Looking back on how I have come to where I am now, I notice there have been a few very clear moments that defined my experience, either as a student, musician, or person – sometimes a combination. Thinking about these moments, I usually feel nostalgic and wish I could be back in that simpler time, enjoying the moment; however, enjoyment was definitely not my feeling in the moment. In fact, the exact opposite is true – in my most uncomfortable and stressful moments and situations, I have learned most about myself.

One mantra that I have taken close to hear recently is the following: always better to ask for forgiveness than permission. I interpret this as the idea that we should always be striving to put ourselves in positions that others may see unqualified or unfit for. I have always wanted the best for myself, and have tried to surround myself with people that are more talented and accomplished than me so that I would be forced to perform at that level. In coming to college, as with everyone that has or will attend, I was thrown into a pool of some of the brightest students in the USA and the world. Additionally, I reached out to the musicians in the community and soon found out that I was not the fine player I once was at home. Even in writing this blog, I am outside of my comfort zone. I feel very self-conscious of my writing – I never particularly liked it – and having it posted and so exposed on the internet was a new experience for me. It has forced me to try and connect with people in a different way than simply conversing – something I am more comfortable with.

These realizations of inadequacy were quite rough at first, but I have come to embrace them because they have made me progress. I think we can all benefit form feeling uncomfortable at times. Knowing that others are going through the same feelings and situations can alleviate some of the anxiety as well, you are not alone. Most importantly, know that you will look back on these moments of insecurity later, thanking yourself and wishing you could be enjoying them once again.