The time I almost cried – but I’m glad I didn’t.

I’m supposed to be on a break but I decided that I don’t care and I miss writing anyway.

As some of you might know (why do I start all my posts in subtly assuming that you already are up to date with everything going on in my life? That is so not cool me stop doing it), I started taking piano lessons last week, after years of wanting to. I still don’t why I just decided to do it.

Anyway, last week it was pretty fine, I did some preparatory exercices and I managed to not make too many mistakes. It was simple stuff and seeing as I am not completely new in piano (having taken some lessons many years ago aside from knowing how to play song melodies by ear) I did well.

This week though.

We started with the thing that was the reason I wanted to learn in the first place. The thing that always mind boggled me and made me feel like I could never achieve it.

Polyphony.

Okay I’m kinda laughing at my stupidty now because the way I just said ‘Polyphony.’; it’s like I just revealed the world’s deepest secrets, or the plot twist to a hugely engaging crime novel. Ugh, movin’ on.

Anyway, what I mean by that is that I never knew how to play with my two hands and I always wanted to know how, but I also thought it’s way too complicated and I’d never be able to do it.

Turns out I wasn’t wrong at all. The most accurate way I can descrive how I played would be ‘Neville Longbottom’. Pre-adolescent version, of course.

I just couldn’t understand any of the notes. My fingers went drunk and hit the keys whenever they felt like it, and my hands were unnecessarily shaky. I kept making mistakes and trying again.

My teacher said ‘it was not bad for a first time’ but I was too old for that shit. I know that’s what you say to a little kid when you don’t have the heart to tell him he sucks.
She told me try again, and I did. And that’s where the tears started coming.

I felt desperate and disgusted with myself. I felt useless, like I’m a worthless piece of shit who doesn’t know how to read the simplest of music lines while on top of it all, the kid in the next room was playing perfectly. I was a total looser at that point, and I just wanted to stop and never speak of it again.

Luckily, that moment passed quickly. I was actually amazed at how fast I got so emotional and apalled and a minute later it was all back to normal.

Well, I knew I wasn’t going to succeed on the first try. I didn’t know I’d suck that bad, but I expected myself not to get it from the first go.

I had to promise myself on the spot that whatever happens, I was still going to keep trying until I have no choice but to quit. I wasn’t going to give up so easily on something I wanted for so long without trying my best for it first.

The lesson ended a while after that and my teacher told me to prepare those exercices for next week as homework along with some ridiculously easy theory exercices which made me wonder how awful and helpless she really thought I was.

After that, I went to my friend’s house to study (and I discovered that I am even more unprepared for the exams than I thought) then to choir (oh my God, guys. If only you could hear us. Ugh, I love this so much). Oh also I almost died in a car accident but then I didn’t. Phew. So yeah, it wasn’t until after I got back that I thought about piano again.

I tried to do the exercices again. It was still a fiasco.

I gave up and decided to go eat instead. I talked to some friends, complaining and nagging about how I almost cried and how difficult piano was and how I was a total loser and all that (am I really that annoying?). As I was talking to a certain blogger you probably all know (and call her Elm or something…), I had a thought. One of those deeply narcissitic but self-esteem boosting thoughts I frequently have.

‘Hey. You are you. You! You’re good at pretty much everything you set your mind to. If other people can do it, there’s absolutely no reason for you not to. Come on. You’ll make it. I know you will, because you are you.

I have no idea how self centered someone has to be to think like that, much less to actually believe himself.

Either way, it worked and it motivated me to go online and look for people with the same problem, as I always do when I have any problem. I don’t why, is it to find a solution? Or simply to just have someone you can relate to?

I suprisingly found a lot of people with my case: by-ear players who want to transition into learning properly and are having a hard time playing with both hands.

A lot of people suggested this method: practicing each hand alone, slowly, then fastly, then trying each measure by its own with two hands, taking it as slowly as we need until we are capable of playing the whole thing.

