Bittersweet Choices

About a year ago, Momma brought me all my stuff from Fargo. I forwent the high school memories tucked away in tubs and bins by putting them downstairs, but I set my Bach Stradivarius trumpet in my closet, intending to play it again. I signed up for University Band, but dropped it when I got pregnant and could barely think without vomiting–it seemed like it was going to be a challenge to play.

Over the past year, I’ve kept waffling over whether or not I would sell it. On the one hand, it’s worth about $1000, which is no small amount of money for Kyle and I at this point in our lives. But on the other hand, it’s full of so many happy memories. Being in the band was pretty much what I was. I spent two years as Brass Section Leader in the Marching Band, and it was probably my favorite thing that I did in high school.

Then I came to BYU, was slapped across the face with my mediocrity in the music field, fled to art, and never really looked back. I still play the piano, but aside from picking up my Bach Strad twice this year, I haven’t played the trumpet in four years.

I wanted to sell it to buy a DSLR camera. I’ve always been interested in photography, and I want to take it to the next level. I want to have good pictures of my kids as they grow up; something that the art historian in me won’t cringe at every time I look at them. And they have DSLR cameras that work well for high quality videos, which is what Kyle does now. So one camera works both ways. But neither of those things are needs right now, so we don’t have the space to push it into the family budget. But what we do have is a $1000 trumpet sitting unused, collecting metaphoric cobwebs in our closet.

So I’d tell Kyle we could sell it and buy a camera instead, but then I’d pull it down to wash it out and take pictures, and I’d be overwhelmed with fond memories from high school, and suddenly decide that no, I couldn’t sell it after all. Kyle, bless his heart, just said “Ok” every time I waffled, and even though he desperately wants a camera, he’d let me decide that I wasn’t going to try and get the money for it. This has gone back and forth across the last semester, and I’ve gradually come to the realization that while I loved high school and my band memories, I can’t keep holding onto them. I can’t forgo the new possibilities of what we can become, what new things we can do with this camera, so that I can hold onto flickering happy memories that I have projected upon my silver trumpet. Yes, high school was happy and I loved it, but I can’t clutch the past close and forgo the possibilities of the future.

There are practical reasons to sell the trumpet outside of what I’ve talked about here, but to me this is the heart of the decision to try and sell my trumpet. Now I just hope somebody in the area is looking for a swanky new trumpet.


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