I used to be a musician. Well I guess I still am a musician, I am the Director of Piano at a music school and have my own piano studio of about 20 kids so far. But I no longer perform and I SWORE I would never date a musician (along with no more science majors, pre-med majors, pharm majors, dancers or mathematicians).
I had reasons! Musicians are fickle and unfaithful. Science majors, pre-med majors, pharm majors and mathematicians are know-it-alls and look too deeply into things and play mind games (I would know, I was one of them). Dancers are stuck-up and I don’t have time for it.
They were all gross over-generalizations and I knew it when I said it and I still know it now.
SO! I broke one of my rules. I am currently dating a musician. A performing musician in fact, and I love it and hate it for some of the exact same reasons…
He is a fabulous and genius jazz pianist and vibraphonist. His performances are entrancing and the music he writes is beautiful. I love his energy, I love his duality, I love that he is a Black pianist from Chicago (just like me!) who switched from classical to jazz and found love with the vibraphone. I love him.
I was wrong about musicians being inherently unfaithful. I’m sure some are, but that doesn’t just apply to musicians. He is incredibly devoted, loving, caring and faithful. I never worry about other women. At least not about him being inappropriate with them. Them being inappropriate with him is another matter.
I go to all his shows. I sit as close as possible. I wonder in the dexterity of his movements, in the sounds he produces. I bask in the applause he commands and the attention that he gets each time. I sit alone and write while he talks to his audience between sets. I smile at people who identify me as his girlfriend and tell me how talented he is. I support everything he does.
But there’s also a flip side.
I hate attention in most forms. It’s difficult to stand by someone who I know wants to be famous, who is striving for it and who very well might achieve it in the near future. To know that to stay with them is to entirely change my lifestyle and living preferences.
I hate sharing (blame it on me being homeschooled until college if you like…no sharing in kindergarten for me). But I have to share him. What he’s choosing to do will make him a public figure. I have to learn to do what I hate for the sake of maintaining our relationship alongside his career.
I hate unpredictability. I love schedules, appointments, being on time, certainty at it’s finest, saying something and sticking to it absolutely. I hate things changing last minute, it irritates me, puts me into a bad mood and I canNOT control myself or my face when I have a bad mood.
Unpredictability is practically a staple of being a performing musician. We can plan dates, trips, time-off and that can change in an instant with a phone call or email. I’ve been annoyed at the changes to our days, I sometimes dread phone calls that he gets, knowing that as he says “oh yes? Today?” the possibility that whatever I THOUGHT we were going to be doing that day has just been switched out for other plans.
I’m getting used to it? We haven’t been dating that long. I slowly am comparing the predictability of him less and less to what I was used to before. I’m accepting that everyone doesn’t live, or even want to live, in determined and planned-out ways. The changes and add-ons are good for me (I think?) and I’m starting to love staying up past my bedtime and going out every week.
As I get more and more comfortable with this relationship more and more of my “hates” are turning to loves. Maybe each and every one of them will? Or maybe it will always be just a little bit of a struggle to adapt to a life I never imagined or wanted for myself.
Either way I know I love him and I love being a part of this, even if I also hate it a little sometimes.