I “celebrated” my 28th birthday a few weeks ago — and as is tradition, I frantically scribbled down a list of things I had learned this year in my ultra girly purple diary, both the good and the bad. At the very top of my list I wrote, happiness is temporary. When I was in my early twenties, I felt perpetually happy. Like, abundantly happy. Don’t ask me how or why, but I did. And I thought I would always feel that way. And I realize now that I wasted some of it. You really can’t control when you feel certain emotions. And when the unpleasant emotions take the place of the breathless elation that’s usually experienced randomly throughout your day, you begin to notice. So I’ve started to really savor the good ones.
Earlier today, I was joking with my sister that it feels like someone has suddenly taken the metal pin out of the little voodoo doll that has represented me this year… Clearly, the pin was in my left shoulder! Maybe that’s why the doctors were never able to diagnose me!
Well, today, I played in my first rehearsal since last May, when I was rehearsing a Shostakovich Quartet with Q for the Gesher Festival of Emerging Artists 2012-2013 season. It was amazingly fun to simply be in a rehearsal environment again, nevermind playing music with lovely people. I’ve also spent the last month practicing my scales and arpeggios to rebuild my strength, in addition to relearning the Franck Sonata for a collaboration with the fabulous Kathy Lee later this year. People I love to play chamber music with (and just plain love) are starting to trickle back to the Chicagoland area, promising some incredible musical experiences very soon.
The future is suddenly very exciting again. And not just because I’m going to be able to PLAY. But because I think I’m coming back to playing a very different person. I have a much better understanding of what my body needs, physically and mentally. I’ve started running — a lot. It’s taught me about discipline in a way that music never could. I absolutely love it. I’ve started using my ears so much more than I ever have before — doing nothing but listening for a year will do that to you I suppose. I’m so much more productive when I practice these days. I’ve put a ton of effort into learning how to overcome some of my personal challenges with learning, and valuing my own opinions. I’ve never been more excited to challenge myself in my entire life.
I’m pretty realistic about the fact that this shoulder problem will probably be a thing I have to deal with for the rest of my life… it’s something that I’m just going to have to work with and monitor. But in learning to take the good with the bad this past year, I’m certain I will manage just fine. And in the meanwhile, I’m simply going to savor how delightfully awesome things are for the time being. Mmmmmmm………!