Friday, August 16, 2013

Dear Teen Me

You’re surrounded by artists. Aunts. Uncles. Cousins. Even Mom. And that warmth you feel in your chest when you think about their creativity?

Hold onto that.

Don’t listen to Dad when he points out the starving artists and scoffs about how they didn’t have the common sense to have a backup plan. He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Because for us artists, there is no backup plan. There’s settling. Settling means you quit.

Now, I know you think you want to be a jazz singer. I also know you know it doesn’t feel right. Sure, you’ve been in state, and regionals, and can carry a tune better than most of your family, but it’s not the right direction. You know it, and I know it.

And the drawings? They’re okay, too. Feel good about those. But again, we both know that’s not going to feed the need to create something out of nothing.

See that piece of paper? Can you feel that connection to it and how you feel like you want to fill the white space with words but don’t know what words to write? Hold onto that. Stop listening to the statistics Dad throws your way about writers. Sure, Dr. Seuss got rejected a trillion times before someone took a chance on him. He’s a unicorn.

You can be a unicorn too.

Stop being so scared of your imagination. Stop locking her away becausewriting Dad wants you to have common sense. You don’t have to settle like your parents did. Mom could have been a singer. And Dad turned his back on that creative side long ago. It’s never too late, but they settled, and it’s hard to come back from that. You’re going to settle one day, and believe me, escape won’t be easy. People won’t understand. They won’t listen to you. They’ll laugh behind your back because you’re just a waitress. And a wife. And a mom. And it’s painful when others label you with a title that you don’t feel and they don’t understand.

Despite what Dad said, you can do it all. It’s hard to juggle, but not impossible. You can have the fallback career and feed the creativity on the side. And one day, with any luck, you can be creative 100% of the time.

So don’t give up. Don’t look at the last day of high school as the end, because that’s ridiculous. It’s just the beginning. Put one foot in front of the other and fight for what you want. No one’s going to hand it to you, but the uphill battle is worth every second.

Last thing. Stop wearing those crazy clothes and ratting your hair. It’s embarrassing.


Adult Me

1 comment:

  1. Awe :) I swear my life has followed this very path. No wonder we're soul mates. Here's to being a Unicorn and, THANK GOD, much better hair ;) *raises Starbucks cup*


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