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Pre-concert Posing..;)

I can’t settle for sadness – even when I cross a less-than-ideal finish line (in my case seizure med improvement). Settling for sadness just isn’t the solution. But a positive outlook doesn’t make moving forward a great experience 24/7. I caught my breath when this picture popped up on my Facebook “memories” feed a couple of weeks ago. It was the last time I soloed with an orchestra. For those of you who aren’t into the whole classical music thing, soloing opportunities are very rare. Young musicians typically have to compete for an opportunity, and the winning pieces are complex (they’re created to showcase the both the performer’s artistry as well as their technique).

The concert above took place only a couple of weeks before I graduated. I was 22, had the best boyfriend ever, was still completely in love with violin in spite of my health science major, and would get engaged only a month later (okay, so I didn’t know that part yet!). Another chance to solo with an orchestra was the icing on a perfect graduation cake. (My piece was Lalo’s Symphonie Espagnole if anyone’s wondering). While I forgot to ask Mom or Dad to record the performance, a friend must have snapped this pre-concert picture and posted it afterward. Hence why it popped up as a memory on my feed.

That beautiful memory of a beautiful afternoon actually hurt me. The photo hurt because it reminded me of a particular type of life experience that is gone for good. In the last 18-ish months, my main focus has been discovering the “new me” and what exciting things this new me is capable of. The journey has turned out to be a dichotomy so far. I’ll never leave the accident behind, so  it’s an integral part of the new me. But the accident also gave me most of the blessings I have now, so it’s fostered my new good side, weirdly enough. That picture is the old me, on the other hand. The old me is still part of who I am. I used to think it would be better to try forgetting the old me as I transitioned to the new me. It’s definitely easier to forget than to keep cycling through emotions as old memories pop up. But I was wrong. God gave me an exciting, messy, beautiful, first 23 years on earth. They’re worth hurting for sometimes, and definitely worth remembering all the time. I downloaded that picture. It’s staying on my iPhone for good.

4 thoughts on “Salty and Sweet

  1. I understand the hurt. Down the road it will seem like a turn in the design. Don’t loose hope. That day is still an important part of you. Yet to play its full part as you grow.

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  2. Dear Grace and Ivan,

    What I see in that poignant photo is the gift that God was giving to both of you in each other…and like you said, you didn’t know it yet! Think of all of the gifts God has yet to give! I know I often forget to wait with hopeful expectation. Yes, your days of soloing with an orchestra are still a part of you, and so are the gifts God has in store in the days ahead!

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  3. Thanks for sharing your journey with us, Grace…and for reminding us to embrace each day God gives us and be thankful for His blessings and gifts of joyful love!

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  4. Your positive attitude speaks bundles of who you really are. Yes, the past was wonderful but I see in you the strong faith that our Lord has given you. You never know what the future may hold for you as you are a living example of what God can do with a tragic situation. Keep that positive attitude for you are an example to so many others who see Christ in you.

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