I had a drum lesson tonight and I left it feeling bummed.  Not that anything bad happened during the lesson – I practiced “Panama” and chatted with my teacher like I always do. But I felt a sense of disappointment from him because I haven’t been practicing like I should.  I mean, I did practice – the night before the lesson and then during lunch today.  So not very much at all.  As sad as that sounds, it’s more than I used to practice in the past.  But it’s not enough.  I still am fumbling over really easy parts, stuff that shouldn’t be a problem for me.  I sense Michael’s disappointment, and I’m disappointed in myself too.

It’s not like I don’t enjoy drums. I love playing.  But after the high of returning to lessons decreased a little, the reminder of my Achilles’ Heel returned – practicing.  I have to practice to be better.  I was never good at it, even when I was a young violinist, because I’m such a lazy music student.  So lazy.  And my orchestra teacher was mad at me then, too.  Because she told me I had huge potential, once upon a time.  But I never practiced, so I squandered it.  Now I sound like Jack Benny if I try and pick up the violin.

Maybe on paper I sound like an accomplished person. I have a master’s degree in engineering, I work for a Fortune 500 company and am fairly decent at what I do, and I have made my return to endurance running. I don’t want to sound like I’m bragging, because I aim to live my life with humility and always assume that there’s nothing entirely special about myself.  But sometimes I have to remember all that I’ve accomplished or else I’ll recount all my failures.  Disappointment in yourself leads to self-loathing, a path I have taken many times in my life.  I don’t like hating myself.  I realized recently that I actually like who I am now, which is completely opposite of how I felt in my more angsty early twenties, when I would have given anything to be someone else.

I am always too ambitious and think of different projects to try, but then I don’t finish the majority of what I want. I learn just enough of a new skill or instrument to be passable, and then get lazy when it gets hard.  This is why I’m stuck at the level I’m at after three and a half years of playing. 

I don’t have any excuse, really.  I don’t have any children to raise. I just have my job and my dog, and a boyfriend that I see only on weekends.  I run after work and cook dinner and pick up my apartment a little.  I don’t have any huge commitments other than puppy classes or drum lessons. I should have plenty of time to accomplish what I want to do.

Perhaps I should be easier on myself.  I’ve learned so much by navigating through my sometimes difficult twenties.  I’m older and realize that I need to work hard at things I want to be good at.  I have finished more projects that I’ve started this year because I was determined to.  Maybe not all hope is lost.

I can use disappointment to my advantage, to keep me working hard to accomplish my goals.  But until then, it will sit heavily in my stomach as I remember all my failures.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s