Why? Why not!?!

July 2002 Archives

I can be long winded, but tonight's "Reflection" will probably be the first "Reflection" which serves the major purpose of me doing this to begin with. As I mentioned in one of the very first posts, I have a tendency to bottle in feelings and emotions... and that led to me having panic attacks. I also mentioned that I would try to use these "Reflections" as a way to get it all out. Well, look out... here it comes!

Tonight, I had some problems with my anxiety again. Back when this first started happening, it seemed to be a puzzle, trying to figure out why this was happening. But, I've learned a lot in the last year and a half. As previously mentioned, I frequently bottle in emotions, particularly anger. I also have a fear of rejection, as well as a dislike for confrontation. So why might I have any kind of problems tonight?

Good Question! Here's the scoop. Tonight was the Lenny Kravitz show at Nissan Pavilion. The last Kravitz show I saw was great, and I was really looking forward to this one. But, yesterday (Monday), I found out that Shannon would be there. And I really did not want to run into her.

I have not yet mentioned Shannon in Reflections (nor did I ever intend to), but I think that whole topic could be something that I've bottled in for way too long. So, here's some background. I've known Shannon since I was in high school. And since the first day I met her, I've had a huge crush on her. There was a time in college when I kind of tried to pursue her, but it never really worked out. Basically, she wasn't interested.

And I could deal with that... but I was still interested in her. I tried to get over her. I even remember specifically praying to God one night that I wasn't going to keep asking Him to look after her every night, as I had done for so many nights before. But I asked him one more time that even if I didn't ask every night, that he still look after her anyway.

And I felt so much better... like I had moved on... like my hands were cleaned...

So, we stayed friends. We continued to write each other in college, we'd hang out from time to time during summer breaks. She even organized my "Going Away" party at W-C for when I began my summer internship at B&W. And then I began to feel as though she was using my feelings for her against me.

I can't cite any specific instances, but there were several times when I'd either feel like she was rubbing it in my face taking advantage of my feelings for her. Like she knew I couldn't say no to her under any circumstances. And it got to where I'd not look forward to hearing from her or seeing her -- because I'd feel bad about myself or sad that she wasn't interested back. And I began to distance myself from her. And I began to be able to get angry at her for taking advantage of me.

And then she pisses me off for the last time. And in one short quip, I don't speak to, see, or write to her for over a year. She'd have to know that I was angry if I didn't even write to her.

And a year later, in a moment of weakness, I crack and send her a short message. Well, when Shannon responded to me, I literally blasted her with a rude, mean-spirited email which I wanted to hurt her, just as she had continually hurt me. I never expected to hear from her again. I had burned all bridges and could not possibly be hurt by her again.

And then the funniest thing happened... she responded. I wasn't prepared for that. I never saw it coming! And by her taking the guts to respond and later having the maturity to admit fault, the bridge was back. But it was a much weaker bridge. In fact, I still do not want to speak to her on the phone, nor see her in person. I'm not ready to have to deal with her.

So, when I find out that she's going to be at the Kravitz show, I don't realize it just then, but it bothered the hell out of me. I so didn't want to see her and have to deal with her. I'd be afraid that all of the feelings for her that I had spent years trying to distance myself from would come right back. And i'd have to go through it all over again. I cannot and will not let myself go through any of that because of her again. It hurt too much.

So, about 30 minutes before I had to meet Julia to ride out to Nissan, I begin to feel the comings-on of anxiety. I pop some Pepto pills to hopefully soothe my stomach, make sure that I have some water to cool myself off, and ask Julia if I could drive to prevent any of the previous riding problems.

Well, I fought and fought bravely, and came out ahead. I made it to Nissan safe and sound without having to pull over or go through any of the more severe anxiety symptoms. I used the tools I had learned to prevent the escalation of the anxiety: relaxation exercises, breathing exercises, and distraction.

So, all was well for the show, right? Wrong! A little before Lenny came on stage, I began to notice my stomach tightening up... usually one of the first signs of my impending anxiety. I began to sweat as well. I had bought some food to hopefully alleviate any false stomach anxiety feelings (like confusing hunger or general stomach discomfort for anxiety), and I could not eat any of it. Appetite went to zilch. I couldn't even finish the hard lemonade I had.

