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A courage for the first step

A courage for the first step
By Jeeyoon Kim  • Issue #22 • View online
Hello friends!
Last week I went to New York City for recording my next album /si-úm/. After many delays and cancellations due to the pandemic since February 2020 I was finally able to make a trip to the city. Although New York was definitely different with many restrictions, it was still great to feel its positive energy with a hope of getting some normalcy back to our lives with patience.
After 4 days of intense work in a recording studio I finally had to have a free day to relax, so I decided to walk outside, enjoy the beautiful spring weather, and absorb the city. I noticed many cyclists on the roads. Some had a serious look on their faces as if they were in a hurry to get from A to B as typical busy New Yorkers. Others seemed to just enjoy cycling for leisure.
My experience
I thought with excitement: ‘This could be fun! Maybe I should make this to be my new thing to try today’. There is a network called City Bike on which you can grab a bike and park it in any of the hundreds of spots in the city. So I decided to try it, which was an easy decision. As I walked to the bikes, I noticed new thoughts arising. 'What if I have an accident?’ (a valid concern), ‘I don’t know what I am doing with the City Bike system. How do I start? Maybe it is just easier to walk, which I normally do and know exactly how.’ (avoiding trying something unfamiliar), ‘The system is complicated and unfamiliar, I just want to give up.’ (thinking negatively)
I stood in front of the bikes, listening the battle in my head. After a while I got to a point when I could be more neutral about my arising negative thoughts. I felt that I had to fight against my negativity and rise above it. Yes, it is just a bike. It was me wanting to avoid unfamiliarity and a new territory that I never explored.
So I downloaded an app (which took a while), registered (which I wasn’t sure whether it was worth it yet), chose a payment option, and read the instructions on what to do for 5 minutes. I carefully observed and copied what others did, taking a picture of the QR code and unlocking one. I felt excitement growing, ‘You are taking action. Keep it up!’ I unlocked a bike, adjusted a the seat, and decided to go to the Chelsea market which seemed to be fun and I had never tried. I sat on the bike, took a deep breath, and hit the road.
Once I realized that it was so much safer than I anticipated as bike lanes were mostly separated from roads for cars, I felt relief. Those traffic jams in New York also made me feel that going around on a bike was 10 times faster. I was wearing fancy clothes (which were not meant for cycling), but I didn’t care. With the spring breeze on my face I felt liberation, freedom, accomplishment, and joy, which I would have missed if I didn’t make that first step from the initial resistance.
The first step
I realize that I encounter these obstacles of thought much more often in daily life. New things always seem to be complicated. My mind craves to do the things I know and avoid new ways. Yet I also learn that the joy that comes from overcoming any resistance can’t be compared to anything. I am sure I am not alone in this finding. I am curious about your experience of this resistance and how you felt after taking the first step. Please share it with me! I hope that we will get stronger by exercising the muscle of flexible mindset more in our daily lives by taking more first steps into the unknown.
Have a wonderful week! 💕

My favorite things this week
  1. A book -  I finished the novel 1Q84 (thanks to long flights last week). What a journey! His way of writing made me care about each character and created a beautiful fantasy world that I convincingly believed to live inside.
  2. An airport piano - Every time I see a piano in an unusual place it makes me happy. I sometimes sit down and play if I feel like it, other times I just want to listen to others playing. This time at this airport on my way to NY I actually did play it. It felt great to play for someone in person (distancing), giving this piano love and attention.
My favorite Music This Week
Ludwig van Beethoven - Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major, Op. 58 - Hélène Grimaud
Ludwig van Beethoven - Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major, Op. 58 - Hélène Grimaud
If humanity can leave only one evidence of its existence, it could very well be the music of Beethoven. I absolutely love his concerto No.4.
Quote of the Week
“It’s time for you to move, realizing that the thing you are seeking is also seeking you.” -Iyanla Vancant
Tweet of the Week
Jeeyoon Kim, pianist
I close my eyes and transport myself into somewhere beyond this earth. The more I travel in spirit, the easier I can enter into that realm. My hope is that you can catch me and meet me when you listen to my new album, /si-úm/. At the recording studio in NY.
This Week's Video to Highlight
Preparing for the recording studio, sharing my last day of a rehearsal
Preparing for the recording studio, sharing my last day of a rehearsal
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Jeeyoon Kim

Hi, I am Jeeyoon, classical pianist, educator, author, podcaster and YouTuber from US, originally from South Korea. I am passionate about creating a classical music more relevant and friendly to everyone, creating a bridge between me and audiences, and sharing behind the scenes of a life of classical pianist. I write bi-weekly newsletter with some thoughts, life lessons and interesting articles I discovered during those weeks.

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