Goodbye & Hello

It’s odd that in the coming weeks I will be simultaneously handing out goodbyes and hellos—

okay, I had originally intended to leave this on a high note but I’ve been having mild panic sessions over the future and honestly this is what I get for spending the day sifting through “career options” and being an insufferable, indecisive ball of anxiety, because why the heck can’t I just settle? why is there always this gnawing feeling in my subconscious, muttering, you’re not good enough, or this isn’t good enough, why? fine then, listen up. you want to know what my dream is? i want to create something. i want to start something of my own, because that’s all i’ve known. music school, riptide, summer camps, even high school, i’ve been there from every start! i’ve seen it grow from the roots. i saw opus grow from a small condo to a corner of a business building to a warehouse to a joint international piano academy. i’ve seen PA grow from its first year of twenty students to its current 125+ student body and expanding line of wonderful teachers. i don’t swim much anymore but i still get emotional when riptide has its first meet of the season at the local pool every summer. those blue and white flags always get me. my mom says that at the neighborhood clubhouse there’s a picture of riptide’s first team and there I am, scrunched in the midst of the group, squinting and smiling rows of tiny crooked teeth. 

it’s so easy to let myself think that i’ve done diddly squat these past years, when in fact i’ve just been a bit lost, trying to keep up with change. (in darwinian terms, i’d be a terrible contender for survival of the fittest). it used to be straightforward: get into a good conservatory, find a good teacher, become a classical pianist, perform, teach, rinse, repeat. now, it’s more like this book is incredible or i had so much fun with these poetry collections, maybe I should go into publishing? but wait no I love national parks let me be a park ranger, oh that’s just ridiculous, you’d get seasonal allergies and sunburn, and let’s face it that was just a sidelined childhood dream, along with librarian, space explorer, storyboard artist, bookstore owner, journalist, tea taster (yes it’s a real thing), okay then what about going back to piano? but i love stories and words and sometimes film and television, media in general because it’s such a monumental reflection of culture and the human spirit, fine then be a writer, a screenwriter or something! but i’m clunky with words and writing doesn’t really sustain itself unless you’re a genius or maniac or people-pleaser, and i’m none of those, so now what? back to piano, back to music, because it’s all i’ve known and i grew up with it, and i’ll always love it, but there comes that gnawing feeling again, you saw too much of the world, you fell in love too hard.

see? even within this grossly simplified summary, it can be vicious. sometimes i can’t tell if i’m trying to be reasonable with myself, or if i’m just making excuses.

I’ll try this again. In the coming weeks, I will be handing out goodbyes and hellos. I will be moving. Here is the most important thing I will have to remember: don’t lose yourself. Whatever you do, wherever you go, hold on to something worthwhile, meaningful, tender, fragile, brave, lonely. Hold on to what you love. Maybe that’s all you can do for now.

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