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This is an open letter to a recent work relationship turned sour.

I wish it didn't have to end like this, but after repeatedly im- and- explicitly taking advantage of my kindness and vulnerability, I had to walk away. Enough is enough. I sincerely hope you learn from this situation, but history and experience tell me that it is highly unlikely you'll change at all, and that's a damn shame--both because your organization could be so much better, and because the people you serve deserve better. I deserved better.

You'll never read this, just like you never read any of my emails or took seriously any of my feedback that would have benefited the organization. Maybe you thought I was being out of line. Maybe you wanted to keep me in my place, using me as a run-of-the-mill accompanist whose role frankly could have been filled by someone with passable high school level piano skills.

I realize now this was my own fault. I continually find myself falling into the trap of settling for what's easy, available, and comfortable. It's a beguiling trap, to be sure. When you're in a new town with few connections and work options, it's easy to reach for the first thing that's offered. Now I know better. You were quick to snap me up because your turnover is so astronomical. No one in their right mind stays for long.

It's going to catch up to you. You've already developed a reputation amongst reputable players in the community, those with talent and influence who know better than to get involved. Now I know better as well. This is a lesson learned for me: not to settle for anything less than what I know I'm worth, to reach for things that are uncomfortable and not quite within my grasp.

Like Mr. Fleisher always said, "Forward and upward." Just like always, everything he taught had a double meaning. It was never just about piano lessons. It was a lesson in living.

#goodriddance #forwardandupward


Nowadays it's starting to seem as if the only time I write in this is when I'm under the influence of caffeine or alcohol, and this post shall be no different. The two substances are an apt metaphor for the far ends of that precarious parabola called manic depression, on which I currently happen to be skewing far to the manic side.

After spending the bulk of July traveling to various corners of the northern hemisphere--I'll spare you the boring details because no one wants to hear stories about your vacation, Karen, not even your mother, there's a reason she's been ignoring your FaceTime calls--I'm back in Atlanta for a whole three weeks! I spent all day today getting my affairs in order, doing the busywork of settling back into normal life, unpacking-laundry-emails-errands and got through all of it so painlessly, dare I say even pleasantly, that on my walk home from the bank/post office I decided to treat myself to a nitro cold brew and here we are.

My performance schedule is starting to fill up. After two years of relative purgatory in this new city I'm finally more or less (work-wise) where I left off in Baltimore, and I'm at a point where I am comfortable saying no to some things again.

Work doesn't officially start up for another couple weeks, but in the meantime I would really like to keep this momentum going, which means making daily to-do lists (is there anything better than checking off a task from a to-do list? I submit that there is not), weekly meal plans, morning runs before the temperature turns infernal, routine practice schedules, and nightly yoga and meditation. I think I've mentioned on here before that the older I get, the more I require every single detail of my life to be running smoothly lest the macrocosm be disturbed. One domino gets moved out of place, and the whole chain breaks. I'm not sure if this fastidiousness is healthy, per se, but as long as I can manage my control freak tendencies in a way that doesn't directly harm me or anyone else, I'll chalk it up as a win.

#coffee #todolists #grateful #bebetter #life


It is almost midnight. Monday is about to segue into Tuesday, and I have had just enough red wine to the point where the warm itchy glow is radiating through me, a hug of inflammation, a Cabernet cardigan.

Today was a banner day. If every day were like today, I may very well have transcended this mortal coil and graduated to nirvana. The peace and happiness I’m feeling right now can’t even be completely attributed to the wine, although that certainly helps. 

A quick catch-up, since I’ve been so neglectful as of late. We’ve been in the new house for two and a half months now. It’s everything we’ve wanted and more. Summer is officially here (at least weather-wise), these next couple weeks are a happy blend of work and play, and exciting things are on the horizon.

Today I practiced and cleaned and rehearsed some chamber music for the Atlanta Music Project HQ ribbon-cutting and worked out and MIKE AND I BOOKED A DREAM VACATION TO NEW ZEALAND AND TAHITI and drank wine and read Brahms and Schumann and Mozart quartets with a few ASO musicians and I am just on cloud nine because this is pretty much all I want to do in life, plus or minus this wine because I’m starting to get really seriously itchy, and could it be possible that I’m allergic to red wine?! Perish the thought. 

Pardon the mania. It’s just that the next time I get into a funk—which could be next week or tomorrow or in a few minutes, for that matter—I want to refer back to this post and remember how ecstatic I once was, how a few talented colleagues, an endlessly supportive boyfriend, and some tiny black dots scribbled by dead German dudes could elicit such unbridled joy in me. This, Marie Kondo, this right here—this is what sparks joy. I never want to let this feeling go.

#happy #joy #chambermusic #bestday #wine

© Copyright 2019 by Choo Choo Hu. All rights reserved. 

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