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  • Elle Zee

On Breaking

¡Hola a todos!

For those of you that haven't known, I've been studying in Valencia, Spain for the last three months. Sounds exciting and in many ways it has been; but not exactly in the ways I'd expected.

I came here to continue studying at Berklee's Valencia campus. They don't offer songwriting classes here, which was somewhat relieving, as last semester I did a ton of great work, but not much for myself. I expected Valencia, Spain, Europe, to be chalices of inspiration from which I could readily and plentifully drink.

I've written almost no music since I've been here.

Until now, I've been pretty hard on myself about it. Admittedly, I've taken this fact as a sign that I am unsuccessful, talentless, on the wrong path, destined for an unfulfilling life.

Yes, I'm dramatic.

While I've not done much songwriting outside of a few class assignments, here are some things I have done:

  • Visited nine countries, six of these as a solo traveller

  • Participated in weekly rehearsals at AFAV, an organization hosting a choir of people with Alzheimer's Disease

  • Tanned topless

  • Earned a deeper appreciation for the value of "home"

  • Waxed philosophical

  • Developed new facets of my vocal training

  • Left a lock on the Pont des Artes in Paris and saw Notre Dame before it burned

  • Gained an appreciation for American culture

  • Deepened my understanding of the core of myself

  • Stood in the temple where my late Grandfather prayed

  • Saw the most amazing fireworks I've ever witnessed

  • Accepted that my experiences don't always match my expectations, or those of others

  • Cried at the sheer beauty of the Sagrada Familia

  • Developed traits of patience and flexibility

  • Resolidified my belief in myself

I call this post "On Breaking" for two specific reasons:

  1. I've taken a deliberate break from songwriting that's lasted longer than anticipated. I've filled it with the list above. This list did not generate the productive material I expected it to. I can allow my broken expectations to define me or I can change them and allow this profoundly valuable list to settle in to my experience of myself; I am the one that creates, my circumstances are not what need to create me.

  2. Many things have been broken in this first quarter of 2019: my expectations, my understanding of myself, my cell phone, stale perceptions of Truth, my routines, my sense of security and stability. In having these things uprooted, altered in some way, I've recreated them in ways that are more fulfilling than I've imagined (except my cell-phone, that just is what it is).

What can be broken can also be healed, refurbished, replaced, re-understood.

Let's all break to honor breaking; the process by which we become whole again.

Oh, and here are some pictures:

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