Notes from the Road, #19: Life Lessons

A decorative image with a yellow-green background, with a floral border and text that reads "The Mission Within Notes from the Road"

Summer’s winding down, and I’ve still had zero luck on finding another job. I’ve applied for countless jobs only for these companies to reward me with ice-cold radio silence or outright rejection. The job search is a long, drawn-out waiting game for sure, and the saddest part is that it doesn’t have to be like this.

Fine, companies. Be that way. Just don’t ask me to start caring about you moving forward, or come crawling back to me months later.

However, you can totally expect indefinite boycotts of whatever services you provide or content you create from me going forward.

After a grueling week of the fair, four days of it, while hammering out the assignments from my day job, I wanted to die from the exhaustion by Friday. My last ticket was on Thursday, and since the weather was supposed to turn lousy on Friday, I think it was for the best.

Since my period fell before the fair started, I was stoked at one less thing to ruin the fair for me. (True story, it has in the past.) At the end of the day, I’m glad I went. Besides, I had the chance to pick up a few things I wanted from there during the last fair we had in 2019. I’ve lost more weight since then, so that was in my favor.

The colorway I liked in this hoodie didn’t come in my size, but no worries. I like the one that did come in my size, but I’ll still be on the lookout for something similar to the one I originally wanted. This way, I’ve got two to alternate between in case one starts to smell a bit stale, haha.

Saturday morning, I had to be up early in order to get the bus out to Guitar Center’s open house with a free lesson. After this, I can make up for the work I didn’t do while I was at the fair and at the open house.

I dragged myself out of bed after two hours of sleep, if even that, geared up, and walked to the bus stop. This would be a long day of walking around the shopping center roughly a 20 minute walk from the nearest bus stop from there.

I watched the bus that went out there pass by as I made it to the main thoroughfare, and decided to walk down the street, stopping at whatever bus stop I made it to when the next one arrived. I boarded the bus, mask ready to roll per TSA mandate, and it was off to the races.

We got to the end of the bus line going westbound, and I cut through the mall. It’s been a hot minute since the last time I had the chance to get out there, so after this, I’ll come back and look around and see what I’d been missing (or not missing, lol).

I walked across the street toward the nearby shopping center complex, and cut through two parking lots and a frontage road to the Guitar Center location. I showed up for the lesson, and as luck would have it, they were running a bit late as well.

Talk about a happy accident, huh?

It ended up with me being the only one there in the acoustic guitar room. We talked about where I’m at, what type of style I felt drawn to, and whether I had any formal music training.

I have none to speak of. No instrument lessons as a kid, since we couldn’t afford ’em and we didn’t have the time. Hell, I can’t read music notes anyway.

The instructor, who I’ll call Randy, said that actually turned out to be in my favor.

I remember as a kid having the takeaway that the be-all, end-all of music lessons was to know the scales, measures, notes, tone, pitch, octave, or whatever, and be able to play it on command. It played a role in why I gave this stuff a miss, even by the time we were technically able to afford it, even used.

I’m sure there are plenty of people who get on with this type of learning. I’m not one of ’em, but I wish I was, that’s for sure.

Randy mentioned that the bulk of their skills came about from learning by ear, the same way I gained the knowledge of it that I had going into this.

We got to talking about practicing after our lesson, and they mentioned that one of the things that came up all the time was the idea that we have to practice for a set amount of time or it’s nothing. Like, someone will say, “I have to practice for 30 minutes,” and then when they don’t have the time, they don’t bother.

Randy said that nobody’s born a great musician. It takes practice. They told me that even practicing for 5 minutes counts for something. I agree for sure. It all counts for something in the end, even when it’s only for a few minutes at a time.

Getting out of the all-or-nothing, now-or-never, black-and-white mindset is one of the keys to succeeding in any venture, be it a new hobby or pursuing a healthy lifestyle.

I realized that it’s the same way with cultivating a healthy lifestyle. When healthy ways of being aren’t taught to you, or shown what they look like for you, you don’t know where to start. There were times where the only thing I was able to do while I was losing the weight this time around in one day is stick to my calorie budget. Nothing else. Other days, I could only do a walk for like half an hour, tops.

Like Renee from My 600lb Life said: Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was my bikini body.

Whatever. It still counts, and it all adds up when all is said and done. Maybe the way in didn’t involve a 90-year-old retired music teacher who looks like Grandmary from the Samantha books, demanding we know what they mean when they say something like “D-sharp on the third measure,” or whatever, and then expect us to play it. Maybe it didn’t involve a super-jacked former Army dude screaming into our heads to run faster and harder for the whole 2 hours. These aren’t the only ways in for new ventures, and if it takes another way in besides what’s considered the norm, then as far as I’m concerned, that’s what it takes.

Missed the previous installments? Find them here and here.


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