I’m not entirely sure how it happened, but somehow, I got from Paris back to DC with a wedding in between (not my own, thank God). I had to leave EAMA 2 days early to come back in time to photograph my brother’s wedding. Good thing I was leaving the program for something else awesome, or else that would’ve been really hard! When I finally arrived in the US, I called my parents to let them know I had made it. My mom said, “It’s good to have you back!” And I said, “It’s good to be back.” And she said, “You’re lying.” And I said: “Yup.” I was perfectly content right where I was with the people I was with. In fact, towards the very end, each day was getting even better than the day before! Some people say all good things come to an end, but perhaps that doesn’t have to be true? Maybe some good things can last forever.
My last few days in Paris were crazy. I had a hilarious night with friends at Ed’s apartment. I saw the movie Inception (how American of me, right?). I participated/lost in a foosball tournament against my teachers. I sat on Ed’s shoulders in order to see the Tour de France (my friends designated me as the photographer responsible for getting good pictures). I attempted a headstand in front of the Eiffel Tower. I performed 2 new works in a small vocal ensemble. I conducted Poulenc’s Salve Regina in concert. And I spent a lot of quality time with friends. Leaving early wouldn’t have been such a big deal except that I missed singing in a mediocre performance of the Brahms Requiem. I also missed watching my fellow conductors in action at the final concert. And I missed the final Vin d’Honneur – EAMA’s cute wine and cheese party to celebrate our “graduation” with diplomas and a group singing of Vidal #17 (a keyboard harmony exercise).
What an incredible experience. I didn’t want it to end, but I’m hopeful that – according to Dr. Lasser’s theories of space and time – all motion is cyclical, and the ending will really just lead back to the beginning. I’d be down for another round of EAMA.
But as I said, I made it home just in time for Jeff’s wedding – which I really was thrilled to attend! It was my first opportunity to be a wedding photographer, and though it was a little stressful, at least it kept me from crying, and I got the best seat (or no seat) in the house for all the action! It was such a momentous occasion, especially to have my whole family together at this time. A wedding by itself is huge. But when your brother is getting married and your sister is pregnant and your dad has cancer, a community celebration carries much more emotional weight. We all felt it.
The day after the wedding, my family (minus Jeff) headed east to Hermitage, PA. Many of you may not know that Hermitage is where I spent 7 years of my childhood (ages 2-9)! I have so many strong memories from that time, and I was so excited to return for the first time in about 11 years. Erin and I had one hell of a time holding back tears! It’s hard to explain nostalgia and how overwhelming it is to step inside a building where you spent 7 years of your life when everything looks and smells exactly the same. I was so excited and nervous to see Candis, my childhood best friend. She’s two years younger than me and a foot taller than me. I suppose neither of us looks quite like we used to (although I really don’t think I’ve changed much). I get so caught up in thinking about how my life would be different if we never moved?
It’s so hard to move on from something good. But alas, that’s exactly where I’ve found myself once again. At the end of something good. I’ll push ahead once again, hoping that this ending has brought me to yet another exciting beginning. After all, I become an aunt in T minus 2.5 months!!!