The Many Roads I Dream Of Taking

Clockwise from Top Left: Alex Patsavas, Liz Phair, J.K. Rowling, Annie Leibovitz, Libba Bray & Stephenie Meyer

On several occasions, especially on dull afternoons, I daydream about having a different career. However, the careers I dream about are often those that would make you wish that money wasn't an issue. Being the eldest of two kids from a middle-class family, expectations of being the next breadwinner is often resting on your shoulders. I think I'm able to fulfill those expectations already. While I enjoy my profession, it never erases those little "what-if" thoughts. And sometimes coming across bios of the women I featured above make me believe that those little dreams, while a bit far-fetched, can be possible.

To start off my dream career list, I remember wanting to be a photo-journalist for National Geographic. While I loved browsing through fashion magazines, I'd prefer to take pictures of anything else but people. Until I encountered Vanity Fair and Annie Leibovitz. I started having by-line and contributor dreams. I don't know how Annie does it but her photo spreads are always unbelievable. She captures her subjects well and has a great eye for detail and light. The moment Annie becomes your photographer makes you feel like you've made it, especially for those who are pretty much under the limelight. I've been meaning to purchase my first digital SLR camera because of her. That and perhaps, the encouragement of friends who've seen my shots to take photography as a habit.

The journalist bit of my first dream career inspired me to consider another one: fiction writer. Writing is another love of mine. I think I write better than I speak. I was such a wallflower when I was younger that most of my thoughts often go to my diaries, which I burned after I discovered Microsoft Word and transcribed them. Most of my writing were short stories and poems until I started working on my own full-length fiction. I haven't added much to what I've written so far but I'm hoping that I'll be able to finish it sooner or later. As I started writing, I got reminded of some best-selling authors who are my personal idols: J.K. Rowling, Stephenie Meyer and Libba Bray. The series of fiction they've written (Harry Potter, The Twilight Saga, The Gemma Doyle Trilogy) will be always on my frequently re-read shelf. To be able to achieve a small bit of the success they have, it'll be really cool. There's a certain creative freedom you can afford by writing fiction. It's your story: you set the rules. And perhaps, that's what inspires me to go through with what I'm writing: the opportunity to lay my own groundwork.

However, the main fuel behind what keeps me going with my fiction writing, more importantly in my daily grind, is music. While I sing nicely, I'm not as musical as I would hope to be (or at least, didn't get enough training and resources for it). I don't have the creativity to make an arrangement or think of lyrics to match it. But I didn't realize that you can build a career in music without have to plot a note or a lyric. All you need is a pair of good ears like those of Alex Patsavas and Liz Phair, musical supervisors to two of my favorite TV guilty pleasures: Gossip Girl and 90210. While Liz forayed into the business as an artist before transitioning into the world of music supervision with 90210, Alex has been the go-to girl of a lot of popular US TV shows and movies: she's probably on Josh Schwartz's speed dial and has recently put her stamp on Twilight. As I reviewed Alex's IMDB page, I realized that we almost havethe same taste in music. I'm a soundtrack junkie for as long as I can remember. I made a lot of mix CDs for my friends whenever I felt like it. If I had an iPod, I'd probably make tons of track lists to cover my every mood. Heck, I don't know how to drive but I have a driving mix list in my head. Watching Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist made me yearn to have my own recording studio. Perhaps, that's one other thing my brother would also like to have as well.

While I do realize that these dreams are a bit far off my radar, it's nice to know that there are certain other things that I liked to do and can be possible if I can put my head and heart into it. All I need are some tools of trade to get me going full throttle: a digital SLR with a great set of lenses, a uber chic laptop and a recording studio. Oh, and throw in a baby grand in the mix. Might as well dream big. Never hurts to do so. =)


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