What I could have been
Whilst talking to Lilian yesterday about my latest favourite bands, she said that it seemed like these guys were all doing what they wanted, at our age or at least a few years older, while we sit here with our heads down, studying law. Well, she’s studying law, I’m studying interactive multimedia. Not that it makes a difference at this stage, because no matter what, day in, day out, we’ve got our heads down for at least the time it takes to drink two coffees. Sure, we’re happy girls, and we’ll come out at the end of it, with our square hats, and be pretty damn proud of ourselves.
Of course, I told her that we are doing what we want to do. Sure, it’s fun to be in a band, and write music, and she and I were both in one at some point. But we moved on, focused on the rudimentary foundations of tertiary study, and left those things for our other selves in parallel universes.
Bringing this topic up with James, I said to him that despite all I could have been, I chose this path. And I must have chosen it for a reason. Yet I ponder the real reason why, and he told me bluntly, that we choose mundane jobs over what we want to do because there is safety and stability in the mundane.
But I love my job.
But at the same time, being inspired by all these musicians who I’ve had the chance to admire from a distance, photograph a little more intimately, and sometimes even meet, talk to, and be friends with — brings me to a low when I think over it too much. When I was younger, I had dreams of being a musician. As a pianist, I dreamed that I’d write my own music, sing and play. As I taught myself guitar, I told myself I’d start out busking and then I’d be in a band. Or I’d be in a band, period. High school was that terrific, albeit morbid time, during which we all had what we now see as ridiculous aspirations.
But despite how right James is, I refuse to believe that I chose the mundane. If I chose the mundane, I would have listened to my parents. I would have done accounting and crunched numbers. I would have worked in McDonald’s from the age of fourteen. I would have played piano right until grade eight, and I would have played the piano and nothing but the piano.
What makes me more upset is the fact that I, as a self-confessed jill of all trades, realise that I was torn between what I wanted to do. And it wasn’t just being able to write, able to play the piano and guitar and write music, having a fascination with rocks, a fascination with teeth, being able to dance jazz, tap, and my favourite of all – classical ballet. It was that I could never make up my mind. I’ve always been indecisive. So when (and I don’t remember when) I made the decision to put down so much of what I could do, and decided that I wanted to have a day job designing creatively, digitally, and using my brain to perfect semantic code, I felt like a total jerk.
A jerk for wanting to focus on that one dumb piece of shit. Who am I kidding? Who am I kidding? I love everything I have ever learned to do in my life, and no matter what, I cherish it. And that’s why, over the years, I didn’t stop. I really, truly didn’t. Maybe I’m not a musician. Maybe I’m not on stages, inspiring people how I wanted. Maybe I’m not helping fix people’s teeth the way I imagined. Maybe I’m not JK Rowling. Maybe I’m not dancing on stages worldwide. But you know what? I wrote a bunch of songs, released an EP. I am writing a novel. I still write poems, day after day. I went back to ballet, a whole year after stopping, and I got my teacher’s certificate. I love my teeth as much as any dentist would. I am still intrigued by rocks. I still dance. I still sing. I still do everything I loved.
Nobody said I had to do any of these for the rest of my life. Nobody said I had to choose one. Nobody said that what I’m doing now is set in stone. In a parallel universe, I’d be a ballet dancer. I’d be a guitarist in a band, and we would write the greatest music that people would dance to, sing to, scream to. In a parallel universe, I would be a best-selling author.
But you know what? In a parallel universe, I wouldn’t have been a web designer by day and a gig photographer by night. I wouldn’t have graduated last year and be graduating in another year. I wouldn’t have found out how much I love to run, and I wouldn’t be writing as passionately on a blog that I designed and coded from scratch. I wouldn’t know half the people I know today, I wouldn’t have met half the musicians who have inspired me regardless of what I do. Nobody said I had to do everything I wanted to at once.
But nobody said I couldn’t.
I don’t have a job, but my life is the way it is right now for this reason. I live a mundane life at home because I feel safe at home. The world is just too vast, too dangerous, too unknown, for me to just be out there on my own.
The good news is that I have all the time at home to do what I want. The bad news is that I don’t really know what I want to do yet.
But I find the same solace that you do in knowing that I do know a handful of things, and while I haven’t won a Nobel Prize in any particular field, I simply can’t deny taking pride in the littlest of things I’ve done and achievements I’ve made with the knowledge, the skills and the interest and passion that I do have.
The bad news is that you won’t necessarily get to do everything you want to at once. The good news is that no matter what you choose to be or do — and what you choose not to be or do in the time you’re being or doing what you choose — not one of these choices alone singly defines who you are, and not one of them alone will change the simple fact, that you will always be you and I appreciate you as you are ♥
This is one of my favourite posts that you have EVER written. I felt your emotion from the first word and and felt it at the very end.
You have done a LOT more in your life then most people. You are extremely multi talented, and I think that comes with being indecisive, and from where I sit, that is not a bad thing …
I can safely say I could die tomorrow and never regretted what I have achieved. I regret a lot of what has happened, but that’s an entirely different thing altogether … I did a LOT more then people said I would or could.
And, you know what I am about to embark on, the biggest and most amazing thing to date, for me, considering everything I deal with on a daily basis. I am convinced I was given this life for a reason. I always said that people are given the life they have because they can handle it … I am going to start changing the world one day at a time, in my world. And hopefully others to.
And nobody said I couldn’t either. ♥ ♥ ♥
I can understand why you are in a predicament. I would be in that pickle too if I were in a band. It is hard to get your name out there and bands have to take a lot more risks than most other “occupations”.
Who wants to believe they chose the mundane though? I wouldn’t want to either so I just don’t think about it.
