Losing Your Way

Losing Your Way

When I was a child, I wanted to be a writer. I would spend my days thinking up stories that I wanted to tell and dreaming about the books that I would one day get to write. I found comfort in reading about the experiences of others, which would enrich my life because I could share in their adventures without the fear of consequences.

I knew what I wanted to do and how I wanted to spend my time, but there was a problem. Despite my passion for wanting to be a writer, I was spending very little time actually writing for the joy of it.

I would be inspired by the stories I wanted to share but got overwhelmed by the prospect of getting it all down on the page. I was enthusiastic about wanting to write but unmotivated by the process of seeing my ideas come to life. 

I had a desire to learn, but things were always a challenge for me. I would observe other students who appeared to grasp new concepts effortlessly, and the fact that things did not come easy for me pushed me even harder. It would be exhausting trying to keep up, only to be perceived as being average. I never sought out to be the centre of attention or to be known as the most successful, but rather to live a life that was fulfilling.

In my spare time, I wanted to be creative and prolific, show the world that I something to say and be proud of the work that I could accomplish, but I lost my way.

I wanted to write, but the only writing I was doing was to complete assignments for school. Writing became a chore based on an assignment expectations, and the process became exhausting and void of creativity.

My sense of ability to write became based on the grades I received and what happened was that my belief that I had a story to tell became an element of self doubt. I began to write out of academic expectations and not out of desire or passion.

Over the years, I began to associate my ability to write with the sense of fatigue I experienced having to fit into the academic vision set out for us to follow. What often occurs in these settings is the sense of expectation to conform rather than the pursuit  of creativity and uniqueness.

In order to overcome this, we must find ourselves looking back at our lives and embracing the passion we had for creativity as a youth before we felt the need to fit into the academic mold.

There is always value in learning, and a wealth of information to be embraced through the academic years, but we need to let go of the belief that we always have to conform.

What was it that you truly loved to do when you were younger? Why did you stop? Maybe it’s time to let go of the formality of academic expectations and embrace the joy of just expressing yourself because of the desire to be whatever you want to be.

4 thoughts on “Losing Your Way

  1. Hey Michael. I have known you a long time and somehow I never knew about your ambitions to be a writer. I do however know you to be an avid reader, an exceptional musician and an incredible teacher. My point of view is that for any art to be legit it needs to be inspired from the heart. A painter can not make a master piece by following the rules or popular trends. Innovative music is not born out of replicating somebody else’s style. Most of the best ground breaking art actually ignores the rules of academia only to be later excepted and revered by the elites in history books. Generally speaking if art is authentic it will find an audience. However the validity and inspiration for art should not be to be based on commercial success or popular approval.. If writing is still something you wish to pursue you need to find the time and motivation within yourself to do it. Creating art is it’s own reward. PS: I really enjoy reading your thought provoking posts and I hope that you will continue to share them.

    1. Troy;
      Your support and encouragement over the years has always been amazing and I agree 100% that we should never look at the creation of art to be done solely as a commercial application but when we hesitate on the process of how to start, or express ourselves, it’s human nature to question our abilities and fall into the trap of comparison. As I get older, I look back at my life and my biggest regrets are not the things that I tried that may not have turned out as I intended, but rather all the opportunities I did not take. It’s a blessing to finally be able to let go and find the joy in starting the process. Embrace creativity!

  2. Michael…..I only know you as a creative, kind, engaged person, eager to share your knowledge with others. Who else would I be able to discuss drumming, rhythm, percussion, syncopation, etc. with at family gatherings? I wanted to be a writer too, but I realized I was too much of a procrastinator to see a project through, ( still am) and I have so many other hobbies to pursue that are much more fun. Success? I don’t even think about it. It doesn’t rank high on my list of things that make for a worthwhile life. Being helpful to others? Right at the top! If you judge a fish by how well it can climb a tree, it will always fail. But it will always swim faster than a bear.
    Too bad these comforting insights don’t come to us in our youth.
    Keep on creating and having FUN!

    1. Thanks for the encouragement and the kind words. It’s always a pleasure to get the chance to talk with you about the joys of music and the healing aspects of rhythm. I admire your perspective and find inspiration in your commitment to embracing new experiences and opportunities.

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