently lead.

For a time, mine was not using my undergraduate study work in my day-to-day life. Then it became an entirely different, morphed thing. If there is one phrase I would use to describe the workplace it would be to say each job, each company, each place, has a vice of some kind.

It may be the job itself, the people, the boss, the commute, but whatever that vice is, it is something you have to teach yourself to be patient with. To be patient and remind yourself that this thing, this terribly annoying or life-draining thing is temporary.

You’ve heard it before here, and if not from me, someone else has probably told you that most of our lives are based on the temporal. The five minutes from now, the ten months from now or even just three years out. There is some string there, that ties it all together, but all in all, it is never going to last forever.

I try to remind myself each and every day that patience is a virtue. Some days it is harder to display than others. Some day it takes everything in me to not yell at that truck that just cut over into my lane or blocked me from merging when my lane is about to end. Yes, it frequently happens here in the lovely NoVa.

If there is one thing I would say to my friends who are graduating, my friends who are sad or just my friends of friends of friends, it would be to be patient. Things have a way of turning around quicker than you expect and in bigger ways than you would think were possible.

I would say that life is one big opportunity, surrounded by challenges each and every day. The biggest opportunity and challenge you will have to deal with is yourself.  Sounds weird and oddly cliche, right?

The person that is going to make things happen in your life is you. And the person who is going to keep you from living up to your full potential is also you.

Rely on the definite. Seek the unknown. And be patient. Because before you know it, things will look up and you will wonder how you could have ever believed things were really all that bad.

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When you don’t need to worry, there’ll be days like this

I am often fascinated by the most simple things wholly because it usually turns out that those things are really not very simple at all. The immense complexity of every aspect of nature, of being, of living is an intimidating, but awe inspiring phenomena.

What’s somewhat amusing is that the complexity of life situations, the day to day interactions with people can be utterly frustrating. It’s funny to me how different the effects of this term “complexity” can be.

How often do you wish your life were more simple?

And have you ever realized that maybe wishing something were simple is somewhat naive? What is it that we find enticing about simplicity? I guess it is the same as wanting a constant in an ever changing place. The control in an experiment is the unaffected particle. It’s the constant. So maybe the simplistic is a guideline we like to live by. It’s that reference point we point to and try to steer toward.

What is your point of interest in this trip? It’s a pestering question falling off the tip of the tongue. Because if you don’t know where you’re going, then you only know where you’ve been. It’s hard to put significance in things yet to come or things that have come to pass too.

There is something so calming about the way of a tree. Of their stillness. Sometimes I catch myself slipping down an alley way of wishing that things could be more like fill in the blank. How many times have you thought that? One of my favorite Avett Brothers songs encapsulates what I feel is lacking sometimes in our lives. This undeniable feeling of non-belonging. This need to fit into a space that we can’t seem to find. A Perfect Space.

Of all the odd things to make me catch my breath, watching the trees sway in the wind or sit still doing nothing at all is my medicine. Anything I say about a tree, may sound incredibly too cliche, but there is a strength in these simple things that resembles a resilience much stronger than we know. A wound is just a wound in bark.

There is so very little about our lives that promotes simplicity. It is what we always lack, but is it really all that bad?

I’m not sure I’ve gotten anywhere at all in these rambling words. So be patient. Relax. And take a deep breath because it’s not often that you find the time to do it.

Days Like This by Van Morrison

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Make me sanguine

Sanguine by the Avett Brothers..

