So I am back to working down my personal quotes and life statements and I've landed at number 10: "Make Your Own Kind of Music."
There are two things about this quote that come to mind immediately. First, I always think of my son, Hayden. We knew from the day that Hayden came out of the womb that he would be an individual. He has always "marched to the beat of his own drum." Now, when you are raising a kid, this behavior can drive you nuts, but if you can learn to embrace it, you will love them for it. In my case, both of those statements are true.
The second thing about this quote that comes to mind is very obvious. If you are a fan of classic rock, you will recognize this as a song recorded by Mama Cass Elliott. Check out this cool clip with Sammy Davis, Jr. :
I didn't include this quote on the list, because I'm a fan of Mama Cass or even this song per se. I just love the sentiment. It's very similar to the quote that I tweaked above when talking about my son. The actual quote says, "March to the beat of a different drummer." However, when that quote is used, it tends to have an air of negativity or it embodies the idea that someone is contrary to normalcy in an odd way. That's not at all what I'm trying to communicate.
I included this quote because I appreciate the aspect of creativity. In other words, just because everyone else follows a certain path to get from A to Z, you need to make a path that works for you.
Here's a practical example: When I graduated from high school, my path was pretty well chosen for me. Call it parental encouragement or societal norms for the upper middle class or great educational/career advice. Go to college, graduate, go to graduate/professional/law/medical school, start a career, get married, and then start a family. It worked. I made a few changes in the order, but I'm here. No major complaints.
With 8 children, we wanted to raise independent thinkers. Hayden came to it naturally, but we wanted (and still want) to raise kids who can navigate a path that works for them, for their learning style and for their personality. I recognize now that I really wanted my kids to "make their own kind of music."
It's not easy. I'm not a risk taker by nature. It's hard to watch my kids make different choices, but I've learned that it makes for a way more exciting life if you take risks. It's like watching an experiment with all the different variables swirling around in a chemical flask. Sometimes there is no reaction and sometimes there is an explosion. Sure you may fail, but that's okay too.
Listen folks. I haven't figured this out. That's why it's on my Fletchifesto. I want to learn how to make my own kind of music everyday. I want to learn how to make it my own. It's a journey. Want to join me?
Quietly making noise,