I was not mentally prepared for my trip to be a guest artist at a festival in Utah this past week, and that kicked my worry gene into high gear. I’ve not felt like myself lately as I’ve worked on trying to reduce my ever-increasing anxiety and battle a bout of depression. The trip was made more challenging yet by the rotator cuff I tore in Dan’s yoga class a couple of days prior to leaving. Only I can injure myself while trying to de-stress. Life has to go on however, so I pledged to do my very best and hopped on the plane to Salt Lake City.
Taken at Robert Redford’s Sundance Resort.
I’d been to Utah twice before for conferences, but seeing the beauty and majesty of the snow-capped mountains never fails to take my breath away. I was fortunate that the wonderful man from the music company who was assigned to take care of me had lived in the area for many years and drove me up into the mountains for lunch and to enjoy the amazing views.
Even though I felt off, I was grateful that when I did the masterclasses and presentations I clicked into teacher mode, a mode solidified by years and years of practice. The audiences were very receptive and I felt really good about everything. I always amaze myself, worrying myself into a tizzy, making mountains out of molehills over and over again. When will I ever learn to let go of the worry and stress and trust in the process?
The Silver Fork Cafe in Big Cottonwood Canyon. Notice the snow outside the window. Amazing food, views, and atmosphere.
Flying out of Salt Lake City…
I talked with my therapist this week about the anxiety surrounding work. She began to suggest reconnecting with my passion and my love for what I do, but I had to stop her. I still have great passion for what I do and I love my job and am eternally grateful to be doing what I love each and every day. I’ve found my Dharma. She still suggested a writing prompt, a ‘what if?’ scenario of what I might have done differently in my life if I hadn’t been a musician and teacher. That truly is a tough question to ponder.
With the amazing Chad Burrow at the festival.
The only other career I ever considered as a young child was to become a veterinarian, but when we had to put the family dog down I knew I could never do that. Once I discovered clarinet and band and orchestra, that was it for me. I knew with every fiber of my being that this was what I was meant to do, to be. I have never regretted it for one moment. I will never be wealthy as a musician, but every single day I get to play my instrument, teach wonderful students, and learn new music, new techniques, new information. That’s what I love about it- no matter how much you practice, you can always improve something. A beautiful recital by Chad Burrow of the University of Michigan.
All I know is that I will learn to handle and conquer the mountains and molehills of anxiety and stress; I could never be happy without music in my life, without the joy of teaching and performing. How lucky I am to have known that from such an early age. And how lucky I am to still feel such passion for what I have dedicated my life to.