I think when we’re younger, we all have some beautiful dreams that we’d love to see fulfilled. We all grow up wanting to be biologists, presidents, astronauts and figure skaters. A lot of us grow up to be none of these things and instead are repairmen, bank tellers, mothers, and small business owners. Perhaps we are happy with these things, perhaps we are not.
I suppose this post- call it a letter, if you will, as it is intended to be more personal than a simple blogpost. And no, I don’t know you, but I know about dreams.
Right now, I’m told I’m taking a risk on a dream. That what I’m doing is stereotypically going to allow me to make no money, live in a box, and on food stamps. For those of you who don’t know this- many or few- I’m an art major. This apparent future I have- a future of being poor and unhappy- I don’t believe in. Ever since I made the decision to be an art major, I’ve become a better person. I am so, so happy and fortunate. I have met wonderful people I wouldn’t have met otherwise. I have fallen in love with life at a time when I couldn’t have afforded to do otherwise. I’ve followed a dream and I’ve met one of the most important people I’ll meet in my life in doing so: the person I’m supposed to be.
On the other side of that, I’ve had people tell me that my major wasn’t doing anything or that I was majoring in unemployment. I’ve had people judge me. I’ve had people look down on my for being open-minded about others. I’ll never understand why others have to be so negative to make themselves feel happier and better about themselves, but I just let them have it. It’s not worth it to me.
For me, success isn’t measured in money. I’m aware money is necessary for happiness, but from money that feeling doesn’t manifest. I know that all I need is enough and happiness will pay the rest. I know that giving back to others- that helping others find their voice, self expression, and worth- is what is going to make this life worth it to me. And that I can do that through the constant exploration of knowledge, art, and self. I’ve found these to be constant truths in my life, and I hope you’ll find what you need to carry on- as I have.
Now, I will leave you with this small anecdote and a poem.
It was senior year of high school. English class. We were reading from this huge book that we simply called, “The Brick.” In it were assorted poems. I’ll never forget this poem. When I read it, it reminded me of my father. He sits behind a desk when he would rather be living in Alaska out of a cabin, when he’d rather climb mountains or white water raft. I just know he can get so unhappy, at times.
What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore–
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over–
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?
After reading this, I decided to be an art major. The idea of any of these happening to me- the way I feel this has happened to my father- scares me worse than nearly anything I can think of.
So, I hope that you, too, will think of the loves in your life and pursue them. This life only comes to you once- this is your one chance to live it to its fullest.