This semester has been weird. And life is weird. And I haven’t written much lately because life has been coming at me 100 mph and things have been tough, stress-wise. The end of the semester has been outrageously hectic and stupendously enriching all at the same time.
This has been the semester of “SAY SOMETHING!” Just say something!!!! Has been my motto ever since I had the privilege of playing in a class for the Cavanni String Quartet and their 2nd violinist had us focusing on what we were trying to say with the music. She said something that has stuck with me ever since it left her lips, “It doesn’t matter if it’s “wrong” or not what others want to hear or think they should be hearing – just put yourself out there. Just say something.” She continued on to say, “you can go back and revise it later or clean it up or change it completely. It doesn’t have to be RIGHT, it just has to be present. Make mistakes. Say different things. But ultimately you have to use this mode of communication to do just that – to communicate. We play instruments, in part, because we don’t like to speak our emotions and experiences. For many of us, it’s easier to communicate them through this instrument we have. That’s okay, so long as you are actually communicating them and releasing them.”
Not to be dramatic (warning, I’m about to be dramatic) but I think those words and statements might possibly have changed my life – or at the very least, they might play a part in a revolution that’s beginning to take place inside of me.
You see, I never in my wildest dreams could have concocted a vision for myself and my life like the one that has come to fruition. I never could have dreamed of getting to Michigan, and I DEFINITELY never dreamed that I’d get here taking the route that I took! But here I am, and it is God’s greatest blessing in my life thus far.
And at the end of this long year of change, transformation, and growth I am so happy to say that I am even more in love with this art form than I ever have been before. Not only that, but I am more enthused with life than I have been at any point previously.
I am blessed to be surrounded by faculty who know me by name, who take the time to stop and speak when they pass me in the hallway or in public, who go above and beyond to help me succeed in all areas of my life. I am ridiculously blessed to have a studio teacher who is both a mentor and a cheerleader – someone to support me and encourage growth and vulnerability in all aspects of my life. I am challenged and uplifted on a daily basis by the students and peers I’m surrounded by, and the opportunities I’ve received this past year are too many and to great to even put a name to them all.
I am finding more and more that I am enthusiastic and encouraged about my future rather than terrified and scared. Sure, I have my moments where fear takes over, but those moments never last long and they are becoming farther and fewer in-between.
Not only has this year provided growth for me musically, but personally as well. My mental, emotional, and spiritual health have all evolved immensely. I’ve faced new challenges that I had never encountered before and had to overcome obstacles that I didn’t necessarily see coming. But that’s where the growth lies, right? In the unforeseen challenges that come out of no where. I have learned to welcome these moments of stress, struggle, and change because…even though they feel so uncomfortable, awkward, and sometimes miserable while I’m experiencing them…they almost always yield the greatest fruit.
I am finally able to (somewhat) comfortably admit that I am proud of myself – I am proud of myself for living a life appropriate to my age …for pursuing living options, job opportunities, school opportunities, and social activities which bring me abundant life and joy and increase my health. I am proud of myself for the decisions I am able to make on a daily basis which all carry me a step farther from the things which have haunted my past. But what I think I might be most proud of, is the fact that over the past 8 months, I was able to be vulnerable and open – sharing my story in places and with people whom I never would have imagined I’d e able to share with. I had the intention of moving to Ann Arbor last September and behaving, speaking, and living as if I had never had struggles…as if I had never fought the battles I’ve fought. But, it ended up that wasn’t the healthiest way for me to live and so, through taking MANY risks, I was able to find the strength and the humility with which to speak up and reach out to others through my experiences. I am really proud and grateful to say that so many friendships were formed and strengthened through my sharing and through others willingness to listen as well as share themselves.
So, I really want to continue to SAY SOMETHING with my music and with my life. I want my words to bring hope, kindness, and life to others and I want my music to do the same. I want to learn to fail greatly and to pick myself back up humbly. I am growing, learning, and becoming. I am endlessly grateful for a wonderful first year in Michigan and anxiously await the start on a new one to come.
God is good! His grace wins EVERY time. It’s onwards and upwards from here, my friends! Here’s to a fruitful summer full of travel, adventure, sunshine, and puppy love!
“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”
― Winston S. Churchill
“Letting go means to come to the realization that some people are a part of your history, but not a part of your destiny.”
― Steve Maraboli
“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”
― Oliver Goldsmith
All of my love, always,
Sarah Catherine 🙂