Note: Background images in December 2002 and January 2003 journal entries are selected from Frances Ku's collection of her original watercolours.
The right attitude
"How long have you been waiting?" asked a man who just arrived at the bus stop.
He was an accountant who decided to gate crash one of the parties at the hotel. He noticed that I was the pianist and complimented me on my playing. "Really nice."
On the bus he asked me what I did for a living. It's interesting how people don't take musicians seriously. So I replied that I was writing a book.
"Wow!" He used to work for a publishing firm. After working in the City where people worked because of the pay, he found it refreshing that media types worked for the love of it. The writers were so passionate about what they wrote.
Yes, I told him, I've always wanted to do music. At university I even thought of switching out of engineering into music. But I chickened out. I didn't think I could make enough money as a musician. I was also afraid that I might not be good enough.
In fact, everytime I left a job, I thought about doing music. Everytime I was unhappy in a job, I thought about doing music. Everytime I thought about it, I reminded myself that the pay would be considerably less.
This time, however, I didn't compare annual salaries. I didn't compare what I used to make with how much more I could make if I didn't do music. Instead, I asked myself, how much do I need to live on.
I told the accountant about how I wanted to influence and inspire people. In the beginning, my in-house reports only reached my colleagues. Then I started writing industry articles which only people in the industry would understand or be interested. Now, I want to write a book to reach a broader audience. Similarly, by playing piano in public, I actually affect people's moods.
"You've got the right attitude," he said with a big smile. "So when do you play again?"
20 December 2002 Friday
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