Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Chase that dream

My best friend is a singer. Now, she has never made it big, never had a record deal or ever stood on a stage with Patti, Aretha or Whitney (pre-cracky-ness), but she can blow. Now I do not say that lightly or to brag. She has a beautiful 5-octave range and is a beautiful person through and through. But I did not come to discuss her beauty.

I came because I now understand why she has persevered with her desire to be a singer and what pursuing your dreams really means .

Since I have known her singing is really ALL she’s ever wanted to do. Though she is very intelligent and very proactive, she didn’t really want to pursue her major in college which was journalism. She wanted to sing. She left school subsequently to do just that. She got a gig touring with the now defunct house music group ‘ Inner City’ and after she returned from Europe, she never completed her degree. I have always held a secret anger at her for leaving and not finishing her degree. Why? Because as a black woman n America, I felt that a degree would give her the leverage WHILE she was seeking fame and fortune, to get a small piece o’ the pie. So how has she survived you ask? Well, until she got married, she’d lived with her Mom off and on while holding down a variety of jobs......waitress being the most common of them. She waitressed at a Chilli/Spaghetti joint and most recently at Big Boy. But she never lost hope. Never gave up and never let herself get so down that she did not return to that which she loved. Signing.

Because she would often compare our lives and become disheartened when she didn't have the money to shop (because oh, you had BETTER DAMN believe she is a DIVA in every sense of the word!)and say “but Robyn you can do this, or that, etc.” and I have always thought “well, if your ass went to SCHOOL you could do all those things that those of us in the work world can do too!”. But I never made that statement to her. I know that she would have felt that me, her sister from another mother, along with the rest of the Joe Shmoes just didn’t understand. And to be honest, I didn’t. Not until now. I didn’t understand what kept her going, working menial jobs, while still trying to make demos or still trying to figure out how to make it in that industry. I have never looked at the reason that she did not finish school, did not get a “typical” job and did not give up on her dream. But I see it for what it is now.


She has true passion and desire and LOVE for what she is trying to accomplish!!! Not many of us can truly say that we have that in terms of our chosen profession. I damn sure can’t. My profession is a means to an end, not a reason to rise each day. I mean I “kinda like “ it, but she LOVES her chosen profession. She has that . And I honestly can say I wish I did. Now, I know that most of us have not been fortunate enough to have the support to just “follow your dreams” even if those dreams aren’t turning into dollar signs cause errry’body gotta eat But she has been fortunate enough. Shouldn’t life not be about what you do to to get by, but about what makes your heart sing? Should life not be about. Making your dreams come true if you can?

I used to resent her refusal to go into the corporate world because I thought her selfish. Selfish because she and her husband could have so much more if she just had a good job, her mother wouldn’t have had to sacrifice to help her out in addition to taking care of herself. But the one thing I never thought about is that the people who have been supporting her financially have also supported her dreams. And that also is worth it’s weight in gold. She didn’t hold them at gunpoint, she didn’t force them to help. They did it because they BELIEVED in her. She has a husband who , knowing that this was her dream when they MET supports her following her dreams. She will be 35 this year and she JUST enrolled in a dramatic arts school in NYC. How many husbands would support that and how many people would have the courage to go for their dreams in this way. It takes a WHOLE LOT OF SACRIFICE and a HELL OF A LOT of courage to reinvent yourself and keep moving when you have not had doors open up the way that you thought you would have at this point in your life.

So, not instead of privately scoffing at her “chasing a pipe dream” I now admire and envy her for going AFTER her dreams. Isn't that what we tell our kids to do (go after your dreams….you can be anything….blah, blah) but as soon as they do, we admonish, chastise and sometimes belittle their dreams depending on what they are? The real world is a hard place and we do that out of concern and care. I know that. But wouldn’t it be nice if we could ALL just go after what we WANTED to do instead of what we HAVE to do?? Going after your dreams isn’t always easy, but if you can do so, why wouldn’t you want to go after something that makes you happy?

I would.


nikki said...

that's one of the best, most insightful posts i've read in a long time. it's so true! i would love to be able to do what i dream of for a living instead of doing what i gotta do to keep the bills paid. your cousin is blessed in that regard. i hope you and i are blessed like that one day.

chele said...

Good for her. I regret not finishing school and pursuing a full-time career as a writer. Now I have to steal moments to get a few sentences down. It's frustrating. It takes great courage to do what she's doing.

lyre said...

My son is living his dream and i am proud of him.
thanks for stopping by and i hope to hear more from you.

Insaneblackwoman said...

If I didn't have to work a steady job to keep my gal clothed, fed, housed, and spoiled, I'd be out on the circuit auditioning for this, auditioning for that. As a matter of fact, I'd probably be trying to put together a Jazz ensemble because I so love to perform and play my jazz bass guitar. I can't believe I educated myself in Elementary Education with a major in English Composition and a minor in Music Composition and Voice, but yet, here I am barely making a living as an insurance policy writer. Go figga. My new year's resolute (my one and only) is to embark upon more musical endeavors because I refuse to let my real talent (which is writing and composing arrangements)keep going to waste. I really miss teaching music to my 1st graders. Because believe it or not, young children have the easiest voices to train to harmonize.

Anonymous said...

Insightful post. I admire your best friend for going after her dreams and not giving up.

Nice blogspot. I'll be back.

Knockout Zed said...

My dream was to live in Satan's Anus and be a minor celebrity. I got that brass ring, baby!


Msnhim said...

I admire her passion and have just recently discovered my own..... whether or not I go after that is in Gods hands. If its meant to happen it will.

Great Post!

TRUTHZ said...

i am with you on this...if you can afford to follow your dream cuz you don't have other responsibilities do it... i helped one of my friends leave her lucrative job at intel to go fly charter planes...she wanted to be a pilot and now she is... making dreams into a reality, oh how now i am going to see if i can marry michael jordan, i was gonna give up but now you've inspired me to keep going

Xquizzyt1 said...

Robbbbyyyyyyyyn!!!!! How are you???? I've missed you!!!! I have to CATCH up!!! =)

Xquizzyt1 said...

Girl, it's almost like playing the lottery - chasing a career in entertainment... but... someone HAS to win the lottery, so why not let it be her? And Lotto always says, "You gotta be in it to win it." and that is the truth. I admire her too, for following her dream, I am not as diligent with regard to following mine, but I find that as I get older, my dreams and my priorities drastically change. While I was in Georgia State, my priority was to graduate and get into law school... BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY!!! While law school is still the goal, I'm NOW more focused on getting my financial life together and purchasing a home. That is my NUMBER ONE TOP PRIORITY right now. I will do law school more than likely next year. It's amazing to me to see people follow their dreams, no matter where they lead. She is blessed to have that fantastic of a support system in place. =)

She will be one of the rare people who looks back on her life and has no regrets because she did what she loved and followed her dream.

Wow. What a cool story.

*humming "Good Life" and "Big Fun" by Inner City*

Nina MM said...

It's easier to find your "purpose" when your dream's motivation is fueled by an actual talent. For the rest of us, we have to lay down to dream, figure out the motivation, and THEN purposefully pursue it. It can still be done though, but I sure do wish I had had a more ostentatious "gift" rather than having to search for years to find it. LOL

Big up to your friend for going for what she knows!