I saw this image circulating social media last week and felt it resonated with me, seeing as though I've been a quitter on more than a few occasions, and it's a tiring and unrewarding place to arrive at:
During my sophomore year at Berklee, and upon declaring my major in "Music Business Management," I entirely quit singing. I even stopped identifying myself as a vocalist among my classmates because suddenly, I felt like an imposter within my own field. My reservation was that I was surrounded by several other talented vocalists and therefore, felt average in comparison. Consequently, I ostracized myself from musical opportunities and instead, dove head first into business because it felt like the safe and dependable route. Pursuing a career in business had always been my fall back plan; my "Plan B", my reason being, "well, if I don't make it as an artist, I can always succeed in business and have music as a hobby."
Fair enough, this is a common way of thinking in terms of stability and monetary expectations. Making a successful career out of music, or the arts, is NO easy feat. Monetizing music felt like the impossible, and considering the colossal investment I'd have to make in addition to what I had already invested into my undergrad, left me feeling discouraged. Plus, living in New York City, one of the most expensive cities in the world with no subsidies, made me wonder, "how in the hell am I supposed to survive as a singer? As an artist?" more importantly, "who the hell cares what I have to say? " and finally, arriving at self defeat: "I just can't keep up with the Jones'." And so, I turned my back on the mission. I quit.
It wasn't until I finished a semester interning at an EDM agency, followed by a short stint in real estate (strictly out of survival mode), that I came to my senses and quit everything not pertaining to music. I needed to finally face what I was afraid of due to a different type of survival mode that surfaced - and this was, without wanting to sound too campy,
SING OR DIE!
And so, moral of the story: DON'T QUIT! Keep your priorities in mind and continue to persevere, even in the presence of doubt or failure. Accept that failure is just as much a part of the process as succeeding is. Failure is the only way you'll ever learn from your mistakes in order to become better at your craft and expand your skill set. It's as the saying goes: