I had to play a piano solo in church recently. Which is something I haven’t done in a VERY long time. Flashback 10 years ago and this would have been no big deal. It was something I did on a fairly regular basis. Did I get nervous? Sure. But nothing like I did this last time. My heart was racing, I couldn’t see straight, my hands were drenched in sweat, and the keyboard looked like a bunch of cheese sticks in no particular order. I even had a hard time finding middle the right place to start my piece! I played the piece fine, not nearly as well as I thought I would have for as much as I had practiced but that’s OK. The whole experience got me thinking.
I am a person who likes structure. I like expectations to be clear and for tasks to have specific instructions on how to accomplish them and what the outcomes will be. This is probably why I liked school so much. I’m not lying when I tell you I really got excited for the first day of class when a teacher would hand out the freshly printed syllabus laying out the entire semester and what was going to happen. And you better believe that I checked every little thing off once it was done. And if by chance the teacher had forgotten to put it on the syllabus – I added it just so I could check it off.
I feel like life kind of hands you a syllabus of sorts from the very beginning. You get to be a kid, go to school, participate in extracurricular activities, and go on family vacations. When you get a little older you may get a job, date a bit, and explore different interests while still in school. Then maybe college comes. And even though it may have been on the syllabus – that’s where things start to fade. It doesn’t tell you where to go to school, what to study, or even how to financially cover it. Then maybe the opportunity to get married comes along, and with that you take things over and fill out the rest of the details yourself.
Early in life it seems like there is one thing after another that you are expected to do by society or your family. You get put in uncomfortable situations all the time that you have to deal with and learn from. But once you grow up it’s up to you to create more expectations and continue to help yourself grow and develop as a person.
Playing the piano in church is really not a big deal. But it reminded me that it is good to put ourselves in uncomfortable situations. By choice. To create opportunities for a challenge and to experience more things than we would if we just let life happen to us. I saw this quote a while ago… but it ties in nicely to these thoughts I’ve had this week. “Don’t get comfortable with who you are, you might miss the opportunity to become who you want to be.”
So here’s to challenging myself more often and making exciting things happen!