Me and my sister headed back out to pack out the rest of our old apartment today with Mom and Dad.

I had a moment of bad driving anxiety on the way there.  Also, I held in pee for an hour and a half on the road today.  That’s like a new record for me!

But the minute I got into town, I suddenly became popular.  A friend wanted to see me, and me and my sister had a music lesson to attend.

I helped my friend through a hard time.  The only reason I went to see her today during move-out was because I think she really needed it.  I’m very worried about her.  It’s frustrating for me, because in this particular situation I don’t know how to help her aside from being there for her and telling her that she matters, which I’m already doing.  We had pretzel bites at the mall, visited Michael’s for art supplies, and I managed to make her laugh.  She told me she really loved me, and that she was glad it was me she was talking to.  So maybe I’m helping more than I think?

Music lesson went well.  We did some basic vocal exercises.  Doc gave us a whole CD full of vocal exercises and lectures about music theory and vocals to listen to and practice with – now that we’ve gotten a bit more used to the sounds of our own voices.  He also told me, when I asked, what keys and chords are, showing me on the piano.  I’d never known the difference before, so that was handy.  (I do eventually want to write my own music.)  He also gave us a sheet of paper showing two basic guitar chords, and now that we’ve got picking, strumming, and finger strength down, he’s going to have us switch between one chord and the other in a four-beat pattern until we can do both and switch between them comfortably.

I felt very good about how music is going to go this week.  There’s lots of structure but we’re still actually learning practical, tactile things, we’re going slow and easy, Doc said he’s going to let us set the pace, and he said we can work out a new schedule when school hits so we can continue taking music lessons.  I think Doc could make the guitar fun and intuitive for me, the way my voice already is, if he continues like he’s been doing.  He’s even promised to eventually teach us tablature and songwriting – once we get to that level.

He’s also a genuinely kind and friendly person.  He’s one of those soft cuddly Ringo Starr sorts of people where you can see the fun and niceness in his eyes.  He’s about my parents’ age; he’s got a son in college like we are.  He showed no favoritism toward my sister today, so I guess my assertiveness must have gotten through to him.  Or maybe I just made a better showing today.

Then we went back to the apartment to help with packing and a walk-through from the new landlady.  I got a little “bipolar overwhelmed”, but I kept at it anyway.  There was no air conditioning again.

One annoying thing did happen.  While my sister was gone, I got scolded by my mother for our lack of cleaning – there was lots of dust on surfaces, a couple of stains on the stove, and the carpet hadn’t been vacuumed.  I explained that because our apartment was so small, and also because my sister leaves huge layers of litter and clutter everywhere she goes, it was always really hard to clean.  My sister is the type of person to take over not only her own chair with her stuff, but also my chair and the foot rest and the entirety of our bedside table.  Layers of Stuff follow her everywhere she goes.  She loves picking random things up off the ground and from dumpsters, buying useless dustables, and she never throws anything away.  Pointing this out to her confuses and upsets her.  She is the genuine cluttery artist.

This is particularly annoying to me because I am the exact opposite kind of person.  We had to bring boxes of my sister’s stuff back to my parents’ house to sort out over the next two weeks; I was done sorting through my stuff in two hours.

And this was a genuine problem, because my sister and I haven’t even had separate rooms over this past year.  It was extremely close quarters, and my sister didn’t have a separate bedroom to put all her stuff in.  I need space to be able to move around in, and free surfaces, in order to clean.  Like most people, I think.

I also got scolded because we “ate unhealthily” – in other words, we ate spaghetti and hot dogs and microwavable pot pies instead of 5-minute gourmet meals from cookbooks.  And it’s like… we don’t have a car and all we have is a tiny personal grocery cart to haul stuff around in?  I never had the room to bring a bunch of fancy ingredients home?  And that’s completely ignoring my lack of time availability?

So Mom at last promised that they would set us up in a bigger apartment this time, tell my sister to confine her stuff to her space, and stock us up at the beginning with lots of healthy food ingredients and cookbooks and come up with a cooking schedule with us.  So that’s better.  That’s reasonable.

Then Dad had to go and ruin it by ordering me AND my sister later to “stop accumulating stuff.”  Then I had to be the one to point out I wasn’t actually the one accumulating much, and my father got annoyed and my sister got upset.  I didn’t say it rudely or angrily.  I was just speaking the truth.

Anyway, I was still feeling overwhelmed, so I scarfed down half a lunch to appease Mom and then ran away, escaping to Starbucks to hang out there with coffee and free wifi for a while.  Clear my head, get my bearings.  Calm down, cool down.

I returned at about 7-ish and helped my family finish up.  We finished except for a couple of partially empty boxes and some cleaning to do.  That will be done Friday morning.

Which means, tomorrow?  I am totally free.  I get to sleep in, read, watch Netflix, and the only thing I have to do is make a single phone call and practice my music.  And you know what?  I’m excited.  I’m looking forward to music practice.

It was never like that before with my previous music lessons, because I never had any structure.  I never had anything concrete and simply explained to work on.  Now I do, and it actually feels like I’m getting somewhere.  It’s exciting!  I may be the first person on earth to be excited over playing the same two chords over and over again and doing vocal exercises!

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