Enough to break my heart

Rachel Chen, Featured Columnist

     The sound of my violin echoes off the wall in an almost-surreal manner. It is 10 times louder in this practice room than the ones I am used to. I feel claustrophobic too, even though this room is bigger. My heart is beating faster than usual and my whole body feels tense.

     I take a deep breath again and practice my audition music a couple more times, simultaneously worrying about missing my audition time. Occasionally, I glance out the tiny window in the door to search for a familiar face. The foreign environment unnerves me.

     I should be okay. I have practiced for this audition every day since I got the music. I have practiced for at least an hour every night. In fact, I would even go far enough to say that I have never tried this hard before for, well, anything.

     Sure, I hit some roadblocks. The day before the audition, I found out I had been doing my scale an octave lower than I was supposed to. Totally thrown off, I practiced my scales over and over again that night. Asides from that, I tell myself, I will be okay.

     Walking into Mr. Coatney’s office for my audition, I actually feel sort of confident. As I start my scales however, I feel myself tense up again and realize I am so nervous I am practically standing on my toes. I take a deep breath and start the song excerpt. I play for a while before it occurs to me that I may have been rushing the tempo. Yet I push the thought away.  I have been practicing with a metronome. I couldn’t have messed up too badly.

     When my audition is done, I analyze it in my head. I did not perform as well as I did in the practice room, but I feel like I could not have done any better. For once, I feel relatively confident about my playing. All I have left now is the waiting.

     A few days later, our audition results are posted. People crowd around them and I walk slowly to the results, afraid of what I might see.

     I have never been one to sympathize with people who cry over test results. I have always thought, it’s just a test, what’s the big deal? Whenever I saw other people crying after not getting the spot they wanted in orchestra, I would roll my eyes.  Couldn’t they just get over themselves?

     It never occurred to me that I would be that person one day.

     When I saw my audition results, I could feel myself starting to cry.  I had actually tried this time. How could I possibly be in the bottom orchestra? I kept my tears back as long as I could. I ran to the nearest restroom afterwards to cry. Luckily for me, the bathroom was empty. I leaned against the counter and wiped away my tears. I didn’t want anyone to see how much it affected me. What if they also thought I should get over myself? This had to be one of the worst feelings in the world.

     I couldn’t handle this. Never had I been this disappointed about something. As soon as I got home that day, I broke down, again, like all those girls I had made fun of.

     There was a reason I had never felt this way before or understood those girls. Before that audition, I had never really cared about anything that much.

     Amidst my disappointment, I finally had something I cared about. For the first time in my life, I had finally found something important enough to break my heart.