Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Finding Me

I have a few vague memories from when I was young of going to my Dad's work. There are partial images of what the building looked like on the outside and seeing my Dad sitting at a desk, although I think it was more like a table. Surprisingly, I do actually remember the name of the company he worked for. That only surprises me because I can hardly remember things I did last week.

I don't remember how old I was when he set out on his own, but young enough I guess that the majority of my memories are of visiting him on job sites or watching him sit at his desk at home with stacks of blue prints by his feet and one always spread out in front of him.

I've always been proud of the fact that my Dad has made a successful living from his own business. I've also always sort of blamed my "never got to be involved in any outside of school activities" on the fact that I am the second oldest and I grew up in the poor years when his business was still getting started.

The truth is, even if we had been ridiculously wealthy, I probably would have opted out of any of those other things that young kids get involved in. I'm the kind of person who doesn't even try, because if I don't try then I can't fail.

I know now how dumb that is, but it made sense to me back then.

A big turning point for me was cosmetology school. I was scared to death to do it, but even more scared to live my life not really being anybody. I was already a wife and a mother, and even though I loved being both of those things, I still felt like there was no me. I had no idea who I was or even what I liked doing.

Since then I've gradually found a place for myself in things like sewing and making jewelry. I find great satisfaction in creating something of my very own, but it's not my passion.

Ironically, I discovered my passion as a child only to forget it.

We had some friends with an old piano in their play room and every time we went to their house I would sit at that thing and play for what seemed like hours, although I'm sure it was more like 20 minutes. I didn't even know how to play, but it didn't matter to me. In my head I was playing the most beautiful music I had ever heard.

In high school someone gave our family an old piano that wouldn't hold it's tune for anything. Around the same time our musician uncle came to visit and sat with me for several hours teaching me everything he could. I played and played every spare minute I had. I was able to take lessons finally after that, but only for a few years before I left home.

I didn't play much after highschool, even after my Mom gifted me a really nice keyboard for Christmas one year. I would sit down occasionally and think "why don't I do this more often?"

Life and kids was my excuse.

For a while I played the piano at church for primary, (kid's sunday school) but I never practiced.

Then, about six months ago I was asked to be the pianist for our women's meeting at church. I was terrified just thinking about it, but gladly accepted the call knowing it was just the excuse I had been looking for to purchase a piano. We got what we could afford on Craig's list, and while It's not very pretty, it plays. And holds it's tune.

The first few months were pretty rough. I practiced very little and scraped by even less on Sundays. Then I made a decision. I wanted to feel passionate about music again. So I started practicing every day. Some days all I could manage was fifteen minutes, but slowly things started to change. At first I thought the other girl was picking easier songs, but it was more than that. My whole body started remembering and somehow my mind and my fingers started working together like they never had before.

I'm still not what I would consider a great pianist, but I am learning and I am getting better every day. And more important than that, when I sit down on that bench, I'm me!


Amy said...

Great post Sally. I think so many women can relate to these same feelings and situations. I am wondering what ever happened to your guitar? Didn't I read on your blog you got one for like your birthday or something so you could play like Taylor Swift or something like that? I would love to play the guitar and the piano but my carpal tunnel is too painful for anything like that. I just stick to singing but I've lost even my voice I don't do much of that anymore either. Sad.

Sally said...

Ha ha! Amy, my husband asks me what happened to the guitar all the time. And I can't believe you remember that post from a couple years ago. Basically, I practiced enough to be in our ward talent show and then never touched it again. It's now on my list of hobbies that I got really excited about but never did anything with. Maybe someday when my kids are all in school I will pick it up again.

Jenn said...

"Someday"...that's what I keep saying about my violin. I want to pick it up again and even take lessons but it's one of those "someday" things. I guess the important thing is to still find something that makes you "you". I'm still working on finding myself.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you found you but no matter who you are, I think you are just great! I am so fortunate to have you as a daughter-in-law and I love you.

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