Monday, August 3, 2009

Being True to Yourself

My senior year in high school I was having a hard time figuring out what I wanted to major in when I got to college. I've never really been great at one thing, you know, Jack of all Trades, Master of none. I was a nerd; I absolutely loved school and it was the only thing I was really good at. Picking a major was hard. I loved math and Spanish and science was pretty kewl in my books too, but the two things I have always loved more than anything else were music and English.

I started playing the cello the summer before 6th grade and I picked up the horn in the 7th; I couldn't imagine my life without either of them. But I'd always had a love for English and writing and reading that I didn't think I'd ever out grow. I wanted to double major but I thought that would be too much as a freshman trying to get a hold on college life so I picked Music Ed. I was told by every music instructor that I had that I would be fantastic at it and I loved music and music theory, which is apparently odd but anyway. I never really thought that that was the thing for me but with so many people that I trusted telling me that it grows on you, I thought I'd try that.

I told my AP English teacher that I was going with Music Ed. and I swear it's like he knew what I would do before even I did. He made me promise to at least minor in English or Creative Writing because I was too good and talented not to. I assured him that I would.

Low and behold a year later I'd figured out that teaching music really wasn't for me, something I'd thought I could over come but I couldn't. I knew that I still wanted to play my instruments and I refused to go another year without my cello (my school doesn't have an Orchestra :() so I took up lessons and was happy again. I was a double major in music and English and I thought it was great.

The next semester my music teachers just kept getting under my skin and I found myself dreading going to every class. I hated the music we played in band, I despised sight-singing. Two days into classes and I realized I couldn't do it anymore. I loved my instruments more than anything, but I couldn't finish getting a degree in them, and we don't have a minor.

I filled out the paperwork and got the signatures and became an English major only. I called my mom up the moment I walked out of the building and it was quite possibly the happiest moment of my life. I was finally being true to myself and what I wanted to do and be. I was downright giddy. It took me a year and a half to listen to my heart and it was a time during which I was rarely happy. My friends were freaked out at how much different I was after turning in a piece of paper and declaring English as my only major. I am still excited about it.

Now, I'm doing everything I ever wanted to do. I'm playing both of my instruments, taking classes that get me excited just by thinking about them, I'm writing a book that has been in my head since the 8th grade, and most of all I'm being myself.

I know, I know, that's more than you ever wanted to know about me but I needed to share how I got here and why I'm doing what I do. I can't not play my horn and cello, or take English courses; I can't not write; and I will not go another day trying to be something and someone that isn't me.

How did you know you wanted to do whatever it is you do: write, teach, be a mom? Have you ever tried to be something you're not? How did it make you feel?

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