Playing Me

I’ve always wanted to be in the spotlight, to make it big in the music industry. But at seventeen, I really thought that my music career wasn't going anywhere. I constantly compared myself to other people and always thought that I was worse. What I didn’t realize was that I was just starting out and had a lot to learn. But that didn't stop me from deciding to end my career before it started.

It all started when I found myself feeling extremely jealous of a fifteen year old who had taken the part in a play that I had wanted. I had faced a lot of rejection in the past but I thought this particular audition was a sure thing. I didn’t even get a lead role which made me question my entire musical ability. After the play was over, I decided I was done with music in all capacities, including the theatre. I still played piano and guitar to keep my skills up to par, but other than that I stopped trying altogether.

I thought I'd be teaching and preforming music for the rest of my life - it was even my major in college. But I decided to switch majors to social work and counseling. My new focus was great and I enjoyed studying it, but I had to ignore the nagging in my gut that told me I'd only ever be truly happy performing in order to move on with my life. I tried to forget the feeling of joy that preforming on stage brought me.

That went on for about six months until I went to a friend’s concert. Halfway through she called me on stage to do a duet of a song we had written together about a year before. She knew that I had given up preforming, but she was never one to give up and thought I was making a big mistake by giving up myself. After about five minutes of heckling, I finally went on stage. The moment I turned to the crowd, it all came back: the adrenaline that you get when the audience claps, the beat of the drum, the heat of the lights. All at once, my fire was reignited and I felt extremely foolish for giving up so easily.

I decided to return to music, but to take a new approach. I went back to my original plan for school and began to teach myself new ways of handling rejection. I enrolled myself in piano lessons to refresh my memory and started writing songs on my guitar again. I'm finally ready to begin writing an album.

Even though I have a long way to go, especially after this set back, I have to thank the people who kept pestering me to return to what I love. They knew deep down that in the end if I didn’t do what I truly loved I wouldn’t be happy.

I wish somebody had told me before I tried to give up on my dream that when life gets hard you just can’t bail, but rather you have to keep going and keep fighting for what you believe in and what you love, because in the end that’s all you’ll have. I wish somebody had told me to never give up your dream just because someone else is better than you - work harder to ensure that when you come face to face with that person, they’ll have to work hard to beat you.

The truth is that only you and you alone can create your future. A life without a little risk taking is a rather boring life. Take risks, do what you know in your heart is what you truly want, whether that’s love, work, school, etc. In the end you’ll not only thank yourself, but the people around you who wouldn’t let you give up.

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Autumn L
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