Sometimes we lose ourselves. We forget who we are. But in those moments, we are infinite, and those moments, perennial.
I was 11, a 5’4 girl, in sixth grade. I stood out from everyone. Even as the atypical sixth grade girl, I too had my perennial moments. When I lost myself, I searched relentlessly for an escape. I tried photography, writing and running, but beyond shadow of doubt I found music: the most beautiful thing the world. In elementary school, I sang in all-county chorus, and played in recorder club. But in elementary school, I never experienced a perennial moment, I was never infinite.
I remember Mrs.York’s words, “ What instrument do you want to play?” to most people that’s a simple question. To a person looking to escape reality it’s an open door to happiness and infinitude. For once, I was alive. Metaphorically, the exhilaration of being alive blinded me. I didn’t know what to say.
“Violin, my cousin plays the violin here.” It was true, my cousin was a very talented violinist. She told me that she plays to escape too. Are we all lost?
Not long after making my decision, I was handed a violin. In that moment I knew I would never be the same. Clenching the neck of the violin, I felt myself slipping away from the actuality that was my first orchestra class. I was alive. As I slipped into my moment of bliss, the pungent smell of rosin took over me. I realized that I am not immortal, but music never dies.
“How was your first day of orchestra?” I still remember my mother’s voice. There was no way she could understand but as a sixth grader, I didn’t either. “Amazing, and I get to do it everyday!” I was alive. I learned the difference between living and being alive. I was always living, with a pulse and blood. But now, I was finally alive; exhilarated and infinite.
“Are you nervous?” I remember it, Thursday, December 5th, 2012 was my first concert. I had worked my way up to the front row in a matter of about 4 weeks. I was untouchable; looking down on cloud 9. “No, I believe in myself.”
There I was in my white shirt, and black pants in the Burford Auditorium carrying my violin case. I was alive. I walked in ahead of my mom, she paid for two tickets and walked in not long after me. She was more afraid than I was. We sat on the right side of the auditorium. I sat next Sumner, we weren’t there for long when Mrs.York called us up to the stage, we were first. The lights went off, and I let the smell of wood and rosin take over me. More of my family had arrived. I was exhilarated. Mozart Melody, that one was easy but of course my F# was too low and my G was too high.
“1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +” “Frére Jacques” is next, Mrs.York’s counting replayed in my head from rehearsals. I knew we weren’t going to sound as good as the other groups, we all knew. But that didn’t matter, I knew that by losing myself in music, I can change the world. I learned that it’s okay to lose yourself sometimes, but you can’t just unpack there and stay lost.
As my performance concluded, an applause began. I knew that as long as I had my little piece of immortality, I would always be a legend. To someone out there, I am immortal and to everyone else I am not. But at that very moment, I was alive.