I fled from the law. It was the most difficult best decision of my life.

I had parents who were more ambitious than I was. They always seemed to think that whatever I was doing should lead to a successful career because what is the point of living if one does not have a stable job? So when I took up piano and it looked to them that I had enough musical talent to warrant investment, they signed me up with a teacher who was affiliated with our university’s music school and could get me into the program.

I was nine or ten years old. I trained with her once a week and practiced every day. Once or twice a year I’d go to campus and take tests and exams. It terrified me. But I went through it. I didn’t have a choice; I was reminded often enough that this music training was an investment in my career as a concert pianist or at the very least as a securely-employed music teacher.

I reached the seventh degree in that university’s music program. If memory serves it went all the way to nine. They’d accelerated my first few degrees (no wasting of time and money allowed) and I was 15 or 16 by the time I reached that seventh degree…. and promptly quit. I was so sick of playing for a career that it made me hate music. Fortunately this proved temporary.

I was a great source of disappointment. All this investment for naught. Never again would they pay for anything like that.

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