Life is an intricate series of detours and hidden paths. Routes that can veer you off course.
At the time, it’s hard if not impossible to see the road one should take and why. But ultimately, things happen for a reason. A choice is made. A direction is taken even though, at the time, those bumps in the road hurt like hell.
Once upon a time a long time ago I was going to be the next Benny Goodman – traveling the world, wailing away on the old licorice stick (that’s clarinet to you) with my own big band – bringing that glorious sound back to the masses. My dream was to play Carnegie Hall.
I had known what I was going to do and be for a long time. There really was no question. I was known for my musical ability. It was my passion. It was my life. And I loved it.
Honors Theory, Honors Band. My college audition for the music program was a screaming success. Senior awards night, my band director beamed with pride as he told everyone about my successful audition that day and presented me with my band awards.
Then, high school graduation. I was oblivious to the coming storm. Although, I should have been.
For the last several years, my dad had been working in a town two hours away from our home and staying there during the week. He was living in the same area where I was going to attend college so I was going to stay with him and commute the few miles to school to save money.
I went back out to Montana to work on the ranch for the summer after graduation until Fall when I would return home and start my first year of college.
And then, my world imploded.
My parent’s marriage crumbled to dust. All this I found out while I was 1500 miles from home. The shock to my system overwhelmed me. You have to understand, despite my disgruntlements with my father, I thought I had a normal – perfect family. I was very naive.
The news of their troubles sent me into a tailspin. I opted to stay in Montana and work in the mountains that fall rather than go home.
I delayed my college entrance.
When I came home that winter, my life as I knew it had changed dramatically.
Then – the phone call. My father told me he didn’t want me living with him. I listened to him as he talked. All I heard was he didn’t want me. Looking back, it was probably all for the best. I know that now, but at the time…
Something inside me broke.
I stopped playing my clarinet and the piano. I never went to that school where I was going to become the next Benny Goodman. Instead, I dashed those dreams against the jagged rocks and left the shattered pieces there to disintegrate as I walked away and didn’t look back.