Lately I’ve been trying to figure out what my “thing” is. Everyone I know seems to have a “thing” except me. You know. That one thing that a person is amazing at and absolutely loves more than anything else.
For Joe, it’s ComedySportz.
For my friend Steve, it’s playing the drums.
For so many people I’ve met recently, it’s running.
I don’t think I have a “thing”. Or maybe I used to and I’ve lost it over the years. In high school, it was music. I played the flute for eight years growing up and I was damn good at it.
So good, in fact, that I completely took that amazing talent I had for granted.
So good that at the beginning of my freshman year in high school the band director pretty much told me to audition for the highest band even though I wasn’t confident enough in myself and in my abilities to think I would be accepted.
So good that I made that top band my freshman year and sat third chair behind two girls that were two years ahead of me in school; and ahead of many other girls that were older than me, as well.
So good that I rarely practiced and managed to keep that third chair spot until the girls ahead of me graduated, at which point I moved to first chair and never looked back.
So good that I was offered all of the solos in flute and piccolo and I never turned any of them down.
It may sound like I’m bragging about myself and my amazing talent, but I swear to you, I’m not. I’m just remembering. And, secretly, regretting. What if I had actually spent the time it took to practice and cultivate my talent? Where would I be now? Would I have gone down to Indiana University in Bloomington on a music scholarship? Would I have gotten a music degree? Would I now be playing in one of the symphonies I’ve listened to my whole life? Would I be traveling the world, playing my music and seeing places I’ve only heard about or dreamed about?
Who knows. Any of that could have happened to me, but on the same token, none of it could have happened. I’ll never know.
Or my flute and piccolo and all my music could still be sitting, forgotten, in a dark closet in my house.
I do know that I miss music. I miss playing in front of an audience. I miss the goosebumps I used to get when the band would come to a particularly emotional or dramatic climax in a song. I miss the standing ovations we would sometimes receive. I miss all of it.
I keep telling myself that it’s not too late; I can still get back into music. But time has gone by. I’ve lost the lung capacity. I’ve broken fingers and don’t know whether or not I can still cover the holes in the keys on my flute. I’ve lost all of the confidence I once had in myself and my ability to play just about any piece of music someone plopped down in front of me.
Someday, maybe not even so far in the future, I might find something to replace that passion I had for music. It could even be the baking, cooking, and candy making I’ve been spending so much of my very limited free time doing lately.
I have no way to tell what is in store for me. The only thing I am sure of is that I can’t just sit around and wait for it to happen to me. Whatever it is, I’ve got to make it happen.
I’ve got to search out my “thing”.