Your entire life, your heart has been singing a rhythmic chorus. Those of us who have truly come alive have merely dared to listen and then sing along to the internal melody. Most mornings, I know it's time to go get my daughter out of her crib because I'll hear her singing on the monitor. In her own 16-month-old language, she's got a song worth singing, her voice rising and falling with babble and syllables that mean something to her. I smile as I listen along, trying to bob my head to her inconsistent beat and tempo. She mixes the chorus and verse with a bridge of "Dada" or "Mama" given her mood and what's on her tiny mind.
She sings with all the passion a one-year-old can muster. Most of the time she wakes up from sleep or naps like this - alert, hopeful, singing. I think those of us who have discovered and dared to live our passion have a similar feeling and outlook when we are able to work on our art, that which makes us feel truly alive.
If you don't like the word "passion," that's fine. Trash it. A desire by any other name sounds just as sweet. You know it when you find it and get a chance to indulge it. It's your thing. It can become your professional or personal identity. It's that idea or concept that makes your heart sing.
Like a talented maestro, your passion is directing you, the virtuoso soloist. She stands at the forefront of your life, taps a few times to get your attention, and then waves her baton until you follow. And when you do, you feel the notes swell within you, begging to come out in a uniquely blended harmony and there it is: the song only you can sing.
Waves of sound and tone rise and fall as you follow your passion. Highlights are paired with marvelous lows, the setbacks serving only as rests, marking times of silence before the music begins again. And where is it all leading? To a satisfying and appropriate conclusion, crescendo after crescendo until you put down your instrument with that satisfied and complete feeling.
Plenty of people and systems will tell you not to sing. They'll point to signs and rules that demand silence. Don't let your voice be trapped by the conventions of those who dare not belt forth their own song. Smile politely, leave, and then go find the environment where your voice was born to shout in a fantastic and wonderful anthem.
Please - for all of our sakes - sing. The world needs to hear your hymn, lullaby, opera, or opus to remind us that it is possible to find the song within and perform it with the reckless abandon of a baby in the morning, singing for herself while her proud dad listens on, rapt with wonder.