Ever since I was little, I have loved music.
I love to listen to music.
I love to go to concerts.
I love to sing.
I love to play music on the piano (I even played the organ when I was younger).
Music is a source of joy for me.
It is also the way I cope with stress, anxiety, sadness, and every other emotion I experience.
I use music to convey my feelings that I cannot find words for.
Many times, if a friend is struggling or I want to tell them something that I can't find words for - I will send them the link to a song.
I love music.
Music is a part of me.
Music is ALWAYS playing in my car and in my home.
I have smacked people's hands and scolded them for turning down my music.
Heaven forbid they should turn it off!!!
I budget the purchase of music into my monthly budget!
I love music.
When I was College age, I was living in a tourist town and working for a couple who owned a motel.
They set me up in a motorhome so I could have my own "space".
It was a great arrangement until they took away my electrical supply.
I still had lights and heat - but I lost my ability to play my music on my "boom box". (Remember those? LOL)
I sunk into a bit of a depression.
I was lost.
I had a hard time functioning and when I was alone in my space, I would experience an overwhelming sadness.
At that point in my life, I had a major "a-ha" moment as to how important music was in my life.
It was not a "like" . . . It was a requirement!
Fast forward to present day. ..
As you know, I have recently moved.
I am in a new neighborhood and am establishing new routines.
My daughter and I made a major decision when we set up our new place.
We opted to not put a television in our main living space.
We both have tv's in our rooms, and I do enjoy watching a movie in the evening every once in a while.
But we didn't want the energy of the tv dominating our living space.
We wanted that space for talking and relaxing.
And because of this . . .the first thing I do when I go into my kitchen/living space, is turn on music.
I've never thought anything about it. . .
until a friend had visited for a couple days at the beginning of the month.
My friend (who had never "stayed" with me before) commented that his favorite thing about being in my home was that the music is always on.
Hmmmm .... well, of course it is.
It's a requirement!
And not only is the music on - I am usually singing right along with it.
I am not shy about singing to my music in my home. (Sorry neighbors).
But singing loudly has snapped me out of melancholy moods, sad moments, and boosts my happiness quotient.
So why wouldn't I sing?
Music playing in my home is almost as much of a requirement as . . .electricity!
Recently I was out of town helping a friend move.
There were several of us who had gathered together for the weekend to lend a hand.
We were loading up my car with items to be donated.
My keys were in the ignition, the music was playing loudly, and the car doors were open.
Oh - and we were in a parking area where there was a lot of traffic.
A great song came up on the CD player - one of those songs that you just can't help moving to when you hear it.
I started dancing.
Then the person I was working with started dancing.
We had a dance party right in the middle of the parking lot with strangers looking on.
Some laughed. Some looked at us like we were "freaks".
I have a dog.
I no longer have a yard.
This means that I must, without fail, take my dog on a couple walks a day.
We have a couple very short walks - and two long walks.
And it is just me and him.
I am creating my new walking path.
And as always - music is a part of my walk.
I plug in my headphones, turn it up loud enough to block out the world and walk the dog.
And I always find myself singing . . .out loud.
In my old neighborhood, I walked in a school yard and was almost always alone.
So no one noticed my singing and dancing to the phantom music that only I could hear in my headphones.
But I walk in a neighborhood now. The other day, I was walking and singing - at full volume- and I looked up and saw a few of my new neighbors looking at me with strange looks.
I felt a bit like a "freak".
I made a comment about it on FaceBook and a friend told me to "Let your freak flag fly high!".
I love that statement.
And I love flying my freak flag . . .sometimes.
But usually, I am very shy about it.
Until recently. I am trying to not worry about what others think.
If it makes me happy . . .I need to do it!
But it got me to thinking. . .
We all come into this world with certain talents, abilities, passions and drives.
Some passions, talents and drives develop based on our environment, friends and the things we are exposed to.
I KNOW that I came into this world with a passion for the arts - especially music.
We may take lessons to develop those talents - we may explore and spend time on them every day.
We become proud of them.
And then . . .
we hide them.
We find ourselves feeling self-concious if we sing out loud at the top of our lungs while walking our dog.
We worry what the neighbors will think.
I wonder - I pay money to go see certain musicians play on a stage and feel honored and excited to be part of the audience.
But what would I think if I saw them singing out loud while walking down the street - especially if I didn't "know" who it was?
Would I recognize the talent and stop to enjoy?
Or would I think they were strange?
Would I honor the fact that they were "flying their freak flag?"
Or would I look away and try not to make eye contact?
What would the world be like if we felt more comfortable "flying our flag?"
I think - no, I believe - it would be a much better place . . .
we would hear more music, experience more dancing, engage in more laughter and see more color.
We would live in a world that was full of people who were passionate about performing the mundane tasks of everyday life because they could openly express themselves.
And because they could openly express themselves in a way that brought them joy,
it only stands to reason that we would all be happier.
And that cannot be a bad thing.
So here is my decision -
I am flying my flag . . .high and proud!
Or least I am going to try. .
I am going to do my best to let my passions for life be seen on a daily basis.
So if you happen to see a dark haired woman out walking her big, curly dog and singing at the top of her lungs - rather than looking at her like she is strange -
why don't you join in and sing with her?