The gift certificate was used to buy a Trans-Siberian Orchestra Christmas CD. :-D
I feel like I've had much less of what I like to call "oboe angst" this year than I have in the past. Today, however, it was back in force. My practicing slump and the fact that I'm going home for the holidays in two days was amplified by my being all hormonal, and the result? An attack of "I've chosen the wrong track and now it's too late, how could I have been so stupid." Which does just happen sometimes. Today, though, it was particularly aggressive. When I'm practicing less, it's much easier to get swept up in thoughts about doing academics instead of performance, and the possibility of doing the former while still playing and having gigs comes strongly and persuasively to my mind. And it's true, I could do that, but it's also true that I wouldn't be satisfied. My angst, though, adds an "I think" to that last statement. I maybe wouldn't be satisfied, but maybe I would, and it would save me a lot of trouble and money (and failure?).
I also today got caught up on the things that I can't do because I'm choosing performance, like trips to England this summer with some of the best English professors at my school, or visiting my friend in California in January, or taking a trip to spring break. Sometimes I worry that my friends will get frustrated at me for not being able to travel during winter break and spring break because of my auditions. And truly, my friends mean everything to me. But I do what I need to do, because I want to succeed and I know that it will be very difficult to get what I want.
I do still come back to the fact that despite my stray thoughts, pursuing performance is what I want to do, and I can do it and need to do it. I love playing oboe, and I love it in a way that will not be satisfied by making it an "also." It can still be hard, though, to let go of what the people you respect wish you were doing.