Yes. I have just titled this post after what butterflies, salamanders, frogs and lots of things go through in life when they change. It's a metaphor that's been used over and over again, but there are reasons for that.
I have caught a glimpse of the beginning of my personal metamorphosis. I spent so much time as a larva studying, working on my skills, collecting experiences and synthesizing meanings for them, and creating visions of what in the long run could make me happy.
The first time I saw the change was two Tuesdays ago. I subbed for one of my mentor teachers at her other school site. All day long, I taught one song to 8 classes of kids grades k-3. All day long, I sang with children. I was elated. I smiled about it all week long. I sang "A Frog Went A-Courtin'" to myself all week long.
10 months after I first spent a day at work with my mentor, I still can't believe her job is a job.
Yesterday I subbed for a woman who is locally famous for her high school music program. I played trumpet for 2 years in the community symphony that she conducts. All throughout my music ed undergrad career I would hear about how her fundraising skills were brilliant, her conducting was brilliant and her groups were brilliant. I got to conduct an incredibly sensitive group of high school orchestra musicians. Even though that was at 7am, I was elated again. And again, three hours later, when I conducted the madrigal choir. Never in my life have I conducted a choir. (Or an orchestra, for that matter--my real experience in leading groups is with wind players.) But seeing that I could, after cacooning my skills for several months for the sake of earning any income, that was when it became apparent to me.
I can teach music. Any music. To any person who wants to learn.
After subbing I went to the university to rehearse a chamber piece. (Schubert's Shepherd on the Rock--I'm playing clarinet.) It was our first run-through with voice, clarinet and piano. I remembered how nervous I used to get about performing. Then I remembered how lucky I am that I still get to do it.
Then I went to the symphonic band rehearsal where I am working on a piece with them. Talking to a group about music, showing players how to experience playing it. That is what I want. I get comments from friends and from people in the group I've never met--"I love the way you conduct the symphonic band."
Then I went to the marching band rehearsal where I'm the instructor. Elections for the new student leaders are next week, and all of the candidates to conduct the band got a chance to practice at that rehearsal. I didn't play because I needed to save chops for the brass band rehearsal after that. But I took notes on everything I saw, and gave the notes to each candidate. I felt like a champion just because I could provide real feedback, like an instructor should.
After that was the dress rehearsal for the brass band concert that will happen tonight and tomorrow night. Cornet, cornet, cornet for nearly 3 hours. I was so tired at that point, that during the break, watching the civil war music group from the audience, my eyes started leaking tears. I don't think anyone saw.
Then, for the encore, the conductor handed his baton to me and I got to conduct the second half of "The Stars and Stripes Forever" while he played the solo piccolo line on cornet. Amazing.
And so we come back to the metamorphosis. This is me, right now, looking back on yesterday and the last two weeks, and seeing a real person who wants a life where she can make music and help other people make the best music they can, and is taking every step possible toward that.
This is the transformation into becoming the person that I want to be.