Thursday, December 7, 2017

Finish the Sentence and Defeat the Demons.

I am one big ole hypocrite...

There, I admit it.

Here I sit, putting on airs of being the bastion of positivity on this blog...having my classmates always coming to me to be the word of encouragement (looking at YOU, Lilah) and...truth be told...


   It's simple. I put a ton of pressure on myself and spend way too much time in my own head. I live or die on every single note; let alone every performance. I'm aware of the risk I'm taking and it has creeped into my head and sits there lurking 24 hours a day. It decided to hop down off the bookshelf in my brain and tapdance on my ego during last night's lesson . At the age of 47, a combination of exhaustion, fear, frustration, and health issues took over and for the first time I can remember I cried in a lesson. Mark was great and was as much counselor as professor but I left with my tail between my legs.

   This morning's practice session wasn't much better. I was dropping notes, missing things I shouldn't, getting more and more frustrated and not able to calm myself. Furthermore I was too stubborn to do the very thing I tell y'all to do and walk away. Finally, I was to the point where I couldn't play the opening two measures of Ibert's Concerino da Camera cleanly because my left hand was just so tight and because I was just so angry and frustrated with myself. I realized where I was, put my horn up, and went to get lunch.

It was on the walk to lunch that I had the worst thought and then what alcoholics call 'a moment of clarity'.

The worst-  " Why the **** did you think you could do this?! You will NEVER make it as a saxophonist! NEVER!"

The moment of clarity began with one word--- "UNLESS"

"Unless you can learn to relax and work through these sticking points, in which case you'll be just fine so work on those this afternoon".

Wow. That was a simple answer. That one word, UNLESS, just changes everything.

"You will NEVER lose weight.....unless you improve your eating habits and exercise."
"I'll NEVER be able to afford that car....unless I stop going to the bar every weekend and lay off the new video game purchase every other week."

Now, does this choice 100% guarantee that I am going to have a fabulous jury on Monday and that I'm going to be a huge success in music?


However, do you know what it does do? It puts the proverbial ball back in my court. It gives ME the control again.

I'm going to take my 'unless' and head back to the practice room to knock my demons out of the way.

Find your demon beating word
Finish your sentence
Get it done.