I wanted nothing more than to play in a band when I was younger, but I was never good enough.
It didn’t occur to me that my friends were actively pushing me away from their practices because they knew I was less proficient than they were. Instead of internalizing this forever and not doing anything about it, I started getting lessons over the years and improving slowly on my instrument. I’m by no means a virtuoso at this point in time, but I have vastly improved as a player and I actually have a group of friends that I play with actively just for fun. However, the key point is that I improved enough to earn the right to play with others at that sort of capacity. We all chip in money to practice at a professional studio because they have a lot of the speakers and other equipment that we’d otherwise be forced to haul in each time. The alternative is renting out an industrial space and leaving our equipment there, but we haven’t found any locations yet in safe parts of the city that are also okay with the decibels from our practices. On top of that, the studio is cool about us using cannabis as long as we’re not dropping ashes from joints all over the place. They prefer that musicians use cannabis vape pens while they’re indoors, but there’s a smoking deck in the back where you can whip out a bong without getting in trouble. I always stop by a local cannabis dispensary whenever we’re done practicing at the studio for the night. Sometimes I’m lucky and the dispensary is running a flash sale until the end of the night.