When I tell people I graduated as a lawyer and became a professional musician people always look at me as if something doesn’t add up. Usually when strangers judge me they don’t believe that I’m also a lawyer. Apparently I look more like a musician (don’t know if that’s good or bad haha)….
People like to put others in boxes. But I have always had many interests. I found it fairly hard to pick a subject to study after school. I did exam in five languages and was good at maths and science. I still love history, reading about holistic healing and plant medicine, about nature and animals, so many interests! How does one combine these things? In an ideal society I would probably do all of that in one day, every day. But we usually don’t. Specialism in work is rewarded.
Even as a musician I found playing guitar, bass and piano confusing so I ended up mainly playing guitar, the only instrument of the three that I never had any lessons in funnily. Oh and then I haven’t mentioned choosing between all these genres that I love, from Irish to Spanish, folk, pop, country….from covers to writing songs…
I have to force myself to focus on a daily base to not get distracted. And to not go insane. Still, to combine skills is very valuable if possible.
The past month I successfully helped out a friend with a legal case and I found it very interesting to think legally, logically, strategically, and to attend a court case again. It’s just a whole different side of the brain being used, so different from making music.
I am curious to hear about your own skills and interests? Do you feel you are mainly using one certain side of the brain? Do you have hidden talents that noone knows about, very different from your daily activities? That you would like to develop? Tell me!
What do you want to become when you grow up? This question had been haunting me for many years. The ‘problem’ started with the situation pictured below. This seems very luxurious but it’s not as simple as that. I went to school at 5 years old being able to read, and graduated at 17, not having a clue what I wanted to do.
Was I born a musician? Ha! See the grades above! I do love learning, all subjects really, from maths and science to languages and music. School and studying (European Law & Language Studies, graduating in Dutch Law) allowed me plenty of time for hobby’s and other interests.
But then…work life started. This came as surprisingly huge challenge for me. Not being fully in charge of my own work load caused me stress and I was missing time for my other passions. After working as a lawyer in one of the bigger Dutch law firms for a while, I just felt like I wanted to press a big stop button, to earn back that much needed time to be creative! So that’s when quit my job and left to Ireland with just my guitar and backpack, where I started making money from playing gigs. It’s amazing how magic stuff always happens when you tap into your own flow.
Some trial and error later I know how I like to fill my days: either combining small parttime jobs with music or working independently fulltime. I’ve worked in a wide range of areas over the years: from lawyer, university lecturer, PA, train stewardess, sales person, PR officer to bar manager and more…You name it, I’ve done it!
The ongoing drive to create has always been the essence for me. Coming up with a crazy idea for a concert, tour, a story or a CD production and then realizing it is so rewarding! It’s like taking people on a tour to a different world. You know the little boy in the movie The Greatest Showman? That’s how I think and love to work…realizing my million dreams!
In nowadays society specialism is rewarded. Working parttime can be seen as laziness. Higher skilled jobs for 2/3 days are pretty rare to find. A pity for creatives like me who have a wide variety of interests. What are your thoughts on this? What drives you in life? How do you combine work with your passion? And what would be the soundtrack to your career?