The Story of My Life, Told by the Onion

One of my friends told me about an article that she read from The Onion that pokes fun about having dreams.

The article is called “Find The Thing You’re Most Passionate About, Then Do It On Nights And Weekends For The Rest Of Your Life”. It’s basically the story of my life!

I have included below some quotes from the article that I found especially significant to what I’ve experienced.

Dave Ferguson writes:

I have always been a big proponent of following your heart and doing exactly what you want to do. It sounds so simple, right? But there are people who spend years—decades, even—trying to find a true sense of purpose for themselves. My advice? Just find the thing you enjoy doing more than anything else, your one true passion, and do it for the rest of your life on nights and weekends when you’re exhausted and cranky and just want to go to bed.

This made me think about all of the times that I would feel so frustrated when people would ask, “Why isn’t your album done yet?”

Before I started making my first CD and performing, I had no idea how much energy it would require. I had no idea how draining it would be to write all of the instrumental parts for the songs on TEMPTATION, what it actually feels like to spend hours recording each song, how much time it takes to prepare for performances, and how fitting performances in an already busy schedule is not an easy task. Trying to do these things after working a full-time job is certainly challenging.

Ferguson also says:

It could be anything—music, writing, drawing, acting, teaching—it really doesn’t matter. All that matters is that once you know what you want to do, you dive in a full 10 percent and spend the other 90 torturing yourself because you know damn well that it’s far too late to make a drastic career change, and that you’re stuck on this mind-numbing path for the rest of your life.

When I graduated from college, I got so caught up in the cycle of life that many people follow. You know, finding a job that makes you”something,” getting a house, and don’t forget your 2.5 kids and mini van;-) I forgot about what really made me feel alive…music.

I don’t want to just go with the “flow” like so many people do. I want to live my life. If it means exhausting myself to pieces because I  work a full-time job and want music to be a part of my life, then so be it.

Ferguson says:

I can’t stress this enough: Do what you love…in between work commitments, and family commitments, and commitments that tend to pop up and take immediate precedence over doing the thing you love. Because the bottom line is that life is short, and you owe it to yourself to spend the majority of it giving yourself wholly and completely to something you absolutely hate, and 20 minutes here and there doing what you feel you were put on this earth to do.

This made me think about how long it took for TEMPTATION to be finished. There were things in my personal life that sucked all the energy out of me, which prevented me from feeling inspired to write songs and record. It was so frustrating when that happened because all I wanted was to do my music, but of course everyday life interferes with what we want.

Ferguson says:

Before you get started, though, you need to find the one interest or activity that truly fulfills you in ways nothing else can. Then, really immerse yourself in it for a few fleeting moments after an exhausting 10-hour day at a desk job and an excruciating 65-minute commute home. During nights when all you really want to do is lie down and shut your eyes for a few precious hours before you have to drag yourself out of bed for work the next morning, or on weekends when your friends want to hang out and you’re dying to just lie on your couch and watch TV because you’re too fatigued to even think straight—these are the times when you need to do what you enjoy most in life.

This part of the article made me think back to the tough days of recording. I would get up at 6:30, travel to work, work until 5, eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on the go, travel to the studio, and return to my house at 10. I felt like a zombie on those days!

In order to fit in songwriting in my busy schedule, I used my lunch hour to work on lyrics and my bus rides commuting to and from work to write instrumental parts on the instrument apps on my iPod.

 

Ferguson ends his article with:

Really, the biggest obstacle to overcome here—aside from every single obligation you have to your friends, family, job, and financial future—is you. And I’ll tell you this much: You don’t want to wake up in 10 years and think to yourself, “What if I had just gone after my dreams during those brief 30-minute lunch breaks when I was younger?” Because even if it doesn’t work out, don’t you owe it to yourself to look in the mirror and confidently say, “You know what, I gave it my best half-hearted shot”?

I think a lot of people are hesitant to try to achieve their dreams for that very reason. Sometimes during the writing/recording process I would ask myself, “Am I ever going to finish this CD?”

Although it took me a lot longer than I thought it would to make my own CD, I know that I did the best I could with balancing everyday life commitments and what makes me feel most alive.

Here’s a photo from my first blog post in 2012. This was when I first started my YouTube Channel, when the only person I was performing for was my video camera man. 😉

Allison Merten AllysMusicRoom

Here’s a photo from my CD Release Show in March of this year.

Allison Merten CD Release 1

I  absolutely cannot believe how far that I have come since 2012!!!!

Finding time to do your passion is hard, but seeing how you can succeed when you put your mind to it is well worth it!

I’m so excited that I achieved my dream, and I am so excited to go forward from here! 🙂

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2 thoughts on “The Story of My Life, Told by the Onion

  1. You are doing the one thing that is really important to you, Allison. I am so glad to have been associated with you, and to help you achieve your dream. Your Album Release Debut was great. We were glad to have been there for it. There have been many who have recorded this “The impossible dream man of la mancha! I think this fits here for you for encouragement.

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