I am a huge fan of metaphors, so I might ramble a little here for a while. I chose an image of a piano because you could never know that I play piano just by looking at me. I’ve been playing piano since I was about five or six years old. My parents got all of their children interested in music. My big sister played the clarinet. My brother played the guitar, piano, and the banjo. My little sister played the piano and violin. My brother and sister moved on from the piano after a few years, but I couldn’t leave it. Because I naturally associate most sounds, numbers, and words with a color in my head, the piano didn’t just mean music for me. No other instrument gave me the same variety of colors that the piano did. Music has bound my family in a lot of ways. We play Christmas carols on the piano every year, and often play at parties my parents will throw for their friends. We play my mother’s favorite, “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” and my favorite, “Canon in D.” We buy sheet music off the Internet and take turns learning it. The piano has meant much more than music to me and to my family.
I also chose this picture for another reason. A few years ago, I was diagnosed with severe DeQuervain’s tendinitis and carpal tunnel, brought on by years of ruthlessly playing the piano. At first, they told me I couldn’t play at all. But after I explained to them that I couldn’t stop, they allowed me twenty minutes a day to play and gave me several hand braces to restrict my motion. I abandoned both of these strategies after a month or two. While it seems foolish, a large part of my disobedience was rooted in a simple need to play. A lot of people can’t tell from looking at me that I don’t give in easily. Having tendinitis with a passion for the piano has been difficult, but, though it sounds cheesy, I refuse to let anything stand in the way of my doing something that I love.