September 28th, 2001


The Musician In Me

CHYX has been awake for like not even 24 hours and we've already got 13 members, only three of which are me! Yeah!

Cello story time. You knew it was coming, c'mon, my life story via LiveJournal wouldn't be complete without my cello story.

It's my junior year of high school and I'm walking home like always, only this time I'm sobbing my eyes out because once again I've flubbed up a choir audition. Yeah, it was stupid, I was in choir every year of high school and junior high, it was cool when we were actually singing, we'd bring out Palestrina or Mozart and go at it and I was so happy. But the rest of it was the bitchy politics that come out of organizations run by too many women. I'm a woman, trust me, I didn't mean to offend my entire sex with that comment.

So I'm upset because my entire musical experience I wanted to feel so passionate about is ruined by politics, makeup, sequined dresses, and dance numbers. Ooh I hate people sometimes! Then it strikes me that I'd wanted to be in the orchestra all my life because they're musical and beautiful but focused on the technical aspects of it, not being bitchy.

I've got this pattern in my life that if I wait three days before finding out my world is destroyed, ideas come up that solve everything. It's one of those blessings optimists get, I've come to the conclusion that the only reason anyone's life should suck for more than three days are 1) terminal illness 2) chemical imbalance 3) oppresive authorities. I've never had any of those, so I'm okay. My new thought was that I really really needed to learn to play the cello.

My parents said I was crazy and it would never fly, but talk to the orchestra director about it anyway, might as well get shot down by someone with authority. Well the orchestra director didn't shoot me down, she thought it sounded great. I could read music already and played guitar, how far off could cello be? She'd even check out one for me to learn on over the summer and give me the name of another senior who gave lessons to other beginners (most of whom were 8 years younger than me, but who's counting?)

I did this to prove that I could be a real musician. I did it to prove I was better than all that choir bullshit. And I did it to prove that it wasn't to late for me to start things - it's never too late to learn something new if you're determined enough to tackle it.

Long story short: 30 minute cello lessons were more than worth the $10 a week I paid for them. Joining the school orchestra was well worth the hours I had to spend practicing the songs. Playing the cello was everything I could have hoped for and more, it's truly an experience I'll never forget. And the end of the school year, I had to turn in my instrument and send my short lived career on an indefinate vacation; a nice cello costs at least $2000 and there were other things (like college) that money had to go to. I might go back some day, I haven't decided yet, go back and lose myself in a sea of vibrating notes and perfect flowing melodies. In the meantime, I feel a lot better about myself after spending just that one year learning what music was to orchestra students and what it should have always been for me.

You know what almost kept me from playing the cello? The idea that I was too old to start something. At 17, I thought I'd missed my chance. And that's what got me started, I realized that if I feel like I've missed these big ships at 17, what else is going to happen in life? I'll be too old for everything, it's all downhill from here. So I had to learn to start something new even if I felt like I was too old. Yes, most first-time cello students are 12. I was different. But I got my year.