Your soul

The Million Dollar Millennial Question: Chase Your Dreams Or Get Paid?

By February 9, 2016 0

I don’t mean to be one of those rappers who raps about rapping, but I need to pontificate on my art form for a minute, if you will allow me.

The world is filled with people who “don’t know what they want to do in life”. I feel you, but I don’t really feel you.

See, I know what I want to do. I know what I want to do because I am actually doing it. I am a writer, and I aspire to write shit-for lack of a better word-that people want to read. Knowing where I would like to go is not the issue, it never really has been.

The issue with me is that incessant and pervasive question roiling in the back of my head as I invest more and more time toward the career I know I was born to pursue. It is not a question of artistic direction or even ambition. I have dreams, goals, and a firm view of myself as a literary voice.

At the risk of sounding too mainstream, too grown up, too serious, I admit that most pressing question in my mind is one of money. Lame, I know. They say follow your dreams and the money will come. They tell you that a job you love is so much more important than a steady salary. I hear them.

But their advice ain’t gonna pay my electric bill, it’s really that simple.

The more I hear guest speakers in my journalism classes, the more grim the future gets: writing ain’t gonna pay your bills either, kid. Not in so many words. At this point in the internet age they have learned how to let aspiring journalists down easy.

‘Consider a PR track.’

‘Does Advertising pique your interest?’

‘Raise your hand if you are a journalism major!’…….there’s me, then a whole lot of crickets.

 So the question is: what is a lifetime of doing what you love really worth?

Is there a dollar sign you can put on not occupying a cubicle until inevitably succumbing to a blood-clot while munching on chocolate covered pretzels at a 9-to-5 house of horrors?

I’m sure there is, but the uncertainty of exactly what that dollar amount will end up being is absolutely killing me.

 That’s hyperbole. It’s not really killing me. In fact, I think I am damned lucky to be able to write while sunning my blogger-pale face on my apartment porch in my undies. Truthfully, there are few things more liberating.

For now, that is.

Graduation will come, my advisor assures me.

The line between my part-time passion and a full-time career will dissipate.

Those bills will have to be paid by me, and only me.

Hemingway won’t be there to save me. Tolstoy is long gone.

It will be me and my words versus the world, and I can’t wait….