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Is It Too Late to Follow That Dream?

Updated on January 14, 2010

I just got done watching an interview with a rising star in the music world, Orianthi. She is a fantastic guitar player, has worked at it for most of her life, and it is paying off. She is living the dream of guitar players everywhere.

My story has beginnings similar to hers, and to that of many of those who have lived their dreams in other ways. I started playing guitar just before high school, and "played it 'till my fingers bled". I wrote songs, jammed with other musicians, and would work on solos for hours and hours. I was truly happy when playing.

And I still am.

In college I minored in music.  I composed music, wrote songs, played in a big band, performed for audiences big and small.  Those were some of the greatest times.

But I don't play much now.

What happened? Life happened. I was distracted by school activities, sports, etc. I listened to the advice that said I needed to have a more stable long term plan (not everyone can make a living as a musician). I actually ended up with a mediocre musical education experience in college; not what one would call a solid career foundation.

Music has fallen to the wayside.  They say a balanced life supports the mind, body, and soul;  I have been living with a gap in my soul.

Maybe I didn't persue my dream enough. Maybe I didn't take that risk I should have taken or focus enough on my goals. Maybe I "played it safe".

Maybe I shouldn't complain.

Every other aspect of my life is happy. I love my wife.  I have wonderful, beautiful children.  I have a stable, steady, well-paying job.  I have a house, my health, family nearby.... A lot of people would call this the american dream.

But I see these rising stars, living their passion, and that nagging question won't stop whispering in my ear...

          what if?

I could have done that.  What if I had done things differently?   What if I had focused on a career in music?  What if I had become the most amazing guitarist and musician I could be?

Would I have become a real guitar hero?

          Or would I have spent my life as a struggling musician?

Not everyone can be a huge success as a full-time musician.  And I may never be.  But it is a part of me that will never go away.  I just hope that if I'm patient enough, and diligent, and set reasonable goals, I will be able to reach those goals, and have some measure of success doing what I am most passionate about.


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    • droj profile image

      droj 8 years ago from CNY

      Fantastic musical reference, Chris! I will now think of that song when I inevitably go down this mental path again. I definitely still have distractions; one is 3 years old, and the other is 7 months old. :)

      You're right about the "what if"'s. I find they are impossible to avoid, but can be turn on their head fairly easily if one thinks of all the things that could have gone wrong with the "what if" scenario.

      Thanks for the good words!

    • Cris A profile image

      Cris A 8 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      But the good news is, there's a time for everything (cue in turn turn turn by the byrds). now that all your distractions are gone and everything's pretty much sailing smoothly live your passion.

      And do yourself a favor, do away with the 'what if' thing as it only frustrates for you'll get no concrete answer.

      To your (some measure of) success! :D