Sunday, September 17, 2006

God said no

i didn't get the bmi musical theater workshop. and i'm no longer a finalist for the jazzmobile vocal competition.

everyone says it's a really big deal to have been a finalist in both of those opportunities and i suppose that's true. to be honest, there were some pretty severe odds that i beat out to have gotten as far as i did. but in the end, when the smoke clears and everyone goes home, none of that seems to matter. everyone only remembers who won. when the awards are given and the names are duly noted, no one knows anything about the rest of the finalists. or that runner-up that was sooooo amazing. or who came in fourth place. that's just the way it is.

when they didn't say my name as a continuing finalist in the venue the other night, there was this a collective groan in the room that was so loud, it was almost tangible. as i stood on the sidewalk with my friends, many patrons came to me to congratulate me on my performance and to console me, which felt strange. and somewhat embarassing. there were some pretty bizarre moments. i distinctly recall a heavy-set woman reveling in the memory of some gig i did somewhere downtown with jc hopkins' biggish band that she loved and asking when i'd be singing with him again. when i told her that i had been replaced, she looked positively stricken.

later, on the train ride home, i turned to aj muhammed and said, i'm always a bridesmaid, and without hesistation, he said, no queen esther -- you are the bride.

well. i got home and i searched my feelings long and hard. was i upset? angry, perhaps? bitter, even? to tell you the truth, i felt none of those things. it took me awhile to figure out why. at first, i thought it was because i was some kind new kind of jaded. in the end, it wasn't the usual urban malaise. far from it.

i remembered a sermon i heard when i was a little kid about God's will. the pastor said that it wasn't necessarily a bad thing, to not get what you want. he said that sometimes, not getting what you want when you want it is actually the best thing for you. ultimately God has something better in mind, better than anything i could possibly imagine. clearly, there was a larger dynamic in mind, an omniscient omnipresent supernatural force hard at work on my behalf. i remember thinking that it seemed counterproductive to work against this force.

right then and there, that's when i thought -- why should i want what God doesn't want me to have?

after that, when i didn't get something, no matter what it was -- a part in a play, a pair of shoes that were on sale, that last piece of pie -- it flat-out didn't bother me. i'd simply say, God didn't want me to have that, for whatever reason. and i let it go.

think about it. the plane is oversold and your seat is confirmed but somehow you get bumped. that's a flight you missed for a reason. say la vee. you go to your favorite restaurant, they're all out of your favorite entree. not for you -- not that night. you meet a guy you like but he likes your friend. oh, well. it's a waste of energy to pine for things that are out of your reach, no matter what they are. especially when there are plenty of things that are right in your face that you're probably not taking advantage of.

not making the cut on thursday night's competition was no different. if God doesn't want it for me, i certainly don't want it for myself.

in the meantime, opportunity abounds. more details soon.

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