Money can be such a horrible thing. Being a former accountant, I can say that for a fact. Without money, we cannot fund our dreams or desires. No money means no relaxation. And more likely than not, the jobs that pay more money do not necessarily equate to things we actually enjoy doing. But we choose these kinds of jobs because they’re lucrative and they give us the financial safety net to hang above poverty and squalor. I highly doubt anyone is genuinely passionate about working in finance, engineering, and law; if you are, good for you. You have hit the jackpot of loving a job that pays well. Meanwhile, the jobs that are more fun, such as dancing, baking, or photography, they do not; in terms of viewing this from an economic standpoint, so many people want to do these kinds of jobs, meaning that the supply for dancers, bakers, and photographers is high, but our society only ever calls for so many, meaning that the demand will almost be nowhere near the supply. Because the supply is higher than the demand, these kinds of jobs are generally lower paying, if they exist at all. And it sucks.
I had recently met a young violoncellist whose passion was to be a famous musician. But he outright admits that he was studying a useless major; he majored in music at University of California, Los Angeles, and while the school is reputed, his major, not so much. And that is a similar issue I ran into when I wanted to become a pastry chef. I love to bake, and even after interning and working in pastry kitchens, I still love it. This is the job I could happily do, had it not been for the pay being complete garbage. I genuinely hate the fact that money is the one thing stopping me from pursuing my passion. But the question is, do I want to be rich or happy? While doing accounting will definitely not make me poor, I will be spending the limited years of my life doing something that I know I will not want to do for the rest of my life. Meanwhile, if I pursue pastry, then I will basically be dirt poor, but I will be spending my entire life doing something I want to do, even if it means being homeless or living in less than perfect conditions: by that, I mean not necessarily knowing where my next meal is, having to work long hours to the point of possibly not being able to have my own family, and on top of that all, living paycheck to paycheck.
The smartest thing to do would be to have a compromise or a balance here. Start in accounting and then move into pastry. But again, the trade off of knowing that I am selling years of my youth, my youth specifically meaning prime time for me to learn, grow, and explore living, to become an accountant so that I can be older, less energetic or enthusiastic, but well-off enough to become a pastry chef. But if I start as a pastry chef, work hard, and get lucky (which is highly unlikely and I cannot rely on that), I can quickly find myself becoming a culinary superstar, at the cost of all structure and stability (time-wise and financially) in my life. My entire existence will revolve around the restaurant and doing what I can to sustain it. That much pressure, it’s getting me stressed thinking about it. Yet, I know that when I am on the line, cooking, none of that stress comes up again. It goes away as I am flying through the kitchen. In almost all of my internships, the chefs I have worked under have told me to never become a chef. But working in accounting, all of my older coworkers tell me that I should pursue what I am passionate about and that in one look, they know that I am not going to stay in accounting forever.
The obvious question now is what do I want to do? I am still struggling to determine if Food and Beverage or Accounting is the path I want to pursue right out of the gate. It is not like I am under-qualified in either, but I know that the trade-offs in both choices, there will be something that I will lose sleep over and would definitely regret. It is hard to live life knowing that there is an entire other hypothetical life that I am stepping away from with each choice, but that kind of thought process is what got me so depressed in the first place. I need to learn to commit to a choice, regardless of what that may be, and stick with it. I can never look back. I can never turn away from my decision. Commitment is the difference between a successful person and somebody who will never amount to anything. I need to commit to my choice, and thrive with it.