O Captain, You are No Longer My Captain

Dear Professor,


Thank you.

Thank you for pushing me to be my better self.

Thank you for showing me who I am and who I have the potential to be.


I know you do not respect me,

Even though I am not sure why.


I don’t mean much to you either.


But regardless,

I thank you.

I would not be where I am now without you.

I would not have found my passion without you.

I would not love life as much without your hurtful words.


Maybe you don’t remember the words you said to me.

Every once in a while, I have these horrible flashbacks.

You told me I was not good enough.

You told me that I would never succeed as a musician.

You told me that I was a horrible person.

You called me ugly names.


You played on all of my insecurities.

I was devastated.

I had spent so much of my life focused on my path in music

And you stomped on it.

Crushed it.

Demolished the living essence of it.


Did you know that I could not listen to music for months?

Did you know that I did not pick my instrument up for almost a year?

My dreams were shattered.

I felt helpless and lost.


But then I remembered something.

I am more than a musician.

I am more than the words you said to me.

I am not defined by names you called me.


I know it seems almost ironic,

Or perhaps idiotic

For me to be so resilient from what happened.

But ultimately, I would not change it for the world.

I was stuck in a rut

Caught on a road that had no exit ramp.

But you showed me a hidden one.

The ride was bumpy and rough

It hurt,

And I almost turned back countless times.

But I didn’t because you showed me that I was strong.

You showed me that I was powerful.

You showed me that I could stand up and make a difference.


If you would not have said those hurtful things,

I would still be on the path to be a professional musician.

I would be satisfied enough out of life to make it worth it.

But I wouldn’t be thriving.


But look at me now.

I love my life.

I love the path I am on.

I have a crazy passion for the future.

I am excited for what is to come.


So, I thank you.

You helped me see that I was lost when I could not see it myself.

You forced me to reevaluate my life

And to put myself back on track.


I would not have found my true calling without you.


Sure, you said some hurtful things,

Things that will certainly haunt me forever.


But you gave me a gift.

You gave me the path out of the rut I was in.


And you know what?

I love music so much more now.

And I love my life more than I ever thought possible.


Thank you.

Thank you for pushing me to be my truer self.

Thank you for forcing me to find my character and to discover what I’m meant to be.



A thankful student.


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