“You’re obsessed, Mum, get yourself a life, and stay out of mine,” shrieks my fifteen-year-old woman-child. A life of my own, I wish …
‘Sharyn Elliffe, ATCL,’ wrote my piano teacher in my new notebook. These four letters have taunted me since my teenage years. I was told firmly I didn’t have the brains for university; a music degree was a worthless dream. Eventually, marriage and three children made me a mother, and that was it.
Graduation was almost dream-like and I was grateful the people I loved the most sat through it. I was one of the oldest graduates; the boy sitting next to me had pimples. Medication, hypnotherapy and prayer had got me through. My biggest hurdles were conquered; self-confidence and performance anxiety.
My husband was the most proud. He is currently working towards a doctorate in taxation. My music diploma was for me like putting a toe into the sea of the world where he swims with broad, confident strokes. He organized impromptu celebrations – friends called, bubbly opened, flowers came, and from him, a delicate diamond ladder on a chain. I am still touched by his love and enthusiasm for my personal growth.
There has been so much satisfaction in my journey; my piano teacher set seemingly impossible standards. Her friendship, expectations, and quiet steady confidence in me have been such an encouragement, and she shared my joy at the result. My newfound confidence is in my fingers now. I can trust them to do what my ears demand.
Judgment has been passed. I have arrived.