So the other night my wife and I started our semi-annual discussion about goals and what we want for the future. She always has a much better idea of what she wants than I do (she wants to go to grad school, she wants Ruby to take music lessons, etc.), but we both do well on our joint goals together (we want to travel more, we want to have more money saved as a cushion, etc.). The big problem came, as it always does, when it was time for me to express my personal goals, and, more specifically, my career goals.
The issue that I have, and maybe it is only in my mind, is that I don't feel that I have much control over my opera goals. I can set a goal to make x number of dollars singing, or to get so many contracts, or to sing at a specific house, but when it comes right down to it, those are not things that I know how to 100% make happen. Opera is so subjective! I could make a goal to be singing leading roles for any company in America, and even if I am singing at the top of my game and audition for them over and over, there is no guarantee that they will hire me! Maybe the person there doesn't love my sound. Maybe they aren't doing any shows that really fit my voice well. There could be any number of reasons that I won't get that job, most of which, I feel, are out of my control.
The only goal I can realistically make is to practice more, do more auditions, and continue to be the best that I can be. That is what I have control over. That is not a good goal, however, to a wife who works her butt off supporting the family and wants to know when we can buy a new car because ours does not have working: windshield wipers, headlights, seat belts, interior lights, exhaust system, gas cap, side mirror, and, apparently, the engine. And I wish I was making at least one of those things up.
So I need goals. I need to be successful, or else I need to stop. I just wish I knew how to make a meaningful goal that I felt that I had some sort of control over. As it stands, my current opera goal is to make enough money not doing opera that I can afford to keep doing opera. And I can't decide if that is brilliant, or sad.