Auntie SparkNotes: How Can I Move On from This Great Experience?
I recently performed in the most incredible musical experience of my life. The opportunity was very unexpected, so now, I'm terrified that I will never get a chance like that again. I just can't seem to move on from that time in my life, even a couple of months later. I've always been pretty bad about not being able to leave the past behind, but this is really bothering me. Do you have any suggestions for me, to move on from the best experience I will most likely ever have?
Oh, that one's easy! You file away what you've just done into your memory stash of Best Times Ever, and you use what you've learned to move forward in pursuit of the next-Best Time Ever… which is of course not going to be identical to the one you just had, but which is also already vastly superior to it in one very important way: however good or great or disappointing your next musical endeavor, it hasn't happened yet.
Which is so important, sweet pea, and something you'll need to remember — or even forcefully remind yourself of, as the case may be. The cycle you're about to embark on is part of the life of every creative person, from musicians to painters to writers to comedians to dancers to inventors. It's both the best and the worst thing about being an artist: when you've finished making something, no matter how good or bad the finished product, the only thing left to do once the applause fades is to roll up your sleeves and begin making something else. You get back to work. You always get back to work.
So in your case, this is the time to begin pursuing your next thing. And maybe that musical experience won't be as incredible in all the same ways as your first one; certainly, it's going to be different, and it's not going to just fall in your lap. But that's okay, you know? There are much worse things in life than achieving something you had to work and plan and try for. (Actually, some people would argue that there are few better things.) And even if takes awhile before you get to perform again, if your passion for music is the real deal, the act of trying will sustain you — and it'll keep you moving in the right direction. Now get to work.
Got something to say? Tell us in the comments! And to get advice from Auntie, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Want more info about how this column works? Check out the Auntie SparkNotes FAQ.