An Impossible Dream
It was the 4th of July. I was single, away at college studying to be a chemical engineer.
I went to visit my Grandparents.
We drove in their car to a spot we could see the fireworks across the whole valley.
Grandma put on a tape cassette about the life of Irving Berlin – the great American songwriter.
It captivated me. She gave me a knowing smile.
I had no idea how Grandma knew that I was dying to be able to write the songs that were in my head – because I had told almost no one.
Ever had an experience like that?
I had an ideal childhood.
It just wasn’t built for my dream.
As a preteen I started making melodies on the piano and convinced my parents to get some prehistoric software that was supposed to help you write music on the computer.
As a young teenager I played the renowned “Mario Paint” on the Super Nintendo – particularly the part called Composer. By dragging little green turtle shells and other Mario characters onto staves of music you could make songs – complete with the Mario Bros. orchestra.
But life was too busy for composing just yet.
Life was filled. With about 8 siblings by that point there was no shortage of fun.
We went to demanding schools, had extra curricular activities like instruments and sports, boy scouts, and church activities, friends, chores, etc…
Spiritual life came first but academics were our future.
My Dad came from a small mountainous mining community in northern Nevada and had dug his way out through academics and college to become a successful electrical engineer and business man.
Science and engineering were respectable fields.
So I really only had one choice. Become an engineer.
But then I turned 16. The rebellious stage.
I was messing around in my room and had a melody pop into my head. I searched and searched but realized I had never “heard” it before. I didn’t know where it came from.
Soon I added another and another and worked them into a song with verses chorus and instrumental parts. The lyrics came gradually too.
This was when I realized I could “write” (more like think up) music.
Around this time I took a career test, and purposefully answered the questions so that it came out suggesting I was equally suited to be a chemical engineer or a musician. Funny how those tests work.
Since I lived in England, 16 is when you decide what you are going to do when you grow up. You either leave school, or you do your A-Levels and then continue in University.
This is when I chose to be a chemical engineer. It made the most sense. I could make a living, and I liked chemistry, or at least I wanted to understand the world that God had made.
With a solid living, I could then pursue being a musician.
Little did I know how hard both would be.
In college I got to take some basic music classes. I learned of “The Five” Russian composers – one was an engineer, and one was a chemist. “Well, if they could do it…”, I thought.
Well, 20 years later having been a missionary, finished college, married my sweetheart, life kept throwing challenges.
We tried and tried to have children and eventually were able to, each time with a lot of medical help and blessings and miracles.
I served where I could in the church and community spending much of my free time this way.
I progressed in the corporate world, literally traveling the world (to visit mines no less), and eventually settling at a large chemical and plastics plant.
Gradually I tried to learn how to get my musical ideas out there. I was never a great instrumentalist. I learned to write music on staves fairly well. Until it dawned on me that many commercial composers don’t even do that. They “write” or program it directly into programs that can also record and produce.
I was getting closer.
It still took many years and family health problems and moving many times. Eventually it came down to a simple prayer and a decision. I asked God if I could do my dream now, that I really wanted to do.
I came to a cross-roads and I felt that it was my decision.
I decided. From there He supported me.
I certainly wasn’t good enough yet. But He slowly opened the doors for me.
A lot of the songs from my younger years were about dreams.
The desire to make music, or occasionally about romance, and sometimes love for my Father in Heaven.
And since my younger siblings and later my own children have been a big part of my life, songs for babies and kids flow freely too.
And that brings me to You.
What are your dreams and goals?
First (if you haven’t) Start with the 5 Free Songs I’m waiting to send your way.
Next time I have an inspiring or fun song out I’d like to share it with you.
Hold on to Your Dreams.
Sometimes He makes us wait.
But if it’s important to you….you are important to a loving Father in Heaven.