I’ve been home on winter break from college for the past month, and there have been ups and downs, but I managed to end the break on a high note. My dad, sister, and I went to the basement and turned on our old, clunky Wii. My sister
and I creamed my dad in Mario Kart, and then we put in the disc for Rock Band 2, which is my favorite video game I have ever played in my entire life (including Nancy Drew computer games). So many heartwarming memories are attached to that game, especially spending time with my hilarious uncle and getting into rock music that I now listen to for fun. Basically, I was pumped to be playing this game again after so long.
At first, we weren’t sure if we were going to get it to work, and I almost felt like crying. My dad’s “guitar” wouldn’t sync up to the Wii no matter what we did. And then, all of a sudden, it connected, and we were off on our own little tour.
My dad and sister played bass and guitar, while I did the drums, as usual. When we were younger, I was the only one who could play drums well for a long period of time, so it became my thing. It became something I was secretly proud of being good at, because I thought it was stupid to be proud of being good at a Wii game. This time around, it only took me one song on the easy level to get back into my groove, and we were off. Not only did I get to do something I was good at, I also got to listen to fun music, sing along, and hang out with my dad and sister.
Well, a few songs into our jam session, I got a blister on my right pointer finger. It hurt. My sister offered to take over on the drums or stop playing. But this was one of the most fun nights of the entire break, so I adjusted my grip and continued to bang away at my fake drums for several more songs. I even got a little sweaty. Rock Band drums are hard work!
As I was wrapping a BandAid around my sore finger later that night, I realized that I had sacrificed comfort (and some of my skin) for joy and confidence. I felt confident banging on the Rock Band Wii drums, and I felt happy, so I hadn’t wanted to stop. Then I began to think about other things I enjoy that require small sacrifices: running, playing guitar, writing, even reading.
I usually find it hard to do things that are unpleasant if I don’t see the capital P Point, but Rock Band doesn’t have a Point. Reading doesn’t always have a Point, either. Even writing and playing guitar only have a Point if I give them one.
Having fun doing something or being proud of doing it well don’t have to apply only to conventionally accepted hobbies and goals. They can apply to something like Rock Band Wii just as well as they can apply to writing a novel.
Taking this lesson to heart, I’ve started to tell people I’m writing a novel, because I’m proud that I’m trying to create a book from scratch. Even if I don’t finish it, I am, at this point in time, writing a novel. I’ve started to read slower, to take in the books I’m reading, instead of rushing through them just to read a higher number of books, because I’m proud of the quality of reading I do, not the quantity. I’ll stop ignoring my guitar because I’m not very good at playing it, even though it is fun and I am proud that I made it this far. “This far” is pretty much only the basics, but it’s still more than a lot of people can do.
It’s time to start embracing the things I am proud of, the things I am good at, and the things I love doing (but may not be so good at). I am proud of my Rock Band Wii drumming skills, and the blister on my finger is just proof of how hard I try at the things I love. No matter how good I get, at the very least, I try. And I try because I want to, not because I have to.
I can’t wait until our next jam session.
2019 Resolutions (a.k.a. doing more of what I love):
- Write a book review every month.
- Finish the first draft of my novel.
- Run a 10K.
- Play guitar more often.
- Learn how to cook more meals.