Pausing to Reflect
Purpose and foresight are weird things to realize in your early 20's. Since walking across the stage in my ceremony this past May I've been bombarded with the dreaded question: What are you going to do now that you've Graduated?
Having to explain to people that I still had four classes to complete before my graduation became official left a sour taste in my mouth and confused look on everyone's faces, but not as confused of a look as I received when I told people the whole truth: I just don't know.
Not having any idea what it is you want to do with your life is scary. Spending four years working toward a degree that you aren't even sure that you want anymore is not only terrifying, its infuriating. My last year of college was the hardest year of my life so far but it made me realize what I didn't want - something I'll dig into in another post. It also made me realize that I still don't have a why.
What is a Why?
A why is realizing your reasoning behind the decisions you make, and focusing your life around specific goals. Being successful is great, but it doesn't mean anything if you aren't really happy and I just haven't been happy.
I'm not saying that I've never had happy moments or that I've been completely miserable in my life, but for this last year especially I haven't found joy in most of what I've been doing. To be honest, I've generally just been going through the motions. I do find joy in a lot of what I've been doing, but I've realized that the things that made me the happiest were the times I was trying the hardest. Though, most of those ideas I was excited about the most were repeatedly shut down by others.
You can't start your own YouTube Channel. You can't act. You can't be good at tech. You aren't good at writing. You aren't this. You aren't that. This isn't possible. That isn't necessary. You aren't being realistic. Stop trying so hard.
You aren't good enough.
I'm stopping here to say that I am. I am good enough. I started my own YouTube Channel and I was pretty natural behind a camera. I may hate watching my videos around other people, but I'm proud of what I've made and like to share them with others. I may have stopped for a year, but I'm starting to get back to it again. Making videos was never about being the best at it, it was about doing something that I love and being a part of a community. I've always been attached to YouTube and film and I want to continue to grow with the things that I love.
I played the leading role in a very weird and incredibly powerful show known as The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Embodying the likes of Tim Curry as Dr. Frank-N-Furter has shown me a new force in my ability to do what I want with myself and own every thing that I'm doing. This role did wonders for my self-esteem especially in a time where it was being constantly knocked down by the rest of the events in my life. My first ever leading role accompanied another with the chance to strut my stuff not only as Frank but as the Stepmother and Understudy to the Witch in Into the Woods. In just one week I was offered my dream of learning and portraying three of my favorite characters to date.
Prior to this, I had never so much as spoken a line on stage. While I've been in theatre and select choruses before, this was different. Being a part of an ensemble is not the same as truly acting. After being told again and again that I can't act I made the leap and auditioned for 2 shows in 2 days being offered large roles in both. This showed me that I can follow the things that I want and that I don't have to listen to the people surrounding me.
I can be told again and again that I'm not good at something, or that I should give up but it's what I choose to do in spite of that which is important. So, I'm no longer choosing to do things based on what other people say. If I keep on the path I've been living I'm not going to be happy and that's really the only thing that I'm aiming for right now. I want to live a life that I'd be happy to have not just a life I'm expected to pursue.
So what is my why? Truth be told: I don't know completely. That's part of this journey of mine. At least for now.