By Rachel A. Hanson
Tell me where I belong,
Surely, you understand
I cannot be myself until
I find out who I am
Tell Me Where I Belong by Michael McLean
“Rachel, do you want to learn how to play the piano?”
My mom asks on our front step, looking at the bulletin board for the apartment building.
Oh boy, did I!?
I watched my mom play, heard the piano in Sunday School, and marveled at the sound of the organ that the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sang with when we watched General Conference twice a year.
I would belong to this secret club – a club only available to those who could read the notes on the page.
I worked so hard to be a part of this club, figuring out who I was.
It’s harmony my friend.
Harmonize with earth and sky and everything therein
If you want to find yourself you have to harmonize with something else.
Harmony by Michael McLean
I was finally ready, after nearly two years of lessons, to play in Sunday School. I was going to accompany all of the kids during singing time. I practiced so hard, my dad telling me someday I was going to be like George Winston.
I was so scared; what if I messed up?
But I did it! At 8 years old I conquered my fear. Like one of my favorite songs on my favorite tape Distant Serenade by Michael McLean, I chose “not [to] be afraid.”
I played and played – at school, at church, at home. Imagining that someday I would be discovered. That playing the piano would lift me up and out of some of the more challenging aspects of my life.
I played to belong. To find harmony. To banish the fear.
I played to give me courage and release the anger when I first entered the world of advocacy, “taking on” college administration over unfair student fee structures.
After over 20 years of playing, I am finally beginning to discover the truth. You play to set yourself apart. To rise above the muck. To find others who are like you.
I play to soothe my babies. I play to soothe my soul. I play because it is where I belong.
Rachel is a blogger who writes dominantly about parenting and ways to juggle “having it all” even though she thinks that phrase is overblown and generally impossible. She also thinks that time management and cutting yourself a little slack are key to managing all the pieces of your life.
Rachel has an amazing husband and two delightful daughters (ages 2 years and 5 months). You can catch up with her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, visit her on Facebook, check out what she’s reading on Twitter, or check out her musings on WordPress.