Yesterday I auditioned for the second flute spot in the Lake Charles Symphony Orchestra. I've spent the past three weeks preparing for this audition. I knew right from the start that I wanted to try to relate this audition journey to birth somehow. Here are 5 things I learned about BIRTH during an orchestra audition.
1. It takes a lot of preparation
I’ve been playing flute for years. I have a Master’s Degree in flute performance. I've spent MANY hours in a practice room preparing for future auditions and performances. I haven’t been able to practice so much since I’ve become a mother, but I practiced as much as time would allow to prepare for this audition. I wouldn’t haven’t have had a shot without preparation.
2. Affirmations help
Right before I walked into the audition room, I said to myself, “I am strong! I am capable! I can do hard things! I can birth this baby…I mean play this flute…with confidence!” And it really helped to affirm the good things that were happening while I was playing. I thought, “Yes! Nailed it! Oh, that went WAY better than I expected! Oh, that was great! You’re doing so well!” On the way to the audition, I kept thinking to myself, “I can be happy no matter the outcome.” Which leads me to….
3. I can still do “everything right” and not have the outcome I want
I did everything I could to prepare for this audition. It wasn’t easy. I had to practice in ways that I’ve never had to before. I practiced with a baby attached to me most of the time and often had a toddler running around my feet. But I did my absolute best to prepare, and I did my best at the audition. Elements out of my control kept me from winning the audition. I did better than I expected, but I didn’t actually get the spot. However….
4. I can still be happy if things don’t go as planned
My biggest worry about this audition was not that I wouldn’t get the spot, but how I would feel if I didn’t get the spot. I was so worried about being upset, angry, or feeling like I wasted my time, but I feel none of those things. I am so glad to learn that I actually AM capable of still being happy even if things don’t go as planned. That is a big deal to me to know that I’ve made progress on something that I’ve struggled with for many years.
5. I can do amazing things when I set my mind to it
No, I didn’t win, but you know what? I’m still amazing! I prepared for an audition and kicked the audition’s butt! (Shout out to my Birth Boot Camp DOULA trainer and her client who kicked labor’s butt!) I had so many moments of frustration preparing for this audition. I got angry many times. I wanted to quit. I allowed the negative voices in my head to camp out and attack my confidence. But I stayed the course and accomplished something that makes me feel very proud of myself. I didn’t win the race, but I feel amazing that I finished it!