On Friday, the 13th of December, 2013, the iconic Beyonce Knowles dropped her album Beyonce via iTunes. A full album, in the middle of the night, unannounced, and not a single leak. She literally took the world by surprise. Only Queen Bey. This is sure to be one of those moments that we will all reflect on, years down the road. It will be one of those events that we will be able to recall effortlessly.
The day Beyonce released her album, I was in a web conference with the guys of Edugaytion planning for the next two episodes of the Bottom Line podcast. Ian was sitting in the McDonald's drive thru when he suddenly casually said "Well, apparently Beyonce just released a new album." There was no response. I'm not sure what the others were doing, but it took me a good ten to fifteen seconds to see, digest, internalize, and process what the hugest Beyonce stan I have ever known had just calmly communicated.
"WHAT?" I exclaimed. The thread was silent. I knew, then, what the guys were doing. We were all checking various social media. Google hadn't even caught wind of the story yet, it was literally at midnight. At that point, "Beyonce" on a Google News search only yielded articles about her upcoming tour. It was twitter that confirmed what I had believed was surely a misfire.
I watched the internet world react as the goddess of music snatched the collective wigs of the entire industry without even speaking a word. I was surprised that iTunes held up under what surely must have been the enormous pressure of the Beyhive's Black Friday-Like rush to the iTunes store. Within minutes
, hundreds of people were live tweeting the album, song by song. It was certainly a sight to behold.
Nine hours later, when I logged back onto digital life, I saw nothing but Facebook status updates, tweets, instagram pictures, vines, and videos of the lyrics from each fan's favorite track. Throughout the day, I read more and more updates throughout the entirety of social media proclaiming 2013 as the year of Beyonce. Beyonce had won.
Earlier in the day, while in Macy's I was texting with Garrett:
|Screenshot from Garrett's phone|
"Say What? You made a D on your final exam, but you have all of Beyonce's album MEMORIZED!?"
And, yes, while this is, in fact a read, it got me to thinking about a blog post that I have been meaning to do for a long time.
I remember when I was a freshman in college. I did not have a single clue what my major was going to be. In high school, I did not have a good guidance counselor. One-hundred percent of the students that went to college would, first, go to the local community college for two years, and then to one of the universities in the state (Ole Miss or Mississippi State). That's just the way it was: for everyone.
That was the attitude I took when finally deciding that I would major in biology. I was good at it in high school, so it must be what I should do, right? A lot of you that know me, know that I do, in fact have a degree in biology, but nothing that I have done in life, since college, has involved biology in any sense. I have studied music, toured the country with choirs, been a minister of music, started a Youtube channel, and currently produce videos for a video game website.
Every one of those experiences was a result of something that I did in my free time. Every one of those things has nothing to do with the degree that I am still paying for. So what am I saying? I am saying that had I had embraced my Beyonce in high school, I could have focused on something in which I would have excelled. Had I decided to be a music major, I might be singing professionally in opera houses around the world, conducting choir at the university level, or in the studio, making beats for some of the biggest names in the industry. Had I done what came naturally to me I might be a stage manager for a major cable tv network, or running my own online empire like Chris Hardwick and his Nerdist Empire of the guys at Rooster Teeth Studios.
Instead, I was shut up in my room, wondering why I couldn't memorize the different proteins chains, periodic elements, and atomic configurations of fats proteins and lipids. All of those things I had to force myself to learn, and as soon as it was over, I forgot them.
I was barely passing exams, but had every vocal part of Handel's Messiah memorized and was ready to jump in when another section missed its part in choir rehearsal.
So if you're reading this right now and are currently in a situation where you have to choose a path in life, whether it's a college major, a career choice, a move, whatever, just take this blogpost in consideration, won't you?
Do what you love and love what you do.