When I was 4 years old, I had a terrifying experience.
I disappointed my Father -- In a BIG Way!
He had spent the day teaching me to count to 100.
So far as I know, it was the first thing he ever taught me in life.
In the 1950's, we didn't go to school until age 6. So, this was a big deal, and he expected a lot of me.
He knew I was bright -- but not nearly as bright as him, of course!
That was because he considered himself to be the smartest person on the planet, and he let everybody know it.
Later, I was to learn that I could never please him, no I matter what I did -- and no matter how hard I tried.
He suffered from "narcissistic personality disorder."
But at age 4, I didn't know that.
I really wanted to please him.
That evening was the big show. He paraded me in front of his friends, telling me to count to 100.
Everything started out fine.
I got through the difficult numbers easily enough – – 11, 12, 13, 15, 20, 30, 50 -- and...
Have you ever wanted to play piano?
I have – all of my life.
But, there was always something keeping me from taking lessons.
Whether it was not having access to a piano, not having access to a teacher, not having the money to pay such a teacher - or all 3 simultaneously.
Finally, at age 66, I had access to all three of these required resources.
So I began taking piano lessons a little more than 2 years ago.
It's been going well for the most part. What I enjoy most is just playing chord progressions and improvising.
The only problem has been that I've expected way too much of myself, especially in the beginning.
It's getting better, but for the longest time, it seemed that no matter what I did, it was never good enough.
That's not what my teacher said, but it's what my own inner critical voice deep inside me was saying with a very loud and dominant tone.
Sometimes I just wanted to give up playing altogether -- well, maybe not really give up entirely, but I wished I...