Harsh Reality

5 May 2019

Ever since I learned how to play the trombone, I foolishly tricked myself into believing that my playing skills were beyond those of anyone else simply because I was better than the few people I had actually heard play around me. This arrogance caused me to find practice unnecessary. Therefore, I only practiced the All State audition music a few times. On the day of the audition everything I previously believed completely changed. The audition process takes place in one room where all the people auditioning individually play the audition etudes for the judges. There were about 40 people in my room, and the randomizer selected me to as one of the last people that would get to audition. I immediately thought they were clearly saving the best for last. I looked around to scope out my competition, but no one looked very intimidating. I heard everyone warm up –still I was not worried. Then people began auditioning. The first few people to play did as I expected them to: worse than me. This helped boost my already high ego. To my delusional self, they sounded a lot worse than they actually were.

I turned to Evan and with smug look on my face and declared, “Easy win.”

Harsh Reality Essay Example

But it didn’t take long before the good players took their turn, and I realized how awfully wrong I was about everything. They played faster than me, articulated better than me, sounded better than me, did everything better than me – each one better than the last. Their way of playing was unfathomable to me and I quickly became confused not knowing what to think. My vision became fuzzy, and I began to feel lightheaded. I felt like I had made a huge mistake by showing up to the audition so unprepared. The Trombone God Noah went next. I later learned he had earned the first chair All State spot the previous year as a freshman which did not surprise me at all given that he created the most beautiful sound I had ever heard and will most likely ever hear. I wiped the tears off my face and took a deep breath still in awe of his performance. The way his sound gently caressed my eardrums made me feel as if I had died and could hear him playing as the gates of heaven slowly opened before my eyes. Everyone before him had already excelled way beyond my expectations, but Noah played in such a beautiful way that he could easily create world peace by simply playing a concert F. After we were all done, I managed to congratulate him with a shaky “good job.”

Before Noah played, all my hopes and dreams had been brutally killed, but his playing gave birth to my ultimate goal. I learned how a trombone is truly supposed to sound and thus began my journey to do the impossible: to beat Noah. Although a highly unlikely goal, I believe it’s better to have such a goal because improvement remains reachable at all times. The audition has fueled nearly all of my action for the past year and has helped me become a better musician and an all-around better person.

I was exposed to the harsh reality that I was wasting my abilities and not striving to be the best that I could possibly be. I’m glad I experienced this early in my life because it truly changed my way of thinking about everything. I learned that there will always be someone better than you, but you can always improve yourself to attempt to rise to, if not surpass, their level. The feeling of success comes to me every time I know I’m improving, and I will eventually succeed at beating my competition.

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