You are probably familiar with the expression, “where there’s a will, there’s a way.” You may have grown up hearing something similar, if not that exact expression. I’m a big believer in what this expression means. In my opinion, it is never too late to learn something new. You never know what’s going to happen in the future, so why not live life to the fullest? But, of course, live life within reason. Don’t go blowing all your money away in one night. I guess my point is to follow your dreams and do what you love.
My Dysfunctional Family and Upbringing
I grew up in a very dysfunctional home. My father was (and still is) very abusive. My mother didn’t start out being abusive. But eventually, she became quite abusive herself in her own way. To make things worse, my parents were and still are ultra-orthodox Jews. And they are both immigrants from the former Soviet Union.
Why is it bad that they are Russian-Belarusian ultra-orthodox Jews? Well, being openly physically, emotionally, and mentally abusive is much more common in that part of the world, especially among the older generations. In addition, ultra-orthodox Judaism comes with its own controlling rules.
I Was Very Sheltered From The Normal World
For example, I wasn’t allowed to listen to the radio, watch TV, use the internet, go to public school, wear pants, and more. If I disobeyed my parents, I was punished. This could be just having to clean, to as far as being beaten. My mother even once washed my mouth out with soap. To this day, I have to wash the dishes several times, so there’s no soap residue left on them.
In December 2012, my entire world changed. I got placed into foster care. For the first time in my entire life, I was finally free. My foster parents were Jewish but very, very chill compared to my biological parents. My foster mom was actually teaching at a catholic seminary where priests were trained. Growing up, I was never even allowed to look at a church.
I Finally Got A Dad
My foster dad was a lawyer, but his other love was music. He sang for the local symphony. He was a cantor. The symphony is actually in the top 20 in the USA. He was always singing, and not just Jewish music. I have always had a passion for music. Singing was something I often did and still do. I loved to hear musical instruments being played. But, unfortunately, I didn’t learn to play anything growing up.
My biological parents were and still are very, very poor. They also would never have allowed me to learn any popular or classical music as it’s not Jewish. On the other hand, my foster parents were very financially stable and comfortable. I could take up any hobby living with them. So I decided to take up learning how to play the guitar. At the time, I thought it was so cool.
The Classical Guitar
My foster dad had this beautiful classical guitar that he would occasionally play. He would let me practice a bit on it if I begged enough. Otherwise, I had to practice on my simple guitar. Obviously, the classical guitar sounded better and was easier to play due to the nylon strings.
My interest in the guitar faded quickly. Like many teenagers, I found other things that I wanted to do. So I never practiced anymore and eventually stopped taking lessons. Throughout my life, there was one instrument that always piqued my interest and made my heart sing when I heard it being played. Why I didn’t choose to learn that instrument all those years back baffles me.
My Life As An Adult
Fast forward to me being an adult and living in the Netherlands. I moved here for love and am so happy with my life. I’ve lived by that saying, “where there’s a will, there’s a way,” for many years now. I travel as much as I can and work for myself, doing what I love: writing. Sadly something happened last year that shattered my world.
One of the most important people in my life passed away suddenly. I was utterly devastated when my foster dad passed away. I still sometimes get crying attacks. We were very close. He was the father my biological father never was.
I Was Even More Determined
Him passing away so suddenly reinforced my views that you can do anything you want to do and you shouldn’t wait to do it. You never know what’s going to happen in life. There’s no use not living your life to the fullest. I even finally went to see the northern lights a few months after he passed away. It had always been a dream of mine.
Recently I decided to follow a dream of mine: learn to play the piano. I always saw it as such a beautiful instrument. The melodies played on the piano always made my heart sing. I told my partner Kevin that I wanted to take lessons, and he said, “ok, let’s look for a piano.” How in the world did I get so lucky to have such a supportive partner? I have no idea. In a lot of ways, he’s a lot like my foster dad. Maybe that’s why we work together so well.
It Is Never Too Late
Kevin and I choose to buy a second-hand piano that’s over 100 years old. I love things that come with a history. I’m not a huge modern art kind of person. It’s so beautiful and fits into our living room perfectly. I found a fantastic piano teacher and began learning. I’ve taken a few lessons so far, practiced a lot, and am so happy. I’m far from being good at it, but I’m doing what brings me joy.
Life is too short to wonder about the what-ifs. Live your life on your terms and do what makes you happy. Whatever it is, just do it. No one is going to live your life for you, so live it for yourself. Stop making excuses and just do it already.
What is something you’ve always wanted to do? What’s holding you back from doing it?