The last few years have felt like a lifetime…
After a few years of utter chaos, my life finally started to slow down when I moved back to downtown Cleveland in February 2020. By the time I settled in my apartment, the Covid-19 pandemic shut down the world. After several months of quiet living, I spontaneously decided to go back to Cleveland State University to obtain my Master’s Degree. Despite my tumultuous, 7-days-a-week school and work schedule, I felt so grateful to continue to have work during the pandemic.
Making music with my colleagues and students got me through my degree.
But only by a thread.
After a few discussions of burnout with my professors during the Fall 2021 semester, I ended up in the emergency room in late January 2022 with cardiac concerns. I spent nearly two weeks bed-ridden in a desperate effort to maintain a normal heart rate. While this new and sudden health issue was in part caused by past trauma, the severe burnout I experienced pushed me over the edge. There came a time in which I contemplated dropping out of grad school for the sake of my mental and physical health.
The idea of performing my graduate recital, for which I had worked so long and hard, kept me going through graduation.
Life is looking so different now. I’ve learned (the hard way) to put more effort into maintaining a work-life balance, even though I love the work I get to do. After decades of dreaming, I finally have my first dog (meet Finn on instagram @adventuresofmaddieandfinn)! I have SO many exciting and new performing opportunities coming this Fall.
Most of all, I’m grateful for the chaos.
I’m grateful for my past experiences, despite the stress and pain.
I’m grateful for the musician and person I have become today.
And I am beyond grateful for the daily opportunity to continue to grow, learn, and make music.