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I Feel Lost

I just had my piano exam. As prepared, I did not do well, and in fact did very badly. I made mistakes and paused a lot of time and played again, and again. There were scales, 6th apart, chromatic in a minor third that I did not know how to play, and for aural, I should get 0 marks because I could not sing the notes from the score, could not identify the chords, could not identify the period if the music...I think I m definitely going to fail.

I m prepared to fail and give up learning piano, for a long time. I donno what I m doing. While other ppl are busy working hard on career and money or looking after their children, I have the luxury to learn the piano, something that gives me nothing materially good. This kind of lost feeling is a major obstacle that hinders me in the learning process, even though this was what I wanted to do when I was young seeing other kids got the chance to learn and play the musical instrument. I thought that after I graduated and could earn money and choose to do what I like to do and accomplish my dreams and maintain a work life balance that apart from work i would manage to have some hobbies that would make me happy. Instead, now I often feel practising piano takes away my time to do something constructive.

I m so worried that I would end up being old and poor here one day, seeing news that elderly couples at old age and very sick that they can't look after themselves and each other, killing their wife/husband and then committing suicide themselves or reporting themselves to the police that they have killed someone; some elderly people here live in illegal shelters on the roof of some old buildings, without lift, making it hard for them to go out to sometimes seek for help; there are also many elderly here who scavenge cardboard for a living.

In a place like this, how can someone feel safe to squander his time?

Sometimes, I think about a former teacher of mine in Europe, taking PhD courses at retirement age. He tried to do PhD at his 30s but did not continue. I couldn't understand at that time why he couldn't do it because he s so good at what he does.

Apart from the system of a place which affects the action of the people there, I wonder, if age is a more defining factor for our actions. Maybe at this age, it s easy and normal to feel lost because of comparisons and distractions.

I want to know what I want to do, like to do and what I am good at.
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I will share with you something that is mentioned in psychology books and which happened to me recently. I like to do craft work. Recently, my sister said she needed some gifts and said she'd pay me if I made 8 sets of the same picture frames for her. So I did. I thought I'd really enjoy it since I'd be making some $ out of it. Instead, I found the joy really diminished. The speed I worked was much slower, and after making a prototype and about to start on the actual thing, I kept putting it off. Maybe I was not satisfied with my prototype, the perfectionist that I am. In the end, I found that the satisfaction of making them not as great as if I had made them and given them for free. It is a strange thing.

From what I have heard on IG, you play the piano exceedingly well. Not many people can achieve that kind of standard. I believe it must have taken years of practice to reach where you are. Forget about the exams. I think exams can motivate us to strive for greater precision and perfection* in the playing of the instrument but it does not measure many things. It definitely does not give us a summation of the skills that we already possess. Nor does it give us a report on the joy when others hear our playing since such things are not quantifiable.

*perfection - you know, Cierzo tells me many a time "don't be so perfect". I think its true. We push ourselves too hard. What's a little missed note on piano? Or an accidental smudge on a paper? Don't they make it more 'you'? I have had a hard time understanding this because all my life. I sought a life of perfection, of no errors, of no smudges. And it was hard, not to say dehumanising at times. It is a process of learning, of accepting ourselves. I hope your day today is a better one.
Sssslm · F
[@1551,novembermoon] Thank you for your valuable sharing, you explain very well and vivid that is easy to understand and related to. This is true, making mistakes is really not a big deal, it doesn't affect the overall picture. It s focusing on every mistake no matter how tiny they are that causes the pressure, and when I am under pressure, I cannot feel the joy of something I usually enjoy. Competitions and exams cannot be taken too seriously and too often :)
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I Feel Lost
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