Narrative Essay About Yourself
When Following Your Dream Doesn’t Turn Out How It Should
This is the story of how I learned you shouldn’t always follow your dreams. I was almost 18, nearing the end of my high school years, and the only dream I had – a passionate dream, almost an obsession – was to study music at the Conservatory after graduating. I had been playing classical guitar since I was around 13 or 14, but never went to music school; I just learned on my own and took some lessons at a children & teenagers’ club. My parents were completely against me going to the music academy – they wanted me to pursue a more practical career, and this made me all the more convinced that the Conservatory was my future. Guess what? Turns out I was wrong.
After a lot of crying on my part and a lot of sudden gray hairs on my parents’ heads, we decided together that I would try both the music academy and the Faculty of Economics, so that everyone would be pleased. I didn’t have any trouble entering the economics faculty, but getting into the Conservatory was a whole different story. Most of the candidates had been studying music since they were little and had rich technical and theoretical knowledge – I knew that, having studied guitar quite “unofficially” and only for a few years, even though I was pretty good, I was way behind them. I spent countless sleepless nights practicing, learning theory, reading mountains of music scores, and again practicing, practicing, practicing until I couldn’t even feel my fingers. Being shy and easily intimidated, I made a fool of myself at the exam and failed, but tried again in the autumn admission session and finally got in – among the last, but I was in! Dreams, here I come!
Not so fast. Getting in was difficult, but being there was harder than I ever imagined, especially since I had to balance both economics and music at the same time. Schedules were often overlapping, exam dates coincided, I studied “practical” subjects in the evening and then practiced on the guitar till morning – I was a huge mess. Not to mention that I had to spend a lot of time trying to keep up with my much more experienced colleagues at the music academy. I remember the many nights spent in a freezing room on the third floor of the Conservatory, late in the evening, studying harmony and counterpoint on the piano, until the doorman – a nice little old man – came to gently kick me out. “Are you almost done, honey? I need to lock up.” “Just 5 more minutes, please, and I’m out of here!” “Ok, sweetie, but please don’t forget the lights. My knees are killing me and I don’t want to come all the way up here again to check them.”
I kept this going for two years until, during the exam session at the end of the second year, I simply cracked. I was almost never sleeping, the callouses on my fingers (they’re normal for guitar players) often turned into burning wounds due to excessively zealous practicing, I lost weight (well, this part I liked, actually), and I had such big dark circles around my eyes that I looked like a panda. My practical exams were coming and I feared them more than I feared death, and I realized I truly hated playing in public – it wasn’t my shyness or something that will go away as I gained more experience. I simply, honestly, utterly hated having people look at me while I’m playing. The guitar wasn’t fun anymore. It wasn’t my dream anymore. I decided to skip the exams, announced my favorite professor that I’m quitting, and never looked back.
And I don’t regret it one bit. Now I’m continuing my studies in economics and also found a part-time job in my field. I’m not passionate about it, but I like my workplace and have nice coworkers, so I’m more than happy. Most importantly, I can play the guitar the way I want it, when I want, with no pressure on me, no fear, no cold sweat on my forehead, no sleepless nights. I realize now that the Conservatory wasn’t my dream – or not one I should have pursued. It was rather the stubbornness of a slightly younger, but much sillier me,an obsession over an overly-romanticized concept. I was – am – passionate about playing the guitar, but not about studying it in an institution and making a profession out of it. I would have hated it, that’s for sure.