October 28, 2011


For anyone wondering about the prolonged absence of new posts, I want to reassure you that yes, I'm still here, still as swamped as I've ever been in my life, and still somehow managing to make it to most sunrises...

(of course it helps a lot that sunrise is happening later and later every day!)

I'm doing well in my classes--well enough that my ethnomusicology teacher tried to talk me into pursuing a doctorate in the field yesterday--but the amount of work I been having to do in order to keep up at this high level has me nearly at my breaking point. After much thought, I reminded myself last night that though I thrill at every bit of praise given by admired superiors, though I have a broad range of interests and--given the time, opportunity, and desire--could convincingly pursue any number of them at a high level, and though becoming a professional musician continues to be one of the most challenging, competitive, and insecure career goals a person can have, I'm still here at northwestern expressly to become a trumpet player.

I've been letting my selfish (and arguably unnecessary) desire to take the most difficult classes and still maintain a 4.0 GPA interfere with my readiness to work in the practice room, my ability to take soul-healing strolls along the lake, and the freedom to spend some spare time exploring my imagination and creativity. I'm no better off than I was back in SLC--trying to survive a full time job AND stay active as a successful performer. Just as it was then, my attention is currently split...and I came here SPECIFICALLY for the opportunity to focus well on one thing.

I'm going to continue to do the best I can with this demanding schedule through the end of fall quarter, but for next term I plan to be a bit kinder on myself and try to recoup some of the positive vigor I had at the start of the school year. Right now, my time at NU is for the trumpet. If I find down the road than I do in fact want to pursue an advanced degree in musicology, I believe the opportunity to take up that goal will still exist.


  1. Kelly, your desires to excel and be the best are neither selfish nor unnecessary. I applaud your drive and desire to find what's great and excellent in the world. And I think it's great that you personally want to do and be the best. It's defined your life to seek out things and make them part of yourself. I think that Dr.Kelly A. Ricks has a comfortable ring to it!!!

  2. focus on the thing where you find the most joy and satisfaction and do that for all you are worth. You are so lucky to have the kind of talents that you possess.