Why now? I'm not sure. Maybe by trying so hard not to see Shannon (I intentionally would not look at any redheads so that I wouldn't find her), that I had worked myself up again. At any rate, I spent a good half an hour calming myself down by the picnic table area away from the concert seats. I didn't want to even try to go to the seats and have it be either crowded or hot. Well, after some time, I had calmed down enough to go back to our seats and enjoy what was left of the show.

I did something different this time, though. I spoke about it all to Chris. I told him that I had found out that Shannon would be at the show, and that might be some of the source of my anxiety problems. I felt like I had to get it out. I had briefly mentioned it to Julia... but I hadn't mentioned any of it to Chris. Getting it out had to have helped somewhat.

Luckily, I never ran into Shannon. But, I'm guessing that if she indeed had anything to do with my anxious feelings, then this issue has not been resolved. I'd guess that would mean that eventually I'm going to have to confront her in person. I'm not sure what that would accomplish, since at our present communication level, I don't feel as if she's hurting me (but then again, I don't have positive strong feelings for her either). I still have to figure that all out, I guess.

So... enough emotion for a night? Not quite... Since I caught a ride to the show with Julia ,I really needed to get my stuff from Julia's car since I was riding home with Chris. Well, we meet at Julia's car, and a discussion about relationships ensues. And I am made to look like a jack-ass by both Chris and Julia who totally disagree with my cynical view of relationships. And when Julia asks me later if I saw Shannon, I, in my typical deflecting tone, say something to the effect of "Well, did I?"

I often use this tone and sarcastic type of response when I don't want to deal with the topic at hand. It's not intentional, but I do realize that I do it. Well, Chris calls me on it. He says something like "Well, just tell her... you either did or didn't".... to which I respond, "You guys know me well enough to know what that deflecting tone means". And it basically ended with me telling them all in the tone that a kindergarten teacher would speak to her class "I don't want to discuss it". I felt like more of an ass!

So, I basically just shut my mouth, wouldn't look at either of them, and stayed in the background. And then the discussion progressed to Julia and one of her current relationships. Chris asks her something about sex, and she responded "That's more information than Brian needs to know"!

That comment pissed me off!!!! She had used the same exact comment referring to James in previous conversations with me. This might not be apples to apples and oranges to oranges, but I felt like she had just considered me on the same level as James. I was furious!

And then she answered Chris's question! I was even more furious! It's too much information for me, but she'll tell it to someone whom she's maybe met ten times? Chris isn't a stranger to her, but why in the fuck would you make the comment that you didn't want to say anything in front of me, and then volunteer the information to him? Made no fucking sense to me at all.

I felt this big (squinting to look between miniscule amount of space between my thumb and index finger). And at this point, I'd had enough. I didn't want to talk with any of them, and in fact, was so tired of standing there waiting to leave that I went away from Julia's car and sat down on the ground next to a traffic divider.

I wouldn't speak nor even look in their directoin. I was (and am still) STEAMED!!! After a little while, Julia comes over, kneels down next to me and asks me what's going on? I tell her that I got dizzy (I didn't) and that I needed to sit down. She suggests that maybe it's crowds that cause my problems, and I tell her that the last one (the one I "faked") was because I was angry and kept it in. I told her that I was made to look like a fool for saying what I believed. And she told me, trying to console me, I guess, that it was ok to tell people that I don't want to discuss something.

A few minutes later, she gives us a ride to Chris's car, and I don't tell her thank you or goodnight or anything. I get my stuff out of her car, and set it on the hood of Chris's car, while I put my CD case back in as well as my sunglasses back into the case. Julia pulls away, and then comes back and tells me that since she had to take Anne (Ann?) back to EHS, that I could ride with her if I wanted. That would have saved Chris the extra distance and time. But at this point, i was so pissed at her, I told her I'd ride with Chris. Again, no thank you, no good night, nothing!

