... ache more when you have to say good-bye again?
The past few days have been crazy. Since I'm in the States for my Grandma's funeral, I had the chance to go back to SHU and see so many close friends and mentors. It was wonderful: the chance to celebrate Candice's birthday, spend time with Chris, Kaitlin, Kelly, Sam, Colleen, Brittany, et al., hang out with Caitlyn at "our" house, talk to teachers, sit in on a "Music in Secondary Education" class -- the topic for the day was middle school psychology: I don't think there could have been a more useful topic for me right now, sit in on a choral society rehearsal and then continue a tradition into its fourth year by getting cheesesticks and talking with Candice for hours.
It was such an unexpected gift. And yet, it had a dark side.
The realization of how much I have changed and how much my life has changed since graduation hit me like a ton of bricks. And, at the same time, so many of my friends are still where they were when we were in school together. If not the same mental, emotional, spiritual, or intellectual place then at least the same physical location. We've all grown... in different ways. It's been easy enough to accept that from across the ocean, but being confronted by the fact, in the place where I spent so many hours with these people who are so dear to me was really difficult. I'm happy where I am and there are things that I wouldn't trade just to go back to SHU but it still wasn't easy to see how firmly the door has closed on that chapter of my life.
That wasn't the only difficult part. I had the chance to participate in handbell rehearsal because a few people were absent. Later I went to choral society -- my first "real" choral/vocal anything since MAY. That's almost a year. Additionally, various people asked me where/if I'm singing these days. I hate the answers to those questions. Because, it's easy to ignore how much I'm not singing and how desperately I miss it when I'm not reminded what it's actually like. It's difficult to admit to someone else (particularly those who have been musical mentors to me) that I'm not doing anything with music outside of the little teaching I do. Singing is something my soul needs. And it has been starving for the past (almost) year. This must change. Now, it's just a matter of figuring out how.
Finally, along with missing music, I miss learning. Of course I'm learning much from teaching, but I miss being the receptive student not the constantly active teacher. Yet another reason to start looking at grad schools again.
On a completely unrelated note:
Have a blessed Triduum!