Sunday, April 13, 2014

Carpe-ing The Heck Out Of This Diem.

Can we start this little talk with a quote?  Let's start with a quote.

This quote, right up there, has been the thought rolling around in thee ole noggin for the last month.  Let me tell you something--
It's been nine months since I started taking violin lessons. 
NINE MONTHS.  Nine Months.
Nine months is no time as far as learning something new like an instrument, and yet, nine months is a lot of practice time, too.
And how do I feel?  Still like the 60 year old who finally gets braces.  Dumb.  Kinda silly.  I get very discouraged.  This isn't coming easily to me, and I'm crazy disappointed. 
And how do I sound?  Gosh awful.  Screechy.  Still occasionally hitting a second string.  Notes are slightly off.  Dogs are howling.  Windows are breaking.  Children are crying "please just make it stop".
But the beautiful thing is. . . wait for it. . .
I'm nine months better than I was before.
Know how they say the best time to plant a tree was 25 years ago. . . OR. . . now.  ?  
'S all I'm saying. 
To my everlasting disappointment, I didn't start violin 25 years ago.  If I had a time machine it'd be at the top of my list in advice for myself.  That, along with, "Oh please for the love don't curl your bangs that high."  Plus a few other things.
I can't tell you that I'll ever be great at violin-- I just can't.  But I can tell you that I will get better, because I won't quit.  Even though I'm embarrassed-- even though I refused to do the recital with all my teacher's other 20 years younger students because hello that's embarrassing and who is this old lady taking the stage? --
I won't quit, 'cause for some crazy odd reason, it's really, ree-hee-heally important to me.  I get crazy discouraged, but I still love it.  I still enjoy it.  Still.
Plus, I'm on a 5 year plan, and I'm moving on to the harp next, and I ree-hee-heally want to learn harp, but not until I'm proficient in violin, so as you can see, I've gotta work hard, here.
This hangs in my garage.

It's meant to be a pep talk for my ineptitude regarding all things building.  But it applies to pretty much everything in my life right now. 
If I had a dollar for every time someone said something along the lines of,
"I have always wanted to . . . ."
"I really wanna learn how to. . . "
"It's on my life list to. . . "
(Insert "learn to play the piano"  or "go back to school and get a different degree" or some other awesome goal)
well, I wouldn't have a ton of money, but I'd have enough for a dozen donuts or something equally as delicious.
It's funny, 'cause the same day I took my first violin lesson, a friend randomly told me they really wanted to learn piano and start taking lessons now as an adult. 
People-- if you wanna learn piano, take lessons.  You really will learn soooo fast as an adult.  Side note.  Sorry.
Well, obvs, as I just pointed out, 9 months have passed from that time.  9 months neither of us can get back.  9 months lost.  Or gained, depending on how you look at it.
Actually, I took a video of myself playing to show you.  I'm not going to show you.  I have my pride!   All I can hear are extra strings hit, occasional screeches, part I played wrong and every dynamic I missed, and I can only see how I'm moving my elbow too much and my hips look too spread and my butt's too big.
That's all I hear and see.  Still, I shall press on.  Maybe I'll gear up for a video no one wants to watch when I hit my year mark.  I only semi-promise.
I leave you now with one last thought, grasshoppah.
Start today.  We can always suck at whatever it is together.


~ Laura said...

SOSOSOSO many good words here!!!!! I love that you are taking lessons!!! I totally would have done the same regarding the recital!! But, I also will never forget the 90 year old man singing at one of my daughter's voice recitals. Turns out he always wanted to learn how to sing, so he was taking lessons!! I think he made everyone in that room reevaluate their life!! :) Thanks for all the inspiration!! I am really looking forward hearing you play in three months!!! :)

Anonymous said...

I'm 32 and I just started taking piano lessons last year. I have always wanted to play piano and figured what am I waiting for!? I am learning slowly too but it is fun :)

Jasi said...

I adore you for this. Why aren't we allowed to learn new things as we pass our 30s? Why must we be brave enough to suck at something and keep at? Such a stigma and it's ridiculous. Like we're all supposed to be virtuoso, hacking, parkouring, master chef, ninjas by our 20s or it's an entirely misspent youth. lol. You enjoy your violin. I'm right here cheering you on!

Kylie said...

I started violin at age 10...I'm still not great. But I am feeling sad today that I haven't picked up my instrument in years! Thanks for the reminder to embrace our talents (however meager:))

Jackie said...

Now I am trying to think of things I have always wanted to do but didn't for whatever reason so I can get started...on something. Keep up the good work Mandi.

james and bess said...

Thanks. :)