The majority of the day passed curled up in bed, doing homework for upwards of four hours. I’m taking 20 credits this quarter, borderline too many—but as it’s my last term of college, I’m shooting for the moon and going out with a bang.
On one of my study breaks, I ended up in a YouTube rabbit hole watching a musical prodigy explain music theory. All I learned by watching him excitedly talk for eleven minutes about “negative harmony” was that I really don’t know much at all about music, except that it feels good. There is so much deeper to go!
Needless to say, when I reached my point of saturation with schoolwork, I spent another few hours in the studio playing guitar. I wrote a stream of consciousness song. I worked on sounding out the chords from a band I like. I played until my wrists ached and my fingers were tender.
What I really need is the discipline to practice scales. When it comes to musical instruments, I tend to focus on getting pretty sound as fast as possible and avoiding all the “behind-the-scenes” foundational work required to develop a relationship with the instrument, a deeper resolve and understanding for music theory and a so-called mastery of the craft of playing. I tend to follow this model in lots of things I do. The best way I’ve found to combat this is taking bite-sized steps every day towards this goal of understanding music theory better. I’m realizing that a large part of growth is having faith in the growth process, something which has always been difficult for me to grasp. I’ve more or less always felt that if I couldn’t do something perfectly right away, it just wasn’t in me to achieve it. In years past, I catalogued this attitude as “realist”; now, I see it as more defeatist than anything else.
Keeping a journal really helps with this. I am queen of making lists. Even if I only finish 80% of the items on said list, I always accomplish more with the help of denoted tasks.
Today wasn’t exactly exciting, but tomorrow it’s off to the flight museum! And only a few more hours of homework after that. I’m determined not to lose my mind this quarter. I’ll make it, rabbit holes and all, one list at a time.