Perseverance and Persistence

Perseverance: the steadfast persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.

My recent and ongoing experience of learning how to play the guitar has tested my ability to persevere. I have a habit of quitting when

things get difficult, uncomfortable and challenging despite knowing full well the pay off would probably be worth it. I love music and I think it is definitely an important part of my everyday life. I also thought how cool it would be to be able to play a musical instrument and thoroughly enjoy it. In middle school I played the clarinet, which was interesting to learn, but during my time learning to play the clarinet I never got any pure enjoyment out of it, and the clarinet I had gotten was also broken.

 

So this year, 2018, the year of recreating myself I decided to take on something I had long wanted to do, learn how to play the acoustic guitar. So in February I bought a guitar and I downloaded the app “Yousician” on my phone so I could take daily lessons in the comfort of my own home. My fingers killed, it never occurred to me how the strings could be so painful. Luckily in two months of practicing my fingertips are developing calluses, so it really does not hurt as much anymore. So far I’ve learned how to play numerous beginner songs like Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and Ode To Joy. I’ve even learned to finger pick La Bamba and Let It Be. Finger picking is all well in good, but the essential guitar skill is learning chords. And learning guitar chords is pretty damn challenging.

Whenever I try something new I start to cease when it gets challenging. But I don’t want to give up guitar playing just because it’s hard and I’ve yet to play like a professional. There’s a reason they say practice makes perfect, but perfect doesn’t happen overnight, and it doesn’t happen over a month. Perfect is an irrational word, so my new phrase is practice persistence and persevere. Soon I’ll get those chords, just gotta keep playin’ along.

How will I can I practice perseverance? Just doing it! You know Nike was definitely on to something when they created that tagline. Sometimes you just gotta do it, it may be scary, challenging, outside your comfort zone, but you’ll never find your true potential if you never try. When I’ve been feeling like I don’t want to practice my guitar I think about the reasons for not wanting to practice. Do I not want to practice because I’m not perfect at it? And if that’s the case then I need to remind myself that achieving perfection is not the reason I decided to learn how to play the guitar. I learned to play the guitar because of its beautiful sound , soothing, relaxing and mesmerizing. It became a part of me, filling the void where the eating disorder used to reside. I think it’s important in recovery to fill my life with passions, hobbies and dreams to remind me on the difficult days how much I have going for me.I’d so much rather hear the beautiful guitar than those pesky eating disorder thoughts.

 

 

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