Honestly, I can't believe it! I am SO EXCITED and HAPPY! It's almost surreal...it is indeed a dream and lately, I have been catching myself occasionally stopping mid-thought and finding myself grinning and pondering my new journey of postulancy with rapid heartbeats and wonder. No joke that this is a dream of mine. I fell in love with Sewanee: The University of the South in 1988 when I was a senior in Porter-Gaud High School (Charleston, SC) and when I visited, it was my first choice. I had been planning to major in music and something else, not sure what. I was even thinking about keyboard at the time, having had a tiny bit of piano training. I remember I wrote my application essay on mentorship and role models and used Angela Lansbury as my example of success complemented with living. I had been a fan of her roles in fun mysteries and also in Sweeney Todd.
Well, it was not to be yet. I received a scholarship, but it was basically book money. My parents made too much to qualify for most types of loans, yet not enough to afford expensive places such a Sewanee or Emory at the time. My brother was also still at home for a few more years and finances had always been tough. Anyway, I ended up having to go to "the dreaded state school" which, at the time, was a peer-pressured shame at the prep school I was attending. Now, I think anything goes and of COURSE I understood - even at the time - that where you attend college often doesn't matter as much as what you make of it when you're there. So, I wasn't about to go to Clemson (nope!) because I was already a USC Gamecock fan like my Dad so I chose USC. At first, I was rather disillusioned at having my dream swiped from underneath my feet and I didn't know what major to choose or how to like this school. My parents thought I should choose something where I'd be able to make a living so I liked Biology and chose that, thinking I'd become a virologist and maybe could cure the common cold. (Now, actually THAT would be insanely awesome, had it happened, but I like people WAAAAAAY more than petri dishes). After a year, I was hooked on USC and I am a HUGE Gamecock fan! A bio-pre-med major, it took me almost three years to find my way to music and I was only able to convince myself I could do a music major because....wait for it.....
There was no required recital in the music education track.
What a cop out. Well, not really...I had so much more stage fright then than I do now - even though now I still have a TON. To think that I went from that to eventually getting a doctorate in conducting is a pretty amazing transformation. (I joyfully returned to USC after an MM at Emory!)
So, after a brief time as a French major and a Psychology major (like a month or two each), I came into music and was hooked. I still am. In fact, one of the things that "sold it" in my period of Episcopal discernment was in October 2013, I suddenly realized that I didn't have to give up being a musician. What?! YAY!
I identify with being a conductor and singer now and probably always will to some degree.
That REALLY opened up my heart!
Now, I felt free and able to hear God's call more clearly and I am SO HAPPY now because I feel MUCH freer to move forward to where I'm being called. My vision of ministry has increased like the outward circles from something dropping in a pond, getting richer and more amazing with each layer and all the while strengthening that innermost layer. I cannot wait to take courses and learn from the faculty and my fellow classmates.
Formation - I need it!
Knowledge - I need it!
The beautiful mountain - I need it!
Ohhhhh and there's this: the exciting fact that I received my Sewanee housing assignment yesterday!
More anticipation!!! It's a tiny apartment on the edge of campus, but it has two windows, a nicer kitchen than I have now, and a couple of built-in drawers in the bedroom so perhaps I can sell my dresser, which would be GREAT! It is what I asked for! I can't wait to find out more about it and see exactly what it looks like but I am thrilled to know where I'll be and it makes it all the more real!
Cleaning out my UNO office is also making things super real. I have a TON of stuff, especially books and music. I'm pretty proud that I whittled down an entire 4-shelf bookshelf of choral sheet music to a 1/2 box. That's great for me, considering I have extreme sentimental value associated with 90% of everything. :-)
I will have to ask at church if anyone has any room in a garage or attic to store some boxes of books for me, but I might be able to stack bookshelves and may be doing that in both the bedroom and the living room. Time will tell.
While I truly hope that the choral area will rise again and go much further, I recognize it is no longer "mine" and that is very freeing.I know I did my best and did a good job! :-)
Ten years at any place is also quite respectable!
So, all these things are on my mind this morning - mostly giddy excitement though, as I drink from my new cup of Sewanee!