When I started college I was newly 18, a music major looking to do something big with myself. I’d been blessed with amazing performance opportunities in high school and had already worked professionally for a few years. I planned to be with my band for a long time and I loved performing just as much as I loved the geekitude of music theory and composition. I didn’t have the clearest map carved out in my mind, but I knew I had places to go and I planned to hit as many stops as possible along the way.
I didn’t account for possibly meeting Superman. Or that marriage thing that I so often said I’d never do.
So I did another thing I said I’d never do- I began to teach. At first it was about making a living. As a musician you only have a few real sources of income before you have to resort to a “real job” and teaching private students is the best chance for a steady income. I started out with just a few kids and to my surprise I kind of liked it. I learned more about pedagogy and teaching methods and found that I liked it even more.
Here I am almost 10 years later closing in on 28, married and raising 2 kids, running a business full-time, and nary a performance in sight . . . how did that happen? 27 was originally intended to be a lot of late nights and equally late mornings, playing gigs, writing music, and generally being an artistic type.
At least I was partially right 10 years ago. I am having a lot of late nights (thanks to Little Bit) and I am writing a lot of music (though for a teaching project, not gigs). Performances are now given by Big Kid and Little Bit- Big Kid accepts applause for a job well done, Little Bit prefers laughter. My artistic side has moved into sewing and knitting, lesson planning, baking and crafting with littles. There are very few late mornings- Little Bit is far too excited to start each day to wait until a respectable waking hour, so we start early and quietly. He’s right- there is too much fun to be had each day to sleep hours after sunshine hits.
This year has been a “quarter-life crisis” for me, as Superman calls it. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what I want from my life, thinking back on all the changes, what I used to love and desire, trying to sort out my current wants. I’ve felt for awhile that I want to perform again, that I want to get back to some of that old life. But then the opportunity actually presented itself just a few weeks ago and I had to truly consider what I wanted and what is important to me. I was amazed to find that this opportunity confirmed the present-day truth- I am exactly where I want to be right now.
Maybe it isn’t artistic or musical or anywhere close to where I imagined a decade back, but perfect for right now.