Midweek musings is where I start a post without knowing where it will end up. I hate doing things without a plan first, so this is an exercise in stretching myself. Thanks for bearing with me.
Can I tell you a secret? I used to be a song-writer. Now, let me clarify before I make myself out to be something I am definitely not. You see, in college I was inspired quite frequently to write songs. I won't say "music", because I have only a few years of piano lessons to my name, and I am pretty bad at reading music. You might simply call that the definition of not being a musician, and to that I might say "tomato, tomah-to". Hold up, though. Before you get all critical on me, I do play by ear. A little. And not very well.
So where were we? Oh yeah, talking about my skills and how I used them to write songs. I wrote about 20 songs in college, and learned many more than that on my keyboard. Mainly, I just learned to play the accompaniment so that I could sing along, since that is the part that comes more naturally. And, when given the choice to do what is natural, and learn to discipline myself enough to better a mediocre skill, well, I will usually choose the former.
I have not written a song in a few years, and I have yet to figure out why exactly. In college, I always felt inspired. I was always taking classes that I loved, and I was always seeking out good discussion. Or maybe back in those days, it was easier to be honest with myself--because my lyrics didn't feel right unless they were honest. I don't know.
Remember how I talked about small changes in my first post after the new year? Do you remember when I turned 26 in October, and one thing I said I wanted to change in the year to come was to be more comfortable with the consequences of honesty? This is what I meant by that:
When I tell myself I don't have time to really learn to play the piano, I need to be honest enough with myself to know that what I really mean is that I am comfortable with the mediocre, and that if I choose not to teach myself to become a better piano player, it is because I am not willing to devote the time and energy to improving. And that's okay. If that is how I really feel about playing the piano.
When I tell myself I deserve dessert on Friday nights, I need to be honest with myself and know that I am really just justifying my gluttony if I have just finished a large dinner, and have no room for dessert. I might still proceed: fine. So be it. But I would rather it not be under the false pretense that I am deserving of chocolate mousse, and therefore, all calories (aka consequences) are negated.
When I tell myself I would rather not make small talk with people because small words are a waste of time, I need to know that sometimes it really means that I don't like making myself vulnerable in conversation--that being afraid of saying something small, or saying something stupid, should not trump charity for my neighbor.
The thing to remember is: the truth is never anything to be afraid of. It can reveal terrifying things, but nothing is more terrifying than smothering what should be brought into light. The consequences could become undetectable, and that...that is truly terrifying. To bury truth so deep that it can never be found would truly be the end of everything good in this world.
And it starts small. I am not slaying dragons here in D.C., as much as I would like to think I am an amazing person for turning down that second cookie. If I am honest with myself, I know that in order to be prepared to slay a dragon, I need to know how to fight with a sword. Heck, just carry one. For 2013, I don't want to look inward for answers. I know too well how deceptive my own heart can be. I want to step out of my comfort zone, to swallow my pride, and to be vulnerable to truth. In short, this year I want to learn how to properly carry a sword--to defend truth at the smallest level, because that's the least I can do.