All of these things are constantly on my mind these days. Which, from what I can gather, is probably a good thing (for my future) while also extremely tedious (in the meanwhile). I can’t speak for the non-musicians out there, but I can for the (27 year old) musicians I know, and I have to say, we have a lot of tough decisions to make at this age.
With simply the pure intention of finding a healthy balance between some kind of artistic satiation, personal fulfillment, and all the other stuff like love, money, family and friends, I’ve considered so many different scenarios for myself in the past two months, it makes my head spin. Full disclosure(!) I’ve thought about slicing my teaching load in half to become a full time nanny, moving to a completely new city to start something from the ground up, and I even applied for a full-time administrative job (which I didn’t get). Whoa. What in the world is happening to me?!?!
Of course, there is one HUGE factor in all of this, which is the fact that I CAN’T PLAY THE VIOLA .(Side rant: It’s so ridiculous — I feel like I’m suspended in this perpetual land of limbo, where I don’t know what to tell myself. If I choose to think about how I will get better in the future, I feel frustrated by the waiting game. And if choose to accept my current state, I’m unfulfilled by what I have to show for my life currently, even though I love my teaching. Not being able to play seriously affects my income, and my happiness. And makes me write pissy blog posts like this! Bah!!)
But nevermind that. If I look around at some of my wonderful musicians friends, we’re all finding a way to make our crazy and challenging lives work. Giving and taking, always. Maybe you have to live somewhere that’s ideal for your partner, but not for you — but your partner is the most incredible human being you know and is so totally worth it. Maybe you have to teach late five days a week — but when you finally leave your teaching job each night, its with a better feeling than when you first began. Or MAYBE, you can only afford an apartment where your bedroom has (1) stupid outlet in it, but you know that one day, ONE DAY, you will perform Mozart K. 387 with some of your best friends for an audience, and it will feel better than anything else in life ever could.
“Singers and Musicians are some of the most driven, courageous people on the face of the earth. They deal with more day-to-day rejection in one year than most people do in a lifetime. Every day, they face the financial challenge of living a freelance lifestyle, the disrespect of people who think they should get real jobs, and their own fear that they’ll never work again. Every day, they have to ignore the possibility that the vision they have dedicated their lives to is a pipe dream. With every note, they stretch themselves, emotionally and physically, risking criticism and judgment. With every passing year, many of them watch as the other people their age achieve the predictable milestones of normal life – the car, the family, the house, the nest egg. Why? Because musicians and singers are willing to give their entire lives to a moment – to that melody, that lyric, that chord, or that interpretation that will stir the audience’s soul. Singers and Musicians are beings who have tasted life’s nectar in that crystal moment when they poured out their creative spirit and touched another’s heart. In that instant, they were as close to magic, God, and perfection as anyone could ever be. And in their own hearts, they know that to dedicate oneself to that moment is worth a thousand lifetimes.”- David Ackert, LA Times