So, in summary, here's how I feel right now"
1) Disappointed -- I go from having no anxiety problems for 10 or 11 months to 2 in about 3 weeks.
2) Anxious -- Really didn't / don't want to see Shannon
3) Tired -- Anxiety wears me out... Staying up until nearly 3 am to "get out" my feelings doesn't help either.
4) Angry -- I'm still angry at Shannon. I'm angry at Chris for helping to make me look like a fool in our discussion. I'm angry at Julia for the same, as well as the indirect comparison to James.
5) Let Down -- OK... she doesn't have to tell me anything. But to say that in front of me... and then do it anyway....

I do have another totally separate topic/emotion/bottled-in feeling that I am aware of. I readily admit it. I'm not sure I'm ready to write about it or necessarily confront it just yet, mainly because I'm not sure what the ramifications of doing so would be. I'm also not necessarily prepared to deal with what they might be either.

I'm going to bed. I'm not sure how I'm going to resolve the Shannon situation. But seeing as I had anxiety problems, I probably feel as though I should address the situation in some mannyer. I will discuss with Julia my anger towrards her tomorrow.

I really need to figure out a way to vent my anger. Maybe going to the gym more often would help. RIght now, I feel as if I'd like to spar with a punching bag, though. But I'm sure I'd just end up breaking down and crying. I don't see the point in crying though... it's a temporary release of emoton... but the net effect is zero. The feelings are still there.

Good night!

OH MY GOD!!! That's all I can say. I had a great time at the Sheryl Crow Show last night! OK, so it wasn't just Sheryl, it was the "Jeep World Outside Festival". But it was great!

Let's see... Train played, as did Tonic (also some band called OAR, as well as Ziggy Marly!). The surprise of the show was a one-man performance by a guy named Howie Day. He used just an acoustic guitar, and had 3 or 4 pedals that records what he's playing, and then repeats them until he hits the pedal again. So, basically for every song, he'd start out by playing some simple little rhythm riff, and then have it repeat itself. Then he'd "record" either a bass line or some sort of percussive line (either by pick rakes or tapping on the body of the guitar itself). He might have even repeated some vocal lines and let them repeat as well. Eventually, he'd be singing harmony with himself (!), and soloing over his own rhythm, percussion, and bass. How cool! Literally a one man BAND!!! I have since learned that he has his own website at www.howieday.com.

The show also focused on Outdoor doings and sports. There were demonstrations on kayaking, scuba diving, rock climbing, as well as lots of displays of Jeeps and Gibson guitars. But the outdoor highlight was the "aerial show." There was some sort of ski-jump ramp set up, with an inflated landing area, and there were trampolines set up on either side of the landing area. The guys on the trampolines did various displays of flips, tucks, and jumps, all at incredible heights, and synchronized with each other! One of the guys did a routine with a snowboard strapped to his feet. Ya know all of those tricks that look pretty impossible on video games like SFX? Well, with enough height, they can indeed be pulled off.... truly amazing! And then the guys were hitting the huge ski jump ramp and pulling off flips, double flips, and loads of twists and turns. The finale had the skiers doing their jumps completely synchronized with the trampoline guys! Very sweet!

Have I mentioned the beer and hard lemonade yet? No!?! Three paragraphs about a concert, and no drinking references? Maybe I'm getting soft in my old age! Oh, by the way, contrary to a previous "Reflection" that I made, the tailgate is definitely not dead!! I guess people just don't tailgate at Alanis shows?!?

So, onto the concert itself... I didn't even expect Tonic to be there... and they headlined the B stage! Is it better to play 3rd from the end on the main stage or to headline the B stage? I'm not sure about that one yet. Anyway, I don't think too many people knew who they were until they could hear them come onstage and begin their first song, "If you could only see". I was surprised that would be their first song instead of their last one. But I guess it served their purpose. As soon as people recognized the tune, people came pouring up the hill to see them perform. And when they finished playing, it was on to the main stage for the rest of the show.

