It begins with Carole King sitting in front of a grand piano speaking to the audience. She tells us that life doesn’t always go the way we plan. It’s what we do with where life takes us that can make it so beautiful. Then she sings So far away.
Last night at the theatre I felt like Carole King, played so eloquently by Chilina Kennedy, was speaking directly to me. Besides the fact that this play, Beautiful, was one of the best I have seen in a long time, with great music and a strong story, it got me thinking about the path I have taken in my own life.
Young Carol Klein was a brilliant and talented young woman who convinced a record producer to buy her song, at age 16. She was on a career path to become a teacher but instead became a composer, a lyricist, a singer and ultimately one of the greatest female artists of the past 50 years.
While it was never my dream to join the music industry (I play piano, but not like Carole King!), Beautiful made me think about the dreams I didn’t pursue and the path I have taken in life. Have I followed my dreams, and even if I haven’t, am I happy with where I am and what I have accomplished?
As a teenager I attended a performing arts high school for one year, with a major in dance and a minor in drama. I loved theatre and acting and at the tender age of 14 had aspirations to follow that path. While I participated in dance and drama classes and directed camp and school plays I kept this dream to myself and never pursued this path.
At age 16, the same age that Carole King wrote It Might as Well Rain Until September, I experienced that moment in chemistry class, soon after I created Kinetic Man, which made me want to drop science and become a journalist. I loved to write, but again, I pushed the idea aside.
I guess you could say I considered myself to be a sensible person. Instead of following my instincts to be a member of the arts or media communities, as an actor, a writer, or a journalist, I went to university, on a path to be a doctor. I soon realized that being sensible wasn’t going to work for me, and I am happy I followed my dream to become a journalist.
I will admit that over the past 15 years my career and life path have traveled in various directions and gone off on sometimes unplanned tangents. If I look back at my 14 or 16-year-old self, would I be happy with where I am now?
I’m definitely writing, and this blog is fulfilling a dream I have had for over 10 years. It has taken me years and many jobs to figure out that my true path is writing. Will I write a book, contribute to a publication or see where this blog takes me? Right now, I don’t know. But I do know that no matter what path I follow I will make it beautiful.