Any well-trained musician could tell you that a B sharp and a C sound the same. That was one of the take-aways after spending an evening with Matt. A dinner party was our first encounter; he’s my friend’s new boyfriend who I “just had to meet.” I thought he was cool. Everything she said he would be.
Matt’s been playing the piano ever since he was little. Recitals, competitions, teaching, study abroad, the church band. You name the tune, chances are he can play it. I looked to my right at another dinner guest. Her eyes were closed as she mumbled the words to John Legend’s 2004 hit, “Ordinary People.” Matt was playing the song for us, and so eloquently, as we sipped on glasses of wine. By the time his magical fingers got to the bridge, I found myself belting out the lyrics like I was the R&B superstar himself. That melodic tune brought me back in time. But though I was so deeply enthralled by the song, I couldn’t help but stare at the man behind that beautiful sound. Matt was lost in the music, often throwing his head back, tapping his foot, and swaying back and forth as he played.
It’s no coincidence that what could have easily become a hobby, turned into his bread and butter. Matt is one passionate jazz musician and composer. He’s doing exactly what he loves and it showed.
I began to reflect on my life, my journey, and where I currently stand. To the stranger, to family, and to some friends, I lead a pretty good life. Of course, I’ve got amazing health, children who are smart and full of energy, a roof over my head, clothes on my back, loving family and friends, a career, and a degree. I’ll be eternally grateful for all of these. But what I’m talking about is that “thing.” That something that makes the world go ‘round. I’m searching for that thing to get me super excited and be totally in love with life.
They say “do something you love and never work a day in your life” – but is that reality for us all? No. For many of us, a job will always be a job – a 9-5, or 10 or 12-hour routine shift that helps us get by. Does that perfect gig really exist? Will I ever get paid for work that truly lights my fire? I’m certainly in a good place now, yet, at times, I can’t help but want more. I’m also getting in my own way, because I’m not quite sure if I’ll be ready for that something more if and when it comes. It’s a fear I can’t seem to shake. I mean, if I do manage to grab a hold of what I’m truly passionate about – is that it? Will life suddenly become everything I’d ever dreamed of, with butterflies, and cheesecake and beautiful sunsets on the side?
At the very least, I want that feeling Matt gets when he speaks of music by his faves, like singers Brian McKnight and Josh Grobin. I sipped my third glass of wine, as we listened to their live duet of the classic, “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” The final moments of the arrangement boasted a whirlwind of unison notes and crisp harmonies; and there went Matt, eyes closed, lost in an enigmatic stream of musical consciousness. I thought I knew music, until I met Matt. I thought I was living the dream, until then, too.
The search continues…