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Portland’s Hopeful vs. Hopeless Musicians

I wish I was one of those lucky individuals who woke up one morning to say, “Hello world! I’m going to be a doctor. This is who I am, and this is what I want to do!” Unfortunately, I woke up from a dream of wearing purple bell bottoms playing an electric guitar that caught on fire: a female Jimi Hendrix. Of course this was probably due to the sounding of my last name, but guitar has become my love ever since I had that dream when I turned 11 years old. Why did I have to fall in love with one of the hardest passions to follow?

Let me start off by saying, I have immeasurable respect for music majors and teachers here at PSU. They are ultimately following their passions, and (from the ones I personally know) they are all ridiculously talented. Often I find myself envious, because I consider myself a hopeful musician as well. I play 12-string guitar, sing, write and record my own music, head to open mic-nights, and perform in venues around Portland when I have free time.  But what can you do when you feel you cannot make a living off these passions?

I’ve gone through the process of contemplating majoring and minoring in music, but I’ve learned that it is not the path that I’m meant for. I feel that music majors are most applicable to teaching or performing, but I am (unfortunately) terrible at teaching and do not see the point in majoring in music when I can perform as I please at the level I am already at.

That is why I am glad that I have found a healthy balance for myself. I’m going to school to pursue a degree in business advertising and graphic design, where I feel confident I’ll find a job in, and I have my passions there to enlighten me on the side. I will keep music close to the beat of my heart during this entire journey, and that keeps me a hopeful musician and person in general.

Does anyone else feel the pressure of balancing work, school and passions? I’d love to hear about it in the comment section below.


5 Comments Post a comment
  1. Great article Haley!

    I don’t think you are alone in trying to balance what you love, what you have passion for, with what you envision you can make a living with. This must be such a difficult decision to have to make.

    One piece of advice I received a long the way, and I can’t even tell you who gave it to me, but they told me, “Do what you love in life and the money will follow”.

    Now, many years later, I can tell you I wished I would have followed that advice. I spent many years in business to discover, I can be a businessman, but my heart is in the Arts.

    So now I tell people (assuming they ask me), “When in doubt follow your heart”.

    October 30, 2012
  2. Nick Heynderickx #

    You know what, Haley? I bet anyone reading this would be interested in hearing some of your music! Your old collection: http://goo.gl/YMfSj and the new Haley Heynderickx site: http://goo.gl/eMoFo Please subsribe too! Haley’s mom is waiting for her to become famous so Haley can buy her a new house.

    November 4, 2012
    • And remember Haley, if you really make it…I mean, like, mega star stuff…I always liked and appreciated your father (and I always write cool stuff on your blogs)- :)

      November 6, 2012
  3. Judy Jones #

    Well, Haley,
    I guess I could say that I am a senior at PSU and came from Stockton, California. Some good people are here in Portland that have been in Stockton–like you, and my husband, who went there with me to visit my family! I lived there till I was 5, then we started moving around the world, and kept coming back to Stockton every couple of summers. I came to Portland 38 years ago for training at U of O Nursing School (now part of OHSU) and have been here ever since, but am only now finishing my Bachelor’s. I also have found that following my heart & my talents & putting groceries on the table make for an interesting life’s journey. Because of my nursing training, I have had knowledge for taking care of family & friends. Because of realizing my limits there, I released myself from the stress of writing reports and enjoyed the rhythm of typing as an office clerk. Because of my life abroad & mine & my husband’s family histories of immigration, I have come back to college to learn more to help me work with other people coming to Portland from all the places I’ve ever been.
    Like you, I have found that I don’t always need to be paid to do what I love, but I do need to do it. And it helps to have a job I like to go to, because it satisfies another part of my soul. Thank you for making the world a better place by sharing your passion & by finding a healthy balance for yourself. I hope that I can pass that on to the high school students with whom I am working.
    –Judy Jones

    November 10, 2012
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