I have a friend who collects bird houses. Not in a weird, overrun sort of way, but she lives in a beautiful home out in the Ozark Mountains and she has wildlife all around her. She put this ornate bird house on her back balcony because it was interesting, not necessarily because it was something a bird would want to call home. It was brightly colored and a touch gaudy, but it was a souvenir from her world travels and a touch of color to decorate her view.
One Spring, she noticed a male bird checking out the wild little house. She watched as he inspected it, inside and out. He must have liked it because he returned the next morning, perched himself on it, and began singing his heart out. That’s how males attract their mates. They find a home and sing. Morning after morning this little guy sang and morning after morning he was rejected. My friend noticed that other males were joined by females in her other bird houses. But, not this little guy. The house was too flamboyant for the other birds. They set up house and started their families, and this little guy stood alone by his fancy house.
His singing was relentless. She could hear it throughout her house and made it part of her routine to sip coffee and watch him. There was something endearing about how different he was. She imagined his eccentricity and smiled as she recognized his tenacity.
Spring was well under way and the chances of this little guy finding a mate were dwindling. It would seem that the evolutionary process was going to snuff out the dreamers in exchange for the more predictable. It was a little heartbreaking because he was so determined in spite of the daily rejection.
One morning, my friend poured her coffee in silence. Maybe the little guy gave up. It had been weeks of singing the same love song next to the same peculiar house with no reward for his amazing find. She looked out the window, expecting to find the quest abandoned, but instead, found that he had company. They were making a nest together.
It’s a hard world for a dreamer. It’s the disease of the creative. You fear rejection, you’re afraid that nobody will want what you create, nobody will like your ideas, and nobody will like you. Sometimes your fear paralyzes you. You try to be more average, but are still rejected. You try to use your wings, but end up falling on your face. It seems there is no spot for you. The mold doesn’t fit and you’re lonely in the potential that only you seem to be able to see.
Don’t let the difficulty keep you from starting every day as if it were brand new. Maybe this is the day that somebody hears your song and wants to be a part of it. This isn’t about finding a mate, though it could be. This is about being exactly who you are and not being paralyzed by people who don’t ‘get’ you.
You’re different and you have good ideas. And, yes, you have some not so good ideas, too. But, you could be the next game changer. You could be the one who brings color to a white canvas. Stop trying to make people like you. Create expressions of yourself and keep creating. Put yourself out there in all your potency. Maybe one day, people will look at your life’s art and say you were way ahead of your time.