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A New School Year, A Fresh Perspective

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November 2, 2020 by Tim Records

Hello again, it's been a while. So much has changed since I last wrote; I hope you are all safe and in good health.

We are in the midst of a season I call The New, but this time it feels different— this time it is different. We’re all beginning again: resuming, granted in an altered way, our studies, work, and social lives which may be quite a shock to the system after the past seven months. I recently came upon two questions that have helped me navigate this time, this spark back into a life closer to what it was, and I thought I’d share them with you.

I keep coming back to this idea of uncertainty, it’s the thing that really sticks with people. It’s the not knowing when you’ll play for a live audience—when you’ll finally have the chance to let your heart sing in the way that matters most. It’s the elements like Zoom events, meetings, and holidays that don’t quite feel whole because the purpose of gathering together is to do just that, gather together.

So, how can we approach all of these emotions and elements of life with a lens that transforms uncertainty into discovery and frustration into contentment?

Ask yourself, what are the things you can appreciate in this moment, on this day, or during this week? Hold those things close. Choose to reimagine what it means to interpret the world as it is. Step into situations with the patience and grace to see the uncertainty and equally believe and trust in the possibilities of what may come because of it.

For those of us who moved back to San Francisco this fall, seeing the good could be taking in the joys of a productive lesson using the Dante Audio Networking system, laughing with friends in a park until your stomach hurts, visiting your local cafe, or walking into that practice room on the 5th floor—you know, the one with your favorite view and the piano you just love playing. For those of us who became the first residents of The Bowes Center, it could be living with friends and jamming out together day after day, being a part of an open community that embraces people for who they are, or curating your new home in the middle of the city’s arts scene—the list goes on.

This brings me to my next question. How can we create a life balance in new, or familiar, spaces that are healthy and establish that feeling of being at home?

For some that means exploring the city, or your local area, in a way that makes you feel a part of it instead of merely within it. It could be making tacos in your first apartment, walking down familiar paths, drinking tea in your Bowes Center dorm and looking out onto the illuminated dome of City Hall, or taking a day to read and lounge in your coziest pajamas. That sense of home can be built in so many ways, no matter where you are or what you choose to do. I think the broader key to all of that, however, is listening and giving yourself patience whilst approaching each moment with a kind of openness that allows you to simply be at peace.

We’re all juggling so many things: classes, social lives, work, performances, assignments, and practicing on top of all of the necessary activities, you know, like sleeping, eating, and drinking enough water. The conservatory experience brings with it a demanding lifestyle, so it’s always important to prioritize balance and wellness.

All in all, life and it’s rapid transitions can be difficult. It's important to acknowledge that in the first place: we can’t reframe what we don’t see. After that seeing, though, we must breathe and continue. We must ask ourselves honest questions in order to experience a healthier mindset which, in turn, will help us to appreciate where we are and what we have, build community and feel at home, and ultimately serve those around us. We must choose to see the good in the moment, and the day, and the week, because all of those together form a lifetime.

So, in this moment, and this day, and week, and year, and lifetime, I wish you the best in experiencing the world with a different lens that makes your life a bit more certain, a bit more at peace, and a bit more whole.

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