Follow the Map
I have always had a passion for music. Both my parents were actually quite musically talented so, throughout my youth, music embraced our daily existence. While my older brother had the albums of every new and upcoming recording artists on the charts, my parents had stacks of vinyl records spanning classical standards by The Boston Pops to the romantic and soulful styles of Perry Como, Nat King Cole, Dean Martin, and Sam Cooke. I loved it all. As a young girl, I never dreamt of being a nurse or a teacher or a secretary or a movie star. I wanted to be the first female orchestra conductor ever.
I would perch myself in front of our family room mirror and wield an invisible baton to Richard Rodgers' "Victory at Sea" and Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue." Although untrained I could hear the subtleties of each violin, the unique voice of the oboe, and even the rumbling thunder of the timpani. While I fantasized about being a violin virtuoso my school did not offer a full orchestra with strings. My innate musical inclinations had to take a different path. I learned to play the alto saxophone and bassoon, but my voice became my primary instrument.
I started singing publicly at the age of six- was known to bring even the frailest of little old men and women in church to their knees and knock the late-arriving worshippers off the back pew when I belted out a heartfelt refrain. Even my dad said he couldn't believe such a big voice came out of such a little girl. And Grandpa? He just believed I should be a regular on Lawrence Welk. For you youngsters, Google it. Only us old farts will understand that reference. I could vocally interpret almost any song with a unique sense of style. It felt powerful to hold the emotions of an audience in the palm of your hand. Maybe my audiences were my orchestra, and I directed their emotions through song.
My point? While none of us are perfect, isn't it amazing how every person is imperfectly unique? Some people are born comedians, musical or artistic prodigies, intellectual mind-benders, or even style influencers, sports freaks, inventors, and mechanical wizards. Some are all the above.
I truly believe we are all born with innate talents that merely need attention, nurturing, and recognition. We are here for a reason. What if what we dreamed to be was indeed a very specific roadmap awaiting interpretation? Life allows us to pursue whatever we want. We just need to find the right vehicle. Do it. You were most likely born for it. You just have to take that leap of faith. Ah, but that is fodder for yet another rant.
12/30/2020 09:07:02 am
“Maybe my audiences were my orchestra, and I directed their emotions through song.”
12/30/2020 03:47:07 pm
So inspirational to me, Mike! Thank you, so much!
12/30/2020 10:35:20 am
Good food for thought. I agree with how aspirations left unchecked could darken your future. When I was young I never thought about what I wanted to be as much as thinking about what I didn't want to be. Just a different angle on yours.
12/30/2020 03:52:40 pm
Very cool perspective! Who or what I did not want to be was never on my radar!
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Jacque Jarrett Stratman