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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Why David is my helpmeet

Marriage is great, not because it is peach and perfect all the time (if it is, I think you're an alien.)

But Marriage is great because of when life is kind of hard and your sweet husband makes it so much better. Like a ray of sunshine amidst the grey, dreary, and depressing Utah inversion.

He got up early this morning, (well, he always does this), at 4:30 to get stuff done.  It is his favorite time of day, other than spending time with me ;). Yesterday I was complaining to David (who was ever so patient and listened and sympathized with me) about having no good food in the house and being tired of the peanut butter or ham sandwich for lunch everyday and just wanted simple (and slightly expensive things like crackers. And for having lame-o dinners because I don't have the time or energy to cook.

And so starting at 4:30 in the morning, he did the laundry, went to the store and got crackers and even Lindt Lindor chocolates--you know, the chocolate balls filled with a creamy filling. . Not that we don't have tons of sweets in the house already. Wow.

It completely turned my dad around, because it started out pretty awful. I was tired, achey, grumpy, and stressed. I woke up late, couldn't find my keys, and then my car, ect. But now I have the courage to keep going and face the next couple of weeks.

This is why God has ordained celestial marriage as THE most important thing we can do. We help each other. Lift each other up. And I can't wait until the day where I can focus more of my energies on him and making HIM more happy. He says I'm doing the best I can under the circumstances and doesn't ask for anything more, but I know that I can and will do more once I have graduated.

See, Rachel, God IS mindful of our needs, and lucky me, I have a husband who acts in his name.

Unified: Facing life's challengers TOGETHER

Sunday, March 20, 2011

And we keep going

I didn't win. Any of the movements. I feel like a failure. Why am I tell you this? Because I'm trying to make myself feel better. So many people younger than me do so much better. Why have I not been blessed or have the talent that they have? It hurts when you try and yet keep failing. Why do I keep trying? Is there a point where you should just give up?

This quote isn't perfectly applicable, but it helps me. It is from Henry B. Eyring. "The good works that really matter require the help of heaven And the help of heaven requires working past the point of fatigue so far that only the meek and lowly will keep going long enough." "But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31).

So I keep going. I write this not to complain or to elicit sympathy but to tell you that I know God will bring me up again from the depth of the sea, like he did the Jaredites. He will make things right. He will bless me in other ways. I know this, which is why I keep wading through this. And if you are feeling like I am, know that we can make it through together. I know that in the grand scheme of things (or even in the short term) my journey with the flute really doesn't matter all that much. It isn't the most important thing in my life. David is and the family we will have together someday. It is my relationship with the Lord. And most importantly it is what I am learning through all of this. I know that what God is teaching me is invaluable and will undoubtedly help me help others who come across my path. I will become a valuable instrument in the Lords hands. That is why pain and hurt is worth it. Christ has suffered MY pains and sorrows, not just a collective suffering for the entire world.

Tally ho.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

It DOES work out!

Practicing with my accompanist was wonderful tonight. Boy, do I love that family. And my flute is fixed... mostly... so life is good.

Just wish me luck tomorrow!

PS... I still don't know what to say about the history of the unaccompanied flute literature.

Maybe I"ll wing it.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Outcome of Orals and other updates (and or complaints)

The library catalogue is in rebellion and won't load any of my pages, if it does it takes ages and ages. Don't they know I have only one hour of alloted time where I have to find recordings of 15 or so songs, all of which are on different CDs? Doesn't it know that (Great. it finally loaded gave me an error in my search criteria).

Anyway. Now that Orals are over... which, by the way, I PASSED! I have to catch up on everything else, especially practicing. I have a competition and concert on Saturday as part of the (fine...I'll search for something else) Utah Flute association. Warning: I'm going to complain. And it's kinda long.

The music for the sonata competition this year is Sonata Latino, which, if I do say so myself, rock its socks.  Well, my accompanist who has been with me through thick and thin on this piece, can't do it on Saturday. Bless her over taxed soul. She is in lady in charge of all the music happenings in the church (this is getting ridiculous, maybe I"ll do something else. It's load something and then stop, and then decide it hates everything that has to do with my research) and has to be at the rehearsal of the choir for the young women's broadcast.

