In 2012, I worked for 6 1/2 months aboard a ship called Wanderbird. We travelled up the Maine coast, Newfoundland, Labrador, Greenland, and then back again. It completely changed my life. Now that I'm back to reality, it's time to figure out what my next chapter will be.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

I'm Back...and a 10-year Goal

Ok...I told myself that as soon as I finished all of my transfer applications, I would start blogging again. I finished them about a week ago...and then I had midterms at school (did I mention that I'm taking classes at the local university so my brain doesn't turn into mush?), so that delayed my restart.  Anyway, I just printed my last two research essays and I'm sitting in the library waiting for my next class to start and listening to Hairspray on my awesome new headphones.

There's been too much going on to explain, and I don't even know if I want to talk about all of it on here, but what I'm going to talk about now is a new goal that I've recently decided to undertake.  I feel like it's a pretty big deal, so I'm really trying hard to not have it be one of those little fanciful notions that I often have.  I don't think I've ever felt this much ambition or drive to do something-- maybe that's because right now, there aren't a ton of things in my life that I'm super happy about and I want to cultivate and fully immerse myself in the things that I am happy about, namely piano.

Ok- enough preamble.  I told Stanford about this goal in one of its supplemental essays: "Malcolm Gladwell, in his book, Outliers: The Story of Success, discusses what he calls the “10,000-Hour Rule,” which says that to become an expert in anything, one must spend 10,000 hours doing it."

(I didn't say it like that to Stanford)

I'm dead serious.  10,000 friggin' hours.  I've decided that since I've played piano since I was 7 years old or something, it's fair to start myself with 1,000 hours.  So I'm going for 9,000 hours of piano-playing over the next 10 to 15 years.  I say 10 to 15 because if I play 2 hours every day for the next 12 years, I still won't quite have it....and since I made this decision, I haven't played 2 hours every day.  BUT there will be days that I play more and days I'll play less (I do play at least half an hour a day), so this is how it's going to be.

Here's the coolest thing: my new determination has actually made me like scale and hand exercises!  How cool is that?  I can literally spend an hour doing that stuff and all it does is make me tired, not irritated, like it used to.  To me, that's a sign.  I was meant to do this.

That's the thing-- I'm not super into destiny or anything, but I feel like I was meant to do something big.  I'm not really sure what that means or what it's going to be, but I'm starting to feel like my mind can do anything, even given it's tough history (I might talk about that sometime), and I want to get out there into the world of knownness, not because I want to be famous, but because it's grand and challenging.  I don't for a second want this to sound like I'm just doing it for fame, because I don't really care.  I just want to make people feel the way I feel when I hear music.

The tipping point with this whole piano thing was probably the Phantom of the Opera (thanks Andrew Lloyd Webber).  We (my parents and I) were introducing a Pakinstani exchange student who's living with us this year (I'll call her Q) to musicals and we listened to the whole recording of the show.  Later, we found a video recording of the stage version on Netflix instant and watched it.  OH MY WORD.  It made me feel so much!  I don't really know how to describe it, but I was very moved by it (I'd never actually seen it- only listened), and it made me want to cry, partly because of the story and partly because of the music itself.

It was so grand and bright and- just- AH!  I just thought, "I want to be there."  Not there. on the stage singing and acting-- there in the pit.  Somehow, that thought felt good to me.  I guess it was really what I did in high school with music, and I was pretty good at it....

So, while this blog is going to be largely about my life in general, I'm probably going to talk a lot about this piano thing and I'll probably document it as I be patient with me.

I'm sort of struggling with ending this post- I have so much to say about this new resolution, but I'm not sure I really have it in me to write it all right now and also a whole group of guys just sat down at my table in the library and I think their friend wants to sit where I am, even though I was here first.  Well, I need to get lunch anyhow.  Here you go, stranger, have my chair.