Florence Foster Jenkins on Pursuing Your Dream Career

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There's a quote floating around the web that, should you apply to your own life and passions, might give you what you need in pursuing the career path that you believe you are meant to follow.

It's from one of the best movies of the year, "Florence Foster Jenkins," and is as follows:

"Some may say that I couldn't sing, but no one can say that I didn't sing."

If there's one movie out recently that will make you laugh and cry, it's "Florence Foster Jenkins." For those of you who do not understand how a movie about a woman who cannot sing well could be so amazing (and how it applies to having a successful career), go see the movie!

What the Movie Is About

In the meantime, let me spoil it for you in some ways. It is indeed about a woman who isn't the best singer. But it's so much more than that. It's about the struggles you go through in life, surrounding yourself with people who love you, and, to some degree, are ignorant about your shortcomings (or maybe being delusional, in a good sense?).

(Warning, the big spoilers start here)

Take, for example, the character Hugh Grant portrays. He married this woman in spite of her syphilis, which could have killed her at a young age. Indeed, surviving the disease was rare at that time, according to the movie. He stays by her side though all of her singing lessons. He pays off reporters to write lies about her performances, and casts aside a young, beautiful woman to defend Florence's honor.

How the Movie Ties into Your Career Search

How does this tie into following your passions? Like the young pianist they hire in the movie (who is amazing -- you really do have to go see this movie), Hugh Grant's character stands by Florence through her attempts to do the thing she loves. She loves to sing, and doesn't give a hoot if she can't. But a central mystery lingers throughout the movie: Does she know her singing is horrible?

(MEGA spoiler warning)

It doesn't matter. At the end of the movie, Meryl Streep's Florence is cradled by Grant after discovering a newspaper called her a laughingstock. That's when she says, "Some may say that I couldn't sing, but no one can say that I didn't sing."

What It's All About

That's what this is all about. Life. Passion. You being willing to put your neck on the line and say that, while someone might believe that you couldn't sing (replace with write, code, calculate numbers, or whatever your passion is here), no one will be able to say that you DIDN'T.

And as veterans, we are disciplined. We will keep trying until we get better. If you love it that much, go for it. Leverage your veteran network to find others with similar interests, or go to meetups or other networking events to find people who will support you and stand by your side as you fail over and over in the struggle to achieve your dream and do what you love. Find supporters like Hugh Grant and the funny pianist man.

Pursue your passion and make it a career, if possible. If not, find something that pays the bills in the meantime, but never forget who you are.

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