Finished with first semester at USC. Couldn’t be more thrilled about being here.
A year ago, I was considering quitting playing and teaching guitar and music as a career and going into astronomy, science or general school teaching because of an extensive surgery on my wrist, and intense pain after gigging or practicing even 9 months after the operation, as well as a looming possible surgery on my other wrist if things didn’t improve. Just in time, about a year after surgery, things did improve for both hands a month or so later and I was then able to, just in the nick of time, audition for USC’s Masters program in Studio/Jazz Guitar, feeling rusty but overjoyed I could play again.
I got in. I was very excited and also thankful for my hand injuries, because my joy of playing and gratitude to be able to play music increased ten fold. Then, just before the semester started I suffered a repeat concusion when while driving I was t boned by a drunk driver. I had concussion symptoms worse than my first. My doctor told me to not enroll in the Fall semester and to wait until Spring. I decided to go anyway and just take less units. It was rough, challenging, and even scary at some points about when and if I’d feel normal again. However, I can say now that I learned more and experienced more because of the bumps on the road (or head, or hands) then I could’ve without them. I feel so blessed that I can do what I love, even more than before the health issues. The news in summary I have for family and friends back home is that, “I could be healthier, but I couldn’t be happier.” Now I am healthier as well.
I share this story because I know I am not alone in my ups and downs. Life is unexpected, and we may have trials that challenge our hearts, minds and bodies. Our spirit, at the core, is unbreakable, and each of us have gifts and passions to share with the world. Do what you love, or wait until you can. As Bob Dylan said, “You’re gonna have to serve somebody.” We can trust in our trials, they may end up serving us, and others.