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Happy Endings

September 15, 2009

Between all of the questions I’ve been asking lately and all the projects I’ve found myself diving into, I’m realizing more and more just how WRONG college and I were for each other.

I always knew it, really, but I’m now realizing the extent to which that statement is true.

Put me in a choir rehearsal or a voice lesson, put me behind a microphone, give me lines and stage directions to memorize, and I was good to go. Put me in a classroom with text book chapters to read and papers to write and notes to take and I was miserable and I really never learned anything.

It still makes my stomach turn when I think of three particular classes I had to take for my major, all focused around the same subject area, which I could have tested out of with five minutes’ notice because I already knew the material like I knew the back of my hand, because I’d already been applying it to my own life.  I hate thinking about all the money I spent sitting in those three classes versus the $20 I spent on a book I randomly ran across in Barnes and Noble one night, and how that one book did so much more for me than all those hours and all those group projects and all those stupid tests ever did.  I hate thinking of the momentum I lost because I thought I had to wait around and do things at the professor’s pace, and because I was so overwhelmed with so much other work I didn’t even care about.

I finished school because it was The Thing To Do and I knew I was lucky to have the chance and opportunity and by the time I considered that pulling out may have been the best choice, I was so close to being done that it really would have been stupid.

That piece of paper that officially says I Am Smart About Something was supposed to make life easier, you know?

It sure hasn’t.

I’m going to tell you something Right Now.

If and when I ever have kids, I’m going to encourage education, but I will not necessarily encourage college.  I won’t discourage it, especially if their dreams are more along the lines of “I want to be a doctor” and not “I want to be a singer,” but I just don’t think there is any college situation that could have prepared me for this; and while that’s probably true of most professions, the difference here is no song publisher or indie record label is going to care that I have a four year degree in ANYTHING.

The system is imperfect and I’m not saying all of my time and money was wasted, but sometimes there’s just a better way.

I wish I’d realized it sooner.

In the months since I’ve moved south, away from any kind of life I have ever previously known, I have started doing the things I should have been doing all along but just never knew how.

I’m exploring options.  I’m exploring information.  I’m exploring opportunities.

And none of it feels like an obligation anymore.

I could have and should have been doing many of the things I’m doing now while I was still in school but I didn’t have enough time in my own head to figure out what I wanted.  I didn’t believe I was capable or qualified to do certain things, even to try certain things.  I was not a big fish in a small pond anymore.  I wasn’t even a big fish in a big pond.  I was a tiny little fish in an overwhelming ocean.

At least, that’s how I felt.

And that feeling kept me from seriously exploring those possibilities and discovering even richer ones.

And that, friends, is what I’m doing now.

I’m diving in.  I’m taking on all kinds of roles and titles, and I’m not getting paid a cent to do most of the work I’m committing myself to.

But it’s fine.  Not only am I building a resume (mine is meager and mediocre at best.  I know quite a bit and I’ve done quite a bit but don’t have anything substantial to WRITE DOWN to show for it) but I’m figuring out how I’m going to live for the rest of my life.

And I love every minute of it.

I’m helping run 20 Something Bloggers.
I’m teaching music to high school kids.
I’m signing on as a columnist for a brand new online magazine… and there will be more details on this to come.
And I’m finally starting to get my music out there, not just online but in my community. In person.

And I honestly believe I would be happy doing any and all of this for a very long time.

Doing things because I want to, because I recognize the value they have to me RIGHT NOW and not looking for imaginary future value, truly recognizing the way hard works pays off not only in some kind of compensation but in the way I feel and the way I LIVE…

I think I might actually be growing up.

For real this time.

I’ll always be the girl who loves Disney movies and I will probably always pull out a hair brush and sing to myself in the mirror when I hear a really great song hit the radio…

But I’m also going to be the girl who is doing everything she can to make her own fairytale HAPPEN.

And life is always a fairytale…

I just haven’t reached the happy ending yet.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Taylor permalink
    September 15, 2009 9:33 am

    That’s funny, because college is SO completely RIGHT for me. I’m thriving here, I really really am :)

  2. September 15, 2009 11:55 am

    Honey you are LIVING your happy. Screw “ending,” you/we have so much more ahead of us!

  3. mary evelyn permalink
    September 15, 2009 12:35 pm

    good for you! i’ve felt the same way at times about the “shoulda coulda woulda” in my past. like your college experience was to you. i wouldn’t look at it as a waste of time, nothing ever is really. it sounds like you grew into yourself, and grew in the confidence you had in yourself. maybe you wouldn’t have been ready to tackle all the things you’re tackling now 4 years ago.

    and it sounds like you’re doing some pretty exciting stuff!

  4. warriorpoetx permalink
    September 15, 2009 5:58 pm

    I always think about that Mark Twain line, never let your schools get in the way of your education.

    College was good for me in a lot of ways, and I had to do it to get to law school, but if I could’ve skipped it to get to where I am today, I might have.

  5. September 15, 2009 11:36 pm

    You are a ROCKSTAR!

  6. September 16, 2009 3:23 pm

    I agree with Doniree- no endings. Just happy, and maybe later, happier. ;)

  7. September 24, 2009 3:50 pm

    oh simon…..

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