I remember like it was yesterday. Sitting in his office in the music building. Surrounded by a mess of sheet music, instruments that needed repaired, playbills, pencils, and metronomes. We were discussing my role in the school play. It was my senior year of high school, and as such I was hoping to make it a banner year. But I also had a great deal of other responsibilities. I was launching out while making my last stand as a high school student.
It was a busy year.
He told me when practices would be. They conflicted with other things, naturally, but if I left early or worked late or came in during study hall I could make it work. He showed me what my responsibilities would be. I wasn’t certain when I would have time to learn the lines or practice the songs or put in the long hours… but I was trying to make it work!
And then he looked me in the eyes and paused a dramatic moment before speaking truth into my deepest struggle ever:
“Jenny. You really need to learn to say ‘no’.” Continue reading