Wednesday, October 07, 2020

When I Grow Up

As a young girl, I always knew I would be a mother and a teacher. I felt it very strongly and often when people ask if I grew up to be what I wanted to be, the answer is very resolutely, "Yes!" 

What people might not know about me is that I've had other dreams that were not fulfilled. I decided at age 15 that I wanted to be a Concert Pianist. After three LONG months with a teacher who would have molded me into exactly that career, I quit. Practicing four hours a day on pieces I wasn't fond of kind of sealed the deal. 

Then I felt that maybe, perhaps I could still be a professional music teacher! I worked hard with other teachers (both piano and voice) and auditioned 3 different times at my university for their music program. I wanted to be a secondary choir teacher! I passed everything with flying colors --except the vocal audition. My advisor wanted me to try, again, but by that point, I was a Junior, I was married... I was done. I chose to minor in Music. 

I decided, around age 26, that I really needed to be a writer. I started writing children's books and discovered I was really bad at it. But I attended some writing conferences, I wrote posts for this blog religiously, and my poetry kicked up a notch. My essay writing was pretty top-notch and I wrote for several blogs. I got asked to speak publicly, sometimes, too. But it fizzled out when blogs became paid gigs that needed "professional" writers. 

At 37, I started teaching piano lessons, again, after a near 8 year hiatus. I joined the local music teachers association and really jumped in with both feet. 

When I was 38, I decided to go back and get my Masters Degree in Piano Pedagogy. I was going to start in the Fall of 2020! And then in early 2018, I unexpectedly got pregnant, again. 

When I turned 40 years old, I decided I was going to take my poetry very seriously. I self-published my first collection of poetry on my birthday! And it was a resounding success with my close family and close friends. During that first year, I made over $100 in sales! Except when I realized I had bought about $15 worth, myself. But you know, I hadn't done it for the money. I did it to try something scary and exciting. 

I was in the process of writing the second book when the Pandemic hit. It's still floundering, but I've done some work on it --and I keep writing poetry for my Instagram and Facebook pages. It's slow... I have, at most, 258 followers on Facebook and 199 followers on Instagram. I don't pay for ads and I don't spend loads of time on there, simply because I don't have loads of time. If I desperately needed the money, I'm sure it would be something that would consume my hours and I would be so famous, right now! HA! Because let's be real -- I don't know if I'm ever meant to be famous or widely read. I know I'll keep writing, though...

When I sit and think about all of these experiences, it's easy to get down on myself and consider myself a failure. But then I go back to what I explained in the first sentence. 

I'm a mom and a teacher. 

My 6-year-old self is beaming, right now. 

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