I consider myself a homebody for the most part.
Sometimes I think it’s because I exhausted my lifetime supply of energy when I was younger. If it wasn’t ballet lessons, it was baton. If it wasn’t baton, it was clarinet. If it wasn’t clarinet, it was watercolor painting. If it wasn’t painting, it was gymnastics. Or voice lessons. Or guitar lessons. And through it all, there were years of classical piano lessons.
There were piano lessons followed by lectures followed by books of music theory followed by music theory quizzes followed by competitions that took place at Cal State Fullerton. Rows and rows of beautifully dressed children with their proper bows on the backs of their proper dresses and tiny boys in tuxes adorned the halls; many girls wore gloves on their hands to keep them warm and limber so that whenever it was their turn to perform, they were ready. I suspect they wondered why I fidgeted with nothing at all in my hands and why I didn’t wear gloves. It was the one year I decided to rebel against it all and wear jeans and tennis shoes.
I stopped caring, or rather, “worrying,” about what everyone else thought, and I played for myself.
And I won.
I thought that being in a lecture hall among hundreds of parents and accepting an award on stage for a perfectly played piece — all while wearing denim — was a riot.
I think to this day, this is where my desire for tattoos and/or a nose piercing and/or a secret life as a musician or bartender comes from. It stems from rebellion. Or maybe just the desire to rebel a tiny bit.
In a way, while regimented, I look back at all of the lessons I took when I was younger and it points to someone who does what they want, when they want. It’s why I am who I am today.
I have a cat so that I can come and go as I please; they’re low-maintenance, and great for those rare nights when I get home around 2am. As of late, I’m happy not to date. I think that when I was young and hopping from lesson to lesson is when I was happiest; as I grew older, I hopped from boyfriend to boyfriend (not quite so literally, but you get the point). And when I hopped from dude to dude, the hobbies and lessons were shelved. And the dudes got me nowhere — or so I thought. At the end of the day, they got me closer to and more intune with myself.
And that’s always a good thing.
Tonight I am thankful for parents who were able to provide lessons during my younger years, for their patience while I hopped from one thing to the next, and for their continued patience during my adult years as I let a not-quite-healed heart move from guy to another. I think they knew I’d come full-circle at some point, and that I’d find my way back home. I’m thankful for their patience as I played my own tune, and found the melody that’s just right to me. Occasionally it’s out there tearing it up, but these days, it’s at home where I’m doing whatever I want.
Home to me is an environment where I’m happy, with or without a partner in crime. Where I’m learning, where I’m creating, where I’m arts-ing. It’s where I’m dreaming, imagining, writing, tall-tale-ing, melody-crafting and composing.
It’s where I am, plain and simple. And when you simply “are” — when you can simply “be” — the best parts of you come out.