"To love another is to see the face of God."
Our Little Family of Three
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
A Dream of Mine
Let me tell you about a dream I've been dreaming up for some time now. It's really quite simple. Although some would say it's very unlikely to happen.
Once upon a time there was this girl who went back to school and declared her major as Music Education. This girl, we'll call her Adrienne, decided to major in music because she had a dream of auditioning for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir - which she was told was pretty intense. So, studying music is exactly what she did and has done for the last three years.
As Adrienne continued on this musical journey her dream slowly changed. Instead of being in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir her dream became similar to the dreams of most other musicians: the dream of being a performer. Adrienne imagined the incredible rush one could only get when so emotionally, physically and mentally involved with music. Adrienne came to recognize the POWER music held, power unlike anything else in this world. Adrienne came to see how thoroughly music could connect people.
Well, this past semester Adrienne decided to prepare for a recital. Not just any recital but her first recital. There were lots of hours and days spent with her pieces. Weeks of coming to understand what the music was expressing, how to pronounce the words (because when putting on a recital the singer must sing in multiple languages), memorizing, reviewing and listening. Money was spent paying an accompanist, creating, printing, and mailing invitations. There were some seriously down days, er - weeks, because Adrienne got quite sick during the semester and was sick for eight long weeks leading up to her recital.
The day finally arrived. This was her chance to, not just sing, but to perform.
So, what happened? I'll tell you but not in third person. ;)
I woke up Tuesday, November 29th feeling quite anxious. Here I had spent all this time and money preparing and now it was the big day. I honestly questioned what I had done...was I going to leave my audience disappointed and bored? I even dreamt about my recital Monday night. Okay, they weren't dreams, more like nightmares. Everything that could possibly go wrong went wrong. As soon as I calmed down a bit (still in bed, mind you) I text Trav and told him I needed him to give me a priesthood blessing when he got home from work.
Fast-forward a few hours and you find me at home, sitting on my floor, writing thank you cards to the many wonderful people involved. I really had such a wonderful group of people who willingly shared their talents and time that night. I wrote 11 thank yous...I could have easily written more.
When Travis came home we closed our door and he laid his hands on my head. Through the power of the priesthood he gave me a blessing of comfort, of peace, and for some specific blessings I felt I needed regarding my recital about to take place in a few short hours.
By 6:30 I was dressed, at the Library, ready to go! I still had a half hour before go-time, so I gathered my willing friends and reviewed the order of the program, how I wanted things to flow, what sort of an environment I was going for, etc. It was really interesting because my nerves were nearly nonexistent. I wasn't shaky or "freaking out" in the least. I was calm as could be and I credit that to the blessing Travis gave me earlier. I could not have done that recital without Heavenly Father's help and THAT'S THE TRUTH.
My voice teacher, Serena, saw me talking to everyone and chastised me saying, "You should be sitting, trying to breathe and calm down!" I told her I would sit as soon as I was done talking with everyone. Some of the other students stared at me in shock. Their eyes said what they didn't, "You don't seem to be edgy at all! Why is she telling you to sit and calm down?!" I simply smiled and kept going. After Serena got after me three times I decided I should go sit down to keep HER calm. Lol.
As soon as I made my way to my chair, Serena, again, came over to me and chastised me for not taking care of myself. I apologized (no need to cause tension or drama just before starting what I'd been dreaming of all semester - plus I knew she was after me because she cares about me so much). Serena then came up to me, hugged me and told me she was really emotional. We then prayed together.
Honestly, Serena is so much more to me than a voice teacher. She is my dear friend. I love that woman. I respect that woman. She is incredible.
Just as Serena was introducing the program, I felt I should say one more prayer, alone. I quietly bowed my head and told Heavenly Father how hard I worked for this. I told him I needed specific blessings for this recital and I justified my asking for those blessings. I then stood up and walked on "stage" with my amazing accompanist, Aaron, and my page turner, Brandy. From there it's a mad rush of adrenaline, FUN, excitement, thrills, and my dream of performing coming true.
An hour and a half later I was done. At my last note I felt such an overwhelming burst of gratitude. Gratitude for the blessing of music in my life. Gratitude for Serena, my parents, my siblings, my incredible husband, my friends, my neighbors, my extended family. All these people spent their evening with me. They came to support me. Why am I so lucky?!
I remember looking to the back of the library as I finished my last song. It was quite humbling to see people leap from their chairs. I received a standing ovation...I didn't dare dream I'd get that. Wow, me?! A standing ovation?! And then they kept clapping! I had gone off stage and was hugging & dancing in the back with my accompanist and page-turner when my accompanist, Aaron, turned me back to face the stage and said, "Um, I think they want you to come back out." THEY WERE STILL CLAPPING! For me!? What a humbling experience. What a dream come true. "My music" had actually reached further than the ears of the audience. It seemed "my music" had touched their hearts and souls. THAT WAS MY GOAL. NOT JUST TO SING BUT TO PERFORM: TO TELL A STORY WITH EACH PIECE.
I found out the next day that there were over 200 people in attendance. That, obviously, doesn't include those who watched online. Nor does it include those on the other side - and I say that because I KNOW they were there. I had a confirmation of it. My Grandpa & Grandmother. My precious Mercydez. They were there along side the rest of my wonderful family.
I can honestly tell you that when I woke up the next morning I couldn't contain my tears any longer. I had stayed composed for most of the night (until my family went out for dinner afterwards and I was hugging them and thanking each of them...then the tears started to flow a little). But Wednesday morning I honestly laid in bed and SOBBED. I cried and cried.
These weren't tears of relief that it was over (as most people assumed). No, these were purely tears of gratitude. Gratitude for my all the uplifting people in my life. Gratitude to my Heavenly Father for blessing me with my specific requests. Gratitude for my education. Gratitude for my music. Gratitude that things went so well the night before. There wasn't a glitch at all! Gratitude for my mom, sister, and sisters-in-law for staying up into the wee hours of the morning Tuesday cooking goodies and assembling beautiful goodie bags for my guests to enjoy after the recital. Gratitude for the many HOURS my mom spent with me in the piano room practicing my songs over and over and over again. Gratitude for my brothers who attended and actually confessed that they got teary-eyed. Gratitude for one of my best friends for attending even though she had just had a baby one week before and was functioning off of little to no sleep. Gratitude for my voice teacher. Gratitude for my INCREDIBLE accompanist who made "getting into my music" easy. Gratitude for my neighbors who love music as much as I do and show it by attending. Gratitude for my extended family who made time to attend, despite illnesses, children, work, homework, etc. Gratitude for my fellow music-loving friends at UVU who attended. Gratitude for previous co-workers, who I consider friends, for attending. Gratitude for The Orem Public Library and their willingness to allow my recital to take place there.
And gratitude the my music was FELT not just heard.
Oh, I could go on and on and on. I really could.
I seriously laid in bed and convulsed because I was crying so hard. All day Wednesday I found myself crying tears of gratitude. Why am I so lucky? Why are there so many good people in my life who are willing and able to support me?
Can I just thank you for being a part of my dream becoming a reality? Thank you, from the purest part of my soul. Thank you for caring. Thank you for supporting me. Thank you so, so much.
I will never, ever forget the scene I witnessed as my dear friends and family literally LEAPED out of their chairs before the piano stopped playing my last piece and offered me an incredibly humbling gift. That of a standing ovation.
Wow. My dream was real for a night. And I thank you for that.