Thursday, October 01, 2009

my former life

Before marriage and motherhood, I spent a lot of time perched on a piano bench.  It was a favorite spot of mine from the time I was a wee lass, so much so that I majored in piano in college at the encouragement of my aunt Robin (an encouragement that took on an added dimension of poignancy when she died of breast cancer at the age of 37 when I was a junior in college preparing for my recital).

Determined *not* to be a piano teacher, I instead set out to be an arts administrator.  I landed an internship in the development (i.e. fundraising) offices at Lyric Opera of Chicago the summer after Aunt Robin died. Promotional writing for special events was a primary focus of my internship, and it led to my first job out of college as a PR lackey for the local (now defunct but resuscitated under new leadership and an inventive business model) professional orchestra.  Here I learned a lot about mass media (even embarking upon a master's degree in this field), marketing, and graphic design, and put a ridiculous number of miles on my little car ferrying musicians (and signage and props and even a beer keg for a season wrap party) around the region.  I was very fortunate to have several articles published in the monthly magazine of the performing arts center where the orchestra gave two of its concert series, something which led to future publishing opportunities and a keener interest in writing and communications.

When the orchestra met its unfortunate demise, I went to work as the director of music and liturgy for a local Catholic parish whose pastor had been stationed at my home parish when I was in middle school.  It was an honor to serve in this capacity, and a natural outlet for my musical training.  I had begun playing at Mass when I was a teenager and had done so throughout college. This stint coincided with one writing a monthly column for the diocesan newspaper.

Then I met my husband at an event for Catholic young adults.  Within a year of our meeting we were married, and soon thereafter our first child was on the way.  I left my post at the parish to devote myself to full-time mothering and home-tending.  Every once in a while I would substitute for a pianist at one of the local Catholic parishes.  Now with three small children, it's been a while since I played at Mass.  God willing, I'll be back on my piano bench perch sometime soon, for it is there that I am most sure to be utilizing the particular talents He has given me that I have cultivated through years of practice and study.

For now, though, I am cultivating other talents and striving for everyday sanctity by loving and caring for the ones He has placed in my midst, tending to their souls, praying for the Grace to reflect the Lord's love and light at every moment. It's my honor to do so, and I'm so grateful for the multitude of blessings bestowed upon me by living out this particular vocation to which God calls me -- one I pray I will share hand in hand with my beloved for length of days.

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