I don’t know about you, but when I was younger I thought I knew what I wanted from life and was planning to do everything in my capacity to ensure that I reached my goals. I had an undying love for music, I lived it, breathed it and dreamed of it, and nobody really told me that maybe my dream to become a professional classical musician was unrealistic, not because of my ability and talent, but because the income that one generates from it is not enough to make a good living.
When they did on occasion question the income or whether it is a “real job” I would say that I am fine with not making a lot of money if that was the case, because I would be happy with the fact that I could make music everyday, but this was my fatal misconception. You see, the thing is that when you are young you don’t truly understand the pressures of paying rent, medical expenses and that whole “spiel”.The rude awakening takes place only when you start to enter this new realm of existence i.e. “working”, “adulting”, call it what you like, where suddenly you get a better understanding of the kind of living that you really want, and that things are not the way that you thought they would be. You realize that salaries are not always fair and that sometimes you need to give up some of the things that you like to do your work.
The interesting part of this is that although I sort of wished that I had realized this sooner (as we always do in times like these), but there was no way that I could have known. When I had decided to study my B.mus, there were many orchestras in South Africa that one could play for and earn a decent salary and all of the schools offered music as a subject. There was plenty of good work. There still is some good work, you just need to be at the right place and the right time and have the guts to ride the wave before making a success of yourself. But, although our country has undergone a somewhat botched face-lift when it comes to the resources that are spent on cultural development, with orchestras and theaters closing and being left for the ghosts who once walked in them, I guess that I also changed.
Foresight is better than hindsight, but insight is better than both of them.
Did your ideas of what you wanted to do change? I’d love to hear your stories 🙂