I Don't Get Many Things Right The First Time
Last December I started taking piano lessons, secretly (I suck at keeping secrets and almost got busted a couple of times). I was learning a particular song to play and sing for a birthday in June, The Luckiest by Ben Folds. The song starts ‘I don’t get many things right the first time’. It’s a beautiful song, worth a listen. Because its been so heavily present in my life recently I almost always have it playing on repeat in my head. (I'm incredibly over it too!)
I woke up this morning and that first line was particularly present in my mind. Over and over and over...and over and over I kept hearing it play. Maybe this short blog will help dispel it (friggin' hope so!).
There isn’t a single aspect of my past I’d go back and change. I want to with some things, like most people I'd imagine, but I’d be concerned I wouldn’t end up right where I am today, and I’m pretty happy, for the most part, with where I am. I have 3 happy, healthy, and very bright kids who are doing great things. I have an interesting and challenging career that I love. I have some pretty amazing friends and find joy in fitness, writing and cooking, among other things. I don’t believe I’ve gotten everything right that I’ve ever done, and the things I have got right I certainly didn’t always get there on the first go.
The important thing for me is to not quit without trying, without fighting. My biggest regrets aren’t the things I’ve gotten wrong.
My biggest regrets are the things I didn’t try hard enough to get right.
~ I wanted to learn how to play the saxophone when I was younger. When I couldn’t master it in 6 months, I stopped taking lessons.
~ I was learning Ballet and Tap in the UK. We moved to Australia when I was 10 and I was signed up to a class quite quickly, but I hadn’t handled the move very well; I was sad and missing England, and the new class was clicky and hard to assimilate into. I didn’t stick with it.
~ I wrote a poem that won a competition and a couple of awards. It was published, and I was invited to America to read it out to a large room of literary types. This spurned an aggressive phase of writing for me, but I was so critical of my work I didn’t feel comfortable putting anything out there into the world and I erased a lot of half decent pieces of prose. It was years later I started getting published again, but so many missed opportunities leading up to it.
~ I was in an abusive relationship a few years ago. He, like almost everyone I’ve ever dated, pretended to be someone he wasn’t for 6 months or so, which for me, in this case, lured me into a false sense of love and security. At the first signs of abuse, I stayed. I speak of fighting and not quitting, but obviously there are some things you shouldn’t fight for, you should absolutely quit on. But I stayed. For too long. Too weak to leave. I didn’t fight for, and absolutely quit on, myself.
» I’m taking a break from my Piano lessons now, but I have decided to keep going with them eventually.
» I’m writing again, setting goals, and making time for my lifelong passion, with less personal criticism and a focus on being honest and open. I will jump at new opportunities.
» I will stay and fight for love until I’ve given all I can give, even if my love for them fades, but I will leave and walk away when I’m consistently treated poorly.
» I will forgive. I will always forgive.
I don’t get many things right the first time, I will continue to not get things right the first time, but I will always give all I have to give to get things right eventually.