Riding the Eighty Foot Waves

{My hands are shaking. I swallow and adjust my music on my stand, slide my hand down my violin. I can feel the eyes of a hundred of my orchestra colleagues on me. I try to relax into the music, to think about my solo entrance. Deep down, I’m scared. Doubting. Thinking, Why on earth did I put myself through this?}

Back in February I made the hesitant, spontaneous decision to enter the concerto competition in my youth orchestra. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. And to be frank, I almost didn’t enter. But no matter what I did, that one thing my teach told me stuck in my head.

He told me, “I wouldn’t be encouraging you to enter except that deep down, I think there’s this small part of you…that wants to.”

I laughed. And admitted that he was right.

“And I think,” he continued, “there’s a part of you that wants to find out what it would be like to ride the eighty foot wave, just once. And if you want to, at all, I think you should.”

And so I embraced the fear and entered. Entered to take advantage of the opportunity to get outside my comfort zone. Entered to “take a whack at the eighty foot wave”, as my teacher said. To experience the adrenaline, the fear, the freedom.

And, somehow, I won.

I’m still not sure what riding that wave will feel like. So far it feels like a lot of work. A lot of drilling intricate passages for hours a day. I’ve rehearsed with the orchestra twice. Each time I’ve battled the overwhelming fears, the ever-present voice called Pride whispering, “you’re not good enough”.

Sometimes these feelings, the hecticity of my schedule, the hours of practice, the hours of doubt, make me wish that I hadn’t taken the leap.

But even if I could unmake the decision to enter, I wouldn’t. The fear could never make me forget the reason for my decision. I know that soon, I’ll get to ride the wave. I’ll be up on that stage. My hands will be shaking, I’ll be forcing myself to breathe. The adrenaline will be rushing through my veins. I’ll raise my bow, poised to attack the string.

And then…we’ll see.





2 thoughts on “Riding the Eighty Foot Waves

  1. Pingback: Moving On | Quintessential Ink

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