It was time for Train. Lemme just tell you... I've seen them perform once (about a year ago). And they are putting on GREAT SHOWS!!! They had the crowd pumped up. I'm betting that a lot of people were there to see them instead of Sheryl (but not me... I can appreciate both of them). They, of course, saved "Drops of Jupiter" until their last song, and in a surprise to me, they came back for an encore. I can't remember a non-headliner coming back for an encore before. Very cool! But the song they played for an encore? They said it was a song that inspired them to play music. They broke into "Dream On" by Aerosmith! Very Sweet! Their lead singer ever hit the high notes at the end!

And at about 9:30, I knew I was in love. The lights dimmed down, and you could (barely) see some people walking on stage. I could see a petite little figure wearing what looked like a white shirt with some blue stripes walk up and face the drum set. They strummed the intro riff to "Steve McQueen" and stopped. The crowd went nuts! And then they did it again, and then the lights came on, and I could see her in all her beauty. From the first song 'til the last, I was glaring at a beautiful woman playing some rock & roll. I love her music. I adore her voice. And her attitude just seems cool as shit! Sheryl wasn't just performing because it's her job, you can tell she loves what she's doing! She was having fun the whole night, and I don't think she ever quit smiling the whole time. Between songs, she'd head back to the lift of the drum kit and take sips from a beer (if I weren't in love before, I was getting there pretty fast). I can't remember which song it was, but the band seamlessly broke into a cover, for which the drummer sang lead! How cool!

My favorite parts of the show were all Sheryl being cool: She fucked up a chord beginning a song, and asked the audience to applaud her for fucking up! On the "Sheryl Crow & Friends" CD, she would "introduce" the solo with a flirty, fun little "1, 2, Shake your ass...". Well, she sang it that way at this concert too, and then turned around and proceeded to Shake Her Ass. How cute! Her blue jeans looked like the back pockets were in the shape of strawberries! What a cute, innocent, flirty attitude she has, even in the way she dresses! On more than one occasion, Sheryl would "try" to dance, and within a minute would quit, just to go back playing the guitar or head over to the guitar player or drummer. She even commented that she's "not Brittany Spears" and couldn't really dance all that well. It was fairly apparent, that many more than me appreciate a woman who can sing and play (and is gorgeous) just as much as those who "appreciate" Brittany's lip-synching and dancing "skills".

As 11:00 came closer, you could just tell that the show was coming to a close. As they finished up the main set, and headed off stage before the encore, you could see the stage crew pushing a piano onto the stage. Sheryl and crew came back out and performed "Safe & Sound" which is not only on her new album, but she also performed on the 9/11 tribute album. In the background, there was a video of babies, smiling and crying, and then pictures of the earth. Not that I needed the visuals, but you could really "feel" what she was singing about. After the round of applause for the song, Sheryl kicked off her black high-healed shoes, and hopped up onto the piano barefooted. She again tried to dance her way through an impressive rendition of Zeppelin's "Rock and Roll", all while on top of the piano.

It was something about seeing her kick off her shoes and just having a good ol' time on top of that piano that made me love her that much more! I was sitting in Row M for all of this show, and had the fortunate circumstances of being able to see her on stage equally as well as looking at the big screen. Man, is she beautiful!!

I'm really looking forward to seeing her perform again in VA Beach in August. I realized that cameras were allowed at Merriweather Post Pavilion, and if they are in VA Beach, I'm gonna take me some pics (and probably post them as well!)! But better news for the August show: I have seats in the Orchestra section!!! I'll be that much closer to the stage, that much more involved in the show, singing and dancing along to the songs that much more energetically, and that much closer to seeing the beautiful Sheryl Crow.

As you can see above, I got an autograph from Sheryl while at the show! Unfortunately, it wasn't her signing it in person to me. She is the show headliner, and if she took the time to sign autographs, she'd probably take attention away from the rest of the show, so I definitely understand! But one of these days, I really hope to get the chance to meet Ms. Crow. I can see it now... being so damned nervous and taken by her mere presence and beauty, that I'd be stumbling over my words and sound like a complete idiot! Or worse, I'd have another panic attack and have to remove myself from the situation, only to regret it and kick myself for letting it happen! Either way, it would be alright... I would be able to see the lady up close and maybe even catch a glimpse of her smile.... THAT would be cool regardless of the consequences!


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This page is an archive of entries from July 2002 listed from newest to oldest.

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