Chaos versus Order

Have you ever had one of those days that just ends up being magnificent without having planned a single event? As if the day couldn’t have gone any better than if you actually did plan it.

Have you ever noticed that those days end up being magnificent because of the fact that you didn’t plan anything?

Some of my best and most memorable days were the unplanned ones. The days when something great would happen and I didn’t expect it at all. They were great because I wasn’t trying to control anything or think ahead of what should happen next.

Yesterday, me and my sister’s band, Until Love, played at our favorite open mic spot called Pete’s Candy Store in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. We’ve been singing there for a few months now and have made many friendships through continuously going and connecting with other singers and musicians.

There is a certain degree of intimacy that we lose with people after we’re done with school. Friendships often tend to die out if you don’t make an effort to incorporate them into your ever-changing life. We’re less inclined to reach out to people as we become busier.

I’ve always agreed that the best way to really get to know someone is through forced togetherness. And I’m not referring to the notion of physically tying someone down and holding them hostage against their will. I’m referring to the notion of being around someone all the time and just naturally becoming closer to them because they are in your immediate environment. When we see the same people, we often develop a specific relationship with them. It may necessarily be a positive one, but a certain type of relationship develops. You get to know their mannerisms, the things that bother them, the way they react to situations, etc.

Yesterday, my sister and I hung out with friends that we’ve gradually become closer to in the past few months through our involvement with music. On top of that, we became friends with people who were visiting from another state. We had amazing conversations with these people whom we had just met and it ended up being the most fun I’ve had in quite some time.

One of the topics that we came across while conversing with our new friends was the idea of chaos versus order and how the world goes through a natural cycle of destruction and rebuilding. It, then, got me thinking about the cycles that we go through as humans. In our lives, we need chaos and order. They go hand in hand and you can’t have one without the other.

This unplanned day, although not to be termed chaotic, was somewhat chaotic in the sense that there was no order, no plan.

Sometimes, we need to shake things up in our lives to avoid stagnancy. We need to step outside of our comfort zone for the possibility that something truly magnificent can come out of it.

After all, life is about taking risks. You should do one thing every day that scares you.

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Practice

Last night,  my sister and I performed at an open mic at Caffe Vivaldi in the West Village. This was the first time we sang in public together since around February. After months of sporadic rehearsals, we finally chose a time and place. At first, I was pretty confident since we had just practiced the night before and sounded on point. Of course,  it’s always the last few minutes prior to the actual performance that really shakes my nerves.

Open Mic Night @ Caffe Vivaldi (July 22, 2013)
Open Mic Night @ Caffe Vivaldi (July 22, 2013)

Once we got on stage, I could feel my voice starting to tremble. We made it through the first song with hardly any flaws, but I became gradually more nervous as I  looked around at the audience.

The second song was our downfall, which didn’t make sense because it was a song that we had performed together a handful of times before in the winter

After our set was done, I kept re-playing the second song in my head, nit-picking every mistake that I knew I had made. At that point, there was nothing I could really do except tell myself that it was already over and we just have to practice more for next time.

Singing isn’t a priority for me. If anything, it’s basically at the bottom of my to-do list. It’s just something I do for fun to take my mind off of the more important things in my life.

After hearing the other performers play and sing their original songs, I was envious of just how good they were. Then I thought, “These people probably spend hours upon hours constantly writing music, practicing, and playing open mics on a weekly or probably daily basis”

My friend, who came to watch and support my sister and I, said to me “You know, for a while Amy [a mutual friend] used to come here every single Monday night just get practice performing on stage”

I thought to myself, “Well I don’t really have time for that”

Then I realized, it’s really just a matter of making time for it.

I do love music and singing, but there are also things that I care about much more (and here is where I start talking about running again)

I know that if I spent half as much time practicing making music as I do running and exercising, then I could be as good as the other performers who played at the open mic last night.

I’m currently not training for a specific race at the moment, so I decided that I’m going to try distributing my time into other areas of my life (singing and writing) and see just how far I can go with it. I’ll continue to run and go to the gym of course, but I want to become better at other things as well. After all, that’s how you grow.