As I write from Prague on this New Year’s Eve, I can’t help but wonder how I ended up here. Not literally… I mean I bought my ride here. But how in the world this year’s end has brought me to this current state of mind. I don’t have a particular name for it, but I just know that it’s filled with fresh perspectives…
On music. On how much I love it day in and day out, again and again. How my joy of making music has allowed me to grow my kids into musicians who will continue to be pushed (by the world, and me of course). How incredible it is to fall in love at first sight with each piano I see, and how enamored I am by each piano’s sound as I play and continue to play on countless pianos all over the world. But also on the impending urgency in recommitting to practicing and performing – beyond real, and something I need to stop brushing off. But on how regardless of everything else happening, music absolutely is the most powerful passion I have known and will continue to know.
On education. On learning from life’s book of everyday experiences and people. On the increasing importance of what I do with each day that I teach my children. Continuing to absorb knowledge because the thirst can never be truly quenched, and spreading curiosity to all those around me. Making sure that I am the best learner that I can be, and never relenting from the mission to expand my mind and thoughts. Stimulating and challenging myself, and everyone that I know for that matter. And on my kids, for pushing me to be not just any educator, but their educator.
On travel. On seeing more than I have ever imagined seeing in my whole life, let alone at the start of the year. Experiencing near deportation and actual pick pocketing, and keeping (relatively) calm in dire situations. Getting by with English, a not as universal language as I had previously thought. Reading somewhere that travel is the only thing that makes you feel like you’re 5 and unable to communicate beyond the bare minimum, and precisely feeling that way. Indulging in where wanderlust takes me to meet both kind and just different people. On opening my eyes to familiar historical landmarks and new cultures simultaneously. Learning to be alone with my thoughts in a foreign land. And that that time by oneself is limited, but precious.
On love – lost. On experiencing something I believed so much in, gone in a fleeting moment. Revisiting heartbreak in intense and painful bouts. On lusting for the slightest sense of security. Reminiscing and recollecting old thoughts and feelings only to be spoken to myself on the darkest of 2am dreams and nightmares. On listening to the fragility of my heartbeat in silence. Wondering where the future will bring me, but being in a state of uncertainty that is scary yet strangely okay. For now.
On family. Knowing that the brutal whip of my family’s words, both spoken and unspoken, remind me where I came from. On remembering that “I love you’s” are still a far, silent anomaly presented in warm, home cooked dinners. Seeing more breakdowns and loss of loved ones, and the harmful effect of living in the past. Realizing that I am not even close to being the daughter my parents want to love, but understanding deep down that they care. On hiding many truths, and hoping that perhaps one day they can be shared – even though it is not today. Thankful for the constant reality checks, in secrecy.
On friendships. On renewing those I have loved and always will. Seeking comfort in empathy for my failures, and celebrations for accomplishments of one another. Making new bonds with those who show the greatest generosity in the most challenging of times, without question or judgement. On confiding in old and new ears who lift me up with hope and break me down through laughter, silliness and bitter truth. Bringing me smiles and food, syncopated with ridiculousness beyond comprehension. On being warmed and feeling appreciated (aka fuzzy) by all of you reading this right now.
On myself. On loving who I am, and acting upon all means necessary to remind myself of that very fact. Exciting myself to explore and venture to all different corners, countries and continents. Lulling myself through musical lullabies played with one hand, but often two. On voracious eating and exercise, and sometimes sleep when affordable. On taking time as I remember from my cousin that one must make time to have time.
On time itself, because as one year ends, the next is simply a continuance of the old juxtaposed with the opening of the new. New thoughts, new ideas, new experiences. Or just, new. And perhaps even more fresh perspectives – for both me and you.