I’m at home in the middle of the workday, having run three errands already while the sun is shining. What a strange feeling to have accomplished so much in just a few hours where less than five days ago I could barely make even one move-related phone call. How liberating, how productive! And how not-stressed am I? This is such a nice change, and I am savoring it here on the couch, with the light streaming through the windows and the front door open to let in the breeze.
How is this possible? Well, Friday was my last day of work – I packed up acquired souvenirs, set my Outlook to forward all my emails to another staff member, and got my final paycheck. It was time to say goodbye to the job that was often overwhelming and frustrating as I scrambled to get my voice back in shape while building up my music resume. There were stretches of time when sleep was scarce and laundry neglected, but, ultimately, this job gave me the financial means to take voice lessons every week and a schedule flexible enough to audition, rehearse, and perform. Many jobs are not as accommodating, so I am thoroughly grateful I applied for this position and hounded the HR girl until she called me back. In fact, I even came out on top: I’m leaving with some savings (thank goodness!), good friends (yay!), and a tuition-fully-paid master’s degree (not bad!).
My lovely coworkers-turned-friends surprised me with a cake and card, and I teared up at that moment. They represent the best of my experience working at the company, both professionally and personally. So much of my time was spent getting really, really good at that job even though it wasn’t what I wanted to do with my life. Those souvenirs I mentioned? They’re actually about 20 lbs of awards I accumulated over two and a half years. What am I going to do with then now? No idea. They are hardly relevant to my new life, which is why I am glad to be moving on and in a position to focus on music 100%. Yet my relief at letting go of those job responsibilities was tempered by a wistfulness as I said goodbye to the people who I supported and whom supported me. I thought I would be ecstatically happy to say goodbye, but it was more of a quiet satisfaction of a having successfully completed a project.
I drove by the building this morning while running my errands and thought, when people ask me what I do, my answer is completely different because I no longer work there. I need a new elevator pitch (as salespeople call it), a 30-second summary with just enough juicy and enticing details. Poor graduate student and starving musician don’t hit the right note (a pun!), but coloratura soprano pursuing graduate studies in performance and pedagogy has a nice ring to it (another pun!).
One goodbye down, about seven more to go before I make my way up to San Francisco.
The birds are chirping madly like there’s no tomorrow – but there is!
PS. A few other updates: the choral director at my new school asked me to join his top group – they are performing at the National Collegiate Choral Organization’s national conference in Colorado. Don’t know what the concert program will consist of, so I’m very curious and excited. I was also invited to sing Fauré’s Requiem this summer but had to decline as I would still be in San Francisco for BASOTI that week. The invitation came from a director I deeply admire and respect, so I hope he will consider me for future pieces. I haven’t crawled, climbed, clawed my way to the Met yet, but this is a good start!