Only freaking out a little bit


I need to acknowledge that I’m not at an ideal point in the preparation for these two impeding deadlines. Not that I have ever felt as though I was on top of things one week out from a performance or paper submission, but with both an audition round and my mid-term review due at the end of January (30th and 31st respectively) this feels somewhat worse than those many, many previous occasions. Er, shit. I have spent much of today warding off terror, and have also achieved quite a bit of work, but in context it just doesn’t seem near enough. But I’ll do my best not to be overly negative (however negative I actually feel) in my assessment of the current situation.

Firstly, I’ll try to assuage some of the guilt: I shall endeavour to stop telling myself that I ‘failed’ (in my all-or-nothing mission), and that in fact what I set out to do at the start of January – indeed even from its very beginnings back in early December – was really not easy. It’s not that I just ‘haven’t worked hard enough’, it’s that I’m struggling with some structural difficulties (of the psychological variety) and these were really serious undertakings requiring probably more and better attention than I was capable of devoting. I need to stop feeling like what I have before me just now is ‘punishment’ for the sin of avoidance. And anyway, I’m not in the worst ever position. Despite my desperate wishing for just one additional week, I do know I can achieve a surprising amount under pressure and I’ll probably pull this off okay. It won’t be perfect (and that’s okay, it doesn’t have to be perfect), but I will most likely achieve what I need to and be able to move on from there.

But for future there’s a few lessons to be learnt. I do need to somehow start framing things so that I don’t think of repertoire preparation as easily contained within a month or two’s work – the stuff I am tackling at this point needs upwards of four months per 1hr program. Similarly with research and writing projects, although they really vary depending on the type of material I’m drawing together. Also, it would do me very well to ensure to the absolute best of my ability that such large undertakings as these two deadlines are spaced out – I’m just not yet able to handle dividing my energies and attention while properly tracking progress for two simultaneously due projects. I can avoid the intensity of this problem by staggering things.

In the meantime, I’ve got my work cut out for me. The problem is that there is a bit resting on these things – the surety of my scholarship and the possibility of tutoring work at UQ could both possibly be affected by my paper (certainly if I don’t get it in on time), and then I’ll be playing for Alexis and the QSO folks for my YPA stage I, so if I don’t do so well it will likely affect my chances of getting casual work with the orchestra this year… All able to affect the old finances and ‘experience’ (of the “I’ll put this on my resume” kind) that could lead to future opportunities. Ech.

Despite the fact that it takes some 30mins of my day, I think I should try to write a daily blog post (which will probably get quite repetitive, but perhaps not) to monitor how I’m going, and to try to catch early warning signs of unmanageable anxiety/depression.


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