When Does My Break End?

At one point do we think to ourselves, “wow I’ve worked really hard for x amount of time, now I better stop”? It’s impossible to really think that way because obviously we equate hard work to great reward in our society, but it’s really easy to think that way when things aren’t going exactly the way you planned.

After my piano audition for Mason Gross, I told my piano teacher I didn’t feel like taking lessons for awhile because I thought maybe I should talk a break after working so hard for the past seven months. Seems like a viable response, right? She thought so too, so I took a break. But then I got rejected from Mason Gross a month later. I was crushed. I really didn’t want to do piano again after that. There’s a very gray line between wallowing in pity and being determined to get back up from your fall. From the outside, it’s very simple to see what needs to be done, but from the inside, it can be difficult to get yourself out of the ditch. Was music really for me? For awhile, I kept telling myself, “Yes it is! You’ve worked so hard to let it go, you can’t just stop now.” I was convinced I’d get back to my piano lessons, but then the end of high school kept coming and all these events just kept getting piled up in my calendar — “can we reschedule the lesson for after this and after that?” “maybe we should start piano lessons after graduation?” Eventually things never really took off and I subconsciously kept putting my music career away. Soon enough, when I thought about getting back into my lessons, I had after thoughts about whether I was really worth a career in music education. A ridiculous thought, Hannah would say during a certain period in her life, but at that point, that Hannah was feeling all certain types of self doubt.

Then college started. I was excited, I wasn’t even thinking about having to re-audition for Mason Gross because yet another big event was blocking my vision. But every time I had to state my major, whether it was on paper or the professor went around the room and had everyone state their major, I felt so bad about myself. I felt like such a failure saying “Business”, I still do. There would be times when I would say “business . . . but maybe a minor in Music” or “business . . . and maybe music” and eventually “business . . . but I’m thinking of re-auditioning for Mason Gross”. I have two music seminars this semester that were open to all majors, and every time I heard someone say they were a music major, I felt so bad about myself. I always thought “I would have been that too . . . but I’m not.” It was the little things that constantly reminded me of my failure. It was so hard. I would get so anxious every time we went down the line and the spotlight fell to me. It was so hard to utter that one word. One little tiny word that didn’t have that much effect in retrospect, but to me, it felt like the reality of the mistakes I had made. So many times I would go back to my confident self, thinking that I could work hard and wedge my way into that school, but so many other times I kept questioning how I could ever think that I’d get into that school.

You may feel like a big fish in your small pond, but there are lots of big fish in other small ponds, too. Everything you thought, everything you believed, it can all be turned to dust in a matter of seconds. There were so many things I know I could have done differently, so many things I could have worked harder on, so much more I could have devoted my time to. But that’s the past. Now is now. When does my break end? I think I will be re-auditioning for Music Education in Voice, but I need a voice teacher. I mentioned to my mom that I need to get a voice teacher but we only have one working parent right now. And they weren’t too happy with taking piano lessons towards majoring in music, now they have to relive the process but for voice. It all probably seems so wasteful to them. I don’t think they even have any clue that I’m going to re-audition.

There are so many things to do, and so little time. Things felt so much more accessible in high school. But now I’m in college. You’ve all seen that I’ve tried to get back into piano by myself with my scales challenge — I’ve added the Hanon exercises on the side to break my hands down again. But I’m auditioning for voice now . . . right? Everything’s so unclear. I still have doubts about Mason Gross but I have been trying to trick myself through this scale challenge. Maybe if I keep up my music studies I’ll trick myself into thinking I still have some worth in music.

It’s hard. It’s hard to talk to your friends that got in. To hear how busy they are, and to hear about all the assignments that they have to do. I’d give anything to have assignments like those. To be in a piano class to be learning music theory again. To be learning about music history. To want to study all these things, but you never even got the chance.

Sorry, this post is getting harder and harder to write.

September 9 2015


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