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Make it by 18, or else
By Gloria Diaz
Check out Gloria's Blog — Edge of Gloria!
Fort Wayne Reader
I saw a story recently about a 14-year-old female singing sensation here in Fort Wayne. Someone interviewed for the story suggested she go to college in four years if the singing career didnít work out. ďIíd hate to see her playing in bars,Ē this person said, or words to that effect.
I was a little puzzled by this. Is 18 the cut-off age for ďmaking itĒ nowadays? Should every aspiring singer over the age of 25 sell that Gretsch and finally get a real job at her cousinís law firm? Should the struggling writer give up if he hasnít written the Great American Novel by the age of 30?
It would be wonderful if we all made it big by the age of 26, but a lot of people donít make it at all. Some do achieve fame and fortune, but it takes a while. Susan Boyle is a good example. Iím sure a lot of people wish she would have made it at a younger age, but sometimes time and circumstances work against us. That doesnít mean we should give up singing, playing music, writing, painting, sculpting or whatever it is we enjoy doing.
So it really kind of bothers me that someone is setting a time limit for this young lady. Iíve never heard of her, but to be honest, Iíve sort of had my fill of young women and guitars. She may be good. But there are plenty of really good musicians out there who still work day jobs because they will never be discovered. You have to be marketable as well as good, and if you arenít radio friendly, you can forget it.
And thatís a shame, but thank goodness for YouTube, where anyone can upload video of themselves doing whatever it is they enjoy doing. I guess the trend now is for young boy singers, like Bieber, who was discovered via YouTube, and some kid by the name of Grayson Carter, whoís like, 13 or so. Iím just sooo glad he made it when he did and not when he was an old hag of 20.
Is this what it comes down to? I mean, life goes fast enough as it is. Iíd hate to live through my teenage years again and think that I had to ďmake itĒ by the age of 18. I was so dumb and scared of everything and everyone, itís only been during the last few years that I feel like Iíve emerged from my shadow. Iím not kidding. Iíve done more creative stuff in the last few years than when I was a teen. Or at least it seems that way. Iíd like to be teenage skinny again, but I donít want the lack of confidence, the terror, or ďtheyíll laugh at me if I try thatĒ vibe I had back then.
That being said, I think you need to live your life. I like to think of the advice Dear Abby (or was it Ann Landers) used to give when someone in his or her 40s would say when they were thinking of going to law school or just going back to get their G.E.D. or whatever. ďBut Iíll be 50 years old (or older) when I graduate!Ē Abby (or maybe Ann) would say, ďand how old will you be if you DONíT go back to school?Ē I always liked that answer, as there are still things I want to do in my life, and thankfully, since I donít have kids, I have a bit more freedom and a little less responsibility than a lot of people do.
I plan to live my entire life, and if that means Iím still learning, thinking, reading, or creating while Iím 80 (presuming I live that long) then so be it.
And now, I have some short stories to work on.