So I call someone else. No big deal. Her daughter is a flute prodigy. She got her master's in Piano performance. Amazing, kind, strong family. WELL, it happened to be a big deal. Her daughter is playing the third movement of the piece (which took me AGES to get down), but she hasn't had time to practice the rest of the movements like she would have hoped (her grandmother died, etc). AND, little did she know, but the rhythm is complicated--as complicated as the rhythm of an improvised Jazz solo.

So I'm frustrated. I want to win a movement. Poor little Rachel never wins anything and feels like (success!) she is a second rate flutist who tries but never succeeds. Why do I have to practice things 100s and 100s of times and yet STILL mess up in performance. It seems like no one else has this problem. They say they do, but I know better. I hear their performances they call stinky.

As we were rehearsing last night, which I might add was from 9-11 AT NIGHT, it sounded...not so hot. I wasn't hearing the cues I was used to hearing and things I had practiced and used to never mess up were awful. It didn't help that her daughter, who is a freshman in high school is playing a piece which was recorded for the NATIONAL flute association, which they told me was nearly flawless. GREAT..... It just so happens that she is playing that piece in the masterclass that morning, probably way better and way faster then what I will be playing on that same day at a recital for unaccompanied literature...shoot I have to give a short presentation discussing unaccompanied flute literature. Not to self, don't forget and try to have something intelligent to say. Anyway. I just know, true to form, I am going to mess up and be embarrassed AGAIN.

So I'm practicing in over drive. And it's getting better....but not where it ought to be.

Oh, and my flute is broken to add to my worries. Some one is fixing it as we speak....if he has the chance to get around to it.

Back to the competition. I want SO BADLY to perform well. To have the opportunity to compete and stand a chance. Yes, I've won things before, but it feels different somehow. Sometimes I really do think I should have (shoot...I don't have my student ID to check things out with). stuck with the trumpet. A lot less competition. Maybe I could actually have made into the Philharmonic. Well, very likely. I want to show the flute community, and especially myself the last 6 years of my life have been worth my time. I want to prove to myself that I can stand my own against the indestructible army of flute players.

Is that too much to ask? Are my dreams too big? Are my expectations too high?

But I count my blessings. I'm married. We're both alive and haven't been crushed by a building by an earthquake. We love each other. Our future is bright together. I have friends who read my rants and still like me at the end of them. I'm born into the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I'm not thrust into slavery in Africa with the fear of being raped. I have the opportunity to get a MASTER'S degree. Life IS good. Why do I want more? Should I not? I'm like Ariel, she has so much, but still wants more. She gets it in the end. Will I?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sunday updates

#1 We're going to church at my parent's today, which means I actually have time to write an update before church. (NOTE--I finished it after church...) I'm playing in their sacrament meeting today via my dad's request because he hasn't been able to hear me lately because of TONS of traveling on his part. My mom is accompanying me. Side-note--I hope I can learn the piano well enough in my gobs of free time after I graduate so I can accompany MY children!

#2 I want to thank those of you who have expressed so much love and concern over my last emotional and dramatic post. That really touched me and helped me sort things out. BUT I have good news! I CAN graduate in APRIL, as long as I pass my Orals on WEDNESDAY. Gulp. I've been studying for them, but if I would have taken them when I thought I could, I would have had 2 extra weeks. I'm kinda scared. Sometimes I think I can tackle this huge (football) lineman, and other times I am engulfed in panic. So if I can solicit your help again, prayers on my behalf would be lovely. Life works out! I think God is trying to teach me to not freak out, even when it is worth freaking out about. In case you have no clue--orals is basically a huge verbal test where I am asked any sort of question about anything related to the flute, flute literature, flute repertoire, and general music history. I'm most scared about the general music history part. For example: Tell me everything you can about one of Mozart's operas. Please describe the history of the symphony. What does emfindsemkeit mean? Trace the development of the chansons and motets of Du Fay. Yes, I am scared.

#3 I am so busy. So so so sosososososo busy. I can not wait until I have no responsibilities whatsoever minus the typical church calling. Maybe I'll start cooking again. Or READ! Or maybe I'll do nothing and  catch up on sleep and learn what it feels like to not be anxious, stressed, or busy. I'm even looking forward to being busy WITHOUT school and practicing. CHOOSING to be busy. I wonder what that feels like.

