Music was made. Skills were taught. There were setbacks. There were advances. Difficult conversations were had. Smiles and grimaces existed simultaneously.

And this was all before 9:00 am. 

I’ll spare you a long detailed list of what made this one of those days. But I’ve got this to share: showing up, really showing up, is hard.

Let me back up for a moment.

I’ve been on a two and a half year journey to decompartmentalize my life. Work Jon. Band Director Jon. Friend Jon. Boyfriend Jon. Littler broken versions of me showing up in different ways in different places. And I’d had it. I was too much work for myself and I was lost.

So thanks to ongoing therapy and a determination to approach my personal growth with the same drive I’d given my career, I set on a path to being more wholly, well, me everywhere I was.

It has been a long, slow, shifty process that is hard, unclear, and all over the place. Retooling my hardwiring has taken time, energy, and patience. And I feel different. More connected to myself, my loved ones, my students, my music.

However, when I show up fully and the energy is more transparent, less guarded, things can get messier.

Because I am messy; people are messy. Teenagers need more than just help with concert F.

And today was a day that felt like whiplash on a rollercoaster. Up/down. Left/right. Fast/slow. Happy/terrified. Hurt/healed.

So showing up as my whole self means more mess. My life isn’t a series of beautifully curated bento boxes where everything and everyone neatly fits in the compartments I’ve created. It’s a jar of marbles tossed down a staircase over and over again.

And I’ve been struggling to feel like it’s been worth it, the changes I’ve made. And today, as I pushed through the morass, I realized it has been worth it.

It? This it is living.

I’m not burned out. Not run ragged. I’m just feeling the fullness of my experience. And the experience of those around me. And how we share it together. And sometimes it’s easy  and sometimes it isn’t. At the same time.

My type-A personality is getting accustomed to my insides feeling like a sock drawer where all the socks are present but none of them match. And in that mess, that space, I actually feel closer to my life, my students, my art.

I don’t have a takeaway here. Just needed to get some thoughts out of my head. If something spoke to you, I’m glad.

October is tough for teachers and students. More questions than answers.

Be kind to yourself. You are doing the best you can with what you can give. And that’s enough for now.




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