For better or for worse, concert season tends to distill my life into a caveman-style existence. Near the end of my March-April-May run, my daily routine involved practicing madly from early morning to late at night, keeping myself awake by overdosing on Earl Grey (yes, the tea—it’s not some fancy new slang for drugs), subsisting on whatever I’d ordered from DoorDash for the day, and never leaving the house.
These long bouts of solitude were punctuated by, of course, my actual performances, which involved putting on real clothes and switching into meet-and-greet, Q&A mode, which thoroughly confused and entertained the atrophied social centers of my brain.
I emerged from the latest spate of concerts, blinking confusedly in the sunlight, having almost forgotten what a normal life looked like. I have since spent the past couple of weeks diving into doing Very Normal Things that I think Normal People do. Here is a list of those things:
I have put on clothes that are not A) pajamas or B) red dresses and I have left the house! Several times!
I have re-discovered the joy that is fresh, non-takeout food. I have been joyfully eating kale every single day for…uh, many days. And fruit! [immediately puts “fresh fruit” on all riders from here on out]
I saw a movie. That movie was Captain America: Civil War and when Chris Evans said [spoiler] “Thank you, Sharon,” in the movie, I said “You’re welcome” out loud in the movie theater.
Bryce and I went to Disneyland, where I drove a kiddie convertible.
When I was younger I was plagued by a sincere fear that my diaries and school compositions would be studied and published by future historians looking to illustrate life in the 90s. I’m well out of both the 90s and my childhood paranoia (which has only been replaced by adult neuroses) but to some extent that particular fear still lingers in the back of my mind. Since my last update, I’ve been relatively absent from social media, I haven’t written in my personal journal, and I also haven’t written any juicy tell-all letters to anyone. So according to the official record, the last couple of months never happened.
So, doctoral history candidates from the year 2519 (Hello! Do we still have polar ice caps?), here’s what’s been going on lately.
Through April and May, I gave a cluster of solo recitals, and even taught a master class.
If my Facebook feed is any indication, one of life’s greatest joys (second only to finding true love or having your work praised by someone you admire) is announcing your international travel plans on social media in some clever, self-congratulatory way, so that you can convince people you are a worldly, important jetsetter, rack up as many likes as possible, and reaffirm your worth as a human being.
I am clearly where happiness goes to die, because I never got around to making one of those status announcements. I mean, I thought about it, and then I procrastinated, and then it got to the point where I seriously considered just not telling anyone that I was going to Italy.
That’s right, I’m going to Italy this summer to be in the Amalfi Coast Festival! I am excited! I am scared! I am not practicing nearly enough!
My biggest concern right now is what kind of data plan I’ll get in Italy, because I want to be able to upload all evidence of my worldly, important jetsetting to Instagram. #priorities
Speaking of Instagram, did you know that shamelessly reposting Instagram photos is a totally legitimate form of blogging? That’s right.
Because I am a spectacularly smart planner, my string of recitals coincided with some work deadlines and other various obligations, so by the time May was half over, I hadn’t had a free day in weeks and was slightly dying inside. So I did the only responsible thing: I canceled all my appointments one day and got on a plane.
It was a short flight—just to LA, where I had the most painfully awkward conversation ever with a confused Uber driver, got to hang out with some really great friends, and experienced the wonderful, therapeutic goodness of a hotel bed. Here is my 100% sincere grown-up recommendation: if you’re feeling worn out by life and you just want to feel comfortable and responsibility-free, just go sleep in a nice, soft hotel bed.
Then two weeks later, I was back in LA (planned ahead this time) for a weekend in Disneyland. You know, as adults do.
Bryce and I were joined by our good friends Ben and Midori and we proceeded to spend most of our time drinking, eating, and Instagramming. #sorrynotsorry to anyone who happens to follow all four of us.
So in a nutshell, that’s what I’ve been doing—outside of the usual eating -> sleeping -> existential panic cycle, I mean.
(Believe it or not, I actually feel rather guilty that I don’t update this blog as much as I should. Once in a while I try to rationalize it: Jeremy Denk never updates hisblog! But then again, he’s Jeremy Denk. I don’t think that’s an excuse I’ll be able to use.)
Will someone please point me in the direction of the black hole that has apparently swallowed up the month of May? I swear that yesterday we were approaching the end of April and now my planner is insisting that it’s June.
Well, the concerts weren’t the only things I dared myself to do.
I’m on SoundCloud now!* *There are only three recordings up there right now as of this post, but I swear I’m going to upload some more.
I know, setting up a SoundCloud account isn’t like jumping off a cliff or anything. But I’ve always loathed listening to recordings of myself, and I’ve also always been extremely reluctant to have recordings of myself out there on the big bad Internet. Part of it is self-consciousness and another part of it is that I just never sound as good as I wish I did.
“Well, Sharon,” I said, because I talk to myself often, “this is who you are. You can either accept yourself, imperfections and all, or you can keep living in your little fantasy world where you are a perfect person who, spoiler alert, doesn’t really exist.”
So here I go: in a potentially misguided attempt to force myself to accept my own shortcomings, I’m putting up select recordings from my recitals, and I have a soft goal of putting up recordings from my practice sessions in the coming months. (This is all part of a big plan to motivate and discipline myself, you see.)