Friday, December 10, 2010

Book Report Break

My mind is on fire, and so I thought a little blogging might help distract me.  Goodness knows, I'm not one who needs more distractions.  The truth is, I'm very good at finding them, whether it's facebook, online recipe browsing, or daydreaming about what my life would be like if I wasn't pursuing the flute.  I'm thinking a lot about that lately, and it's beginning to scare me.  What scares me even more is the idea of not having a 5-year plan for the future.  Here's a thought for you.  Is it good to live your life that way?  What about is it right to live your life that way?  I'm convinced that these are two different, yet comparable questions of difficult questions.

I'm sure the right answer is: "It's neither wrong or right."  Or better yet, "Moderation in all things."  Well you know what?  I'm kind of sick of the prophecy-like fortune telling that doesn't give me anything but MORE OPTIONS.  Seriously!  I could be a doctor, a dietician, a nurse, a musician (already on my way), a computer scientist, an engineer, a teacher....*sigh*....the list goes on and on.  I also don't know why this makes me so sad.  Isn't it good to have the world in your hands?  Shouldn't it be exhilirating to feel like I could do/be anything?

One concern is that I don't want to give up what I have going for me.  I love playing the flute.  But sometimes I feel a bit trapped.  This is all I do right now.  I feel like other parts of my brain and soul are reaching out to me, crying, "spend more time with me!"  And I desperately want to!  I just don't want to waste any time.  Somehow I can't get the whole live-each-day-as-if-it-were-your-last philosophy out of my head.  Is that a good thing or a bad thing?  I can't even decide for myself...and that's what frustrates me.  I have no opinion...or I have all opinions.

One friend recently gave me a wonderful bit of advice.  I left the advice thinking that I should just try everything (as in, applying for things) and see what options I actually HAVE instead of make-believe options that are in my life right now.  It'll apparently clear things up so I can actually identify what I feel.  I'm having a hard time doing that right now.  So, I think I'll try it.  If I apply to graduate schools and Matt gets a job somewhere I can't get a graduate degree, then it's time to do something else.

Another concern is that sometimes I feel like I am defined by the flute.  Apart from the gospel, I don't really have anything that defines who I am.  I'm Amber the flute player.  And I do what?  Let's see...practice, go to class, practice, eat, practice, spend time with Matt, practice, sleep, and more practice.  When I'm not doing that, I'm thinking of a good recital program, researching graduate school application requirements, and trying to find things to buff up my resume' and musical experience.  Am I just not allowed to do other stuff?  Apparently so!  There isn't enough time.

You know that feeling that you had in high school, or maybe even freshman year of college (or even later than that) where you thought "Hm.  What should I be?  It's probably a good time to decide what I think I'd be good at."  I never really had that opportunity.  I was compelled to believe that flute was the only thing that I could ever be great at.  I never got to step back and think of other options.  Flute was something that I did competitively since I was 12 years old...and I was good at it.  I'd like to think that I'm still good at it, and that I still will be good at it. 

But what about the other stuff?  Could I be a good writer like my friend Camille?  A good dancer like my husband?  A good cook?  Could I be good at math, something that always terrified me? 

These questions haunt me daily, and leave me thinking that I have to choose between one and the other.  Can I be good at many things?  Well, any time that I give to other things is time that I am not giving to the flute.  And if a flutist is what I am to become, then why get distracted?

I feel like a high school kid in a college girl's body, except that I almost have a degree that I don't know what to do with.  I absolutely love playing the flute, and I think that was in large part due to the opportunities I had to experience the wonders of music.  Does that mean that I would find anything else less enjoyable?  Some say yes, others say no.  But what do I think?  I HAVE NO IDEA.  I want to explore, like I didn't get to do before.  I don't want to quit playing the flute.  I want to continue learning and bettering myself at it.  Goodness knows I've learned more from my flute experiences than just flute playing.  I've learned to not be nervous in front of an audience, or better yet, judges.  I've learned to present myself well, and I've learned how to handle myself under high stress situations.  I wouldn't trade it for anything.  I just want to know what else is out there.

The other problem is that tomorrow I'll probably be going, "What the heck was I talking about?  I am happy where I am and that's that."  It changes so frequently.  Luckily I have the support of a loving husband who listens to me complain about how "hard" my wonderful life is, and how I am so confused about what to do.  He helps me learn to be patient, which is something I need to get better at.

Alright alright.  I'm procrastinating.  This stupid 307 book report needs to go.


  1. I love reading this Amber. I am so glad I'm not the only that feels this way. I could just copy and paste what you've written but insert bassoon instead of flute. It's so frustrating to always have the bassoon nagging in the back of my head whenever I'm not playing it and trying something new. That is quite the dilemma. It will all work out. I think we really just ought to do what makes us happy because sometimes Heavenly Father only wants that. There are many good choices and sometimes the choice doesn't really matter, it just matters that we make one. I hope that made a little bit of sense. Good luck with finals!

  2. Oh Amber. It sounds like you're pretty frustrated. I don't have any wonderful advice that will fix everything for you, although I wish I did. All I can say is that, believe it or not, this time in your life will pass. And you'll be glad for the things you learned, and you'll do your best at whatever you end up doing at that point in your life. Every stage of life comes and goes, and the important thing is to try to enjoy where you are, because with very few exceptions (but there will be a few!!), you'll look back and realize how happy you were, and how much you enjoyed what you were doing at the time it was driving you crazy!!

    Hang in there. Plus, get some sleep, girl!! :-)