April Jeppson: Should I channel my inner Burr or Hamilton?

Published 8:45 pm Friday, March 24, 2023

Every Little Thing by April Jeppson

Have you heard of the Broadway musical “Hamilton?” If you haven’t been to a theater production in a while, it’s also available to watch online. That is how I was introduced to it, and probably most of the population as well.

April Jeppson

Anyway, it’s a play about the life of Alexander Hamilton, one of our nation’s founding fathers. Intermingled between the catchy lyrics, you’re also introduced to George Washington, Marquis de Lafayette, Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr, to name a few.

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There is a beautiful juxtaposition between Hamilton’s fast-pace sense of urgency and Burr’s desire to be patient. In one song Hamilton states, “I’m past patiently waiting. I’m passionately smashing every expectation. Every action’s an act of creation!” and “I’m just like my country. I’m young, scrappy and hungry and I’m not throwing away my shot!”

Even Burr states, “Hamilton faces an endless uphill climb. He has something to prove, he has nothing to lose. Hamilton’s pace is relentless, he wastes no time … Hamilton doesn’t hesitate, he exhibits no restraint.”

Then on the flipside you have Burr here talking about himself. “I am the one thing in life I can control … I’m not falling behind or running late. I’m not standing still, I am lying in wait. And if there’s a reason I’m still alive, when everyone who loves me has died — I’m willing to wait for it.”

Throughout the performance you are pulled back and forth. Is it better to go all in with gusto, and learn on the fly … grab life by the horns and go after what you want? Or should you plan, prepare and be patient, because if it’s meant to be, it will work out. There is no reason to be frantic or stress; if it’s destined to be it will come to fruition.

I love the way this is played out on stage. As I’m singing along to Hamilton, I can feel myself relating to his passion and drive. I have key moments in my life where I went all in and was called out for being too intense. Then within minutes I’m singing with Burr and relating to his constant preparation and patience. Perhaps all of us have moments on both ends of the spectrum.

This is a real question I struggle with. How do you know when it’s time to bring out your inner Hamilton or Burr? Do I speak up and go after what I want, when I know in my gut I’m capable of doing it? Or should I wait a little longer and show how poised and patient I can be. Perhaps my calmness is being read as indifference, and it’s time to go all in. Or perhaps my intensity will be read as immaturity and I’ll ruin whatever chance I had.

It’s a wild battle, and there is no exact moment or measurement to tell us when the time is right. Experience and hindsight are our best instructors. I can testify that over the years I have become better at recognizing when I need to push and when I should pull back a bit. However as I type this, I’m faced with how much longer I should channel my inner Burr.

I’m getting a little tired of patiently waiting, and I can feel Hamilton sneaking up.

Albert Lean April Jeppson is a wife, mom, coach and encourager of dreams. Her column appears every Saturday.