I’m switching banks from Chase to a local credit union because my relationship with Chase has run it’s course. Chase changed their branch’s interior to look more like a lock-down prison. Or at least, that’s how I perceive it. Plus they’re charging ridiculous fees. Chase just doesn’t feel like me.

Growing up, my parents always kept the money I earned from cleaning my dad’s office ($4 per week) in a tiny little local bank. I’m returning to a little bank because that’s where I feel more comfortable.

Changing banks makes me feel like I’m in middle school, trying to find that perfect band instrument that connects to my personality and preferences. I took piano lessons starting at age 8. I’ve always loved the piano, but when I was in 5th grade, I tried the clarinet. When I was a junior in high school I tried out classical guitar. All the while I kept up piano.

Then in college, I really didn’t want to be in the choir, so I took up the double bass to fulfill my “large ensemble” requirement with orchestra. I also played clarinet for a semester in the university band. In grad school, I more seriously took up guitar, mostly for simple chording and pop songs. But I always returned to the piano, and that’s my Bachelor’s degree: piano performance (and music theory).

All throughout my life thus far, I continue to return to the piano as my trusty companion and escape from the real world. The piano has always felt like me. Here’s how choosing a good bank is like choosing a great instrument to master:

1. It just feels right. I usually follow my heart or my gut before my mind. And I’ve never regretted it. Sometimes you just know.

I walk into the credit union, see all the fun, friendly, small-time, less-corporate flyers, and I feel like ahhhhhhh.

I walk into my house, see my piano, and I feel like ahhhhhhh.

2. The benefits go both ways. This is true for all relationships. Give and take. If you’re giving too much away and not getting re-energized in some way, then it ends up sucking the life out of you.

When I switched from $15/month fees to no fees, it was a relief, and I thought ahhhhhhh.

When I decided not to pursue clarinet through high school, let it go, and instead focus on piano and sports, it was a relief, and I thought ahhhhhh.

3. The relationship supports your life purpose. My life purpose is to help people via music. It is imperative that I feel good and well during the course of a regular day in order to fulfill my purpose. If I have to make deposits at a financial institution that feels like a prison, there is a chance it might impact my feeling of inspiration during the course of the day. Now I’m so grateful to have the credit union with a warm-colored interior to handle my money!

The double bass and clarinet helped me fulfill my purpose for several years. I’ve always cherished my time spent playing those other instruments, and I know that I could always pick them up again. But when I knew it was time to let them go and focus on piano, all the signs became apparent: I became interested in sports and piano more than clarinet, then I graduated college and stopped playing the bass, so I let it all go. And now I’m saying ahhhhhhhh.

Washington Mutual (the old Chase) helped me fulfill my purpose for several years. I’ve cherished my time with the big bank, and I know that I could always go back if it felt right. When I knew it was time to let the big bank go, all the signs became apparent: They changed their name, they started charging fees, they put up glass walls between customers and tellers, friends on Twitter also started expressing their dissatisfaction, so I let them go. And now I’m saying ahhhhhhhh.

Right now, I still choose piano as my primary instrument to master, and I choose a local credit union for my bank. Many other options I’m letting go, unless they’re beneficial to me in some way.

Do you ever let things go to focus more intensely on something else?

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