Originally written in early June 2017.
I’ve always had a lot of different hobbies and passions, and it’s hard for me to pick just “one thing” I like to do. I loved everything from writing, photography, film, editing, graphic design, dancing, singing, playing instruments and so on. But what I wanted to become for a long time was to become a film/music video director. That’s what I, for a long time (around age 12-16), pictured myself I would be doing. I loved creating stories, whether if it was a short film, story or a song. It wasn’t about film being better than everything else (like music), but more about that I thought I would be happier with that as my career. Film also seemed more as “work” (in a positive way), if that makes sense? As a director you have a lot of responsibility etc, as well to the creative part. It would also just be a much bigger project than just record a song – it would cover most of my beloved areas of hobbies/passions than just directing (like photography, editing ++). So while making videos in spare time while going to school, my goal was to go to film school in L.A. after high school and study film. I was so set on it for years.
Then I opened my eyes for YouTube. I started watching YouTubers who made videos regularly. The perfect fit! An online plattform where you could share content you create from home. So I started my own channel. I guess my goal was still becoming a director, but YouTube was a fun thing to do as a hobby.
Then I also got an internship at Topp Magazine – the biggest teen magazine in Norway. I was only 16, and in my first year of high school. I learned a lot and got to experience so many cool things so many kids my age at that time would just dream of. Interviewing popular boyband members, being invited to exclusive events and get my articles published. My visions started to change. My focus shifted from film to journalism and YouTube. I also became Topp’s first official blogger, and my YouTube channel started to grow.
Through my internship I met a music producer. He had seen some of my singing videos on YouTube, and we started to collaborate. I had been dancing since I was 5, playing the piano from the age of 8, singing in choir and written a lot of songs in my room from before. When I was 18 I released my first official single, and because of the following I had from YouTube and Topp, it did pretty good. Of course as a kid I’ve had visions and thoughts about how it is to be a big superstar singer, and I had some experience from performing at school etc., but I just never had a goal to choose “singer” as my career option. So when this opportunity came around, of course I wasn’t going to let it down. I’m not 100% why I wasn’t set on becoming a singer before, but I think there were some various reasons I was aware of: A lot of people “can sing”, and maybe I just never thought it would be something extraordinary. I also had never ever met a girl in my life (and not a lot of guys either) who said their dream was to become a director, so I felt I stood more out. Maybe I thought becoming a “singer” was just so… Cliché? We could also mention the fact that music is a hard thing to make a living of, but film director is not known for being the most stable career choice either.
But then we also have my family, who have influenced me to get an education. Not getting is education is kind of not a choice. And since I want to mix business and creativity, I thought economy and business law would be a good choice. So after high school I dropped my “going to LA to study film”-long time goal, and kept on going in Oslo where my new career and college was expecting me.
Now I’m sitting in my own home office, turning 20 years old in under 2 months, and I’m questioning myself and what I want to do. Even though I have a career and actually make money out of this, I feel a bit lost. I don’t feel I’m specializing myself in anything. I see my friends go for one thing, and they spend their time being good at just that. And then I feel like I’m bad at the things I do, because I don’t have “one thing” I’m spending all my time doing.
There are just so many options in this world. I feel lucky that I’m a part of the world where I can do anything I want to… But sometimes it’s just hard to choose what you want to do. Or well, I know what I want: But it’s hard to be picky when you love so many things and feel like you have so many passions. But I’ve also discovered the down sides with a lot of these things as well. Especially with being a public figure, but I guess because of social media a lot of us can relate to that.
I love making YouTube videos, but obviously I wouldn’t have made videos like “morning routine” and “18 things I love about guys” if it wasn’t for the intention of sharing it on this plattform. Before YouTube I used to make short films, funny videos and spend hours of just finding new effects for the editing part – without having any intention of sharing it anywhere.
I’ve always loved all of the things I’m doing now, and I still do. But I think my intentions has shifted a little. Most of the things I create today is because I expect an audience. I expect a certain number. I want to see the likes, comments, subscribers, streams and views roll in. It’s OK to visualize and hope for that: The problem is that when it becomes my main goal. When that is my drive. When the outer motivation eats the inner motivation. When I don’t come up with an idea because it’s a cool idea, but because I feel like I need to post something and want to see the number of views. That’s not what drives my creativity. Sometimes I wonder if I was more creative at the age of 13 than today.
13 year old Tina with her first DSLR camera… I took that with me everywhere I went.
What I learned from this, is that it’s not always so much about what you do, but how you do it. I’m not saying I now want to drop everything I do now and go back to my film director dream (even though that has been a temptation a couple of times), but I should be careful with what drives me. Let’s say I want to create a media company where my focus is to work with influencers: I’d want to be creative and make some cool projects and try to do fun marketing, as a fun project itself. Not being driven by the views or money. Just because something is commerce, doesn’t mean it can’t be good. There’s a reason why pop music is the most commerce genre – it’s because people like it.
So my tip for you reading this, is that you should look at what drives you – and does it work? Does it seem meaningful to you? Are some passions better as a hobby, or vice versa? If you want to become a singer and make a living of it, you gotta remember it’s so much more than just “singing”. It’s the environment, the people, social media, being compared to other singers, management, business stuff, and the list goes on. And what does it take to be a singer expect just having a good voice? Do you really think you would be happy doing it for a living? This is obviously something you need to experience for yourself, so if you do have a dream, chase it. You’ll find out on the way. You won’t know unless you try. I’m just giving the critical questions as well to point out that there are other things than just the “main quality” itself when choosing a career. Maybe you wouldn’t see yourself as a lawyer, but do you like solving problems? Do you think it would be fun to fight for justice everyday? Do you think criminal justice for example sounds exciting? Would you feel safe knowing you’d have a stable income every month? You get my point.
I just realized the topic for this post could be a lot of things, like “When visions starts to change…”, “Inner VS Outer motivation” and the winner “What are you “meant to do”?”. But I hope there was some sort of clear point to this (even though I was kind of everywhere, as usual). This is one of those nights where I felt it so in my stomach that I had to write something.
Please tell me if you have any thoughts regarding this! And you definitely deserve a huge cookie, pizza and ice cream if you read all of this… Love, Career Material xx