I never was one to obsess about getting into college, about my GPA or my resume. I played sports in high school because I loved it, not because it was going to look good. I built a photography portfolio in college because it was fun, not because I was aiming to turn it into a career. But the closer I got to graduation, the more I was worried I wasn't going to choose the right path. I had SO many ideas it was almost embarrassing telling people about them. Every day I had a new post-grad plan, and it was eating me alive.
All it took though was some (long and deep) reflecting to calm down.
1. I was set on moving to the East Coast for college. I got into NYU's Liberal Arts Program, and when it came down to 5 days before the May 1st deadline, we had to make a pro/con list for NYU and USC. The only pro NYU had? "NYC". I knew USC was the smarter decision, and looking back, I definitely was not prepared to move 3000 miles away. I was sobbing when I paid my deposit for USC, crying like it was the end of the world.
But holy crap, USC was the best decision of my life. The person I am now and the people I have in my life would not exist to me if I were somewhere else. Who knows, maybe I'd be applying to grad school right now if I was somewhere else. The East Coast is no longer part of the plan, and for that matter, there is no plan. I realized I was holding myself to my own expectations, and when it didn't go as expected, I was utterly shocked.
Nothing goes according to plan, so we just need to accept any decision we make as the best decision we could have made (sorry, there are no parallel universes in my book).
2. I had no intention of pursuing photography or blogging in a full-time manner after college.Three months ago someone asked me If I wanted to go the press/media route in the music industry, and I was like "hell no". I thought I was set on going into the business side of the field, some sort of management/marketing/development thing. Then as I was freaking out that I knew NOTHING about those aspects (theatre major, for the win...), I decided to look at my strengths instead of my weaknesses. what am I good at? I'd like to think I'm good at social media, at content creation, at photography, at digital media, at building relationships. So now that I knew that, what now? Sounds a lot like the communications/media field right? maybe PR? definitely a lot like blogging.
So here I am now, pursuing this music blog thing, shooting every weekend, concerting every week, meeting people and making friends every day, and trying to get a day-job that will allow me to do (aka finance) those things.
Stop dwelling in what you don't know, but look at what you do: what do others thank you for? what do you feel proud of?
3. "To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong". I've been running on this for a while now, and I think it's what has made me as confident as I am right now. I'm so aware of how stupid my decisions could be when I'm thinking about RIGHT NOW vs LATER but I couldn't give less of a damn! Yes, thankfully I have the [parental] support to pursue this lifestyle, but I think anyone can live by this motto with the right adjustments. There's a Warren Buffett quote I love about philanthropy that I find very relevant, "It's nice to have a lot of money, but you know, you don't want to keep it around forever. Otherwise it's a little like saving sex for your old age." What's the point in life if we're always right? and perfect? and charming and charismatic and rich and famous and shiny haired? I'm over it. I want real, organic people around me and a real, organic, HUMAN life. I'm going to make all the mistakes and receive all the rejections until I get it right.
Of course, I've still got plenty of ideas for what the next year could look like. I'm sending emails every day, but I'm not expecting any one direction. I'm so very aware how quickly things can change, and I'm so very excited to let life happen.