King of the Air Guitar, pt 1

Photo by Diva Plavalaguna on

Before I ever took my first guitar lesson, I was a virtuoso.

From the assembly stage, I wowed the kids at my junior high, winning the hearts of the girls and the admiration of the boys.

To hone my craft, I hammered the air with my fingers everyday as I listened to my favorite tracks from Guns n’ Roses and Metallica.

I was the King of the Air Guitar.

When I earnestly picked up my instrument, I soaked up everything my uncle had to teach.

At some point though, he felt like he had passed on what he needed to and he sent me off to find my own way.

I played with friends to learn new licks. I read books about the history, characteristics, and construction of guitars. I even took classes in college.

Eventually, something changed. My desire outpaced my ability. The major components came naturally, but the more advanced techniques eluded me.

Why? I wouldn’t practice.

As the work became more difficult, I became more uncertain in my skill. I didn’t want others to hear my failure. I didn’t want to be a failure.

So, I settled.

I became content with decent mediocrity.

That’s happened a lot in my life. The fear of being a failure stole my joy, my passion.

Now, at 43, I regret that choice.

I’m working hard to fight the fear of failure because I don’t want my kids to miss out the beauty of struggling through hardship.

But I still skillfully drum my fingers on the steering wheel of my car or smoothly strike every note on the side of my leg.

I’m still the King of the Air Guitar.