I didn’t really give that much thought and ignored it. Like fine, a method. Any real advice?

But then, as I once again found myself in front of the piano instead of studying, I decided to just try to follow the procedure.

(I feel like I have already detailed way too much stuff so meh I’ll just say it) IT FUCKING WORKED!

It took me more than an hour but I finally could play my two handed exercices okayishly, and on top of that I learned a song and it also worked which was SO awesome. The tune is so simple but hearing myself hitting those two notes at once without panicking and producing the right sound felt so fulfilling.

It filled me with hope. Hope that I’ll keep getting better and better as I practice more and more. Hope that I won’t have to quit when it gets too hard because I’ll work even harder and achieve what I want. Hope that one day I’ll be able to look back on this and say that this is where I started, and look where I am now.

It’s true that I spent the whole evening on the piano, not studying a word from the heap of lessons I still haven’t touched, but I don’t feel like it went to waste.

I am proud of myself, and I hope all of you get to say the same thing about yourselves; if not today, then tomorrow. Because we all have some things to be proud of, and by acknowledging these things, we let ourselves thrive and make these things even better.

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32 thoughts on “The time I almost cried – but I’m glad I didn’t.

  1. Oh the number of times I’ve nearly cried in dance class, struggling to do single pirouettes while everyone else is doing triples;) I’m so glad you persevered, you’ve definitely proven if you really want to do something you just have to put your mind to it:) Well done!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Don’t worry, you’ll get better in time! And that quote isn’t quite narcissistic, I would think of it more as inspiring. πŸ˜‰ It’s great that you had the determination to practice even when you felt like quitting, which means you’ll definitely become a pro if you continue to work hard!
    And glad you didn’t die in the car accident. xP

    Liked by 2 people

  3. We all go through that when you start playing the piano. That still happens to me now and I tried to play something yesterday and it sounded like a slightly tipsy ogre had sat on the piano! πŸ˜‚
    Well done for getting your first piece though! πŸ˜„

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I remember when I nearly burst into tears when I was trying to put my contact lenses in for the first time (while this shop assistant was starring at me the whole time!). Now I barely struggle with it. It’s great that you kept trying! Drive and commitment is all you need to achieve something and you certainly have that under your belt πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Me neither at first! It’s was very frustrating, but eventually you get used to it. It’s a pain in the ass, but so glad it exists! And no problem πŸ™‚ when you become a pro I can say I saw your talent early in the days :p

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I took piano lessons as a kid and i remember just how frustrating it is. Sometimes now I’ll go back and learn some songs by ear and I really love that I can do that, so keep with it, its definitely a skill worth having. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi!!!
    Congratulations, and you have been nominated for the black cat blue sea award, well done, and i hope you have fun doing it!!
    for more info:https://awesomeideas2003.wordpress.com/2016/02/08/the-black-cat-blue-sea-award/
    at least, you try, and do extra curricular things!!!!Its really good that you do, better than me, i’m just a lazy lazy person, even tho i’m in year 8, and accordin to my mum, i am still meant to be childlike, but who is ‘chilike’ innit?
    byeXxx

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Quite an eye-opener of an article, and a really good one and all Anthony. This is fantastic, and take this from me buddy, if you put all the hard work in, you’ll be noticed, and the best thing to believe in is yourself, but most importantly, be yourself, and do whatever makes you happy.

    Always be yourself and be your own self, be the version of yourself that you want to be, but most of all, be the best you can be. Even if you don’t get something right the first time, the best thing is to keep trying, because the more you try, the better you become.

    I can relate to how you feel buddy, it’s not an easy journey, and I’ve been there because it was something I went through quite a lot when I was at secondary school, so you’re not alone in this at all buddy β˜ΊπŸ‘.

    One more thing, be yourself and do what you want to do.

    Again, fantastic article Anthony, and great work buddy πŸ˜‰πŸ’―πŸ‘.

    Alex Smithson

    Liked by 1 person

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