Those nagging what ifs


Everyone who gives up a serious childhood dream — of becoming an artist, a doctor, an engineer, an athlete — lives the rest of their life with a sense of loss, with nagging what ifs. […]

Only a very few loves can disappoint you so fundamentally that you feel you’ve lost yourself when they’re gone. Quitting music wounded me as deeply as any relationship in my life. It was my first great loss, this innocent, awkward failure to live with what I heard and felt. For more than ten years I avoided music. It hurt too much. My anger went as deep as my love had gone. I suppose this is natural. In the aftermath of something so painful, we subsist on bitterness, which sustains us against even greater loss.

~ Glenn Kurtz in Practicing: A Musician’s Return to Music

Photo: By Majewska via banishedagain


  1. Yet what joy in being reunited with that love once again.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. It feels like this could have been written about me. Music was my first passion and it was something I was really good at. My drean was also to perform in an orchestra. But the insecurities of youth got in the way. “I’m not good enough.” Even though I gave up my dream of performing, I’ve never given up my love for music. It can still bring me to tears just from the beauty of it. Do I have regret? Yes. But I still have the love for music.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes, and for me it was art. I was a joyous, sloppy artist as a youngster. Then flunked art class in high school and felt like a part of me got ripped out. I kept coming round to it sideways, sniffing at the back door until I could step over the threshold again. Years wasted. Years believing someone else’s opinion.

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  4. This is why I don’t give up writing, even though sometimes a nagging voice in my ear says, “Why invest so much of yourself in something for which you’ll probably never achieve recognition?”

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sometimes it just doesn’t work out making your passion your career, for a myriad of reasons. But that doesn’t mean it still can’t be your passion. But there are some decisions we all regret. I regret I didn’t go to college and jump on the writing bandwagon sooner. But I’m here now, and that accounts for something.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. i made a major life change at 40, when i quit my advertising job to go to grad school and live my dream of teaching young children. i’ve never looked back. not a day feels like work.

    Liked by 1 person

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