This I Believe

Andrew - Belleville, Wisconsin
Entered on October 5, 2007

Being the eldest child meant that I had to tow the line and set a good example for my siblings. I was the eldest in my class at school. I was told that I had to be a good leader. I hated being the eldest. I never wanted to lead; I just wanted to be one of the pack. Leaders got yelled at for other people’s mistakes. Heck I got yelled at enough for my own mistakes. I tried to be the leader that others wanted me to be. I took on extra responsibilities at school and at home and I hated it. Now I’m not a slacker or lazy. I just don’t like to be the one out in front. If there is something that needs to be done or said I am more than willing to take my turn doing so, just not being the big cheese.

The only thing that I enjoyed being a leader of was playing music. Music enlightened me. It gave me purpose, and kept me going when everything else took a crap. I wanted to have a band, and I wanted to write and record music. Nothing else had ever occupied my thought process or daily life as much as this. I remember my Grandma and her sisters all singling and playing at family get togethers. They wrote stories and were great artists. I wanted so badly to be part of that. I wanted to play guitar like my Aunt Rose. I wanted to sing like my Aunts, Dorothy, Vera, Carol, Leone, and my Grandma. I wanted to write and express myself like them. The day they asked me to sit in and play with them was the day my life changed. They listened to the songs I wrote and were honest about them. No longer was I sitting on the outside looking in, I was part of something that was real and the encouragement that I received from all of them made me want to play music, write, and create more than ever.

Over the last 30 years I have put together many successful bands in Wisconsin. I have played in Nashville. I have won songwriting contests. I also own a recording studio were I help others create and capture their dreams. I am a published music journalist, and I am launching an online music news publication in January of 2008. This was all possible because someone believed in me and gave me the encouragement to follow my dreams. They believed in me!

I became a leader. Not the kind of leader my parents or teachers thought I should be, but a leader in choosing and living my own destiny. I help others by leading them to finding their own muse through music. Leading does not have to mean you are a business giant, or a military or political figure head. I learned leading is about being you, and helping others to be who they want to be.