jazz it up!


It seems that everywhere I go these days, I am reminded of the same message. Sort of like an omen, but in a good way, although I don't necessarily believe in omens. All the things that I see, hear, read, and experience is telling me one thing. And this message has never been as loud and as clear as it was yesterday, when I saw a mini-concert presented at one of my schools by some members of the famous San Francisco Symphony.

The 30-minute performance was all about jazz, the instruments used, nursery-rhymes-turned-jazz songs (think Mary Had A Little Lamb), singing along, clapping your hands and clicking your heels, and just having fun with the music. Naturally, since it was jazz, there was a lot of improvisation. And this, I think, was the best part of the show, especially when they taught us about scat singing, which simply means making up words or nonsensical syllables as you go along.

For example, the lead singer came up with words like schkenlele, schkenlala, to which our kids replied with some other variations of the words starting with schken, schkon, or schkan. I can't even remember the words that they came up with, some really silly and very original ones, but the most important thing was that we all had so much fun.

And just like that, in the middle of us singing our impromptu and random string of words and syllables, I realized that this is what life should be all about - spontaneity, being free, listening to that little voice inside that's telling you to just go for it, because really there's no right or wrong words, there's no right or wrong answers, and everyone will always have something to say about you or how you should live your life, but ultimately, in the end, its really all about you and no one else.

I guess this realization came because lately I have been thinking about my supposedly lack of plans and priorities for the next 5 years or so. When you're single and over 25, everyone expects you to follow the same late-twenty-something or early 30's ideal. That is, getting engaged or married, starting a family, buying a house "because renting an apartment is such a waste of money", saving up for retirement, etc. And if you're not doing any of the above or have an entirely different life perspective, some people would assume that you need "a little help", which really means giving you a day-long discussion on the merits of having a retirement plan, a lecture about marriage straight out of an e-harmony advertisement, or God forbid, setting you up on a date, or worse, giving out your phone number (let's not even go there!).

Now I really don't care about societal expectations and I've always done whatever it is that I've wanted to do anyways, but when its the people who are closest to you that's doing all this questioning and matchmaking, don't you think that's a little too much? Yeah, I understand that their intentions are good and they are only looking out for me, but can't they see that not everyone dreams of being a soccer mom and living in a house with a white picket fence?

Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against anyone who wants to get married and have children and live the American dream, its just that in my heart of hearts, that's not want I want. Not yet anyway. Maybe this will change someday, but for now, I still dream of wandering, to unknown places, amongst unknown people, learning, writing, taking it all in, and finding myself and my place in this world. I don't know how or when, but I know it will happen because I will make it happen.

So I'm saying a big yes to all those omens and messages. To jazz and improvisation, to doing things differently, and to being utterly comfortable with my voice and my choices, even if, most of the time, I am fumbling with the words and making it up as I go along, and even if they don't really make sense to anyone else but me.

3 comments:

  1. Yeah, life shouldn't be lived under the big blueprint of a 9-5er and a 401K. Where's the fun in that? So jazz it up, Dang. Eat icecream for dinner, buy a canoe, fly solo. Go scat! Or do I dare say this... go to 'Scatland'! hehehe

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  2. Yes Christy, "Scatland" is way more fun!

    And um, *small voice*, I've eaten ice cream for dinner. A lot of times. hehehe.

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