By J.P. Kallio
From the early days of our childhood we are thrown into a world of the education system, that teaches more than anything us one thing, the importance of education. In a away it is a great way to give growing person focus. In my opinion more important than anything else we learn in school, is the social skills. As cruel as it sounds, bullies are a small part of life, as is social classes (cool kids, not so cool kids). The school yard environment is like confined and more concentrated society, where we are exposed to for a decade or so. By the time we graduate (get out of) school, ideally we are expected to continue our studies. Some of us spend three to four years to acquire a qualification to practice a profession. Many of us see this as something we are expected to do and many of us are happy to do this. Some of us head to academic life which can take us another decade.
My sister was in that crossroad earlier this year and she decided to take a year off, go abroad and work as an au pair. Obviously there was resistance in the family, but I am extremely proud she decided to do it. I think this year living abroad will teach her more and broaden her view of the world more than any education system ever can.
But most of us never break from the norm. We might have dreams of what we want to do or achieve, but we put it on hold because we are expected to get an education and build our careers. If this career is your passion, your dream, then great, but I bet for most of you it is just a way to make ends meet. I don’t blame you, I know the pressure of the society and our loved ones can be crippling to your dreams. I for one opted to move abroad 18 years ago to silence (or let’s just say minimise) those voices. For me it was one of the best decisions in my career and my life.
Still from time to time I need to refocus what it is I really want to do and achieve. And I have been guilty of putting some of my dreams aside as most of us. You see, it’s easy to say I am a musician, I play in a band and have regular session work, so in a way I am already living a dream. But still all along I wanted to write my own songs and sing them and it was easier to put this dream on a back burner as I was busy already playing music.
So nine months ago I finally decided to stop coming up with excuses and went after my dream and I haven’t looked back since then. It has been probably some of, if not even the most rewarding time in my life so far.
I do not believe in regret, but from time to time I wonder why I didn’t do this before. And deep down I know, it is that same pressure of society. If I am making money at something, why would I focus my time on something that does not and very likely never will? But if I don’t, can I really achieve fulfilment in my life?
So one of my biggest lessons I have learned in the past year, and I have seen it spill into other parts of my life is this: Don’t wait! If you have a dream, go after it today. Life is too short to waste another day and every one of those excuses you have are just that, excuses. Sorry to go this mortal rout, but I need to make you think. When you are at the end of your life, do you think you’ll regret going after your dream, or playing it safe?
Don’t wait, do it today!
J.P. Kallio is s singer / songwriter