#4 As you may know, David traveled to Pittsburgh last weekend to help determine what school we should like to go to. And low and behold, my instincts were right. We'll probably not end up there. He loved the campus and the surrounding area and some of the professors are doing awesome things, but he wasn't digging it. The professor he was hoping to work for ended up being--according to some of his graduate students--not such a great advisor. And David didn't get a good impression when he interviewed with him. So I guess we'll see. Even though we have heard back from all the schools, we are still playing the waiting game! He travels to Georgia Tech in two weeks. My intuition says we'll end up going there because it is the #2 biomedical school in the country. Side note--Johns Hopkins is #1, which we didn't get in to. Darn. I wanted to live on the East Coast. But Houston would be amazing because my aunt and uncle live there.  We'll see.

#5 I graduate (hopefully, i all goes to plan, in a month!!!) This deserves a bullet point all to itself.

#6 This upcoming Saturday is the Utah Flute Association festival. As part of the festival there is a sonata competition and I can't wait to play, because the song is Sonata Latino, the piece I have been working on FOREVER and played at my grad recital. There is also a concerto given by some of the BYU flute students on some of the unaccompanied flute literature. I'm playing a really cool piece by Fourrd. I have also been asked to give a short 5 or minute presentation on the history of unaccompanied flute literature.

#7 David's abstract got accepted to the National Biomedical Engineering conference! As my sister asked,   "wait, is it a REAL conference." Yes, indeed it is. Like the sort where non-students go. :) I'm so proud of him. Can a wife be proud of her husband? I think so.

And I think that is it. Some people write emails or blog posts apologizing for its length. Yes, this is probably on the long side, but I'm not apologizing. I figure if you love me enough (ok, maybe that's extreme) you'll want to be updated on David and my life.

And here is a picture because posts with pictures just make them more exciting. It's like a treasure at the end of the rainbow.

This shows David's inner-child. Wait, David is a child at heart. Seriously. He's going to make on amazing Father. 

Friday, March 4, 2011

I need some lovin'

I am sitting here with hot tears streaming down my face. Maybe I shouldn't be writing about it on a blog, but I really, really need someone to comfort me.

And maybe what I need comfort with isn't a big deal, but I think it is. I was just told I couldn't graduate in April. I was misinformed as to when I was supposed to have my oral exam, and since I am taking it a few weeks later then the deadline, I can't graduate in April. I can graduate in June, but I don't want to.  Its the principle of the thing. I want to be completely DONE. I am sick and tired and fed up with this whole grad school thing. I am beginning to hate my instrument. I am not healthy. I am so overwhelmed. I am so sad.

And the worse part is my Davey isn't here to comfort me. He is in Pittsburgh for a recruiting weekend. I was going to write a blog spouting the joys of the new adventure we will be having in the coming months and how we have gotten into some amazing schools and how now we get to decide where we should go.

But now it feels like a curse because no one is there to comfort me. I need help and I don't know where to find it.

I just want to be done with school. It has caused me too much grief and anxiety and sadness and now this awful existence has to be prolonged. When is enough enough? I am weary from this mortal toil. My burden is too heavy.

Maybe it doesn't seem like a big deal to you, but it is to me, for some reason. I can't go on like this. I am sorry for complaining, but I am a real person with some heavy loads to bear. I've gone long enough carrying them alone, with David and parents by my side, but I am asking for help.

I am sure I am going to regret posting this later, but oh well.

I just don't know how to go on. I have a student coming to my house in less than a half hour and my face is a mess, my apartment is even messier and I don't feel like being nice.

But it will work out? Yes? God really does love me? I hope.

Maybe one of these days I will look outside and feel the sun on my face and think that it is good to be alive. And I guess, why do I keep going? Because I have hope that someday life will be sunny. That someday I won't feel like I am pushing a boulder up a hill. That some day I won't have to fake life.

Fake it till you make it.

And I'll make it. God's helped me before, and he'll help me again and again and stand by my side. If I'm Frodo, God is my Sam. Well, even more so.