Today, I got two emails. One, from someone I have known for a long time. Another, from someone I have never met before.

Email #1:

Hi again,

I’m no avid reader of your blog but I do admit to checking it out from time to time.

You’re  a clever girl, no question, so why do you insist on banging your head against the wall? If, in the states you can not find way by merit, experience and wise-ness then just excel in the required? You are more than capable from what I know.


name withheld

Email #2: 

Hi Emily,
I am a student cellist in Australia who is planning on pursuing cello at university. I just want to say that I managed to stumble upon your blog, and I absolutely LOVE it! It is the perfect balance of wit, humour and wonderful technical information. Many of the articles have already helped me considerably, and you have inspired me to practise harder and better than ever!
Thank you so much for being the amazing person/cellist you are 🙂


name withheld

I wrote back to email #1’s sender and told him I was in fact doing what is required of me. My purpose here is to do more. More than what may be simpler, or accessible by straight roads, or what would look better on a CV. I wake up every morning and it’s like my hair is on fire. I am propelled by this urgency to keep pushing myself to contribute. To be daring, authentic and perhaps difficult to be in the same room with because I use my arms too much when I talk and have a million ideas buzzing around in my head. Sender #1 is a very successful guy. I admire him. He has done incredible things with his life by working extremely hard and showing tremendous discipline.

The only reason I got email #2 is because I have the same discipline. The kind of discipline that forces me to stay on this wild course I’ve charted into uncomfortable and interesting places in the spirit of exploration and putting some good stuff into the world.

I regret nothing. I would change nothing. I will press on, and tomorrow I’ll do it again. But first, I’ll email our friend Sender #2, and thank him for reading this blog full of advice to myself. More and more, it is a two-way street, and I selfishly gain so much from the folks who read SRCB.
Even the ones who are not such avid readers.