This morning I found myself locked out of the office I work in.

Technically everyone else is on vacation, but I’ve been going in every day this week for an hour and a half or two hours, just to check the messages and email and sort the mail. I have yet to receive a key, so I’ve been relying on other people getting there before me, and it’s been fine up until today. The receptionist for the other dentist in the office wasn’t in yet, so I was out of luck.

So naturally I headed over to Starbucks to get some actual work done. By “actual” I mean the work I actually love, the work I actually want to devote my life to: music.

I grabbed a soy chai and a table and proceeded to spend 45 minutes working on translating my Zauberflöte score for my summer program in August. I then spent another 15 minutes or so watching YouTube videos of pieces that I’m currently learning.

Let me just tell you, it was GLORIOUS. It was the perfect way to start my day.

I’ve been wrestling lately with the idea of flexibility. When this school year ends, and my nannying job along with it, the implication is that I will pick up more hours at the office and eventually maybe even go full time. I know it makes sense for me to do that, for multiple reasons, but I can’t shake the feeling that if and when I do that, the flexibility that I want and need in my schedule will be gone. I’m not a person who can spend eight hours a day at a desk. Heck, I can barely even spend two hours at a desk. It drives me absolutely insane.

Worse, I would lose the opportunity for practice time throughout the day and week, with my only real options being to practice at lunch at my mom’s house (conveniently located two minutes away from the office), or to try to cram in most or all of my practicing on Fridays, my day off, which is far from ideal. I need that time carved out every single day. That’s my chance to turn off my phone and feel like I’m doing the most valuable work I can do. It’s my time.

I’m not asking to never work a “real” day job. Most of the singers I know have some sort of day job or other, and it’s obviously necessary to pay the bills. All I want is the ability to define my time and my life how I want to, instead of spending all day at my day job and thus being unable to do the very thing I’m trying to support through said day job. All I want is to feel like my daily pursuits are ultimately things that bring me one step closer to my goals and the career I desperately want to have. Is that so wrong?

Back to this morning. Eventually I returned to the office, and the other receptionist was there and let me in. I got right down to work, took care of everything that crossed my desk, and when it was all complete, I went home to practice.

Flexibility. That’s all I ask.


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