One of the very great things about my two middles (as opposed to the shorties and the biggies - I have names for the pairings of my kids, and I know that they aren't particularly accurate OR flattering, but what are you going to do with me….) attending performing arts school is the frequency of live performance to attend.
That was a long sentence. Sorry. I'll try to be more concise.
Anyway, I am a lover of live musical performances - be they instrumental, vocal, accompanied by theater or dance - I like it all. So when there are concerts (plural) - well, if I can arrange it, I'm there with a kid or twelve in attendance. And I feel like my shorties are going to have a bit of a leg up, as opposed to the bigs - I really didn't take advantage of the opportunities when they were young. I dunno. Maybe it's a pipe dream.
I love to attend live performances, but I hate attending them as well.
I know. That doesn't even make sense.
I feel woefully behind and stupid when I watch musical performances, theatrical productions, or vocal performances. I can't do those things. I can't. I can dance, but the reality of dance is that once you are older than 22, and weigh more than 100 pounds - it's not pleasurable to watch. These kids - some of whom can't even DRIVE yet, don't need to shave, definitely can't drink (legally) or vote - they have accomplished more than I ever will. They understand things I never will know, concepts that will remain foreign to me for my entire life.
Literally. When one of mine tried to explain the Circle of Fifths he was drawing on a paper tablecloth with his sister - my kids never struggle to amuse themselves at a restaurant - well, let's just say my kid isn't the only easily distractible one.
And when another kid explained how to change sharps to flats - my reply was, "Well, why not just write them in flats in the first place?" Never mind trying to show me how to transpose the notes up or down when you move from Tuba to Valve Trombone, and you can forget telling me why this is even necessary.
I was talking about this with my 17 year old while I coated fish filets with a beer batter for dinner, and she told me, clear out of the blue, that her lunches are the envy of her friends at school. Everyone wants to know what she's eating that day - and they always want to trade with her. She told me that music isn't my area of strength, but cooking is.
Which doesn't really strike me as the same. I mean, cooking just means following a recipe, so, yeah, I can follow directions.
It occurs to me that I'm having trouble lately appreciating my own strengths - and I wonder, how can you help yourself see your strengths? How can you do this without stroking your own ego into General Gross Inflation? Because there has to be a balance, a line, a weigh and measure process that doesn't leave people gasping for clarity, inflated to the moon, or lying flat in the gutter of despair.
As an exercise - list three areas of strength for you - areas in which you excel.