Wednesday, July 16, 2008

45. Meowzas.

Maddening. I spent all day feeling incredibly creative, and then, by the time I am home and able to use said creative energies, they're gone. *Poof*

I did spend most of the work day doodling at my desk because we hardly have any work to do right now. That's something anyway. But instead of doing anything much of anything, I ended up just walking Frank for a bit and then here we are. Matt is off cheffing it up Coq au Vin style for Katy and Nathan tonight, and I'm trying to force myself to do something other than sit here nibbling my paws. So far it's not working.

On a completely unrelated note, I was listening to Pandora just now when this guy came up. His album is called "I Don't Know What I'm Doing". Hilarious, yet apparently true. Brad does suck. So much so that he's giving most of his tracks away as free downloads. I get the impression his musical career began while playing Truth or Dare...

Speaking of people with no musical talent, I started contemplating the possibility of selling my euphonium while Frank and I were walking. I've had a bit of buyer's remorse over the practice mute we bought a few months ago. I've played all of twice since we bought it, and I fear it may have been a waste of $200. Every time I think of practicing, I decide there are numerous other things I'd rather be doing. Even if those things are grimy chores like scrubbing my toilet.

I have come to a couple of realizations:

1. I am no longer in possession of any "chops". My range and playing ability are around that of a fifth grader. (*A fifth grader who has just spent the last 3 weeks learning the song flute, not a 5th grade prodigy who has been in lessons since the age of 4.)

2. I lack discipline. I never was able to make myself practice, even in school. By my senior year I was taking (I believe) 5 hours of band classes a day, and never touching my horn at home.

I've been lugging this horn with me from place to place for almost 10 years now. I have played it maybe 1-2 times each year during that time. Since high school, I have lived in a dorm, 2 apartments and now a condo. Nearly every time I have tried to play I've received a noise complaint from someone. Now that I finally have a mute, I find I am so bad I don't have the drive or desire to make myself practice in order to become good again.

It was a wonderful, beautiful, exciting, shiny high school graduation present from my parents, and has remained the single most expensive thing I own beyond my house and my car. Every time I look at it I feel a mixture of pride and shame at the same time. I don't think I will ever be able to play the way someone who owns an instrument this perfect should. And yet I am afraid that if I were to actually go through with selling it I would regret it forever. I could never afford something like it again.

In 3 days, I turn 27. I've spent the past month, and especially the past week, reflecting on who I am, where I'm going, and what I want to do with myself. General pre-birthday putting one's self in order type stuff. And it has begun to occur to me that perhaps I am not meant to be a music maker. Or, if I am, perhaps I've been trying to play the wrong instrument all along.

I do still feel a connection to my euphonium that tells me there is still something between us even after a 10 year hiatus. After the previous paragraph, I went and played for about 15 minutes, and I was just slightly less shit than I was the last time I tried. I find that encouraging, though I think I may require lessons if I hope to ever be anything worth anything again.

Always with the lessons she's saying! Oy! Do my pockets look like they're lined with gold?!

I am nearly 27.
I still have no idea what I want to be when I grow up.
I am still filled with a thousand imagined possibilities.
And I am not finished yet.


meg's thoughts return said...

As a non musician and total pack rat my advice is keep it.

My mom bought her first upright cheap piano when she was in her mid-twenties and poor as dirt. She still has it, she sits down and plays maybe once every three months. She's not particularly great, but you can tell it makes her happy. Who knows what will make you happy when you're 50? I certainly do not, but then again I'm a sentimental sap who can't throw greeting cards away.

Janieac said...

Yay for personal development!

And as a quasi-musician and non-pack-rat, I say keep it.

I sold my piccolo and flute for something like $75 to pay the bills when I was unemployed after the Slackers conundrum.

I've regretted it pretty much daily since then; and they were no where near nice quality. The piccolo was horribly tarnished with several of the keys arms bent and desperately needed repadding -- hell, my parents got it for me at a pawn shop in high school -- and the flute was just a boring student flute.

But to me, they were reminders of wonderful times and self achievement; I'd made first chair three years in a row on those two, been to countless marching band parades and festivals, and even got a 1 at state competition as part of a woodwind trio.

While I still have my memories, there isn't a time that goes by that I wouldn't love to bust it out again and fiddle for awhile.

Damn it, I'm going to cry.

Françoise de Fleur said...

As a musician AND pack-rat (bad combination), I too say keep it.

I've had my Yamaha pianica since kindergarten (I was in Yamaha music/organ classes back then)... And I really have no recollection of ever playing it before I discovered it sitting on top of one of my bookshelves when I was 20 or 21. Now, it's one of my favorite things to play. Granted, I can't breathe after 15 minutes of playing it.

Also. You obviously still love your euphonium. It's most definitely not in a place that it does not belong. At the piano store I worked at a million years ago, I used to see parents come in daily with their bored kids and force-feed them "culture" by purchasing what would just become another expensive piece of living room furniture, never played and never loved.

So please, don't feel bad about it. It's your neighbors over the years that should feel bad for getting in the way of playing! But then again, I'm sure all of my neighbors in apartments/dorms have hated me for being loud.