I’ve been gone for a long time.
Three things happened to me in the last few months:
1) I almost quit graduate school
2) I realized that this profession can drive you insane
3) No one is right all the time. Including them, and including me
I remember my first month at UNCO. I was a freshman, and as a freshman bassoon student, you begin to gather reed tools that you didn’t know you needed until you needed them. I needed files. You know…those needle files you use to scrape down the tip that makes things go? Yeah. So, I asked the two sophomore boys where they had bought their files from. One of the boys I had known since I was 10. He and I had the same bassoon teacher in the same small town, and now we were in college together.
He said, “I would tell you where I got mine, but we are competition now, and you should have to find out for yourself.” I ended up asking someone else, and got the files, and everything was fine. But I never forgot that. Ever. Isn’t it weird the stuff that sticks in your head?
Well, this summer, I started getting all the information for my dissertation, and everyone kept asking me what it was about. I didn’t want to tell anyone, because I was super afraid they would steal my idea and beat me to the punch. Granted, its not entirely far fetched for academics to steal ideas. But I didn’t even want to tell the people who weren’t bassoonists, and weren’t studying anything closely related to my dissertation. The secrecy joined with the pressures of school kind of started to get to me. Also, I started to feel competitive, but it started by feeling like everyone was winning but me. I started to feel out of the loop, and a little broken in the process.
I also then had a professor tell me not to tell people about the new music I was playing, because then that would take gigs from me, someday. Which, as we know….is literally the opposite of what I was doing. I am telling EVERYONE about the pieces I am in love with. So I had a serious crisis of faith with this blog.
About halfway through the summer, shortly after I wrote the last BBWE, I considered leaving everything, jumping ship, and moving back to the east coast, Colorado, Los Angeles, or somewhere that wasn’t here. I was losing it. I felt out of control of my own destiny. When you can see the light at the end of the tunnel….what’s on the other side of the light? It’s too bright to see what will happen, and that scared the shit out of me. I’ve seriously never been out of school, and I know some of you are reading this and are like “oh jeeze….get it together”, and I totes agree, but it really was a scary moment for me. It still is. When I get that terminal diploma, and the whole thing…I don’t know what’s going to happen from there, and I’m still transitioning from the “Holy shit” stage to the “Something new is going to happen!” stage.
But I decided none of this matters, and I still get positive feedback about my blog all the time. And personally, I like this blog, and I like what I do with it. I’m still insane with school, and I really feel like my honest feelings will never be addressed by the professors around me. But I will live, and I will graduate, come hell or high water (as my mother always says)
Do I still kind of want to quit and run away? Kind of, but I think it’s a natural part of the growing process.
As soon as I get my topic proposal in, I will tell people about my dissertation. Until then, I will keep writing my blog, and talking about all the new bassoon music around us. I will keep writing my dissertation, and carry on for the time being. I have a recital to prepare, and lots of music to write about and learn.
At heart, I am just a bassoonist fascinated and passionate about music, and I hope I convey that with a truer heart than I’ve had in the past few months.