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Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Maybe it was residual feelings from Septembers past that made me feel so anxious this month. Twenty-two years worth of new academic years, new schools, new to-do lists. It could also be adult responsibilities mixed with the forward momentum of my busiest season at work and my new second job. Either way, I've been unsettled.

Tonight while reading my friend's beautiful post about transformation, I remembered what it was like to get really sick in 2008 and 2009 - and how that forced me to stop, take stock of life, and ask important questions: who do I want to be? what really matters? what do I value? Having everything screech to a halt forced me to slow down and think about those things, something that I'd never really allowed myself to do. I thought I had to keep working to meet outdated goals, no matter the cost. I hadn't been kind enough to myself to invite transformation to happen. And finally, I was generous to myself - probably for the first time ever!

I stopped pushing and granted my life the time and space necessary to start unfolding. And look what it got me - a husband who is more wonderful and gracious than I ever thought possible and jobs I love in a great city. When I finally stopped being so hard on myself, I took great strides in a short amount of time.

This makes me wonder why I've let myself become anxious - caught up in responsibilities and letting life drag me along. I realized tonight that I haven't been allowing myself time to read, time to write, or time to grow. There are little moments that have been slipping by, because I've been running in circles around them. Those little moments have been, in the past, the big ones.

September, as it turns out, is for slowing down.

Image is "Gosling Lake" by Kurt Tong - new art John and I just chose for our home from 20x200!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Tip for Decorating

This was a good weekend. There were two hot yoga classes, one trip to Upstate Pride, and things accomplished at home. I bought several little plants for a succulent garden, which is exciting because adding plants means our downstairs is finally coming together! We still need a few pieces of furniture, but that will come soon. John managed to paint the stripes I wanted in the dining room perfectly, and I can't wait to show you.

Until then, here's a tip:

I have art I've been carrying around for as long as two years without displaying it, mostly because it's oddly shaped and custom framing is so expensive. I've had a few pieces framed along the way, but now that I've found American Frame, I'll never spend that much again. You put in the measurements of your print and choose a frame and mat. It's so easy. Everything is custom cut for you and sent within a week, and you assemble the frame yourself. We framed three pieces this weekend that were going to cost hundreds in the store. You should try it!

Image is one of our newly framed prints, a favorite of mine from Blanca Gomez.

Friday, September 21, 2012


Hi, everyone!

I've been quiet on the blog, but hopefully that will change soon. I've been using free moments (and late nights) to give myself this much-needed makeover. I couldn't justify spending money on design right now, so with inspiration from a few other bloggers who took matters into their own hands, I tackled the world of DIY Code. It was a lot of fun. I'll probably be tweaking it over the next few weeks, but it's exciting to have a prettier place to write.

The tabs at the top are exciting, though eventually they will become more organized pages. For now, I'd love to hear what you think, and check out my grown-up About page!

Have a beautiful weekend.



P.S. If you're here in Greenville, come hear my friends joie. play at Upstate Pride tomorrow!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

John as MD!

Photo: Announcing our new Youth Symphony Director: John Concklin

Hello, friends.

I've mentioned Clarity and new jobs recently, and today, the Hendersonville Symphony Youth Orchestra officially announced John as Music Director!

John's spent the past four or so years realizing that directing a youth orchestra would be ideal. He loves kids and is able to really connect with them, and what many people don't know is that he actually turned down a couple of offers and interviews so the two of us could be together and try to reach a point of financial stability in Greenville. Granted, they were in the middle of nowhere, which influenced our decision, but still.

Imagine our surprise when suddenly, out of nowhere, a directorship opens right in our backyard! Another piece of this crazy puzzle fell right into place. First rehearsal Monday, and we're so excited.

Here's a little video, if you like. :)


Photo taken on Honeymoon at SFMoma :)

I've been rather quiet this summer, but it's not because there's nothing to say. I've been busy, yes, but I wasn't sure why I wasn't writing. Over the past week, I've felt something in the back of my mind - an idea that wouldn't quite come to the surface - that just might be worth a post.

I finally realized last night that I haven't been uninspired, like I thought; rather, I've been so inspired over the past three years that I needed time to let the huge, life-changing things that have happened wash over me.

I'm sure many of you have experienced this: when you're unhappy, it's hard to imagine a blissful life. You might even badger yourself for not "finding joy despite the circumstances." I know I did. And maybe that is an important goal to keep, and maybe my own thinking has shifted. Maybe I did redefine success; maybe I did find new creative outlets. But, the most basic, beautiful truth is that I was given clarity. I've used that word before. Clarity. That moment when suddenly all The Other Things make sense. That moment when it makes sense that you stopped singing. That moment when it makes sense that you wasted spent 3.5 months living in a horrible place working for horrible people. That moment when The Other Things come together to paint a bigger, more important picture.

Clarity didn't come in one tightly-wrapped box with perfect edges. Those are saved only for Christmas presents wrapped by the one John Young Shik Concklin. Clarity sneaked in at different moments, from different messengers. Clarity might not have been the answer you thought you wanted for the past 15 years. No, that's not what I wanted, planned, hoped. For me, though (is this common? I suspect so), Clarity is better. It comes with more joy and peace than I've ever experienced. It comes with contentment, and it comes with excitement about what lies ahead.

Clarity came (is coming) for me in three forms: as an artist, as a partner, and as a professional. More on that later.


Monday, September 3, 2012

Summer Quiet

You may think my lack of recent posts should be attributed to lazy days on the lake, trips to the ocean, and cookouts with friends. Summer at its finest. That has not been our schedule, though the past month has been delightful in its own way:
  1. New jobs. For both of us! Within the same week. I'll tell you more about those later.
  2. Home improvement. By this point, John is such a pro at painting that he's considering a third job. Not really. But now we have beautiful Dolphin Fin, White Dove, and Jeweled Peach walls! Photos coming soon. 
  3. Friends. You may remember my post about the difficulties of making friends as a grown up. Almost as soon as I posted it, my life exploded with friendships, new and old. Ask and you will receive? 
  4. I've been to Aiken for family-related visits twice this month. It's so nice to be a bit closer when important things happen. 
Here's hoping your Labor Day Weekends were lovely.

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