Hunting for hope in the new year.

The new year is here and one month is almost over already.


It's starting the same as the last year plodded along.


To try to make the new year a better place for me, I've started to incorporate St. John's Wort. You can imagine that after two years with no music and no success job hunting, motivation and positivity are running low on the scale.


I'm looking for a specific way to find motivation to renew my exercising. I was doing well running before the 2nd cyst came and after that, I've really struggled to get back in the game. I drink my yerba mate, I get dressed, I move the furniture, I press play, and my mind just shuts down. I'll pause and pep talk myself and try again. And 5 minutes in I just can't focus and my energy isn't there so I shut it down and put everything back and stare out the window wondering what to do with myself.


I've tried various apps to check remind me and have something tactile to check off and even accountability. I've tried various exercises to spice things up. I've tried different times of day. I've tried finding different things to do while jogging to help me stay interested. So far, I'm sitting propped up in bed in exercise clothes I can use again tomorrow. It's not every day, but it's often.


So I watch the scale rise nearly every day and I have fewer and fewer clothes at my disposal, and all the other mental and physical issues that come with weight gain.


At least the all day sitting does result in jobs applied. Job applications today aren't the same as I remember 2 decades past, because now I have to tweak and sometimes redo my resume for each job. I write a cover letter for each job. Most jobs have a several specific questions in the online application page that you must come up with and answer and write out. Then if they like the personalized resume, cover letter, and thought out application questions (we're talking hours for one application often), they send out a test task or online "games" to access your aptitude for the job. Normally it's unpaid and I spend between 1 to 20 hours doing my best to pull out all the stops to impress. And sometimes that works and I get through to a one way video interview where I prep practice questions, really study the company online and take notes for possible questions, and then spend a half hour or hour doing takes for the video interview. Very rarely, that is received well and I'm invited to an in-person video interview. So far all of those have failed miserably and I knew by the end that it was all for naught.


But with the hours of sifting through websites, facebook remote work groups, and google searches, I find jobs and apply.


Poor Denny Crane though. Every morning he wakes up full of renewed vigor and excitement for a new day ahead. He bounces around and woofs at me in hopes of going on an adventure. When I sit down and start staring at the computer screen yet again, he little ears droop and he stands there looking so sad for a minute before turning to wait the day away in his bed.





There is one small piece of hope that I have found in the new year, although the rest is still hidden from sight.


For the last year I've posted in various fb groups (both in English and in Spanish for both expats and locals for both general topics and specifically for musicians) and also asked string members of the professional symphony and received only negative replies. No one wanted to play music with me in any form on any instrument for any reason. I posted and asked and got no where. People were even tagging me in other people's posts looking for musicians and I would respond to the post only to hear nothing in return, ever.


That is until December last year. Someone who has seen all my posts over the last year tagged me in a fb post looking for amateur string quartet players. I responded and actually heard back. By this point I didn't think it was real. But it was. Someone had moved to town a few months before and was looking to form a non professional string quartet and was posting like I had so many times. So at the very end of the last year I dusted off my violin case and opened it without tears of sadness but with tears of hope. We only played duets, not string quartets, but making music with someone again literally felt almost out of body. Sometimes we don't realize how much parts of us die until we open up the wound.


The lady was even able to find a cellist in the month following our duet time and the three of us were able to play trios in this new year. It wasn't for very long and it wasn't concert worthy. It was rejuvenating. It was healing. It was needed.


I still can't listen to classical music, but I feel the loss I was drowning in has turned it's tide and with the possibility of playing music with someone again, I can begin to peel off the boards that are shuttering the pain and loss inside.


With this one small, but essential piece of hope in my life, I 'hope' to find better solutions and actual success this year. Ideal sooner this year than later. My credit cards won't hold out another year without income, even in Mexico.


My new background to help remind me to take a step back and be positive.

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