Lately I have been sort of “obsessed” with the Hamilton soundtrack. Whenever I hop in the car, I turn on the music… and find myself transported into the story. How lucky we are to be alive right now; it’s not a moment, it’s a movement; I am not going to miss my shot; immigrants, we get the job done; I want to be in the room where it happens; and a host of other phrases, have pierced me these past few months. Depending on the day, this soundtrack has moved me to tears, inspired me to greatness, or served as a muse for reflection.
Yes, I know the story is an artist’s imagined narrative. I do know words, phrases and illustrations were inserted intentionally into the soundtrack to spark imagination. I know the cadence, rhythms, and musical genre were chosen specifically to ignite the soul. I know characters are reimagined, with just enough historical accuracy woven in, to spark curiosity. I know the story is told through a particular lens. Regardless, I find the soundtrack powerful.
Always one moved by music, I find that the music and lyrics of this particular soundtrack speak to my revolutionary spirit. As a third-generation immigrant (Slavic Gypsy to be a bit more specific J), I am often struck by how lucky I am to be alive right now. The adventurer and dreamer in me soars in times of possibility. However, in times of status quo and decorum, I find myself determined to not “miss my shot” and to be “in the room where it happens.”
Yesterday, as I was listening to the soundtrack, it hit me. One of Hamilton’s tragic flaws was his obsession and determination not to miss his shot and being in the room where it happens. There is a fine line between drive and obsession. Drive provides incentive, gently pushing one outside the box in the quest to bring goals to fruition. Whereas an obsession paralyzes, rendering everything else insignificant. In Hamilton’s case, obsession led to his demise.
As the semester ends, it is easy to become obsessed. Deadlines are no longer months away. Projects, presentations and theses are due. Graduation is fast approaching, and it is easy for our minds to spiral into obsession, rendering everything else insignificant.
For a moment, just breathe. Allow the rhythm of your breathing to refresh. Stretch… and breathe again. Now grab some water. As the water flows down your throat, clear your thoughts. Count to ten and breathe again. Take advantage of all the events on campus. Star gaze with classmates. Take a date to the Movie on the Dell. Gather your friends and participate in Finals Blowout. Meet study partners in the dining hall for the Late Night Breakfast. Walk around campus. Fill up a water bottle, plop into a red chair and just sit in the Dell. Breathe.
Then… get back to it. Slay your assignments. Allow your drive to inspire greatness and bring your goals to fruition. Finish with excellence.
You got this!