Two orders of business, and then the real stuff.
1. Last Sunday, I officially finished my recording for composer Cynthia Lee Wong. I think everyone is really happy with the finished product. I know that I am. After the final session, we went to Koreatown for dinner. The Korean dishes were all new to me and there were a few things that I didn't quite expect. I've never had to mix a raw egg into my fried rice before! I was a bit nervous at first, but my colleagues showed me the ropes. I'm just really glad that I'm good with chopsticks, because otherwise I would have looked like a complete newbie. Overall, it was a great experience (Korean food included!) and I can't wait to get the opportunity again.
2. This weekend, I'm going up to Bard to see Chabrier's Le roi malgré lui as part of their SummerScape festival. I've been looking forward to this all summer for a few reasons. First of all, it's going to be so nice to see a live opera again! It's been way too long since I've seen one. Secondly, Bard always does a stellar job with their operas. I saw their production of Die Liebe der Danae last summer and it was nothing short of stunning. Third, I adore Chabrier and I can't wait to attend another one of his operas. Fourth, it will be great to see my family up there and it will be great to show my parents my new school. It's weird to think that I've been actively pursuing Bard for so long and my parents haven't even seen it! I'm sure they will love it as much as I do.
The Real Stuff: Exactly one month from today, I'll be attending my first day of grad school! I'm excited and nervous all at once. I still have a lurking suspicion that I'm going to wake up and find out that none of it is true. It remains a miracle to me. And an honor, of course. I just keep looking up my teachers and getting more and more giddy about it all. It's exactly where I want to be and I just can't wait to get started.
This time one year ago, I was lamenting the fact that I hadn't gotten into any of the schools that I wanted to go to. I'd come so close and been so hopeful only to have it all fall through. It was not my favorite time, but I see now that it was an important one. I have done so much this year and grown so much as a singer, an artist, and a person. A year ago, I wasn't ready for Bard, but now I feel as ready as ever. The timing has worked out perfectly.
Did things happen exactly as I wanted them to? Yes and no. Yes, because I got into my dream school. No, because I wanted things to happen right away. I wanted to go straight from undergrad into grad school. But that wasn't how it was meant to be. If I had, I probably never would have gone to Bard and I wouldn't have felt that desperate wanting that I've felt this entire year. I thought I wanted to get into grad school, but after waiting a year and going through the application process a second time, I really wanted to get into grad school. There was this new level of desperation that I found that I had no idea even existed. I started to concoct these crazy plans: what would I do if I didn't get into the schools I wanted? Would I go travel? Volunteer for the Peace Corps? Go to school for something else? It forced me to ask the tough questions. But in the end, I know that I know that opera is the thing for me and that assurance is priceless.
So I guess Kelly is right about "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" because I feel a whole lot tougher this year. I'm ready to get my butt kicked at school and learn some really awesome stuff along the way. So here's to waiting.