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Saturday, March 3, 2012

What should I do?


Eloïse, my 5 month old sweetie pie. 

After a year-long hiatus from this blog, I'm really happy to be typing away again.

What a difference a year makes! Long story short: I am a mom! Eloïse... my 5 month old sweetie pie. She is pure joy, and I'm so very thankful for her. One thing is for sure: something very deep inside me has changed. And of the thousand pieces of advice I've been given over the past year, there is a common thread among them all: take advantage of the time that passes so quickly. Seems valid. So I've spent the past 5 months (and even some months before that) concentrating on baby/mom bonding. I've got first-time-mom syndrome, as my friend put it, and seem to always be holding her or focusing my attention on her. I especially enjoy staring at her and smelling her.  I don't believe it's possible to spoil a baby, but I'm sure as hell trying.

So... coming back to Earth slowly after being happily absorbed in baby bubble. We are still together nearly 24 hours a day, but I'm feeling more settled and definitely more rested these days. I know already that Eloïse is going to help me slow down and single task, which has not previously been very Megan-like. In a way, I feel like I'm re-living my life.

The title of this blog is: What should I do?... Remarking on friends, family and people in general and thinking on my new life as a mom has gotten me asking this question. What are we supposed to do with our lives? What's my purpose in the world? What can I do to be happy? How am I supposed to use my talents? How is a right brained person supposed to earn a living?

When I was 17 and in embarking on college education and decisions of what to do after graduating high school, I remember my friends and I feeling huge pressure to decide what track to jump in to:  business? arts? science? What in the world am I supposed to do "for the rest of my life"?  15 years later, it's obvious that whatever we decide to do will change. Life happens. Time and chance happens. Relationships change. Bodies change.

And this is the beauty of it. Things change.

Speaking of change, and speaking from a musician's standpoint, it's not easy to pick up, leave, and start working again from scratch. It takes time and connections to get up and running in a new neighborhood, and I felt the reality of this when I moved back to France. There were two great harp teaching positions that I applied for right after I moved; I didn't get either one. I couldn't convince them that I was the PERFECT person for their school. Frustrating. I'm not too good at not working.

An idea for a new project was conceived about the same time as Eloïse: I'll start a music school in Cabris. We needed one. We needed people walking around the village with their violin case. We needed little concerts. We needed people playing music and having music education readily available to them. In my opinion. :-D

And voila: the Académie de Musique Internationale. It kind of came together as if I wasn't the one heading it up; it just happened. My family in law owns a portion of a farm house (mas) just behind where I live. It was empty and in need of a fix-up. The people that lived there before had cleaned out all of their possessions. Everything, get this, but a piano. And a guitar pick. It was a sign.

I'm not sure of the details, but the building is at least 200 years old and started out as a tool factory. I love this because a music school is just that: a tool factory. A place to make tools (skills, perspectives, ideas, experience) that you can use outside of the tool factory.

I'll be honest. The place still needs fixing up. It's looking better and better, though, and each week about 60 music students come through there to create music. Piano, guitar, flute, voice, violin, drums, and harp of course. Who would have thought?

Someone once gave the advice: "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all of your might." "Eat, drink, and enjoy your short and meaningless life."

Another wise person said:  "Three things will last forever--faith, hope, and love--and the greatest of these is love."

And another: "What does God require of you? To do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?"

Love, walk in humility, enjoy what we have and who we have, and work hard. That's what I should do. What we should do. It comes out differently in all of us, and comes out differently in different days and years, but I really believe it's that simple.

Love, walk in humility, enjoy what we have and who we have, and work hard.

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