For a couple months in the summer of 2018, while in a sustained state of mental disarray, I got a taste of what life could be like for me without any external burdens or responsibilities hanging over my head. Here are some of the many productive things I did during that time:
- designed and created this website: graphics, layout, content, etc.
- composed two piano pieces and significantly revised a third
- recorded, edited, and arranged five of my pieces into an album
- planned and mapped out my concert
- traveled on my own for the first time in my life
It is in anticipation of a full year's worth of this level of productivity and personal fulfillment that I've decided to take a gap year for the entirety of 2020. I've just dropped out of the computer science program at Dalhousie, and I'm relishing the chance to now shift my focus more towards my music career and see where it takes me. In the past few years I've been pumping out tons of new compositions, both acoustic and electronic, which, along with this custom-made website, and various piano improv gigs around the city, has given me a more polished, market-ready portfolio than ever.
But without the consistent push on my part to put myself out there and into the music community, it's been hard for me to get noticed, and build up the kind of publicity that would make my performances - like the concert I put on last year - at all profitable. So I'm hoping I can use the free time I'll have in the coming year to my advantage, and pursue every avenue of connection possible in the music scene. It's something I've never been able to really focus on, and I still have a lot to learn, but more than ever I'm raring to get my feet wet.
Of course, I'll have to take a multi-pronged approach in my search for a stable short-term source of income. Now that I'm out of my wheelchair I want to explore tutoring opportunities; I haven't put much thought into that since a year ago, given my other priorities, but with enough hands-on experience in professional tutoring, I may be that much more motivated to go back to school in the future and get a degree in education. And if things are slow on this front, I'm fairly confident that my computer science resume, which was good enough to get me recruited to SimplyCast without even interviewing, can still land me a decent job now (until I get fired for sleeping during the day).
The more I think about it, the more excited I am for what this coming year has in store. I have a giant list of projects, both big and small, that I want to take a crack at. I think I'm very unique in how independently productive I can be in my spare time, in a multitude of areas, and I can't wait to take full advantage of it once again. I can't wait to not have to micromanage how passionate and committed I am to these projects; to be fully, psychologically emancipated from my own existential angst, my neuroticism about the future and romanticization of the past. It'll be a substantial change in my life, bigger than any I've yet made since the breakup - and I couldn't be more ready for it.