Beat of your own drum is boring

17 May

I always hated when people told me I marched to the beat of my own drum. Because that’s a cliche. And if I were *really* moving to a sound that has yet to be heard by someone else on a percussive instrument of my own design, then I wouldn’t be able to be defined by a cliche.

But recently, I had an epiphany. The reason people needed to describe me with such a trite expression was simply because nothing else existed to describe me.

And that doesn’t apply to just me.

It applies to anyone who strikes out on their own. Anyone who has something to say or express in a way that isn’t “in line” with what society deems acceptable.

Which is, in my experience, almost everyone.

But for some odd reason, we (myself included) don’t have the balls to truly go and make our own noise. We’re content to be told that we are marching to the beat of our own drums when that’s not the case, we are waltzing to the fucking concerto of our own philharmonic symphony. Or  [insert movement] to the [insert sound] of your own [insert musical instrument/grouping/style].

You get my drift.

So what this has led me to realize is that to really do the things you want to do, to be yourself, you have to be completely synchronized with your idiosyncratic rhythms.

I’ve been reflecting a lot on finding my own rhythms. Everyone functions optimally at a different rhythm. Some people do best when they wake up at 6 am, others when they go to bed at 6 am. Some do better eating three meals a day, others need eight. It’s really easy to get pigeonholed into other people’s rhythms. Some people operate FABULOUSLY on the 9 am to 5 pm schedule. Others (like me) do not.

I’m learning to respect my rhythms and use them to my advantage, so that I can harness the power of my most productive hours and not try to force myself to work when what I really need is a nap (yeah, don’t expect me to do anything worthwhile at 4 pm).

Being YOU, getting YOUR stuff done the way that only YOU can do it means high-stepping to the sound of your own polka band.

If you will.

It’s doing you to the nth degree. It’s staying in your pajamas until 10 am on a Tuesday because that’s what you need to do to get that newsletter written. It’s sipping a glass of wine on the patio while balancing your books, because otherwise, they will never get done. It’s taking a nap at 3 pm so you can teach and rehearse until midnight.

So yes, others may look at your daily schedule and feel some confusion. The only way they may be able to describe how you operate is “Hm. She sure marches to the beat of her own drum.” You can smile and nod politely, waiting for them to come up with a more creative (and accurate) way to describe your existence. But don’t wait too long…it’ll surely throw off your timing.

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