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.