I do it, and I do it big. Here's to not forgetting about it.

Freedom to Choose

“Joan. Not everyone is willing to make the sacrifice you are to make the music that you know you can make.”

The words of my piano teacher have been bouncing in my head since I last played for her a few days ago. At first, I just thought she was talking about practicing, as it can be bloody boring and tedious and not everyone is willing to sit and make it happen. Freaking duh. That’s why students quit piano lessons once they reach intermediate levels – if not before. That’s why students enter college and switch majors from music like, five seconds after arriving.

But what of we badasses who survive the hell that is being a music major?

I can only speak to one badass, of course. I managed to make it out of graduate school and the longer I’ve been separated from formal study, the more I want to learn and surround myself with music. Playing it, teaching it, studying it, ery’thang. The last time I had formal lessons before I decided to give a recital was 2009 while I was still a student. My last recital was in 2008. I’m doing this because I want to and that’s amazing. Perhaps this helps you to understand why I was a bit perplexed when my teacher was talking about sacrifice. “I love you, dear teacher, but I’ve been at this a while. I know it sucks quite a bit of the time,” I thought.

As you may already know, I’m quite charming. I also have a very large family. People like for me to spend time with them and I love quite a few of them. It hadn’t dawned on me just how often I turn down requests to hang out because I have to practice, train, or work.

This really isn’t one of those “OMG check me out, I’m soooooo busy!” kind of posts. I’m sure it’s coming across that way, but I swear that’s not my intent. I am not busy to show off – hell, I have to practice and train as I do because I’m working to suck less, hah! The sacrifice my teacher was speaking of has to do with choices. To choose to do anything is an inherent rejection of something else. I eat eggs for breakfast, that means I don’t have a shake. I train for triathlon, I don’t play soccer. I practice to perform – I have to make plans in advance to hang out. My life lacks spontaneity. I suppose I’ve become so accustomed to it that I stopped noticing.

I can’t have it all. Dammit.

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