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Well, this is it.

I’m packed and I’m prepared. I am feeling courageous, hopeful, and very optimistic about the new chapter of life ahead of me. The eighth move of my life takes me to Boston and the New England Conservatory, and a new chance to explore not only music, but the world. Though I’ve been experiencing excitement about this future since I accepted admission to NEC in April, I’ve only just begun to reflect on all that it means to leave childhood behind and look toward adulthood.

Leaving home: what I’ve learned from my parents

As our family has traveled across the country to live in seven different cities, my concept of ‘home’ has never been tied to a geographical place. There is no one neighborhood, town, or house that pulls my heart back to its warm familiarity. Instead, my parents instilled in me an adventurous spirit, reminding my brother and me that having the courage to leave everything behind for something new develops tremendous strength. And whether we moved 100 miles or 1000 miles, our family’s bond was ever strengthened. As we drove through the night to an exciting new city, our real home moved right with us. My parents always stressed that each of these moves would prepare me for my own big adventures. So as I leave home, I don’t feel attached to a childhood bedroom or backyard. I feel prepared to adjust to a new setting and a new opportunity.

What I’ve learned from myself

I was very introverted growing up, and I distinctly remember how much time I spent thinking alone. I didn’t always rely on outside stimulation to interest me, as my head was always full of thoughts. Once, while I was supposed to be taking my afternoon nap, I was instead counting numbers in my head—simply counting up and up—and running out of names for the numbers I reached (I had to ask my mom what units came after ‘hundreds’). When my own thoughts couldn’t answer my curiosity, I would spend inordinate amounts of time reading, first informational books on airplanes (the more diagrams, the better), then novels (I finished the last Harry Potter book after two days of virtually non-stop reading). In a sense, these characteristics of introversion and curiosity are the most important parts of my childhood that will carry into my adulthood. Most of my personal challenges have been worked out in my head, from doubting my prospects as a musician to accepting myself as gay. As I grew older, the voracious appetite I exhibited for whatever interested me was valuable in helping me advance in my violin studies. I feel that introversion has helped me get to know myself over the years, and my curiosity will forever motivate me to get to know the world around me.

I’m ready.

It’s about time. I’ve got so many ideas about art and life, so much to learn about music and expressive communication, and so many places to see in this wide world. I couldn’t be more prepared, excited, and open minded as I gear up for NEC, with move-in less than two days away. Everything is about to change!

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