The realization struck when I began to watch Glee, because I’m slow like that. I didn’t immediately become a fan but overtime, the show just grew on me and something happened – something which most TV shows strive to find in their audience. Relevance. I began to relate to it. Nay, almost wished I had a school as cool as that. Arts and music in school when I was there were unheard of. Success pretty much only translated in terms of the number of As and whether you were given added responsibilities and duties by being made a prefect or a class monitor. Your job as a student was pretty much cut out for you. Study hard and stay away from drugs.
Well, I managed to do that successfully only to realize that none of it really mattered. Not in real life anyway. Studying hard had been replaced by studying smart a long time ago and we were too busy pouring over our books and travelling to and fro from tuitions after school to notice. And when you know you had worked that hard, no grades could ever be good enough. Things like “I wish they would have given me just a mark more” endlessly travels through your mind.
While growing up you never find people trying to emphasize that you need to take care of your social needs. Everyone, at family dinners, millads, housewarming parties and of course weddings would just speak their mind out by telling you to study and trusting the “leave the drugs alone” part to your parents.
And you mindlessly fed and cornered would be led to believe that learning out of books will be the key to all of life’s mysteries. Well it’s not. If anything, it makes you a nerd and often gives you a permanent accessory in the shape of glasses if you read in low light.
I ended up realizing what people while they are growing up actually need, is space. A space where they can experiment and find out for themselves what they are good at, instead of being pestered with statements like “oh don’t pick up the guitar. That won’t land you a job”. Or “don’t pick up a paintbrush, you have homework to do.”
Take it from someone who has been there and done that, getting grades don’t mean shit in real life. The kind of friends you have in school, the social life, the fun and the part where you discover what you are good at, does. That is what takes you places. If it doesn’t, at least you live knowing you had a good time.
I pursued big guns when it comes to academic qualifications, but the first awesome job I got required me to write – something I was good at. Not something that I had told myself to do over the years because I thought it would pay in the end. And most of all, it was one place I didn’t feel like moving on from.
What I’m trying to say is go to the next party you are invited to, make a lot of friends, sing your heart out but yes, don’t take drugs. That shit is no good, even for musicians.