Thursday, February 24, 2011

My three some

I have three lives.  Well, actually four.  And my personality is so different in each of them.  I go throughout each day feeling so weird and almost insincere, just by seeing how I act so differently in all of my different venues.

1st Life: I am a flutist.  I am a flutist who practices 3-4 hours each day, sometimes 5.  I'm semi-confident with such subjective material.  It's hard to feel completely secure with music, because on any given day, heck, any given HOUR, things can go so differently for you.  I don't talk much, mostly because I have a metal rod blocking my face and I am concentrating very hard on little black dots that like to move in sporadic movements over a bleached white page.  Headache!  I feel like I know what I'm doing...sort of...and I have probably the most ambitious goals for this life.  I could probably do more as far as effort and time goes, but then I wouldn't be able to balance all of these lives.

2nd Life:  I am a student, slaving away in class rehearsals for random, terribly short-noticed projects and exams that weren't in the syllabus due to some retarded circumstances.  For those of you in my 405 class, you know exactly what I'm talking about.  This is where I am the least confident.  With everything else that I must do with my time (including time that I cannot claim as my own, which, unfortunately, is about 90% of my awake hours) I simply don't have enough time/energy/ability to put all I've got into my school work.  Unfortunately that has come back to bite me in my graduate school admission process.  Don't people understand that I usually spend about 9 hours a day total playing my flute, and I have a part time job?  I can't do the whole twice-as-much-time-out-of-class-as-in-class rule.  I simply don't have the time.  I could quit my job, but then I wouldn't be able to pay for a piano accompanist, flute competitions, flute maintenance, flute music, and not to mention some food every now and then.  I came to college to become a great flutist.  I did not come to college to be an average flute player who knows a lot about music theory.  Apparently, you have to play that game.  Goodbye sleep!

3rd Life: I am a TA.  I work as a tutor for physical science.  I grade tons of papers, give tons of reviews, and talk to tons of students about the same things over and over and over and over and over.  I am confident, energetic, and super popular.  All of the TAs are popular.  Think about it.  If what you have in your head is what is on that next big test, of course everyone wants to be your best friend.  I'm a musician, and actually don't know a whole lot of deep scientific principles, but I fool the students into thinking I'm super smart.  While I'm at work, I feel like I'm making a difference.  I don't feel like I'm failing at life in life #3 like I feel like in life #2 and sometimes life #1.  As soon as I leave the ESC each day, I walk into a much scarier world.

4th Life:  This is the life that most people call their "life."  Here lies my husband, church, family, friends, sleep, cooking, eating, and heaven forbid....I have a hobby wedged in here!  I do ballroom dancing.  Now, I can only squeeze out an hour a day to practice.  If I had it my way, I would spend at least 3 hours a day on this, but unfortunately even just one hour is almost costing me.  But I keep it in my fourth life, simply because without dancing, I would completely abandon life #1 like I almost did a few months ago.  I need this to keep me sane.  I need this to keep me happy.  I need this to help me to feel beautiful and confident.  Because without this life, I would not be happy enough to have the energy to trudge through lives #1 and #2.  Without lives #1 and #2, I would not have life #3.

These lives are all connected, and all mandatory for either my degree, my future career, my sanity, my health, and my happiness.

Life is a balancing act.  I know that I could be better at any given thing that I do, but there is simply not enough hours in a day.  Goodness, I wonder what being a mom will be like!  :)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Going Exploring

I feel like this year, more than in recent years, I am having enormous personal discoveries.  At first it was scary, because it provided so much opportunity for change.  Suddenly I have been presented with options--a fork in the road, if you will.  I have come to the conclusion that I don't really like those.

I don't think Alice in Wonderland did either.  We have all heard the Cheshire Cat story.  You know, the one that says "if-you-don't-know-where-you're-going-then-it-doesn't-matter-which-direction-you-choose"?  Yeah, that one.  

I mean, LOOK at this guy!  CREEPY!  I think that being in a situation like Alice gives us a certain uneasiness, and worry that we might choose the "wrong way."  Kind of like the uneasiness that we get from looking at this demented cat.

But the question that I think comes to our minds is "HOW do we figure out where we want to end up?"  It seems that there is a step that the Cheshire Cat didn't account for.

Sometimes I wish that I could have my entire life figured out, and that I could see some kind of sign or premonition of what I’m supposed to do with my life.  But that wouldn’t help me grow at all.  In fact, it would take away a lot of fun in exploring.  (Wholesome exploration, of course.)  I am experiencing a lot of changing mind, a lot of doubt, a lot of assurance that is followed by an experience that causes me to doubt again, and occasional precious moments of inspiration that let me know everything is going to be OK.  It is those times that I know that there is not THE “right” thing that I could do, there are SOME “right” things that I could do.  Plural.  I’m not looking for my husband here…I’ve already done that.  And I picked a great one.  I don’t have to choose just one thing, but I feel as though I should pursue fields that the Lord has given me talents in. 

With flute, I now see that for a very long time, I had a very thwarted mindset about a music career and how it was supposed to make me feel.  I thought that if it was “meant to be,” I was supposed to love it all the time, and that I would never imagine myself doing anything else.  I didn’t want to be that girl feeling like I’m looking through a glass window to a world of opportunity, without being able to experience life.  And I still don’t.  But I can see that if I have a LIFE outside of flute, if I pursue other things to the best of my ability, I can still enjoy pursuing the flute as well.  My LIFE is not flute.  My life is my God, my family, my husband, my friends, running, ballroom dancing, learning about computer science and nutrition, reading books, cooking, and the list is ever-growing!   I still don’t know if I will have a music career outside of giving private lessons, and I’m OK with that.  Timing has been one of the biggest stressors for me, along with the lack of said “freedom” to try out anything new.  Well, I’m trying out new things, and I see that I can do it.  Because I am taking a little time away from said “mindset” in that I cannot have a “life” outside of flute, I am more able to pay close attention to the Spirit to help me with my decisions.  And I'm able to enjoy performing again!  That is the only “sign” I need.

I still don't think I have it all figured out.  But what I'm realizing is that you have to more forward with a desire to learn and grow.  You have to choose something to do with your time, otherwise it will disappear.  Instead of being the girl who stands at the fork in the road and just sits there for years trying to figure it out, I'm going exploring!