Last night I packed up my office yet again. In the past two years I relocated my studio from home to church, and then moved offices three times within the building. Each time it was a move up, so I'm certainly not complaining. I started teaching backstage, I called it "to the right of the stage." I had my own entrance, but it was a dark room. So it took some real effort to make it cozy and inviting. When the space was needed for storage and the event schedule ramped up, it was time to move. So I packed up my things and went down the hall.
I moved into the office, where I had a room with four walls -- a real step up. I unpacked the boxes, wheeled in the piano, and bought a beautiful desk. I felt a lot more legit in my more socially-accepted space. A few months later, a flash flood flooded the office. I was fortunate that nothing of mine, especially the piano, was damaged. But everything had to be put into storage while construction was being done to repair the damage. In the meantime, I snagged a cheap keyboard, pencils, markers and stamps and set up shop in our extra room at home. It would've been a great setup, but over time, that room had turned into the preverbiel dumping ground. So it was less than ideal.
After six weeks, I went back to the church space. However, I moved to my third and final office. My first space with windows (yipee!), but no door. When I went about decorating the space, I had one rule about what I kept and what I brought it. I asked myself one question, "Does this item make me happy?" It may sound selfish, and it certainly isn't applicable in every situation. But when it comes to things to keep, it worked like a charm. Every time I walked in the room, I felt happy. My friends, colleagues and clients walked in and were smitten with the flowers, the records on the walls, the votive candles, and my grandparents China-blue desk. It was a happy place to work and teach.
This fall I haven't been using the space very much because I've been teaching group piano classes in a classroom instead of private lessons in my happy place. It's really served more for storage than a teaching space. Meanwhile, I turned the dumping ground at home into a suitable teaching space. I donated a lot of baby clothes, threw away boxes of old junk, and mopped the floor. So I've been moving four full-size digital keyboards across town every week. That's 88 keys, stands, benches, headphones and cords. It was time to set up shop in one place and put down some roots. So I'm teaching at home in that spare room, known as the barn, thanks to the barn door on the side.
Even though it makes the most sense, and I'm trusting that this move -- like all the others -- is a step up, the boxes made me sad last night. I wanted to move from the church studio into the brick and mortar studio of my dreams. I'm happy too. I love my neighborhood and now I can put down deeper roots in the community. I can -- and hope to -- move from the barn into a storefront in the neighborhood when the time is right.
It's better to let go of what you thought would be, embrace what is, and trust the process. I have new energy for the studio that is and I've got new, great ideas. Now that I've committed to the plan, I've come up with some creative ideas that never made sense before, and I'm excited.
The best is yet to be.