You've been quite the year. From graduations, concerts, expeditions, break ups and new starts you've given me your all. It's safe to say that this time last year as we were clinking the champagne and singing auld lang syne, I was not thinking I'd be writing a blog one year later, suffering from jet lag after an adventure to Asia!
Those of you gorgeous people out there who have been reading my blog will know that back in March I accepted a teaching position in Hong Kong which was a huge leap of faith as before then I had never ventured outside of Europe. So, come August I landed in this crazy country to start my first solo adventure. During these past few months I've had to tackle some pretty insane situations; house fires, spikings and chopsticks to name but a few! I've also had to face a few personal challenges that have taken a little longer to come to terms with.
"The Graduate Interviews" actually came from my own feelings, struggling after the most incredible three years studying for my Masters of Performance at the Royal College of Music. Those of you who have read this series (thank you so much they've been more popular than I could have imagined!) will have noticed that largely all of those interviewed faced periods of doubt and moments where they felt a loss of direction. I was no different and when my teaching position came with more restrictions than first promised and the opportunities to perform were being denied I felt well and truly lost, miles away from home.
Since the very unexpected passing of my Dad only a year and a half ago, I've realised that life is too short to be miserable or stuck! In a job with a very strict routine, things were not going to change post probation so after thinking about it long and hard I decided to come home, pick myself up and try again. Something I really want people to understand and something I need to remind myself of occasionally is that putting yourself first, realising that something wasn't right for you and throwing in the towel does not equal failure! Just because the job didn't work out doesn't make me any less of a cellist or a teacher. It has just opened my eyes to what I really need. I need a job that involves performing, so I've pulled my socks up and got myself a concert diary. I found in Hong Kong that I do enjoy teaching so I'm teaching again alongside my performing. More importantly... I'm happy!!
Don't get me wrong, it's going to be a bumpy road trying to make life as a freelance cellist work but I have an incredible support system of friends and family. Most of whom are going through a similar situation as myself.
Hong Kong was an amazing journey and I'm so pleased I did it. My friends out there are some of the strongest ties I've ever had the privilege to make. My students, who have all improved a crazy amount during the past four months, have been more than a pleasure to teach and ignited my passion for teaching.
So, here's to you 2019! You've been one hell of a ride. And to all my wonderful readers thank you for tuning in and keeping reading! Stick with me into 2020 as we read more graduate interviews and tackle some of the topics, questions and theories that you've all been asking for over the past months.
Happy New Year!