Monday, March 19, 2012

Missed Opportunities

I want to preface this entry by saying that I'm not looking for any type of sympathy and I'm not writing this to make anyone feel guilty or start regretting things they have or have not done.  I'm writing this because it's on my mind and I hope that I can take my own advice for once in my life. 

Yesterday, I came across something that I received when I was 15 years old.  I sat down to play the piano for a bit and saw the evaluation sheet that had been filled out by 3 judges during a recital/contest I played in.  I played two of my favorite pieces - one by Bach and one by Khachaturian.  I received 2 "superior" marks and 1 "excellent" mark.  What really got to me, though, was the fact that I do not recall ever reading the comments on these pages.  It's possible I did read them, but the response I had yesterday to the last comment makes me think I just looked at the "grades" and when I saw that I had received high marks, I was happy.  I'll get to the comment in a minute, but I want to expound on the fact that I don't think I really read those comments.  They were insightful and while I don't think they would have been life-changing, I wonder what I would have done with my life had I really read that last comment and taken it to heart.  I've missed out on a lot of things in life because I wasn't paying attention.  This is something I've always done.  I skim over things I read and I don't always pay attention to someone when they are talking to me. It's hurt me in many ways, I'm sure. I know that my self-confidence has always been lower than it should be.  I believe that if I had more self-confidence as a teenager, I might have played volleyball (or at least tried out) in college.  I would have loved to have tried out for the Olympic Team too...but I didn't have the confidence.  Oh, I had the tape to send to recruiters and it was a really GOOD one.  I actually served almost an entire game.  That is really impressive, I think.  It showed I had the skill and the concentration to focus on the game and not let the other team try to break me.  In a way I regret that I didn't pursue volleyball further than high school, but as I get older, the regret I feel lessens.  I do have a good life and I enjoy what I do.  I'm proud of my degree from college.  It was in a subject I loved and was pretty good at.  I'm no genius, but I am smart, I know that. 

Now, what about that comment on the piano recital sheet?  I wonder if I'd have chosen the same path if I had really read it closely.  It was a comment about the Khachaturian piece I played, "...polish it...and major in music."

Major in Music.  WOW!  That, along with the comment made by my piano teacher at the time, should have hit home with me.  The comment made by my piano teacher was, "You should become a concert pianist."  Double WOW!  Why didn't I listen to these people?  Who knows.  I was 15 years old.  I don't think I'd have become a concert pianist, truthfully, but when I look back and think about these things, I feel proud and sad and glad.  Glad I had the opportunity to learn how to play the piano.  Glad that I love playing the piano.  Glad that I still HAVE the piano I grew up with, even though it is SORELY out of tune!  Poor thing.  And glad that I can still play the piano.  Maybe I will start playing more often and might even consider taking another lesson or two?  Who knows, maybe I can still be a concert pianist some day. 


  1. I remember a girl who ask if whe could guit piano lessons. I said she could after she learned to play the Flight of the Bumblebee, She learned to play it then ask if she could continue taking lessons.

  2. You know we DID talk about a Music Major at one time but you felt there were things you should of been doing to prepare for that. YOU ARE NEVER too old. Please LISTEN to that.

  3. Not too old! You are young, take it from me! I had a recent experience similar to yours, reading about my French skills in high school that I never followed. I wonder, if I'd majored in Languages, what would have been different? I might have been a French teacher and retired by now!!! Ha ha!