It’s that dream again; it comes weekly. I’m waiting backstage, cello in hand, having just been told that I’m about to perform a solo with orchestra. No rehearsal, no practice time. I am pretty sure that I know the piece, well at least, I knew it once decades back, and I’m standing behind the curtain eyes closed mentally going over the notes in my head, hoping that what I once had memorized is still in there, somewhere.
There’s an awake part of me that is confused, confused that I wasn’t aware of this concert until now (‘seriously Andrea you’re performing a concerto and you didn’t know about it?’), annoyed that I had no time to practice, yet also aware of the irony that had I been informed earlier, I still likely would not have practiced enough. (Typical.) Yet somehow deep down I knew this was coming, and even though I’m in no way ‘ready’, I actually am ready. I always have been. And, breathing deep, here I am, leaving things behind, letting go, desperately trying to trust myself, my true self, the Gdly self, because I know it must all be in there, inside me, somewhere. So yes, it’s dread, but even more, it’s excitement. Let’s do this.
And with all this anxiety and excitement, the overall feeling is one of calm. This dream is mostly about knowing everything will be ok. Somehow, I will be ok. It’s the knowledge that I can do this, and I am loved and created by something bigger than myself, and even if I don’t know it right now, that I do have these abilities inside. Somehow I know that this challenge, and all the challenges, as much as they throw me off guard and make me doubt everything I thought I knew, are given to me with love. That someone, something, is rooting for me.
How is it that the times I fear the most are also the times I know I am the most loved? How can it be? How can this life… be? These times that I have to let go of something, something that is holding me back, yet am clinging to whatever it is, why am I holding on so tight? I know I need to leave this behind. Like cracking through a shell, I am given the opportunity to grow because somehow the person I have become can no longer be contained in this fake world I have created for myself, that the Infinite allowed me to create for myself. Is it possible the only reason I was able to create these walls was so that one day I would break through them? Maybe. Yes. And once I make that decision, that leap, and take that breath and expand with acceptance and trust, the shell disintegrates and crumbles at my feet. The dust settles and there I am, alone, scared, but bigger, stronger. Hineni.
And held. Held by the only one that matters.
This is life, my life. Our lives. There is no rehearsal and we are unprepared, yet everything that is true and brave feels familiar, known. We’re thrown into this world, blinking, stumbling, unsure. Not informed, never having practiced enough, yet somehow, through all our doubt, we’re ready. And the Infinite is cheering us on every step of the way.
It all comes back to that dream, this dream which also seems to be my waking life: being thrown into these situations for which I am not equipped, yet there I find myself, cello in hand, bow in the other, with all this doubt yet even moreso, this trust, that if these are the tools in my hand then I must be meant to wield them, and somehow, knowing this, I can.
The orchestra is ready. The conductor nods. There is no one else here to go on that stage, only me. I can do this. I want to do this. I step into the light, those blinding lights, and walk. And with Gd’s help I’ll step out again and again onto that podium and battle with my ego and reveal my soul and reach heights that can only come through living and walking the path that was given to me. And I’ll be there, I’ll be there 100%, because this is my life and I want to live it.
Whether we need to step up to survive yet another day, step up to being our best selves in our families, or even step up to leading a movement or a country, this is all of us. We’re given the tools we’re allotted, meant to use them to their fullest capacity. And that eternal force, sometimes screaming and other times a faint whisper, is cheering us on. Deep down, we know what we need to do.
Choose life. Choose your life. The Infinite is rooting for you, We, the world, are rooting for you too.