“How come you don’t play any music instruments?”, asked by one of my teammates in a car ride to Dubai’s DXB airport a few days ago.
The short answer to his question is that, “I used to, but stopped after moving to the US.”
Many people, who have known me, may not know that I was a classical trained Chinese instrument player from age of 9 to age of 14, and competed nationally till the day I did not get admitted to the best Music and Art Performance school in Taiwan. The Chinese instrument I played is called Liuqin. If you are curious about what Liuqin sounded like, this music piece (https://youtu.be/sTynfNCgXlY) is what I played at a national competition. I was placed number 7 nationally at age of 13.
The long answer to my teammate’s question is that I failed as a musician at an early age. And, a few weeks after finding out not admitted to the top school in Taiwan, I boarded an United Airlines flight to Chicago with my father, and began a new chapter as an American-educated student.
I love this powerful question, triggered so much of wonderful childhood memories and emotions. Till today, I can clearly remember how that failure in life made me feel and how a new struggle of learning English made me stronger as a person.
Throughout our lives, we all expereince failures, which may seem dark and feel hurtful at times. Remain hopeful, and don’t let your frustrations dominate your life. More resilient mind, more positive outlook, more hopeful you will become.
When our car finally reached the DXB airport, I told my teammate that, “Life always works out on its own. If I didn’t fail at getting into the music school in Taiwan, I wouldn’t have gone to the Sates for schools. I wouldn’t have ended up working at the same company as you. I couldn’t have moved to the Middle East, and of course, I couldn’t have known you.”