Nina Simone has played a very important part in my life since February. I'm actually listening to the same song I was listening to the night I wrote my last post, but with a slightly different perspective on the meaning. In this cover of the song originally by Morris Albert, Nina Simone describes the desire to abandon heartbreak, and to forget about lovers of the past. I'd been forgotten about by a friend that night (not a huge deal - he forgot to pick me up for a concert we were carpooling to), so when I came across the performance it hit a raw patch. Over the following weeks I thought about the song more, and slowly imagined what it would be like if I had to go through that sort of heartache when it came to my own relationship.
Things began to get a little difficult in my life shortly after. I found myself having to work harder doing side gigs to keep up with bills because I was still traveling back and forth between Knoxville and Memphis. My emotional state began to deteriorate, and it felt like the world was crashing on top of me. After a couple of months of inner turmoil and debate, I realized I had to make a decision - would I get off the professional music train and move back to Memphis, or would I move my life to Knoxville where I could focus on my career, practice, and eventually win a bigger job somewhere.
Push came to shove, and I chose my career. There are many things I'll miss about my life in Memphis, but the biggest casualty was my relationship with my partner of 8.5 years. I met him when I was 19, so every adult memory and experience of my life is wrapped in memories of Andy. It seems to be common in the classical music world for musicians to sacrifice their initial romantic relationships. I'd seen this, but believed I would never have to make a choice like that. It seemed like every door was closing in my life, and I couldn't imagine leaving music on top of everything.
Since making the decision to leave everything and everyone back in Memphis, things have started to swing upward. My practice is back on track, I've been hired on as a writer on yet another website, and for the first time I'm feeling like I'm in control and responsible for my life completely. I'm preparing for a couple auditions that I'm feeling very confident about, and I look forward to the next chapter. It feels good to be a huge step closer to complete happiness.
As for Andy - I will always love him. He was an integral part of my growth as a person, and will always be near the core of who I am. Choosing myself over him was something I struggled with since my last post. Splitting myself in two was no longer an option, but sometimes I wonder what it'd be like if I'd chosen to sit in a cubicle in Memphis instead of playing bassoon. At this point it doesn't matter, because the decision is made. While getting over this hump has offered a huge relief, it still makes me sad that he may be sitting in front of the computer listening to the same song, trying to forget about his feelings of love. Maybe life will bring us back together one day, maybe it won't. Until then I'm going to work my hardest to continue to fulfill what I consider to be my destiny, and to enjoy everything (and everyone) that comes my way.
"Great achievement is usually born of great sacrifice, and is never the result of selfishness."