Everyday is a challenge. Some days I’ve spent with friends, laughing and dancing until I close my eyes; those are the easily conquered ones. Some days I can’t stop listening to that voice in my head that says, ‘what are you doing with your life?’ Not a fan of those days. It’s those days I have to remind myself that life isn’t easy, and I’m not the only one who questions their own path. A healthy dose of being constantly unsatisfied has kept me fighting. And fighting for yourself is not giving up on your dreams.
I just finished watching Janis Joplin: Little Girl Blue and felt compelled to write about standing on your own. This documentary was done so well, and I was reminded of what a true artist she was, a blues artist. Part of her story really spoke to me and I’ve been finding an uplifting thread lately with being a woman and doing what feels true to yourself. This idea of fighting for what you want; it’s been keeping me going lately.
“You are what you settle for.” Those words stayed with me after that film and it’s exactly what I’ve been feeling these days. This relates to my recent job endeavors completely. I came rolling into Portland all nonchalant, thinking that I was going to freelance write and snag a cool barista day job, be creative and wander around Portland. Not so much. Unfortunately, my friendly warnings that getting a job in Portland is hell were true. I almost bent a little for a corporate barista gig, but upon learning that I’d have to take out my labret piecring, cover any tattoos, and be drug tested, I literally asked, “Am I in Portland?” I don’t feel bad about declining the position because I haven’t been traveling for 3 years to get a mediocre low wage job where I can’t be myself. I may as well just go for an ambitious job with benefits if I have to abide by rules. I repeat, ‘DON’T SETTLE!’
As for the writing, my real passion, I just continue doing it. Everything else will work around it, and I can’t allow the excuse of ‘nothing is working’ to not write. It’s why I’ve created my life the way it is, to be this constantly moving equation. These wandering years have been filling my life with experiences and allowing new scenery, strange and beautiful people, and unconvered mysteries to constantly inspire me.
As I near the end of my 20’s, I feel myself crossing this imaginary threshold of gender expectations and an overall societal pressure to ‘build my foundation.’ But the truth is, I’m kind of irresponsible-in the traditional idea of what ‘responsible’ means anyways. ‘Un-dateable,’ that’s another one I picked up from watching Frances Ha. But the one responsibility to myself that I must fulfill is writing. I just went through a low point of being stressed out on life and not writing. I ate a lot of ice cream too…But I can only stay away from the pen so long, until I really start feeling without worth. That’s when you know what you should be doing and you owe it to yourself to do it.
For all those people out there not settling, still fighting for your dreams, I praise you! Those kinds of people are what make this world beautiful. I know I am, it’s a constant evolution, and it isn’t always what I had in mind. I read something the other day about the goal being secondary and process being what really matters. It’s about what you’re doing now, because the presence is all we have, right?