As of today: more people will be reading my posts for the fact that I finally figured out how to export posts from blogger into livejournal without needing a paid account. GO ME.
And I guess…because there are a few more people who I’m friends with on LJ than I’m pretty sure actually follow this blog, it might be worth something to actually update my status of life every now and then. Consider this a mega-update.
So here I am, starting my second and last year of my Masters degree in music performance, and unlike last year, I am NOT having a complete and utter existential crisis regarding my being here and what I want to do when I finish here and generally feeling miserable as all hell. As opposed to last year, I actually feel like I’m handling this school thing pretty well so far, considering factors such as my playing, work gotten done with my teachers, my general social situation and my outlook for the whole year. My outlook for the future, while still nebulous and worrying, is not causing me to have random panic attacks or not get sleep or…you know. Bad stuff.
But what DO I want to do with my future? A difficult question to answer. The ideals I’ve held have changed wildly from two years ago when I was still at the U of I. My ideals have even changed a lot from last year when I threw a whole bunch of possibilities out the window (of my brain, I guess). As of right now, I COULD maybe see myself involved in performance, as a cellist or a whatever. I actually have some semblance of belief in my abilities that I could take my experience with the cello and put it to good use in contemporary music or more popular music areas of performance. I still don’t want to play in an orchestra. I still don’t want to teach at a university. But that’s not to say those things won’t happen, either. I feel like I’m back to my old life-motto of “I’m going to work hard and see where it takes me,” a motto that’s been pretty good to me through the years.
However, I’m not letting go of some newer ideas, or things I’ve learned. I am very very much convinced I want to be a serious advocate of music and the arts, whether it’s something I do on my own time or something someone wants me to do professionally for pay. I am very intrigued with where music is going in the future. I am still enamored with technology, radio, the internet and how all of this ties in with popular and classical music. And these things are all really important to me. If I end up playing the cello for a living, it won’t be worth it to me unless I can engage myself equally in some or all of the above as well.
Some other things have changed. While I am still very super-conscious of my parents and the rest of my family’s crazy classical performance stuff and the fact that they CLEARLY want me to follow in their footsteps, I’m starting to be okay with the idea of telling them I want to do other things. It’s taken a lot of time for me to reason with myself that I won’t be cast out or disowned or looked down upon if I maybe tell them I would like to pursue other things. And as I said, I am NOT saying I won’t go into performance. I’m just saying…there are other things I’d like to investigate, as well. I think it’s reasonable that if anybody questions me or gets a little defensive over my not carrying on the family whatever, they can accept an answer like that. In theory. Believe it or not, I didn’t feel this confident in regards to sharing with my family the idea that I’d do other stuff a year ago. It’s taken some work to get to this point. I get a cookie.
So my plan: A) Get my ass volunteering. I was planning on going all batshit crazy with volunteering over the summer, but between my non-paying internship and some mental health stuff that really needed to come first, I never made it that far. Well it’s NOW OR NEVER.
B) Apply for internships. Bunches of ’em. There are a few that look amazing and certainly will never accept me, but I’ll never know unless I try.
C) Talk to the IML people and have them help me choose some programs and put together a frickin’ cover letter. I HATE cover letters.
If things don’t turn out the way I’d like and I don’t land some sweet paid internship doing something that sounds exciting to me, I’m pretty much going to move home and see what happens from there. Which I’m about 1,000% okay with. I know it’s likely I’ll go crazy living at home, but I really really miss my family and friends. But then there’s also this thing where I have way more connections in Central Illinois than I’ll ever make during my two years in Rochester, aka String Player Central, and I could at least be making myself useful while I’m around that area.
And just a kind of selfish part to this whole moving-home thing: it would be really super-nice to be even remotely close to my boyfriend for more than a few weeks. Just sayin’.
Finally, I have to say that the more I think about it, the more I want to apply for the JET Program. Japan’s been such a big part of my life, and I feel that in the last couple years it’s just gotten the SHAFT to all of this music travel/preparedness junk that seems to overtake me all the time. I REALLY want to go back to Japan and I REALLY want to live abroad, and the JET Program I suspect would be my best shot, even if it would mean that maybe I’d have to go a little while without my cello. So if none of my dream occupations become a viable option and I don’t know what to do with myself, I think JET would be the perfect thing for me to consider applying for.