Musings on the probability of success

Today has been long and exhausting so far.

I had my choral ensemble placement audition today. I sound like crap, by the way. The humidifier I bought at Target was only on for about a half hour before I had to leave. My throat hurts. My head hurts. I’m not “sick,” yet, per se, but I sound terrible.

Being in that room made me want to cry. I know sol fege. But I sang do-re-mi-fa-sol-fa: and the ending note ascended. It should have been la. I wouldn’t be surprised, honestly, if the grad students and professors in the room (there were five) simply noted down that I should go back home. It was so not my best, but it was all I could do at the time. Competing with stupidly paralyzing nerves and my own lack of knowledge just exhausts me. That’s why I’m glad this isn’t a cutthroat place. If people were outright mean in addition to outstandingly talented, I would be screwed.

Apparently they told Rachael (who auditioned after me) that she sounds like a voice who will really succeed at Eastman. I (obviously) was told no such thing.

That’s really cool they told her that, and as I was talking to John and Tong I heard her and got distracted because it was so pretty. And it was only vocalizing.

But now I’m wondering what it would be like to fail. The parasitic leeching doubt’s just there, and, well… two years of previous classical study might not cut it. It wasn’t intensive study, either. I was part-timing it previously to this week.

Shouldn’t giving it everything matter, though? I know I’m practically infantile in my knowledge of classical music and opera. I get it, okay? But I want to learn. The desperate nerd in me is trying to drag classes closer so I can go and get some homework. The obsessive musician is clamoring for my lesson tomorrow so I can get feedback and have a concrete reason to work in a practice room for the maximum hours allotted a day like I really, really want to.

But on the other hand, what if I’m not qualified to be here? I’ve been telling myself, they’ll teach me. They’ll teach me. They won’t judge me for what I don’t know, they won’t hate me because I’m ignorant. Students or faculty, anyone I respect and/or admire for who they are or what they do, won’t think I shouldn’t be here because I’m still learning what they were proficient at years ago.

I don’t want to be considered out of the running for success simply because right now I don’t know anything. If I am willing to learn, isn’t that important? If I crave the knowledge I’ve seen in action here, if I want it and will reach for it with all that I am, won’t that factor in?

If the thought of failing is breaking my heart, shouldn’t that mean something?

This doesn't really lighten the mood for me, but he is my new humidifier/penguin

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ESM! ESM!

So here’s what’s up with college. Specifically, Eastman.

IT. IS. AMAZING.

It sucks being away from my family. I really miss them. Like, I Really Miss Them.

But GOD. I am at this school, this premier institution with a brilliant faculty and astonishingly friendly students. I know at least half of my class by name, if not name and major. My Big Sib is the greatest most outrageously busy yet successful person I think I may have ever met. Currently I’m enjoying a really excellent balance between rushing around and downtime. I’ve signed up for classes, which begin Monday. I’m going on a tour of Rochester tomorrow with some of the most talented, levelheaded and sociable individuals I have ever had the pleasure to meet, then I’m going to a Redwings game.

And I have only been here almost five days.

It’s unbelievable.

I know learning and classes will keep my occupied. I’m well aware that, at times, I’ll be a completely antisocial hermit with grungy hair and extra black coffee, hoarded in my dorm, locking Lucy out. But I also know that, with the right harmony in place*, a premier experience here will be mine. Not exaggerating here: the most freaking phenomenal time of my life is here. I’ve thought about it and waited and worried and waited some more, anxious and tense and tweaking out.

Waiting’s done. It’s here. And whether I was qualified to be here or not, I’m here now.

I’m going to grab this time with all I’ve got and hold it close, savor it. Then I’ll make it mine like no tomorrow because really, my life is what I make it now. I’m making it successful by being here, making it musical by living here. And making it something I’ll treasure for the rest of my life by pulling every sparkling golden note from each moment I’m here.

The ESM lobby.


*Music pun