Thursday, January 29, 2009

horns, and not the french kind

Okay, this is completely personal, but I'm falling apart a tiny bit tonight and so... Here's my drama! For the last month or so there has been talk of travelling on a cruise ship for three months this summer playing string quartets. The initial idea was to travel to Europe, and hopefully to have some say as to when we would be leaving. We (or at least I and one other person involved) were also operating under the idea that if for some reason one of the people in the demo dvd we filmed couldn't go, we could find an acceptable substitute and bow out. As of today, all of these ideas are over and done. If we go, it will be to Alaska, with the exact personnel from the dvd, and earlier than anybody really was hoping for.
Here's the issue. While I'd like to take a cruise to Alaska, I don't really want to take the same cruise 15 times and miss the whole summer here doing it. I also don't have any actual schedule conflicts with the dates presented. The money would be nice, but for me this whole endeavor was more about the experience than the six grand or so I'd come back with at the end. For me, that was always a perk, not a reason. The problem is that for the organizer, that six grand is the main reason, and she's heavily implying that it is in fact crucial to her continued financial well-being. I don't have a concrete reason to not go other than the fact that I don't really want to anymore. On top of all of this, I have to give an answer by tomorrow morning.
I have a hard time, an almost impossible time, being selfish even in small matters. This, if I were to make the decision I honestly want to make, would be selfishness on a grand scale that I've never even contemplated before. Does my desire, based on a gut reaction with no concrete factual evidence, outweigh what is being presented as a factual need on the part of another? I might have a fantastic time if I go. I might not. The finances are much more clear-cut. Am I being pressured? In a very nice way, yes. The truth and the presentation are fuzzy, and that is making the decision all the more difficult.
Can I deal with myself if I deny somebody else something this large? Can I deal with myself if I make yet another decision based more around the desires of others than my own desire? My stomach is in knots, and at this point I've made the arguments on both sides to myself so many times that they are starting to lose meaning. I just feel incredibly icky. I know what I should do (not go), but I'm not sure if I can.
If anybody has words of wisdom, this is the time to offer them.


justin said...

Three months is a long time to be on a ship. How much do you like the other members of your quartet?

pulley-whipped said...

don't go. trust your instinct. you're only responsible for yourself, not anyone else's desires.

ammie said...

Things have been resolved. Somebody else feels similarly uncomfortable, and that's giving me the little extra push I need to be able to say no. Such a relief, honestly. But I wish I were able to fully make this decision on my own. All in all, a disheartening evening.

ammie said...

Oh, and I like them all just fine! That's part of why this has been so hard. bah.

Rosiecat said...

It's so, so hard to say no when you are a person who likes to say yes and make people happy. I can definitely empathize with your inner turmoil in this case. But I'm so glad it worked out and you aren't making a huge commitment just to make someone else happy!

Maybe that's really the important question to ask: how BIG is this THING that someone else is asking of me? Maybe it's okay to let yourself do smaller things for other people's happiness, but bigger commitments of time, money, effort, or peace of mind shouldn't feel like a sacrifice that you just hate making. A good analogy? How about getting married or having a child?!?

Jonathan said...

Was this string quartet gig with someone named Olga? She somehow managed to get in touch with practically every string player in the midwest last weekend, it was kinda amazing.