August 1, 2011
Even as an adult I continue to go through phases
A few years back I thought it would be pretty cool to learn how to play the guitar. So I stacked up a little money and bought the baddest acoustic guitar in the store thinking that the amount of cash I spent on it would motivate me to learn how to play. In the beginning my theory worked as I began to learn how to play basic little rhythms by ear. I even paid for a few lessons; but then life started happening. Various events began to require my time and pull me away from my new hobby until eventually I just gave it up. Now what was once my pride and joy is just a dusty, out of tune thing that sits in the corner of my room.
For a brief moment in my life I wanted to play like Mississippi Fred McDowell, B.B. King, and Robert Johnson. Somehow I had managed to romanticize the arduous lives of southern sharecroppers who learned how to perform the blues in order to finally move off of the plantation. In my mind I wanted to hop on a train and just ride. With my guitar in my hand and a little bit of money in my pocket I would just go out one night and not come back until I had at least two dozen wild stories to tell my grandchildren.
How naïve can a grown man be?
Learning how to play the guitar is hard. Leaving your family is harder, and hopping on a freight train in the 21st century is extremely ill-advised. Responsibility is the rusty blade that kills your childhood stroke by stroke. To live ones life in denial of what is real is tantamount to failure. At some point a person has got to settle down within himself, no matter how outrageous his dreams are.
There is still joy
There is nothing better than looking down from the top of the mountain at the people who tried in vein to destroy you. There is nothing better than being able to look inside yourself and loving what you see. I was foolish enough to think that money alone would motivate me to do something. I made the mistake of taking passion, dedication, and love out of the equation.
Now I am wiser