I recently took an audition for the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. Theoretically, I should have been gunning for that job. It’s in my dream location, it’s an ensemble I grew up admiring, and my wonderful teacher Alice Preves played there. But I wasn’t gunning for the job. I was going through the very familiar motions of taking an audition. I did work hard. I was well prepared. I just never emotionally and mentally committed to the process. When I got done with the first round, in which I played respectably, but not particularly well, I realized something very amazing: I’m done with this. I’m done with auditions. I no longer see the value in spending my time, energy, and money on auditions. I’m happy in Buffalo. I have a wonderful life. I’m done prioritizing something that doesn’t make me happy. Auditions are stupid.
Rather than this being a depressing realization, it’s been absolutely liberating. I’m happier at work, I’m less angsty in general, and I feel fully committed to my life in Buffalo. Fully committed. As in: this is the life that I choose. Someday I might choose another life, but when and if I do, I will be choosing that life, not some audition committee behind a screen choosing me. For the first time in my entire life, I can honestly say, I do not give one flying fuck what the people behind the screen think of me.
This attitude has led to some interesting changes in other aspects of my life, including the one I am here to talk to you about: blogging. Writing Oh For Fun was the first time in my life when I found myself earnestly working on something over a sustained period of time that wasn’t the viola. Blogging has played a huge role in my life over the last two years. I have found a voice that I was previously trying to channel into the viola; only this voice came with absolutely no baggage. I haven’t been blogging since I was a child. I didn’t major in blogging at Oberlin. I haven’t used blogging my entire life as a measuring stick of my success. I felt no need to prove anything to anyone with my blog. There was no blogging committee sitting behind a screen, waiting to catch a mistake so they can kick me off the internet. Blogging has been the easiest thing I have ever done, and it’s also the thing I’ve worked the hardest on (which is shocking when you realize I’ve been practicing the viola since I was seven).
Oh For Fun has been the musings of my internal mind. I have used this platform to hone a voice, and to practice writing, to try things out, to share myself, to work hard, and to make my friends and family laugh. It’s been an absolute joy, and I don’t think I could ever overestimate how much this platform has fundamentally changed how I measure my potential and my happiness. Blogging has been incalculably good for me.
The Willful Caboose, is my first baby step out of my own head, and into the world at large with my writing. With TWC I am attempting to use the skills I have cultivated here, and actively apply them to something specific, something that has an appeal beyond “Kate Holzemer”. I am working on TWC with incredible devotion, and it is paying off in terms of traffic and interest in the blog. I have no idea what a hockey blog can lead to exactly, but I can say that it has already provided amazing friends, a refocused creativity, TONS of laughs, and an absolute fascination with how the medium of “blogging” has the potential to change the way we receive and share information. Oh For Fun has felt intensely personal, and The Willful Caboose has felt like presenting a “product”- a product that I am very proud of and that I feel has potential to evolve and grow.
I am so sorry that I have not been keeping up with Oh For Fun. I can’t tell you how much it means to me that people miss it, and want it back. I just don’t know how to manufacture my enthusiasm. I tried with Nambloogooho, but it just felt incredibly forced. I don’t want Oh For Fun to ever feel like the audition screen, and so rather than trying to propel myself through the motions of blogging here, I am choosing to let it be. I’m not quitting Oh For Fun, I’m just channeling my energy into The Willful Caboose right now. I’m certain that someday the pendulum will swing back.
The reason I have written this big long post is that I desperately want you guys, the people who have always so generously read Oh For Fun, to understand how much your support has meant to me, and how responsible I still feel to this blog and to the people who read it. I am happier, more peaceful, and more confident today than I have been in 32 years, and I really believe that a lot of this contentment started here, on Oh For Fun, with you. I love you guys.