to live like common people, I never think I’ll do

The list of ever-looming deadlines I have are looking gloomier by the day. It’s amazing how many things I find myself doing instead of writings essays and doing my jazz research dissertation. It’s not that I’m “wasting time” per se, when I procrastinate, I am genuinely doing and reading things I find interesting – they just aren’t the things that I must do. Right now. I was saying to a friend yesterday that “assignments are like screaming children. You like to hope they’ll go away if you just leave them, but you know they MUST be dealt with”. When I shared this analogy with the boy, he added something that I think is pure gold: “and like your children, everyone is totally disinterested in hearing you talk about them”. Touche.

The Raveonette’s new album, Observator, is now streaming here (aka it has leaked anyway), and will be officially released in a handful of days. I urge anyone who has ever enjoyed my playlists or music I’ve posted to go and check them out. Reading Sune Rose Wagner’s backstory of how the album was conceived (you can find it here) has given me a deeper perspective on the album as a whole. I know that some people don’t like to find out what songs and albums are about or were inspired by, because they feel it “taints” their interpretations of it; but having already repeated the album to death last night, I definitely wasn’t at any risk of having my initial experience influenced. It’s fantastic. Really fantastic. It’s what I love them for – sincerity, noisy guitar, what some have labelled a “dream pop” sound, and relatable lyrics. Also, for this album they’ve brought in the piano on a couple of songs which really gives songs like “Observations” a deeper, sombre timbre.

Here are a couple of photos taken a couple of months ago. Anyone who knows me knows that, whilst I love wielding the camera, I rarely volunteer to be in photographs. Even less frequent is the event of me handing my own camera over – so this shows just what a good night I was having. Both taken on Kodak UltraMax 400 film:

When I bent down to pick up my pointe shoes off the floor to hang them up last night, a string of thoughts were triggered and the idea hasn’t left me since. Even though I haven’t done ballet for five or six years now, I leave my pointe shoes hanging on my bedroom door. On that same hook are a couple of really pretty dresses that I just like seeing. It’s an aesthetic thing. But also, I realised last night that I can’t put those shoes away and let them fall into dusty obscurity because I absolutely loved ballet and it was a part of half my life – which is a  decade! Even though at the time I probably came across like I hated it (it was hard work and painful and time-consuming and full of pressures and I had an old teacher that just went nag, nag, nag), I still loved it. I’m not into the more classical stuff, like if I have to ever hear music from the Nutcracker again I will snap, nor could I sit through something like Cinderella, but I love the more contemporary styles. Earlier this year mum and I went to see the Royal NZ Ballet’s performance of “NYC: Three Short Ballets From the Big Apple” and it was one of the best nights I’ve had all year. To drift back on topic – it’s scary how things can be such a big part of your life and suddenly it’s just gone. Whether by choice or not. And no matter how you felt about it at the time or afterwards, you will never be the same person again, because everything that we do in our lives shapes us in some way. Skills we learnt and a practised and polished may be deserted and given up on – but to some level we are a changed person, and we retain those skills and knowledge to some degree.

I was feeling rather down about myself last night, thinking about ballet and all the things I can’t do with my body anymore. Even more poignant were these feelings, since I had a physio appointment yesterday, because I am aching all over as we’ve taken on extra hockey trainings in preparation for this Saturday’s semi-final. But then I thought, hang on, yes there are many things I can’t do anymore, or at least not as well as I used to be able to, but because of all those years of hard work towards different directions and different goals, the me today can probably do a lot of things that normal people can’t do. I really need to make a proper list of things I can do, have done, and then all the things I’ve yet to accomplish, but really want to. The mere idea of compiling this list is daunting though. There’s definitely a reason why, unlike many blogs I read, I don’t have a “Bucket List” or a “101 in 1001” list. I don’t like setting concrete goals because I don’t like failing. My excuse is often, I’ll want different things at different times, and therefore it’s pointless setting myself up for feeling like a failure if I take things off the list because I can’t or don’t want to do them anymore. So after all this, I’m not sure if I will make a list or not. But I’ll definitely make a list of things I’ve managed to do already. Like a reverse-motivation thing: if I have already done this, then surely I can do that too.



