I remember vividly the moment when I accepted the fact that I would likely not make my living with music. My family had a major financial reversal during the summer after my first year attending Cornish College of the Arts and so when my Mom and I went to register for the second year, we realized that I would be borrowing as much money for the second year as the first but only be attending half time. We sat on together on the front steps of the school and I said to her "How can I keep borrowing this money if I don't know that I'll ever make a living at music?" She replied "Can you not do this and still be who you are?"
No. Decision made.
I graduated from Cornish and got a full-time job where I had been temping during summer breaks in the student loan industry. That was a stable career for over a decade. When it came to an end I briefly considered trying to make the leap into music, but quickly realized that my need for income made that a bad idea. So instead I went into government contracting where I still am today. It's provided me with the opportunity to retire all my credit card debts, buy a condo and start saving for retirement.
This weekend, though, I'm getting the chance to have a taste of what life might have been like if I had made different choices. My Vancouver harp buddy Alys and I are the opening act for a fundraising concert in Everett on Saturday night and on Sunday we zip up to Vancouver to play at CelticFest. We've been rehearsing and practicing a lot and I made all the travel arrangements so it feels a bit like a concert tour. At the end of all this work and excitement (read: stress) I'll take a look at how much money is left after expenses and I imagine that I'll still be happy with the choices I made back in the 80s.