Sunday, June 29, 2008

For Those About to Rock (i.e. me) We Salute You.

That’s right folks….I am once again the proud owner of a 1993 Yamaha PSR-410 Portatone. (Please don’t call it a keyboard…it is clearly so much more.) This beauty was a Christmas gift from my dad when I was nine, and it has finally found its way out of the basement storage, and back into my home and heart. According to the manual it is “a high-quality musical instrument that incorporates advanced Yamaha digital technology and many versatile features.” According to other authorities (my husband) it is a noise machine that has yet to demonstrate positive traits. No worries; My newly acquired Billy Joel song book is bound to change that.
For those of you questioning the reasoning behind the resurgence of this little treasure, it is a phenomenon that all but defies explanation. This is just the latest in a long (looooong) line of interests that walk the line between “pipe dream” and “legitimate hobby” (I reference previous endeavors, including, but not limited to: bowling, power-lifting, skateboarding, clogging, paper making, Capoeira, cello and trumpet playing, hip hop dancing, sign language, freestyle walking, 5K running, crocheting, barefoot skiing, salsa dancing, smoothie/frozen drink making, backyard gymnastics, scrapbooking, drum playing in an all female band… The list goes on, and yes it is all too real, as my friends and family can attest...) All of these items sparked my interest at some point or another, and resulted in varying levels of success. Quite often I find myself responding to a mention of a sport or activity with “Yeah, I used to do that...” or “I tried that once…” Trying (and more often than not, quitting) things is a part of who I am. I am constantly struck with a desire to take up a new hobby, or get involved in a unique interest of mine. And usually, just as suddenly, I am struck with a new curiosity and move on to that.
Some would see this as fickle, or an inability to commit to things, but I truly look at this as a huge positive part my personality. Sure, there is something to be said for long term dedication, and enduring passion for a select set of interests. But I think there is also something to be said for the willingness to attempt new things. To dabble, to experiment, to commit or to cut your loses and move on to the next big project. Some of my endeavors stick. Some don’t. But I never see it as failure. Sometimes I realize I wasn’t suited to that particular activity, and other times it temporarily falls by the wayside to make room for a newer interest. Others may doubt their abilities after attempting such a range of pursuits without true long term results, but I can’t be bothered. I’m on to the next thing, approaching it with the same zeal as I did the last. I view each attempt as a success, regardless of the outcome, because the goal is in the action, not in the resulting product. I’m interested in the process…I love learning, trying, just having the experience.
This wasn’t always like me though. In fact, it was quite the opposite. As a kid I hated to be bad at things. Before I ever tried something in public, I would practice extensively in private. As a three-year-old student in “combo dance”, I refused to unveil my cartwheel prowess without first tumbling around solo in my bedroom. I would limit my activities to things I felt I could master, never wanting to fail. Then, quitting activities was often due to a feeling that I couldn’t do it perfectly, so why bother?  I think my current attitude shows how dramatically I’ve changed, and I’m proud of that. People who didn’t know the early me, usually have no idea, because this new pattern is so deeply engrained in me now.
But even if people are familiar with my quirkiness, they’re not always sure how to react.  Upon hearing of one (or many) of my random pursuits people often ask, “So what does Dustin think of this?” It seems that they try to use his response as a clue as to what they should think. I imagine they expect him to be dubious, or at least surprised. But truthfully he is (almost) always completely supportive. He’ll listen patiently, shake his head with a smile, and stand by me while I fulfill my need to do. (It gets a little more dicey when my obsession du jour involves his participation. But even then he typically tries to humor me. Sometimes...) He may not fully understand me, but he fully loves me, and that matters infinitely more.
As for my latest scheme? Perhaps I will resurrect my childhood talent and passion for the piano (which, were admittedly limited and short lived). Or more likely I will learn the treble clef portion of three Journey songs and be done with it. But if nothing else, at least I’ll have some fun, and maybe a story or two to tell.
So for those about to witness (i.e. tolerate) the rock, I thank you.

1 comment :

  1. Hilarious - I loved your list of hobbies - I wasn't surprised by the skateboarding since you were doing that while we were there - have you move on or is that still happening? I think it's really cool that you try so much - I wish I was more like that, I haven't evolved past the whole "won't do it if I'm not good at it" attitude. BUT - at one point at high school I decided I wanted to luge and researched it to find out how I could become a luger. Seriously - I was just a few months to old to go to potential Olympic training to see if you had what it took! Some of the things I would like to try are boxing and karate and running a bakery and writing a book. I'm sure there are many more!