Facing The (Sheet) Music

I’m angry today.

I’m angry today and I can’t quite figure out why. I mean, nothing unusual happened. In fact, if I really think about it, nothing happened at all. Yet I’m still sitting here pouting like I did that time in 4th grade when my music teacher told me I got to play the recorder. I was pretty jazzed about this recorder, you guys. I was jazzed because I was going to go home and wear dark sunglasses and make beautiful music that the whole neighborhood was going to pay me to hear. (I don’t know why I wanted to wear sunglasses while I played. I also liked to pretend that I was blind at the time, so I can only assume that I learned this from Stevie Wonder.)

BUT GUESS WHAT- I took that damn recorder home and beautiful music did not come out of the wretched instrument. It just honked when I blew into it, and DAMN, that pissed me off something fierce. Go ahead, picture a 9 year old girl wearing men’s sunglasses indoors screaming at an inanimate object. Let the image sink in.

I took it back the following day and let my music teacher have it. I told her that it honked and I was not interested in honking. I wanted to be famous, okay? She very gently told me that I would not make beautiful sounds until I practiced and learned to read music. I was obviously not convinced and honked the bullshit recorder for the 45 minute period rather than read the bullshit sheet music, just to punish her.

Anyway, I guess I’m angry today because things are not progressing the way that I want them to. I’m looking around me and seeing all of the people I graduated with going on and making great lives for themselves while I’m stuck here taking 5 hours to load the dishwasher and trying to remember what I was just doing. (Oh, yeah, loading the dishwasher.) I’m angry because these voices won’t stop screaming “BLUE PAINT! BLUE PAINT!” Like that should mean something to me. I’m angry because I totally just thrust myself on the floor and kicked and screamed and threw the biggest tantrum I can remember since the aforementioned recorder incident in 4th grade.

I know I’ve got to cut that shit out. I’ve got to cut that shit out because I’VE GOT SHIT TO DO! Yes, yes, I do. I’ve got a life to live, and a future to create, and that’s up to me. I recognize that life is not supposed to be easy, and that it’s a constant transition of learning and growth. I recognize that beautiful music does not just happen. Beautiful music takes hours of concentration and beating on the craft, and I can’t make any if I’m sitting here bitching because I don’t feel like taking the steps necessary to create it.

It’s up to me to understand that life isn’t going to sort itself out in grand motions. It’s going to happen a single note at a time. If I’m honest with myself, I wouldn’t have it any other way, because if it was easy there would be no incentive to push forward and reach for more. If you’re wondering, that day did come for 9 year old Karlee. It came after weeks of practice and tantrums and more practice. “Holyshitholyshitholyshit I MADE A SOUND!” Then, when I realized I could make a sound that didn’t cause flowers to wilt, I practiced harder, and made more sounds until they all came together in a pretty melody. (I think the melody was some off-key version of “I’ve Been Workin’ on the Railroad.”)

Today I’m remembering my 9 year old stubborn, theatrical self and using that image to get off of the ground and continue loading the dishwasher. I might even wear sunglasses while I do it.

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