Sunday, November 11, 2007

It's Not So Far Away

That job we set our sights on as college freshmen seems a lifetime away. Still emotionally in high school, we don't realize the importance and brevity of 4 or 6 years of study. Once the excitement of our "freedom" wears off, we see the reality of that job market looming closer. It seems to gain speed as it races in our direction. What is done in preparation now has a huge impact on our effectiveness after graduation. It all matters.

Looking back just eight years or so, it was Suzuki violin, piano lessons, the odd trumpet lesson, playing together as a family on occasions, recitals and the usual agenda in junior and high school grades. Then some extra private lessons, summer music excursions, chamber music opportunities, and before we knew it an audition for Curtis and Cleveland Institute. Almost over night we left behind boyhood, and saw a competitor fast getting ready for some terrific opportunities.

Then in just a couple of days it all changed. The horizon suddenly jumped miles closer. Next year was college! Bills began, along with many "classrooms." Those classrooms were much more than academic. Such is growth. Life is more than the practice room and the concert stage. Preparation for that had also begun years before. As was mentioned by a good friend to his son, "You're the ship we have been building. Now we're sending you out to sea to see if you can float." Gee thanks, Dad!

Fast forward in a blur just 4 years plus a couple of months and that future job horizon is here! The little fellow spilling cereal on purpose and improvising improvements to those Suzuki songs is now ready to leave college to take his first job in the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra viola section. After being one of the top 2, Wes played one week with them and was selected to take up his belongings and assume his first job beginning this May.

We blink, and it all changes so fast. We can't control the approaching horizon, but we can do our best to prepare.

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