Currently: Eating breakfast and sipping cappuccinos at La Petite Réserve in Aix-en-Provence, France.
Well it's been a crazy 7 weeks and my intentions to update this blog throughout my trip quickly flew out the window the minute we first touched down in Tel Aviv. Between graduation, dress rehearsals, beach parties, haunted monasteries, sing-offs, and wine tours I haven't quite found the time or energy at the end of each day to recount all the adventures I had come across. However, today Olivia and I decided to take the morning we had off from rehearsal to sit down at a cafe in Aix and practice "the sweetness of doing nothing," an idea introduced to us by Elizabeth Gilbert in one of our favorite books, Eat, Pray, Love. However, as I sit and reflect on my time spent in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Athens, Gozo (yes, that is a real place), Frankfurt, Salzburg, Vienna, Venice, Paris, and now Aix, I cannot even seem to mentally organize the events of the past two months. I suppose I should start at the beginning.
On May 20th I woke up in my apartment in Newark, Delaware only to graduate college, move out of my apartment, fly 11 hours across the world, and go to sleep in a hostel in Jerusalem. This day was not only the start of the UD Chorale's "We Can Mend the Sky Tour" but the start of a new chapter for me, one that would take me through the Middle East, Europe, back home, and off to Europe again. In the days leading up to "g-day" and throughout the tour, I got the feeling that there were only a select few of my peers who felt the same way about starting this new chapter as I did. Most were already grieving over the passing of the last four years and making a point to live it up during this little extension of college that we were lucky enough to have while on tour. For me, as bittersweet as it was to leave little old Newark, Delaware, I was ready. Granted, I will miss having my best friends at a five minute radius at any given point. I will miss washing down chips and salsa with margs in repose at Santa Fe happy hour. And I will miss making "chorale magic" every Monday and Wednesday evening from 4:40-6:40pm.
But, as I keep saying over and over again, I've got shit to do!
I've got music to make, food to eat, and a world to see. So on May 20th I walked across that stage with a smile, threw my cap, and haven't looked back since. However, if I were to take a moment to reflect, I couldn't forget all the mistakes I made and the bridges I burned. But I would also remember those bridges that rebuilt themselves with time. I would remember this chapter as the one that gave me the best friends of a life time. The chapter that would change my definition of what a "teacher" is and throw a twist into my plans of teaching choir immediately after graduation (hello Berklee!) It would change my idea of "making a difference" with music and, consequently, the course of my life in little moments and revelations.
So, after a rocky and emotionally exhausting ending to my last semester, I said bon voyage and crash landed in Tel Aviv, Israel. And, now, instead of prepping for interviews in Delaware, I somehow find myself enjoying the best breakfast I've had in MONTHS with a good friend in the south of France.. right where I'm supposed to be.
I didn't seem to get very far in telling the story of my trip.... but more to come later!
Next up on the docket:
Saying goodbye to the trip of a lifetime and the friends I shared it with
Finding an apartment in Spain
Packing up my life and moving to Europe (no big deal)