Do you look back at your earlier years and see yourself more clearly? It’s only in looking back at myself as a teen, that I can see the signs of my true ‘me’ now re-emerging – the me that sees what I want to achieve and unrelentingly goes for it, even if people think I’m a crazy person. I infuriated my music and maths teachers at school. I’d solve problems in a different way to the way we’d been taught in class (mainly because I wasn’t paying attention, didn’t want to fail and therefore had to figure it out myself). I wouldn’t play Bach in the staccato, single volume way a harpsichord would have sounded – I put ‘too much emotion’ into it. I challenged my teacher and explained that if Bach had had a sustain pedal and pressure volume sensitivity, he would have used them to convey the message of his music too! I sang operatic pieces with a jazzy lilt that Verdi would have most definitely frowned upon – lord knows my singing teacher did. I’d struggle to play or sing many pieces at my curriculum level, but if there was a piece I really loved, I could play it with ease, within days. Give me a Mozart minuet and I was all over the shop. The day I decided I wanted to be able to play Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue however, I was all over it, working around the clock to perfect it, never once stopping to focus on the difficulty level or skills required.
So why on earth am I talking about this?
As the year draws to a close, it means we should perhaps listen to my teen trip down memory lane and ‘stuff’ the curriculum. Never mind the new year and resolutions either. Think of every action every day – every decision. Each day we can make dozens of tiny decisions to be happier, living less fearfully, and according to our own yard stick. It’s about thinking about the things that make us more alive, passionate, giving, useful and progressive, even if people say we can’t do it. It’s about taming the effect that the voices of caution have on us, when in our heart, we know it’s right. People are constantly trying to assess, grade and define us in ways that make them feel more comfortable. Often, what those voices are doing is standing between us, our dreams, a better world and our natural, true self.
Let’s not wait for the family member, teacher, book or program to tell us we’re ready for the next stage, or decide on the course we choose. Articulate the mission and the art you want to create and begin. Look ahead at December 31, 2013 and see yourself thinking: Wow. I did it.
Here’s to a new year, bigger dreams and better choice of collaboration and company to propel us forward, rather than apprehend us back.
When we say ‘I can do it’ – when we dare to see that we can indeed do it, then the details take care of themselves.
Real passion for life, where we are living and giving something of ourselves that transcends the curriculum – that’s where the magic is.
A beautiful and happy new year to you and yours,