Monday, October 24, 2011

The Day After

Never before have I seen so many worn blue Ar Rinci Foirne books; clutched in front, opened and fervently studied, or sitting hopefully on the exam table before all items were required to be removed from the candidates' tables.

There was no need to present a badges labeling candidates for the October Vancouver TCRG exams. The nervous energy prior to the written exam would have kept any normal human out of the area. All of us standing there as if either impending doom or eternal glory awaited the outcome of what we were about to undertake.

The anxious air was thick.

I'll admit, sweat trickled down my spine.

Then off to the races. Two hours have never gone by so quickly. The intensity of answering each question felt so focused that by the end, I could not even remember what all of the questions were. Each one held my absolute attention and there was no room in my head for any other thoughts.

Then another half hour waiting in the hall for the next test.

My legs shook for a full ten minutes. I don't even know why, except that every ounce of me wanted to pass all of these tests and two hours of sheer focus must have taken its toll.

They played 19 set tunes twice while we wrote down their names, time and bars. This was the easy part of the night. Until I realized that one of my questions had been answered wrong and after scribbling my four different guesses, there was no more room on the space provided for my final answer. Hopefully the panel will have a magnifying glass to read what I wrote.

And then the days to follow were filled with dancing and studying. A little sleep and a quick bite in between, but not much else.

At the end of my last test, my panel leader told me I could go relax and enjoy the rest of my day. I could be happy. She told me I could be happy.

And where I thought I would be instantly filled with a rush of relief, I found that she was right, I did feel happy. Later as I flew over San Fransisco I found another feeling. Deep gratitude. So strong I could not do it justice in words. This is the feeling that has stayed with me since the end of my test.

My brain is still recovering from overdosing it with Irish dancing, but my heart is filled with gratitude. The whole experience taught me more than I could have ever projected. It changed me. And in spite of my flaws and weaknesses, I have no honest regrets. I came and gave what I could, and left with more than I had.

1 comment:

Gaylene said...

Thanks Laura, I always love reading your blog. You are an amazing inspiration to me!