It’s odd to me how we fall into things by circumstance. When I was young, I kind of wanted to someday be that pianist at Nordstrom. (SN. I used to go to Oakridge Mall nearly every week. I was a mallrat. SSN. The last time I was in a Nordstrom the pianist was playing a jazzy version of The Doors’ Light My Fire. Cuckoo.) This is kind of during that time I was in my junior high jazz band. I gave that up pretty much as soon as I went to high school, where we had essentially no developed music program.
Both those things were completely out of my control. I did jazz band just because my junior high happened to have one. Not many schools do. I stopped playing jazz simply because my high school didn’t have music. Not many high schools have no music program at all. Both times, to a certain extent, what I did was a product of circumstance.
It’s not just that. Like with programming. I didn’t go into college intending to be a programmer. It just kind of happened, probably in large part because the school I went to had a strong Computer Science department. If I went somewhere else, maybe I’d be a sociologist now. Who knows. At any rate, my vocation was determined in part just kind of by outside influences.
Something about that slightly offends me, that I’m the product of chance environmental factors. I want to believe that there’s a core “me” and that I should assert my “me” in what I do, environment be darned. I am “me” and I do “this”. But apparently, that’s not what life is like, so maybe I’m just being naive.
That said, I still kind of want to be a Nordstrom pianist someday, if not soon, maybe when I retire. And after I’ve gone through Misty, Moon River, and all those standards, you know I’m busting out California Love. Muzak style.