You do your best to lay out the next moment, and the next hour, and the next performance.
You practice the tune and are ready to play your part, at the right moment.
Sometimes, at the time when you need to come in, you choke up, you stop breathing, you get a cough, you freeze. Your friends cover for you, and you're safe for now. But you know, deep down, that this can happen again. You know this and you are ashamed and mortified at what happened, and how you couldn't play when your time came up.
You suffered a crisis of confidence. A crisis of identity too. You thought you had done your best to prepare yourself for this moment. And yet...
If your friends and teachers and parents didn't support you and encouraged you through these crises, you would never play an instrument, give a speech, try out for a part, and face challenges that frighten you. No matter your age, you will find that new challenges will be creeping in from all sides, asking you to keep re-tooling, change your manners, learn new ways.
You can't quit every time something feels uncomfortable.
I just faced a new challenge just this week. My husband had minor surgery and before being sent home the nurse wanted to show me how to apply a wet-to-dry bandaging. I tend to pass out when needles or blood is involved, and told her so. She insisted it was easy to do. Just as she revealed the open wound (yes, an open wound, hence the wet-to-dry instructions) I broke down.
I can't be afraid of a wound that needs bandaging. There will be more of these ahead as we both grow weaker and sicker. Though we know that Hubby needs to face housework and cooking without me, and I need to face handling technical matters and nursing matters without flinching, there is a whole lot of complications and health issues that we may not anticipate at all.
This new stage of our lives is all about facing our darkest fears. Our parents didn't live this long. Now that the health industry has so many new procedures to prolong life and good living, we have new challenges to anticipate too, challenges that might frighten us, break us down if we are not prepared.
As for me, I'm taking a nursing course next semester, needles or not.