Once you hit the time of your life that I am (OK, I’ll say it. It’s middle age. I should be wearing twin sets and ranting about the stupid haircuts of the youth-of-today…), you don’t often make new friends. I mean, you have colleagues – perhaps from work, and you see them occasionally, but it’s not often you meet new people where you start to think of them as friends.
As a musician, this is slightly different, because you sometimes play with people and just fall in love with their musical soul, and so they become someone you trust. But this is a slightly different friend. You don’t know them, or their lives particularly well, but there’s a very deep and strong bond there, through the art of playing music together.
And then, as a teacher, it’s easy to make friends with other teachers, because you can always talk about the act of teaching – it is an endless topic. It bores EVERYONE else around you who isn’t a teacher. Some of these teacher friends of mine become actual friends as well, rather than just colleagues too.
But this other thing has happened to me over the past year that has surprised me. I did a year-long yoga course, over a number of weekends. It involved some pretty scary (well, for the precious musician here…) things. I was a long way from my comfort zone on most weekends. And I was helped – both physically (assisting by holding ropes, my hips, my knees, my legs. Not all at the same time, mind.), but emotionally by a number of other people who were doing the same thing. And I have a bunch of new friends from it. People who aren’t musicians (well, one of them is…), or teachers – but who have different jobs. One works in real estate, one is in a council, and some others I don’t really know what they do. And I really like seeing them. I know what they are up to over their weekends. I’m interested in it.
And, well, it has surprised me. Because I expected to get bendier. But I didn’t expect to get friendlier. It makes me hugely happy, you know!