What advice would you give to your younger self?
This question arose while watching an interview this morning. I immediately got tears in my eyes, and I will tell you why. My answer is perhaps a two-parter or three-parter. I would tell that young boy to hold on, and always listen to himself above all others. I would tell him that there is a light within him that no one can take, no one else can offer, and must be shared.
He was a sensitive, creative, loving boy. And, it was beaten out of him daily through ridicule, laughter and a continued sense of strangeness and lack of belonging. He was different, acting on intuition and a spark of creative fire that begged to be lit.
Yesterday, I had a beautiful and supportive creative workshop experience with my friend and fellow writer, Te’ Werner (https://tewernerblog.wordpress.com). She is currently developing her thoughts on having a “creative edge.” Te’ stated, “We are not original, but each of us is original in our approach. The commonality is that we are all called, and our individuality exists in how we answer that call.”
I shared a story with Te’ that as a young boy I tied for the lead in my second grade play. My classmate and I would divide the productions, one of us taking the afternoon show, and the other taking the evening show. But, I never heard anything else from my teacher. Somehow, I was relegated to a small part among the extras. I never spoke up, and I didn’t tell my parents. The night of the show, I borrowed my Dad’s suit jacket, rolling up the too big sleeves, and walked to school. I went into the auditorium where the parents and friends of my classmates had gathered. I sat on the steps leading up to the stage with the other extras, and watched my classmate play the lead. At the end of his solo the crowd clapped and cheered, rising for a standing ovation. I never told anyone, ashamed and embarrassed that my chance came and went.
I have carried that moment into my personal work, striving to push beyond second place. Standing for myself, and claiming my power. I would tell that boy to hold on, because you will listen to the urging, and answer the call. Your standing ovation is coming.
I love you, Gordon.
Artist, Writer, Wayshower
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