I struggled with what to call this blog post. The subject is so fundamental to who I am and what I do.
Most of the past year of my life has required me to Be Me Anyway. Anyway: as in, doing what I believe in regardless of hesitation. Regardless of my own self-doubt and regardless of what other people think or say– because it’ll always be something.
Sometimes, my articles are posted somewhere other than on this blog. When that happens, they rack up a handful of negative comments. I don’t respond because I don’t find it helpful. But in truth, I am really sensitive– it’s just my nature.
People are always going to have something to say about what you are doing. It can be because they are jealous, they think they know better, because they are threatened or because they are angry or upset with some part of their life. Maybe you stirred something up for them.
Not everyone is going to love everything you do. But staying lukewarm on a subject doesn’t make you better for this world or for anyone. Staying lukewarm is not a better option.
Your surroundings, your family, your professors, your friends, anyone who surrounds you does not always want you to Be You. The way we grow up informs the idea of what our lives “should” look like.
I never, ever thought my life would look the way it does right now. My life now doesn’t fit into the categories I thought “should” be possible for me. I remember thinking in high school that it would be incredible to be a National Geographic photographer, but that it was too high of a goal. Now I know a handful of people who do exactly that for work, and I realize that my doubts were within my control.
Live for you, and never for the people who want to sit on their asses and call you lucky. You don’t get anywhere in life on luck alone.
If you are a writer, write for you. If you make art, make art for you. Create for you. Do for you. Make for you.
It’s a fact that you are going to get hate from someone at some point no matter what you do, especially if you are pursuing your life with passion. The options are: keep going, and accept that there will always be those people, or stop and be quiet. The second one is not an option for me, and I hope it isn’t one for you either.
Your voice is yours and uniquely yours– fading it or trying to fix it for someone else will never be true to you.
If you do something long enough, if you do it well enough, and if you are consistent enough, someone will notice. You probably won’t get exactly where you thought you would. But when we commit to ourselves, whatever it is we are seeking and whatever it is we once sought– often it starts to look for us, too.
Photos in this post by Garrett King.