  1. Stephanie September 8, 2012

    I have very different tastes in music from you, so your playlists tend to be hit or miss with me. However, the album you just linked to is a definite hit!

    Giving up activities is just a part of life. How many sports does an average boy play at the age of seven? How many sports would he play in high school? As for myself, I played piano, flute, and piccolo well in my high school days, but once I got to college, the flute was really the only one I played. And none of my recent flute playing has been serious or competitive, like your hockey. Yet, I still cling onto my flute-playing days, which you can see in my domain. It’s a part of me, and it’ll always be dear to me, even though it’s not a huge part of my life right now.

    Bucket lists are good for some people, and don’t really work for others. 101 things is a lot, so I made myself a list of 30 things to do before I’m 30. Most of them are things that I’ve been meaning to do for a while anyways. It’s not the fact that they’re on a list that I work towards them, it’s the fact that they’ve been in my head for a while. The “30 years old” mark is just a deadline. But if things go in and out of your head, no reason to have a list, right?

  2. Kristi September 8, 2012

    I read your comment yesterday, then learned that the YYYs are performing at the Big Day Out, then put two and two together and realized you’re going to the Big Day Out. All I can say is I’m SOOO jealous!! The Big Day Out is so cool! I wish we had a touring festival like that in the US!

    I checked out the album by The Raveonettes but I wasn’t really a fan. I only listened to half of the album though so I can’t say for sure, haha. I’ll check out their other stuff.

    I like your idea of the reverse-motivation thing. Whenever I write down everything I have to do, I get overwhelmed and I just don’t bother, but if you write down what you’ve accomplished already, it motivates you to make that list even longer. I never thought of it that way until now :)

  3. Crissy September 9, 2012

    I’ll definitely give that album a listen! I like the way you look at goals, and it hits home a bit. I’m very into making goals and goals lists because they keep me on track. Once it’s on paper, I must accomplish it. This usually works, except for when I change my mind about my goals. Then I leave those goals in the dust, but when I’m writing them down I KNOW I might change my mind, and I fear changing it. It’s a vicious cycle. I think writing what you’ve accomplished, thereby validating it without needing to continue it, is a really good idea.

  4. Krystal September 9, 2012

    I so understand you in the first paragraph. I’m always telling myself I have to get this and this done, but then I end up surfing the internet and reading cool things I never knew about. xD

    Eh, I don’t like lists, unless it’s a grocery shopping list. I don’t believe in New Year Resolutions (I like to make *fake* ones that I never go through with, hah) or Bucket Lists or whatever else. I do things when the times comes/when I want to do it. A list of accomplishments sounds like a cool idea though.

  5. Charlotte September 12, 2012

    I did have a good summer, but I’ve just gotten really lazy, and slightly uninspired. I do support football, I’m curious as to why you asked? I feel like your deadline problem is what I’m having with my blog, I know I should post but I leave it. Obviously your situation is more stressful! X

  6. Elaine September 22, 2012

    I am in EXACTLY the same boat as you when it comes to deadline, and I completely agree that my reading and listening isn’t something I’d call “wasting time”, more like “using my time valuably in other ways”. Loved that quote between you and your friend, couldn’t have hit a truer note.

    I did ballet too, for a good five years! It’s no longer a big part of my life, but I still hold a high appreciation for dancers. I think it’s great you still have your pointe shoes, I stopped dancing just as I began on demi-pointe’s, and there is definitely something aesthetically pleasing about them. I completely agree about having something mean so much, and in such a short time later, everything has completely changed. I used to be so passionate about ballet, was entering into solo competitions and everything, and (by my own choice) I decided to quit. I regret the decision of dropping dance, but I don’t regret the lessons I learnt from it in the first place.

    Love your reverse motivation, and it tempts me to remove my own personal Bucket List. It makes sense, the way you put it, really. I’m terribly frightened of failure as much as the next person, but I think I’m more afraid of having no direction and no goals to work towards. If I don’t tell myself I have a list of things to cross off, I’m afraid I’ll just fall off the bandwagon and explore avenues I never would have thought. But then again, that’s not a bad thing, right? You truly live in the moment and that’s something to be admired. :)


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