The Miseducation of Maria Callas

The universe has me on a spiritual road trip today and it awesomely lead me to one of my favourite albums, “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.”

If there was such a thing as a Magnum Opus (the peak of creative work you express to the world), then this is it. (Rolling Stone lists it as the top rap album on their 2020 list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, tenth on the entire list.) It’s a work that an artist has put out that is so perfect, it’s almost cursed. Many artists fear this, peaking too early.

I, like many writers, could die happily if I achieved the “truest sentence” to encapsulate a feeling, to express LIFE through words in a way that you, the reader, might feel exactly what I felt or experienced in a moment. A photographer seeks to do the same with their camera, a painter with their brush, and so on.

I was fortunate enough to go and see Lauryn Hill with bestie a few years ago. And the experience was uncomfortable. And today I had a breakthrough in coaching that sort of unlocked why, and I wanted to explore my assumptions and their intersection with my own life.

The concert was a Rock the Bells show. Nas went first and blew us away with his start-to-finish performance of his quintessential album, “Illmatic.” Then we waited. For nearly three hours we waited. And what we got was a mess. Such a mess that we left early. What I witnessed was that Ms. Hill did not want to give the audience what they came for: a record-perfect repeat of the greatest and only album she’s recorded. No, she was in pursuit of something higher and much more frustrating. Her inability to reach what (as of today) I believe to be her ultimate goal was what made it unrelatable for the audience. I now know that I will never hear one of my three “desert island” discs live and I am OK with that. I’m sad and disappointed, but I respect it so much.

Why do I say that? Because what I hear as perfection in that record is likely not enough for L-Boogie. In that specific live performance and in other live recorded video performances I’ve seen, Ms. Hill is attempting to go for something that is nearly impossible to achieve: She’s trying to take excellence further. She’s trying to turn it up to 11.

I know this feeling. Others have said you’ve done a good job, maybe even an incredible job, but it’s not enough for you. You feel like there’s higher you can go. Like the truest sentence has escaped you. Because the truest sentence or the truest song arrangement is touching God. The pursuit of this has ruined many artists. It’s a dangerous slope.

I do this in my relationships now. I tell men, I’m looking to climb Everest. Are you strong enough to climb with me? The air is thinner up there, you have to work harder to stay up there, but the views… almost no one gets to experience them or the energy that accompanies them. Are you willing to accept that you might die trying?

In every other arena of my life, I’ve played it very safe. I am noticing where I keep myself small. I am noticing where I haven’t mustered the courage or found something I believe in enough to risk life energy attempting to reach it. I’m working through this now so I can teach it to others. I think it’s a very powerful life lesson. What do you feel so passionately about, what feeling or experience do you feel will get you that close to the TRUTH, that you’re willing to risk everything and work so hard to get there?

Here’s what I admire about Ms. Hill. She wrote the perfect debut solo album and for whatever reason has not released another. She has chosen to mostly zipline out of the public eye and there are many conversations around mental health and motherhood at play in there. But there’s also another POV, which is that she summited very early in her creation path, finding the road that to TRUTH, and yet not accessing the truth as deeply as she knows might be possible.

The pursuit CAN make you mad, I’m sure. There’s an alternate story, one where Ahab gives up on Moby Dick and finds a nice beach somewhere to enjoy his family and breathe and decide who he wants to be in this life, rather than chase the whale down to appease his ego. He’s got his three desert island discs and abundance and someone to keep him warm at night and things to nurture and it’s enough.

Welcome to my new path, Maria fans. I’m working on a new space to write. One that is all me, no pseudonym. Reclaiming my power, reigniting my spark, redefining my path. More to come.

The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, by Lauryn N. Hill

My world, it moves so fast today
The past, it seems so far away
And life squeezes so tight that I can’t breath
And every time I’ve tried to be
What someone else thought of me
So caught up I was unable to achieve

But deep in my heart
The answer, it was in me
And I made up my mind
To define my own destiny

I, I look at my environment
And wonder where the fire went
What happened to everything we used to be?

I hear so many cries for help
Searching outside of themselves
Now I know that His strength is within me

And deep in my heart
The answer, it was in me
And I made up my mind
To define my own destiny

And deep in my heart

And deep in my heart
The answer, it was in me
And I made up my mind
To define my own destiny

Author: MariaCallas

Maria Callas is a pseudonym

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