Monday, September 06, 2004

insomnia blog

I'm up late with the intention of staying up- something, to be honest, I've never tried to do with any sort of real effort. Once, sophomore year, I stayed up late to finish my Anthropology project but still went to bed around 3 or 4 after half-assing every answer and progressively finding it harder and harder to give a shit about hypothetical Native American pottery.

Jerry does this every now and again, and it always baffled me. Even now, after having thought about it a little more, I don't think I can make it all night. Fatigue's setting in- but the minute I go back upstairs to sleep these doubts I thought I'd put to rest will come swirling back into my head and pop my eyes back open.

For some reason tonight I was panicking about grad school- about how I didn't get into Michigan in particular. How the fact that I didn't contact Professor Jackson soon enough after my audition to say how much I'd like to attend might have influenced his decision to not accept me. What I could have been doing right now instead of Texas- brass quintets, orchestra rehearsals, musician gatherings. Feeling like my music career was actually going somewhere. Taking classes and having work to do.

Things are starting to take off with lessons, and if I put enough effort into it, I can have similar opportunities out here as far as music and performance go. There's plenty of worthwhile people to take lessons from, there are people my age teaching that would be great for chamber work, there are gigs to be had. It was obvious to me long before that I missed the community of a music school, but for some reason it became almost painful tonight. I have to decide- no, I have to force myself- to be my own musician and create my own drive, but that's never been something I've been particularly good at. What do I want from music? What are my goals? Right now I think I'm just floating around on what little remains of my talent, but it's going to dry up soon and where will I be?

There is this quote wandering around my head- I think I read it in a Vonnegut novel- about a mother telling a maestro that her son would be a great piano player if he'd only practice, to which the maestro replied, "ma'am, if he were a great piano player you wouldn't be able to stop him practicing." Something like that. It haunts me.

I can't coherently analyze everything I'm thinking right now and put it into blog form, so like everything else in my life it appears that I will be leaving this entry unfinished. I'm torn between dissecting 'ambition' as a social concept (and is analyzing that just a coverup for my own failure to embrace hard work and success?) and contemplating the various other things I feel are true happiness (a circle of friends, kittens, books to read, activism).

I think too much. I need to do more. Start plotting the outcomes and stop thinking about the intangibles. Thing is, when have any of you ever known me to stop thinking and get down to business? I live in my head (it's warm and cozy, there's a hot meal on the stove) and I always have; the only things that can get me out are constants- places I have to be, things I have to do, etc. I don't have a lot of that right now, and while I don't think about it so much in the daytime, it builds up and turns into insomnia at night.

It's frustrating to think that I used to want certain things so much, that back before I went to college it was straight to the top and no looking back for me. Did I do something wrong, did I get turned around in the middle somewhere, or did I just realize that there are other things more important? Should I stop paying attention to what my head feeds me at night, or does it belie a greater need for introspective into my life's path? Why the hell am I still awake?

In the morning, let's all laugh at this, shall we?