<"http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd"> Welcome to the Ceili
Sunday, April 04, 2010
Stepping Up
About a year ago, I was trying to figure out where I was going to spend the next four-ish years of my life. I had been accepted to two schools (three if you count FPU) and hadn't heard anything about money. The cycle of acceptance/rejection letters was really hard. My top two choices (most notably the Fulbright, and a second expected rejection from U Michigan's Ethno program) were both no's, but I got two really good acceptances from both PNWU (where I currently attend) and an Unnamed Midwest Institution. I have to admit the Fulbright hurt a lot, and for a lot of different reasons. Not the least of which it was the first response of all of the applications I completed. More importantly, it was the thing I wanted the most, and there are very few things in my life that I have gone all out for and still been told, "No, thank you."

Ultimately, I got a great offer from PNWU, I felt really confident about friends' experiences there, and the professors seemed willing to invest their time and energy in me from the very beginning (which is really important to me). So I finished my thesis, packed up my life, left people who had come and still mean the world to me, and moved to the Pacific Northwest. In retrospect, moving there a full two months before school started (with nothing to do and knowing exactly four people) was probably not the best idea. Before I left FPU, Dharmonia told me that "the universe will put you where you're meant to be." I have to admit I'm a skeptic. She's never steered me wrong, but still, my brain was very quietly saying, "Are you sure you're meant to be here and not Ireland?" Surprise, she was right.

Sometimes where you need to be, and where you want to be are two different things. This move, and this institution has done a lot of things for me that I needed. One of my greatest fears revolved around my misplaced belief that I wouldn't keep up with my playing/songwriting. Here I was, put in a situation where I don't play with people regularly, and in a town where the Irish scene is not what I envisioned. And so I came to a point where I could either step up as a musician and a community builder or I could lament things and sit at home waiting for my community/musical opportunities to change. So I stepped up.

I'm running an Irish slow session every Saturday, just like Doc Coyote taught me to. I'm playing open mics in the hopes that I'll eventually get to play/perform on a regular basis (I have an art gallery gig in July for their version of First Friday Art Walks). And I'm being myself, and learning to never apologize for who I am.

Is it perfect? No. But I do feel as if the Universe put me where I needed to be, specifically to give me the opportunity to Step Up. Stepping up is hard, and some days I really doubt myself and my ability to do this, and I still miss FPU and the people there a lot (although I feel a lot more confident that those relationships will last even though separated by great distances after spending a week there over Spring Break). But in order to be an active force in creating the world I want to live in, it's vital. And I feel like PNWU is where I'm meant to start doing just that.

Peace, Love, and Tunes,

posted by Mac Tíre at 4:14 PM ¤ Permalink ¤ 1 comments