So, lately I’ve been debating if I should “use my words” with this letter. Somewhere down the line, I decided that you would probably enjoy reading this more if I did, so here it goes!
. . .
Life is full of significant change, and without that change, there would be no life to speak of. Everything would be this vast, empty cauldron of reflex and routine; the sort of thing that happens when you’ve been playing the same songs for years. It all becomes automatic. That change, whatever it may be, comes in all forms and is just as diverse as the person experiencing it. Beautiful, monumental, ugly, bitter, sudden… change. You’re either ready for it or you’re not, and it takes you by complete surprise.
Sometimes, it’s big and good change, like winning the lottery. Sometimes, it has fangs and threatens to eat you alive and you know that something sinister is lurking in the shadows and that it may or may not attack you. That change is full of uncertainty and holds a bumpy, rocky road, like a secret that you can only tell to yourself, constantly reminding your very soul that everything will turn out fine. Dead or alive. And sometimes, that change falls directly in between the prior two. You’re not too entirely sure how to feel about the situation because it’s scary, uncomfortable and exciting all at the same time. For example, one of your favorite people ever telling you that they are going to be leaving. For positive reasons of course, because, with them, it could never really be negative.
But, with every passing day, the pit in your stomach grows wider and deeper and more… pit like. You fear that you will vomit out the wrong words at the wrong time and just ruin everything. You refrain from talking to them.
The memories, one by one, come flooding back in something similar to stop-motion animation. The entire gig you secretly dedicated to them. Their silly suggestions that helped calm your nerves when a scholarship was on the line. (Fire batons? Really? J) Their funny piano antics, voices, and parodies. They were there when you needed someone, something, anything really, to just listen to you for a moment; make you feel cared for. Hugs…. Lots of hugs, and laughter backstage before you had a show. (nuns… enough said.) A funny little smile when you needed it most. They’d brighten your day by simply walking into a room.
They mean the world to you, but you are cautious. You don’t want to break that line between teacher and student but yet, you feel like you have broken it before; telling them things that hardly anyone else knew about. You’re grateful, you just don’t have the means to show or tell them how, or why. So, being you, you stress about it for weeks. Even this (long as it is,) doesn’t feel adequate enough.
That change begins to set in. Reality unfolds before your very eyes. I threw up today, Kluck. And now I am too afraid to cry. I don’t show emotion like that easily. It feels too deep, so I escape through the written word. I’ve lost far too many people as of late. And now it’s you. And it’s hard. I’m climbing a cliff, and now there is no one there to hold my rope and support me. I’m on my own, and it’s scary as hell. It’s going to be uncomfortably jarring when I walk into the room on that morning in August for orchestra and I see a foreign face in your office.
I can’t put a definition to this change though. You know me, I hate it when I cannot put what I am feeling into words. Dare I say it’s sadness? It’s an amazing change for you though, and I am proud and happy for you.
So, if you don’t mind, I am going to break the professional line again, whether you like it or not.
I freaking love you. So much. Please, (And I am begging you) don’t (you can’t) lose touch. And I am not afraid to send letters and a birthday card when the time comes. Or emails, whatever you have time for. I am not willing to lose you as a person, mentor, teacher, and friend. Look up at me when you are done reading please.