People are not one dimensional. It is sometimes necessary to look at more than one aspect of one’s life to understand the person and see his/her capacity and potential. So here I’m including a bit of extra information about some of my passions that make me what I am and who I am.
It is hard to imagine life without music. Sounds a little cliché but is true nonetheless. I had been a season subscriber to the San Francisco Symphony back when I lived in the Bay Area and now I am a subscriber to UMS, which brings an incredible lineup of great performances to Ann Arbor, MI. I had played the violin for about 10 years early on but since I discovered the sound of the viola, that’s what I play exclusively. A few of my projects have been motivated by my love for classical music in particular.
Am I a musician?
I am an amateur musician. I insist on saying “amateur” because I do not consider myself a musician. What’s the difference? – I’m asked sometimes. You love music and you play an instrument. Shouldn’t that be enough for you to make that little claim? Well, no.
I do not consider myself a historian because I read books about history. I don’t call myself an interior designer because I like decorating my place and even my friends’ sometimes. I am uncomfortable saying “I am a musician” or “I am a painter” as they are very different statements from “I play music” or “I paint.” One could write a book about the statement “I am an artist” but I digress.
I’m not talking about occupations, per se, but the entitlement. In that same sense, it is not as much about professional and/or academic training, either. When is it okay to say that your hobby is more than a hobby? When does your passion become something more? What makes you cherish it so, that it defines you? That’s entirely up to the person who’s making the statement. Just as no one can make me feel I’m entitled to say I’m a musician, I can never judge other people’s such statements. It’s harder than it sounds and I do struggle sometimes.
I love music. I love playing music and I love playing music with others even more. It is an intensely emotional experience that can only be experienced through discipline. It’s a balance act. I have tremendous respect for musicians because they embrace this duality. It’s neither solely about enjoying the music or “feelin’ it” nor is it about achieving techniques.
I, like many ordinary people, tend to neglect the disciplinary aspect of music quite often. As much as I love music, for some reason, I’ve never been able to jump over that hurdle. I know I need a lot of practice and improvements but in a way I am too comfortable with my current level of playing. That lack of desire to strive for perfection is what separates me from the real musicians and why I can’t say I am one.
Baking and Other Edible Creations
I find myself happiest when I’m making something for others to enjoy. The aesthetically and detail-oriented part of my brain insists I pay extra attention to the presentation of my creations, as well as their taste. Cupcakes are a great medium for that, as you can experiment in small scale. From the selection of cupcake liners to the color, shape, and flavor combination of the icing and the cake, one can easily have more fun than should be allowed.
Last year I started a tradition of making limoncelloItalian lemon liqueur served chilled as after-dinner digestivo and giving it away as a sign of friendship and gratitude. This year’s batch will be filtered and bottled in May.