Some awakenings are gradual.
The dream of success has not been a troubled dream, but a season of repose interspersed with moments of self-sacrificing effort. The gifts, however, were so abundant that even such efforts gave a respectable harvest of tone and encouragement, and a future with brilliant prospects was promised. The awakening came when the redemption of the promise seemed to recede as the moment of its fulfilment approached. Such is the oft-repeated experience of those who depend upon gifts for acknowledgment.
The awakening which comes with a start is when the oblivion to what really constituted art standards and requirements has been profound with entire faith in success as the sure reward of consistent effort. Those are sad moments in either case, and moments which need not have been experienced. In the first instance, regret for gifts that were wasted by time misspent; and, in the second, for failing to enter upon the work with but meager acquaintance with its exactions. Awakenings of a disappointing nature should be guarded against. It is better to listen to and enjoy good singing than to inflict upon others singing that isn’t good.