There Is Nothing Wrong With Picking Up An Old Talent

There Is No Shame In Losing A Talent, Or Picking It Back Up Again

"You are still smart, talented, and all those wonderful things you were before you stopped."

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I started playing the piano at the age of five. I grew up listening to my mother play hymns and musical theater numbers, and so I was destined to do the same. I took lessons from the same teacher my mother had, continuing a legacy of music. I wasn't like my friends who took piano lessons for two years and then moved on to something else. I competed in hymn festivals, solo festivals, theory competitions and talent concerts. I won awards and high ratings for most of them. (Here is video proof if you don't believe me.) I loved it for thirteen years.

Then, my sophomore year, I went through a rough period in my personal life. I lost interest in practicing, and soon after, performing. When my family and I moved overseas during my junior year, I stopped training altogether.

I am now in my sophomore year of college, and while I still enjoy music as a dance major, I have not consistently played the piano since I quit training. Every once in a while I'll take a few hours and sit down with a sonatina to see if I can still recognize the melodies or the format, but nothing beyond that. Today, someone asked me to play "Happy Birthday" for our Music Fundamentals professor. I could see in my head what chords should be played, but when I went to translate that into my fingers, it came out all wrong. I couldn't find the chord progressions and the harmonies were atrocious. All of the people in that room knew that I had come from a classically trained background, and I had just completely embarrassed myself. I felt like I would never hold any validity as a musical person again.

After taking a few moments to breathe and discontinue my self-loathing, I thought about the way I was treating myself.

I would never be this hard on anyone else about messing up. So, I began to talk to myself the way I would talk to a good friend.

"You have not played piano for quite some time. It's normal that you wouldn't be great at it right now."

"If you want to re-explore this talent that you do still have, you can! But you don't have to. It's up to you."

"You still have a musical background that serves you well to this day in other ways than concert piano. That matters!"

I would extend this self-advice to anyone else who has a rusty talent in their closet. You are still smart, talented, and all those wonderful things you were before you stopped. You are still valid. Perhaps your talent does not serve you in the same way that it used to, but I can guarantee that it has shaped you into the person you are today. We all go through different seasons of life that change what we are good at or what we are interested in, so there is no reason to feel shame or sadness over it. Pick it back up if you want to, and if you don't, find something else you enjoy more! Life would be super boring if we did the same thing for 80+ years anyway.

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To The Nursing Major During The Hardest Week Of The Year

I know that no grade can possibly prove what kind of nurse you will be. I know that no assignment will showcase your compassion. I know that no amount of bad days will ever take away the empathy inside of you that makes you an exceptional nurse.

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To the Nursing Major During Finals Week,

I know you're tired, I know you're stressed, and I know you feel like you can't go on. I know that no part of this seems fair, and I know you are by far the biggest critic of yourself. I know that you've thought about giving up. I know that you feel alone. I know that you wonder why in the world you chose one of the hardest college majors, especially on the days it leaves you feeling empty and broken.

But, I also know that you love nursing school. I know your eyes light up when you're with patients, and I know your heart races when you think of graduation. I know that you love the people that you're in school with, like truly, we're-all-in-this-together, family type of love. I know that you look at the older nurses with admiration, just hoping and praying that you will remain that calm and composed one day. I know that every time someone asks what your college major is that you beam with pride as you tell them it's nursing, and I know that your heart skips a beat knowing that you are making a difference.

I know that no grade can possibly prove what kind of nurse you will be. I know that no assignment will showcase your compassion. I know that a failed class doesn't mean you aren't meant to do this. I know that a 'C' on a test that you studied so. dang. hard. for does not mean that you are not intelligent. I know that no amount of bad days will ever take away the empathy inside of you that makes you an exceptional nurse.

I know that nursing school isn't fair. I know you wish it was easier. I know that some days you can't remember why it's worth it. I know you want to go out and have fun. I know that staying up until 1:00 A.M. doing paperwork, only to have to be up and at clinicals before the sun rises is not fair. I know that studying this much only to be failing the class is hard. I know you wish your friends and family understood. I know that this is difficult.

Nursing school isn't glamorous, with the white lab coat and stethoscope. Nursing school is crying, randomly and a lot. Nursing school is exhaustion. Nursing school is drinking so much coffee that you lose track. Nursing school is being so stressed that you can't eat. Nursing school is four cumulative finals jam-packed into one week that is enough to make you go insane.

But, nursing school is worth it. I know that when these assignments are turned in and finals are over, that you will find the motivation to keep going. I know that one good day of making a difference in a patient's life is worth a hundred bad days of nursing school.

Keep hanging in there, nursing majors. It'll all be worth it— this I know, for sure.

So, if you have a nursing major in your life, hug them and tell them that you're proud of them. Nursing school is tough, nursing school is scary, and nursing school is overwhelming; but a simple 'thank-you' from someone we love is all we need to keep going.

Sincerely,

A third-year nursing student who knows

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To The High School Graduating Seniors

I know you're ready, but be ready.

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Seniors,

I am not going to say anything about senioritis because I was ready to get out of there and I'm sure you are too; however, in your last months living at home you should take advantage of the luxuries you will not have in a college dorm. The part of college seen in movies is great, the rest of it is incredibly inconvenient. It is better to come to terms with this While you still have plenty of time to prepare and enjoy yourself.

Perhaps one of the most annoying examples is the shower. Enjoy your hot, barefoot showers now because soon enough you will have no water pressure and a drain clogged with other people's hair. Enjoy touching your feet to the floor in the shower and the bathroom because though it seems weird, it's a small thing taken away from you in college when you have to wear shoes everywhere.

Enjoy your last summer with your friends. After this summer, any free time you take is a sacrifice. For example, if you want to go home for the summer after your freshman year and be with your friends, you have to sacrifice an internship. If you sacrifice an internship, you risk falling behind on your resume, and so on. I'm not saying you can't do that, but it is not an easy choice anymore.

Get organized. If you're like me you probably got good grades in high school by relying on your own mind. You think I can remember what I have to do for tomorrow. In college, it is much more difficult to live by memory. There are classes that only meet once or twice a week and meeting and appointments in between that are impossible to mentally keep straight. If you do not yet have an organizational system that works for you, get one.

I do not mean to sound pessimistic about school. College is great and you will meet a lot of people and make a lot of memories that will stick with you for most of your life. I'm just saying be ready.

-A freshman drowning in work

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