paint the picture that I swore I heard

The Avett Brothers gave me a little vocabulary lesson today. Sanguine is to be cheerfully optimistic, hopeful or confident. Allow me to be upfront and say that I need this in every sense of the word, in every avenue of my life it seems. Don’t we all?
If I know one thing, I know that people teeter between stages of confidence and the unnerving bottom. Sometimes we’re neither here nor there. And sometimes, that area of grey is the scarier of the different places we tend to be.
Probably the Avett Brothers and Damien Rice are my two favorite lyricists. Both have this uncanny ability to make me feel like their heart has just fallen in my lap. As if the song gave them the ability to say these things that they wouldn’t normally. I am the type to bottle things up. I have an extremely bad ability to convince myself nearly anything sometimes. Because I think too much. Because I have the time. Because its innate. Because it’s a byproduct of the lifestyle we lead. Whatever it is, it’s a factoid into the makings of me.
I had two interviews this past week. I had such a confidence that my concern was what I would do if I were offered both, not that I’d be offered them at all. It’s funny how much these levels of hope and confidence can wane week to week, even day-to-day. I remember saying that I would be happy just to have a callback. Now what I want has grown, as it should. But it’ so easy to fill myself with doubt.
I have no doubt in my capabilities in getting a job. This whole process is reminiscent of applying to college. It seemed a crap shoot since nothing was definite. That’s what this seems. Arbitrary. The jobs I am actually qualified for seem uninterested. The jobs that I am in no way interested in or qualified for, want me. Tell me, can you explain how this works?
The conclusion you have to arrive at is that there is no order in this madness. There’s no order in looking for a job and certainly it feels like there’s no order to life really. We assign these moments importance or meaning, but do they really mean anything at all? Certain things are taught to us as we grow up. Girls are taught to believe in these inconstant and romantic ideas of love. We’re taught that believing in something is better than not believing at all. We’re taught to rebel and to obey when necessary. And all these things we learn, all these things that become second nature have no form expect what is given. Can you trace the meaning, can you find the reason why you follow these notions, these presets of how things should be? There’s something incredibly hypocritical in even saying this, since it seems to only be a part of what I was taught.
I feel at odds with myself and more often at odds with the settings of our world. Can you really say which is which? Is the world alienating you, or are you alienating it?
At times, I feel that I may never have an absolute in my life. And I have begun to believe it foolish to want that to be true. There is nothing constant. There is nothing that lasts as we wish it to. I think that is the tomfoolery we’ve all bought into. And, yet, I don’t want to give up on that still. There is a comfort in having things a certain way. A comfort in fitting these norms. Sometimes it feels like we’re rushing to these milestones not just because we’re supposed to, but because we believe that in those places we will find a security that gives a new status of growing happiness in our lives.
One mistake I think I’m prone to make is looking ahead much too often and making the little things into big things. A job interview isn’t an excuse to plan my life out and a kiss isn’t a reason to plan a wedding. And, yet, we do it anyway. We take these tiny moments and make them bigger than life. We are hopeful and confident that what we dream will come true. It’s hard to say which is better or worse since we are all striving toward that feeling of wholeness or completeness.
I think that there is only dots at the end of every line in life. There is never a period. What we want is the period. We want that defined ending, that absolute status, the comfort of knowing. I want that comfort on so many levels. But I am finding that in searching for it, it leads into this negative trend when it fails. I think I have to remember that life is three dots, not one.  To be sanguine not because I believe there to be some definite means to an end, but because it will make me see the present, appreciate it, and see the picture I know I heard.
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It Goes On

“It Goes On and On” by the Avett Brothers

Do you ever get this feeling, where you feel almost like the person living your life isn’t you? It’s never really for the same reason. Sometimes it’s fatigue. Sometimes you are so tired that you watch your body in it’s motion, completely detached. Sometimes it’s because you do something, and can’t believe you were capable of that action, surprising yourself in a way. Or maybe it’s this: you hear about people everyday doing things and it’s always been known, expected, determined that you would do those things too. And when you begin to fall into those roles, doing those pre-determined things, it’s always a funny feeling to see how your version of the “story” turns out.

So, here I am. I am an unemployed, post-grad, a tune well played these days. While I could easily spend all of my time talking about how awful it is trying to find a job, the long tedius process of being rejected time and time again, the long night internet searches, the desperate, “I’ll apply for anything I can get,” mood, etc. Most everyone has gone through this whether it was for the summer job, internship, career, or just a whatever job. It always amazes me how unimpressive a person can be on paper. It’s a very belittling feeling, to list your so called accomplishments in a Word document and get three lines down only to say, “that’s it?” Yes, that’s it.

