The proverbial wall

I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve hit it. It’s not from an overload of things to do (this month I could use PLENTY more to do!), but from preparing for an audition. It’s an exhausting process. Hours upon hours of work on the assigned excerpts and concerto movements for a potential twenty minutes of listening to be judged by. And that’s a mere POTENTIAL, mind you – sometimes you’re lucky to get a full five minutes of attention from an audition panel.

I’ve done plenty. Big orchestras, small orchestras, and I’ve won and lost quite enough, thank you. And I usually hit this feeling somewhere in the process, but it hasn’t quite hit me as hard as it has this time around. The feeling of, whyyyyyy exactly am I doing this?

Logically, I can point out all the reasons why. It’s a position that I really want. I would make more money. It would be a much-needed boost to my career to win. And yet even these reasons aren’t always enough to get me over the hump. I told myself today that practicing may have to wait until our very dirty kitchen is straightened up. Well, now it’s darn right sparkly. And the sudden urge to work out those notes for today is simply not there.

I’m always angry with myself when one of those burnout phases approaches. I tell myself that 28 is too young to be burnt out. That I’m not working nearly as much as others out there who have managed to stave off the burnout thus far. And that even though the only person I could possibly disappoint is myself, I take my own disappointments pretty darn hard. I haven’t really been allowed to not live up to my own expectations. I’ve had plenty of music teachers push me in the past, but I can safely say that none of them held the burden of someday being only mediocre over my head nearly as much as I have.

I know this will pass. A moment of inspiration will hit, or I’ll wake up to a surprisingly lovely May day tomorrow and take flight. Until then, however, I think the best I can do for myself is to relax. I don’t have many days left until the audition, but it’s okay to let go of today.


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