“If you are not doing what you love, you are wasting your time.” ~ Billy Joel
Many, many years ago in a galaxy far, far away, I was a very shy and timid little thing who worked really, really hard at holding back an extremely adventurous spirit. I was the princess of self discipline. I mastered the art of being nondescript, boring and bland. It’s easy being unnoticed if you put a little effort into it. (If you’re unnoticed, you’ll never have to experience rejection.) I will admit there were times when my corpus collosum had difficulty mediating the arguments between my practical left brain Miss Logic and my creative right brain Miss Impetuous, but it wasn’t always like that.
There was a time when I was a little kid when I was free to be whatever I wanted to be, a writer, a musician, an artist, a photographer. If it had anything to do with creativity, I was into it. I had an unbelievable passion for music. The one thing I wanted most of all was a guitar, and when I discovered my first cheap acoustic under the tree one Christmas morn, I thought my life was complete. My parents found me a guitar teacher, and I learned the fundamentals of…bluegrass. Nope, it wasn’t the rock music I preferred, but it was music. And even today I enjoy bluegrass.
As I became a teenager, I knew very little about God, and I tried to do everything myself. It didn’t take me long to figure out I wasn’t perfect. That’s bad news for a perfectionist. I became very self conscious, and I avoided taking a risk. I wanted to take band and play drums in junior high, but an acquaintance talked me out of it. Miss Logic chimed in. “Why, do you want to do that? Girls can’t be drummers. Act like a lady.” Miss Logic also told me girls don’t play guitar.
By the time I entered high school, I was a closet guitar player and a great admirer of drummers. Miss Logic kept my passion hidden until my senior year until my friends talked me into trying out for the color guard. How the shyest girl in the senior class ever made the flag corps, I’ll never know. But it was serendipitous event because through band I re-discovered music. I also discovered a group of people in a real band (rock and roll….shh, don’t tell Miss Logic), and they let me tag along. One of these rock and rollers even taught me a little bit on guitar and another was so kind to lend me his sticks, and I was forever hooked even though Miss Logic has tried to hold me back ever since.
But the best thing that ever happened was the encouragement of our band director, who could see through my fear to my love of music. During this time we had perhaps the best drummers in all of the world—I still believe that. And every now and then, I would sneak their sticks and mallets and play some of the easier pieces while they were sneaking away into some sort of trouble, which they were prone to do. (Drummers, you gotta love ‘em.) Eventually, however, our director caught on and encouraged me to play. He must have hog-tied Miss Logic so that Miss Impetuous could experience the joy that music brings.
What is the point of his left brain-right brain rambling, you might ask?
My point is simple. We all have left brain and right brain traits. Far too often, however, we allow our logic and practicality to lord over our creative instincts, and we miss out on of the most wonderful aspects of our human nature. Our Creator made us in His image. There is a creative part within us, and we shouldn’t let fear keep us from enjoying that gift. Fear is NOT from God.
I will forever be grateful to our band director and to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Drum Section for their encouragement. I have never forgotten that feeling, and it has been my mission as a teacher to encourage all my students to explore their talents, to conquer their fears. The best reward a teacher can experience is to see a student realize his or her own potential.
Though many years have passed since high school, I still hang on to my love of music—and Miss Impetuous still battles with Miss Logic. But I have decided it’s time I walk boldly into the creative unknown and taste what the Lord has in store. In the last month God has placed wonderful people in my life, encouraging me in my love of music and my love of writing. I have tasted, and I can tell you, yes, the Lord is good. So good I can barely comprehend it.
But I also want to say that the key word here is encouragement. I could take this gift of encouragement and just hold on to it. But that’s not how it’s supposed to be. I have to share what has been given to me. My dreams may not come true, at least in the way I imagine, but I know I will always find joy in encouraging others as they purse their dreams.
How about you?