The Natural Talent vs. the Underdog

Yesterday I walked into my voice lesson, prepared to tackle another hour of intense focus, concentration, and muscle/breath coordination, and I sat in on the tail end of the lesson before mine. There was this tiny, adorable high schooler singing scales while her mom and dad looked on. Then Juliana asked her to sing the song she wrote that won her the recording contract……… WHAT!!!!!!!!!????????????? This tiny high schooler has a contract with a major label? WHAT!? So, the girl sat down at the piano and sang this amazing, lyrical, interesting, and beautifully melodic original pop song á la Sarah Barilles. I couldn’t believe it. My jaw literally hit the floor. In one so young, she truly had a natural talent. This was her path. This was her music. This was what she was meant to do. It was a beautiful and humbling experience.

Things have never come that naturally to me. The constant underdog, I’ve struggled, fought, and climbed my way to the top by my pinkies. I’ve never been told that I’m going to be a star or “make it big”. I’ve always been the “wild card.” I’ve never even dreamed of having a recording contract, having never been the “talent” in the school. But, I was the worker bee. You tell me to do something and I will find a way to do it. If I had a talent, it would be tenacity. No matter how many people tell me I am not going to make it. No matter how many times I want to give up. No matter how many times I get frustrated and want to curl up into the fetal position rather than say the same French schwa vowel one more time, I show up. I put in the work. I stay present with where I am and where I need to go. I continue to move forward. Yes, I may have a lot further to travel than someone who is a natural with languages and was born with amazing vocal tone, but the point is that I keep progressing. I keep clawing my way to the top, slowly but surely getting closer and closer. And I’m not going to stop until I make it. No matter how many times I have to repeat that darn French schwa!

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One day I’ll make it to the top of that mountain!

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