This is a gross oversimplification, but there are roughly two types of music players: classical and jazz.

Classical knows what’s coming next. They play as a well-oiled machine that is in tune and sync. They can start and stop on a dime as directed. Jazz flows, bouncing to new places and riffing off the previous stanza. Sometimes beautiful and sometimes verging on horrid, jazz keeps time but not beat. Classical practices specific pieces and jazz practices generally.

For most of my life, I wanted to be a jazz player. To become a generalist that could jump into anything and play along. This applies to hobbies, coding, and other aspects of life. But I find myself thrown off when something unexpected happens. I prefer to go in with a plan and have an idea of what should happen, despite wanting to go with the flow. I used to view jazz as superior as it was versatile and fast-moving. Classic has skills in planning and can deliver a consistent, polished experience. That’s not a bad thing!

Granted, there are people out there who can do classical and jazz. Those who can plan, follow it, and then improvise when needed. But most of us lean one way or another.

But it’s time to accept that I lean classical, continue to work on my jazz skills, and not beat myself up for not being both.