My Year-End Assessment: WEIRD.

A year ago, I never would have pictured myself here. I was too busy wiping the incontinent bottoms of the debt collection industry to think about switching my career entirely to music. Oh, I had some loose ideas, like conducting the Faure Requiem on the 10th anniversary of 9-11 (like everybody else) as a prelude to easing out of one industry and into another in a smooth transition.

Ha! Life wouldn’t have it that way.

After fighting all kinds of acid reflux, panic attacks, and crying spells before, after, and during work, it became clear to me that I wasn’t going to have it easy transforming my career. The last time I had searched for a job was 2005, and since then, everything about finding a job had changed. Monster.com and the other job boards were a desert full of trolls. The recession left the job market flooded with applicants scrambling for fewer and fewer positions. And I couldn’t rely on just sending in my application materials and waiting for calls. Nothing I learned about job searching as a young adult worked anymore. And I was too afraid to be my own boss, regretting a couple of false starts in the past.

But then my job pushed me to the breaking point, and I left. And the next financial services job I tried turned out to be another failure, as I was told to turn in my key and go home for suggesting something ethical.

By this time, I was too scared NOT to abandon the meat market, and break out on my own. I was against the wall. I had every choice, and none. My skill set? I was a musician. Ok, let’s do that. We’re not gonna cry about letting the Faure project go, or how we’re too old or too far behind the times. We’re going to use the Ferndale Career Center and putz around online so we can learn what it takes to launch a business in 2011. Here we go…

That was back in August. Now we’re at year’s end, and I’m totally weirded out by everything that’s changed. Right now, I have an active blog site that has over 100 followers, a steadily growing body of private voice students, at least four new songs written, a demo CD that is about to be submitted for some local performance opportunities, a rockin’ Christmas Eve service at Peace Unity Church with their first-ever vocal ensemble, a growing and developing GM Chorus coming off of another great season… Essentially, all the things that can make my world complete. All those things are there. I can’t believe it.

It’s the best I could have asked for this holiday season–a transformed life. And I have all of you to thank–followers, subscribers, students, teachers, directors, choristers, colleagues, peers, friends, family, and the best husband on the planet. Your support has been unbelievable, and it makes me want to launch 2012 in the best way possible–with no resolutions except to honor and acknowledge my whole community that supports this work.

…AND to plant this little bug in everyone’s mind: What’s YOUR excuse? What have you been too afraid to try? What would it take for you to be too afraid NOT to try it? People say “Live each day as if it were your last.” Well, what if you lived each day as if it was your first? What could you make possible? What could you begin–or begin again–without fear or regret?

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