Sunday, July 19, 2015

Turning Point

I am at a turning point in life. I am facing a fork in the path ahead of me, and I must pick my battle: to continue a stable but miserable lifestyle that I loathe, or to give up everything I've worked hard for the last 10 years and pursue my new found dream.

To be honest I am very risk averse. I grew up in a close-knit and traditional family. I have learnt great values from them but unfortunately risk aversion is no exception. I had  dreams growing up. In middle school I wanted to be a poet, and under my English Composition teacher's guidance, almost published a entire collection of poems. In high school, I fell in love with manga and aspired to become a manga artist. However, as I grew older, so did the fear of failure. Fear comes in many forms, and for me it came in the form of practicality. By the time I was in college, I just wanted to have a stable high-paying white-collar job and make my parents proud. Pretty uninteresting right? Naturally, the only career paths I considered were the medical or finance field. I am extremely sensitive to the site of blood, so becoming a doctor of any kind is out of the questions (especially after volunteering at a hospital during the summer of my freshman year). The Accounting program at my University was one of the most prestigious ones in the nation, so being ambitious I devoted myself to numbers, passed all my classes with flying colors, and passed all sections of the CPA exam in my senior year. Upon graduation, I worked at a prestigious company (Big Four, my dream job as a student), and was privileged to work on various engagements with well-known Fortune 500 companies. It seemed that all my "dreams" have come true: prestige, stable income, and proud family. Even I felt that way... but not for long.

As good as this all sounds on paper, the satisfaction that comes with all these glory is only ethereal. It's like the poem by Robert Frost, "Nothing Gold Can Stay". After slaving away season after season, never having the time to even spend the money I make, or enjoy the vacations I accrued, I began to doubt my choice. Four years later, I am working as a senior analyst at another prestigious Fortune 50 company. A lot has changed during the past 4 years, but one thing that hasn't is that feeling of emptiness and restlessness inside.

About 2 years ago I wrote the first song of my life "Solitude". As to how it started, I really don't remember. All I know is that emotions guide us, and I just let mine guide my fingers on the keyboard. I thought of everything that I had gone through to get to where I was, all the close family and friends I had in my support network, but how few of them really knew me. And that was how my first song was created. I continued writing songs over the next 2 years. Life is not always rainbows and unicorns, but I found a way to channel out the negative feelings that I experience: through writing music. In a way, my misery and suffering inspired me. That was when I aspired to write music that could change other people's lives. From a business and analytical perspective, it is a saturated market. There is no guarantee that I would be able to monetize my passion, especially since I have never been professionally trained. Because of this I am still hesitant to this day to give up what I have to pursue music fulltime.

A few months ago I realized something important: I am half way up a ladder that doesn't take me where I want to be, but I'd rather be at the bottom of one that does take me to where I can be happy with myself. And this is how this blog started.

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