I have a cousin who has lost an insane amount of weight, something like 160 pounds or so. She now runs marathons. Talk about inspirational! A few months ago she was cleaning house and found a pair of pants in the back of her closet from when she was extremely overweight. She posted a picture of herself on Facebook standing inside of one leg. She said that sometimes she gets caught up and discouraged by the ups and downs of daily life and forgets just how far she's come. Finding the pants reminded her just how incredible her journey has been and re-centered her.
I was thinking of her post last week when I revisited the Cornell University campus for my college reunion. Lately with a baby in my life I've been frustrated by the amount (or lack of) time I spend really and truly practicing the piano or composing, or working on my website. That's not to say my life isn't full of joy at the moment, because it absolutely is wonderful and awe inspiring to be taking care of a little one. But-- there are certainly days that I wish I could focus just a little bit more on my passions outside of motherhood. Well, I know the days are coming that I will have that time (babe is only 7 months at the moment), but it really was wonderful to visit Cornell where I had my first solo recital, where I composed my first piece on the piano, where the first person told me how much they loved my music and how it impacted their life. I sought out the piano in the student union where I used to play as students were drifting through on their way to breakfast and classes. There were some extra walls in the building, but I found the piano and the windows it used to sit under look the same. I had memories of Lila, who sat crying while she listened to my piano music and proceeded later to write a beautiful note that I have framed in my piano studio about how my music brought her the "spark of life". I visited the piano in Willard Straight Hall where I had so many of my early concerts. It really was centering to me to think about the incredible journey I've had with my music in the ensuing years. As an engineering student, I never would have imagined making the albums I've made, the concerts I've given, the students I've taught.