By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest… - Confucius
So, I never really like writing for these blogposts. I always have trouble putting into words how I really feel at the moment. But after some urging from a good friend, I realized that I really shouldn’t miss out on the chance to reflect on such a milestone in my life. As many of you may or may not know, I had my senior recital this past Tuesday. I played piano, cello, and saxophone for many of my closest friends and family, and the feeling was exhilarating! Part of me is so relieved to have finished this chapter of my life with one final concert, to have the chance to move on to bigger and better things, and part of me is saddened by the fact that time slows down for no one, that the familiarity and safety of my childhood will simply be a thing of the past, a memory. But despite all the frustrations and obstacles that needed to be overcome, I can honestly say that sharing my music, my passion, with people who truly care about me made the whole concert a truly worthwhile experience. From the very start, I ran into brick walls (as the recently deceased Dr. Randy Pausch would say). With second semester senior year and graduation, I became distracted and completely put off practicing for the concert. And it wasn’t until the end of June that I realized that I still needed to choose my repertoire. Keep in mind, I had not played cello for nearly a year by this point either. So frantically, I started combing through my piano music. I chose songs that I had enjoyed playing in the past years since I only had about a month to prepare. I had just bought a new alto sax and kept getting disheartened by the long transition from bari to alto. And most of all, by this point I still had no church to even perform in… (Here begins a rant, so if you don’t want to read my negative thoughts, then move on to the next paragraph J). So perhaps the most frustrating thing I encountered through this whole process was simply finding a venue to hold the concert in. And before I say anything more, I just want to say that I hope I don’t offend anyone through this mini-rant. Anyways, in May, a good friend of mine got me in contact with church that he is apart of. I was super excited, for the church had great acoustics, a beautiful grand piano, and plenty of room. When I emailed the person in charge of rentals (this is after graduation), she simply asked some questions about my senior recital and told me she would get back to me with more details. So I patiently waited, and after two weeks I had received no response. With only a month left before the concert, I started to get a little antsy. I quickly called, and she told me to wait a couple more days (I assume she simply forgot, which is understandable/forgivable). Still, a week and a half later, I still did not receive one phone call or email. Once again, I call in to ask about the rental of the church. As soon as she picks up, she tells me “No, we cannot accommodate your needs. Thank you. Goodbye.” I was shocked… She didn’t even have the decency to give me a reason for not allowing me to rent the church, to give me a call or email beforehand, or to even simply apologize. Simply a “no” and a “goodbye”. I simply did not understand. Does the Christian belief not teach compassion towards others? Does the Christian belief not teach people to help others? Does the Christian belief not teach generosity, friendship, and love? I felt like I was slapped in the face by a damn hypocrite who did not practice what she preached. Now don’t get me wrong… this is in no way my views of religious people as a whole. Many of my friends who are religious are wonderful loving people. But keep in mind: by this time it was already two and a half weeks before the concert, so I hope you understand my frustration. I had no choice but to frantically search for another church. After contacting nearly ten other churches, half of them told me no, one church charged an outrageous rate ($200 per hour???), and the others simply didn’t bother to reply. Just my luck… But boy do I feel blessed now to have such great connections from the music department at school. So for the past couple of years, my mom was in charge of volunteer sign ups for various SMB events. Now that I graduated, my mom passed it on to Jennifer Wey’s (like one of the best violinists in the whole nation) mom. Lucky for me, their church had just moved to a new location and Mrs. Wey offered to help me solve my problem! I couldn’t believe it! With less than two weeks left, I finally found a church with everything that I needed. To say Mrs. Wey was helpful is surely an understatement. Without her, I would not even be able to hold a senior recital. The church’s generosity and Mrs. Wey’s caring heart helped restore some faith in humanity that I had lost just a couple of days prior. Things were finally working out the way I wanted them to, and the day of the concert finally came. This senior recital was probably the most nervous I had ever been for a performance. Many of my friends rarely get to hear me perform, and this was my chance to share with them what I have been working on for the past twelve years. If I messed up, I would have been greatly disappointed. But as I walked on to stage and heard all my friends cheering so loudly, everything kind of just went away. I looked out to the audience and saw all the familiar faces, and I immediately felt this feeling of peace. I knew everything would be okay. And overall, the concert went really well. Some minor mistakes but that simply comes with a live performance I guess… Most of all, it was just nice to see everyone supporting me. The turn out was way better than I expected, and I feel so blessed to have so many people who care about me enough to sit through an hour and a half of me playing classical music… I really don’t know what I would do without such an amazing support system from my awesome friends to my amazing family. I really wish I could personally thank everyone! And as I move on to Northwestern, I hope that I’ll find a whole new family that I can once again share my music with. But if not… no worries! I’ll always have home.