Ten years ago today, I bought my first keyboard. It was kind of a big deal.
I'd been toying with the idea for some time. While I already had a good upright piano to practice on, I wanted something a little more fun. A little more portable. I had this crazy notion that maybe one day I'd be in a band, and I couldn't do that with an instrument that didn't fit in a carrying case.
My cautious, prudent side was skeptical. Keyboards cost a lot of money. Yes, I could buy one and still make rent, but what if I lost my job somewhere down the line? Then that keyboard-sized hole in my savings might really mean something.
Eventually my cautious, prudent side was overruled. I decided to take the plunge.
And so, on Saturday, August 18, 2001, I went to Rainbow Guitars and tried out all the decent choices. It quickly came down to two different Rolands. One cost $1,600. The other cost $1,100. I didn't care so much about the extra voices the more expensive one offered—all I really needed was one good piano voice. But I did like its best piano voices just a little bit better.
I kept switching from one Roland to the other, trying to figure out how much I cared. Finally, I settled on the RD700, the more expensive of the two. I'd be living with the sound quality for a long time. If I was going to do this, I should do it right.
Then I stalled. Even though I'd been contemplating this for weeks, simply plunking down $1,600 (plus $400 for amp, keyboard stand, and bench) after spending less than an hour in the store seemed so impulsive. My cautious, prudent side warned me that I'd be second-guessing myself later if it felt like an impulse buy.
So I made a deal with Cautious and Prudent. I'd come back in a week, after giving the decision some time to settle, and I'd buy everything then.
Done and done. A week later, August 25, 2001, I was the proud owner of a really decent professional keyboard.
Now, on the tenth anniversary of that day, I think back to the logic that finally made me OK with the idea.
If I do this now and lose my job later, I'm not going to regret the lost savings. I'm going to be happy that I got my hands on a keyboard when I had the chance.
Today I'm a freelancer. Financial stability is elusive. Some weeks are better than others.
I don't regret the lost savings. I'm glad I got my hands on that keyboard when I had the chance.