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.