I wanted to learn to play the guitar.
It seemed so cool! Guitars had cases, and they had a strap so you could play it standing up. You could move around, dance while playing.
I could picture myself, with a cool guitar strap and a pair of killer boots standing in front of a mic stand, shredding the guitar while hitting the high notes.
Thing was, I had already learned to play the piano. The piano had been a joy to learn, with the keys laid out like a grid and the keys as clear as a math equation. I’d learned the way the scales and chords hung together, and made music happen.
It was so intoxicating to understand music theory, I thought I wanted to step up from the bench, come out from behind the dominated wall of the upright piano and be a guitar player!
When I played on Sunday, and the bass and guitar players sat in their chairs behind me, I saw how they were so mobile I wanted to be like them.
I asked Bill the bass player what it was like to play the guitar.
He said “If I were you, I’d stick with the piano. You could use your time to improve your playing on the instrument you already know, rather than trying to learn a new instrument.”
Bill was so cool.
But the desire for novelty doesn’t go away that easily.
The new and unexplored seems to have delights far superior to the known and well-trodden path.
Even now I think, maybe I should write something different. Observational essays are something I’ve done for a long time.
I think of launching into a new vector that will be full of glory.
But a lot of the time, it’s only that I don’t want to buckle down and get better at the task at hand.
Excellence has to be earned. And most of the time I am better at the thing I’ve already learned, as contemptuously familiar as it is.
So, I buckle down and craft my talent.
I’ll do the new thing later, when it’s not an excuse.