Explore Your Options

When you’re young, you’re told to dream beyond the stars. You can be an astronaut one day and the president the next. And no one cares, because you’re a kid and that’s what you’re supposed to do—imagine. Dream.

During my childhood I wanted to be everything. I wanted to be a singer, a dancer, an actress, a dentist, a podiatrist, a forensic scientist (I know, I was a weird child who couldn’t make up her mind). The list goes on and on. My parents loved that I had so many aspirations, and they whole-heartedly encouraged them. They enrolled me in dance classes and let me audition for a talent competition. But what they didn’t tell me was that when I reached a certain age I would have to narrow down those dreams to just one. I couldn’t be everything but I could be something, one thing—preferably something beginning with dr.

At a certain age, parents and people in general expect you to miraculously know what you want to do with the rest of your life. It’s hard enough for me to decide what I want to eat for breakfast, so the idea of me figuring out what I want to be or what I want to do with my life is laughable.

As a society that’s all we do. We plan, we plan and we plan for a future that we’re not even sure will come. So if we’re going to design our futures, why not make sure we’re gearing them towards something we love.

I was talking to my mother the other day about possibly enrolling in a couple of acting classes at school and possibly auditioning for the fall shows (I have always wanted to act but never got the chance to since sports always got in the way), taking a playwright course (I want to explore the side of writing for the theatre or television or film), and maybe even getting involved in my schools television stations. I want a lot of things, I want to be a lot of things, I always have and I’m very confident that will not change, but instead of encouraging that she told me I need to start focusing in on one thing.

WRONG!

I’m nineteen, I’m in college—I don’t know what I want. Being young and in college is the perfect situation. People think you have to narrow down your aspirations and your options but now is the perfect time to explore all that is out there. The world has so much to offer and if you brush off opportunities you’re passing by great experiences that could have exposed you to things you didn’t even know you wanted. Don’t go to school and pigeon hole yourself. Don’t just study nursing because it’s safe and will more than likely provide you with a steady job. Study nursing, minor in dance, take a couple of communication courses because you might change your mind. After you graduate college it will be much harder to go back and refigure out what you want, and it may cost you a lot more money than you have.

I want to be a novelist, an editor, a screenwriter, a producer, an actress—I want to do it all. And people may laugh when I tell them this, you may be laughing right now, but if I didn’t allow myself to dream and envision myself doing things I love, there would be no point to all of this. I’m ready to explore and learn new things and see where life takes me. I may fail, but that’s okay because at least I had the guts to try.

And we’ll see who has the last laugh.

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