Tuesday, November 13, 2012
I have a rule: If you don’t know what to do, grab a guitar. It’s the reason I keep a guitar in every corner of my home. Even if… especially if the problem I’m stuck on has nothing to do with music, forcing myself to think in sounds gives new perspective. As a bonus, I’ve tricked myself into developing good practice habits.
As a kid when I didn’t know how to handle things I escaped to the TV. I moved a lot, so building lasting friendships was difficult, and my best examples of human interactions wound up being what I picked up from Full House and reruns of The Monkees. The hardest part of growing up was facing the realization that the world wasn’t full of smiling friends waiting to love and support me. Even if I understand it, I’m still not quite sure I’ve accepted it. What I have accepted is that everything comes with an expiration date, and that’s okay. There’s a fine line between realism and pessimism, but there’s nothing that says I can’t be a realist and a romantic at the same time.
I’ve always had a hard time with people. When I was sixteen I went to live with my dad in Missouri. High school was pure hell, so when I was faced with the prospect of having to start all over again in a new place, I decided to drop out instead. By nineteen I was so nervous around other people that I would wait until after midnight to take the trash out so I didn’t risk running into anyone. It wasn’t until my twenties that I decided I couldn’t take it any more and set about forcing myself to be social.
Years later, after a so-so first date, I was thinking about whether I’ve gotten any better at being around people or if I’ve just learned to fake it. I don’t know. So I reached for my guitar.