The best thing that I've learned upon exiting Mormonism is that I really can do whatever I feel like. That's it. My time is my time.
One day as I was driving down the road and listening to some sweet tunes, I realized that I want to learn to play guitar. As soon as I had that thought, I felt so many possibilities open up to me. If you've ever read Orson Scott Card's series called The Alvin Maker, you may get what I'm talking about. Like just because of that one thought (which was really a decision, but I didn't know it yet) my future changed. Weird, I know.
So I bought me a guitar (pronounced: GIH-tahr), and with it came 2 free lessons. I wanted to learn so much that I went to my first lesson already knowing the first 3 chords. So the kid (he's 19!) who teaches me was forced to come up with an alternate first lesson. He gave me 3 more chords to learn. That was fun, and by the next week I had finally gotten my fingers used to being all bent in strange ways. But still, it wasn't MUSIC. If I were more creative, I would have taken my 6 chords and made up my own little tune. But I'm not.
So on my second lesson, I told him I was a little bored with chords. He went into full-on hard-core guitar stuff from there. He was talking riffs, tableture, and a couple of different strumming techniques. He played me the song "Santeria" by Sublime, and wrote me out the verse/chorus music. Then he let me go and said, "Here learn this." Ok, he was much more helpful than that, but I was intimidated, for sure!
Do you know what, though? All I need is to practice, and I get better each time. I wish when I was young and my piano teachers and parents were telling me to practice, that I would've understood and heeded their advice. Spilled milk.
So here I am, plucking my way through my first song on the guitar. And do you know where I'm going to end up? Rocking some stage. I have no need to be famous, but I really really want to play locally. And I'm gonna.