A Song Worth Playing

Benjamin - Gig Harbor, Washington
Entered on October 23, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I am a musician, and it wasn’t until recently that I began to realize the impact of that statement. Music has changed my perspective on my life’s hardships, such as misunderstandings in the family, having no real friends, and the inability to communicate effectively. I never was a very persuasive speaker, intuitive writer, or extroverted friend. But music allowed me to express my thoughts and ideas more effectively to the people I knew.

Being a very introverted person earlier in life limited my interaction with others to the point that I’m sure many would consider reclusive. It affected my interpersonal relationships with everyone negatively. My two younger sisters ridiculed my choice to focus so much harder on school than they did, and my parents did not help me hone any social skills that I so desperately wanted and needed. The “friends” I had were so far removed from my life that I could not consider any of them more than distant acquaintances. This terrible issue weighed heavily upon me, consumed me, and the utter result was loneliness. I fell into a deep depression that festered on my feelings of abandonment and rejection.

I finally decided in my sophomore year of high school that I needed to do something about that extremely pressing issue. Driven by the need to be heard by others, I auditioned for a co-op choir, and the director of the class proudly admitted me. I was generously welcomed by the group of peers in the choir, and I finally felt like I really fit in. Words could soar from my mouth and be understood by anyone who spoke my language. Now, because people in the local community recognized my appealing talent, I received praise on a regular basis from new friends I had made.

The very same year my mother started teaching me how to play the piano. That lovely instrument somehow touched my very soul. The way it sounded accompanied by the beautifully simple layout made it a perfect tool for expression. I could state my inner feelings more secretly, yet it expanded the number of ways to state my outward emotions as well.

The combined effect that my voice and the piano had on me, along with the feeling of being more appreciated by my peers, finally taught me how to communicate better. I can express my emotions intimately and outwardly in a way that people can understand clearly and appreciate. So, after overcoming the obstacles which plagued me for so long, I now feel that I can much more successfully be a better influence and friend to others. Now nothing can hold me back, because I can always rely on those gifts to help me through anything.