This I Believe

Brianna - Bridgeport, Connecticut
Entered on July 4, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

Since before I can remember, my father has been drumming. I don’t mean professionally—touring the country with huge rock bands and bashing away at cymbals and bass drums onstage—but bouncing his feet on the floor and tapping his fingers across any surface within his reach. Sometimes he’ll arrange pots and pans around him on the dining room table and just start banging away, trying out new sounds and beats. Even when he misses a beat, or slips on his count, he just keeps going, just keeps on drumming to his own rhythm that he makes up as he goes along.

Now it’s easy for me to see that rhythm is everywhere. It’s not just in the tapping of toes or the flick of a drumstick on a cymbal; it’s the pounding of a child’s fists against the table; it’s the thumping of the muddy bass in a car as it speeds down my street; it’s the rustle of leaves as the wind gusts on a stormy day; it’s the splash of feet against water as kids run down the beach; it’s the steady breathing of a sleeping baby; it’s the spur of the moment. It’s everywhere, in everything and everyone.

I believe in rhythm, whether it be the rush of a heartbeat or the strumming of fingers. I believe in walking through life to your own beat, your own rhythm, your own drum solo. It shapes who you are, it is who you are. Sometimes there are gently hummed melodies woven in between the steady beats—gentle melodies that suit a person’s soft style. Sometimes there are guitar strums that keep in time with the thudding bounce of a foot on the floor. Sometimes your rhythm can blend with another’s rhythm; sometimes rhythms just clash.

Without my rhythm—without the tapping of my toes and the constant background noise of my dad’s different beats—I wouldn’t be me. I’d be marching to someone else’s beat, following the muffled padding of their footsteps, instead of creating my own drum solo, my own way of doing things. I slip on my count sometimes, but I keep trying, and I tell myself that my beat is anything but perfect, but hey, it’s my rhythm, and no one else can say the same about it.

I believe in rhythm. It might change, it might be rearranged, but it is always there. Just listen closely, look closely, and you’ll find yours in who you are, in what makes you who you are, as you make your way down the different paths you choose in life.