Over the years, I have tried my hand at ‘˜whatever passion’ many times. First, there were the piano lessons my parents took me to when I was twelve. I went every week for about four years and the most I looked at the lesson was when my teacher went over it in class and then again when I went back the following week to play the “mastered” piece. My parents kept after me to practice but it didn’t matter because my heart wasn’t in it. Looking back, I cringe to think my poor teacher had to endure my unrehearsed playing for four years. This was my first realization that it really is OK to stop doing something. Although my parents did not agree, I knew at 16 I was never going to be a great piano player.
After that I decided to try ballet. I had good technique; dedicated to a fault and really loved to dance. My plies were perfect and my arms were delicate swans. I even enrolled in a dance class in college and got to audition with a real dance troupe. It was my first try out and I had a chance of achieving something I had only dreamed about. There were many dancers trying out and I included myself in this category. I knew the positions; I had practiced long and hard. The problem came when we were given the steps in a much faster progression then I was used to. As we all started to dance, I turned left when everyone else turned right, skipping sequences altogether. I simply could not keep up. I just wanted it to be over so I could quickly slip out of the door. I came to a hard conclusion that day, I would never become a professional dancer.
Giving up on something you have made a serious effort to achieve doesn’t mean you have failed or that you will forget what it was that made you want to try it in the first place. It takes courage to try something and come to the realization you were not meant to do this forever. You certainly never lose what you learn from an experience as it helps to mold you into the person you are. While I don’t consider myself to be great piano player, I can sit and play for my own enjoyment today; and dancing is a fun way to learn dicipline to keep a workout routine in your life.
Out of all the new things I have tried over the years, two things have stayed with me, writing and photography which I will always enjoy. Life is just too short not to try something if you want to, no matter what your age. My grandmother didn’t discover she could paint until she was in her seventies and she enjoyed painting for several years. Who knows what passions you’ll discover until you try.