Transitions and Resolutions!


Every time I log into facebook, I get asked the same question... “what’s on your mind?”Transitions are…yup, that’s right, transitions. A few months ago, I was in the final rehearsal before my last dissertation recital – the final step in my academic journey. With limited review-time, someone in Latitude 49 posed the question for one particular piece, “so, what do we want to focus on?” and my good friend and violinist Timothy Steeves said “Transitions, let’s focus on the transitions.” Somehow, that stuck out in my mind and got me thinking. Transitions are always the tricky spots where one is simultaneously letting go of an established place or idea and grasping frantically for what’s ahead. Transitions generate feelings of uncertainty…it’s the moments between that threaten a dangerous free-fall into the unknown.

day 4 - carole-1024

But transitions can also be amazing moments of great excitement and freedom, ripe with possibilities. There’s nothing quite like the first bike-ride without the training wheels, and when my dad let go, there was a brief hesitation, even doubt – then elation! I got this! This summer I took an epic hike with some of my best friends up Fisher Peak, the highest mountain peak in the Rocky Mountain range near my hometown in British Columbia. The transition from crooked mountain paths through the trees to the boulders above the tree line was one of the most difficult and exhilarating parts of the full-day climb. The way up the shale-covered bowl was physically demanding, because for every couple steps we took, we would slip back a step. It was mentally a challenge too as we started to reach startling heights and feelings of exhaustion and discouragement mingled with vertigo. On the way down though, we slid down this same passage at break-neck speeds on a 6-ft deep snow patch that must have been 300 meters long! What a rush!


In remembrance of a fitting new-years resolution, I scanned back and found it… “Resolution? To transition as gracefully as possible from the chaos of being a student into a balanced real-person, to love life more, to find inner peace and contentment. Hmm...let's see how that goes.”

I write this blogpost to you, fellow traveler along life’s amazing journey. There are packing boxes all around me. I have Michigan insurance on Illinois plates, and two addresses. My student-card no longer works and I may be practicing on an electric instrument temporarily until I can bring a Steinway-on-loan (and gift-of-a-lifetime) into my new apartment in Chicago, a city I have yet to explore. I can’t say I have fully achieved my new-years resolution, but I am on my way. I have many good friends in Ann Arbor who have already moved away or are in transitions of their own. In the words of an itsnotyouitsme track-title, “it may be time to leave this place and go mingle with our heroes”.

One foot in front of the other. The only thing constant is change. There is beauty in uncertainty. We got this.

This post was written by Jani, 5HE's pianist.  As I'm sharing this with you, Jani is en route to Chicago with her moving truck!  We can't wait to have her here permanently, and I know she definitely won't miss the Ann Arbor to Chicago commute!