Two days ago, I turned 41. Officially middle-aged. I look back on my life, and I see that I haven't been living to my true purpose. I am a composer. I am here to write music.
I have a successful job in programming. I've always loved programming, but lately something has really been bothering me. Every ounce of energy I expend on my programming job is an ounce of energy I regret not making music. This thought, and the level of regret, has been steadily growing inside me over the last several months. I am now at a point where I know what I must do. I must find a way to take programming out of my life, and put music back in the position it should always have held.
I was recently talking to a friend about this, and I found myself saying these words: "I am a good programmer, but I am a great composer. I put myself up against any living composer today." I surprised myself with my own words. But for the first time in my life, I believed it. I've always considered myself a good composer, but something has happened to my work over the past two years, and especially while working on the score to Invision Film's "Running Deep." I have developed my artistry into something I am very proud of. I have found my own voice, and it is unique and strong.
I have been writing music for 30 years, and it's always been very important to me. Over that time, I have squeezed out just one to three short pieces each year. Sometimes more, sometimes less. For someone the local TV news was calling a "child prodigy" at 15, I sure haven't lived up to my potential.
I believe that the first step for me is to identify myself as a composer. When asked what I do, I've always said, "I am a programmer." Now, even though I am still programming for the time being, the answer is "I am a composer." For me, saying these words is very empowering. It is giving me the courage to begin an intimidating mid-life course correction.
I will be quitting my job as a programmer. I don't know how or when this will happen, but I am hoping I can do it by the time my next birthday is here. I will find a way to make music composition my vocation. I must find a way to make this happen, as I believe it is the only way I will ever feel I am in my correct place in this world.
After all, I am a composer.