Second fiddle for life: A recipe for happiness

Natasha Tynes
2 min readSep 6, 2022

I recently joined a community orchestra and chose to play the second violin. The reason was that I had abandoned playing the violin for years and had only gotten back to it during the pandemic.

I was not sure I was good enough to pull it off. The second violin position would be easy and less stressful, I thought to myself.

It was not easy, but somehow, it was less stressful. I hid in the back and played second fiddle quietly.

I had a blast. I loved the music, the orchestra, the daily practices, and the rehearsal. I didn’t have to prove anything. I was there for the music. My skills improved over time, and I even entertained the idea of playing the first violin but quickly brushed it away.

That got me thinking about my life choices and the pressure I had constantly put myself under.

Maybe in life, I just have to play second fiddle, always. Maybe I just need to seek enjoyment, not glory. Maybe I’m destined to be an amateur for life, a lover of the craft, just as the French origin of the word “amateur” implies. Amare, to love.

I want to be in love with life, not a chaser of the illusive dopamine. I need more serotine. I want to be happy at the moment and not itching for more, for more glory, for yet another dopamine dose.

Serotonin is the natural hormone that helps you feel happier, calmer, and more focused. Dopamine makes you feel motivated, accomplished, and productive.

While a balanced mix of serotonin and dopamine is the perfect combination, I would pick serotonin if I had to choose.

I would rather be happy.

For now, It’s the second fiddle for me. It’s the abundance of serotonin. It’s the secret to happiness.

Natasha Tynes

Writer. Journalist. Words in @washingtonpost , @ElleUK , @esquire . I write about: ✍🏼 Writing 📲 Creator economy 🌍 Mideast