I was probably five or six when I saw Little Einstein’s Quincy playing the violin. I partly have that show to thank for where I am now—who knew that a simple cartoon would inspire me to take on a new hobby that would eventually become such a major part of my life?
That same Christmas, I received my first violin—not a good one at all, as the sound quality was terrible, but I can still recall the pure joy and excitement I felt. I started to learn to play from a professional violinist, and I still remember practicing every single day for hours until my fingers were nearly blistering. Looking back, I can tell I genuinely enjoyed playing the violin and creating music more than anything else at the time.
Leading up to freshman year, however, I had lost the feeling of eagerness to play—what once felt like a breath of fresh air had become another chore to sigh about. Saying I hated playing was an understatement; I complained about lessons every single day and eventually swore to never play the violin again in high school. Although I ultimately ended up registering for our school’s orchestra as a freshman–– after much persuasion from my parents and friends, mind you––I still loathed even the idea of practicing, playing, and performing. Strangely enough, I couldn’t quit. It should have been simple to simply stop taking lessons and avoid registering for orchestra, but I was unable to walk away from something that I had dedicated so much of my life to.
You may be wondering where this is going, or thinking, “How did she rekindle her passion for the violin?” To be honest, I don’t think I ever did. The world sent me so many other things to worry about that for now, sitting down to practice the violin for an hour is next to impossible.
And that’s okay. Although it’s a little tragic considering how much time and effort I dedicated to learning the craft and perfecting it to the best of my ability, the world isn’t perfect. Things will come and go, and so will hobbies, interests, and the like. I stopped doing private lessons a few months ago, and it was such a liberating experience. A classic case of Stockholm syndrome—I had spent so long trying to hold on to the original feeling I had when I first started playing music that I couldn’t tell that it was time for me to quit.
I’m still fighting my battle with the violin; trying to relearn how to love playing has only gotten me so far. I’m still in OLu’s orchestra, and the environment in that classroom is nothing but passion. I know I’m out of place there, despite how welcoming and enjoyable the class is. At the end of the day, music is something that I prefer to watch being performed rather than actually performing it. But one step closer to the end of this battle is acknowledging that I don’t love playing music anymore.
So my advice to you? If you don’t love it anymore, don’t be afraid to quit. Life’s too short to stay tethered on to something that you don’t find joy in anymore. As Max Lucado said, “Changing directions in life is not tragic––losing passion in life is.” It’s a battle that we all have to fight eventually, and I hope this letter persuades you to take that first step too.
Photo Credit: Pinterest