Yesterday, I bought my 16-year-old son, his first drum kit. With the generous help of my friend, who hunted down the right set for us on Craigslist, the bartering lessons from another friend, and a financial contribution from my sister, we bought the right set at a decent price. We set it up in his room last night after just a minor amount of fumbling with the hardware and off he went. And though my neighbor’s may think otherwise, I am happy to hear the sound of the drum beats reverberating down the stairs. Of course, it is day one – but I don’t anticipate much of a change. I had the same reaction to the electric guitar that I gave him last Christmas. I love the sound of music, drum beats and guitar riffs are all good for me, but what I hear is a lot more than that.
As my son, expands and explores his new-found passions for making music, I hear the sound of him becoming his own person and finding and investing in an interest that hopefully will be with him for his lifetime. Finding that thing, or things that make you happy is a beautiful thing no matter what it is. I have never been one to force my kids into participating in sports or activities if they themselves did not have an interest in doing them. My approach was to offer, over and over again, the opportunities to try new things and the encouragement to try them, but when the resistance was significant, I didn’t push. My hope was that if I offered them enough chances, they would find something that spoke to them and invest in it because they were interested not because they had to. And at this moment in time, it seems to be working.
For each of us, of course, our passions and interests take different forms. For me, it was art. A propensity to draw pictures of flowers and swirling designs as a child, led to a life-long love of art. Both the making of and the viewing of, and as I grew I took classes in everything from photography to silk-screening, metal-smithing to life drawing and so on. I may never have a one-woman show, though it would be nice to someday, but I know that making art in whatever form it takes will always be a part of my life. I hope that my son will find the same home for himself in music.
In my world, having a passion or passions is an ultimate enhancement of who you are as a person. It is a place to find inspiration and comfort and a way to individuate yourself and truly be the best that you can be. You owe it to yourself to find your passion. Without are passions we move through our days in a life, half-lived. When was the last time you fed your dreams, or those of someone around you? If you can’t remember, then it must have been too long ago. Go ahead, do it, it feels good…