i dare you
When I was a little kid, I took piano lessons for about three years. My teacher was wonderful and when I decided to quit taking lessons, it was because I felt that I knew everything I needed to know.
It was also because I’m a rebel.
Now. That word. Rebel. What do you think of? Probably not something good. At least, not always. Rebellious behavior oftentimes leads to mistakes and misery for everyone involved – especially said rebel. But to me, rebellion means something much more.
Good, pure, beautiful rebellion is when you decide to break the rules because you’ve got a wild river surging at the gates that hold you back. I decided to open those gates.
Ever since I was a little kid, I felt called to music. When I play piano I lose all track of time (something that is nearly impossible for me.) When I sing I feel more powerful and confident and me than when I do anything else. Music is what I am meant to do.
But I knew right from the start that I was never meant to follow the rules.
The beautiful thing about art is that there’s no right or wrong way to do it. The beautiful thing about rebellion is the burning desire for freedom. For me, Art and Rebellion hold hands and kiss. They are one thing.
I never learned how to fluently read sheet music. I never learned any songs by “the great composers.” I never studied music theory. And I am certainly not demeaning any of these things – I’m just saying that they didn’t work for me.
Even as a child, when I played piano I felt something take flight inside of me. But there wasn’t any room to fly within those parameters. I wanted to let my creativity soar, but I was holding it back in a cage. A cage of rules and parameters.
So what does it mean to be resolute? For some people, it might mean persevering even through the struggle and the hard times to get to the place you ultimately want to be. And that is a beautiful definition. But for some people (like myself) that determination stems from a deeper longing – something that maybe you can’t explain. Something that doesn’t fit in a box.
I could have still persevered with my music career and played by the rules. But, to be honest, I couldn’t have. Because I know what I’m like. A rebel. And I know that I would have grown to hate those rules and those parameters. I would have hated my art. And to what purpose? Because I was afraid of what people would think of me.
“She can’t read sheet music. She never took voice lessons. She doesn’t know Bach or Beethoven or Mozart.” True. But what do I care? If my satisfaction depended on other people’s opinion of me, I would never be satisfied. No, my satisfaction is dependent on how I feel about my art. When I let my creativity freely soar – my own way – THAT is when I am truly satisfied.
So if you’re having a hard time with being “resolute,” notice the walls around you. Look closely. Are you in a box without even realizing it? Maybe you weren’t the one who put you in that box – maybe it was a friend or a family member. Maybe it was a little voice inside your head that was afraid of the consequences of being different.
I dare you to get out of that box – even just for a day. Whatever you do, let your creative spirit soar. Throw caution to the wind. Don’t care what he or she or they say about you – only one opinion matters in this world: the voice of the star-breather pulsating in your heart.
Be resolute in your dream. But first, free yourself. Find the thing that drives you to get out of bed in the morning. Then check it out to see if there’s anything you’re forcing – any walls your creative birds are bumping into as they try to taste the sky. Find the audacity to be different. Find the courage to say, “No. I don’t do it that way.” Find the rebellion to be the most liberated version of yourself.
And most importantly, eat waffles.