Musicians love to sit around and talk about how hard their lives are. I will admit to engaging in this exact conversation fairly frequently.
There is value in venting, but do we actually wish it was any easier to be musicians? At the end of a performance, do we ever look back and say “Wow I wish that had been an easier program?” Perhaps some do but my feelings approach pride more often than regret. Playing a tough show is much more fulfilling than playing an easy one.
I get more out of playing a difficult concert than an easy one even if I miss a few notes. Maybe I don’t necessarily feel that way when I’m preparing the music, but in the end it’s worth it.
It is like climbing a mountain. Half way up the side of it, you might wish there was an escalator. But once you make it to the top, the feeling of accomplishment is worth much more than the feeling of pain you endured. A single moment of triumph can erase a lifetime of hardship.
But if there had been an escalator, there would be no accomplishment. The struggle is what makes it worth it. And I do not mean “struggle” with a negative connotation. Struggling is not easy in that it is harder than sitting on the couch and watching Netflix. But it is not a negative experience.
The journey up the side of the mountain (which includes the arrival at the top) is the greatest thing anyone can experience in life. That journey is life itself! To practice and rehearse for months and finally nail a concerto performance is one of the most fulfilling things a musician can do.
Life is struggle.
So, instead of wishing for escalators, enjoy the struggle knowing that it will all be worth it in the end.