slow down

I saw the following quote today: “Sometimes you just gotta slow down and pay close attention.”  This spoke to me because I’ve realized I’ve rushed some awesome moments in my life. Moments that I’ll never have again. Moments that were just what I needed at the time but because I didn’t slow down and pay attention, the full appreciation of the event passed me by. There were moments of happiness, moments of reflection, moments of nostalgia, and other moments that, if I really paid attention, I would have realized it was THOSE moments that shaped the person I am today.

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One of those moments was when I was in band. I know how to play the trombone, clarinet and bass clarinet. My preference is bass clarinet despite the fact my clarinet idol, Benny Goodman, plays a clarinet.  I enjoyed every little bit of time in band. The practices, the music, moving chairs; you name it, I loved it! I didn’t cherish that time enough. I didn’t fully appreciate my director or my time playing. In trying to be grown and rush life, I never really considered it to be something more than a hobby until it was too late to turn it into a college pursuit.  Music has always been where I found my happiness and I would have realized it if I didn’t try to rush life.

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Often times, we are so quick to ask kids what do they want to be when they grow up that we may not understand that we are setting the precedence that it is okay to accelerate their life faster than they are capable of handling it. What I mean is that if I asked my daughter what she wants to be when she grows up, she may say a ballerina which is completely fine. However, the older she gets and the more she realizes there are other professions in which she may be interested, that question can bring about an anxiety because, as we adults know, not all occupations are the same. Allowing them to develop a natural curiosity and passion for what could be a future occupation is the best way to help them maintain their sanity while pursuing their happiness. Perhaps if we adults were treated the same as kids, we would not have to wonder how we can escape from what we have to do to what we want to do with our lives.

All I’m saying is one of the last things I’d ever want for anyone to go through would be to say “I would have seen you but…” when it comes to remembering a time in their life when they passed on the opportunity for them to pursue what truly allowed them to be at their happiest all because they were in a hurry for something else out of life. It’s an odd kind of pain because you literally remember the moment you passed on the opportunity. For me, I remember that I passed on the opportunity to continue my studies in band all because my parents did not allow for me to march. Jazz band was there but in order to participate, one had to be in marching band for one year. Jazz band is what I wanted to do. Again, look at who’s my clarinet idol. Now that I’m fully grown with a family of my own, I’m wondering what I could do to finally pursue my passion.

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As many times as it is stated that it’s never too late to do what you love, you wonder if that’s entirely true.  It reminds me of Al Bundy on Married With Children when he was trying to relive his younger, more glorious (if you let him tell it) years. Let’s just say he quickly discovered that there is a statute of limitations on such situations. I know I’m wondering if there is a statute of limitations on my love of music. Wondering if I can pursue it or if that genre of music is still able to be pursued. Either way, it’s worth the shot of finding out and satisfying my curiosities.

Until next time…

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Don’t be another person who says “I would have seen you but…” when it comes to something that makes you happy. Slow down. Look at the signs carefully. Trust your intuition and go forth knowing you’re going to be okay.  Because you will be just fine.

 

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