Despite that discouraging moment, I’ve concluded simply that a sheet of paper is an unfair judge of a person. The challenge, I suppose, is to learn to market all your oh so wonderful attributes in as few words as possible. Oh the joys of job searching!

Well, here I am, unemployed, and well, struggling to continue doing what I enjoy. Something in the insecurity after college makes you question every aspect of your life. You wonder if you majored in the right thing. It’s too late to fix that really, but you wonder. You wonder why you decided to take Language and Logic to count for a math instead of doing something more practical, more marketable for that list you have to keep updating. And all those times you did things so you could, “build your resume.” Maybe that wasn’t as helpful as you thought it would be. Do you still love writing? Is it really what you wanted to do for the rest of your life? Well there isn’t much of a choice now is there. You play mind games. You convince yourself that there is absolutely no job right for you, so you better become brilliant over night and create the next Harry Potter before the bank runs dry. Yeah, this is the life I look at and think, so this is my life.

I’m not sure I am doing the feeling justice. There are these landmarks that we always knew would come, and they come more quickly than anyone ever warns you. High School graduation, pick a college, make a career, get a hott hubby, get hitched, make babies, get old, get bitter…okay not bitter, but we all know the story. Each time I’ve hit one of these landmarks, I’m surprised, not necessarily in a bad way. I am surprised because life is never what you expect it to be. And I am sorry to all those creative writing majors out there who recognize that last line as a cliche. Sometimes the cliches are the most accurate version of this thing we call life. Oh that sounds like another…

This is the first time I’ve written in a while and it feels too good to be true. I felt like a disgrace to my generation when I found myself yelling at the computer and frowning at this oh so confusing computer screen trying to follow through on my goal. I am more technologically challenged than I thought I was…and just as long winded as ever.

So, the writing bit. Let’s be honest, I was struggling with this whole theme thing. It seemed a little too self involved to just start a blog and write whatever my heart pleases. I needed some sort of confine, right? I mean, who will read this if I don’t have some cutesie theme or some really amazing thing needed to be said. I really have neither of those, at least I will not claim to either. My excuse for a theme is just lines. You all have them I’m sure. That line in a song, that part in the book, just that moment when the words come together perfectly and everything connects. My personal favorite moment is the way in which a song and lyric build to this perfectly constructed moment that it provides this sensation in you where you want to just close your eyes and sing your lungs out. It’s a moment that, honestly, I find hard to define. So, that will be my theme. These will be the song titles, the favorite lines, the exquisit moments, the, “you get me,” feelings we’ve all had. Some of these will be mine. Some of them will just be random songs I like, or books I am reading. But really, I admit that I have an overplayed list of songs in my head and books are harder to get through at times than I would like. So, feel free to help, to suggest, to try to change my taste. I could use a new playlist all around.  And that is the challange. The challenge is to use these random pieces and try to make something new, something in my own words. These are my thoughts. These are the notes I’m making about life, about the world, in hopes that I won’t forget how to construct a sentence, a perfect story, or how to recognize those pesky cliches.

Listen to the song, don’t listen to the song, but know that it’s the theme. Doesn’t everything go on? Most of us live our lives in this constant state of panicked motion so that we hardly have the time to breath, to blink, to just stop and see something. As we roll through the days, they pass in a manner never as we would expect, but exactly how they should. And life goes on, right?  We have to go on. There is something in the dwelling that makes us lose that secure feeling that the hecticness of each day provides. So, don’t dwell too long. Don’t let the words linger on the tip of your tongue, but do stop long enough to remember what it is you were hoping for. I am hoping that I will learn to write something outside myself and that one day, someone will think it’s a line worth borrowing, worth titling a blog over, just worth it.

…it goes on

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