My bassoonist friend sent me an email in regards to my latest updates and it provided a lot of food for thought. He wrote about how there are two types of people, those who "will be" and those who "are". Similarly there are two types of artists, the "apocalyptic" and the "integrated". The former are analysts who theorize and write about art and the latter are the actual artists who spend their time making art.
He feels that I am spending way too much time thinking about and planning to become an oboist and not enough time actually being one. I am getting caught up in making schedules that will leave me time for music instead of simply practicing as much as I can right now.
I certainly have a tendency to turn everything I do into a school project. Yet I know that what I love the very most about all things musical is playing with other people. My focus should be on improving at my instrument. The other things (e.g. familiarizing myself with the historical context of the music, analyzing pieces, reading about composers, etc.) should all be secondary.
His words struck a chord with me because before I got his email I was going to make a post asking why it is that I still procrastinate about practicing (even though I want this so badly). Once I start I am fine and I can go until my mouth gives out. Most of the times I want to continue beyond that. But actually starting my practice sessions is still very difficult. Suddenly there are several household chores that I remember need to get done.
I think that he's very perceptive and completely right about me spending more time than necessary planning. I am definitely one of those people who lived in the future. Someday I will have a successful career. Someday I will be in an orchestra. Someday I will be a mother. Recently I had made some strides towards appreciating the now more. I've entered a period of happiness in my life and that helped me enjoy today and worry less about tomorrow. However my progress has been slow and I do still spend inordinate amounts of time worrying about who I am to become. It's nice when someone from the outside can point things out to you in this way; I was only semi-aware of it.
I am wasting time preparing for tomorrow when I can be practicing today. It's just that practicing feels so tedious right now because I've had to basically start from scratch in order to fix my sound. And now I'm scared that I'm doing everything else wrong. I need to just focus on one thing at a time and eventually everything will fall into place.
This weekend I did have a mini victory. I spent two hours in a private reed making lesson. It was intense but I got a lot out of it. When I got home I still had some cane that was soaking so I decided to tie it up. After an hour's work I had a reed that was not leaking and that actually crowed!! This was my first time making something that close to finished. It's a bit honky and not quite in tune but the response it quite easy on it. Woohoo!
I AM an oboist. Right here. Right now.