What my piano teacher taught me about passion

Or: why I spend my days off at the library.


I began piano lessons in second grade. Although I don’t currently play, I was lucky to learn about music at a young age. I practiced often, though not religiously, and had lessons every other week at the home of my teacher, Mrs. G.

I don’t remember the exact context of the conversation — whether we were discussing how often I practiced, or her career as a pianist and teacher, but during one of our lessons, Mrs. G said something that has stuck with me ever since. She said that when she was at the piano, there was nothing else she would rather be doing. There was nowhere else she’d rather be. I thought that was so inspiring, for someone to have found an activity they love so much that there is nothing else they’d rather be doing. I knew that, although enjoyed playing the piano and taking lessons, that I didn’t feel that way about music. And so, at the end of seventh grade, when the time came to decide whether I would serve as editor-in-chief of the school newspaper, which would mean the end of my piano lessons, the decision was not so difficult.

One of my favorite writers, Gretchen Rubin, created a list of Eight Splendid Truths while writing her bestseller The Happiness Project. The fifth splendid truth is: I can build a happy life only on the foundation of my own nature

This summer, I’ve spent several of my vacation days at my local library. I love hanging out there; it’s a relaxing place to write, check out books, and do research for a writing project I’m working on. I can see why some people would think that’s lame, since there are so many fun activities a person can do on a summer day. But, when I’m writing or working on my project, there is nothing else I’d rather be doing. There is nowhere else I’d rather be. 


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