Does anybody else ever feel that they keep heading off in the wrong direction from where they ultimately want to go? My biggest mistake was probably choosing the flute as my instrument when I was too young and ignorant to realize that what I really loved was not the flute per se but chamber music, and that flute parts in chamber music are not only rare but usually written to showcase a virtuoso ability that I would never achieve, and… well, I should have learned the viola.
Touch typing might qualify as another mistake, now that keyboards are apparently infinitely malleable; if I were learning to type now, I’d try the Dvorak keyboard.
And most recently, I’ve spent a year and a half reviewing German grammar and reading German novels to improve my vocabulary, only to get stuck into researching a novel set in Renaissance Italy. If only I’d decided to work on my Italian a year and a half ago, by now I might have upgraded from pretty-good-for-a-tourist to able-to-read-primary-sources-very-slowly.
Sometimes my life’s journey seems to resemble Chesterton’s
A reeling road, a rolling road… and such as we did tread
The night we went to Birmingham by way of Beachy Head.
Oh well. At my age there surely can’t be that many more wrong turnings to take,
And there is good news yet to hear and fine things to be seen
Before we go to Paradise by way of Kensal Green.