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It was Easy for You to get Inside

Last night my dad and my sister presented me with a guitar they had made me. My dad did the assembly and the staining, and my sister did the woodburning artwork.
I played it a bit while they were here, but after they left I brought it into the basement where I have my music so I could play a few of the songs I wrote way back in 2003 - 2006 on it. Ivan was in the office next door, so he could hear me playing -- although I told him that I didn't want to "officially" play for him until I'd regained a little bit of my former basic competence.

I haven't played since before we were married (the last time I played was shortly after we met, because falling in love prompted me to express myself through music. I even remember what I played -- Like a River by Kasey Chambers.)

That means that Ivan has never heard me play. There are still all these places that, despite our being married, I haven't found the best way to share with him. I talk often of my life in Duluth, but I think him hearing me play, and especially hearing some of the songs I wrote during that time, will do more to bring him into that part of my past that was so crucial to forming who I am. So I feel grateful for my dad and my sister for giving me this guitar, this reason to play again, this catalyst to share myself more fully with the man I love.

Going through my songs brought back so many memories of those years, and I was glad I'd written them to encapsulate my most defining experiences during that time -- learning to play guitar, coming to terms with being bisexual, falling in love with Brie, getting to know my goddaughters, and ultimately, feeling on the verge of everything changing. Fittingly, the last song I ever wrote was called, "Left Behind" -- as if I knew I was leaving that part of my life, both the experiences and the songwriting, very soon.

During all those years in Duluth, it was so hard to imagine that life not being my entire life. I still get melancholy when I think about it, missing those huge windows, those wide-open apartments, all that self-discovery. I feel as though I've lived two whole adulthoods, one with Ivan an one without him. And while I sometimes wish I'd met him earlier so that we could have been married longer before we had to seriously consider the issue of kids, in my heart I know that I wouldn't have given up all those years of being single for anything. They weren't a period of "waiting" for my life to begin or to become "complete" the way people often refer to their life before meeting the one they love -- they were the period when I most let my life happen, and learned how to be complete within myself. And those are things that ultimately made me ready to share myself with Ivan, and that will hopefully, someday, allow me to give myself to my children, too, without resentment about having "missed out" on anything.


Oh goodie, you're sharing this here too. I saw it in your other blog and was worried you were fully abandoning lj! That is so, so cool that your dad and sister MADE you a guitar. I didn't know you played...enjoy the catalyst! I'm still searching internally for one to get me to fulfill my goal of playing some popular songs I love on my clarinet...showing myself that it's not just an instrument of obligation, but one to enjoy, to play what I LIKE on.

I think it's important and good also that you had those single, formative years where you really felt yourself come into your own. I can see myself feeling the same way if I ever find someone- not wanting to rush into more "adulty" stuff, liking having a kid, if I decide I want to, but being glad I had all the freedom before to make my choices completely on my own. Though I wish I could have some mix of someone else being part of my life and it not being super intense commitment right away.....urhg.
I tend to only post in my other blog if it relates to my professional and creative life, so I sort of "spliced" my reaction to the guitar into two places and put it in both places. Ha, talk about compartmentalizing!

I think that LJ will continue to fill a need for me for "semi-public" sharing that my public blogging can't fulfill; plus, I have such a soft spot for LJ and want to see my friends continue to post updates, too. So, I'm gonna try to stay in for as long as I can, even if my updates are sometimes far between. :)

A lot of people who met me after 2006 don't know I play because I've played so much less since then. I thought when I stopped taking lessons that I'd still "do it for fun" and stay in practice, but that was delusional. I guess I needed the lessons to keep me motivated. I have considered taking lessons again just to get me playing more.

I remember I used to love playing pop songs I liked on my saxophone. :) It makes a huge difference in music enjoyment. I liked guitar so much because my teacher let me lead the classes, so I was always learning songs I liked.

I hope you're able to find that "balance" you seek with having someone in your life without having to deal with all the "heavy" stuff too soon. And if/when you do, I hope you'll blog about it. ;)
I feel that way about livejournal too- that even if I go through long periods without posting, I always have it here and never want to leave! And I keep up with my friends list and am always glad to see one of you guys posting.

I stopped playing clarinet when I quit band. I don't think I ever really enjoyed it enough to begin with, but I always wanted to...felt that I had the potential to. And I did like taking private lessons, though unlike your guitar ones, never got the chance to pick my own music.

Oh I will post about relationshipy stuff, I will.