The Dream is Not Dead

Some days (okay, a lot of days lately), I wake up in a funk. I can’t seem to find any meaning in the mundane work, eat, sleep schedule. Between being caught in a minimum wage job that drains my energy to missing events because of that said job, it’s just not easy to feel like I’m making my dreams the reality I so need.

With those weights and constraints, I have got to keep focused. While my summer didn’t end up being what I expected, it had moments that weren’t short of wonderful and I can confidently say the dream that felt so dead just a couple months ago is alive. It took a lot of days of feeling down and out (hey, still having plenty of those days, but looking at the bright side and looking towards an amazing support system). It took days of doing what I love, seeing my work, writing some and remembering the feeling it gives me when the thoughts flow so effortlessly. It took a good conversation with an unexpected friend, plus conversations with the people that have been rooting me on from the start. I may not be at the top, but as I look around me, both figuratively and literally, I can say I am definitely not at the bottom. I have crazy dreams that people undoubtedly call me crazy for, I stay up late chasing and doubting those dreams, I have to clear my head at least a dozen times a day, but it is worth it. For the goals I have already achieved and what I wish to accomplish, this is worth it. Every single day of feeling worthlessness makes the days of feeling invincible and on top of the world worth it. It has been two years since this journey of mine began, and I can’t wish any of those past two years to be any different than they were. From the people I have met to the people I have lost, to the unbreakable bonds and incredible friendships that have come both out of the music industry, photography, and the journalism world, I have gotten my efforts back tenfold. Even if it takes me years and years to make the dream all that I want it to be, I have gained so much from the journey, that I’ve already made it. The dream was tossed to the side for a while, only for me to stop and realize mistakes were being made. To this summer, thanks for providing me with the wake up call that I really needed. I’m back and the dream is not dead.

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An open letter to the people that criticize my career choice

Your question came with innocence, but as soon as I smiled and said, “Journalism,” you frowned and shook your head, despite the look of pure happiness on my face. The reaction applies to so many people, but to top off that clear disapproval, you had to open your mouth to spew your unnecessary views, while prying into my life where your nose is not welcomed. You put me on the spot and essentially forced me to explain my entire life plan, with you rudely interrupting to remind me that I won’t have a job or how the medical field is a far better choice.

To you, to all of you that can’t seem to accept my area of study, firstly, it is not something for you to ACCEPT or even give a second thought. Do you go around and badger other strangers like you have to me? Are you finding the teenagers that are choosing not to attend college and telling them they are wrong, the way you tell me I am wrong for what I am going to school to study? If you don’t, what makes bothering me any different? Why do you not care to know what I have done in regards to journalism and public relations? Are you okay with lumping someone you don’t know into categories that were most likely presented to you by *gasp* a journalist? Yes, yes you are because you did EXACTLY that to me.

Did you attend college? Are you working in the medical field? Are you making a good amount of money that allows you to live a lofty lifestyle? If you are, cool, good for you, no need to tell me I will not. If you aren’t, wow, no judging from me. I suppose we are different.

You do not know me, you do not know what I have accomplished or the drive I am filled with or the amount of time and energy I devote to my future. You don’t know the deep passions I have. You can’t see my dreams. You don’t know what I love or what I fear. You don’t know what I want to get out of life. You haven’t experienced my life from the exact position I am in. Until you have, you have not a single right to tell me that I am going to fail. For what it’s worth, I might fail. I might not be employed after college. I might struggle to figure it out, but as that is all occurring, never once will I stop and think, “Wow, that random asshole at the grocery store was right.” So please, kindly take your opinions elsewhere, preferably far from college kids who already wake up with programmed thoughts that they aren’t making the right decisions. Your help is far from.

Overpowering love

Love is a very strange thing. I honestly am not sure if I know what the feeling is, yet I believe I have felt the feeling multiple times. I guess I can’t really distinguish between love, admiration, and happiness, though they are all tied together in some respect. I’ve found love in people, in animals, in moments, in places. I don’t really see how “falling in love” is applicable for one person, as I’ve fallen in love with more humans and locations than I can even count. My heart just seems to be overflowing with the joy of a love, but not the traditional kissing, holding hands love. No love I have experienced has ever been that. I’m not too certain if that means that I won’t ever have that (though it’s not a priority or something I really desire), or that my definition of love is just a bit different than what many people think.

