Tuesday, April 10, 2012

my life's ambitions. part 1

I wasn't going to blog about this until it was settled and I was enrolled somewhere but I can not, for the life of me, get a grip on it. So I am blogging about it with the hope that one of two outcomes will occur. Real simple-like:

1. I figure it out myself by spewing it forth somewhere other than the inside of my head.


2. Someone just tells me what to do and I like what I hear and so I do it.

Let's start at the very beginning. Because it's a very good place to start.

We've talked about this before but let's review, shall we? When I was in grade 12, towards the end of the 1st semester, our teachers started talking about University. They said things like "I hope you know what you want to take," and "it's time to start thinking about where you want to apply," and "I hope your grades are good so you can even get in"...... or something very much to that effect.

I remember thinking to myself, university? We are supposed to know what we want to do with the rest of our lives already? One day, I felt particularly bogged down by these thoughts and so I skipped something insignificant, like math or social studies, and walked to Mac's and bought a box of smarties. I, then, wandered the halls of Bowness High pondering two things. One, I knew I wanted to go to university but I didn't have a clue about what to take. And two, why didn't I have a clue about what I wanted to take?

Why had no one talked to me about this before?

I mean, I knew I wanted to be a mom but I was certain that wasn't going to be a substitute for other things. Those other things might have to take a back burner to being a mom for awhile because when the time came being a mom was going to come first and, also, I was hellbent on being home with my kids. But still......those other things? What were they going to be?

I wandered those smelly high school halls going through my likes and dislikes. My interests and disinterests. I could be a teacher. Wait.....no I couldn't. That sounded horrible from the get go. Being a lawyer sounded pretty cool but I needed to take into account the level of laziness that lived somewhere between my love for Beverly Hills 90210 and Melrose Place.

I'm musical, I thought to myself. What on earth could I do with that?

Concert pianist. It was the most romantic notion I'd ever had. I could hardly wait to share it with Gail, my spectacularly beautiful piano teacher.

As soon as I got home I started looking into it. What it required of me was many hours of practice a day for the next few months as I prepared to audition for Mount Royal and the University.

And practice I did. The tips of my fingers were tingly for 3 months. I was preparing the fastest little Bach piece I'd ever heard. I learned it back to front. And then front to back. I don't even think Bach knew that song as well as I did. I also prepared something slow and haunting. To this day I love that song.

What was it called again?

Auditions came and went and I was accepted into both institutions. I chose the University. September came, I started school, full time class loads and 3-6 hours of practicing a day and it didn't take long to see that this program and my laziness level did not jive. I lacked passion and drive. This was not what I wanted. I decided to finish out the year and transfer into another faculty.

I was barely 18 years old........


  1. You're right how are you supposed to know what you want for the rest of your life at 18?

  2. Gail, your spectacularly beautiful piano teacher! Brings back memories! I'm curious to see the next post! I wish you luck as you contemplate your future...

  3. I lived through all that too. I had a mini nervous breakdown in grade 12 and thought about becoming a hair stylist. REALLY. I had no passions either and I remember yelling at my mom about how I didn't want to hate my job like she hated hers. Now I feel like I'm playing catch up because I have figured out my passions. I'd love to go to school at this point in my life...you know...if it weren't for the kids who I want to be with 24/7 If you can go to school now you absolutely should. OR you could just lock yourself away and write....because I think you could rock that too and the best education you can get for writing is to sit your arse in a chair and do it.

  4. Ooooo. I just wanted to say when I was a kid I thought I'd like to do be a teacher or run a daycare since I love kids so much and then when I tried and hated them both (I was a substitute teacher for four years), I felt like I was such a BAD PERSON. Seriously, I reminded myself of Mrs. Hannigan when I was doing daycare, except without being drunk of course. I liked teaching piano but I don't think that is the job for me at least not until my kids are grown because I'd like to be available for them when they get home from school. Plus if I ever plan to teach again I should probably practice more than like once a year. Anyway, I feel for you. I'm looking forward to seeing where this goes...

  5. do be do be do be (pretend I'm singing, okay?)

  6. Wow, it was really weird reading that. Because that was me! Right down to the piano. And transferring disciplines!

  7. I think you'd breeze through law school if it was at all still an intriguing choice for you. You're still young too, so don't say you're too old. I was 30 when I started and there were plenty of students older than me.

  8. So I had a dream about you last night. Well it wasn't you but it was. You know how dreams are. Anyway, you had changed the name of your blog to: "The Piano People (But We Can Be Loud Too)!"

    Who knew my dreams could be so clever?

  9. I read your part 2 before part 1, and you've hooked me! I hate that to some extent I'm still trying to figure it all out at this age (36), so I'm going to follow along with you for now and see if that helps me too :)

    1. Well.....I'm 38 so let's go with the whole "you're never too old" theory. Shall we?