a weird parallel that I can’t tell if it’s related: history & music

when I was a kid I liked learning history, tho mostly in random pockets - anecdotes about Greece, Egypt, Rome, the crusades... as a teenager I read some stuff about the Russian Revolution, US Civil War, etc...
but these “random acts of history” never really cohered into any kind of cohesive whole. The centuries all blurred together, I couldn’t tell the Ottomans from the Persians, etc. And in my 20s I was mostly busy being a working adult and didn’t have time for history (or music)
At some point in my mid-20s, my wife and I watched all of Crash Course World History on youtube, which was a nice sort of big picture overview (I highly recommend it), but ofc we promptly forgot most of everything. Would be like trying to recite Game Of Thrones S2-6 from memory
After I left my job in mid-2018 I started doing some casual nerding on Wikipedia and Twitter, compiling threads here and there, mostly just as a sort of elaborate bookmarking system... but still I wasn’t really actively trying to do anything yet
but this casual nerding out started to swell and grow and before I knew it I was starting to assemble these elaborate threads of threads of historical spelunkings, often referencing one event in relation to another event...
And lately I’ve found myself defaulting to several different history-related YouTube channels to pass the time. OverlySarcastic, OverSimplified, several others... and I’m starting to notice that some kind of framework is emerging. I’m starting to recognise things, relationships
oh and I’ve been casually assembling this list on Roam and updating it and everything’s connected so I keep seeing all these parallels and the number of things to remember actually gets smaller, because things relate to other things
And if I had to explain what it’s like... it’s like suddenly finding yourself conversant in a language you struggled to speak for many years... and you know what else that feels like???
Suddenly feeling my musical repertoire and capability expanding after a decade long slump/plateau!!! what the fuck!!! how/why did these two things happen at the same time?? Is it a coincidence???
This is to say, if you suck at something, maybe if you kinda vaguely keep sucking at it for 10 years, there’s a chance that suddenly you get a lot better than you believed possible. Don’t let the embers totally die out. Idk what’s the science behind it but keep your loves alive
maybe sometimes it just takes 10 years man

I’ve never heard anybody frame this like this when it comes to going from mediocre to decent. I’ve heard 10,000 hours allegedly for world class. But I’m talking casually sucking until you’re casually pretty good. It’s much fewer hours
I would say one of the biggest changes for me is my relationship with mistakes. In both music and history I used to feel guilty and ashamed of mistakes. But now I sincerely believe that every mistake is truly interesting. Hm I got the printing press off by 100 years? Why?
Some musician described mistakes as “secret intentions” (might’ve been Eno) that you can choose to honor. Mistakes add surprise and interestingness, which are memorable. Every mistake is a sort of memory aid if you choose to welcome it rather than cringe and wince at it
Made a mistake? No, it’s just a hidden intention. Shut up
seriously though I’m beginning to think this attitude is the thing that changed my experience of all things. there are no mistakes. As Victor Wooten also says, when you make music with the wrong notes they’re not wrong anymore
shifting from feeling guilty about incompetence/ignorance to leading with it, introducing it confidently and accepting what happens, with an eagerness to learn

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