As I recently mentioned, I’ve been reading a lot of industry blogs. Many of them spew out such advice as “follow your dreams during this time of mass economic woe,” blah-blah. Stories along the lines of “I left the MAN and started my own high-profit recruiting agency/career coaching/blee-blahing company!” Or, “Since I was laid off, I took that time to get certified in X, Y and Z. Plus I took cha-cha lessons and learned how to knit!”
Which bugs the crap out of me. Sorry, but even WITH a job, I am $30,000 in debt (my own damn fault, I know). So now is not the time, nor will it be anytime soon, for me to start throwing cash around on some extreme-betterment program. I’m just trying to pay my bills here, people.
I digress, as usual. That’s not the point of this post.
My question is…what if your dreams aren’t along the lines of corporate conquests and a C-level title? What if your true passion is not in the corporate world? What then?
You know that I love to sing. Most people that have heard me think that I’m pretty good at it – I like to think so too. But I was never taught to follow my dreams. I was taught to work hard, do well in school, go on to college and get a sensible job. Stuff like art and music is fine for hobbies, but not for making a living. Not that I was ever discouraged from singing – my parents came to all my choir concerts, and even drove 3 hours to Philly to watch me compete in (and WIN, thank you very much) a karaoke contest. But they’d never say, “You should go to LA and sing at open-mics and try and get discovered!”
Would my life have panned out any differently if I had been encouraged in that way? Who knows. Fact is, I grew up in a very sheltered, mostly-traditional manner. And my parents are very proud of me, now that I am establishing myself in the recruiting industry and becoming slightly successful at it.
But I’m still not financially stable (my father would KILL me if he knew that). I should be, since I followed the sensible plan. But, I’m not. Which just makes me wonder how truly screwed I’d be if I had gone the Jewel route (you know, living in a van, singing songs on the corner). No guarantees that I’d be a multi-platinum artist married to a rodeo star, that’s for sure.
I wouldn’t even know what to do or where to begin, if I decided to embark on the “I want to be a singer” adventure. I don’t really have the balls to do it at this stage of the game. I hardly fit into what is marketable – I’m overweight, rapidly approaching my mid-30s, and don’t play an instrument well enough to compose songs, let alone accompany myself.
Still, I love to sing. So I sing – at least once a week, at my local karaoke bar. I get cheers and I get compliments. I let out my aggression, joy and sadness. I sing.