Being A Professional Musician
Sure, I love being a professional musician. However, I didn't always see it as a career. In fact in college, I took the long-version undergraduate plan of over six years trying every other degree option that friends and family insisted were more practical (lucrative) paths. It was only after my grandfather had asked me simply, yet most profoundly, during a holiday visit what I'd been up to in college. After my ten-minute animated discourse describing all-things music and not one thing business (I was a "Marketing" major at the time), he slapped me upside my head to say, "Don't wake up at 65 regretting your career choice. Do what makes you happy, and life will figure out a way to feed you." Hmmm, ok. And with that, I never looked back (no matter how hungry I was!).
I may have Micky Dolenz of the Monkees to blame for my 8-year old aspirations, but it is the beautiful dichotomy of absoluteness and ambiguity within the music that has continued to serve as that strong cup of coffee waking me up every morning. Frank Zappa once said, "It's me against the laws of nature. It's a game, where you have a piece of time and you get to decorate it." Wow, how cool is that to spend your life thinking of ways to do that? So yea, there's no turning back for me.
Music has a way of perpetually re-inventing itself, including the ancient music of the masters. Why else would some of us own eight different versions of Sibelius' 2nd Symphony in D Major? Be it amateur or professional, performer, composer, musicologist, audiophile, casual novice, or one who doesn't even know how to hum, music truly speaks the universal language, understood by all who will listen. Listen close enough, and powerful forces emerge, moving the heart and soul in a way no other energy can. So, if all else fails, cue the music!