Y’all, I just played my first song on the guitar!! It was a very halting, one-note at a time version of Jingle Bells. And you know what, it was completely fun.
The thing you should know is: I don’t even have my own guitar yet. My brand new Fender guitar is — or will be — my Christmas gift from my brother, sister and nephew. No, I haven’t been peeking in packages, but I did participate in the selection and ordering of said guitar from the tailgate at the Georgia Tech game. I’ve always wanted to learn to play guitar, but wasn’t sure I had enough musical talent to be really good. My nephew definitely does have that much talent; he easily transferred his piano playing abilities to the guitar and picked it up quickly. I knew I could never do that. My musical skills? Well, I love to tell the fact that I took piano one year and my teacher quit. [She was sick at the time, but I like to leave out that part; just makes for a better story all around.]
Anyway, back to the guitar. I may never play as well as my nephew, but that doesn’t mean I can’t learn to play. I’ve been using my brother’s old guitar to start learning fingerings and developing some toughness in my finger tips. I almost know two chords already, and I’ve only had his guitar back from being restrung since yesterday. This morning, I got up before my writing alarm went off to practice my chords and see if I could pick out a scale or two. I even Googled “simple guitar chords Christmas” and found my first song. So far, sore fingers aside, I love playing and wonder why I didn’t have the courage to start sooner.
Courage is a funny thing. My friend Dana and I were talking about it yesterday at lunch. We’re blowing through tons of courage in our work on The Pink Typewriter Project. Writing that blog (and this one) requires a special willingness to put yourself out there, to be bold enough to think we have something to say and then be willing to share it. There are many, many times that I don’t feel at all up to the task. I’m easily intimidated when I read someone else’s work and think, “Oh, I could have never said that so well.” But, like my fledgling guitar playing, the task is something I enjoy. I’ve said all along that I don’t want to learn to play the guitar to amaze audiences, but to entertain myself. My blogging is a way of looking inside and sharing little pieces of my heart and soul. That, like any art, puts me in a vulnerable position, but the rewards are pretty cool, too. I’m getting to share something of myself with you, and many of you have told me that you’re enjoying the journey.
But what about you? Do you have a dream you’ve always wanted to try? Nobody, and I mean nobody, knew I wanted to play guitar. But when I threw it out there, my family and friends started helping me figure out how to make it happen. Dana gave me a Christmas gift yesterday encouraging me to claim the word “Believe” for 2016. So, I believe that 2016 will be a great year for my writing…and my guitar playing. What would you like to believe as a possibility for yourself? Feel free to share in the comments, if you’d like; we’d all like to cheer you on.