I work at 8 am on Tuesdays and Thursdays. For the most part, I don’t mind the hours. I like actually having a job. Typically, I chop 24 heads of romaine lettuce when I first get to work; today was no exception. It takes about an hour, then I fill plastic bowls with the lettuce that I chopped. The first 3 hours of my shift are prep for the salad line that I then open at 11. Today however, it took a little bit longer to finish chopping the lettuce. Why? Because after one chop with a butcher knife, I realized that the lettuce was not the only thing that I had cut. I had also cut a rather deep gash into the crease of my thumb. Dripping blood ensued. Blood doesn’t bother me; I have been trained in first aid since I was 15. Also, I have cut or injured my fingers, and various other parts of my body, much worse than the wound I inflicted today. It was a nuisance though; my thumb bled through 5 band-aids, and I had to wear a ‘finger condom’ to prevent the blood from contaminating everything I touched. At least it made work exciting. 🙂
Tonight I attended a vocal jazz recital. The recital was superb. The vocalist was a rich, emotive, smooth alto. Her voice flowed and intertwined with the instrumentalists. It was a delight to listen to. While sitting in the recital hall, I could not help but think back to when I was traveling down the path to becoming a professional musician myself. I was flooded with fond memories and longings to be engulfed in the world of music once more. The world of passion, creativity, collaboration, inspiration, expression. . . of living my dream. By the time I switched my major from piano performance to English literature, I had long dreamed of becoming a professional pianist, collaborating with musicians on innovative and challenging projects, and inspiring students as a professor. To me, the world of music was the ideal world. Late nights. Passion. Collaboration with equally passionate musicians. The vibrance of innovation. I loved that world. I loved music. I still do. As I sit here writing, longing for that world once more, I know that I can never return to it in the same way that I used to engage that world. I have a permanent wrist injury that prevents me from the long hours of practice required for the level of expertise needed to pursue my dream. While I had been debating whether or not to switch majors in the back of my mind for a little while, I was forced to switch upon the injury of my wrist. And suddenly, in the blink of an eye (or perhaps more appropriately, the twist of a wrist), my dream was shattered. It is as if the cracks in the glass finally gave into the stress and splintered everywhere. The shards were to scattered and broken to ever be put back together exactly the same way again. Pieces would be missing. The view would never be quite what it used to be. It is like a kaleidoscope. Once it is turned, the image changes. . . never to be quite recaptured again. A new perspective is obtained. A different outlook on life. A following of another passion. Unexplored opportunities. Seemingly endless possibilities. A new dream. Pursuing the dream promises to bring passion, expression, creativity, innovation, collaboration, and inspiration. . . in an entirely new way than the following of an old dream would. I miss music. I really do. Quite terribly. My heart aches to be able to immerse myself back into the world of music. Yet, I am eager to begin the exploration of a new dream, another passion, a different perspective. After all, I am a wanderer at heart. . . I will follow whatever dreams and desires God places on my heart. He has blessed me with the talents, desires, passions, and interests to pursue my dreams. And so the journey continues. . . where it will lead, I don’t quite know.
Writing helps me process and clear my mind. I’ve journaled on and off since I was about twelve. A little over a year ago, I began journaling on a daily basis. It helps. You see, a little over a year ago, I suffered a permanent hand injury. It ended my career as a pianist. Suddenly. Just like that it was over. I couldn’t play like I used to. At first, the doctors told me that it wasn’t permanent; however, my hand and wrist responded negatively to treatment. The injury only worsened. Finally, the doctor said that there was no injury, and he was mystified as to why I was in pain. Well, I’m still in pain over a year later. It’s permanent. And yet, it’s nothing at the same time. Regardless, I am no longer a piano performance major. More imporantly, I can no longer express my thoughts and emotions through playing and music like I used to. Journaling was and continues to be my attempt to express myself.
Journaling rekindled my love of writing. I love to write. I am the nerd who enjoys writing papers, at least for the most part. Writing is the most effective way that I can communicate. I can sort my thoughts. Choose my words. Explain myself thoroughly. If you know me well, you have probably experienced the sometimes extreme frustration that I experience when trying to explain a concept, or even a story, verbally. I’m not frustrated with anyone other than myself and my lack of effective communication. Writing solves that problem. Words flow so easily from my pen. Or through my fingers as I type. I don’t necessarily understand why I can write so much more easily than I can speak. After all, I have to speak the same words that I would write. But I can write. Sometimes I can even write eloquently. I think it is a gift. Something that God wants to use. And something that I want to develop. Since I began to journal, my writing has definitely improved. And I have become more confident as a writer. It is all quite good. And the best part? I enjoy it. Writing relaxes me. It can be a release. Writing calms me down.
My friends should appreciate my love of writing. It spares them from having to listen to me ramble on and on about whatever thought I am pondering for the day – whatever concept I am finding intriguing. Very few of my friends actually enjoy such conversations. I value the friends who do. I also love writing about any thoughts I deem pertinent. Or at least thought out well enough to be beneficial to anyone outside of my head.
I’ve come to the conclusion today that I need to read even more than I already do. (I’m an English major; I read quite a lot.) I think that continuing to read will also improve my writing. Being exposed to writers of different styles and time periods will help me be able to write for different audiences. I think it should help me continue to develop my voice, which excites me. I’m extremely excited about my writing. It will definitely be a part of my future – part of God’s plan for my life. I just don’t know the exact form yet. . .but I’m eager to explore. The beauty of life is in the journey. . . so why rush to try to figure it all out now?