Over this weekend I've found myself getting more and more tense about starting orchestra again and starting lessons with my regular teacher again. We had some run-ins over the past year, he and I; I felt I could never play well enough or progress quickly enough to please him, and took everything he said (every criticism, anyway) to heart.
Over the summer I had a lot of fun playing and learning and messing up and doing all of this again and again, so I was really dismayed to see that mood dissipate and be replaced by dread. So despite my loathing of all things New Age, I thought I'd make a list of things that were cool when I was ok over the summer:
- playing was fun!
- mistakes were just mistakes, not evidence of character flaws.
- Sometimes my mistakes were really funny.
- I learned a whole bunch of new ways to go at mistakes and try to correct them.
- I was much more in control over the sound I made, and comfortable enough to fool around with different sounds
- I was totally able to accept that I was a beginner, not accomplished at all, just doing the best I could and trying to get better. This was a no-brainer; I didn't even have to think it consciously.
- The whole impostor-syndrome thing was absent
- As corny as it sounds: I realized it's a journey, not (just) a destination.
There, I feel better. Really, I do. Sometimes this New Age stuff does work.