Now don’t get me wrong. My youth was not wasted in total. But in one very specific part that I am now very aware of. My musical instrument playing. From the time I was in 4th grade through the start of college, I was playing one form of instrument or another. And I had a fair amount of natural talent. In fact, I had enough to get by such that I didn’t really need to practice to pull off the music that I was playing.
But at the same time, the fact that I never practiced meant that I never got really good. I never expanded my abilities much beyond where they were shortly after I started playing. Practice wasn’t a lot of fun. There was other stuff I wanted to do at night. The reasons were many and varied. And then college came, and I just quit. I didn’t really play an instrument college, despite owning one. And save for a couple of months in a community band after I graduated, I didn’t play at all afterwards. I didn’t even think of myself as a musician anymore, and I was okay with that.
Then the opportunity to play in some musicals presented itself, and so once a year I would get out my instruments, and play at the same level I always had, which wasn’t really good, but it was good enough for middle school musicals.
And then something happened. I got a guitar. A classical guitar. And I started taking private lessons. And for the first time ever I really felt like I had an instrument that I loved playing. And so I practice. All the time. Probably an hour a day. Almost every day. And I’m pretty terrible. But I’ve already improved a huge amount. Probably a faster improvement than I’ve ever had with any instrument.
So it is now, at 28, that I realize that maybe all of those years ago I should have practiced more. I probably could have been really good. But I didn’t, and I can’t go back and change that. I guess all I really can do now is give my all to the guitar and enjoy it, and have the chance to do something I didn’t do many years ago. And I’m pretty happy about that.