Every time I read something about letting go of old stories, I think I don’t have any to let go of, but that isn’t true. I thought about one this morning and followed it through to its logical conclusion and realized that I blame my mom for the fact that I’m not a rock star.
When I was a kid, my mom took and taught guitar lessons at the local music shop. I remember her struggling with learning “Something” by George Harrison so she could teach it to a student. At home, she would play and we would sing together.
She wouldn’t teach me to play. I don’t remember why. Maybe she didn’t think she had the patience. Or that I had the discipline.
In grade school, someone started teaching guitar lessons and a friend of mine took them. I asked mom if I could take them and she said no, because she could teach me better.
I never learned to play guitar.
This came up not long ago and I realize I still hold this against her. It still makes me angry. I want to cry just writing this.
In the car this morning, I thought about how this led to a lack of confidence which led to not trying music seriously, yadda yadda yadda. And I realized that I blame her BUT HAVE NO ONE TO BLAME BUT MYSELF.
What stopped me from trying to learn some other way? I remember vaguely trying to teach myself with Mel Bay books – I think on the organ at grandma’s house. I gave up, as I often do when things don’t come easily. But my uncle learned to play guitar – why didn’t I learn with him or have him teach me? Why didn’t I seek out other musicians? I know I was afraid, especially after that one time I tried to sing with the band practicing next door to my grandparents’ house and was told I wasn’t in the right key – it wasn’t mean and it was the first time I’d tried to sing to a live guitarist that wasn’t mom! – but if I really wanted it, why didn’t I fight for it? I let fear and insecurity and lack of confidence hold me back. *I* did. Nobody else.
In college, I wanted to take voice classes but couldn’t fit them into my schedule. If I wanted it badly enough, why didn’t I find a way? Maybe I didn’t want it badly enough. Maybe I was just scared I’d be told I wasn’t good enough. Once again, it’s easier for me not to try than to fail. And I was hanging out with geeks, not musicians by then.
The 20-some years since then? Why didn’t I ask Adam or Terri to teach me? I wanted to sing with them, but I was too passive-aggressive to ask, I just hung around waiting to be asked. Then there wasn’t a band anymore. Then there was gaming and work and kids and a business for a long time and, and, and…
What about NOW?
The boat to Rock Star has probably sailed, but nothing says I can’t learn just for fun. Just for me. Without the pressure or the perfectionism.
Plus, Science Says that learning new things can stave off dementia! 😀
There’s always the ukulele. Amanda Palmer says it’s easy.