Shoes off and hand luggage ready to be scanned, I went quickly through security. Thirty seconds later my backpack reached the x-rays and the TSA agent cried out loud, “Oooohhh I think you are not going to like this,” his face expressing horror.
I know I packed my luggage and I know everything in there is legal, still, when a TSA agent says I’m not going to like that you doubt. You are not strong enough to trust what you packed. You start thinking: Did someone put a bomb on my backpack? What did I pack? I hope I don’t go to jail…
The bag was moved aside and another TSA agent approached me. “Is this your bag?” No choice, time to see what the hell’s in there. “Yes,” I said with a turning stomach. She proceeded to open my bag.
My metronome! I said relieved “I’m a professional musician and that is my metronome. I have the charger if you–”
“I know. I’m a drummer,” she said. “But you gotta admit,” She pointed to her screen, “that looks like a taser.”
I nodded not knowing how a taser looks like but wanting to get out of there. The officer showed the device to her supervisor and I headed to my terminal.
Lesson: They will judge your luggage; not only your material luggage but also your inner baggage. The things you’ve built over time like discipline and other efficient qualities.
Only you know what’s inside.
Only you know what you prepared beforehand.
Trust that you packed what you packed and nothing else. Trust your inner abilities, skills, and at times intonation. Trust that your luggage was with you the whole time and that nobody sneaked a bomb on your belongings.
As a classical musician, you own your preparation, skills, and readiness. They WILL attack with judgment but the more you trust on what you packed (or practiced) the comfier you’ll feel when the judgment comes your way.
You are you, and you know what you bring along.
Solution: Don’t judge—never. Trust your inner luggage (abilities, skills) and learn how to defend yourself from judgment. Finally, enjoy your profession—we make music for a living. Damn that’s awesome!