As a young person, I was exposed to different activities that involved honing my then so-called talents. I suppose everyone in my family went through this. It is only my two youngest siblings that got away with doing what they wanted. That’s what I get for being the eldest. The guinea pig of it all. First born over pampering at times. Wanted to expose me to everything. Try this. Try that. Enrol in this and that. I have spent a few summers attending ballet classes. I loved wearing tutus and those pretty pink ballet shoes. I’ve even performed in a real recital at the Cultural Centre of the Philippines, commonly known as CCP.
Together with my siblings and cousins, I took piano lessons while doing ballet on the side. It was my mom’s ultimate goal for one of her children to be a pianist. I guess that wasn’t my long term plan. I took up piano lessons again later in my late elementary years but only to give me bad memories of my piano teacher flicking my fingers each time I made a mistake in playing my piece. My piano career ended with a grand recital. I don’t think I’ve touched the piano ever since.
Everyone in my family is a swimmer. Ever since I can remember, the water was introduced as a friend. To be honest I kind of loved this one. I’ve trained in varsity, competed at inter-level games, did even more training. Until I realized for myself I wasn’t really up for the whole competition thing. I swam because I liked it. Not because I had to be the fastest swimmer. That was the end of my early career as a swimmer. I now just enjoy lazing in the beach. Or, dipping in pools when I am on holidays. I plan to teach my kid (when I have them) to swim though.
During my pre-teens I took tennis lessons for two summers (while swimming). I had pent up energy that I guess I had to release at that moment in my life. I found it too unladly-like as my forearms were getting to muscular, I stopped. I had a relapse doing badminton, for a while, until I figured I was just kidding myself. Stuck in an airtight room sweating was not my thing. I probably did this coz I was crushing this badminton player at the country club.
As a young adult in my early university years, I took up guitar and voice lessons (on separate occasions). Again this was short lived. I was trying too hard, and the lessons made me feel obliged to attend. I could not sustain my interest in high notes and twisted fingers trying to make music with guitar strings. I ended up requesting for a refund for the remainder of my music term.
Through it all, I guess I tasted a bit of everything in my youth in terms of activities. I know of people who were never encouraged to get into sports, the arts or music. My parents overwhelmed me with all these opportunities. Until when I finally asked them to enroll me into French class. This tapped my soul. I was inclined to learn about culture, language and travel. This was even strengthened in college, when I had to take Spanish as an elective. Truly I knew I had a calling.
It was a long journey trying to tap what it was I was really interested in. However, no matter what I am thankful that I was able to get the best of everything. It all worked well, and I can now appreciate my parents’ efforts in exposing me to the activities while I was young.
In life, I guess there are things that we have to try at least, for us to know truly whether it is something we would pursue. Once we realize what is and what is not for us, only then can we move on to the next!