Posted by Rick Denney on April 02, 2001 at 09:57:34:
In Reply to: Re: Selling that tuba, why... posted by Jeff Baker on March 30, 2001 at 01:59:15:
I'm a long way out of college, but I have to add something.
I spent three years banging my head against the wall in architecture school. I loved it, but I wasn't good at the parts the professors wanted me to be good at. I made excellent grades in everything but my design labs.
I'd wanted to be an architect since early youth. It was I who asked for drafting instruments for Christmas when I was young enough to still believe it would be Santa Claus bringing them to me. I used to study page after page of my father's old drafting textbooks that he had from his college years.
So, walking away from architecture was a two-year decision that took me to sleep-deprived depression.
I still enjoy reading books about architecture, and I still photograph buildings and landscapes (God's architecture) as a consuming passion about on a par with tuba playing.
But I'm glad I'm not in the business.
So, did I cop out? Hardly. I'm now free to enjoy my passion on my terms, rather than being forced into a commercial mold so that I can pay the bills. And guess what? I enjoy my engineering work and I'm good at it--and just occasionally it really does feed the soul.
Who is happier? A professional tubist who is out of work and making ends meet in a music store or teaching beginners, or a professional something else who plays in several groups for free and therefore is free to be as committed as he wants to be? For me, the answer is the latter. For some, the answer is the former. But it is a question that must be answered.
An example: Ansel Adams is widely regarded as the greatest photographer who ever lived. He was a trained concert pianist, and apparently quite good, though in his heart of hearts he didn't think he had what it took to be great. When he switched to photography, he realized that he would have to undertake considerable commercial work to support himself. He called those "assignments from without" that he performed to enable himself to respond to the "assignments from within."
Charles Ives was an insurance salesman. And the list goes on and on.
It is not a cop-out to decide to pursue a passion separate from a profession.
A cop-out is running from responsibilities. It sounds to me like Josh is facing them.
Rick "end of mini-sermon" Denney