Reflections After Three Years Graduated

I can’t believe it’s been over three years since I graduated. Those years have flown by! I’ve learned and grown so much in them, in so many ways.
Looking back, I think the biggest thing that stands out to me is how I and others view my decision not to go to college, and with that, my transition to adulthood.

Maybe it’s just that people are understanding that not going to college is what I really want to do (or that getting married is a good reason not to go) and so they’re more open to the idea, but the way I talk about it has also changed. While I do believe that the primary sphere of women is in the home and preparing for that should be our goal, my reasoning has changed in seeing that to be more of wisdom than law. And in the past few years I haven’t seen it as much as not going to college as I have as wanting to pursue things that don’t lead me on the path to college and having time to serve at church and in my family in ways I wouldn’t be able to otherwise. This last year a lot of new avenues have opened up. I’ve co-led a girls’ Bible study, played regularly in the chamber orchestra, done music for weddings and a conference, helped arrange and direct the church’s carol service, and babysat for a time of reading and prayer the wives of our church staff have semi-regularly. I haven’t been as good as I had hoped I would be about spending time with other families, but I have done it occasionally.
A lot of time was taken up in things I’ve done in past years, too, like making baby quilts, teaching piano, and practicing music.

One thing that I’ve realized a lot more fully this year is that you don’t have to be professional to use your talents, or even have professional training. That’s not to discredit professional training. It’s very useful and can open up even more avenues to serve. However, some people imply that that’s the only way to use talent, especially musical talent, is to get more professional training. While I want to continue to grow in skill and learn from others, you can learn a lot from the internet. But the biggest way I’ve learned is by doing it, making mistakes, and doing it over.
It’s always amazed me how I have never been lacking in opportunities to use music. I shared before how I had wanted to use music at church but it wasn’t going to work out right to play for corporate worship – and then that same day Sarah asked me to help her with music for the carols service. And then a few months later I got roped into playing for the Ladies’ Conference (I say ‘roped’ because I didn’t necessarily choose to, but I’m very glad I did get roped into because I wouldn’t have chosen to but am thankful I did it).

Those things have also given me a lot more opportunities to work with adults in the church. For a while I think everyone (myself included) was somewhat confused on whether I was an adult or child, especially because I lived with my family. I feel like right now I’m in a good place – still very much a part of my family, in and out of church, but also having opportunities to serve how I’ve been gifted individually.

What’s up for next fall?
It will be my last months at home, and I want to use them well! I won’t be teaching piano as much, but will still have a few students. I want to be more flexible to go to other cities or travel with daddy on layovers or just have less on my normal schedule so I can work with other peoples’ schedules more to visit them. I will hopefully be playing with the orchestra still, making a few more quilts, maybe helping out with Candace’s choir, and doing final touches on wedding planning.
I want to be better about getting off my computer and doing things with Nate and Candace, or going outside, or cooking and baking.
… and I’d love it if someone else got married and wanted an oboe in their wedding. Or needed an oboe for their pit orchestra, because those things are my favorite to play for. So there’s a not-so-subtle hint for people in the region. 😉

And for the summer – I’ll be working at Csehy and enjoying family time. And since Csehy starts soon, there will probably be a blogging break. 🙂

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