Disclaimer: I am merely a sub-par guitarist, and I can only carry a tune about 80% of the time, despite the fact that I’ve been playing the guitar for over a decade of my life, on and off. With that said, I’m pretty okay with the level of my skills (or the lack of them); at least I’ll be able to play any number of Taylor Swift songs, if I choose to do so. But that’s about it, to be honest.

It’s painful

I began my affair with the guitar when I was twelve and bored out of my wits, as some hobbies tend to happen. (This mindset also led me to a number of mischievous feats which resulted in a lot of disciplinary action courtesy of my long-suffering parents.) A family friend offered to teach me as well as a few others and to be honest, all I remembered was a lot of finger stretches and forearm cramps, followed by numerous blisters on the tips of my fingers. For nearly a year, my skin would continuously peel and harden in a vicious cycle, though I am infinitely grateful that I’d never experienced actual cuts as a couple of my friends had.

It’s not easy

Perhaps the one sole reason why I kept learning the guitar, despite the fact that literally nobody had forced me to keep up with it, was just sheer stubbornness. I’d already put in a year’s worth of learning by that point, and I wasn’t about to give up just because my short, stubby fingers couldn’t form the F chord, the bane of my existence then. There was a file that I’d amassed, filled with music sheets that added to the clutter of my desk, as well as a steady supply of band-aids, ready to heal blistered finger tips.

People always expect you to be better than you actually are

Please don’t ask me to play a John Mayer song. Or an Ed Sheeran song. Frankly, please don’t ask me to play anything that doesn’t have a normal 4/4 beat because chances are, I’d suck at it.

But you’ll eventually learn to enjoy the guitar

When I was studying abroad, the one physical thing that I absolutely missed was my beaten up acoustic guitar back in my room. In fact, after barely three months, I caved in, spent the money I didn’t have, and bought one off of eBay. I can’t tell you how excited I was when a package bigger and taller than me was dropped off at the doorstep of my apartment, and I spent the next few days probably annoying my neighbours by playing the guitar well into the early hours of the morning. It felt like home, when I used to have jam sessions with my sisters around the dining table. It felt like another piece of reminder that I wasn’t alone, that the music I created, while nowhere near the likes of any famous musician, was still a blanket of comfort when all I wanted was to be able to indulge in my artistic side.