Thursday, April 4, 2013

How to Find Happiness A-Z: D

Have you ever found something you wanted so bad, you'd die if you didn't get it?

I wanted to sing. There was always music in my head. Always. Bringing it out, humming to the orchestra inside brought me immense satisfaction. Harmonizing to radio songs left me giddy and gleeful. Every game I played with my friends had a soundtrack. Every story I read was filled with character "themes". Every beautiful sunset possessed its own awe-inspiring opus. There was only one problem:

The brother.

If I opened my mouth, I received a right-old whop to head. He hated my music. He didn't understand. I'd shut myself in my room, seeking freedom from his tyrannical oppression, only to be interrupted, mid-song, by pounding on the floor below me. (How unfortunate his room was right below mine.)

Well, that wasn't going to stop me. I'd show him!

From 10 yrs old on, I participate in choirs. I went to voice lessons and learned to utilize my instrument most effectively. Still, I got the stink eye from him when I opened my mouth in the presence of our parents--where he couldn't act without reprimand. If we were alone, I didn't dare--and it ate me up inside.


When I was 15 he left on a service mission for our church. I took those two years he was away, and flourished. At least once a month I performed in public--often once a week. I received accolades, praise, amazing ratings at competitions, but those weren't the prize I was after.

When my brother returned, I sang at his "homecoming." He confessed afterwards that I had a beautiful voice, but he preferred a different style of singing. I rolled my eyes, stuck out my tongue at his back, and reveled in my success. (We have since come to terms on this matter.)

Stubbornness is Determination turned the wrong direction. That was always my excuse when Mom accused me of being stubborn as a child. It's a term that in scriptural passages might be rendered steadfastness, or continuing on in a steady course--despite opposition.

Happiness stems from overcoming the odds, from persisting despite persecution, from a determination to do what is most important.

What obstacles have you overcome by being determined?



22 comments:

  1. I like that, stubbornness can go both ways.

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  2. It's really important to be determined. I'd say it's more than half the recipe to success

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  3. Well brothers are brothers. Can't lived with them, cant live without them. On a more serious note, I'd agree with Reena. It's more than half of the recipe to success. :)

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    1. I probably could have lived without him from when he turned 14 to when he turned 19. ;) I love him to death, but these boys, their brains fall out somewhere in teenage-hood.

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  4. I have 3 brothers, so I can really sympathise with that! I'm not really famed for my determination, but I can be stubborn when pushed on something.

    When I was 14 I announced that I wanted to become a vegetarian. My family said "You won't last a week." I was a vegetarian for 18 years.
    Coffintree Hill

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    1. LOL. Yup. I have 5 brothers, 4 of them are older, so all I have to say is, I KNOW, RIGHT? *shaking head*

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  5. Determination is a great quality to have, and one I admire very much. It's great that you never gave up on your singing, and that your brother eventually admitted you had a beautiful voice. :D

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    1. Now if only I could be that stubborn about my books! :)

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  6. I don't have brothers, but I have one sister who requires me to be very determined if I'm to have my way. I win battles by not giving up when I'm sure I'm right. Once in a while, I have to admit I'm not right, so it's easy to let her have her way then--kind of. :-)

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    1. Siblings, eh? They make you or they break you.

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  7. As a voice teacher, this story makes me really happy. I'm so glad to hear that you didn't let his negativity stop you from a true passion. Cheese! I mean...Cheers!

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  8. I love this idea of being steadfast!

    But hrmm maybe not for singing as I don't have much of a musical voice (though the Glee Autotune Karaoke app might have me thinking otherwise..sometimes).

    For a start, will try to be steadfast about writing. And exercise. :)

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    1. Two thumbs up! If everyone did the same thing it would be an awfully boring world, eh?

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  9. One obstacle of many that I have manage to overcome was procrastinating to start my own website. I used to say that I will start it when I have the knowledge and skills to do it right. I decided last year to jump to it and learn as I go. I find it challenging and very rewarding.

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    1. Awesome! Way to put your fears aside and "do"!

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  10. Yay! Good on you for sticking to your guns. Family disapproval of any kind is almost enough to put one off but you did it! Good on you.

    Ailsa Abraham http://ailsaabraham.com/

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  11. Good for you!! Great post, and uplifting!! www.sandysanderellasmusings.blogspot.com

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    1. Rather than down lifting. ;P Of course, thinking about that from a strength/weight lifting perspective... Hm.

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Hit me with your cheese!