Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Seeking advice

Rather than following my detailed schedule for MCAT studying I've been spending inordinate amounts of time every day thinking about the decision. You know the one. Should I do med school? I had managed to get myself motivated enough about the MCAT by seeing it as a way to redeem myself after a mediocre semester. I guess I can still pull it off. But the question remains. Do I really want to be a doctor? For whatever reason I've got it ingrained into my head that this would be the only job I'd ever really like. But I am really starting to doubt this. I would have no issues going through with it if I could be assured that I'd have time for my other pursuits (oboe). But no one can reassure me of this. If anything most people tell me flat out that I will NOT be able to pursue my oboe studies to the degree that I wish to pursue them. As the days go by I am starting to feel that I should just settle for a job I don't hate and have time for the oboe, rather than going for a job I *think* I might like but have no time for anything.

I ask you this: do you think it would be silly of me to give up on the medicine thing for my oboe? Especially when we all know that I will never be up for any auditions or anything resembling a professional oboe career?

For someone like me it's hard to give up something I think I can be excellent at for something I know I will never be great at. Yet the thought of not even allowing myself to give it a try, no matter how futile, makes me sad. I feel like deep down a part of me would rather be the best amateur oboist I can be rather than a physician. If it took me so long to find my passion, why would I deny myself the opportunity to try to get as far as I can? Sure, I can play oboe as a doctor. I should have some free time here and there. But that's all I can ever hope for. Oboe will have a very secondary role once I'm really into the medicine thing. Even though I can never be great I would still like to devote as much time as possible to the oboe. I don't think that an hour here or there would be enough to make me happy.

Any advice? When I look back on my life in about 20 years' time, which choice will leave me feeling better?


Jennifer Grucza said...

Have you considered other options in the medical field besides being a doctor? physician's assistant, nurse practitioner, radiology technician, etc. They're less of a time commitment, and you'd still be working in the medical field.

Pattyoboe said...

I would never tell you what to do, and I'm not sure I even have any words of wisdom with this one ... it's a toughie, I know.

If I'm understanding you correctly you are saying you know absolutely, with no doubts at all, that you can't become a professional musician? In that case you certainly must figure out what it is you want to do to make a living ... unless you have a spouse that can support the two of you and you can do the oboe thing no matter what.

So if you really mean you are certain you can't become good enough to make a living, then I guess you first need to ask yourself if you can live without oboe. If the answer is no, then you maybe need to ask yourself if you can play oboe and do the medical school thing. If the answer is "absolutely not" then I guess you need to think of something other than med school. As I've mentioned before, I do know a lot of doctors who are musicians. (No oboists, though ... maybe there's a reason?)

I'm sorry you are having to deal with this, though. What a drag.

I CAN tell you one thing and be fairly positive I'm correct: no matter what you decide to do, you'll often ponder the "What if...?" thing. Heck, I do, and I love my career. But I wonder what life would be without the stress of oboe and reeds. I wonder what life would be like if I made a decent wage, too. I think everyone wonders "What if" throughout life. I recently ran into two women who were in music in high school and were planning on pursuing a music career (one singer, one clarinetist). I believe they were even majoring in music in college. One still makes side money singing, and the other play clarinet and sax in amateur groups. They were both saying they were just certain they would have succeeded in music and sort of wondered if they'd be more content had they really gone for it. They were surprised to hear me say I wonder what my life would be like if I had switched majors and gone into something else. The wondering never ends!

Sorry this is so long and yet says so little. I feel for you, HIlda.

Hilda said...

Thanks for your comments! I've responded under a separate post because it got kind of long. :-)