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The Shuffle

I listen to my I-pod for two reasons; to either fill time, or to make time go faster. In this particular instance, I was hoping that time would go much faster, and that maybe the shuffle of my I-pod would serve as my personal time machine. For being Texan comes with a price sometimes, because most of the country may worry about snow storms or freak blizzards, we Texans push through thunderstorms and tornadoes. Although, enduring these natural phenomenon in an airport setting is not my idea of being intrepid; nevertheless, our family’s flight to Louisiana, just a state away, had been delayed due to the capricious weather. So I began to dig though my purse for my I-pod and headphones, turning on my shuffle to hear the sounds of my favorite songs replacing the sounds and the appearance of defeated, livid passengers and stressed, exhausted employees dealing with the chaos. Although, listening to my I- pod shuffle can actually serve to be dangerous especially listening to it in a public place. The biggest fear is if the situation occurs when a song starts to play that causes the need and sensation to want to sing out loud along with the song and dance to it like nobody is watching; even in an airport terminal. They are many musicians that produce that result for me, but one has had the greatest impact; is the one and only Lady Gaga. As I listened to her album in that airport terminal, I was reminded of this.

I saw the first assignment of the school year written on the white board by our stolid English teacher to our newly formed junior classroom; it was to write a narrative essay. Immediately, there were moans and complaints from the rest of the class about our assignment; not from me. What the rest of the class did not know was that in my homework folder was a poem I had written about gossip, and under it was a half, unfinished short story inspired by the question of how to tell a guy I knew that he had a uni-brow. I was different for the reason that I loved to write, and I even did it for fun. Furthermore, the strangest quirk about me was my biggest aspiration in life to write a best selling novel. I had tried in the past to explain this to people, but the product of a strange look toward me gave me my answer. This issue was exemplified while writing that first essay along with my English class. Our class followed the instructions given by our English teacher to begin writing the outline and draft for the looming due date of the assignment. Even with the aversion by most, everyone at least jotted down a paragraph or two within the class period. Although, for me the words flowed underneath my fingertips gripping the pencil and the feeling was not one of pride or arrogance, but more of being passionate about what I was doing. Though, looking around me I felt out of place for something that I understood, and there was nothing I could do to change the incomprehension.

One night, I was flipping through the television channels since I had finished my English essay early, and like the shuffle on my unpredictable I-pod, before me was Lady Gaga on an interview with Barbara Walters. As much as I loved her music, I also thought she was completely insane, outrageous, ridiculous, and the poster child for being audacious with everything she touched and decided to do. As I watched however, Lady Gaga then began to talk about how different she felt growing up and how she learned to not care what others thought of her and simply follow her dreams to create that is Lady Gaga and what is the success around it. I sat on my couch listening and trying to process what I had just heard; regardless, I had learned something great. So I turned off the television and began to journal about this new discovery, that maybe our differences can be are our greatest assets.

Living in fear of what others will think of you because of your difference is foolish; in addition, maybe is it ludicrous that I learned this from Lady Gaga. Although, what would the world be like if we took the songs on our shuffles and actually danced and sang to them and not worried about what others would think about us? That might be the most important question to ask when in doubt of our dreams in the wake of others judgment upon them. Nevertheless, after hours of waiting in the oblivion of the DFW airport in the mists of serve thunderstorms and a tornado warning, the weather finally cleared and our flight was re-booked. As our family stood and walked onto our flight, I kept my headphones on; not to fill time or make it go faster, but for the new reason to know and remind myself that my dreams are worth pursuing. The next time my I-pod is playing Lady Gaga, I may not stand, dance, or sing out loud to her in a busy airport terminal, but I will continue to write and work toward my dream; remembering how she taught me how to gain fearlessness.





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