Growing Up: As I once dreamed of music, I am now learning to love myself

It’s strange.

For some time now, I’ve been realizing how distant my personal connection to music has been becoming. It’s not that I feel more or less strongly about music, or that I feel like I love it less, care about it less, or what have you…

It’s more that I’ve been becoming stagnant with it.

Photo Source: IT Enable India

I’m sure anyone my age can relate to the fact of not finding as much time as you did before for your loves as in high school.

High school, for me, was a pretty fortifying time in my life. I had discovered what I liked and didn’t like. I realized what I was passionate about. I recognized my talents and gifts and was constantly encouraged by friends, peers, teachers and mentors about my utmost potential to become someone–that my writing and aptitude for guitar would take me somewhere.

Though, as I had deeply grown in love with my guitar and the world of music and writing at that time, I realize that now–three years deep into college and out of high school–that I never really had the time to love myself.

Sounds like a cheesy thing, but I find much truth in it. When young, I looked for what it was I could do and use to express myself–and writing, music and dance came to me so naturally. Feeling ever so uncomfortable and shy communicating my own thoughts through voice, I developed another persona when I danced; I found clarity through writing; and I found music taking me to another, deeper world outside of myself that linked my heart to my hands to my head to my entire body. It was an ethereal feeling where I felt most like me when I didn’t feel so anywhere else.

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With a love as deep as that, I fell hard. I would dream up scenarios of being a famous musician, or acknowledged writer and respectable screenwriter. I was always that nice “girl-next-door” who never had any enemies and kept to herself. I treated everyone with my utmost respect and compassion. I was a “people-pleaser,” I guess you could say. Everyone would want their “daughter to grow up to be like me,” or that they’d want to “take me home to meet their parents.” I was that girl.

When I look at myself now, I become a little sad to know that my potential to be that great musician or writer isn’t being fed. I feel that my capabilities as a guitarist have been quite the same as when I was a senior in high school.

But, then I look at what I have been doing. As I never looked into my relationship with other people when I was younger–since so much of my young life was invested into my relationship with the things I loved (the music, the writing, the dancing)–I feel that I have grown so much with people today. I much more easily communicate with people; I am more open to and even have the guts to interview strangers; I’ve taught and organized 60 dancers; am a board member for a club of 400+ members; am organizing a production with a cast of 300+ members while leading a board of 35. And, as I keep myself busy devoting much of my life towards doing all of that–often giving back what I have learned–I am taking in the environments I find myself in. I am much more sensitive to human issues; realize my place as a woman in society and Filipina; I recognize what is right and wrong in relationships, and more easily get over petty issues. I am developing my own self-confidence as a person, when I used to only be confident about what I do.

Photo Source: trangmoon91

As sad as it makes me to realize how stagnant I have been in my real dreams and ambitions, I guess you could say I have slowly embraced the simpler joys in life. I have been learning to love people, relationships, interactions… And, most importantly, I have been learning to love myself. Whether it be feeding my own curiosities to know myself and fully feel confident and comfortable with my own self before presenting myself to others… I’ve been growing in something. And perhaps growing in character is something to be quite proud of.

High school was a much-cherished time in which I discovered what it is that makes me me; college is that time in which I find I am embracing who I know myself to be–actively living in sharing and passing that on to others, while also learning to love and grow myself.

That, or perhaps my optimism needs to stop!

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