A Moment Of Looking Back

When I entered college four years ago, a professor said to me:

When something you love is accomplished correctly, it brings happiness to others. It represents and speaks for those who try and actually do all the work.

These things that we “love” are things people get to experience all the time such as the time we spend with family, friends, other people we cross paths with, even the ones we expect to be there for us in times of need. I will be honest – I wish I have been more appreciative to some people at some points in past time and I regret that deeply. However, I always tell everyone: No matter how we are not perfect, these moments are the ones that last, the ones that matter, and the ones that define who we are and what we are doing in this world. These things are ones that have a lifelong lasting impact on the people who were part of the moment with us.

Whether it is gathering in the actual homes where we grew up for holiday feasts, in the homes of relatives for different occasions, at special restaurants with special friends just to catch up on life, and even remembering an event. These things inevitably take everyone down memory lane. It is sometimes a celebratory time and a bittersweet time.

Although, no memory is ever the same.

I know I overlook things in the moment and realize it afterwards. I think the reason for that is what I tend to think: We want to sincerely thank these people for what appears to be honest interest. For example, those people who played that show with me one night will meet wherever, and gather again to reminisce about “the good days.” They will think of that moment, and then will predict that moment even though they are both not the same as when we are actually at the show playing in the show.

A memory, even though I have millions that I will never forget, is a living entity that grows and evolves just as a human being does. Yet the feeling of familiarity, of warmth, and of security will inevitably wrap itself around each person, who will at some point during the day sigh deeply, and smile. Every face of a musician, writer, artist, traveler, athlete, and everyone else, tells a story of their experience in or doing something. Every memory weaves together the fabric of time that is so thick nothing can penetrate. And this giant security blanket envelopes every one of them because they are “home” again, safe with their memory while being surrounded by people who understand what they did, and why they did it.

Helen Keller’s quote sums up what, most people think in their life at one point in time and what I believe, really emphasizes the point of being in a moment of looking back at something:

So long as the memories with certain loved ones, or the memories with yourself lie in your heart, you can say that life is in fact, good.

It is nice to take a moment, and look back at a memory, such as these, that you can say led you to something you can be proud of. Especially in the year 2017, we worked hard for things to happen and now 2018 has begun. I am sure everyone has something or some things they are proud of that will make great memories.

Especially for me, I have been lucky this past year to earn a research grant and am in the process of completing the project, make Dean’s list, and also working on large-scale projects with great musicians! I have almost finished David Darling’s arrangements for his new album – what an incredible person to work with, and it is also amazing to begin working on my orchestra piece and project with bassist Nathan East, as everyone knows. There is so much more that is going to happen not just for me, but for everyone I am sure. However, it is a matter of us waiting. And while we are waiting, we have to find purpose in the current work that we are doing.

However, the best thing of 2017 for me was when a good friend and mentor, Dr. Wesley Broadnax of Drexel University, agreed to commission my 12-minute wind ensemble piece that I have worked on since last year with Dr. Kuss. This is an incredible opportunity and it will be finally nice for his university’s wind ensemble to read through and perform something that I wrote. Surely we have a lot of work ahead in order to prepare for the world premiere that is going to happen in December of 2018! However, I am confident that it is going to be a success. Being guided by Istvan and Dr. Kuss, I know there is nothing that I can not do. This has been and currently is a journey.

And not to mention that I only have one semester left until I do student teaching. This is so exciting because four years of college has gone. It feels like yesterday when I was only a freshman. So where did all the time go!?!?

2017 has taught me one thing: We can and will be able to look back at our memories, the things we love, and our journey in life. We overlook the small stuff to see the larger stuff. We neglect the obvious and one day, we will regret having not acknowledged the obvious.

A belated cheers to 2018 from our family to yours.

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