21 November 2007

passion versus reason

Things would be a lot easier if I were one of those people who, from the moment I was born, had one passion. I wish that my love of Lego had led me to be an architect, or that my love of making mud pies had led me to a career as a pastry chef. I am so baffled and in awe of people whose lives seem to follow that kind of path. The math nerds who become accountants, the athletes who become, well, athletes. Those who love something (one thing), who can't see themselves doing anything else, have a path to follow. They know what they love, what they are naturally good at, and what they can't imagine themselves not doing. What is that for you?

For me? I don't have one thing. I enjoy school (I better damn well enjoy school seeing as I'm in the equivalent of grade 19), but I also desperately love music and performance. I have a lot of hobbies, which--as my family and former roommates can testify--results in having a lot of stuff. I love my hobbies and stuff so much that I am literally and figuratively buried by them.

My room is piled with makeup, clothes, photography equipment, sheet music, musical instruments, books, and art supplies. My brain is so full of ideas and things that I just have to try, just have to learn, just have to do, that my day-to-day brain functions are cluttered. It is hard to operate this way. I can't do school readings without stopping to jot down song lyrics. I can't work on a paper without stopping to look up fancy cameras online. It's a pretty ridiculous way to operate, really.

The very idea that I am doing a masters of anything is almost laughable considering my lifelong inability to focus on any one thing.

Just today I found an ad in the paper for open auditions for an upcoming Mirvish production of The Sound of Music. I fit the description of the casting call exactly. I ripped out the notice, rented the movie and began to prepare for the audition before stopping to remind myself, "You know, you're still a full-time student for the next 8 months or so. You will lose your scholarship if you don't finish your degree in two years. Also, you live in Montreal while the production is in Toronto."

Oh right. That.

My passionate instincts are constantly at war with the more reasonable, nerd parts of my brain. Now you see why my blog has the name it does.

Also, while I was doing vocal warm ups to begin to rehearse my audition song, my earnest singing was brought to an abrupt halt when I heard the guy who lives above me yell, "SHUT UP!" at the top of his lungs. I felt like the princess in the new Disney film, Enchanted, whose innocent singing is greeted only by scorn from hardened New Yorkers. Ouch.

Has my polyamorous nature set me up for a fate where I try to do everything and end up doing nothing? If I continue trying to be a jack of so many trades, will I ever finish my master's?


Just Linds said...

you know, sometimes my hobbies are what keeps me going. I love what i do with all my heart but at the end of my day - i've drawn all day for my job...and it's not always what i want to be drawing. I don't get to choose the topics. So things like christmas cards make my heart happy and my mind sane :)

Dallas said...

I was talking to a guy last week who is now a video game developer, but had tried his hand at many things before settling on that career. He said that his biggest challenge was realizing that he couldn't turn ALL his hobbies into a job, so he would have to choose one to make a career of, and keep the rest as just hobbies. It's a tricky realization, that we can't do EVERYTHING we love professionally. I think it takes maturity to choose, which is something he clearly has, and something I am working on. Linds, I think it is fantastic that you have found a career as an artist, AND that you still enjoy doing art in your spare time. You're living the dream man!

j'tan said...

You're a modern Renaissance Woman! Those single-career people envy people like you -- it's only a waste if you do everything and do it all poorly. I'd say you're a lot closer to DaVinci than a jack of all trades. And I bet His room was an absolute disaster. The truly talented are creative spirits, and that creativity spills into everything. Photography and cooking and writing and performing are all different expressions of the same thing -- the overwhelming need to create. Love you!

Anonymous said...

It seems crazy now, but this is all adding up to something, something big. Stay with it, as best you can and you will wake up in a management position that requires you to know a little bit about a lot of things in a room full of people that only know one thing. It will give you perspective and your heart will no longer be troubled.