Are we sick of revisiting the past yet? Here’s a winner from the Life [Comma] Etc archives I couldn’t bear to pass up.
We all have dreams.
For some, it’s curling up with a kitten and some popcorn and playing Batman Arkham City for 8-12 hours.
For other’s it’s a clean house.
For me, it is being really, really good at things without a lot of patience, practice, or planning.
So it might come as a shocker for you all when I auditioned for a certain Philharmonic orchestra (I was a solid violinist 10 years ago) and did not make it five minutes into the audition.
After the quiet feeling of desolation and humiliation, I moved into the phase of anger known as “Alcohol and Pizza”. The only thing that could save me from my embarrassment was to throw the most epic“I Wont Have Practice for Three Hours Every Monday Night” party with my husband and clean our music room.
Needless to say, it worked, even if I do avoid eye contact with my violin case a mere nine months later.
Speaking of nine months later, it took til now to realize just how weird the whole situation was.
Being upset and disappointed is definitely the logical reaction to getting cut from a team you want to be a part of, I know. But the irrational thing is that I was almost devastated.
Like, ashamed, upset.
So, I got to thinking. I want a lot of things.
We all want a lot of things.
At any given moment, we want a dream job, a shorter commute, or a healthier diet (or maybe just an ice cream cone). And when we can’t quite make it happen for ourselves, we get jealous of those who have those things. Jealous enough to get mad, maybe.
But what are we doing to get ourselves there, to that special place this other person gets to inhabit?
When it came to my audition, I shirked my work.
I might have played for an hour each week over the six months I told myself I was “training,” but I was only training in comparison to someone who doesn’t train at all.
When I showed up, sure I played better than I did three years ago, but was I back to my old talents (when I used to play up to two hours per day)? No. I simply did not make it a priority to play the instrument and invest in my skills and future as a member of their orchestra.
It is not illogical to want to be in an orchestra, but it is illogical to be drastically insulted and upset that I didn’t make it into an orchestra that I did not work for.
When you reach a fork in the road like this, you realize you need to give something up. Either I need to give up my two hours per day and invest it in rigorous practice, OR I need to give up my overwhelming desire to be a musician.
It’s that simple! (Even if it is difficult).
And it is beautiful because it translates to so many other things that I think about irrationally.
For example, I get mad at my commute regularly. But rationally, I chose to take this job, and I chose to live in a city 50 miles away.
Now sure, maybe those were not my ideal choices. But, if I wanted to prioritize and work hard enough, I would change that situation. (Update: I’ve since changed this situation!).
The same goes for eating habits, meditation habits, and thought processes. Relationships. Family. There are healthy versions of all of those (and unhealthy, believe me). But the irrational thing to do is to get mad when the situation doesn’t improve. The rational thing? Let go of anything you aren’t willing to work for.
Now… about my desire to be a debt-free/hot yogini/Paleo baker…