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Journal Writing Project: Peter Pan syndrome

By Erin Woods

Fri, Feb 22nd, 2013
Posted in All Journal Student Writing Project

By Erin Woods

I’ve been battling myself lately. The thing is, I am a senior in high school and as I was growing up, I always had EVERYTHING figured out. I knew that I wanted to go to Winona State University for a degree in sports medicine and then branch out to bigger places and practice my profession. Then, a few years ago, I realized that the medical field wasn’t for me when I witnessed my older sister’s staph infection on her leg at the water park in Texas. Funny how fast things can change, right?

I then developed the dream to move out to California and earn a Bachelor of Science in Audio Engineering to hopefully have my own recording studio and record label. That’s what I have wanted to do ever since and that’s exactly what I intended to do. I had my plan, I had an idea of what it would take to get there, and I knew it was going to be one of the hardest obstacles to overcome, a small town Minnesota girl living in Hollywood signing major talent and making her dreams come true. When you’re a senior and just coming out of high school, the place you’ve been since you can remember and the place you feel comfortable, it is daunting. My friends are there, my teachers know my strengths and weaknesses, and I have a support system of 50 people or more at any given time. Don’t you think it’s hard to walk away from that?

Sometimes I like to think of myself as Peter Pan. I have Peter Pan Syndrome; take me to Never Neverland and let me stay 18 forever. I know, it’s silly. My mother has taught me not to run from my problems but to face them with confidence. So that’s what I have been trying to do. I wake up every morning looking for the inspiration it would take to spark that light in my head again. You’re probably thinking “What? I thought she had a plan to head to California and follow her dreams!” I did, but then I realized the success rate of being an audio engineer and/or producer. The chances are I will spend four years in a university studying music, the physics of sound, and the plethora of technology it would take to even begin a career in this beautiful field only to have difficulty in landing a job. Discovering these things scared the crap out of me! I want to be successful. I want a healthy income to support myself and eventually contribute to a family, I want to live a comfortable lifestyle and not have to worry about where my rent check is coming from.

Here I am scared and trying to manipulate myself into wanting something else in the vast options of a lifelong career. Remember when you were five years old at the grocery store, and your mom let you get a candy bar, but she said, “Hurry and pick one out.” I remember that feeling of standing there in front of that shelf full of yummy options that would probably satisfy my sweet tooth but I wanted that big candy bar that they ran out of so I had to choose something else, my second favorite. That has been me for last seven months. It’s what I thought about at night before I fell asleep, it’s what I thought about in the car on my way to work, and it’s what I thought about in my math class. Someone recently asked me, “If you could do one thing for the rest of your life and money was no object, what would be enough for you?” My answer was to be an audio producer. That’s when I realized that money shouldn’t matter. You should do what your heart tells you. I know I won’t be happy in thirty years being behind a desk filing papers or selling insurance. God knows I’d rip my hair out as a realtor.

Everybody wants something different. My best friend recently joined the military. I don’t think the military is for me, but don’t think for a second that I am not proud of her and grateful for our servicemen and women. I decided that I will not fear the unknown, and I will pursue my dream one baby step at a time with hard work and dedication. There is not one part of me that will be in the nursing home someday thinking, “I bet I could’ve been a great producer,” because I will KNOW. Whether I soar and shine in this industry or crash and burn concluding I wasted my time and money, at least I will know. There is always a plan B. A plan Z, if I need it! So the question for you, reader, is....What would you do for the rest of your life if money was no object, what would be enough for you?

Erin Woods is a senior at Mabel-Canton High School. She is one of 8 area students participating in the Journal Writing Project, now in its fourteenth year.


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6:36:41, Feb 25th 2013 says:
Well done Erin!! You've made you grandparents proud.....again!!! What insight and thought provoking writing.
We wish you well with your dreams and decisions. May your plan A...or B...., or whatever you decide be right for you. We love you!!! [may your dreams be answered!]

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