When You're On The Verge of Getting Through
It’s a really weird thing.
In the process of learning something on guitar, specifically when I’m dealing with particularly tricky fingerwork, I’ll hit a point when I just can’t get my fingers moving fast enough, or to the right notes, or with the fluidity and rhythm needed for the song.
It’s that situation when the mind knows what to do, but the body can’t translate. Time after time, I’ll try but I’ll miss this note or I’ll flub that one. And it’ll all build to the point when my frustration peaks and I exclaim to myself, I’ll never get this!
So I’ll stop and step away for a while. And when I come back, it happens - maybe not immediately, but certainly inevitably (so long as I don’t give up).
It’s happened so often, so frequently, and in so many disciplines other than learning guitar, that I almost look forward to that moment. Not in a contrived way, because it has to happen naturally. But when I hit that point of what seems like No Return, it turns out that there is a path, after all. That I can, actually, do what I set out to do.
I’m sure that there are good scientific reasons for why it happens in this way: synapses being required or physical agility being reprogrammed. Perhaps, it’s to do with the persistence of effort or the necessity of brief breaks so that we internalize the skills. Maybe it’s all of the above, in fact, I’m sure it is.
All I know is that I now accept that moment - when it all seems too much - in the right spirit. That far from meaning I don’t have what it takes, I’m being rewired so that I have what it takes. Rob Hatch of Owner Media said it best:
“I find it helpful to remember that when things aren't quite clicking, it may not be that something is wrong. It could be that we're on the verge of getting something right.”