I think I was 20 years old when I did something that I still deeply regret to this day. I was 17 when I got a Gibson Les Paul electric guitar from a big guitar store (Guitar Center) in Rockville, Maryland. What an amazing place that was! Wall-to-wall guitars! I initially felt overwhelmed but eventually I found the guitar that called out to me. I don’t have a photo of my Gibson but it looked like the one pictured below. I didn’t have a nice amp for it so I didn’t play it often. But I treasured that guitar and was proud to own it. I even got to play it a few times in church.
When adult responsibilities begin to hit you hard, you get desperate. I remember selling off many of my possessions during the first few years of adult married life. The stereo. The TV. Various electronics. Household items. You do what you have to. I don’t regret those hard early life lessons. And I think it can be beneficial for young people to deal with early struggles. It helped motivate me to work hard and take my job very seriously.
But parting with my Gibson Les Paul was truly hard. Even though I wasn’t playing it regularly, I figured that one day I would have a nice amp and the time to learn it. It was a beautiful instrument. I loved the dark stained mahogany look that it had. But I convinced myself that it was just a guitar and we needed the rent money.
I’m 50 years old, and I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life. Outside of the death of a child, divorce is perhaps one of the most profound and emotionally traumatic things you can go through. But I don’t regret my choice in divorcing my wife. I wish it could have been a far less painful affair, but that’s probably a rarity.
It probably sounds crass to compare selling a musical instrument with traumatic life events. Maybe it is. I normally have not had strong attachments to personal possessions. But I truly regretted having to sell that Gibson Les Paul.
Is there something that decades later, you still regret?