Friday, April 1, 2011

slowly gaining a little perspective

I used to love playing piano. And writing songs. Oh how I loved writing songs. That feeling of creating something completely new to share with world. Of letting my heart pour out through my fingertips.

I used to spend hours every night at the piano, letting the music wash over me. Making me feel whole. I used to love sharing what I had learned or written with other people. I even used to love performing at school with my music class once every few months in college.

For someone so painfully shy and sad, I had no qualms about getting up in front of an audience and bearing my soul.

Piano was my solace. It helped me to get through even the toughest of times.

But then once day things in my life started to fall into place. Everything changed in front on my eyes and became so much brighter.

Except for music.

It was weird, how everything else in my life suddenly became so easy and natural. But playing piano slowly became something I dreaded.

I stopped writing songs because they weren’t good enough. I stopped learning pieces of music because I just wasn’t good enough anymore. I dreaded performing. I dreaded having to sit on that stool and force myself to like something that made me so unhappy.

Something in me broke during my last performance. I had only had two hours of sleep the night before due to exams. I was terrified. And everything went wrong. It was the worst performance of my life. I have always blamed the lack of sleep, but I think it went so badly simply because I had expected it to.

When I got home I threw out every song I had ever written. I forced myself to forget everything that I had worked on for the last three years.

And forget I did. I wish I hadn’t.But it can't be changed now.

My dread of the piano has lasted until this day. I can’t play in front of anyone anymore. The very idea of it makes me feel sick. I get so frustrated when I play that I can’t possibly be any good. How can you be, when all you can hear is ‘you’re going to mess up, you’re going to mess up.'

I have tried to change it around. I played in front of Joel last year. Once. And my family a little bit this year. But I still don’t enjoy letting anyone see me play. In fact I positively hate it.

I got a new keyboard for my birthday two weeks ago. One that felt right as soon as gently pressed down the keys. Things have started to change back to the way they used to be. I have started to find enjoyment in playing once more. And yesterday, after sitting around anxiously for a while staring it down as if it were my worst enemy, I forced myself to write a song. I have tried a few times the last few years. But halfway through I always give up and throw it out.

But this time I forced myself to finish it. And it was so easy. It came so naturally. It felt so right. It’s strange, to think that all this time this I have been so afraid of something that deep down, makes me happy.

I’m not sure if it was the new keyboard that brought about this new outlook. Or simply because I decided to not let a decision made six years ago hold me back anymore.

Either way, it feels good.

21 comments:

Jo said...

This was such a sweet post.
I'm so happy that you and the keys are friends again. I hope this renewed relationship brings you much joy!

SJ said...

i still dread the piano but i never really loved it in the first place :)

glad you're getting back into it, it's always great to have an outlet!

~BB~ said...

Great post - overcoming fears and mindsets is hard sometimes. I love playing the piano too, though I've never publicly done so since I botched a recital in sixth grade. You inspire me to start taking it up again. I appreciate your sweet comments on my blog - they make my day!

Ms. Chapatti said...

I'm soo glad you're playing again! the forcing yourself to try again really works plus what I do to is sit alone and talk to my piano somwhow its helps:)

a work in progress said...

this made me cry...first with the sads and then for the happys...

you are amazing, woman. truly.

jillian m. said...

ah, i feel like we have so much in common! i don't play the piano, but i have my own issues with overcoming fears, haha.

glad to hear you're playing again! i wish i could play the piano, too. actually, i know "twinkle twinkle little star". does that count?

Mandy said...

WOOHOO...I am so happy for you! It is exciting to be able to come back to something that really did mean a lot to you in the past...glad you overcame those anxious feelings to reconnect with music making/playing. I am sure you are amazing (don't even tell yourself otherwise!)

Happy music to you!

xoxo

Googlover/keishua said...

Oh, that is lovely. So amazing. I often wonder what would happen if I stop being bound to failures of the past. This sounds like a beautiful step towards healing.

Bonnie said...

Awwww. I love this post. :) You sound like such a sweetheart. <3

http://www.glamkittenslitterbox.com/
Twitter: @GlamKitten88

vintch said...

sometimes a little break and time away are all it takes to refresh the spirit. i'm glad you're back to music, and doing what makes your soul sing!

"Shiney's Blog" said...

Since i was a kid i really wanna learn how to play the piano, but time passed by & didn't got the chance to learn it. anyway, i tagged you in my blog, pls take a look.

Brandi {not your average ordinary} said...

Keep playing. I'm so glad you took it up again.

Deidre said...

aw, this is very brave!! good for you!

Kimbirdy said...

what a beautiful post, and a beautiful soul! i think it just goes to show how much you've grown to be able to pick it back up, stair down your enemy, and find that renewed love. our experiences take us to so many different places along our journey, but the wonderful thing is that you can always go back to long lost loves, and you can always face that which has held you down. i'm so excited for you! and when you're ready, i really hope you post a bit of your music.

Cassidy said...

Music has always been a coping skill in my life. I don't play an instrument (used to play guitar but not anymore) but I can definitely appreciate it from a listener's perspective. I wish I could play the piano! And maybe even the violin and harpsichord. But I'd never have the patience to do it haha.

AquĆ­ said...

a little perspective is always great! Helps clear your head! Love this post :)

wilybrunette said...

oh i do hope you find that old joy again. nothing quite like a first love. the loss of it can be devastating but coming back to it can be like nothing else. baseball was my first love. i would love nothing more than to take to the field again. to find that love once more.

Mimi said...

i am happy that you are doing something again that makes you feel good. and thanks for sharing this with us! :D

<3, Mimi
http://whatmimiwrites.blogspot.com/

Mandy said...

Wanted to give you info on candle making...first to see my process look at this blog of mine http://livelaughlovetoday-mandy.blogspot.com/2011/03/success.html
where I made my first soy wax candles...also look at this website for other helpful hints/tips (also where I referenced) http://www.candlehelp.com/?content=moldedtapers

Hope you have fun making your own!

Michelle said...

this is great! i feel this way about a few things in my life currently. i need to restart and use your outlook on things now!

Sarah said...

What an incredible experience for you. I'm so glad you stuck with it and pushed through to finish the song. I hope you write many more that you love.