Dear Madame Zolonga: Is Passion a Word For Poverty?

Dear Madame Z,

I am writing to you as I’m concerned for my very creative Pisces daughter. She is so artistic and I’ve always been supportive of her following her dreams. Her father (who is a Capricorn) can be demanding and not very supportive. She wants to go to the Art Institute and her father wants her to go to a big-name college. While she has the grades to get in, I know it isn’t her passion. What should I do?

— Supportive Mom

Dear Support Service,

Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to fine arts majors… That’s the tune, right? I guess you haven’t heard it. Anyway, I don’t usually take advice from country songs, and so forged on and got a B.F.A., anyway.

So it’s with a certain degree of sympathy that I read about your conflict. You’ve got a classic college conundrum on your hands:

Will the bright, young artist continue to feed her inner light and shine her personal vision out to the world; or will the Paine’s grey cloud of her father’s fears overshadow our heroine’s dreams, until she doubts herself so thoroughly she burns her brushes in the homecoming bonfire one night, and the next day enrolls herself in Quantitative Analysis of Virtual Consumer Outcomes 103?

It has great appeal, this conflict. The makings of a quintessential David vs. Goliath tale. Possibly a mini-series.

And yet much mystifies me about this letter. You’re very free with offering everyone else’s Sun sign, but forgot to include your own. Why? Just an oversight? Could be.

Here are other questions: Is this a split within an otherwise solid home front, or are we talking about divorced parents? And what’s at stake, financially? Who pays, and from what source(s)?

I ask because I wonder if you’d like me to pick a side: specifically, yours. This happens to astrologers occasionally. Dad is a mean and demanding GoatMan, but you are the opposite — supportive and compassionate. Of course, I can’t check that claim, because you’ve left out the bit that would allow me a peek into your motives and mind. Not exactly fair play, is that? Character assassination by Sun sign does no one any favors, least of all astrology. Without all the particulars it’d be unfair (not to mention inaccurate) of me to offer advice.

But let’s assume that in the rush to write this, you forgot to leave out your own Sun sign. Here are a few thoughts for you, not to be construed as strict advice.

Thought one: have you checked out the cost of college these days? Unless you’re laying out cold cash for your credits, look for creative options to get her studio hours in without sacrificing her financial future. Double major? Private internship? Look for option-itunity.

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Ahhhhhh…Planet Waves recently added a super-affordable Reader Level membership, so you can relax and read all our articles without a click-limit. For even more ease (plus extra benefits like real-time astro SMS service, and more), get your horoscopes emailed to you through our popular Core Community membership.

Thought two: all Pisces, no matter their college major, have Saturn hanging out in their public service and career zone for the next two years. No matter your daughter’s education choice, she’s gonna work hard for credits.

Whether it’s dear old Dad, her portfolio review mentor, or the TA from Chem 101, someone from on high will expect much from her — and at times this expectation will feel onerous. Is dear daughter ready for old-fashioned hard work? If so, there’s a reward for her in a couple of years.

Thought three: “Passion” is a ready buzzword these days in parenting and education circles, where kids are continually taught and coached to “find their passions.” You say art is your daughter’s “passion.” The truth about most “passions” (even with self-described passionate people) is that intensity and focus waxes and wanes throughout a lifetime, a year, even a day! What happens when she gets to school, hits the brick wall of an indifferent (or unkind) prof, and suddenly loses her “passion” for mixed media?

The problem is that Passion is undeniably motivating, but like inspiration, it doesn’t always arrive when it’s convenient. Instead of relying on some generic, pre-packaged-in-convenient-doses form of personal “passion,” help her get to know her real feelings and experiment with the idea of passion. This may lead you both to new understanding about her college path.

All out of thoughts now,

Madame Z

2 thoughts on “Dear Madame Zolonga: Is Passion a Word For Poverty?

  1. Amy Elliott

    I like the fact you don’t accept the surface explanation, that you dig deeper. There are undoubtedly great advantages to prudence, where it does not entail the wholesale sacrifice of our dreams or our identity. It’s a good lesson for young people to learn. Thanks for a very clever and thoughtful post.

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