Friday, May 25, 2012

Day #30

Recently Maggie Stiefvater (whose books and blog I adore) wrote this post about how she chose what to do with her life. The whole thing is interesting and useful for me, but one thing she said completely sums up my career choice dilemma for the past six years.

"I used to tell people I felt lucky because I always knew what I wanted to do when I grew up, but I’ve come to understand from my teen journals that this is only the beauty of hindsight speaking. In reality, I basically wanted to do everything, and I had long, agonizing brainstorming sessions where I wondered how I could possibly be, for instance, both an animator AND a fighter pilot. I could’ve made any of the things on that list the goal for my life."

I've written many, many poems about not being sure of what I want to do and having too many wants and desires and interests, but she says it so clearly there. Basically I want to do everything. And how do I choose? She chose by figuring out which career would let her be everything she wanted to be. 
For me, I don't know if there's any one thing which would do that. I love so many different things, and I haven't found a way to combine them into the one perfect thing yet. I don't know if I can live my life constantly divided between everything I want to do, or devote years to particular things, or just have boundless energy and live a long time so I can do it all. 
But for me the most important thing that realizing I want to do everything is just this: I don't have to feel guilty for not loving piano every minute of every day. Does that mean I might let myself not practice as much, and I might end up missing some opportunities because I'm not as good as I might be? Yes, but being the BEST at piano is not my goal in life. I'm realizing that more and more, I don't really care if I never play at Carnegie hall (though that would be AWESOME), I just want to have fun playing with other people. And maybe that means that I'll never achieve my full potential because I just don't care quite enough, but if I'm not enjoying it in the first place, it's noticeable and I'd never get to Carnegie anyways.

Anyways, sorry for the ramble! I was planning on posting one of my old angsty-trying-to-figure-it-all-out poems, but that long preamble inspired a new one! :)

You say I have to choose
you have been saying that for years
you say this is the time
that will determine all my life.
You say that every day
is one more step to that dream-goal - 
and yet that goal is so
far off I cannot make it out.
You say but this is what
I love, and more, I'm good at it
and that is true, but it
was not my first love or my last.
You say, but imagine
the life I could have if I tried
But is that what I want?
I ask. Now please shut up, dear brain.

And no, this does not mean I'm going to give up on piano. I really do love music, and I do need to work hard on it, but that doesn't mean it's the only thing that's going to fill my life. Either I'll eventually find a career that satisfies all my wishes, or I'm just going to have to do everything :)