I’m taking yesterday and running with it.
Something I was really good at when I was a kid? Violin.
I can’t remember when I started playing. I think I was eight or nine years old. I played for over four years, and by the end of those four-ish years, I was good. I still remember some of the songs I used to play. One of my favourites was from The Magic Flute. I could sing you the tune if you asked.
The other thing that happened at the end of those four-ish years is I started to hit my teenage rebellion and I decided it was not cool to play the violin, so I didn’t want to do it anymore.
My mom – bless her heart – didn’t force me to stick with it. And honestly, while I sometimes wish that she had, I don’t think that she would have been able to. I am a stubborn girl. So I put the violin in its case, tucked it away, and became a goth. I stopped humming The Magic Flute and traded it in for Marilyn Manson.
A number of years later – when I was probably 20 or 21, I was reorganizing my bedroom and I decided I would pull out my violin. No one was home, so I could play and not have to explain myself to anyone. I could just try it, without having to decide if I was going to really stick with it.
I opened the case. The familiar, comforting smell of resin filled my nose. I sighed a sigh of relief without even realizing it. It felt like home. I had missed this. I picked up the violin, which sat in my hands as if it were an extension of them, and placed it under my chin. I closed my eyes, remembering the finger positions for that one song from The Magic Flute. I placed the bow on the strings and started to play.
It sounded like a cat was dying. Or a fox. Have you ever heard foxes? Fuck.
I was so certain that it would sound beautiful. I felt in my bones that I would be able to pick up and start where I had left off.
I tried another few notes. The violin was still in tune, but I made it sound like…well, like shit.
I placed the violin back in the case very calmly, making sure everything was in the right spot, protected, covered, and then slid it back under my bed. When it was out of sight, I cried.
I cried a lot.
That was the day I learned that just because you used to be able to do something doesn’t mean you’ll always be able to do it. Not without practice.
One day I’ll pick that violin back up and start practicing. I’m honestly still reeling from how horrendous it sounded five years ago.
NOTE TO SELF: Add “practice violin” and “practice spinning” to The List.
…Also add “making out.” It’s been a while. Shit.