Article by Wendy McCance
I grew up strangely. I had an intense love for reading, a really appreciation for french modern art and a love of music. I was alone in a home of people who shared none of those interests.
What’s unusual about the way I grew up was that not my mother or father or sister had any really hobbies. There was nothing they were passionate about. They went through life similarly. My mother and sister used people and events to entertain them. They had no interest in spending time alone. They surrounded themselves with people and activities to keep the world moving around them. It was the way they preferred to live. My father on the other hand was a loner. Much more like I am except his time was spent sitting in front of a television waiting for time to pass as though there was something rewarding to be had at the end of it all. He was ultimately bored with life and not much got him moving from his chair.
So I grew up in this peculiar arrangement of people who were nothing like me. How was it that I enjoyed my own company so much? Why did I prefer the break from the distraction of outside noise so that I could create and see my full potential come to a conclusion? Where did my love of reading and art and music come from if not from the influences of those around me?
My daughter is a dancer. There is no one else on either side of her family that dances. Hell, I don’t know anyone on either side who is light on their feet and taken by a rhythm. Yet, she is tremendously talented and has a passion for dance that resonates through her whole being. It’s who she is and what she lives for. Where did it come from and how did she realizes it was what defined her?
I think about my mother and sister and countless people I have encountered who stay busy by finding ways to stay busy so they don’t have to think too hard. Their best method of living is to bury their thoughts deep and use the illusion of busyness to keep them from examining who they are and what this life means to them.
I think about my father and those like him who have gone the other direction and are living quietly so as not to disrupt a delicate balance of a daily routine that gets them through each day without too much feeling. A comfortable middle ground where they can tolerate another day as long as there aren’t any ups or downs to sway them too heavily from one side to another.
I think about my daughter and those few out there who take a chance and live their life fully. Not by being distracted by the world and not by sitting silently hoping to keep their surroundings calm, but by embracing chance and challenge and a need to understand themselves fully. These are the people who want to explore life and what it means and why they are here and question if they have done enough, learned enough and been enough to be satisfied.
I wonder how many people walk around each day without understanding that there is great potential inside them. That they have the ability to be great and that living a little off-centered is the most magnificent way to live.
Who are these people who are willing to let uncertainty decide what direction they go? How are they able to embrace what is uncomfortable and a future that is unknown and why can’t the majority of people living amongst the brave do the same? I wonder.
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