Some days I sit and ponder all the things I could be, all the things I want to be, and all the things I am. I don’t think I’m ever satisfied with the results. But I don’t think I want to be.
When I was little I wanted to grow up and be a famous singer. I wanted to be on stage and touring. I was going to see it all. I was going to live my dream.
How was I supposed to know things would change?
By the time I was in high school I became a little more realistic. I thought I could teach music. I could still share my passion for music with people, but I would be serving a greater purpose. When I was a sophomore in high school, I gave it all up. I quit choir for purposes I won’t discuss here. Some things are better left buried.
There was some light during that year, however. I was a journalist for the high school newspaper. The sky was the limit. Granted, it was during this time I learned of my displeasure in interviewing for journal articles, but I found writing as a release.
During my second semester of that year, I agreed to join the 10/12 Girls’ choir. Much to my displeasure, my friends volunteered me to audition for a solo I later received. It seemed that I was back on track to being a music teacher. My love for the subject had never left, it was newly affirmed, but it was my junior year that altered my thinking.
That year I was placed in an English class with a newbie. He’d just graduated from studying abroad at Cambridge. He was fresh from the commencement line and willing to teach a bunch of snarky high school air heads the classics of literature.
I don’t know how he survived that year.
I really don’t know what made him come back the next year.
But it was his way of teaching that made me think, “Hey, I could do this.”
My senior year of high school I was graced with the pleasure of being in one of his senior English classes. I was elated. That year we were introduced to MLA formatting, Hamlet, 1984, and The Lord of the Flies. As nerdy as it sounds, I was in heaven.
This year reaffirmed my decision to take up a double major. I was going to study English and go into Music Education. Sounds weird, exhilarating, and slightly mental, but I didn’t care. This was going to be my dream.
How wrong was I?
It only took me one semester to find out people do NOT double major in Music Education and English unless they are clinically insane. To any person who tried, I commend you. To any person who succeeded, you deserve a medal, possibly a Peace Prize.
I learned very quickly that though I may posses a love of music, I am not meant to study it religiously. For personal interest, perhaps. As a “This is what I Want to do With the Rest of my Life” kind of thing…no way. You could not pay me enough to go through that again.
So I dropped part of my major.
English isn’t so bad. Besides, I could still teach. Then I did some reflecting.
Did I want to stand up in front of a class room of people and lecture about things they have no interest in? Did I want to grade papers every night? Did I want to read essays of kids who were just breezing by?
Pardon my expression, but hell no.
That was when it became clear that my passion was writing. I’d spent two years on the newspaper staff writing columns about whatever I chose. I wrote stories. I grudgingly wrote poetry I shared with the world. Who was I to deny my real calling?
So I embraced it.
And I wouldn’t change it for the world. This is what allows me to be who I want to be. As much as I may panic about all that I need to accomplish for my degree, all I need to do is remember to take a step back and think about why I want to go down this path.
It isn’t because I can’t go anywhere else. (I could…I think).
It isn’t that I’m not good at anything else. (I hope).
It’s that this field is where I belong. I am allowed to have the freedom to do all the things I want to. I am allowed to be who I want to be and I have to opportunity to dream up whatever I think I could accomplish.