On the Tip of my Tongue

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So, the mad compulsion to blog has lifted; I’m not feeling any desire to post everyday. Other obsessions linger, one being this matter of divesting myself of the American accent.

Some may criticise me in this endeavour. Those are people who identify me as American. But, that is not my identity.

True identity is a spiritual thing having nothing to do with where a person is born or grew up; the soul has no nationality. Therefore, I feel no loyalty to my native accent and I wish, as someone who makes much of tune and tone, to replace it with what I know to be more aesthetic to the ear.

Thus, I’m training my tongue with proper elocution exercises. And, I’m finding it a strenuous workout indeed.

When I told my husband about how these exercises strengthen the tongue, he remarked that, perhaps, he ought to try them, too. He said it with a sly grin – the perv (and, I love him for it) – and I mentioned something about the “cunning linguist” and we both dissolved into laughter.

Ouch. My tongue hurts. This certainly isn’t for the faint of heart…or mouth, as the case may be. But, my determination persists. I must make my tongue know what my ear understands, and I must make my ear all the more sensitive.

To do this, I am talking to myself… I mean more so than usual. Practising. My social anxiety presents a serious obstacle to my endeavour…it all tends to fall apart when I go out my door and I am immediately put under pressure. My speech just starts to sound better…and, then, damn it, I have to talk to someone! Irony, anyone?

I suppose, the thing is, I hate labels and boxes and typecasting. Someone hears an American accent here, and suddenly there’s the box, the confinement. I’d like them to see me before there is a judgment made that doesn’t apply to me but will be attributed to me nonetheless simply because humans are too stupid to look past something so superficial.

Elocution used to be taught in schools. There used to be a standard. Now, well…I suppose one might say that standard is just another box. But, I won’t play devil’s advocate here on my own blog. Here, this one place where I have my say. But, at the very least, I don’t think a desire to improve one’s speech (whatever the reason) could be considered, in any way, a negative thing.

The aim is merely to improve. Perfection is not in my reach. As I say, practice may NEVER make perfect, but it CAN make BETTER.

Better. I’m not getting any. I mean with the health issues. But, this – the accent thing – is something for me to focus on. I know, I know. Right now, it isn’t a focus, it’s an obsession, a compulsion…a madness. I’m mad.

Yes, I’m mad. I’m not even allowed to be eccentric. Because, you have to have money in order to be eccentric. I know what I am: ill. But, surely a sick person with a lovely accent is better than just a sick person.

So, until this present obsession lifts (i.e. I get too frustrated with myself for continual failure), or I get my lyre harp (the other great obsessive craving of right now), I will work on this project of ridding myself of the American accent for which I have developed such a personal distaste… and, it would seem, my tongue’s going to ache. And, hopefully, at some point, others in the outside world will be able to hear all the hard work. I can, you know, only hope.

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Withdrawing

My husband encourages me to get out of the house. But, I can’t bring myself to. Oh, just a walk would be nice, and I could play Ingress (blowing up things, even if it is only virtually, can be therapeutic). After all, as my husband suggests, no green butt will be kicked if I’m at home not willing to get off my blue butt. However, it’s not that I’m not willing or feeling lazy… I followed the plan (see yesterday’s post): after the school run, I sat at my piano, played and sang. Then, I even did some proper vocal exercises and, after that, played my flutes (all three of them, so none would feel left out…no, not at the same time, silly…one at a time).

Now I sit with a fortifying cup of hot chocolate and consider going out.

It’s that I might run into someone I might have to talk to. I can’t bear any social interaction at the moment. I feel nothing within myself that I can call upon to face the inevitable human contact that would occur if I went very far out my (rented) door. My mind reels with the frightful thought. The school run is bad enough, but I have to do that…I have no choice about it.

As I said in my last post, I have been withdrawing even more than my natural rather hermity state. No Facebook. No texting to reach out to anyone who has been considered a friend to maybe meet for coffee or whatever.

I told my husband that at least I’m not hurting or bothering anyone.  They’re certainly ok without me. I know he’s worried about me being ok…and we all know that’s the last thing I am.

But, the plan…yes, day 2 successful, music therapy applied…I feel like shit, but also feel like I contributed something just by filling the atmosphere with more than hot air…something beautiful, something that makes sense. Life doesn’t make sense, but making music does.

Yeah, it is a shame no green arse is being kicked and my advance in the game is being halted by my physical, mental and emotional state… but, it is what it is. I wish I felt better, but I don’t. At least, if I can’t find it within myself to “go out”, I’m not going straight back to bed. It’s something.

Dangerous Encounters (or, “encounters are dangerous” OR, “the OTHER SIDE of social anxiety”)

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Pardon this, my exercise in futility.
Some may relate, others will think it insanity.
And, it’s true that madness is never far from me…
But, still, I bet I’m not alone in my quandary.

I’m not alone in this aloneness that must be.

© Autumn Dawn Leader 2014

What if I like you but you don’t like me? Eh, not that likely…if you don’t like me I’m not liable to be especially enamoured of you either. So, this is more of a gnat-buzzing-around-the-face annoyance rather than a problem. And, if for some reason, I do really like you while you don’t like me, I’ve had years to get used to rejection. I’ve built up an immunity.

But…

What if I like you too much? And maybe you like me a bit. And then I get attached. Or, worse, you get infatuated.

It might not ever happen again. I’m getting old. But…

And, infatuation aside, what if there’s some spark of friendship? What if I like it? But, you’ll get tired eventually. They all do. I’m no one’s “bestie” or “bff” or whatever the cool kids are calling best friends these days.

No. I’m no people person; that’s for sure. And, when I meet new people, there’s a chance for strong dislike. My dislike of them because they’re human. They’re dislike of me because I’m me. And, the thing is…that’s ok. There’s no danger in this.

No, the problem comes when there is a liking one way or another…or mutual. Because, it rarely ends well…but, it always ends.