Here I am, back after nearly 17 months of inactivity!
The reasons for this goal are many, so I'll just highlight a couple things:
First, while I've been playing guitar for around 17 years, I've never had formal training on that particular instrument. I diddled around with our family guitar from a very young age but count the start of my guitar-playing years somewhere around the summer of 2000 when I followed an About.com tutorial and learned how to play G, C, and D chords. Soon after I learned Em, A, and others along the way. If I wanted to learn a melody or solo I'd look up the tab and practice until it was memorized. The skills I've built in the past decade and a half have been plenty to get me by, even to teach beginners through C&P music education, but I still feel that something's missing from the skill set, and hope that focused study will aid in filling the gaps.
Second, as mentioned in a post from a year and a half ago, I've been wanting to buy a Telecaster for a little while now. A little while longer, now, I guess. At that time I was planning on the Squier Affinity Telecaster, because of reasons, but now I've got my sights set on the Fender Standard Telecaster (made in Mexico), because of different reasons. Yet as this goal remains static in most ways and changes in some ways, I feel that I'm not skilled enough to deserve to buy a new guitar, especially one as nice as the Fender MIM Tele.
To be honest, I'm kind of in a low spot right now when it comes to self-assessment of my guitar playing, and diving back into the grind of regular practice has done nothing to reassure me... but I suppose this is good, because only in hard practice do we really improve. I could play a G major scale all day and all night and I'd get really good at it, but there wouldn't be much crossover to other guitar skills, and I'd only be improving my familiarity with a span of about 4 frets on three strings. By pushing myself to do things I'm bad at on the guitar, I'm able to stretch and grow.
And so, my plan of action is this: I'm going to practice 100 hours of good, solid practice before I buy that guitar, essentially paying myself something around minimum wage to work on getting better. I may not be good at guitar by the end of 100 hours but I'll certainly be better at it than I am now, and maybe I'll at least manage to feel worthy of owning a finer instrument.
I'm logging my progress in Google Sheets and I encourage you to follow along and bug me when I'm not practicing enough.