My gods, do I suck.
I was never phenomenal to begin with. I didn't have the discipline required to be truly great. If I had spent more time practicing scales and technique, maybe I could have made it into a big name school. But I cared more for the actual feeling I got from playing than I did about becoming the Yo Yo Ma of the viola.
|I'm not even fit to breathe the same oxygen as Yo Yo Ma.|
I can still read music and play the notes just fine, but it's been so long since the last time I played that my fingers don't move as fast as they used to. My arms are sore from just playing for an hour. To think that I used to practice for two or three hours at a time!
Playing an instrument is apparently nothing at all like riding a bicycle. You forget. And it shows.
With a bit more practice I could probably get back up to the level at which I used to play. I'm just not sure that I have the time to do so. It would take months and months of practicing a few hours a day and with everything else that's going on in my life, I'm pretty sure that's not going to happen. Instead, I'll have to be happy with the half hour once or twice a week that I might get.
And I will be happy. It had gotten to the point where I missed playing so much that I couldn't listen to classical music, especially pieces that I had played, without tearing up. Now that my instrument is physically in the same apartment as I am, perhaps I'll be able to start playing (and listening to the classical music station) again.
I regret the fact that I had to give up being in the college orchestra, but with night classes it would have been hard to schedule around something that wasn't required for my program. I know that I made the right choice in the short run; I just hope that my prolonged absence from music hasn't forever damaged my ability to play.
The moral of this story: do not, under any circumstances, stop doing something for over a year. It'll be harder than hell to come back to it later.