… of emotions this week. From going up to the euphoria of the long awaited badminton gold winning in Olympics, then free dive to the the shitty days of daily life, then slowly climbing to the joy of watching how little one nailed her first repclass.
As someone who loves boring mundane kind of life where everything goes under control, riding on this kind of ride was totally not pleasant. It felt so heavy when it took extreme change to the ground and totally insecure when the ride suddenly rocketed high up to the sky. Dive down to the ground makes you extremely sick while soaring high to the sky makes you dizzy.
I came to learn about myself since I was in primary school, when I was in the 4th place in class, the highest that I had ever been and turned out to be the happiest.
What so special about being fourth? It doesn’t even have any medals name for it. But, being the fourth made me noticed enough without being on the spotlight. Being the fourth means I was very good in certain things but just an ordinary one in certain subjects. It made me feel safe and secured. Knowing I didn’t have to be good in everything, which nobody did, but knew very well that I got and did the other thing well and right. That was why my roles in class were mostly the secretaire or the treasure, which both I did with so much love and enthusiasm.
I couldn’t handle being on the spotlight too much like those ones on the top three, yet I didn’t feel good at all to be where I was not seen enough. Being on the top made the teachers came back to you all the time, not good for the heart. While being fourth gave some space to show yourself when you were really good at something without too much pressure.
Maybe the only spotlight I could resist when it was on other people where I stood right behind it. Like the badminton coach on the side of the field whom the players ran into once they confirmed the victory. Like when I had my students with the trophies in 5 times out of 5 piano competitions I had ever been. That was the time when I felt the most satisfied. The hardworks paid off, the thank you notes, yet no obligation to handle the publicity.
The shitty days in life described well how I disliked being too far from the top where I didn’t feel seen enough, where I felt I wasn’t treated important enough, just like another student fill in the class without no exceptional traits. Totally not kind of feeling I could deal with for long.
Watching the little girl playing in her first repclass and a sudden simple text from the old student, reached out for me, were the cure to those shitty days.
Repclass is where the students from two teachers gathered and gave short performance. It was only four students yet it was a good opportunity for her to see how others played. She nailed her two songs nicely and safely. Her teacher gave her 83 for each song she performed with some detailed comments on what she has done well and the area she still needs to improve. I thought that was the number she deserved for her current ability and I was totally glad with that.
But, on the other hand, I would give her 90 for her emotional aspects. How calm and composed she was dealing with the pressure of performing in front of others, how well she responded to the instruction in Bahasa Indonesia without any helps, and how well she controlled her self in playing those two pieces in spite of some tiny dents she made.
Watching the little girl yesterday, this time I didn’t feel like a coach on the side of the field. It was more of riding on time travel tunnel. Like it was there to show me an alternative scenario. What kind of life it would be if I were a student who never lose a day to practice, who had the privilege having personal coach at home so I didn’t have to figure out things on my own. The repclass yesterday showed a truly significant difference of having such things, despite the tools used for practice.
A personal text message from a parent of an old student with a video of her child playing some higher level piece was a mood booster. Said she just sent it to me to check if my number was still on and asked me how life was. The child had been with other teachers before she was sent to me, told that she was lazy, too hard to handle, and many things. I was with the child for few years, it was as hard as the other teachers said but it got better with time. Gave her quite hard times during the lessons was unavoidable, but unless it was something criminal, I never give up any students.
Watching her keep playing until now, knowing her mother spared some time to text me and showing her progress, that was when Maya Angelou words came true :
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”.
After a whole week full of rollercoaster ride, it slowly return to the equilibrium point.
Or so I hope.