Looking at entire year can be exciting. Looking an entirely new year can also be daunting.
As I’m watching this blank page, I’m trying to discover an innate balance between those two statements. Quite a lot can occur in a year—many small movements in your day can shift your life an entirely new direction. A year is simply a landmark to be sought after, to acknowledge and reflect on the change that is inherently happening.
At the end of every year I never fail to look back on those 365 days and exclaim “that’s the most change my life has ever endured, period.” Perhaps it’s just a side effect of living through my twenties, a time period that seems to be built on change, renewal, and new beginnings. I used to be terrified of change, and content to make consistency my partner in crime for life. I like a morning rhythm, long books, endless cups of tea, and most of all, a peaceful sense of quiet.
Nevertheless, I’ve learned not only to live with change but admire it. Life cannot exist to the fullest without renewal and constant contemplation, and the only thing separating the two from peace is the decision to embrace the fact.
“Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage.” – Brene Brown, Rising Strong
During the evening hours of the work week I teach vocal lessons and a direct a show at a studio called School of Rock, a music school focused on teaching kids a combination of technical music skills and all forms of music—from classic rock to postmodern grunge.
When I was younger I made a definitive promise to myself that I would never teach music.
I’m sure I have the physical proof written down somewhere in a pile of journals, as outlandish as it sounds. I so much admired all of the teachers in my life—that they had the time, ability, and persistence to deal with my impatient, stubborn sense of musical pride. I didn’t want to teach music because I saw the passion in those who passed on their knowledge to me, and was fearful I’d never even gain an ounce of it.
Life has an ironic way of happening, doesn’t it?
I never imagined I would fall in love with teaching, and yet, here I am. What started out as a part-time hustle has morphed into a second home for me—I get excited on the drive to work, to teach.
And strangely enough, the music I teach has infected me. Just the other day, I, a jazz guitar player who usually only takes interest in improv, standards, and A Love Supreme, sat down to learn a Slash solo.
In other words (if that was all musical jargon to you) I’ve expanded my taste in music, and the music I like to practice.
Teaching has not only brought me an extra source of joy and fulfillment, but keeps me on my (musical) toes every day, figuratively speaking. I spend every day learning new songs, and consequently teaching others the new music I’ve learned almost immediately.
It’s given me a sense of discipline and appreciation for music I would’ve never touched otherwise.
So what can happen in a year?
Last year I completed my first full year teaching at School of Rock, this March I’ll be coming up on my second year.
Your lifestyle will adjust to the things that you love, if you simply chose to be yourself.