Monday, March 12, 2012
"I'll be famous someday, I promise!"
When I was younger, all I wanted was to be famous. I'd write stories about Native American tribes that I thought were worthy of a Pulitzer Prize. I didn't just play with my Barbies, I directed them. Was Dad bringing out his camera today? I'd be ready in a pose. Did I want to be on video? I'd slop makeup all over my face and act out a ridiculous scene, just so I'd be on tape. I remember going shopping with my mom, and I'd sing little songs as I twirled through the aisles - every step I took and note I made, I was sure I'd be "discovered." I was prepared for anything.
Plus, I was bold. On the first day of Kindergarten, I came home from school and explained to my mother in an as-a-matter-of-fact way, that I'd be calling a girl from my class, Rachel. I decided we would be good friends, so I rang her up. I signed up for the school talent show in third grade, and when my BF Wesley (good, strong name) told me that my friend Kristen sang her part way better than me (it's true, she has the voice of an angel), I kicked him to the curb. Or did he just move away?... Anyway, I remember kicking him to the curb. I signed up for a dance/cheer program in 5th grade and shook my thing (the little thing that it was) to "Pretty Woman." I wore a pink boa. In 10th grade I was on the cheer squad, but I wasn't chosen to do a really cool stunt for our next competition. So at our basketball game that night, I whipped it out for the first time with 3 girls who wanted to help me out and was filled with pride when I was soaring in the sky and saw my coach's astonished face. I could've fallen on the gym floor, but in that moment, I didn't care.
I graduated high school and moved to New York City two weeks later, not knowing a soul. Now, I've almost been here three years and I've never regretted a minute of it. But it's easy to get discouraged when you're around so much talent and competition day in, day out. I work hard, am happy with my job, but I picture myself a few years from now and sometimes it scares me to be so uncertain. I was so in control when I was growing up, and as I continue getting older, I find that my loyalty to commitments and responsibilities has hindered my freedoms. So which is more important?
At six years old, I was hopping on my brand new bike, racing down the dirt road and feeling the wind in my hair - without a care in the world. Now, I'm just shy of 21 and I hop on the subway at 7:30 each and every morning for an hour and a half commute. When I feel something in my hair, I panic that it's a subway rat. But here's the catch: I'm living out my dream job - working for a magazine. I've met the man of my dreams who makes me feel like the most incredible woman in the world. No, my name isn't in lights - but I still have the stars in my eyes when I think about everything I'd like to accomplish in time, by working hard. Realism doesn't have to be negative, it just means that I have to work harder, that when I fall down and cut my knee, I won't bawl for my mom (OK, maybe I'll still cry - let's be serious!), I'll pick myself up, dust myself off, and learn something new about myself, like how much I can handle. It means that instead of singing and dancing through department stores, I'll put myself out there in other ways, like writing articles and trying out crazy fashion trends and not being afraid to say hi to the person next to me on the street (Hey, some people in NYC still totally freak me out!). I'll take realistic risks and challenges every single day and get "discovered" by truly finding myself.