YOUR OWN DRUM

Life: From A to Z

At the risk of sounding cliché, the letter “D” made me think of “dancing to the beat of your own drum.” I’ve noticed that my thoughts, views, and ideas about things seem to evolve with time, and I’ve looked at this particular phrase from different perspectives—in different eras.

When I was young, dancing to the beat of my own drum meant being wild and free, breaking the rules, and questioning authority. What can I say? I grew up alongside the 60’s and 70’s counterculture!

In my recovery, I learned about some of the character traits that many addict / alcoholics have in common, and these include selfishness, a desire to run the show (or play God), and a lack of care of concern for others (which goes hand in hand with the selfishness, obviously).

The meaning from this perspective was different because it could also be seen as a “red flag.” It’s good to do what feels right to YOU, or what makes YOU happy, but if you kick the notch up TOO high it’s possible you’re being selfish, trying to run the show, and lacking concern for those around you. I guess it’s a lot like being over-ambitious, and another one of those double edged meanings.

As I thought about it from the perspective of who and where I am today—which is a reflective state (which may have something to do with being a year closer to 60)—I had an AHA moment. I thought about my adolescence and those horrible, awkward feelings of never fitting in, and I thought about how—every now and then—I still have those feelings… and the way I see dancing to the beat of your own drum today really hit me. In a good way.

“Fitting in” is all about following the crowd, keeping up with the Joneses (although I think the Joneses retired and the Kardashians have taken over), and it’s about being someone you’re NOT in an effort to gain friends or popularity. Or… to just “fit in.” Bottom line: fitting in is overrated.

What I realized is that dancing to the beat of your own drum is the opposite of fitting in. It’s about doing what your heart is telling you… what you know is right, or good… regardless of what the crowd (or the Kardashians) are doing. It’s about standing up for what you believe in, and having the courage to be who you are. And it’s about celebrating your uniqueness.

Now that’s a beat I can dance to.


Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed my thoughts on the letter “D.”

My image is another experimental piece. I decided it would be fun to be abstract for this post, and… If you look hard enough… you might find the impression of a cymbal shining through.

Peace & Love!
—Janet