On my drive back from San Antonio the other day, I was listening to NPR’s Fresh Air on XM. They were talking about “Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game” – the book by Michael Lewis. A movie based on the book opened Friday. In the interview with the author, Lewis talked about a player named Scott Hatteberg. Hatteberg had a more laid back style when it came to batting. He said that he didn’t hit anything that he didn’t like. It was apparently a source of frustration to his batting coaches and also to opposing pitchers. Hatteberg said that he always had this intuitive sense of himself. He knew that this was the way that he hit and wanted to stay true to that, despite the advice of batting coaches who tried to get him to hit more aggressively. He remembered being a young boy and seeing one of his baseball heroes talk about also having a laid back approach to the plate, and decided then and there that he would stay with that. And he did.
Authenticity is actually not that hard to find. It surrounds us in the natural world. But there are many of us that do try to stay true to who we are and try not to lose ourselves in roles and categories that our unnatural society tries to force us into. I’m looking back and understanding how much I’ve lost of myself and once again trying to figure out why. And the only thing I can ever come up with is my theory of Adjustments.
If you’re a musician, you understand adjusting. You begin the show at a certain volume level. Many times, whether it is because of room acoustics or what I think happens the majority of the time, general excitement and adrenaline, the music gets louder and louder. One person turns up just a bit to hear themselves better. The person next to them turns up. And on down the line. And sometimes over and over. And sometimes you end up a lot further from where you started.
I believe in dynamics in life. I believe that it is necessary to have opposites. I believe you have to have loud and you have to have soft. I believe you have to have down and you have to have up. I believe you have to have happy and you have to have sad. It’s necessary – for growth, for understanding and sometimes to avoid total boredom. But it is a rhythm. It is sometimes a roller coaster, but most of the time it is a pattern of ups and downs and happiness and sadness. The cool thing to remember is: It all comes back around.
I’ve spent countless hours at baseball games. My brother, Joel (who is 1 year younger than me), played Little League ball and played thru high school. I’ve heard hundreds of mothers say, “Wait for your pitch, honey, wait for your pitch.”
The key to authenticity is waiting. It is a remaining true to who you are amidst the changes. The key is reminding yourself that you ARE who you are and NO ONE (not even those that you love with all of your being) can change that. The key is a perseverance that withstands the hardest times and the lowest lows. Sure, you adjust. Sure, you sway a little bit. But remembering that core of who you are – that person that waits for their pitch – is what keeps you YOU.
I don’t want to see a world where we’re all the same. There’s a uniqueness to me that I like. Not everyone does. I’m ok with that. Because if I’m not me, I’m someone else, and I don’t like her. I like me.
I have more music inside of me than probably I even know. It is diverse. It is unique. It is dynamic. I learn more about this music every day. I’ve got enough songs to cut an album (actually about 2 albums), but I’m not ready yet. Life has been a storm lately and creation is better after the storm has settled.
My music is about my time. My soul. My heart.
I wait for my pitch.