So here I am, teacher, in Shanghai. Only not teaching much of my specialty, orchestra and violin. And no quartet to play with. It's like a mini-identity crisis...who am I now that I'm not front and center leading the quartet and being a professional violin player. This is the first time in my adult life, okay, second (first time was my first year in China) that I wasn't focused on being a professional player. I love to read - it helps me feel a little still connected to the violin world. And am dreaming of trying a David Burgess violin. Some people are all about fame and earning money, getting rich and investing well. I'm not against these endeavors at all. I'm more about investing in my life right now and on a moment by moment basis going after quality of life decisions. This is definitely a gargantuan and life long task. I'd love to have more money and become famous but I also live under the weight of making a living wage as a self-supporting artist. Someone I'm close to says, "Who leads the cheerleader?" - guess I'm feeling those pangs of loneliness that come with living by oneself in a foreign culture. But what helps is every day remembering why I am here, my goal of fluency, and working toward that. I guess with age comes more patience because getting fluent is definitely a time consuming process and I knew coming here that it won't happen in just a few months. So the question becomes more, how many months or years am I willing to put into this long-term project which may be a life-long project? Thinking, thinking, thinking...and looking forward to those trips home and visits by friends and family!!!


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