One Night in Chicago and an Eric Clapton Song
A few months ago I was going to school in Chicago and pursuing a career in engineering. It wasn’t exactly what I was interested in, it was more my father telling me that I had to go to this school and major in this certain area. It was always a fight with my father but I bit the bullet and went with his plan. I felt like I couldn’t talk to anyone about what I really dreamed of doing which was opening my own guitar shop.
One night I was leaving a friends house and decided to catch the train at North Side. When I walked up to to wait for the train to come I walked by a man playing an Eric Clapton song on his guitar. He was killing it on the guitar but looked as if he had been there for days and didn’t have anywhere else to go. I walked past him but something was telling me to say something to him so that’s exactly what I did (as I hoped he wasn’t crazy and going to take me out as I approached him). I said to him, “I love this song, where did you learn to play?” He kept playing and just looked up at me. The strumming got louder and I thought to myself, “okay this is where it turns bad and now it’s just completely awkward.” As I turned around planning to walk away, he finished the song and then says to me, “I once was at Juilliard a long time ago and learned from some of the best.” My mouth just dropped thinking, “then why on earth are you sitting here?!” The next thing he says to me is, “I had my chance but I blew it because I was following someone else’s dream and not my own.”
I didn’t know exactly what that meant but didn’t want to pry so instead I felt this need to share what I was feeling with him. I told him about how my dad wanted me to do a certain thing with my life when my passion was music. He smiled and said, “You should listen to your parents but living your life according to someone else’s dreams never turns out well. Your dad wants the best for you and I guarantee if you make the change, he will eventually get it and support you.”
My train pulled up and I was leaving I turned to him and said, “You have way too much talent to be sitting here. No matter what happened, you can change it.” We both smiled at each as I hopped on the train. As soon as I got home I called my father and told him that I was going to pursue what my real passion was. He didn’t have much of a response but didn’t argue with me. A few days later he called me and said to me, “I won’t lie, I had to digest what you said but then it made me realize that I had been pushing you in a direction you didn’t want to go. I’m so proud of you for being honest with me and going after what you want.” I was completely surprised by what he said and the guy at the subway was right about what he said.
My best friend and I are going in together to open a guitar store here in the next two months. I’m nervous and don’t know what’s around the corner but I’m ready for it. My advice to you is that if you have someone pushing you in one direction and you want to go in another then don’t be afraid to put your foot down. I was scared at first too but now knowing how great it feels to follow my dreams, I would never turn back. Also, next time you see someone sitting in a subway, don’t assume they are a nobody because they might just be SOMEBODY to you.
I Am A Mom and Pop