Today is the day I’m finally letting go of my fears holding me back from pursuing my dreams.
I’ve always been into writing, singing, drawing since a very young age, but none of those I felt would be anything I could pursue as a career. As a very young girl, I thought I would be a painter. I couldn’t fathom how big the world was at the time so my dreams were small, but I remember telling my mother I wanted to be an artist and sell my work in the French Quarter. She told me “No you’re not,” with so much sass and a you-better-not-attitude that I felt I had better not. It was always instilled in me that as a straight-A student I was going to be a lawyer or something of the sort.
And why not? My mother always joked about me being the ticket to our way out of poverty and up until recently I continued to feel that pressure. If I fail not only am I failing myself but I’m failing my mother who had high hopes for me. But I always felt mother knew best. Years later I started getting mail from Barbizon and she told me I should model. And you can bet I tried to model and had always seen myself as a model — until I look back and realize that I don’t like the way I look in 95% of pictures. I’m not saying I would never go for it but I’m saying — I was going for it at the time because my mother told me to.
I’m a creator and I love everything to do with creating. Unfortunately I let stress and work interfere with my creativity & I left my hobbies behind long ago. I think that’s one of the reasons it’s been so easy for me to be anti-social because I felt awkward when people asked what I wanted to do and what I liked to do; I would just sit there uncomfortably with uncertainty. Yes, I’m 24, and I’m just figuring it all out. Partially because I never delved into anything seriously and also because I let people’s approval (or disapproval I should say) dissuade me from believing I can do whatever I want.
“Oh you’re an English major. I hope you can pay your bills.” *laugh* from a friend of a friend.
“Oh you’re an English major? Well nobody’s looking to buy a novel,” says my journalism professor from hell.
Fast forward to after I switched to journalism.
“You should really look into law school because it’s going to take you 10 years to get on your feet in journalism.” – some guy who didn’t even know my last name.
And then my mom, of course, telling me she imagines a different destiny for me than art. Nobody seems to approve.
I appreciate the honesty from people who probably just want me to understand how the real world works, but I had to learn to see the real world for what it is and not let it stop me from pushing to do what Crystal wants. Writing is my release and the day I picked a pencil up to sketch again, I sat for hours erasing and sketching again until I got it right (it could have been the Adderall as well 😄 ) . But I love it, and as I watch everybody around me write, draw, film, do makeup and whatever else, I wonder what’s stopping me from perfecting my craft.
The job I have now I commute to, but the hour-plus drive gave me some time to reflect. My biggest flaw is being impatient and the need for instant gratification is what has kept me working waitress jobs. I know I’m leaving with money the same day I work and if I bust my ass maybe I can pay a bill or two ahead of time. But when I look back from last year to this year, I don’t have much published writing and no published art.
So I can say I’ve worked hard for all I have now, but I have nothing I can look back on and be proud of. This is where I realized how important my dreams are. I’m still young, I’m single, I have no kids, and now a job where I don’t have to spend all my time. So, I’m going to chase my dreams. I’ve been saying for the longest I would start a blog but I never did. But I knew today if I told myself I would do it tomorrow, tomorrow I would tell myself I would do it again when I’m off next week. So this is one foot forward.
I gotta say — for now I want to keep quiet about my plans because I don’t want the negativity. But now my direction is much clearer. It’s so important to live for yourself. And if you impress your friends and family along the way that’s a plus — but it should never be the goal. I’m not spending another day living for anyone else but me, and just after today I feel a little more connected to my dreams.