“What is the point of being alive if you don’t at least try to do something remarkable?”
As someone very interested in pursuing a full time career as fashion and editorial photographer, I hear, over and over again, from anyone within earshot, that I will never EVER make money. They always try and sit me down, well-meaning tone and all and urge me to get serious, find a real career and just make that “a little hobby on the side.”
That is a completely reasonable, practical thought. It’s smart. But it is utterly and completely, not what I am interested in doing.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not an idiot. I am completely aware of all the pitfalls, financial instability and frustration that I am signing up for just by following what I know will make me happy.
I know that I will struggle…hell, I’m struggling already and I’ve barely got one foot in the door. But I would rather fight tooth and nail for every piece of the life I want and deserve, than settle for one out of fear of failure. It doesn’t need to be said because it’s painfully obvious, but life is short. Not only is life short, it can be cruel and random and seems to demand a sacrifice at every turn. But one thing that I can’t ever and will never sacrifice, not for anyone or anything, is my happiness and peace of mind.
“Sometimes life is risking everything for a dream no one can see, but you.”
This is my life. I won’t be young and unburdened forever so now is the time to carve out a life for myself that matters to me. At the end of the day, I am the one who will reap the benefits or the failures from my actions, so I am the one who should have the most say in the path I take.
For all of my well-meaning family members and friends, I deeply apologize for the inconvenience but my current and future happiness has got to be my top priority. If I fail, I fail. But I’ll be damned if I don’t at least give it a shot and bet on myself.
For all my twenty-something, soon to be college grads who need to hear it from somebody… anybody… I believe in you. Your dreams are valid, and achievable, as long as you work for them. And don’t be afraid of failure.
I refer you to one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite books:
“Go ahead and fail. But fail with wit, fail with grace, fail with style. A mediocre failure is as insufferable as a mediocre success. Embrace failure! Seek it out. Learn to love it! That may be the only way any of us will ever be free.”
– Tom Robbins, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues