And you know the crazy thing? I wasn't even the least bit nervous.
Twentyhmphahemcoughcoughblah-something years ago I would have been on bathroom visit #12, wiping the sweat from my palms lest I leave a squidgy pool on the piano keys for the next performer, barely able to breathe, the anxiety rising from my gut agonizingly slowly, threatening to exit through my mouth in a blood-curdling shriek.
And this time?
Actually, that, in itself, was almost enough to make me nervous. Why the hell wasn't I feeling afraid? I knew there would be mistakes, that was a given. I knew I'd be playing before and after some incredible pianists, most of whom never actually stopped playing, as I and my partner had for such an extended period of time. And not only that, but I had friends and family there to watch!! 3 friends, two of whom I've stayed close to since high school, my father, my step-mother, my husband and my daughter were in attendance.
And no nerves.
My step-mother had some really good insight into that, though. She said, "You're a mom. Some things just aren't worth worrying about, and you've learned to prioritize them." Now why didn't I think of that? I think she hit the nail on the head. So much has gone on over the last twentyhmphahemcoughcoughblah-something years that I've learned to be comfortable in my own skin, to not care so much about what other people think of me, and to realize that fun things can and should be fun, and my child is my biggest priority, deserving of all of my real worry or concern. Ha, that sounded weird, but I think you get me.
And it was fun. Yes, there were mistakes. Did they matter? Not a bit. It was exhiliarating, and Samantha woke from her nap in Daddy's arms just in time to watch me, clapping and cheering, her big, beautiful smile the most perfect thing to greet me as I returned to my seat.
Afterwards we went to dinner with my parents, then stayed the night at a Center City hotel with an 18th floor view of the neon signage beconing people from near and far to the South Philly corner cheesesteak rivals, Geno's and Pat's (personally, I've always prefered Jim's at 4th and South, even after barfing one up with a stomach bug, next door at the TLA, watching the movie Toxic Avenger when I was in high school...ah, the memories...). I'd forgotten how much I loved Philly and how much kinship I feel with its narrow streets, funky architecture and hometown pride.
Note to self: Must do this again.
|My partner and I, practicing at my teacher's studio in New Jersey. Sammi, playing with the puppy. :-) (Don't worry, I changed my shoes from Converse to something dressier, more befitting of the occasion...)|