It’s been a little more than four months now that I’m learning the guitar as a left-handed and it is safe to say I’ve made more progress than I did in three years as a right-handed player. Now, I don’t know if I learnt faster just because I already knew things and only had to pass the knowledge from one limb to the other or if it’s more because as a right-handed person my right hand is therefore more qualified to press down the strings and move along the neck; maybe a bit of both.
I remember in January when I was having an inner debate about waiting until my finger stops hurting to start playing again or not wasting any more time and buying a left-handed guitar, starting over but giving it my all this time. It didn’t take me very long to make up my mind. I’m turning 20 this year and I still haven’t reached any important steps when it comes to making my dreams come true. I’m not an exception to the rule, I don’t have infinite time and I’ve got to jump in the train soon if I want to enjoy the ride for a looooong time. So I bought it. And eventually, after a week or two of staring at it from a distance “thinking oh my gosh, what is this thing, how am I going to do this?”, I started practicing a bit each day.
I needed that period of getting accustomed to just seeing a left-handed guitar in front of me and holding it in my own two hands. It felt so weird. Everything looked backwards and it made no sense. My brain had this same reaction it has when I try to understand paradoxes or sometimes even simpler things, which is a mix of being frozen and empty while heating up like crazy. My body did the same thing it did the first few times I tried singing while playing: it stopped, created a void inside my head and my voice couldn’t make a single sound. That’s how much disoriented I was, how lost I was. And that’s where her name comes from. It was a reality hard to accept but that I eventually got used to. And hopefully, I’m not feeling the same way now when I look at right-handed guitars. Well, I might slightly cringe sometimes but it’s definitely not the same feeling!
I sincerely was truly surprised to see how easily I made my first steps in the lefty musicians world. I believed deep down that I would succeed -I had to- but a big part of me was also pretty scared of not being able of doing such an absurd thing. I got better really quickly, I didn’t even have time to realize my progress. I made a few videos for a personal video journal and it shows. The progress comes out of the blue. Though I did work a bit everyday, I did not work as hard as I probably should have had. I just played a bit, sometimes not even for thirty minutes a day. And still, each week that went by I was a higher step(speaking of baby steps here, haha, I still suck big time even after all the steps I took) than before. Let me just give you an example right now about Paramore’s In The Mourning: last week my left hand could barely move its fingers smoothly enough to keep up with the simple finger picking pattern of the song and this week, they were able to do it slowly and faster. Just, where did that come from? Maybe after all I have too much big expectations of reality and ain’t aware of the progress I make because I’m always aiming higher. I don’t really know. But that’s probably it. 😛
I can strum, I can play chords, power chords, I can even do some finger picking! I might suck at doing them, but at least I can do them. The first time I picked Glitch up with the intention of playing, my left hand could barely motion a down strum and my right hand’s fingers didn’t even seem to extend enough to play a simple E chord. Maybe I’m still far from being called a decent player but at least I can do things even if poorly. And that’s one thing to be proud of! Who would’ve thought it was so easy to go from right-handed to left-handed guitarist? Or maybe it’s just me… 😕
So, four months in and I can already do things that took me a year to master the first time. And that makes me really happy and confident regarding my future. I still have so much work in front of me, so much left to learn but I can do it, I truly understand that now. I can do it whatever it is that I want to do and that I dare believing I can do. I’ve always preached this to my friends and quite frankly never imagined I would be a living proof! If you set your mind to do something, then there’s nothing stopping you. It’s all about the willpower, about seizing control and paving your own way.
I’ve come a long way ever since this year started. And actually ever since I -literally- flew out of the nest to reach for the stars. Who would’ve thought that leaving my homeland and family, cutting my finger and enduring non-important people’s bullshit could have brought so much good in my life? I’ve been hurt, physically and emotionally, and the funny part is that it was always my fault. But for once I won’t have to be mad at myself for bringing such mayhem into my life because this mayhem is a beautiful one in spite of all the blood and tears. And honestly, seeing myself progress rather fast at playing guitar and singing, it makes me confident about the near future and even the further one, and makes everything else seem tinier than it is. I look in the mirror and I see myself a little closer to the door that leads to my road. And all the scars my heart and soul bear, they still hurt but I have this hope of making my dream come true and it makes it all seem worth it. I am going to make that dream come true and I know that this won’t take away any misery but it’s gonna give a meaning to my life. Even if it doesn’t chase away the rain, making music for a living with a band that I will find or that will find me soon enough now, it will be my solid ground and that will be my world. This band will be my new lungs. I don’t where this paragraph is heading, really, I’m out of words so I’ll just leave it pending here for future-me to complete maybe. 😉
So, thank you past-me for having been too enthusiastic about cutting that tiny tie rap on that spatula you bought just to make scrambled eggs, and for staining Leslie’s floor and scaring both of you to a level you had forgotten existed. And thank you for putting your trust and love and giving so much of your soul to people that took it all and stole more, only giving back stones and knives. Because, when I’ll look back, in between the stains of blood, the sounds of pain and the echoes of my tears, I’ll see strength, I’ll see hope, and I’ll see a human. And I’m sorry that you had to suffer for me to re-learn the value of things, but if that can make you feel better, I am the one hurting for future-us.