This is a past Ryan Sullivan appreciation post

The Destination

Dear Past Me,

I appreciate you.

Well done for getting over your cold in the space of a week. Even though you didn't get the 1200 word essay in that Friday when it was due, you sacrificed sleeping on Sunday night and handed it in on Monday. You didn't give up on it and I'm proud of you for that.

Well done on getting your recital band together and practising. For a first rehearsal, it sounded awesome. You played better than you thought you would, and though it wasn't perfect, it was cohesive. By the way, you can play an A blues scale over that II-V-I comp in C. So much cooler than just D dorian.

Thanks for completely scrapping two components of your piano test on Thursday. You relieved me of a ton of stress. You will lose a lot of marks, but you'll pass quite comfortably. You're right not to be worried about the sight-reading. You were commended on your expressive playing. Don't stress about "The Silly Exercise". Play the bits you can, and bash through the rest. You'll get more marks that way. And DO ask Craig if you can do the arpeggios test you missed earlier in the semester. It could be the thing that pulls you through.

You'll get sick again on the Tuesday before the above test, but supermarket medication is surprisingly effective and it'll pull you through so you can keep practising. You'll be better on Thursday.

Well done on publishing your first book last year. Realising your dream at 20 years of age is pretty awesome. If you keep going at this rate, it's a good thing you've got a lot of dreams. You may not have worked on Three Bridges for a while, but if you focus on your assessments for now, you can have a stress-free six week break where I know you'll finish all your edits, have a cover made, publish it and start working on your next one.

I'm proud of you for advertising as a piano teacher back in February. Occasionally you'll get contacted by potential students, but nothing will come of it. Don't worry. Keep going. Because the night before your Thursday piano test, a woman will comment on your Facebook post and suggest you also post to a particular page. And you will. And the morning of the test, you'll be greeted with a message and two comments enquiring about lessons. Don't get your hopes up yet because I have no idea what happens, but it was a good move opening lessons up to 4 to 6-year-olds. You've been hoping to hear from this person.

You'll procrastinate the night before the test by staying back at Uni and talking to cool people. But practising isn't going to do much at that point anyway, so go ahead and help your friend practise for her recital. She'll appreciate it and you'll enjoy it. Even before then it'll come up that you teach piano in Scoresby and are trying to get some private students, and she'll give you the Facebook page of her friend's music school and say you should email them and see if they have any work available. You haven't done it yet so when you contact Present Ryan tell him he should. Jumping in at the deep end is scary, but he'll have to do it many times if he wants music teaching to be his primary income. After a few years it won't be so scary.

Thanks for doing all the things that make you who you are. Learning French, speaking French poorly, singing, playing and teaching piano, writing books -- you do these because you enjoy them and you love seeing yourself improve. People say it's about the journey and not the destination. Sometimes that's true. But so often it's about the destination. Working on these things can be difficult. Spending an hour at the piano working on a single difficult passage can be harrowing. Writing a book can take a year or more. Usually the words don't flow from your fingers, but come in bursts of three.

But it's not about the journey; it's about the destination. And the destination can be amazing.

Present Me

I Have A Cold

I was perfectly fine yesterday. I got up, went to Uni, came home and relaxed. It wasn't until I was trying to go to sleep that I thought I might be getting sick. When I woke up it was unmistakable.

Growing up, I went to school regardless of how I felt. Colds, fevers and headaches weren't enough for Mum most of the time. I'd be sick for a week or two, tired, unable to concentrate properly.

It's taught me some kind of resilience, and that's great I guess, but now it's up to me how I approach this. Rather than continue being sick for the next two weeks, I want to get it out of the way as soon as possible.

On Saturday I'm going to see the musical Wicked with some friends. I'd really love to have a good night, feel happy and positive and not worry about giving a bug to my friends.

So I stayed home today, rested, and drank a lot of tea.

This is probably an awful blog post, but hey, what's a blog for? Here's a snapshot (literary snapshot) of my life.

Time to go make another tea.

Do you have a killer remedy for colds?