Friday, March 20, 2015

Late March

As Spring Break week comes to a close I realize all of the things I've finally completed and those that somehow slipped my mind.

Of course, there's always too many things to practice. Even if there aren't deadlines, once I start wondering about what to play I suddenly realize that I have too many projects floating around in the corner cobwebs of my brain. The blessing and the curse of the creative mind, I suppose.

I found out yesterday that I did not advance to the Semi-Final round of the Ima Hogg Competition, and to be honest - I'm relieved. I would have needed to memorize two new concerti and fly to Texas to play them. Eek! I'm also relieved because now I don't have to choose between a competition and attending the wedding of two of the most special people on the planet. Honestly, though, I was leaning towards the wedding even if I made it into the Semi-Finals. My spirit would have been too sad to have missed it. And I don't even like weddings....that's just how much I love them.

Part of me is a bit irked that I spent weeks learning these concerti, but now I realize that I have a cool opportunity in front of me: I'm going to make a video of the first Koppel concerto in which I play the piano reduction and the solo part. It's going to be a grand adventure and might make me hate the piece by the end of the process, but I'm excited about it. I figure not everybody could or would want to do this, but since I think it sounds fun - why not?! :)

I've also decided against entering two of the other competitions I talked about. Since I don't want to defame either of them I won't mention their names, but one of them didn't seem particularly worth winning (requiring purchase of a plane ticket and no prize other than recognition) and the other has similar stipulations as Ima Hogg: a plane ticket for you and an accompanist just to have the opportunity to finish competing. One of the competitions I'll go for next year, without a doubt, now that I have a better idea of the requirements and what it would take to even be considered.

Being rejected from Ima Hogg, I also realized that I feel like I should be entering these competitions. but don't know if I actually want to.  On some level it's exactly what I should be doing as you only get one shot at this life, right? But on the other hand, I realized that there are things I do simply because I love to do them, not because I should do them, like write. I've always loved writing, even in school. I hated writing stupid essays about stupid topics, (persuasive essays...gross), but I love the process of getting thoughts out of my brain and then editing them so that others can hopefully exactly understand exactly what I mean by them.

It's a small thing, of course, people sharing an essay on Facebook, as happened with my most recent blog post. But it's also really cool, as it means that they understand what I'm trying to say. It fuels the confidence and helps me to realize that thoughts are valid and worth sharing. No sense in judging your own opinions and thoughts, Laurel. Other people will do that for you, anyway.

There's a sense of change in the air here in Laurelworld. We feel better - like we're finding the direction we're supposed to go. Hopefully it lasts and isn't as short-lived as other waves of genius...but we'll cross that bridge when we get to it, yeah? It's the first day of spring and there are many potential areas of growth: for me, for my playing, for husband, for the self-esteem. We made it through winter and now we get to enjoy the arrival of warmer climates. (And yes, I mean that metaphorically, too.)

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