If you could take a ‘selfie’ of your inner self, would it be beautiful?
It is such a great feeling to be back on this blog. When I noticed that today was National Selfie Day, I smiled at the thought of everyone celebrating. In 2016 that’s pretty much a daily celebration, with some people being down right experts. Me…I take horrible selfies so I’ll be sitting this one out. My next thought was more introspective. What if the selfie picture showed your true “inside” self? Sounds like a modern day Twilight Zone episode. (If you don’t know what that is, you may be too young. 😊)
I believe that if selfies had a “true you” filter, taking them would be exceptionally rare. The filter would show doubts, fears, regrets, insecurities, pride, jealousy, hate, anger, loneliness and countless other hidden colors of that persons heart. Some would post pictures of compassion, patience, dreams, pain, and some level of disappointment. It would be great if cameras had an ‘internal selfie’ filter because it would open up an opportunity for personal reflection.
My selfie today would show a “what if”. Not a strong as regret because I’m breathing and able to pick up the trail if I think that path is really worth the journey. While I were in college I had to take a number of “arts” courses to fulfill my requirements. Everyone that journeyed the collegiate road had a few of those sessions of forced education. At the time I was deeply focused Accounting/Economics and Systems Information to finalize my career choice. I’ve always loved the Arts, but for this part of my life it was an interruption. I believe I took that stance because I had to take the classes. I filled my 2 years with one year of vocal, one semester of Jazz Piano, and a semester of Art Appreciation. I pushed through the classes with an outward resistance, but in the inside I really enjoyed digging deeper into my artistic side. I hadn’t tackled the piano since I was a child. I took to it again naturally and did far better than I should have considering that I never took reasonable time to practice. I remember my professor threatening to fail me if I didn’t ace the final. He was a local musician that also had National credits. Being born with a disability, he’d overcome huge obstacles to master his craft. Our final assignment was to compose an original jazz piece. I could see the absolute frustration on his face when I completed the piece with excellence on my last day. In hindsight, I’d give myself the same look of disappointment. What if I’d taken the time to actually practice?
The next what if I came from the vocal class. What I’ve completed my rendition of the classic song, Summertime, our vocal Professor asked if I would be continuing into Ensemble. I had the nerve to somewhat smugly answer, no. In the first class I had completed the semester with a rendition of God Bless the Child. I channeled my inner Billie Holiday and had a lot of fun with it. I didn’t hate going into the second semester but I still feel that I had more important classes to take. So the answer that I gave her was not intended to be condescending but instead reflective of the fact that, in my mind, I had better things to do. She did ask me to think about it, complementing my smokey vocal tones and nice range. Fast forward to a day when someone that I really admire gave me their professional opinion about my ability to lead a small group of singers. It wasn’t the type of activities that required strong skill, just the ability to follow notes and coordinate vocal parts. I listen to his critique and had a “what if” reflection. What if I was more vocal about the fact that I had saying that ground on a Grammy award-winning album? What if I shared with him that I had years of experience by then singing in choir stand leading songs? What if I had followed the suggestion and moved on to Ensemble where I could have traveled and performed? What if I didn’t smugly push one talent to the side to prioritize the one that I assumed would make my life complete? I didn’t waste the semester of Art Appreciation as one that could be of benefit in the corporate world and higher end cultural circles. It’s the only the one that doesn’t cause me to wonder “what if”.
Those what-ifs have the threatening ability to become regrets. As I look at my selfie I need to determine if it’s just a passing thought or a dream to pursue. It’s not that I’ve ever had the aspirations to perform in front of an audience. But there is a place where just being able to reach standard of excellence for yourself matters. I do feel that I want that for this talent as well. Why let something so awesome go to waste when everyone didn’t get it. It doesn’t matter if it means anyone else’s standard. It just needs to meet my satisfaction.
Ultimately, the best selfie anyone can take is an inside reflection. It’s time today to look into your heart and mind see what’s inside that you need to make better for your life.
The better you live, the better you give.
You had the courage to take the path that made you happy.