As a high school senior, the time to pick and keep a major has come around. Graduation is months away. I have been accepted to a private and rather pricey college (financial aid is still unraveling itself), and I have put ‘Law’ as my major with a minor of ‘Political Science.’
Seems rather dignified, right? Not so for an artist and musician such as I.
You see, I come from a poor Haitian family who migrated to the United States with nothing but dreams of a better future for their son. After years of hard work, they have accumulated a solid educational and moral foundation for my siblings and I, and have raised their expectations beyond the norm.
Since my childhood, I have been an artist and musician. I remember throwing away the toys from my toy box, flipping it upside down, and beating it with pencils like a drum. I’m a self-taught pianist and composer, and I have written a few pieces for jazz bands and the like. I guess I secretly have always wanted to become a composer.
Naturally, one would suppose that with a child like this, a parent would support their child’s dream fully. However, in my case, the opposite is true. My family have agreed that I do hold some talent, however, to enter into a higher institution with music in mind is an unhealthy gamble.
In addition to this, it seems rather selfish to chase a pipe dream when my family, in Haiti and abroad, is in poor condition. The sensible thing to do is to simply sacrifice my dream for the sake of the family, who so needs me.
In an attempt to be selfless, I have told my future college and family that I will be devoting my life as a lawyer, especially in civil-rights and immigration law, in behalf of minorities. Do I want to become a lawyer? Not really, but the life doesn’t seem too bad (regardless of the fact that I have heard countless stories from lawyers who absolutely abhor their profession).
Perhaps I could blend the two and come out as a music lawyer…
I guess my ultimate question is this:
Is it better to chase your life’s dream with high chances of shunning and failure, or accept a rather unpleasant occupation shrouded with financial security?