Blaise thought of it as "the talk". Before he had the talk, his life had been carefree and there was no reason to expect change. Then he found himself in that time when his friends were jumping through hoops to get into college, but Blaise had made it clear that he would not be going to college. Thoughts of change and doubts about the direction of that change began to grow.

This decision to skip college had not really been a shock for his parents. Although they had both gone to college themselves, they had seen that Blaise was on a different path. Starting at the age of 12 Blaise had been in and out of a series of bands with local kids who shared his interest in music. The previous two summers he had paying jobs in bands that casually circulated through the many dinning rooms and dance halls of the upstate mountain resorts. He clearly thrived as an entertainer.

It had been his mother who subjected Blaise to the talk early in his junior year of high school. She made sure that Blaise was aware of the possible advantages of studying music in college. Blaise had demonstrated that he was well aware of those possibilities and he had assured his mother that he was open the idea that he might some day go to college. But he had a growing network of associates who were already starting to try to make a living as artists of various kinds and he wanted to join them and try his luck "in the real world".

His enthusiasm for the swirling web of musical friends and their schemes for forming bands was infectious, and his mother secretly wished she had done something in her life outside of a traditional career path. Blaise's father could not even imagine trying to impose "sensible choices" on his son, and was pleased to see that Blaise was self-confident and ready to get on with life as an adult.

After the talk, the doubts began to accumulate slowly. Most of his school friends were going on to college and many had said that they thought Blaise was crazy not to do so too. Good grades, sports, music, and a circle of friends- everything came easily to Blaise. Some of his teachers were actually rude, telling him he was wasting the opportunity to make the most of himself, which in their view required a college education. Were they right? All the rationality in the world did not seem to matter. Who could guess what the best choice to make in life was? Blaise was ready to do what seemed right to his heart and what appealed to his inner desires. Making music was his joy, and he would follow his bliss.

So, the only thing that could derail him was his heart. And it was at the start of his senior year that his emotions spiked and released a stinging swarm of doubts. Surely there would be others in life to love? He certainly did not believe in sappy things like soul mates or that there could only one true love for him. Rationally he believed that. But he could not escape his own biology and his hormones. The neurotransmitters that fueled his desire could not be shut off by rationality.

What was left of that rationality could foresee a sorry slide into collapse of the dreams that had seemingly solidified that past summer. At the end of that past summer he had made promises to his friends -the first real adult promises of his life- and his future had seemed so clear. All doubts of the previous year had been swept away! But that glorious certainty had lasted only a few weeks and seemed now to be little more than a strange dream.



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