Who I am, what I need vs want and what I have to offer to the world.
I, by choice, did not go to college. I don't have a degree to "impress" you with or a career to label "what I do."
When I graduated high school, I did go to community college for a while but quickly realized it wasn't for me. In my heart of hearts(since I was 12) I knew that I wanted to be a musician. It didn't matter how much money I made from it, if any, or how good I was at it. I just knew it's what I wanted to do.
After that short stint in college, I lived here in Hawaii and worked random jobs (a movie rental store, Subway & then Starbucks) before meeting my future band mates right before my 21st birthday. We decided to start the band on a Tuesday and had our first band practice the following Sunday and as soon as I started singing something in me clicked. It was kind of a magical moment where I could literally feel that I was exactly where I was supposed to be in life. Even if this band never led to anything "impressive", I knew I was supposed to be in that room, in front of that microphone, singing that song, in that band. I truly felt like I was on the right path at the right time and this awareness both excited and scared me because even though it felt great, I was so scared to lose it.
Being the singer in a band is an empowering feeling. I was writing most of the lyrics and even wrote the basics of the music for two of our songs and I felt I had something to give that was all me. No one else could produce the exact same thing. I had a passion that when put to use, felt more fulfilling than any college degree that I was "supposed" to get ever could.
After a few years, band mates grew and changed and took on other projects until we slowly began playing less shows and having less practices. After I got pregnant this went from less to never and I just focused on the pregnancy. Who wants to see a big ol' belly up on that stage anyway?
Since the pregnancy and having Rowan we still haven't practiced, played and it now looks like we may never again and this leaves me searching for new band mates and new inspiration and a new outlet.
But in the meantime, I am a wife, mama and blogger and these things make me happy.
A couple of weeks ago I ran into a guy from high school at Starbucks who I hadn't seen since we graduated. He was talking about his college degree and his job he now has and then he asked "did you graduate yet?" and I SWEAR college did not even come to mind in the slightest and I was like "ummm yea we graduated together" and he and my friend that was there with me were like "no COLLEGE?" and I was like "PFFFFFT no! I didn't go to college... I graduated, stayed in Hawaii and worked odd jobs while playing shows with my band and then got married and had a baby!"
He looked at me like that was the most pathetic story he'd ever heard.
It affected me. I went home and told Derek "I don't have anything to tell anyone that would impress them."
WHY IS THIS?
I know I'm meant to play music.
I know I'm meant to be with Derek.
I know I'm meant to be Rowan's mom.
And all of these things make me happy, so why am I so concerned with "impressing" someone with something like a college degree (which is great and I mean no offensive to those of you that went to college at all!!!) But isn't that just what everyone does? Everyone knows you go to college, get a degree and then get some job with that degree to live off of and there's only a lucky few that actually get a job that makes them happy?
So why is that so impressive and special compared to what I chose to do?
I know that the answer is that it isn't and that everyone has their own path. But I let the general public make me feel like less of an "interesting" person because I'm not a career woman, or college graduate, or anything else that fits into an impressive ideal.
Well from now on I refuse to feel this way. Life is about doing what you love, family, friends and finding your own happiness and in a way, I ALREADY AM one of the lucky few that found that within myself.
I only need to impress myself and I know that I do that by writing/playing music and I'm determined to make that happen again. Even if it takes a while I will make it happen and when I do, I'll be proud of that.
And when I run into another friend from high school at Starbucks one day, I'll tell them my story the exact way that I told that other guy and no matter what look they give me, I'll feel proud to tell them so.
So what do I have to offer? Maybe not a college degree or a solid job but I have a passion, a family and a lot of self love.