Friday, March 25, 2011
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth.
I'm standing at my crossroads, and I'm surprised by the angst rising almost daily in my chest during the last couple of weeks. Practicing four hours a day is difficult in the best of times, and right now doesn't feel like the best of times.
What do I want? I want to take the path of music, of hard work, of discovery, to be a mother, a wife, and a musician. And at the same time I want to give up, to duck my head and say "Never mind," to learn to love the quieter life, to spend more time in service, in homemaking, in relationship-building.
I thought I knew which path to take, which path was intended for me. And now I'm torn. David and I have, after long discussion and thought and prayer, decided I will start teaching again to help make ends meet. This is exciting to me. I've been waiting for it to be right to teach again. I love teaching. I love the long relationships I build with students and families. I love training young musicians, introducing them to the joys of music making.
But how (HOW????) can I add one more thing to my already overwhelming load and to the load of my family? Does this mean I turn back, finding my way to the path I left three years ago? Or do I find a way to gain the strength I need to continue down this already rocky, already steep, but somehow exhilarating path?
I have often wished to have the ability to live two (or ten) lives simultaneously, but rarely as intensely as I wish it now. I want to be a stay-at-home mom with all the flexibility and freedom this life offers. I want to be a pianist, with all the richness and depth and art that life offers. (I'd also like to be rich and have people cook and clean for me, but I don't know how I'd achieve that in any imagined life.)
I also wish I had three or four or five more hours a day, and I thought I could find some time by sleeping less, but I already find myself falling asleep at the keyboard almost every night. Last night I tried to run my program. When I was halfway through the Chopin, my eyes closed and I nodded off. When I woke up, I realized that not only had I fallen asleep again, but I'd skipped an entire movement of the Beethoven. Not the best quality practicing. (I also don't suggest less sleep when driving is so much a part of your daily life. I'm pretty sure it's not safe to fall asleep at stoplights.)
I'm praying constantly for guidance, but the heavens seem closed. Is that because I've already had all the revelation I need, and I should just stay the course? I don't know. But the night is drawing near and I need to choose my path. I can't just stay here waiting at the crossroads or my choice will be made for me.