Monday, April 16, 2012

At the End of the Road

Boy#3 was thinking about signposts in his life's journey as he waited for the results of an honors recital competition at his university last Friday night.

He thought about sixth grade, when his cardiologist told him he should consider not playing the trombone, and if he did continue with this lung-stressing instrument he should always be aware of how his body was reacting.

He thought about his freshman year in high school, when a college instructor brought in for a last-minute consultation before music contest was so cruelly (and unnecessarily) critical that he and his accompanist mother both left the lesson in tears.

He thought about his junior year, when the desperately-yearned-for I rating at contest was not awarded.

He thought about his senior year, when he was turned down for entry into the trombone studio at a university where he would have loved to study.

He thought about the first week in his beloved university marching band, when he was chosen as an alternate for the marching corps and wasn't selected to perform on the field.

He thought about all of those moments, when he could have easily chosen an off-ramp and decided on a different career, instead of continuing down the road that included thousands of hours of practice and had led to this moment. He knew he was competing against all the music students in this major university--the graduate students as well as the undergraduates, vocalists, instrumentalists, everyone.He had survived two preliminary selection rounds, and was among the final eight who had performed brilliantly.

Then he heard his name called as one of the three winners in the competition, the only undergraduate among the winners, and he knew where that road had been leading, and that finally, he had arrived exactly where he had set out to be.