Thursday, October 16, 2014

Good, Never Great

I am tired of being good at many things but without the potential to be great.

I started playing the piano seriously at age ten. Before that, I had a rudimentary knowledge--as in, I knew where Middle C was, basically. I discovered that I loved it. A year and a half later, I started taking lessons from my church's pianist. Within a year or two I decided that I wanted to be great at the piano, so I tried to practice two hours six days a week--which, you know, never happened, because I thought I'd stress everyone in the house out by playing on a Saturday, plus at least two other days a week I couldn't fit in two hours with my schoolwork and the volunteer activities I had to do, et cetera.

My interest in the piano quickly fizzled out when I had to stop taking lessons at the end of my sophomore year in high school. It hasn't died, but I just never can find the motivation to practice anymore, and I've lost appreciation for concert pianists. I'd rather think of myself as an artist, an interpreter. The phrase “concert pianist” brings to mind a performer obsessed with rules and composers. I don't want to be like that.
Only a year or two before I quit piano lessons, Jackie Evancho's music sparked my interest in singing. And I still love it. But my voice is one that has to be worked on. I'm not effortlessly amazing like some people seem to be. I can't hold a decent vibrato, if I hold any note too long I pinch it down and make it sound like a mouse, my voice control is worthless, and I can hardly harmonize worth a bean.
I've been writing since I was eight. Last year I finished my 250,000-word epic, which in retrospect is wretchedly written. I wanted to start and finish the first draft six or seven months afterward, but that hasn't happened. Most of the time I wonder if it ever will. I never did think I could lose interest in the hotheaded Reuel whose exterior sins might not have been like my own, but whose interior problems certainly were. I hope I don't; I hope I can go back to writing that novel someday. Someday when I have a better grasp of human emotion. 
Likewise, this post doesn't begin to reveal the actual irritation I feel about this. The rest of my family seems to have it all figured out. My oldest brother is a math whiz (how well I remember the multiple times he'd come home from his calculus classes and admit that he got a hundred percent). To my second brother, music comes so easy--he's a composer, performer, improviser all in one. My older sister is an artist--a photographer, a preserver of memories. Words flow easily in perfect semblance from her fingertips, her brain can grasp both the abstract concepts of literature and the hard facts of pre-calculus with 100% accuracy.

I guess I'll have to keep tripping along toward something. I just never know what. An associate's degree? A job as an image consultant? But I wonder if either of those things is worth anything at all--I mean really worth it--in this life.

2 comments :

  1. GCBI will always be worth it. :)

    Also, I'm annoyed about this exact same thing at least twice a day. Definitely don't have it "all figured out." :-/

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    1. I know it will. I'm just scared TO DEATH of going. I almost had a panic attack last night thinking about it. I want to know the REAL Jesus and I want to learn the Bible, but I am SO AFRAID of moving to Florida.

      But you ARE great! You're great at writing and great at photography. :D

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