The Joys of Mistakes

Not many people may know this, but I’m a musician. I’ve been learning guitar for two years or so, ukulele for a couple months, and I’ve been singing my entire life. My best friend and I decided to do an offertory for our church (an offertory is some sort of musical performance while the offering plates are passed around), and I was crazy nervous. I was shaking, it was early in the morning, so my throat was already a little off, and I let the stress of something new get to me. I was a little rocky during the song, and totally cut out at one part, and I was devastated. I was so disappointed because it seemed like I could’ve done better. I wanted to crawl into a hole and cry. I didn’t like getting compliments afterwards because I was so focused on how “terrible” I did. (The second offertory did go MUCH better, by the way, and despite what I thought other people enjoyed both of them.)

Throughout the day I’ve had a lot of time to think about the morning. I was listening to the recording of our performance and saw something I made a while ago.

This picture was one of my first attempts at lettering with paint, and (to me) there are some clear mistakes. But something I’ve learned with my art is that mistakes are going to happen. What makes them “Happy accidents”, as Bob Ross would call them, is running with them and seeing what happens next. As I was sitting there, listening and looking, I realized that that applies to music as well.

I’ve been told time and time again that mistakes are inevitable, but I’ve never really been able to see them as “joy”. Now, I think I can. It’s still going to hurt, and I get the feeling this won’t be the last time I’m disappointed, but mistakes are all a part of the process.

“If there were no mistakes that means no one ever tried something new.”– Sophia DeRosia

There. I have no idea if I created a quote the right way or not, but I’m trying something new, so humor me.