I realized something recently. Something of which I’m not terribly proud and made me reevaluate a great deal of my youth.
I haven’t touched my flute since October 2nd, 2010.
It’s been a full year since I even opened the case. I know the date exactly, as that was the day I was the music for my uncle’s wedding. I played for the ceremony, closed the case, and proceeded to watch the next twelve months bitch-slap me across several states. Yeah, it’s been a fun year.
I can’t even really give a reason. Part of it is just not having a place or a reason to play. Flimsy excuse I know. A true musician plays for the love of it, because she can’t imagine not playing every day. I’ve always needed a place and a reason; that is why I gave seven recitals in college and grad school. I needed a goal, a reason to open the case. My poor neighbor…I’ve barely met her, but I probably did her no favors with her parents. She’s a flute performance major at DePaul University, and in a conversation with her mom I was asked if I still played. Yeah, I probably made that poor girl’s insistence on music a leetle more difficult.
So do I still get to call myself a musician? A flutist? Nowadays I just say I have a background in music; it’s too humiliating to say I have a masters degree in flute performance but haven’t touched the instrument in a year. Yeah, seven years of higher education so well put to use. I’m not even sure I want to play anymore. It’s physically painful these days. My neck hurts, my jaw gets sore, my back gets all numb and tingly under my left shoulder blade. I used to play close to ten hours a day, and now ten minutes has me reaching for the ibuprofen and ice packs.
A full year without making music. It’s hard for me to accept.
I don’t know if I have it in me to claw my way back up to where I was.