[A piece on the piano to mark 4 out 5 weeks of radiotherapy completed]
Parents try to prepare us for the world of give and take. We are given pocket money as youngsters but we are expected to do chores in exchange. God gifts us with talents and inspires us with passions. Talents are given to us for free and come naturally to us, passions on the other hand are what you have to work hard at in exchange.
As you reach your late 20’s you are somehow fooled into thinking that you have learned all you can and it can be easy to let cobwebs gather on your teenage hobbies and let time slip by without discovering any new passions. Cancer has taught me many things; the most important is something I call canspiration. Cancer has made me tap into my creative soul making me realise that it’s never too late to discover and develop your own unique creative finger print.
Some people are blessed that their talents or passions are their jobs. For those who aren’t so lucky and work in a normal office job, when we take our last breath will we really be thankful that we filed and completed all that admin for a company which was, in essence, someone else’s dream? No. We will ask ourselves ‘Why didn’t I realise my potential? Why didn’t I explore the talents and passions bubbling in my soul?’.
If it’s learning a language, to play an instrument, to sing, to write, to paint, to draw, to d.j, to samba…whatever it is that calls you, all it takes is to start doing it 20 minutes after work twice a week, slowly building up the length of time and frequency. Your brain is a magical tool, it is like a computer that can learn anything. It’s mastering your mind that’s the hard part. It’s your mind that programs and teaches your brain. I have learned it takes three things: Passion, Determination and Patience. Passion to want to learn it, determination to see it through and patience to not give up. Rome wasn’t built in a day so do not get frustrated; patience is the ultimate form of kindness you can show yourself. It’s a beautiful thing to come home in the evenings after being all day in the office and dedicate effort and time into a passion that is yours. Whatever passion and creative finger print you want to develop, it should be for you and for your pleasure. After all, no one else will be more impressed than you when you finally master it. You are the one who has put the hard work, time and effort in, so you will be the one to reap the sweet taste of satisfaction as your reward.
While I see writing as my talent as it comes naturally to me, music is my passion which I have to really work hard at. I began learning the piano when I was 5 and I finished all 8 Grades when I was 16. Leaving home to go to university when I was 18 meant that at 31 years old I had forgotten how to play the piano. This can be the most frustrating part, having to relearn something that you once knew but it was passion, determination and patience that saw me through. I live by the motto that regrets are mistakes you haven’t learned from, and this time round I’m adamant I will not forget how to play the piano again.