Saturday, October 27, 2007

Day 1:

Saturday morning finds me alone in my Legend of Zelda sleep pants, coddling my cup of coffee with an extra pour of half & half in an attempt to make this day more special. The task at hand is to advance my law school applications to completion - procrastination is responsible for the birth of this blog. Each step during this process has been exhilarating, but at the same time pushing the limits of my cognitive and emotional bounds.

I've always wanted to be a musician -- wait, that's not totally true -- first I wanted to drive the fire engine down Main Street in Disneyland (which I haven't ruled out yet). Sage advice led me to do what I love as a career, for that is where happiness lies. This turned out to not be true for me, as playing the trumpet has turned into work, not the passion that it once was. Taking jobs because they were "at least related to music" but paid the bills has created an environment where I'm both unhappy and not doing what I love - performing.

Divorcing a lifelong passion has not been easy, in fact it has been gut wrenching. My mantra has always been, "There is no gig too far away, or pays too little." Paying my dues would create greater opportunities down the road, but how far down the road does one go if those investments don't come to fruition. I look at Abraham Lincoln
and his long list of failures and wonder if I should persist as he did, then I look at my musician colleagues who share my passion, many of whom are twice my age, still paying their dues, and not happy with their lives.

My decision was made strangely enough because of the recent surge in housing foreclosures. Many negative amortization loans had been given; combine that with declining home values and you have people who owe more on something that is worth less . After 12 years of paying my dues, I am at a point where I have to sacrifice more than I did at the start of my career to receive the same, if not fewer benefits.

The most promising advice came from a lawyer who had intended to sway me from law school:

"Most lawyers I know are unhappy people. They work 60 hours a week, have little time for friends and family, and generally don't enjoy what they do."

While I listened to his advice, in the back of my mind I was thinking, "You mean, I can work fewer hours than I do now, in a job just as enjoyable as my current one, and start off with a minimum 300% raise? Where do I sign up? Then I could afford those trumpets I've always wanted to buy!"