I don't like to think of myself as a quitter. But there was one time in my life when I happily quit an activity: piano.
Some of my earliest memories involve my Aunt Joy playing piano. She could make the most beautiful music pour out of those keys. I wanted to be just like her, so when I was old enough, I begged my parents to let me take piano lessons. My Aunt Joy taught me at first, and I loved it. I loved learning how to decode music and decipher music theory. But once she went to college, I had to learn from different teachers. I still liked it until I hit middle school.
At this age, piano was no longer easy. My teacher expected a lot more from me in terms of reading music and learning quickly. I no longer had the time to savor the music as I did before. Consequently, I gave up. I stopped practicing like I should. No matter how my teacher or my parents pushed me to practice, I just wouldn't. I didn't like playing piano enough to commit the effort.
I was ok with my mediocre skills until the Christmas Recital rolled around. My teacher organized all her students and gave them special pieces to play for family and friends. I was given the honor of playing the hymn the audience would sing at the end of the recital. I guess my teacher hoped it would motivate me to practice. It didn't.
The night of the recital, I realized how ill-equipped I was to play. I started to sweat. I wanted to run, but there was no escape. When it was my turn, I completely butchered the piece. It was so bad, the audience couldn't find the melody to sing along with me. When they clapped for me after the debacle was over, I could see the pity in their eyes.
I have never touched a piano again. I learned the hard way passion is required to be truly successful in life. I wish I would have responded differently when piano became difficult for me, but I never regretted quitting. It gave me the opportunity to try activities I love to this day!
Have you ever quit and been relieved? Share below!
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