Sometimes I feel like I stand out among my peers in the program I’m enrolled in as the one who’s doing this “just for fun”, or the one who has less at stake. People rarely ask me about my plans; certainly my teachers have only done so once or twice, early on, back when this was just an experiment. Back when my answer was “I like music and I never pursued it the way I wanted to, so I’m trying it out.” It was a low-stakes answer. Failure was still an option.
Except that if you met me a year and a half ago, even then it would’ve been clear that failure was never an option. From my second or third class I was fairly relentless in gathering the tools I needed to teach myself the things I lacked. (I’m actually kind of surprised any of my teachers can stand me; I can be really annoying when in pursuit of something I’ve decided matters.) I only took two courses that first semester, plus private not-for-credit lessons that I told myself I wasn’t ready to be judged on yet. That was true; I’m still not a fan of being judged, and I think I would have just withered under that kind of scrutiny that early on. But they became important really quickly, and even when I signed up for my second semester of classes with the rationale of “well, this certificate isn’t that many credits, and it won’t hurt me to pursue it even if it doesn’t go anywhere.”
And somewhere along the line, “even if it doesn’t go anywhere” stopped being an option. I realized I was more committed to this than I’ve been to most things in my life – certainly more than I ever was to theatre. Maybe that’s because theatre wasn’t as important to me, or wasn’t the best fit, and maybe it’s just that I grew up a little (a very little?) in between the time I was a theatre student and now. But I think I finally found the thing that clicks, and it’s music.
I guess it’s time I let other people know. I really want this, and it isn’t “just for fun” any more, even though sometimes it is fun. That makes it a big deal, and that makes it scary, but it’s been both of those for a while now and I’ve kept it… not a secret, but a little closer than I need to. It’s allowed to matter, and I’ve been doing myself a disservice every time I’ve shrugged and pretended it didn’t.