I have fallen in love with songs, with sunsets, with the view of a new and unfamiliar place. I am in love with the smell of fall, the feeling of the weather on my skin, the sounds of this earth in my ears. I am in love with the friends I have had, in love with the people I grew up with, in love with the people I meet every single day. I am constantly adding to my list of who and what I am in love with. The feelings aren’t necessarily easy to describe, but they fit in with my mindset; I don’t want to commit myself to one place or person because I have far more love than the cookie cutter molds of one. I just want to share my love, my feelings, my experiences. This is beginning to sound more cliche than I would like, but it is a simple concept I’ve been tossing around my mind for a while.

Detroit, in all its glory

A home away from home is defined as, “A place where one is as happy, relaxed, or comfortable as in one’s own home.”

My home is in the same city I have lived in since I was born. Aside from that, my home away from home is the city of Detroit. I would rather be in Detroit.

I have a love for that city that is deep and endearing.

And no, I am not just talking about the happy go lucky atmosphere of downtown in the middle of the day during a sporting event or large concert. I am talking about the abandoned buildings, the homeless, the trash on the streets, the spray paint that peppers the buildings. The city has so much to offer. From the advice you will get from someone that calls the streets home to the hope witnessed when an old building slowly but surely gets a face lift to the beauty of a mural covering crumbling walls, Detroit has a lot to offer. From a booming past, the present is beaming with hope. It will be a slow process, but Detroit will be great. Detroit is great. I’ve seen the dark and abandoned streets, I’ve heard the horror stories of murders, robberies. But that seems to be what people want to hear. Detroit is known for the violence, Detroit gets the media attention when it is put on a negative blast.

When I was young, I was sheltered from what lurks just outside of downtown. Now nearly 20 and fascinated with urban cities, art, and people and lifestyles in general, I have ventured down the dingy streets. I have seen the burned out houses, the boards on the windows, the makeshift memorials honoring killed loved ones..It is all sobering in a way, really. This past winter I attended an event downtown where the streets were packed to capacity; I could barely even move. It really got me thinking about how the city is constantly badmouthed, but a family fun event, sport, or concert will draw in the crowds. Even with all the bad that is just blocks from where you’re enjoying yourself, the city still pulls in those from the suburbs. Of course, there are still those people that refuse to get near the city, it happens, but each time I visit Detroit, the population visiting is growing. Just the past two times, I saw many, many people from out of state. It’s comforting that people that probably hear much worse about the city can come and visit. I’m often asked by people who haven’t experienced the city if it really is that bad. Like anything, there is bad. I have learned to accept that, and instead of fear it, embrace what the city has to offer.

Detroit is beautiful. Beauty does not have a single definition, so yes, all of Detroit has beauty in its own way. There is beauty in a bustling downtown, beauty along the river, beauty in the art, beauty in the people in the city. There is so much beauty in the people fighting for their city. Hate is not going to fix Detroit; only love and understanding will save the city of Detroit. I believe that while there is much progress still to be made, steps have been progressive. I am truly hopeful and excited to see what Detroit’s future holds.

appreciation

I am not sure my thoughts will make much sense at this present moment, but I owe all my love and appreciation to the people that have come through as the brightest lights in my life. I don’t always keep up contact, I’m not always easy to reach, and I don’t really manage well with multiple close relationships. I think I have learned to accept it over the years, though I know it can’t be easy for the people that are close to me. I have tried my best to balance myself, but yet I always pack myself and wear myself, so it is not always the easiest task. I cannot thank the people that have stuck by me enough. I surely can see the strongest people in my life because those are the people that are right beside me. Whether we have known each other for years or months, I have the strongest support system at this very moment and I am so appreciative. I always thought the people I had were what I needed, but they always came with price tags. In the past week, I’ve hung out with the person I have been closest with since kindergarten, reunited with a friend I haven’t seen since third grade, spent time with a friend I thought I’d never be close with again, and really showed my love and appreciation to the circle of amazing people surrounding me. In wake of my grandma passing, I think I am doing pretty darn good. I have so many loving and understanding people beside me and I think that’s a real special thing. In trying times, we find out who our friends are, and thank goodness, they are the most wonderful people in the entire universe. I think I’m babbling, I’m about to cry, and I am overflowing with love, but just know, from the bottom of my heart, I love you with everything I’ve got. Thank you. THANK YOU.