Picking up from yesterday -
When I saw my saxophone in the back of my closet, I thought, “What am I doing with this gorgeous instrument just sitting here in a place no one can even see it?”
I haven’t played in probably at least 3 years – maybe even longer. I definitely didn’t play during all the heart surgery stuff. (2010) (My sax was too heavy to carry to school in that state, so I didn’t take a lesson/any classes involving my saxophone that semester). And I don’t think I played at all after quitting school.
So, when I saw it, I thought about the poor saxophone not being played. (And I thought about the couple thousand dollars I should be able to get for it). And I thought, “I don’t think this makes any sense to keep this.”
So, I called my dad and left a message asking if he thought I should sell it.
And all these emotions weirdly came bubbling up!
I had some tears escaping my eyes. And I just thought, “what the heck is going on with me?”
I think it was a few different things.
1) I remembered how proud my dad had been. And in some weird way, it almost felt like if I sold the saxophone, I’d also be getting rid of his pride or support (even though I know that’s not true).
2) I’d always heard stories of people who’d been great in band (and even people who went to college for music) give up their instruments later. And I thought that sounded so insane that someone just completely abandoned something at which they worked incredibly hard.
3) Finally, I don’t have a ton of things that define me. But I try to keep ahold of the good things that do. And, being a good saxophone player was part of my identity. I didn’t think it’d be something I’d so easily let go.
So, the rational part of my brain wrestled with the irrational.
Rationally, I don’t like to keep things if I’m not going to use them or display them. It doesn’t make sense to me to keep a bunch of extra stuff lying around my life. It clutters up my space. It clutters up my brain.
I understand the idea of keeping something that you’re not sure if you want to use, to see if maybe you do. But I just kept on keeping this forever, knowing I never used it.
Irrationally, I was just a mess of emotions (as explained earlier).
I talked to my dad about it. He was so sweet, understanding, and rational. He was kind of of the mindset of, “Yes, I bought that saxophone, but do you have any idea how much stuff I’ve bought you in your life? You can’t possibly keep everything. I didn’t build it. You got out of it what you needed. You used it a lot. It brought you joy then. If you are sure you’re done playing it, then sell it and get money which you can use for something else to help bring you joy now.”
And he was right.
I told him I needed to wait just a while longer (which I feel like I’ve been saying for years now).
I got the saxophone out later that night. And even though when I just thought about the saxophone, the memories were vivid and it seemed like I couldn’t let it go – when I played it, it meant nothing.
I remembered that it’s not fun for me to play recreationally. I like to work really hard on music. I liked to prepare for concerts and compete for things (ratings, chairs, acceptance to bands, etc.). But I didn’t like to play just to play. I needed an end game, and I don’t have any of those anymore.
(Side note about playing: I did remember our little section song from high school marching band, so I was a bit amazed about that, and kind of found that cool.)
Once I actually played, I knew that I needed to sell it. I will never use it. I won’t display it. It’s a waste of space and money.
In the end, my uncle ended up buying it. He took up saxophone a few years ago and was ready to upgrade to a nicer model. He got a fair price, and I still got a chunk of change. Though, it wasn’t really about making money, so much as it was about keeping space in my life (not being bogged down by old stuff) and making sure that my saxophone actually gets played, ’cause it’s a shame to have such a lovely instrument sitting in a closet.
In the end, I think everybody won.