My totally unscripted life is filled with music. The music of my soul is unlike anything I've ever heard. I've tried to capture my journey in the words of popular and not so popular songs whose lyrics seemed to be ripped from the pages of my personal songbook. I could just as easily bop along to Alicia Keys' "Girl on Fire," as well as grow alternately reflective, then defiant with Whitney's (no last name necessary) "I Didn't Know My Own Strength" and Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger."
When things are going along swimmingly, it's easy to resort to a Hakuna Matata-like chant party. When they're not, I remind myself that "A Change Is Gonna Come" (choose your favorite cover version). And, it usually does. But when those frustrating, stubborn, overwhelming obstacles persist I put @TheRealMaryMary in rotation, turn up the volume on my faith and hunker down with "Yesterday," "God in Me" and "Go Get It." Yes, 'tis true, I've had my share of ups and downs but nothing that sheer dogged determination, a series of fist pumps and a lyrically reciting of the 70's anthem "I Will Survive" didn't, over time, get me through. Gloria Gaynor? Gloria Steinem? Doesn't matter.
What's important is that I have survived, thanks, in no small part to the staccato strains of Handel's "Hallelujah Chorus" consistently, persistently, imperceptibly keeping pace with my heartbeat.
. . . and the beat goes on.
My life continues to unfold as does everyone else's, along with the Universe, as it should. "Desiderata" anyone? There are trials and triumphs but you won't hear me singing the "WhatthehelldidIdotodeservethisonthissideofheaven" Blues. Not anymore. Instead, I will focus on living, writing, fulfilling my purpose. Like Ol' Blue Eyes before me, now that I've overcome the minority opinion of others, this dark-"brown-eyed girl" is doing it "My Way." No "Moondance" or rain dance necessary, it's just that the rhythm finally got me. Gracias Gloria (Gloria Estefan.) The rhythm of my own walk is throbbing.
As I write the next chapter and verse of my life, I vow to dance to the beat of my own drum. I will percolate, luxuriate, even infuriate to the music that motivates me. I will remain "Optimistic" in season and out of season, even when, especially when faced with challenges. I will pen my own script and dance my own dance, with a partner or without. Life is meant to be lived and to be lived abundantly. Now that I have figured that out not just intellectually but experientially, I choose to write my own songs and dance like no one's watching.
Just the thought of my hard won freedom makes me "Happy." Cue Pharrell.
. . . "At Last."
Jennifer Lavern is a keen observer of the issues that affect how women view themselves and how they interact with their world.