Tuesday, May 8, 2012
"May you live all the days of your life.."
from doing everything I wanted to do."
- Georgia O’Keefe (1887-1986)
I love this quote. It has long been one of my favorites, not necessarily because I am a Georgia O'Keefe enthusiast (although I do admire her work and how she moved away from irony and crticism in art and towards a freedom of expression and rich, sensuous images), but I love it because I resemble it. Having finished a portion of the New Orleans Civic Symphony rehearsal this evening, I'm aware that this is a perfect example of what I always dreamed of, yet never thought I would be able to accomplish. I'm kind of proud of myself, woohoo! Why? I have social anxiety and sometimes, being up in front of groups can be terrifying. Most folks tell me they would never have known that. I think I hide it relatively well for at least 50% of the time....
My mentor Larry Wyatt used to call me his "favorite shrinking violet"and I was so shy I would turn beet red when spoken to. I still deal with that occasionally and I still get nervous in large or new groups, but it is so much better than it used to be. I believe a certain amount of that is due to the fact that I take risks more now. I go ahead and jump in with both feet. I have lived long enough to make enough mistakes that trial and error doesn't scare me as much any more. I also have come to note that sometimes my sense of humor helps me "entertain" a large group. There is actually a fine line between extreme shyness and want of attention (center attention). I have met other conductors with this same set of circumstance.
So, how did I get over this? Quite simply....I haven't. I just keep on keeping on. I try my hardest not to let it stop me from doing things. Though I've been able to handle a career in teaching and conducting, have traveled in tons of countries by myself, and attend concert regularly by myself, I still am not comfortable with eating out by myself as often as other people seem to. One of my summer goals is to work on that. Having had some pretty awful experiences dining out solo, I prefer to eat with friends or to cook at home.
I live by "if you don't ask or try then you'll never know or experience" I also live by the belief that we are better for our experiences, good and bad. Life is what you make of it and I choose to make an adventure! :-) I know that I have this one life so I simply go forth since I cannot physically go backwards.....until certain aspects of Star Trek become available. (I would also like a Transporter and Replicator) Don't we all have a responsibility to use as much of this one life as humanly possible? Also, I see it as a point of logic. It makes more sense to do and /or try what you want to experience rather than not to do or try it. It makes me sad when people choose not to follow their dreams because they lack motivation or are too bound by what others will think of them. I've lived through that and it STINKS.
So, hurrah for triumphs! Hurrah for symphony orchestra! Hurrah for opportunities! I'll sign off with three more quotes I love and try to live by!
"May you live all the days of your life" - Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)
"Every man dies; not every man truly lives..." William Ross Wallace (1819-1881)
from Braveheart (Wallace's father) interestingly enough, after the earlier Wallace using the later Wallace's quote (above) "Your heart is free, have the courage to follow it"