The last time I wrote, X was for Xerotes and I was beginning to wonder if W would inevidably end up with something water related as well.
It didn’t and here we are with a much more simple why. A powerful and potentially humbling three letter word that can, and ultimately will define each of us in its own unique way.
Many times in my life a was confronted with why. Why did this happen? Why am I here? Why did I do this and not that in the heat of the moment? Why am I who I am? Why oh why does another man cry and I’m stoic? Or vice versa.
Why is an intimidating sentiment, that at the root of all humanity makes us intrinsically question ourselves. It is a core of the questions most classically trained philosophers are bread upon and, more from my own background, the most critical element of any journalist worth their modern day pen-and-paper learned from. Why forces a critical eye not only on the world around one’s self but as our own mothers, or therapists probably redefined, refocused taht same eye upon one’s self.
I suppose, one of the great stories I have that depicts one of my key pivot points in my life has to do with fully understanding why. I was headed on a crash course with my future in high school, I was destined for music. As far as anyone, including myself, could remember, music was a consistent and defining portion of my life, even when it wasn’t. So when the idea of pursuing an undergraduate education in muisc came up, it wasn’t hard to fathom how I ended up there. Yet, being there, I knew myself, almost instantly, it wasn’t my true calling.
Well, I’d started to ask myself just that. Sitting in a practice room too many hours to count. I love practice, don’t get me wrong. I love drills and rudiments more than performance. Yes, I know, I’m weird. But, I still enjoyed performance, just in a much different way. I enjoyed tutoring and mentoring my fellow musician, but I didn’t enjoy teaching. At least not in the same way. I started to ask subtly why. Why did I care? What in the heck was I trying to do??
Part way through college I figured it out… my real calling wasn’t in teaching in the traditional sense. It was in marketing. It was it helping others have the aspirations of their dreams come true when they could work toward it in ways I wasn’t capable or motivated to. It’s not that I was bad at what I did, but I was content at expressing it, at the time, to myself. I was more excited about seeing others be successful. But, I wasn’t going to stand on the sideline. I wasn’t going to watch, I was going to mentor, motivate and move them in ways they didn’t even know possible.
And, thus, my career was born. Out of my own desire and drive, I took the art I so adored and found a way to use my own skills and specialties in order to ordain the next order of awesome musicians. I could be among them, but I was, and they were, much better served with me stearing them to success.
In the grander scheme, had I not made that decision then, I wouldn’t be where I am now. How am I a product manager at a social justical technology company when I began just another percussionist? Because, I decided, my fate was best served helping others achieve what they need and desire. It is a stretch to say someone who want’s marriage equality from a civil rights concetp is the same as some backstreet musician who wants to be the next pop superstar, but in many ways many of the same motivations exist in overcoming the odds in gettings one’s voice heard and in inspiring the masses to act upon your dream in spite of your own limitations.
I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for my own personal question as to why. Why did I gravitate to some things and not others. Why did I act the way I did some times and why do I struggle to act sometimes and not others?
Why is a lifelong question that when we quit asking it to ourselves we’ve officialy signed our own death sentences