I’m having issues typing out this comment on my phone lol. I should have brought my tablet to work.
I was torn as well. While I was thinking about what I wanted to do after school. I had no idea and I was torn between a fantasy (or dream) of being a business owner (taking as much risks as a band would) and being something mundane. I chose he mundane because I am too scared to take risks. I was scared of cutting my hair off today but do I regret it? Nope! I love my new hair, in fact.
You and I are so much alike Georgie. I am indecisive as well. Like, I can never make up my own mind. Other people have to make it up for me. :/ I don’t think I can make up my own mind…..
Maybe keep think and keep your sites on the side as you experiment with different trades? No one said you couldn’t take a break from college and then come back…so why not?
I know that you have so much potential to really do whatever you like. You have a job that you like and that is amazing, but you also have the capacity to follow other dreams that you are not forever tired too. You can take photographs, and write and still have a job in an industry that interests you. I think it is great and I always wish the best for you. :D ♥
Georgie, this is my favourite post of yours ever, I think. It’s so beautifully written, and even though I’m still in high school and still at the point where I’m making decisions about what to do with my life, this is absolutely how I feel.
I’ve always been a jack (or jill) of all trades, and master of none. I have so many interests, and so little time to give to all of them. And like you, I’m indecisive. I don’t know what I want to do with my life, because there’s so much I want to do. Right now, though, I’m okay with that. I just want to go with it, and see where it takes me.
This post, though, is incredible. And it’s wonderful that you love your job, and that you still write so regularly and eloquently here, and that you continue to go to gigs and take wonderful photos and all of these things. There will always be more you want to do, but I think you have something really special in that everything you are doing is something that you love. That’s an incredible position to be in.
wow… that totally strikes me right through my heart.. you make me ponder.. truth to be told, I want to be a musician, making music, producing album or at least managing an idol group but here I am, teaching in high school. and other that that life, I have my second life as a media journalist, going to concerts without my parents’ knowledge to do coverage of kpop events..
but yeah, I have to agree that despite of having a split dream and reality, and the clash of ambition and the real-life career, I still enjoy myself doing all of it through its ups and down because in the end, those are the memories that we get to share with our family when we get older ^^
I think that this post is rather inspiring all on its own. If you look at it in a different way, your blog is your stage! You inspire people with your designs and posts and all of the things you create. All the world is a stage, and you have a blog. That’s not something many people can say, and your blog can be seen everywhere — I’m in Texas! All the way from Australia, your blog has made it onto my laptop screen through one Internet.
/bash I’m done being cheesy now. This comment doesn’t leave this post. 🤫
You’re totally right. :) I have never thought of my blog being like my stage, but I realise – now that you’ve mentioned it – I have come so very far with blogging and getting my voice out there. It goes to show that we sometimes are rewarded with things we don’t expect. Maybe I didn’t get to be all the things I wanted to be, but it’s amazing that something like this has happened when I never would have imagined it.
Not a cheesy comment at all! ♥
Yeah, I don’t see myself crunching numbers. That would be quite a mundane existence.
BUT, what may be mundane to someone, it may not be so to another. Like the saying goes, ‘one man’s trash is another’s treasure.’ Accounting isn’t for everyone, but I bet that there is a group of people who love crunching those numbers. To them, it’s the only thing they saw themselves doing as a living, and they are quite happy with this apparently ‘mundane’ existence.
In the same way as some find it awesome going to nightclubs and dancing and drinking, others would find that the worse thing they could do, for whatever reason.
We choose to do the things we do because we love doing those things. It may be dull and not very exciting to others, but to us, it’s the best thing. Or as close as it’ll ever be~
Today while crashing my friends’ lecture (and as usual, not paying attention) I found this little comic; http://www.incidentalcomics.com/2013/03/disclaimer.html
which reminded me of this post. At least, the last line of the comic reminded me of one of the last lines of your posts.
There are so many things we can be, that we want to be. But we can’t be everything, and that’s a bit sad. We can only be some of those things, and if we’re lucky, it’ll be enough.
At least I hope that Other Seb is having fun getting his PhD on Palaeontology. I don’t envy that bastard, haha.
Your comment made me smile! And that comic! It’s funny how it summed up what I said, too.
Even if I haven’t done things that are considered by others to be cool, awesome, wonderful, and great, I have indeed done a lot of things I love. And that is the important thing. I guess it’s like how we were told to do what we love when we get older. :)
Thinking about Other Seb makes me laugh a little inside. Somewhere, some time, I’m probably shovelling snow in England. And I probably like it. We never know, haha.
In another life I could’ve been a prima ballerina. I studied it for 11 years, was really good at it and absolutely loved it. However, I injured my knee at a very inopportune time in my life (not that there is ever a good time for a knee injury, but that time REALLY wasn’t good) and I had to put my dancing dreams to an end. It sucked. Still sucks actually, cause I miss it a lot.
YOU WOULDN’T KNOW ME
My job involves sitting at a desk all day, and I certainly don’t think that it’s mundane! And there are lots of people that think that the things James has done is certainly not mundane! Sure, there are people who choose the mundane over what they think is exciting, but everyone thinks that something different is mundane. Nothing wrong with sitting at desk if sitting at a desk involves doing awesome things!
When we’re young, we all try lots of different things. But truthfully, nobody has the time or the energy to do everything: I am not a professional flutist in addition to being an engineer. So we pick a few things that are the most valuable to us. And some people think that stability and income is valuable.
Georgie, I’m sure that you’ll go down as one of those people that may not be famous, but will be well-admired. Your blog inspires me to stop wasting so much time on the Internet and to go out and accomplish more. :D