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  • Writer's pictureLaura Holian

Aspirational Piece

Every time I think I finally surpassed my greatest challenge, something even more daunting comes along. I scream at the cosmos, “Enough!” But the sound is silenced into a vacuum. Sometimes techniques like distraction help during the day. Nights are harder. Gaining consciousness when I roll over, my thoughts retract into dark places against my will. It’s almost fitting that we’re in October.

It’s been a while since I could write. Something harder than my eyes came along. Even though by some regards I am fortunate, part of the journey is the same as those who also never asked to be in dire circumstances.

There was a movie, maybe it was “Just Married,” in it a son is looking through a photo album with his father. The son is a newlywed and is is having trouble in his recent marriage. The father looks at the photographs and tells him that we only capture the happy moments, but it’s the moments in between that get you there.

I’m in an in-between moment. The moment you don’t want to take pictures of or remember. The vision of this blog was to be happy and filled with hope. I’m struggling to turn it around, but maybe I can. What if I record the moments with an emphasis on the happy things?

My sister told me she went skiing a couple of days before she had to face something I would consider fearful. I thought it was very carpe diem of her. Maybe I can capture some of that spirit. Make an album of the joyful parts in between. Focus on those aspects of life. There’s always the possibility they will keep the darkness at bay, at least a little longer, maybe forever.

I’m still practicing piano. Every time I turn the page, it gets harder. But it doesn’t bother me. I know perseverance and practice will get me to my ultimate goal. It’s like life, only less difficult and more fun. I need to find a way to transfer that mindset into the challenges I encounter.

A few days ago, I was feeling down and my husband gave me a gift. It was the piano sheet music book for the songs in The Greatest Showman. I love their soundtrack. I flipped through the pages and said, “Um, I can’t read any of this. Is there any way you can get me the easy version of the piano notes.”

“This is the easy version,” he replied.

Yikes! Um, ok. Initially, I mentally thanked him for the effort, thinking it was a limiting gift if I wasn’t going to be able to enjoy it for months or even years until my skill level advanced dramatically.

I loved it though. I’ve practically memorized the movie and I sing the songs in the car all the time. Not to mention the perpetual ogling of Hugh Jackman and Zac Efron while wishing I looked liked Zendaya. Sigh*

Time to google. There was a Youtube video which showed one of the songs and had a Guitar Band version of instruction with colored lights streaming downwards onto the piano keys you were supposed to suppress. Using a mix of an old flute “How To Read Music” chart and the YouTube video, I’ve been able to translate the first page of The Greatest Showman sheet music.

I joked with my husband visualizing a strict piano instructor having a fit over my skipping over important beginner lessons to play this super advanced song. He informed me that music teachers always allowed an “aspirational piece.” It’s what keeps you motivated to trudge through the more boring novice lessons.

Piano playing is a tool I will use in this in between moment. This giant, navy book of notes, which I am only barely starting to decipher, is my aspirational piece. I’m having to research, use different mediums and muddle my way through what initially looked like an uninterpretable mess of dots, squiggles and lines.

Right now my life feels like that same muddy mess of chaotic symbols that I have to work through, but I was forgetting the symphony at the end. I have to stay focused on the sound of the aspirational piece. Hearing it during the soundless nights. I can get through this. And when I do, it will be beautiful.

Click below to listen to me not singing/playing A Million Dreams song ;)

#happiness #determination #trust #writer #writingcommunity #joy #writers #writerslife #piano #thegreatestshowman


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