When I was five years old, my school's strings teacher gave a small presentation to my kindergarten class and at the end, the students were invited to try out the instruments. When the violin first sat on my shoulder and I curled my hands over the fingerboard and around the frog for my first tentative note, my life shifted. I went home that evening and demanded to be enrolled in violin lessons. That decision made at five to play the violin ended up setting the course for the rest of my life.
After that day, much of my childhood revolved around choir and orchestra rehearsals and private voice, violin, and piano lessons. I sat with the music kids at lunch and sang in the hallways at school. Once I went to college, it seemed only natural to major in music. There, I made friends in various ensembles and my music professors became my mentors. Now that I'm an adult, I still gravitate towards music and musicians. Most of the men I've dated, I've met because of music. I sing in several choirs, play ukulele with a group of friends, sit on the board of a music organization, and am trying my hand at learning how to fiddle. When five-year-old me first picked up a violin, she didn’t know she was making a choice that would be bringing purpose and joy into my life over twenty years later, but I’m very glad she did.