“I mean, we’re from two different generations, but no matter if you’re like, 60 or 16, at the end of the day we’re all still trying to make money and make a solid living, right?” is what he told me. At first, I grimaced. He was talking about the notion of learning extensively about current ways of money-making despite the fact that you aren’t passionate about them, which is something I have always been notoriously stubborn about. I thought to myself that there has got to be a healthy medium between wanting to pursue a dream and also realizing that hey, this is business. This is precisely why I put so much heart into my craft; I believed that once I continue to improve as a writer or an entrepreneur or a general “creative”, the money would follow eventually.
I worry about money constantly. Yet, before this week, I couldn’t, or refused to, change my philosophy I’ve held ever since I was little – that even if I wasn’t wealthy, I was combining all that I felt strongly about, into a more powerful sort of wealth. However, I started to understand what he was trying to tell me – that no matter what you choose to do in life, if you’re not able to create the kind of income you want to maintain a good living, you’re not going to be able to have the kind of impact you want either.
But, despite this logical thinking, staying true to an ambitious nature, and having the drive to really see opportunities into a career worth pursuing is a lot more telling about a person than how logical they are. In the summer of 2016, I began realizing, and understanding how my past, present, and future were connected – I saw that I had very clearly and very unfortunately abandoned my zeal for working on personal projects and publishing my work no matter how awfully done I thought they were. As I reflected on the past year, all I saw was a less ambitious version of myself. I had replaced the zealous little girl I once had inside me – the princess, the doctor, the vet, the firefighter, the musician, the actress, the singer, the artist, and the food critic. I wasn’t anywhere close to shooting for the stars; it was more like shooting for third place at some middle school sports day.
Losing the willpower to aim high and settling for safety, happens, but we must not forget the sheer joy of the wonderful quality of being naive enough to think that you can change the world.