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  • Writer's pictureFrank Zapata



June 15, 2021

When I think of the word "remix," I immediately jump to music. To me, a remix is that—a combination of songs. As a kid, I used to make so many remix CDS. Fast forward to today, and I still do that with my Apple Music playlists. But I do notice a pattern in my music selection. Most of my playlists favor one or more genres of music. Let me elaborate. If I have a mix of Spanish or English, it leans more on the Spanish side. If I have a rap and rock, then my list will rely on my mood, but it will have a favorite. Because of this, I take my time now and then and will take longer than usual to make my special remixed playlist.

A few days ago, I was reading "Steal Like An Artist" by Austin Kleon. It's a great book. It's a reread and a quick one, but this second go-round was more enjoyable. I grasped it more, and it's a book that everyone should read. Anyways, to get right to the point, I stumbled across two lines that haven't left my mind since then. Kleon wrote: "You're a remix of your mom and dad and all your ancestors." I've been battling this idea for years. I'm very well aware that I'm a remix of my mom and dad, but I have always had difficulty accepting it at times. It's most likely a feeling that resulted from being a child of divorce. Throughout my life, my dad has told me I'm a lot like my mom, and my mom would counter his offer by telling me that I was just like my dad.

And fuck, after years of analyzing myself, they were both right. But at the same time, very wrong. I resent being like my mom at times. I love her, but I don't wish to have her characteristics. Likewise, my dad is not perfect, but sometimes I envy his character and wish I was more like him. And I do try my best. However, he and I clash from time to time as well.

The point is: I've been working for years on having that balance. There was always something I did to reach maximum results on that. I sought other sources. I'll still steal some traits from my dad and politely decline my mom's, but always steal more from others.

The second line Kleon wrote to have me thinking is: "You are, in fact, a mashup of what you choose to let into your life." I don't know; between this and the first line, I think this is crazy. Not many people analyze this idea. But what's more crazy is that I have thought about this all my life. I would live my life this way. My dad never pushed me to be like him. Instead, he always permitted me to seek better role models if given a chance. I love him more for this.

I AM A REMIX—a remix of so many people and ideas. I want to look back in time and see what songs I put on which particular playlist. By songs, I mean events, and my playlist is, of course, my life. So, I want to see if there are songs worth deleting. What about songs moving to a different playlist?

I still consider myself to be improving. I'm always a work in progress. As I continue "adulting," I want to create a significant playlist for myself. I want to have a remix with some of the greatest hits from the past, present, and even future.

My parents gave me a playlist with songs of their choice. NOT MY CHOICE. I can keep some and delete some. More importantly, I get to choose what I want on it. Everyone has this choice. Choose wisely.


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