Since I last wrote, the Germans have won their 4th World Cup, I have learned how to read music, regained most moving ability of my finger, read a few more annals of Jeeves, turned 28, returned to the pool *does joyful backflips*, discovered another part of the city, planned out my September travels to New York (again!) and Texas, and put my foot beyond my circle of comfort. Good?
Birthdays, as I have repeatedly stressed over the years, have always been a big deal in my family. We’ve always a had a party, complete with cake and games. The days, or sometimes weeks, preceding this event are spent shopping for new clothes and selecting an array of gifts.
Since I’ve spent the past four years away from family, I normally take it upon myself to do all of that. This year was no different. A week’s worth of shopping and accumulating useful things for myself all in the name of celebration. What did I treat myself to? A vast selection of clothing, just because it is a necessity, a MacBook Air and Bose QuietComfort earphones. My parents added to that with a very lovely diamond pendant (I am yet to receive it!!). The day of my turning 28 demanded a chic, if I might say so myself, haircut and a visit to the spa for some well manicured nails. The colleagues indulged in delicious ‘gourmet’ do(ugh)nuts and my new found family of Chicago based friends took my out to dinner at my favorite Italian restaurant in the city. Afternoon Tea at the Peninsula marked the close of another fantastic birthday bash.
My return to the pool possibly topped off that week, if truth be told. I was nervous as I pulled on my swimsuit, having taken it out of its five week prison in my desk drawer. The familiar scent of chlorinated water put me at ease almost instantly. The motions came back in luxurious rhythm, almost like I’d never been away. Just the stiffness, or lack thereof, in my left hand alerted me to the difference in my swimming dynamic. I really felt like a fish in water. My version of banal commonality, the everyday routine, has near been established with this and I am a jubilant gym rat once more!
I have always been bothered by the fact that I cannot read music. I have a good ear for music and can effortlessly pick a tune, sing and play it be ear. I know the difference in pitches and quite early on identified that I was partial to minor scales and other off-beat notes than the regular ones. Certain rhythms speak to me and I can easily identify instruments and composers. But being unable to sight read music, I have always considered a great failing in me. Naturally I set forth to rectify that! Coursera has been of great assistance in this pursuit. I’m on my second music theory class and can proudly proclaim that I am now capable of actually reading music! So much so that I even designed a tattoo centered on the treble clef!
As summer comes to a height and close and I wade through the many tasks that August has ushered in with it, including the necessity of traveling back to New York and setting foot in Texas which I am utterly preened about, I try to wrap my head around the basic necessities that make waking up every day worth it. The dawn of a new day has always signified, for me, another prospect to pick up something new. A novel thought, an introduction, a tread upon unfamiliar territory, perhaps, while keeping in sight all that I’ve gathered up so far.