Sunday, October 22, 2006

Nothing Learned is Ever Wasted....

Never let anyone tell you that your dreams are worthless, your aspirations unachievable, or your education an exercise in futility.

I have a degree in Theater... Acting emphasis. Yes, I am well aware: that and $2 will get me on the subway. Is it a worthless degree? Perhaps, if you only think in terms of monetary gain. If you think in terms of personal happiness, fulfillment and growth then it is priceless.

When I needed to borrow $2,000 from my father to pay the balance of my college tuition for my junior year, after financial aid and my job at Taco Bell I was short just the $2K. He said to me, "I thought you finished with college"

I had done 2 years at a community college and earned an A.S. degree... then took a year off to earn enough to pay for the next two years and a B.A.

I tried to explain that I wanted, no, I needed to go for two more years. He scoffed. "What for? You'll only end up working at Taco Bell the rest of your life any way."

With encouragement like that... well, who wouldn't feel special?

But after much bargaining, and by bargaining I mean begging... yeah, that felt great, my father and his fucking power trip about money... sorry, digressing... I did manage to finish my B.A.... in Theater.

The wonderful thing about a degree in Theater is the things you learn. Now sure I wanted to be playing Blanche and weeping about "a boy... just a boy" while a Streetcar Named Desire ran by with my name on it... but the reality of the education I received was that I learned EVERY aspect of the theater. Not just the fun part (acting is the fun part - at least for me). So although I knew I was never going to become a set designer, lighting designer and god help us all I wasn't going to be handling the house; I learned what these jobs entail.

"As useless as algebra!" was the consensus of the acting students. We didn't need to know how to use a lathe or a jigsaw or how to build a flat. "We should be studying Shakespearean soliloquies!!!

But you know what? I used my college lightening course this very day. I sure did.

My kitchen light has been on the fritz for the past 2-3 weeks. I kept meaning to call the Super to take a look at it, but ... I really kinda hate having people come in to do work in my place. I prefer my privacy. And frankly, most times I can do the work faster and better myself. How sad is THAT?

Today, however, I finally decided to get off my ass and fix the light myself. I bought a dimmer switch at the hardware store, because if I needed to install a new lightswitch, why not make it a dimmer? Ooooh. Mood lighting!

I read the directions on the package, very simple really, and *pow* I heard the voice of my Lightening Design teacher in my head....

"Now, Now Joy, you have simply GOT to remember that like goes to like and twist those wires together..." That should be read with a texasy-southern accent.

And there I was back in class, splicing wires and reconnecting lamps... in under 20 minutes not only was my kitchen light working again, but it was even better than before. I LOVE the dimmer!!

So it goes to show you. You may learn things in your life that you see no purpose in... that seem redundant or superfluous... but one day everything comes into play. Nothing you learn, whether it's how to strip a wire or how to mourn a broken heart, is ever a waste. One day having learned what you thought was boring, or painful, turns out to be something that can make you smile. I'm going to lower my lights and burn some incense now.

Go learn something new! Follow your dreams, no matter who tries to discourage you. And someone always will, it's what they do. But trust me, don't listen to the naysayers. They're just too afraid to follow dreams of their own... or they don't even have a dream to follow.

Whether it leads where you thought you'd go or not, nothing is ever really wasted... it might just take a while to see the lesson played out.

No comments: