The holiday season is finally here! It's a time for jingle bells, hot cocoa, snow days, wonder, cheer! Oh, and the monotonous, repetitive, shuffle-mode of explanations of your life choices to your non-musician family members. Let this warm your heart a bit, friends; you are not alone! Here are 12 struggles we can all relate to.
1. The patronizing faces your aunt makes when she finds out you don't wake up at an ungodly hour every morning like the rest of corporate America
"I will not conform!"
2. That awkward moment when your little cousin asks you what you want to be when you grow up
Define... "grown up"?
3. Explaining to your grandpa for the 72nd time what it means to have "gone to school for music"
"No, Grandpa, music is my job. Well, yes, I guess it's also a hobby. No, but I make money at it. No, Grandpa, there are not benefits. Yes, I paid to go to school for this. Grandpa, times have chaaanged..."
4. Being constantly being pressured to perform at every single get-together
"Dance, monkey, dance!"
5. The choir of horrified faces around the dinner table when you tell them you're not quite sure where you'll be in five years
"Get Grandma more wine, STAT!"
6. The truly inquisitive faces of all of your family members as they make their rounds sitting on the couch next to you, asking what your daily schedule looks like
The world may never understand.
7. The fury that fills your soul every time a group of relatives begins singing carols painfully off key
"Oh wow, I've never heard 'O Holy Night' in Zb major. Thanks, Aunt Bertha!"
8. The precious, forgiving face your mother makes when she gets to you in the sibling life-update lineup
"Hey, at least I'm the fun one!"
9. The annual Q&A with your grandma about when you're finally going to "settle down"
10. The closed-mouth smiles and recurring eyebrow raises you have to make while pretending to be interested in listening all about the years of advanced schooling your cousin is still doing
11. The seasonal preaching from your godfather about how you should really consider a more "stable" career path, as if you and every musician on the planet doesn't already have some degree of crippling self-doubt
"Thank you for all of your endless support, close-minded old folks!"
12. The jealous faces of every single one of your cousins when they find out you actually make money doing something you love
Christine Occhino is the Founder and Artistic Director of The Pop Music Academy and has experience working at Columbia Records/Sony Music Entertainment, in addition to working as a performing artist for over a decade. She has a Bachelors Degree in Music Business & Management with a concentration in Entrepreneurship and Vocal Performance from Berklee College of Music, where she was a vocal scholarship recipient and former Editor-in-Chief of The Berklee Groove. She is also the proud founder and CEO of Hope In Harmony, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that brings music to those in need.