Dear sentient creatures made up of many wonderful things,
Last night I went out to my friend Nat’s birthday dinner and it was fabulous in every possible way. I met so many lovely people and had interesting conversations. It wasn’t until I was on my journey back home, staring into the clear night sky striped with lightning, that I realized my incredible friend Nat did something for me that no one had before.
As adulty adults, it is common in a social situation to ask a person you haven’t met before, “what do you do?” Personally, I’ve always abhorred this question, but I understand that it is used as a way to giant penguin the situation (break the ice) and find something to converse about. I was asked this several times last night, to which I responded, “I’m a receptionist.” The third time I was asked Nat heard it, and before I finished my mundane reply, Nat said loudly, “she’s a writer!” The people I was talking to seemed to be excited by Nat’s declaration, and we ended up talking about my writing. I was thrilled, passionately spouting about my writing and my intention to have it at some point engulf my entire life.
As Aaron, Charlotte, and I drove home, I was hit with the realization that I had never, ever been introduced as a writer. Nat doing so not only sent fireworks into my mind and heart, but it also made me feel so much like myself. I was especially thankful that I was not introduced at this dinner party like I have been at too many others; the girl who cannot eat anything in the entire restaurant because she’s “allergic to everything” so don’t touch her because she’ll most likely die.
This morning I couldn’t stop replaying this moment in my head. It had my mind spiraling and calculating and imagining, and all of that eventually lead me to one of humanity’s greatest questions: Can a person truly “have it all?”
Growing up in a close-minded family I was taught what far too many others were. You must choose one path in your life and it must be reasonable. If you change your mind or have multiple paths, then you’re deemed inconsistent, unreliable and have no idea what you are doing. And of course, if you don’t have a degree by the time you’re 30, you’re a complete and total failure. There isn’t much wiggle room with that line of thinking, and if you know me at all that’s a big problem, because I’m an extremely wiggly person.
For three-fourths of my life I truly wanted nothing more than to be an actress. But I also loved visual arts. I also loved writing. I also loved music. I also loved all kinds of other subjects…and I wanted to pursue them all. I was constantly reminded that I was not being realistic and that my head was perpetually “stuck in the clouds,” causing me to be an utterly hopeless human being in the eyes of my relatives. Through all of the awfulness, my grandmother’s soft voice occasionally broke through. She instead would tell me, “why don’t you do something with you talent?”
The general consensus of humanity tends to be, “choose one route and stick to it for 60 years until you die.” Those who diverge from the paths they first chose or have multiple ones are seen as unique and brave, and we are told by the media, our parents, and most people around us that the rest of us just aren’t that fantastic. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve told strangers I was communications major or a music major and was met with an awkward and flat, “so…what do you do with that?” As if I just admitted to them that I had a full length tail hiding underneath my skirt.
I still delve into a each of my passions and I really have no reason not to. I can totally be a painting, gaming, cooking, fashion loving, musician writer and it should be completely acceptable. Having multiple paths in my life by no means prove that I’m indecisive, confused, or messy. If anything, it should show the world that I am passionate about life as a whole, and that I am trying to get as much out of it as possible. I’m not the only one, either. There are countless people of note who prove that having one path isn’t the only way to live a human life.
One of my favorite humans in all the land, the Vlogger Olan Rogers, now also works in animating, stand-up, filmmaking and opened a Soda Parlor in Memphis that is also a small arcade.
Audrey Hepburn was known for her astounding beauty and the films she starred in. She was also a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF and traveled in order to help suffering countries with food, clean water and immunizations. Four months before she died, she traveled to Somalia.
Harrison ford was both a space cowboy who fought against the Empire and the world’s greatest archeologist who could get out of any situation except snakes…well, okay. Maybe that’s not the best example. But you get my point.
Not only is having multiple paths in life awesome because you constantly learn about whatever you are involved with, but you also begin to learn about yourself. Sometimes learning about yourself can be frightening, as it’s possible to discover that the path you thought you were destined for isn’t all you hoped. At that point, you must make a choice. Do you stick with what you are no longer passionate about simply because it may pay well or because you put a great deal of work into it and don’t want to feel like you failed, or do you scrap it and start over somewhere else?
As my life carries on I have discovered on many accounts that something I was hoping to be my life’s work was something that I couldn’t tolerate. I wanted to be an actress for 18 years until I became more sick and realized I could no long meet the demands of the job. I wanted to be a bridal consultant until I realized I couldn’t relate to the inside world of fashion, and was better off adoring it from a distance. I wanted to be an interior designer until I realized the job was very mathematical where I was not (sorry Finn and Jake). When I was extremely little, I wanted to be a newscaster, until I realized that my heart was way too squishy to deliver news about various tragedies each morning. I was disappointed when I realized that these jobs weren’t for me, but I don’t think I failed at them. I simply didn’t fit, and that’s alright.
The failures and successes in our life are equally important. Both help us uncover a few more puzzle pieces that we can click together, leading us to understand who we are and what our lives are all about. The click doesn’t always come easily or painlessly, but it does happen. While it is much easier to have one solid path that you never doubt, having multiple doesn’t make a person any less put together or any less intelligent.
Of course, being stretched too thin is always an issue. I’m slightly frustrated every single day because I cannot fit everything I want to do into 24 hours, yet the days I do manage it I end up dead exhausted, especially considering the whole chronically ill thing. I am also starting to comprehend that patience is even more valuable than we were taught as children; patience is everything. It’s how people are able to create astonishing pieces of human history. Through all the hard work, successes, path changes and failures, patience makes us resilient.
So back to the main question. Can a person really “have it all?” Well, to be honest, after writing 1372 words on the subject (now 1377), I still haven’t the slightest idea. Life usually calls for a great deal of sacrifice, and we eventually have to decide what we are willing to sacrifice and what we are not. Those decisions include a good amount of heartache sometimes. We may not be able to have it all; but what we end up with may be better than what we hoped for in the beginning of our adventure.
I’d like nothing more than to continue to be a gaming, cooking, fashion loving, musician artist writer. So far, most of those titles are slowly being smooshed into one shorter title: Blogger and Vlogger, as both of those incorporate every one of my passions.
That’s still a bit of a mouthful though. So for now, I think I’ll just stick with my official title on my Facebook page: Alien Stardust Princess, Creator of SicklyStardust. That just rolls off the tongue, don’t you think?
The summers gone, the years have passed,
My friends have changed, a few did last.
The smallest dreams got pushed aside,
The largest ones that changed my life.
And all I wish for has come to pass,
From Rock N Roll, to love and cash.
It’s all success if it’s what you need,
Do what you like and do it honestly.
If I had a chance for another try,
I wouldn’t change a thing,
It’s made me all of who I am inside.
And if I could thank god,
That I am here, and that I am alive.
And everyday I wake,
I tell myself a little harmless lie,
The whole wide world is mine.